Analyzing “The Return of Harmony”

Alt link:

Text version:

AWWW YEAH! Season Two! We’re finally–we’re finally–we’re finally here. This season kicks off with one of the most memorable and popular two-part episodes of the entire series–the introduction of


AJ seems to be growing corn for some reason. We already know she isn’t exclusively an apple farmer, but it does raise questions of whether there isn’t another pony with a corn cutie mark out there. I’ve often thought it would be interesting if multiple ponies have the same mark, and have to compete; or the idea that if there’s a role not filled by a pony in town, some other pony has to take up the mantle. Applejack seems–

some of that clever wordplay the writers like to employ that probably soars over a lot of heads. Like, “bring those high-strung storm clouds down the Earth!”–

So the first scene post-opening song is sort of like a miniature episode that predicts and foreshadows the message of the whole two-parter. The six ponies work together to solve a problem, and Twilight even tells Spike a moral lesson about how ponies should never give up, because together there’s nothing they can’t do. This of course –FORESHADOWS– the fact that –LATER ON– Twilight will be –REMINDED– of this by –CELESTIA–

(having a hard time… explaining this shit with… all this discord…)

What if ALL the statues in Celestia’s garden, are ponies frozen in stone?

AJ apparently radioed in her friends to help with troubles on the farm–

Discord, of course, is a blast to behold, with all of his visual gags. Among my favorites are when he innocuously creates physical representations of the dialog. For instance, after the phrase “big deal,” he suddenly grows much taller. The episodes are sprinkled with bits–

–describes the element of magic as “the most powerful and elusive.” Goes towards the theory I heard recently that maybe a holder of the element of magic only comes every so many years, and Celestia’s school for gifted unicorns was built on the principle of finding one.

…oh. Can I talk now? Okay, so anyways, Discord’s hedge maze gambit is an interesting bit of narrative trickery, playing both with the expectations of the viewer, and the ponies themselves. It might be obvious to us that the elements were never going to be in the maze, but less obvious is that there’s no real method to what Discord is doing either. The whole setup is chaos, as evidenced by his turning Fluttershy. There was never a real meth——o-o-o-o-o-o-d to this madne—-ss


Return of Harmony? There’s nothing really worth saying about this episode. The narrative is paper-thin, and it’s just an excuse to be a dumb Alice in Wonderland knock-off. Why are we talking about this anyways? My Little Pony is a kids’ show, it’s not like there’s any depth to it in the first place. Analysis is supposed to be an objective study of a work’s quality, not some post-modern bullshit based on the opinions of some unemployed loser. Fuck this fandom, I quit.

Bronycurious: “Digibrony, snap out of it!”

Oh, this asshole. Quit fapping to horse porn, faggot.

Bronycurious: “What the fuck are you talking about?!”

I’m TALKING about how this show can only be enjoyed by perverted, neck-beard man-children!

Bronycurious: “Alright Digi, then what’s up with all these videos you made? Here, have a look.”

Videos? What are you…

(Collage of videos)

Of course! I remember now! My Little Pony is the SHIZNIT! Admit it, Dipcord!

[Fine… Friendship is Magic!]

The Return of Harmony is a brilliant set of episodes, not as a stand-alone, but because of how they interact with the rest of the series. Getting to see the characters turned on their heads is a blast, especially Flutterbitch, and the voice actresses turn in some dynamic and brilliant performances all around. Besides them, the animation staff clearly had a blast with Discord, and even the sound editing of this episode is top tier. This is the show cranking everything it does well up to eleven and just coasting on how awesome it is.

The conflict is truly that of the power of discord versus the power of harmony. None of the games that Discord plays have any real meaning, except to showcase how powerful confusion and chaos can really be. Twilight then turns it around using harmony, and again it isn’t so much about bringing harmony out in the characters, but more about the literal force of harmony as magic, in contest with that of Discord. More than a moral lesson that harmony is stronger than Discord, this is more like a world-building element, that one magic trumps the other, because that’s how the world works.

Going back to these episodes is always a blast just for the audio-visual feast, and to be blown away by the height it reached. This episode marked the moment that I became a “fan” of MLP the first time I watched it, and continues to be one of my favorites, marking the entry to the unstoppably badass season two. Which I will be covering in episodic format from front to back, so be sure to subscribe to see more videos! And if you want to keep up with all of my ridiculous antics on a regular basis, check out the links to my twitter and tumblr in the description. Thanks to Bronycurious for appearing in this episode, Tarby for giving me permission to use his music for whatever purpose I may chose, and Le Soldat Pony for this badass credit music.


One thought on “Analyzing “The Return of Harmony”

  1. I read the text version first, but I was extremely confused. I knew that I was missing something, so when I got home I watched the video and it all made sense. Awesome freaking job on this one!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s