My optimism for Season 4 continues to pay off.
I was expecting it to be good, but not THIS good. This is my favourite episode of the season. I can't think of a single thing I disliked. So, where to start...
Okay, let's begin with the characters. Rarity is at her absolute best. She's so fully realized in this episode that it puts all her other appearances to shame. For once, I understand why her fans are so very vocal. This episode captures her generosity better than has ever been done before, and will convert many a non-fan. But Rarity isn't the only great character-every single speaking role in the episode is wonderfully written. From the uptight host, to the despicable antagonist, to Rarity's friends-they're all just so well-written.
How about the story? Well, it takes a bit of time to set up the main conflict, but this time is well spent with a great song and some funny moments. When the story really kicks off, it's the most engaging the show's been in a while. The main conflict vaguely resembles The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, but it does right what that episode did wrong. I cared about the characters, and both Rarity and her friends remained likeable throughout. You could see the friendship leaping off the screen, and that's what the show should be. Also: No stupid end gag!
And the visuals? It's season 4. Fluid, complex, etc. Of course it's great-it always is. As for the songs? They're fantastic too. Bats! had the first song I really loved in a while, and this episode continues with a great song which gets a fantastic reprise. It's integrated nicely into the story, and flows naturally in the episode. As with everything else, it's great.
I loved this episode. It's the best one since Daring Don't. Whatever was lacking from that episode can be found here, in what I can describe as a perfect MLP episode. Sure, some people may find issues, but this is MLP at its most fully realized. I adored it.
P.S. If you're wondering where the Top 10 Pony Videos list is, it's coming. Technical issues have delayed it, but it'll come before the end of the month.