Oh c'mon! I thought the season was over? I was supposed to take a break from these posts and this show! I got alota stuff going on, things have been really taking off lately! But I suppose I have time for another early Hearth's Warming episode. Wow, 2 Hearth's Warming episodes in 1 year! That's certain something alright! Alright, so lemme get started on this so I can get back to my vacation from the ponies. I mean the more I watch these things, the more time I spend thinking about this show instead of doing things productive, if yunno what I mean. Nothing against the show, it's just my career is really taking off and I don't want any distractions.
For starters, the entire special concept. I'm glad it made it's way to FIM! With season 9 rumored to be the final season, perhaps the series will continue through these specials! No time limit, no due-date, no rushing to think of a good story - just a good pace for a writer to just let out what they think people'll like, and I really hope this ain't the only FIM special! The first EG special left a good impression, but the second one really didn't, so who knows how long the concept will stick around for? We still have a third EG special coming up too, so this concept is really getting out there! With these specials, the story never feels rushed, and this particular special didn't feel rushed either! Good pacing! But now let's talk about the story!
So the special starts off much like Hearth's Warming Tale, a musical number! Pretty good musical number that involved pretty much all the central cast! Even the Cutie Mark Crusaders had the chance to sing something! Even if it was their only vocal appearance. Awww poor Marble Pie, but you'll find someone one day! Besides, isn't Big Mac you're supposed cousin? There were a ton of character cameos in here! We finally gotta see Shining Armor again after him being absent all last season, and Princess Cadance didn't do alot either last season so nice seeing her! Prince Rutherford... ehhh, I'm not against nor with having him around, but he did provide nice info! The reindeers were very interesting characters, and I guess they're the "Santa Claus" of this universe, huh? Very interesting addition to the Hearth's Warming lore! Speaking of which, for once we didn't get a description of Hearth's Warming about the history for once! I mean, after five Hearth's Warming episodes, I'm sure everyone knows what the holiday is about now! XD Saw a cameo of the Student 6 - too bad they couldn't stick around. Poor Gallus! What's he gonna do for the holidays after he worked so hard to keep his friends with him last year?!
Alright so now about the individual Mane
Six Seven! There was Rarity finding a new hat for Applejack, but sent to the wrong place by Derpy. It was nice seeing her have a supporting role in here, but unlike the rest of the fandom, I'm not too keen on her ([b]blasphemy![/b]), but she provided a good role to have Rarity meet a pony named Pistachio! He's very adorable, and Rarity sacrificing AJ's gift for him felt really sweet! Her being responsible for a pony's cutie mark musta been really good on her, even if it meant no gift for AJ, but it worked out well in the end once Pistachio knew the truth! I would love to see him again in a future Rarity episode! Pinkie Pie and Twilight pretty much got eachother and work so hard to make their gifts perfect! (Insert pudding meme here) Then of course the main antagonist of the season six preimere goes and ruins Twilight's pudding and make a monster that only Pinkie knows how to defeat, cause of the reindeer gift! Like Discord said, reindeer ex machina (that was my favorite line in the episode)! As it turns out Andrea Libman's characters were the main heroes of the special, cause Fluttershy turned out to be the answer of the monster problem - and all planned by Discord! Can he predict the future? Cause it seems like the same thing happened in The Break Up Break Down! I think this very clever writing for Discord, and his interactions with Rainbow Dash were the best! In fact, it was my favorite part of the special! They have great chemistry!
Now here are the parts of the special I didn't like that much: Applejack and Fluttershy's part for starters. First off, I'm tired of Flim and Flam. I thought Viva Las Pegasus was a good conclusion for them, and I thought Friendship University was good too, but their part in here was exactly the same as Friendship U: scamming ponies to expand their resort. I think we get the picture. If the brothers are gonna be used again in the future, there needs to be new original stuff for them, like their ways would upset the balance of Equestria's ecosystem or something instead of just scamming ponies. What they do is harmless really, and what they did in this special was pretty harmless too, and then they both ended up giving Spike and Rainbow a terrible present despite them giving their friends great presents! What happened to the comic books AJ had for Spike? Regardless, we haven't seen Rainbow Falls since waaaaay back in season 4 so it was great seeing that location again! Spike's part... really? Rarity again? He even was picked to give a gift for Rainbow! That woulda been fresh and new to see, cause I loved their chemistry in Shadow Play - Part 1! Outta all the Mane Six Spike's just been interacting with just Twilight and Rarity as of late, and his interactions with his other friends are few and far between these days, and this one-sided crush on Rarity's cuteness has expired since season 5, now it's just depressing. Fortunately, it worked this time! That lovely song Spike sang in the end was beautiful, and he deserved that kiss! I hope it made up being live-bait for him! Seriously, I found to be a huge problem. Twilight using her closest friend as live-bait for the monster? I know her intentions were good but she didn't realize that she put her own closest friend's life at risk. This is Twilight's biggest friendship problem she needs to work on - not to take advantage of her most supportive friend, same goes to the rest of them. I don't see her doing this to the rest of her friends. Hopefully season 9 will have some justice for that. I found that very bothersome, and something I didn't wanna see in a holiday special. This is the main reason why this episode received a 4/5 for me. I care about Spike and his character growth, and I don't wanna see it wasted, especially after what happened in Father Knows Beast. He's owed for that.
Did I love this special? No, not really. Did I like it? Yes, definitely! It had plenty of shining moments! Hearthbreakers is still my favorite Hearth's Warming episode, with Club being a close second! Vogel really did know what he was doing, keeping characters in-character, perfect pacing, great songs, great story, but some moments I didn't like. But that's just a personal problem! I would love to see more specials in the future, and this was a great midway point between seasons 8 and 9! I really hope season 9 is worth sticking around for, and I hope my patience would be worth it!