But a pretty straightforward episode anyway. As we had an episode where Rarity's generous nature was exploited, it makes sense to apply a similar idea to Fluttershy's kind nature, and have her kindness be exploited for an episode with the Breezies using it so they don't have to face the perilous journey ahead of them. Along the way, Fluttershy learns that there's a time to be kind, but also a time to be firm, otherwise what someone might really need won't happen. In this case the Breezies getting home.
Though I appreciate the lesson taught, I otherwise wasn't too terribly impressed with this episode, my expectations being rather higher than usual for this episode, given reputation of the Breezies. Which I actually knew very little of beforehand save reputation alone (this is why I didn't immediately catch onto the significance of the Breezies when they started getting teased earlier in the season) so I was curious to see how the episode would go.
A part of me was afraid that they'd derail continuity and use this episode to cover what Fluttershy was doing when she went to study the Breezies when she was absent for "Three's A Crowd," like they did a season before with "Just For Sidekicks" and "Games Ponies Play," which was a neat idea on paper, but not so clever in execution. Though they pulled it off successfully, it was at high risk of causing confusion with viewers, even if briefly. But no, for this episode, they acknowledged continuity and had it set after Fluttershy's Breezy Expedition from earlier in the season (thus leaving in the dark just what exactly she did on that, but oh well). So a plus for that.
I also liked the Breezies, who could've come off very cheesy, but the FiM crew is better than that and were more creative with them. Instead of just making them little ponies with butterfly wings like in past generations, they made them notably different and unique in body structure, being very pony-like, but still distinctly be different from them in both design and shape. They looked much more insectoid than pony, in fact, just friendlier and "cuter" than what we'd typically associate with insects. I also liked the accent. It sounded like they were speaking actual German at times in fact, but I hardly know a word of German, so I don't know that for certain. Still, German-like accents at chipmunk pitches? Quite fun to listen to.
The story was weak though. It was pretty straightforward and not terribly creative. The fact that the Breezie's home was separated by a portal threw me for a loop a little, because it's just brought up out of the blue like we already knew this (and maybe this is common knowledge for those better versed with Breezies than I) but I found it jarring. Furthermore, the nature of this portal is not explained at all, nor why it is only open periodically and for a certain space of time. It just is, and the episode expects us to just accept that at face value. And were it for any other kid's show, I'd reluctantly roll with that, but MLP's always been better at universe-building than that, part of what has set it apart for so long. So that cop-out was a little cheap. And Fluttershy's problem with the Breezies was pretty predictable; I had guessed the basics of how it was going to go soon after her volunteering to look after them after they get separated.
And the Mane 6 getting turned into Breezies...yeah, that was one of those moments where you go "well of COURSE they had to do that," and it comes off as more than a little cheesy. I'm not even sure how it was supposed to help, even. Must have missed that part, but even then, their reasons couldn't have been all that sound. But it does demonstrate that Twilight's progressed further still with her magic, and it was fun to hear the Mane 6 with chipmunk voices (loved hearing AJ's accent at this pitch. Pity we didn't hear much of it). And I admit it was worth it if only to have RD start making requests to be turned into other stuff, like a griffon. Which, given her past associations with griffons (Glida), makes sense, actually. In fact, I think there's something to this idea. Somebody write a fanfic on this! I'd do it, except I'm trying to cut back.
And we find another key. You know the drill on that by now. Of course, that is assuming these actually ARE the keys, because we don't actually know that for certain; people just presume as such. It might be that they aren't just something that will led to them when the time comes. I mean, the box pretty clearly requires actual keys and thus far, all of the "keys" we've seen are anything but. Still, I wonder if Twilight's going to kick herself when she finds out that, after all of that work trying to crack the secret of the box, she finds they had all unwittingly found the keys (or something leading to them) on their own without even knowing it.
Whovians will be pleased to see a little scene where our good Time Turner is seen walking by in the company of a pony we know to be named Rose. The fact Turner's wearing 3D glasses just sweetens that deal.