My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Three’s a Crowd”

Here we go again, with another My Little Pony episode that seems to have split the fanbase. Some really loved it and some highly disliked it. But these recaps are all about what I think, and I think… that it was alright.

“Three’s a Crowd” is the eleventh episode of the fourth season, and thus we’re now right in the middle of the season, where the ball has been rolling for a while and we have a pretty good idea of how things are going. And so far, this season has been a mix of completely original episodes, and episodes that draw upon the show’s continuity and bring back old characters mainly to please the fans. “Three’s a Crowd” is definitely one of the latter.

On to the recap!

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We start off with Twilight Sparkle getting some exciting news in the mail. Princess Cadence, the wife of Twilight’s big brother and Twilight’s old foal-sitter, is coming for a visit, which excites Twilight so much that poor Spike gets tossed around in the air a bit.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

Then Fluttershy arrives with own her piece of good news, which is that she’s been granted permission to go watch some Breezies! … What the hell are Breezies? Could someone draw fan art of that? Is Fluttershy going on a Pokémon quest?

No sooner is Fluttershy on her way to capture those Pokémon before Cadence arrives in… I guess this must be her own royal train. Wow, royalty! And is that… Is that Flash Sentry? Flash Sentry, Twilight’s love interest from Equestria Girls?

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

I actually found this to be a nice little cameo, and much appreciated. He doesn’t get to say anything, but that last look he gives Twilight is pretty cute.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

Though, this does raise a few questions: Why has Flash been transported from Celestia’s castle to the Crystal Castle? Is it because Shining Armor wants to keep a close eye on him, since he’s having a thing with Twilight and all? Interesting.

Both Cadence and Twilight have been looking forward to some alone time together, and they head straight for Star Swirl’s Traveling Museum, which happens to be in town the same day.

But then, trouble suddenly arrives for the rest of the Mane Six in the form of Discord. It seems he’s caught a cold and has magically sneezed himself into their midst. Oh boy!

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

For those who don’t know, Discord (voiced by John de Lancie) was a villain first introduced in the season two premiere. He then later got reformed in season three and joined the good side. He is chaos incarnate, and a being of pure magic. Just think of Genie from Aladdin, in the way he constantly transforms, and can manipulate everything around him as if it were second nature to him. Except, Discord is much a bigger dick than Genie. And the decision to make Discord into a “good” character instead of an evil one, and how it was done… well, that’s a discussion for another day.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

Personally, I don’t really see the need to label Discord as either good or bad. The way I see it, he’s a storm of magic and chaos that sweeps over whatever place he happens to be in. He’s a walking natural disaster, basically. Asking him to sit still would be like asking a storm to calm down. Though, he appears to really enjoy being the physical manifestation of chaos, but that’s also a whole other discussion.

Discord has turned blue, and he keeps sneezing, and with each sneeze he spews out some uncontrollable magic. Apparently, he caught a cold and he’s now wanting the ponies to take care of him. Remember, this is the guy who previously brainwashed and manipulated the ponies into becoming the opposite of each of their elements of harmony, just so he could take over Equestria and create his own world of chaos. So of course, none of the ponies are too happy about this.

Still, Twilight has been looking forward to being with Cadence, so the ponies decide it’s best to keep Discord away from them. Everyone agrees to this, except for Rainbow Dash, who immediately bolts out of there. Well, there’s the element of loyalty for you.

It’s not long before Discord manages to ditch Pinkie Pie and then pass his illness on to Applejack and Rarity. Oh Discord, you bring so much joy and happiness whenever you appear.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

Eventually, Discord ditches all of them. Clearly, the only one he’s actually interested in seeing is Twilight. Naturally, having her day with Cadence interrupted to take care of a sick Discord is not what Twilight was hoping for.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

It doesn’t seem like Twilight and Cadence have much of a choice, either. I mean, Discord is literally spewing magic with every sneeze. If he isn’t contained, who knows what could happen? For all we know, the grass could turn purple, and all the ponies could become freakish creatures on two legs, yet still maintaining their basic designs, silly names, and cutie marks somewhere on their bodies! The horror!

And then we get… is this… is it really? Yes!! Discord gets his own song, and it’s called “A Glass of Water”.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

There are two characters on this show that I always felt were lacking their own songs. One is the Great and Powerful Trixie, and the other one is, yes, Discord. The song is pretty simple in its presentation, but has some fun visuals and stays true to Discord’s character. It’s not a song I would listen to over and over, but I’m still happy that Discord finally got his own song.

Finally, Twilight has had enough, and asks if there’s a cure or something to Discord’s illness, to which he himself answers, “Yes, of course!” It seems he didn’t say anything before now because no one ever asked. And you wonder why nobody likes you, Discord?

He tells them the cure is a tiny flower that grows on the outskirts of Equestria, but fails to mention it’s actually a pretty huge-ass flower that’s also a giant pony-eating monster that tries to eat Twilight and Cadence!

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

God, Discord is an ass!

And then it turns out he doesn’t even need the flower, because he’s not really sick. It was just a twisted test he came up with, to see if Twilight would really be there for him even in the most dire of circumstances.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

Discord… You’re an idiot! If you want Twilight to care about you, this isn’t the way to do it. It’s kind of hilarious how clueless Discord still is when it comes to friendship. Of course, karma is a bitch, and the monster flower now sneezes all over Discord and makes him sick for real. Except now, he’s kind of used up all his sympathy points, and no pony feels sorry for him. Well, except for Fluttershy, who will always be the sweetest thing ever.

Twilight apologizes to Cadence, but Cadence laughs it off and says a bit of adventure was just what she needed. Which is kind of a shoehorned-in final note, that sounds like something a child would write, but oh well, I’ll take it. In fact, I have no idea what the message in this episode is supposed to be, other than: Karma is a bitch.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Three's a Crowd"

As I said in the beginning of this recap, I found this to be just an okay episode. Discord is a beloved fan favorite for a reason, and he’s also a lot of fun to have around. John de Lancie, best known for being Q from Star Trek: TNG, is a joy once again, bringing the same amount of fun and anarchy to Discord as he did to Q. But Discord has the advantage of being animated, which also brings tons and tons of great visual gags. When it comes to Discord’s appearances, every frame is always rich with detail and humor.

However, I’m not entirely sure what this episode has to say other than, “Hey, look at Discord! Discord is here!” Which, I’ll admit, is not the worst episode idea I’ve ever heard. It’s a decent sit, but doesn’t leave much of an impact. Discord will never be as good as his first appearance; it just won’t happen.

This episode is just average for the show, and thus gets two and a half out of five ponies.

[—Editing/cleanup/revisions to this article provided by Dr. Winston O’Boogie and Elliot Hodgett.]

TV Show: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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  • Arturo Garza Flores

    -Despite being onboard with the idea of reforming Discord since it was introduced, I was a bit concerned over how will recurring appearances of this character would affect my perception of it. Even today, despite acknowledging his trickster nature, there’s a voice in the back of my head that tells me that this guy used to be one of the biggest threats to our main characters. However, this episode proves that even though he’s not technically a bad guy anymore, he can not only still create plenty of mischief, but still get away with very entertaining moments. The “Glass of Water” segment is easily Discord’s crowning moment of Awesome in the entire series so far.
    -It’s pretty funny in and of itself that Discord, a former villain, still gets to screw around with our protagonists and they just have to put up with it because he’s reformed (I love how Discord keeps rubbing that in).
    -At this point, I’m sure most fans have already become accustomed to Discord’s shtick. To use a pretty coloquial term, “randomness” occurs everytime he shows up. However, not knowing what to expect yet at the same time expecting the unexpected is part of the fun of watching Discord. It’s the kind of thing that could get predictable quickly, yet it doesn’t. The animators don’t get enough credit for their excellent work with this character.
    -If I have an issue with the writing, it’s that I feel that Acts 1 and 2 were very good, but Act 3 loses a bit of steam. A lot of energy is lost after Discord goes offscreen, and it picks right back up when he returns. To be fair, it would’ve been very hard for the episode to keep up its pace after “Glass of Water”, but still, the episode may have fired its biggest gun way too early. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for watching princesses kicking monster ass (Damn, Cadence sure can fight), but it’s just not the same. Maybe some other time, we can have a whole episode about that.
    -While this was always Discord’s show to steal, I don’t think that Twilight and Cadence get enough to do, they’re basically mostly there to be Discord’s playthings. Their fight scene was enjoyable but it doesn’t quite compare to Discord.
    -All in all, it’s two thirds of a pretty great episode, and one third of a pretty good episode. That still adds up very well in my book.

    Also, regarding this episode’s controversial cameo, I could say that I’ve never thought to myself “Next time we go to the Crystal Empire, I should keep an eye on the background at all times. Maybe HE will show up.”, but that’d be lying. You know what else is a lie? “Man, I sure hate it when /mlp/ on 4chan gets pissed off.”

    • Sofie Liv

      I guess for ones I should just stop being all philosophical over some-thing that doesn’t really matter.
      It’s just that I personally don’t believe in evil and good as a concept to begin with, and I thought Discord perhaps were the perfect case of.. not evil.. but a storm that cannot be contained, and the solution ended up in more problems.

      Discord is a storm, he can’t help but be a storm. It’s just what he is, he is just there, the storm.
      What he brought though, disrupted Equestria, and Celestia and Luna decided to lock him away. Which sparkled the resentment and conflict, suddenly making it personal. So as Discord is realised again, he just does what he can so he wont be locked away again, cause.. no one wants to be locked away, especially when you just happen to be a storm.
      Didn’t ask to be there or be a storm, it’s just what he is, and he rolls with it… At least that’s how view it.. but I am potentially thinking far to much about it..
      Also don’t help that I did the thinking, due to a fanfic I tried to write, explaining a bit further how Fluttershy managed to turn him over, and my own conclusion was that she was the first one to merely accept him for being what he is, and asked the right questions, that no-body cared to ask before.. at least in my story.. i’m such a dork.

      It was nice seeing Cadence return, though well.. she now had officially more screen-time than Shining armour, Twilights brother.. so well.. when will we get to see shining armour in isolation? i’m just asking <_<
      Thus far he has gotten to do shit.. It's always the ladies saving his rear.. poor guy.

      Well, I guess that's swapping the gender roles around for you. It just ends up like that.

  • danbreunig

    The fanbase may or may not agree among themselves about this one, but I’m pretty happy with it. Discord has that cunning and lovable mischief to him which makes me root for him–i.e. like movie-Avengers’ Loki I want him to win, even knowing that he has to lose in the long run. It also feels more like a Disney short at times rather than a FisM episode, complete with that lovable politely rude villain and memorable song by said villain–although as similar as he is to Disney’s Genie, at least Discord didn’t get on my nerves after a while like Genie did. I want to see Discord’s debut episode now but I can’t find it available online like I did with the current episodes thus far. Apparently it’s easier to find the original 1984 MLP show with the diabolical Tirek.

    I love screencap #9 up there–just because I want to see him calling By The Power Of Neigh-Skull.

    • Sofie Liv

      I use that for all this kind of stuff, not only do they take for-ever to come out in Denmark, but the danish dubbing suuuucks… you didn’t hear that from me though.
      And it’s the season two opening “Return of Harmony.” you would be looking after..

      And that screen-cap with the glass of water, I compleately neglected to mention that Discord goes all “Fear and loathing in Las Vegas.” later on.. Oh so that’s why he is so bug eyed, makes sense.

      • danbreunig

        I finally saw it, and it was quite better than I anticipated. Nice to know about such things.
        I think I can finally watch the entire series and keep up now, with free time permitting.
        Here’s a little thing in exchange featuring one of my favorite Pony parody series, made by hotdiggedydemon:

        Yeah, it’s not quite Ms. Faust territory, but I think it’s funny.

  • Cristiona

    I think the season 4 premier shows that Discord hasn’t really been reformed so much as leashed. I think you’re right in calling him a force of nature. While good and evil certainly exist, they don’t apply to everything. A wildfire isn’t evil, but it’s destructive. But at the same time, there are a lot of plants that require the heat from a wildfire for their seeds to germinate.
    So, they didn’t really reform Discord, they just made it so that he’s satisfied with keeping his chaos localized and relatively small, as opposed to trying to take over Equestria.

  • Animikean

    Breezies are horrible little fairy ponies that are stupid and shouldn’t exist,
    (or at least that’s what I remember from the last time they appeared in a MLP cartoon)

    the only solace is, maybe we can get seaponies soon?

    shoop shoop a doo?

    • G3 had horrible monstrosities all around! Maybe the Breezies will be just as adorable as the regular ponies this time around.

  • jbwarner86

    Ironic that I went on that rant in the last recap about all the flaws Season 4 has, and then they go and do this episode which I consider damn near perfect. Discord is easily my favorite character in this show, not just because every crazy reality-warping thing he does makes laugh like an idiot, but because his personality is so different to everyone else in the main cast. He’s not really a villain or a hero – he just does what he wants all the time and doesn’t give a shit whether or not it affects anyone else. It’s dickish behavior, but he clearly has so much fun entertaining himself (and the viewers) with his own antics that you can’t really hate him.

    I remember people were upset about Discord being reformed, saying that being on the side of good would turn him into a wuss or something, but this season has proven that he doesn’t understand friendship at all, which fits right in with his character. He clearly just uses the Mane Six to do stuff for him, just to see if they’ll actually do it. He’s still a manipulative jerk, just not on a global scale. And I love that he never learns a damn thing from his actions. He’s a great foil to Twilight and the others, and when he turned up in this episode (which I wasn’t expecting, mind you – I went into this one spoiler-free), I knew I was in for a treat.