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Review of Season 5, Episode 7, “Make New Friends but Keep Discord” #MLPSeason5 #brony #mlpfim

Greetings and salutations, everyone! It’s been a while since my last post and I’m sorry that everything got delayed (again). Hopefully once I catch up with these reviews, I won’t fall as far behind as I have lately. I’ll be posting them in a bit of an odd order, so just bear with me.

Go below the break for my thoughts on Episode 7 of this season, “Make New Friends but Keep Discord.”

It’s been readily apparent since the Season 5 two-part premiere that the writers at DHX have been pulling out all the stops as far as pop culture references go. In other words, there have been a LOT of references to other TV shows and pop culture phenomena just within the first episodes of this season alone. From Twilight’s homage to Game of Thrones with her repeating Ned Stark’s famous line from the series’ first season (“Winter is coming”) to Rainbow Dash’s “grinch face” in “Tanks for the Memories,” we fans have really been getting “spoiled” this season as far as references go. I have to say, however, that “Make New Friends but Keep Discord” has somehow blown this season’s previous episodes out of the water for the sheer number of references packed into one episode. There were a lot of them, but I’ll try to highlight just a few that stood out the most to me.

Discord’s stand-up routine definitely channeled Jerry Seinfeld and his “what’s the deal with” line of humor, but that definitely was not the only stand-up comedy reference in that part of the episode. When his initial attempts at comedy fail, Discord dresses like Gallagher, a stand-up “prop comic” comedian who was popular in the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s and ’80s, and smashes watermelons, one of the trademark parts of Gallagher’s act. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see such an interesting shout-out to older stand-up routines here, even though Gallagher was popular before my time.

When the crowd’s tough, SMASH THEM MELONS!

The one pop-culture reference, however, that made me simultaneously chuckle and squee with delight was the Metal Gear Solid “Snake hiding under a box” reference when Discord goes to Sugarcube Corner. I’m not deeply into the MGS games, but I don’t need to have played every game in that series to know the impact they’ve had on pop-culture. I mean, hell, Snake made it into Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii. You know you’ve made an impact when a character from your game series is featured in any of the Smash games.

What’s even better is that if you look at the box that Discord was hiding under, the second word seems deliberately blurred in order to make it look like it could either read as “The Orange” or “The Game.”

Every MGS fan knows the dreaded sound that accompanies that exclamation point.

Other than the myriad of references that were made in this episode alone, I was surprised to see that despite episode’s quick pacing, it didn’t seem rushed. Plus it was nice to see that this episode brought up an important lesson that both younger and older fans could learn from: jealousy in friendship not only breeds disharmony, but also can backfire on the person/pony who is envious or jealous.

All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and thought it was a great to see another episode centered around Fluttershy and Discord’s friendship.

My final rating is 9/10. Not perfect, but very excellent nonetheless.