The Return of Harmony - Part 1
- Episode aired Sep 17, 2011
Discord escapes his imprisonment, steals the Elements of Harmony and sows dissension among Twilight's friends to prevent their recovery.Discord escapes his imprisonment, steals the Elements of Harmony and sows dissension among Twilight's friends to prevent their recovery.Discord escapes his imprisonment, steals the Elements of Harmony and sows dissension among Twilight's friends to prevent their recovery.
"The Return of Harmony Part 1", the first of a two parter, is a great start to Season 2. Do think that it is a better and more consistent season opener than that of the previous season that started off the show, another two parter called "Friendship is Magic". Which was still very good (especially Part 2 "Elements of Harmony"), but by now 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' had properly found its feet whereas it was setting things up in that two parter. In that two parter, one part was better than the other whereas in "The Return of Harmony" one the quality is equal.
Once again, the animation consists of brightly eye-popping colours, neatly drawn and not over-cute characters and expressions and meticulously detailed background art that never comes over as static or simplistic. Actually think this aspect has come on a good deal and it was already very good when the show first started, but it seems as though here the visuals are more inventive, more varied and took more risks. Love the expressions and the animators seemed to have a lot of fun with Discord, there was even a nice bit involving exploding chocolate milk. The music continues to be dynamic, not too noisy and never misplaced, the theme song may be take and leave for some but it has always been catchy to me.
Although the writing was on the most part a delight in Season 1, with a few exceptions, "The Return of Harmony Part 1" gives the impression that this aspect has also advanced as time went on. It's even funnier, has more of an emotional core and there is more complexity. The comedy is especially good, particularly with Discord, a character that the writers equally seemed to have fun with. The story is never dull and is emotionally investable, love the Mane 6's chemistry and their distinct personalities. Their corruption was done in a way that had a lot of tension and heart without any mean-spiritedness. The ending for the first part leaves one eagerly anticipating the second part, much more satisfying and exciting than the ending for the second part and what ended the two parter which was "The Return of Harmony's" only big problem.
Discord is a triumph of a character in every way. Easily for me the most entertaining and most interesting non-Mane 6 character of the show up to this point. The voice acting is great, with John De Lancie sounding as though he was loving every minute of voicing Discord.
Concluding, great first part to a great two parter that starts off the second season very well. 9/10
- Nov 4, 2019