Time and the Poni: “It’s About Time” review

Twilight is very very smart, yet crazy and stupid. What? You’re shocked!?

Turns out you can be smart and stupid at the same time. It may be hard to understand, but it’s true. You can have the entire Encyclopedia Britannica memorized, and still manage to fuck up every social encounter you make.

Twilight Sparkle is the epitome of this concept. Hell, it’s the premise of the whole series! Twilight Sparkle, genius, goes to Ponyville to learn basic social skills. Hell of a show!

Unfortunately, Twilight’s idiocy isn’t just limited to social interactions, but…well, basic logic and reasoning.

Thus, we are led into this week’s episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, where Twilight time travels.

First thing I’d like to mention, no Tenth Doctor Whooves. Then again, they’d probably have to give money to the BBC if they tried that. But regardless, the fact that Twilight managed time travel on her own bugs me.

Unless a series revolves around time travel, like for example, Doctor Who or Back to the Future, time travel should be difficult, so the writers can avoid situations like this:

That's what it's there for.

Basically, if time travel is easy, whenever anything goes wrong, all you need to do is go back in time and tell yourself what’s going to happen so you can prevent it. Which removes the teeth out of any danger the characters might encounter, and these characters have encountered danger! What kind? Just pick an episode at random.

This problem is kind of averted in this episode, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We open with Twilight explaining how she has scheduled the upcoming month down to the millisecond. Which I find hard to believe because in a few episodes we see her pulling all-nighters and explain that she’s behind on her studies. Which makes no sense, because if she does plan things that well, then that means she planned all-nighters, which no one does; and she planned to ‘fall-behind,’ which means she didn’t actually ‘fall-behind’! Something is wrong with this pony!

Anyway, while she scheduled the following month in great detail, she failed to schedule time to schedule the next month. One would think scheduling is something you do as time goes on. You book appointments as they come up. But, apparently not with Twilight.

You know, if she really plans things this tightly, does that mean she schedules time to worry about pointless shit!? What about her friends? Does she schedule time with them!? Quite impersonal don’t you think? What if they drop in, spur of the moment and say, “Hey, Twilight! Let’s go hit the club!” Plus, you know Pinkie and her surprise parties!

Anyway, Twilight is solving her scheduling problem when all of a sudden, a portal opens revealing another Twilight from a dark and bleak future…also known as next Tuesday morning. How do we know it’s dark and bleak? She has a scar and an eyepatch, her mane is cut short; and she’s wearing a bandana, and a torn-up catsuit. If you see a time traveller wearing that, you know the future is dark and bleak. Anyway…

Future Twilight tries to explain why she came back, but present Twilight won’t shut the fuck up. All future Twilight manages to get out before being pulled back is “Whatever you do, don-“!

Of course present Twilight begins to worry. Assuming that some big disaster happens that made her such a mess. So, she decides to try to avert it. She announces to the town what she just saw, and they laugh at her…twice…natch. Including Doctor Whooves, so I guess it’s confirmed, he doesn’t know anything about time travel.

She eventually convinces them of the urgency of the situation, so they begin to disaster-proof Equestria…whatever that means, however they don’t seem to leave Ponyville so I don’t know why she says “Equestria.” Isn’t Equestria the whole nation!? They prepare for a dam collapse, a drought, a bridge collapse, somepony slipping and falling, the library cracking in half (what the fuck!?), and a bad mane day.

Of course she covers all her bases, even some that seem…kinda stupid, but she’s still a bit worried. Her fears are confirmed when Cerberus arrives. You know Cerberus, the guardian of Tartarus, also known as hell. Turns out that exists in Equestria. Kinda blows my mind. Of course it’s described as merely a prison that houses ancient evil creatures. I really hope this comes up again. They’ll probably save it for the big-screen motion picture. Which better fucking happen!!! I don’t mean straight-to-DVD and I don’t mean TV movie, I mean big-screen, released in every multiplex on the continent!

Anyway, Fluttershy, Twilight and Pinkie manage to tame Cerberus and get him back to Tartarus. Twilight assumes this is the big disaster she was meant to avert. Which shows me she doesn’t know the first thing about causality. If you weren’t warned of anything, would you really have let Cerberus run-around and let Tartarus go unguarded!? No!? Then that isn’t the disaster!!!

Of course Twilight doesn’t realize this until she gets home and Spike burps a scroll in her face…don’t…don’t ask. The scroll gives her a paper cut, resulting in the scar that future Twilight possessed. The future is still going to happen.

So Twilight is worried, so worried in fact that her pacing wears a groove into the floor. A groove so deep you would think she would fall into the basement. I mean it’s a good gag (old, but good) but I think the animators took it a bit too far.

So Twilight tries something different. Instead of doing something to avert the disaster, she does nothing, and plans to stay perfectly still until Tuesday. Wouldn’t that mess up her schedule!?

Rainbow arrives and Spike informs her of Twilight’s new plan, and they both try pulling the old American-jackass-meets-British-royal-guard gag. You know, where they try to get her to move. Spike by eating a tub of ice cream, which should give him a bad case of brain freeze. Forget stomach ache, all that frozen dessert would freeze his entire digestive tract…then again…he is a dragon. Rainbow tells her there’s a mouse behind her. Twilight has a fear of mice? Then Spike takes a quill and tickles Twilight’s nose, which causes her to magically throw him across the room, which in-turn causes him to burp some flame right in her face, which mysteriously only affects her mane. She ends up with the same manecut as future Twilight.

Twilight’s still panicky, so Spike brings her to see Pinkie, who has apparently just opened a fortune-telling business, and she’s about as effective as you’d expect any fortune-teller to be…not at all. All that happens while Twilight’s there, is a flowerpot drops on her head for some reason, forcing her to wear a bandana…age…bandage…just like future Twilight.

This is a weird episode.

The next day…or actually, who knows how much time has passed…Pinkie arrives at Twilight’s library to see that her friend has, once again, fucking lost it. She has begun tracking every event, everywhere, and she hasn’t slept in nearly a week. This results in her burning out her retina while trying to look directly at the sun through a telescope…that’ll do it. So now she’s wearing an eye patch, provided by Pinkie, just like future Twilight.

So as all the signs come together Twilight realizes the only option, since Tuesday is tomorrow, is to stop time. Wait…what? Let’s be honest here, if there was a big disaster, and you went back in time to avert it, wouldn’t it take a few days to get that kind of thing ready? Future Twilight only said she was from next Tuesday morning, not that the big disaster was next Tuesday morning. Anyway…

So Twilight decides to break into the high-security wing of the Canterlot archives, so she dons a catsuit, just like future Twilight, and drags Pinkie and Spike along with her. The three manage to get in, Twilight being stealthy, while Pinkie and Spike casually stroll in. Of course Twilight’s stealth techniques causes her catsuit to get torn up, just like future Twilight. OI!

They get in, even though they are caught many times, and their presence ignored by the royal guards. In fact, the guards let the trio into the high-security wing. Either these are really shitty guards, or Twilight has authorization, and she just forgot. My money’s on the latter.

Anyway, they fail to find the time-stopping spell, and Tuesday morning comes. No disaster. Twilight realizes that if she didn’t worry over nothing, she wouldn’t look like a wreck right now. Then Pinkie finds a time travel spell and Twilight decides to use it to tell her past self not to worry about the future too much.

Yeah, you know what happens.

One thing that bugs me about the final time travel scene is that it’s just the time travel scene from the beginning of the episode redone. That just seems lazy to me. Even though it is the same scene, since it shows a different perspective one would expect them to use different camera angles or something. They just replayed the exact same sequence. It makes sense for dialogue, but everything else?

Yeah, sure, I’m nitpicking, but it’s what I do.

So basically the entire episode is one giant predestination paradox. Nice one writers. But at least it gives us a reason why they can’t just go back in time to change the past. It’s closed time, you can’t change the past. Which means the whole time travel thing is kinda pointless. Unless they are just using it because they miss the music of the 80’s or to solve the mysteries of history. What was in the Library of Alexan…ponia…? Well, go back and check!

So credits roll and that’s all she wrote. You know what would have made this episode golden? If the episode closed with Twilight saying, “Damn it, I spent the entire week worrying over nothing, and I basically just told myself to worry about a disaster that’s never going to come…oh well, let’s go home.” Then, as they are leaving the Canterlot archives, they see a giant titan rampaging just over the horizon. Everyone’s jaw drops, then they roll the credits.

So, in conclusion, this episode felt kinda flat. I don’t know what to think about it. It’s just another Twilight-panics episode. Not much to it. A few good gags, but every episode has that.

Next week, Spike learns about what it means to be a dragon. Makes sense, he’s spent his entire life surrounded by ponies, I’m sure he’d love to learn all about his heritage. What took him so long!? Well, I’m excited, this guy needs more screen-time anyways.


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