Heavy Mole No.413921
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Another one of my favorites!
One thing I like better about season one of this show compared to the other seasons is that it has a good formal quality as a whole–it doesn't feel like a bunch of Saturday morning cartoons between two fence posts. In season one, there is a fine thread of continuity that runs through several important episodes; we don't get the first big musical number until episode eleven; and we don't get the backstory of the cast until this one, episode twenty-three, close to the end of the season. The Cutie Mark Chronicles draws those strings together, completing the CMC storyline as a thought, and leaving us with a now-developed main cast.
What's most strange about this episode is that it's Rainbow Dash who turns out to be the linchpin of the group, not the main character Twilight Sparkle. Ultimately, this adds to a distinctive sense of equal treatment of characters in the cast; it's hard to pick a best pone beyond this point.