Season 9 Discussion Thread [NO SPOILERS, DF airings only]

DerpyFast
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Muh themes!
More thoughts on "Sweet and Smoky":

The thing to remember about Garble is that he was established in "Dragon Quest", an episode written by Merriwether Williams. Now, she worked on arguably the best episode of "Spongebob Squarepants" of all time: "Band Geeks". But whatever it was, she was really not a good fit for this show. With the possible exception of "Wonderbolt Academy" and "Bats!", nobody came out of her episodes looking good. So I think it's safe to ignore or at least downplay the characterization in most of her episodes.

With that said, here's what I think "Sweet and Smoky" is about. As much as I hate to admit it, toughness and the ability to be a bit of a jerk in order to get what you want can be useful skills. They're tools in the social toolbox, and there are some situations where they're the best ones. I think this episode is an exploration of the idea, as well as a walking tour of Fluttershy's journey through it.

Let's start with Smolder. When the other dragons pick on her, she's just enough of a jerk to get them to lay off; she uses the tool defensively. I'm sure there's a point in the show where Fluttershy does this, but it's not coming to mind. Contrast this with Spike, who never stands up for himself, and keeps getting picked on. This parallels Fluttershy in Season One. Then there's Garble, who picks on others in order to assert himself and not be picked on. He uses the tool preemptively, and ends up being a bully, which parallels Fluttershy in "Putting Your Hoof Down" Lastly, there's Fluttershy herself, who has learned to use this tool not just to defend herself, but to inspire change in others.

I should really watch "Putting Your Hoof Down" again. I remember it being really mean-spirited and negative, but I think that's kind of the point, and it fits Season Two's theme of "The bad things people are capable of". If it turns out it really is just unwatchable, I'm still going to give it a pass in terms of the ideas it explores.

Which brings me to Garble's redemption. I think it works on a technical level, but I think the whole "save the eggs with slam poetry" is a pretty big leap. Given that the foundation for Garble's character was laid by Merriwether Williams, I'm going to give the overall redemption a pass.
Frustration in Excelsis
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Worldbuilding Addict
@DerpyFast
I’m sure there's a point in the show where Fluttershy does this, but it's not coming to mind.

I don't recall the episode particularly well, but there's the bit in "Fluttershy Leans In" when she tells the three overbearing experts to get lost once they make it clear they're not interested in listening to her.
AWGear
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The Devil's Advocate
@Frustration in Excelsis
To be brutally honest, that episode was kinda a mess up on Fluttershy's part. The construction pony told her he needed blueprints to work (cuz you know, that's what construction workers do) yet she didn't gave a damn about it. Just ignored him completly and got bitchy after he did all that he could.
Background Pony #5203
@Mildgyth
That's pretty good, honestly!


@AWGear
yet she didn’t gave a damn about it. Just ignored him completly and got bitchy after he did all that he could.

Dafuq. This is the first time I see someone saying Fluttershy is the bad guy in this…
he did all that he could.

AKA he decided to ignore everything Fluttershy HAD told him, even knowingly deviating from her vision because he thought he knew better. GG
If he absolutely truly needed blue prints and only did what he did because he had none, couldn't he have MADE them based on what Fluttershy requested, maybe together with Fluttershy based on her input? If he's that good of a construction pony, that should be something he's very capable of, right? Planning something based on client's input?
Background Pony #5203
@AWGear
As I said, then he should ask Fluttershy to clarify until he KNOWS how to do what she asks of him instead of going "Eh, fuck her. I will just do what I want."
Think about it like this:
If this is how a craftsman treated his clients, do you really think this person would get a lot of clients still and be praised by Applejack as a highly skilled individual?

I am not saying Fluttershy's vision board was perfection and all anyone would ever need to create what she had in mind, but him outright ignoring all client input is a horrible business practice.
AWGear
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
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Wallet After Summer Sale -
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The Devil's Advocate
@Background Pony #B837
Then again, he ignored her because she didn't provide what her ASKED her to provide. Construction workers can't just "build something on a whim", she'd have to get somepony to draw her a blueprint, and then give it to the construction pony to make it come true. He had to ignore what she said, as she didn't provided him with the most important part of building… well anything.
LeoNero
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Bababooey
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