Alone in the Smooze: “Make New Friends but Keep Discord” review

Let me explain to you how my brain works… this will be difficult.

Every time something good happens in my life, I assume it’ll go bad. This is a big problem when friendships are involved.

Every time I’ve developed, or started to develop, some type of friendship with someone, something always goes wrong. And it’s never my fault, it’s always them! Everyone hates me and it was always inevitable!

And I know what you’re thinking: That makes no sense. And it doesn’t. But that’s how my brain ends up processing the situation. It’s always something small and sometimes trivial that takes place, causing me to feel like it’s all over, and I should just throw it all away. It doesn’t take much for my brain to interpret something as absolute rejection, and convert it into absolute derision. And by the time I realize that, it’s hard to go back.

It wasn’t always this way. Back in high school, I was very clingy as a friend, and it would take a person cursing me out to get me to leave them alone. Which actually almost happened.

But now, I’ve gone in the complete opposite direction. Now I’m overly sensitive to it. Now any minor thing will get me to fall apart. And I think it might be due to my fragile self-esteem, and a debilitating social anxiety. It’s hard to approach people, and when I do, if they’re not 100% open, my brain just cries ‘abort’ and I walk away.

And I can only wonder if I’m alone in this.

Possibly not.

For instance: Discord! My spirit animal!

And I’ll explain how as I write another piece on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The show that never stops teaching me about myself.

The story begins with Fluttershy and Discord having tea, because that’s apparently something they do, I guess. And it’s such a nice time they’re having together, until Fluttershy mentions her friend: Tree Hugger. Because at that stage, we quickly learn that Discord has a jealous side. Mainly through his body language.

And I’m astonished that Fluttershy didn’t pick up on that. She’s normally more sensitive to that kind of thing.

Then again, she didn’t realize they were in the land of The Stepford Ponies until it was too late.

And then, they bring up the Grand Galloping Gala, which last occurred back in Season one. So, only one year has passed, huh? Interesting…

And while Discord expected to be Fluttershy’s date, turns out she already asked Tree Hugger.

Well, that’s a kick in the nuts.

Though it begs the question: They’re bringing dates this time around? They didn’t last time. What changed? I guess last time, they were each other’s dates.

Anyway, the reason Fluttershy didn’t ask Discord was because she thought Discord already had a ticket, but he doesn’t. So he can’t go to the Gala, apparently. Unless he goes as another pony’s ‘plus one’.

So he asks every other pony if they already have dates. First, Twilight, who, as Spike informs him, is in Canterlot. Which only makes me wonder why he doesn’t teleport there, and ask her. But he doesn’t. Instead, he heads straight to Carousel Boutique, where the Cutie Mark Crusaders are getting ready for the Gala themselves.

Giant Eye: So, you three have dates yet?

Discord does not know how to make an elegant entrance, does he?

But turns out the three of them are actually going as the dates of Rarity, Applejack and Rainbow Dash, because those three don’t have a lot else going on.

This does strike me as a bit odd. Because when one brings someone as a date, the typical insinuation is that it’s a romantic thing. Obviously this isn’t the case here because otherwise the implications are quite disturbing. However, it’s hard to unlearn that. I’m going to try, but I don’t think it’s going to work.

So all that’s left is Pinkie Pie. Who’s bringing the biggest party animal she knows: Maud!

Just so we’re clear: Pinkie Pie’s thick, right?

Anyway, with all his options closed (with the exception of Twilight, but apparently he hates commuting), Discord’s screwed. Actually, he didn’t ask Spike either, which confuses me slightly. He could’ve easily come up with something like: “Come on! We’re like brothers, you and me!” Of course, then Spike would just look at him and say, “no, we’re not.” But it would be something Discord would try to pull.

Anyway, once all his options are exhausted, he spots Fluttershy and Tree Hugger, walking through the town.

But who is this Tree Hugger character? Well, she’s a hippie stoner. And this time, I don’t mean ‘stoner’ as in she’s slightly aloof. I mean a proper stoner. Completely and utterly baked. I know I’ve said that before about a certain cat, but Sugar Sprinkles is nowhere near this pony’s level. In fact, from her inflection, I’d say she was toking at that time.

Anyway, after Discord has a very brief talk with her, he goes straight home, where…

Huh… so that’s where he lives… I got nothing.

Anyway, he ends up cleaning the house (I think), while passive aggressively whingeing to himself. Which is something I would definitely do myself. Especially if I didn’t have computer games to distract me from the fact that my ‘friends’ are having fun without me.

Then, just outside his house, he hears screaming.

That’s right, a lost mailpony. Turns out Discord really did get a ticket, but the mailpony got lost, and can you fucking blame him!?

But now, Discord needs a ‘plus one’. But whom shall he bring?

Meet The Smooze. A horrifying slime monster.

You know, I really like how this show has managed, in the past, to take the dark, almost Lovecraftian villains from the show’s earlier incarnations, and bring them back while maintaining their dark flavour. Tirek was one of those. But The Smooze? Back in the original series, The Smooze was a purple slime monster, created to eat everything and destroy the world. At least, that’s what I read. Here? He’s just a generic slime monster who eats gemstones and precious metals. However here, he is more of a character, rather than just a formless evil. Because throughout the party, while Discord tries to make Fluttershy jealous, or something, he keeps giving the Smooze the shaft. A moment of particular note is when he locks The Smooze outside, and he’s obviously not happy about it.

Apparently, Discord’s unaware that he’s doing to The Smooze what he thinks Fluttershy did to him.

The rest of the episode is mostly filler, but it’s fun filler, with Discord acting awkward, and even delving into bad stand-up.

And by the way, he’s not just bad, he’s terrible, and can’t even give Maud a decent heckle put-down. I’ll give him one now: “If I want any shit from you, I’ll squeeze your head.”

That’s easy! I hear there’s an entire encyclopedia of this stuff comedians are just allowed to use. I should look that up.

And it’s around this time that things go really bad. Because Discord had the bright idea to hide The Smooze in a broom cupboard, after he accosted Rarity, and ate her jewels.

HA HA! It’s funny because it’s Rarity who’s suffering.

(Actually, I forget. Do I like her now, or not? … Probably not…)

Anyway, this is what he finds in there:

Shouldn’t this stuff be in a locked vault?

Celestia’s an idiot, isn’t she?

So obviously, he eats everything, and converts all those gems, gold, and crystals into… well… himself…

So now, the entire hall is covered in a layer of Smooze. Which is weird, because throughout most of the episode, he maintained a shape. And because of this change in corporeality, Tree Hugger assumes he’s upset and agitated, and that a few calming sounds will help him relax.

It’s also not very calming… more irritating. But it seems to work on the Smooze, who quickly re-congeals.

Well, at least he’s in one piece.

And with that crisis averted, everyone congratulates Tree Hugger on a job well done. So of course, Discord fucking loses it.

He plans to send her to a parallel puppet universe forever. That way, she’ll stay far away from Fluttershy.

And this, understandably, pisses off Fluttershy.

“I don’t understand why you’re doing this! We were all getting along so well!” – Fluttershy

No you weren’t! Is she so thick she didn’t notice, at the very least, that Discord found Tree Hugger completely irritating!? He spent the entire episode in a huff! This isn’t coming from nowhere!

“Did you really think I’d abandon you just because I have a new friend!?” – Fluttershy

Well, given that you invited Tree Hugger to the Gala, leaving Discord in the dust, you can’t really blame him.

Alright, she thought Discord already had a ticket. But once she found out he didn’t, you’d think she’d turn to Tree Hugger and say, “You know, I’ve been friends with Discord for longer, and it seems he’s taking this pretty hard. You don’t mind if I bring him to the Gala instead, do you?” And she wouldn’t, because she’s high.

Then Fluttershy turns it around.

“What if you had a friend that you could discuss chaos-based magic with!? Would that mean we’re not friends anymore!?” – Fluttershy

And I’m honestly surprised he didn’t try to double down at this stage.

Discord: But I would never do that!
Fluttershy: You’re telling me you’d never have another friend, ever!?
Discord: Ah… well… um… I… never really considered it. I never thought I’d have even one friend… much less two…

Then he might be able to garner some sympathy. Fluttershy could go: Holy crap! This is actually how he sees things. That is messed!

But that doesn’t happen.

Instead we get a much happier ending, where Discord quickly realizes he’s an idiot, releases Tree Hugger from the portal, and apologizes. He also pulls all the gemstones out of Smooze, turning him back to normal size; Which is a bit rude if you ask me.

AH! I was eatin’ that! YA BASTARD!

And the episode ends with a dance party, because… why not?

So, what did I think?

Here’s the problem: Fluttershy and Discord are meant for each other, because they’re both idiots.

Discord’s an idiot for creating the problem by getting jealous merely because Fluttershy had another friend. And Fluttershy’s an idiot for not realizing there was a problem until her new friend was about to be sent through a wormhole! She’s normally more observant than this! And it’s not like he was subtle.

But overall, the episode wasn’t abhorrent. Several plot holes popped up. The big one that popped in my head was: Where was Spike during this whole thing? Was he not invited? Well, it appears he was, because there are two shots at the Gala where he briefly appears, and they probably total less than a second. What the hell!? Why didn’t he get an even slightly bigger role!? And who was his date!?

Oh, does he not count as a main character anymore? Sexist.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders are an interesting addition from the last Gala episode. In fact, one could’ve easily devoted an entire episode to their exploits here. So it seems a bit wasted since that didn’t happen. They could’ve done another pair of concurrent episodes like back in season three. One following Discord, another following the Crusaders. But that doesn’t appear to have happened. Oh well.

And the character of Tree Hugger, I do not like. Thankfully, she doesn’t have much of a role in the episode, but her hippie stoner attitude gets to be a bit grating. And it gets especially worse at the end, when Discord finally chews her out, and she hardly even reacts.

Did she not realize her life was in danger? Idiot.

Then again, I hate hippies in general.

But regardless, this episode was pretty fun. And is mainly notable to me, because I see a lot of myself in Discord. Because I’ve, more or less, done the same thing. Reacted badly to minor thing because I thought it changed everything, when in reality it changed nothing. And it’s hard to know what to do with this, now that I’ve noticed and admitted it.

Apologize?

I guess that’ll help. So, to all my old friends: Sorry for being such a jerk.

Goodnight!

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