To Where And Back Again Retrospective

Megalobronia

You have no idea how impatient I was to make a thread like this. If you don’t want to read a whole essay, you’re free to just skip to the bottom paragraph. Anyway, the Season 6 Finale, To Where And Back Again (which I’ll shorten to TWABA) released five years ago today on October 22, 2016. While previous Season Finales would put Twilight or the Mane 6 as a whole as the focus, this one has a rather unorthodox team saving the day.
However, not everyone was so accepting of the status quo being changed. There were a multitude of things people complained about in regards to this two-parter. The new changeling designs, Starlight being the center of focus, the Mane 6 being reduced to captives with no explanation as to how it happened (the alicorns being put out of action is nothing new at this point, but that doesn’t mean people are okay with that), the fact that the changelings were quick to turn on Chrysalis, and while I’m sure there were other complaints, those were the ones I saw the most frequently.
I, on the other hand, personally really enjoyed this episode (or episodes?). It serves as a nice conclusion to Starlight Glimmer’s redemption arc, with her not only coming to terms with what she is now compared to her debut, but also saving the day along the way. In Part 1, it’s clear that Starlight hates what she did when she was evil to the point where she completely curls up when everyone at her old village welcomes her with open hooves, fearing she would revert to her old ways. In Part 2, Starlight ends up not having a choice in regards to becoming a leader as she’s forced to lead three members (plus herself) on a mission to rescue the Mane 6 as well as the royalty of Equestria. I also have to give her props for trying to literally reach out to Chrysalis, but much to her dismay (and many of the fans’ delight), she turns it down.
I love how each member of the team has had their stand-out moments throughout Part 2. Trixie willingly walks into a trap to allow Starlight and Thorax to progress and also gives a confidence-boosting speech to Starlight before doing so. Discord doing a comedy routine to some changeling guards didn’t seem like much at first, but the fact that they gave chase to him afterward showed that it was also effective, as it was enough of a distraction to allow his team mates to progress. Thorax disguising himself as Trixie and leading a swarm of changelings all over the place using Trixie’s smoke bombs was pretty cool, I guess. NGL, I was fooled when he disguised himself as Starlight to distract Chrysalis.
Other moments I liked include the “Klutzy Draconequus’’ password, Discord getting serious when he hears of the Mane 6’s (Fluttershy specifically) capture, the panorama we’re treated to when Chrysalis breaks free from the rubble that used to be her throne, and Starlight (with help from Discord) bringing everyone to the Sunset Festival at the end. Overall, there weren’t very many moments I didn’t like about TWABA. I wasn’t averse to the above mentioned points like most fans were.
So now that I’m done gushing about this Finale, let me ask this: What are your thoughts on the episode? Did you watch it around when it first aired? Do you still like it? Do you still dislike it? Did you at first dislike it but then grow to like it or the other way around? What did you like about the episode? (I’m not gonna ask what you dislike about it because I know what a lot of you are gonna say.)
Megalobronia

Me before posting this thread
My Brain: You realize that by posting this thread there’s probably going to be people who will talk s*** about this episode. Are you prepared to endure that?
Me: hesitates for a few seconds then sighs Yes hits post
Blissful690

Izzy is best G5 pony
This was actually the first episode I watched in real time cos I’m from the UK and it aired there a couple of weeks early. It was quite an interesting experience, if I do say so myself.
CORDZ2000

Episode was incredible only thing i didn’t really like were the changeling turning into skittles and no explanation on how everyone got captured but otherwise it was a simple concept doing amazingly, the dynamics were great, the emotional factor of discord worrying about fluttershy and trying to make up for his betrayal of her in the S4 to the point that the changelings were able to use it against him was heartwarming and heartbreaking.
Starlight trying to make up for her actions and didn’t see herself as worthy of leadership because well past as a dictator and all…
We see how much trixie has grown to value starlight. Thorax becomes king and its a interesting concept of how the hive changes like changelings so he can navigate through it. Honestly if we never seen the reformed 4 afterwards of where and back, it would have been a fine acceptable ending for all 4 characters.
Myoozik
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Music Connoisseur
I still love it, it’s my favorite season finale out of all the ones in the show. To put it in context, this was the episode(s) that not only got me back into the show after a bad season, but also cemented Starlight Glimmer as my favorite character in the entire show. All your points that you said about it I also agree with them with the exception of the reformed changelings, I think they could’ve been designed better and less colorful. With that said, I am aware that there are those who don’t like it and do bring up valid points about why it’s a bad finale. Regardless of that, I still love this finale and my opinion will unlikely change.
Latecomer

It was my favourite two-parter in quite some time. (Even if Starlight returning to Our Town should have been it’s own episode.)
Starponys87
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Artist -

Friends with Autism
The developments in Season 6 seem to nullify everything that the comics did before with the changelings – effectively booting it out of the canon. And I say that’s a good thing.
For a long time, I refused to read the comics – because of how the first story arc was written. I feel the artists made fun of the (possible) genocide of an innocent race of creatures. I don’t feel they cared any more about the kitties than the changelings themselves. It makes no sense to me – I don’t understand how this could be allowed in a series that supposedly celebrates friendship.
Ironically – the reformed changelings have become the innocent race of creatures that the first comic arc seems to make fun of.
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