#18. Three’s A Crowd
Writers: Meghan McCarthy and Ed Valentine
Storyboard: Mike Myhre and Mike West
Season/Episode: 4, 11
Characters: Twilight Sparkle, Princess Cadence, Discord
The story begins with a scene that actually sets up one of the two arcs for the season–Fluttershy going to witness the Breezie migration. Twilight Sparkle gets a letter from her sister-in-law Princess Cadence, who has decided to treat her to a museum exhibit for her idol, the wizard Starswirl The Bearded. When they arrive at the train station, Discord is there and is apparently sick. He’s even passed on his disease to Rainbow Dash and Rarity. Discord asks them for a long list of requests (in song), which they agree to on the condition that he helps them. But because of his disease, they have to pull him to where the cure can be found by chariot. When they arrive, the plant that will cure him is guarded by a Tatzlwurm, a worm that looks like a pink version of the sandworms from Dune.
My main problem with this episode is that Discord doesn’t seem to be reformed at all. In the previous season, Fluttershy had befriended Discord, and it seemed to imply that he was now on their side. In fact, in Season 4’s two-part opener, he actually did help, but also gave Twilight a bit of a head game to get her to think about the mistake she was making. It seemed as if now Discord had a new role, that of the “trickster mentor”. He was no longer evil, but was instead chaotic neutral. While his actions in this episode weren’t entirely evil, they were certainly mean-spirited, and all to test Twilight to see if she actually would try to forgive him for his past. The episode’s main problem is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Discord does get better episodes focused on him later, and the main reason I’m putting this one so low on the countdown is that I’m forgiving it because with Discord’s new status, they were bound to have trouble writing it correctly. The song is really the best part of the episode, but it goes on longer than it should’ve.