Lesson Zero (S2E3)

S2E3

Watch Twilight lose her mind.

A highly organized, self-confident, albeit too-tightly wrapped Twilight Sparkle proceeds to checklist her way through her life.  That organization that protects her from her fears starts unraveling when against her preconception, Mrs. Cake gives her a baker’s dozen cupcakes instead of at the dozen she ordered, and she is driven to rectify it.  Then with that tied up, Spike observes she doesn’t have a friendship letter for the Princess.  The last binding holding together Twilight’s obsessive life snaps; her fears flood in and she begins a rapidly downward spiral in a quest to find a subject for her letter before the end of the day.  Will anyone cooperate?  Will anybody take her fears seriously?  Seriously… will anypony?

This ticking clock to doom formula plot is reportedly the last of the original concept scripts of the series while headed by Lauren Faust, and the last that deliberately depicts the Mane 6 as acting more like children—teens if you want to be charitable—than adults as they in subsequent episodes.  That said, while poaching from the A Party of One playbook, the episode is consistently funny with escalating craziness. One exception is the scene where a visibly insane Twilight addresses children; this is too creepy if you do a mental translation to a human world.

Watch to watch for (and comment upon):

  • Evidence that this is truly the first episode of season two?  Look at the titles.  What changed?
  • Running joke: Windmill as a clock troupe.
  • Many improvements in the animation with lens flares and moving perspective.
  • New character troupe: What does Rarity say, which she will say in many other episodes?
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