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J. Allen December 28 2012 11:04 PM

MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Episode Title: "Spike At Your Service"
Episode Air Date: Saturday, December 29th, 2012 / 10:30 AM EST, the HUB

SUMMARY: "Just as Spike is about to be gobbled up by hungry Timberwolves, he is saved by Applejack; Spike feels the need to repay Applejack and is soon offering a little too much assistance on the farm in order to fulfill the 'Noble Dragon Code."

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Woo! Woo! Woo! Here we go with another episode of pony goodness! You know the rules, talk about whatever you like except spoilers, which have to go under spoiler tags until 3 PM EST.

So let's go everypony! Grade & Discuss!

Gep Malakai December 29 2012 01:46 AM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Yay ponies! :D The Entertainment Weekly clip was very interesting, mostly for the technical aspects – they've used a little bit of cel-shaded 3D animation in spots this season but this marks the first time


Gep Malakai December 29 2012 10:24 AM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
iTunes derped again and released the episode 12 hours early. Now to find a YouTube upload...


EDIT: Here, for those who want it. It has serious audio issues, but that iTunes source is the same way. Everypony sounds like they're talking through a tin can. It's not as distracting as the out-of-sync audio in "Sleepless in Ponyville," but it's distracting.

Daww. That was a sweet episode. Engaging but low-key, with nice character work. Good ensemble piece. That's all I ask of the show, really, to make use of everypony and this did that nicely.

Possibly the best Spike episode to date (there is, admittedly, not much competition, but you take what you can get).

Peach Wookiee December 29 2012 06:50 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Missed part of it because... this pony was sleepy. But saw it all on YouTube. I thought it was very, very sweet.

J. Allen December 29 2012 07:30 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Just finished watching it, and I have to say I loved it. Everypony gets a nice moment to shine, Spike gets a little more depth added to his character, and we get a look at some very well rendered Timberwolves in CG. Nicely done! I gave the episode an "A".

Count Zero December 29 2012 09:26 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
I loved it, too. A well rounded episode and while the focus was on Spike and Applejack the other main ponies had very good and entertaining character moments. Loved Pinkie Pie's "And I'll wear this moustache." and especially Rarity's input to all of this. But Dashie and Fluttershy had their cute little moments, too.

OMG, the Timberwolves are real! I thought they were just a myth. Pretty scary and beautifully animated.

I quite liked the ending because it was quiet and sweet and didn't feel rushed or anything.

J. Allen December 29 2012 09:57 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Agreed.

**SPOILERS**

One of my favorite moments, though, has to be where Spike chucks the rock at the Timberwolf King, and as the timberwolf is choking, he makes this "just one second" gesture, and it just hit me as hilarious. :lol:

Count Zero December 30 2012 12:50 AM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Quote:

Santa Hooves wrote: (Post 7461217)
One of my favorite moments, though, has to be where Spike chucks the rock at the Timberwolf King, and as the timberwolf is choking, he makes this "just one second" gesture, and it just hit me as hilarious. :lol:

Yeah, that was funny. :lol:

TrekAlliance92 December 30 2012 11:05 AM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
I thought that "Spike at Your Service" was a quite enjoyable little episode.

The first action scene with the Timberwolves was quite good. Very unique idea and design, and there was some awesome action music with this scene. And, it was good to see one of the Mane 6 come in and save the day like that.

One subtle gag I enjoyed was the annoyed face of the balloon's owner when she got it back. There were a few others like that in this episode, including the Timberwolf in the end saying "hold on one second" while choking. I didn't even notice that the first time. And, AJ moving something slightly out of place scaring Twilight out of her book. Hilarious.

I enjoyed seeing interaction with all of the Apples and Spike. That's something we haven't seen very often.

The episode really got good when Rarity and Rainbow Dash came in. The whole scene at Rarity's shop was great: Rarity's glee at having a servant, Rainbow Dash's novel (and Rarity's awesome line in response), and Rarity poking the broken pipe. Great stuff there.

Pinkie also brought some good humor in with her mustache gag. But, again, Rarity brought it up a notch with her damsel in distress training.

All in all, I thought it was a solid and enjoyable episode. Not quite "Lesson Zero" level, but funny, good-natured, and overall well done.

Chemahkuu December 30 2012 03:48 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
The mane6 where good as usual, but I just cannot enjoy a Spike story, he bores me.

It was great seeing the Timberwolves again and their new look, some rather odd even questionable moments but not great.

DarkHorizon December 30 2012 08:56 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
To be honest, the fundamental problem I have with this episode (even though I did enjoy it on first watching) is that it seems utterly inconsistent with Spike being Twilight's assistant. Spike would not be that useless at simple chores and still be helping Twi.

Plus, we've seen him doing chores before - not to mention helping Rarity! It's a fairly major plot hole that causes the whole story to fall apart, IMO.

Also, RD and 'Shy saved Spike's life in 'Secret of My Excess' - why didn't he serve them?

The character moments were great, and the animation was excellent, but the flaw with the central plot just overshadows all of that. It just barely holds onto a C.

"I'll wear this moustache..."

J. Allen December 31 2012 07:02 AM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
I think a number of people were miffed by the Spike being clumsy angle. I agree. There's really no valid reason as to why Spike can't handle himself either in a domestic situation. He's cleaned, cooked, and organized before without issue.

Still, I let it slide because I enjoyed the episode overall, and also this (it's a bit big file wise, so I'm linking it):
http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/a...ike_animat.gif

I bet that feels good.

Gep Malakai December 31 2012 07:34 AM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
The thing to keep in mind with Spike is that above all else, he needs to be needed, and if he feels rejected, he tends to overreact and/or spin out of control (see: "Owls Well That Ends Well," the Door of Fear scene from "Crystal Empire," and so forth). They bookended the episode with Spike first being dismissed by Twilight and then being accepted back by Twilight, so everything that happened in between, to my mind, occurred in the context of Spike acting abnormally. It's been brought up elsewhere that Spike has been in mortal anger many, many times before and never pulled this "noble dragon code" business, and I think both that and the clutziness work for the same reason: he felt useless and so latched onto the first thing he could find to be needed again – which was Applejack saving him. I felt like his clumsy help was just him acting out of desperation and messing everything up as a result. Remember how his common sense just flew out the window in "Owls Well?" Same deal.

I don't know if that's the way it was intended, but that's how I took it. Absent context, I'd agree with the criticism, but as it stands, I really liked it.

Jolaris December 31 2012 06:46 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Personally, I was a bit surprised and really liked to see the Timberwolves turning into Devastator. No wonder the Everfree Forest is dangerous if there are Decepticons living there. :guffaw:

J. Allen December 31 2012 07:01 PM

Re: MLP:FiM S3E9 - "Spike At Your Service" Grading & Discussion
 
Quote:

Gep Malakai wrote: (Post 7467661)
The thing to keep in mind with Spike is that above all else, he needs to be needed, and if he feels rejected, he tends to overreact and/or spin out of control (see: "Owls Well That Ends Well," the Door of Fear scene from "Crystal Empire," and so forth). They bookended the episode with Spike first being dismissed by Twilight and then being accepted back by Twilight, so everything that happened in between, to my mind, occurred in the context of Spike acting abnormally. It's been brought up elsewhere that Spike has been in mortal anger many, many times before and never pulled this "noble dragon code" business, and I think both that and the clutziness work for the same reason: he felt useless and so latched onto the first thing he could find to be needed again which was Applejack saving him. I felt like his clumsy help was just him acting out of desperation and messing everything up as a result. Remember how his common sense just flew out the window in "Owls Well?" Same deal.

I don't know if that's the way it was intended, but that's how I took it. Absent context, I'd agree with the criticism, but as it stands, I really liked it.

Hm. That makes sense! Nice work, Gep! :D

Quote:

Jolaris wrote: (Post 7468978)
Personally, I was a bit surprised and really liked to see the Timberwolves turning into Devastator. No wonder the Everfree Forest is dangerous if there are Decepticons living there. :guffaw:

I know, right? Keep me the hell out of the Everfree forest! :lol:


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