The episode everypony was waiting for, and it's finally here! Youtube stream below:
Hit the jump.
So was it worth it? Hey, yeah! Of course, any episode is worth it, so that's a bit of a silly question. It was still worthy of a season premiere, and although I feel like people may be disappointed by it, it still holds up the standard the other episodes have presented.
The episode starts with the Cutie Mark Crusaders on a field trip, where they come across a few statues as well as a statue of a Draconicus. The Crusaders argue about what it might represent, and the statue shakes and crumbles in response, though it goes unnoticed. Then, the theme song! It's the same as usual, though it's possible it may change later. If it doesn't, I'll be a bit disappointed, but no big deal.
Afterwards, Rainbow Dash tries to clear the sky. She comes across a cloud made of cotton candy that makes...chocolate rain? It's a phenomenon no one knows how to deal with, until Twilight concocts a plan that involves everypony and they hold off the onslaught of chocolate. Just the beginning, however...
Twilight is contacted by Celestia to go to the castle, and she explains the cause to be Discord, the Draconicus described before. He has taken the Elements of Harmony and our heroes have to go retrieve them. Discord has other plans. He sends them through a maze that they must each take on separately. All the while, he tricks them and manages to use his magic to make everypony act the complete opposite of their respective Element - Applejack lies, and Fluttershy is pretty mean, to put it lightly.
The episode ends with Rainbow Dash (supposedly) getting her wings and flying back to Cloudsdale, leaving the rest alone. Discord's rules were that if anypony used wings, the game would be over, and Discord would keep the Elements. Pretty intense.
Well, I definitely liked it. Discord, while not nearly as imposing as Nightmare Moon, is a literal threat with his ability to hinder the protagonists so much. It was good to see the Crusaders as well as Cheerilee, as I imagine they'll have bigger roles this season.
It was a bit jarring for the episode to dive right into the conflict so early - season 1's opener gave time for the characters to be introduced. Of course, we should already be familiar with these characters, so it isn't inconsistency. I just have a hard time seeing this come after The Best Night Ever. The way the conflict was handled is also pretty neat, and there was enough new things in store that I never felt like the episode was a rehash of anything previous.
Oh, and that cliffhanger? Can't wait for next week is all I can say.
Overall, definitely a good start, with minor nitpicks that don't detract from the show's consistent quality. Wish I knew what the rest of the year's going to be like!