Twilight Sparkle: "Princess Celestia cordially invites you to the wedding of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and..." (gasp) ...my brother?!
Written by Meghan McCarthy
Twilight Sparkle is picnicking with her friends, when Spike receives a list of instructions from Princess Celestia for the Mane Six to organize and support a wedding in Canterlot. They are confused until Spike produces the previous message announcing that Princess Mi Amore Cadenza is marrying Shining Armor — Twilight Sparkle's older brother.Twilight takes it very hard that her brother, with whom she was very close, didn't give her the news in person — or even tell her he was seeing someone. She fears their relationship will never be the same now that she lives in Ponyville and he's getting married. Her worries preoccupy her all the way to Canterlot.When she confronts her brother, he is very happy to see her and clarifies her misunderstanding. The unknown "Mi Amore Cadenza" is actually Twilight's much-beloved foal-sitter, whom Twilight knew as "Cadance". Shining Armor goes on to explain that, due to a threat to the city, all his concentration is going into the constant upkeep of a spell of protection for Canterlot. Once he asks Twilight to be his Best Mare, Twilight is more than mollified about the wedding; she's pleased, and very happy to see her old friend — until Cadance arrives and brushes off the Secret Handshake from their youth. Twilight is set on edge by this cold greeting from her old friend, but lets it go ......until she sees Cadance feign appreciation of Applejack's cooking, sneer at Rarity's beautiful wedding gown design, and diss Pinkie Pie's reception planning. Twilight sits down with her friends and voices her concerns, but the other five ponies assure Twilight it's just bridal nerves. Unconvinced, she goes to talk to Shining Armor but before she can voice her suspicions, Cadance arrives and demands his attention. Twilight eavesdrops on the ensuing conversation between the Princess and Shining Armor. Peeking through the door, she witnesses Cadance cast a spell on Shining Armor, cementing her concerns.As the rehearsal for the wedding begins, Twilight declares her evil and describes all she's seen, including the spell. To Twilight's dismay, nopony treats her suspicions with credulity. Cadance bursts into tears and runs from the room. Shining Armor is then angry with his sister because of her actions and reprimands her, contradicting each of her accusations (he explains that Cadance's magic was apparently to alleviate the migraines he keeps receiving from casting the barrier over Canterlot) and that she shouldn't bother to come to the wedding.The Mane Six and Princess Celestia walk out with disappointed glances at Twilight, with the latter coldly telling her, "You have a lot to think about," before leaving Twilight alone to contemplate her actions. Fearing she has irreparably damaged the relationship with her brother, Twilight reflects sadly on losing her BBBFFnote Big Brother Best Friend Forever. Cadance suddenly appears in the darkened hall, to whom Twilight murmurs "I'm sorry." The Princess gives a warm smile... before her eyes flash malevolently green.
Hellish green flames encircle Twilight and drag her down through the floor as Cadance gives an evil grin! She really is evil, and who knows what has become of our little pony heroine!TO BE CONTINUED*cue happycredits music*
Backstory: Due to the Remember the New Guy nature of Shining Armor and Cadance's debuts, Twilight explains some of her backstory to ease the two in.
Barrier Stallion/Barrier Warrior: Shining Armor serves as one here, as he's the only one who could erect a force field strong enough to protect Canterlot against an unknown threat, and the force field requires constant upkeep from him. Without him, the unknown threat would have open access to Canterlot.
Behind the Purple: While Twilight and her friends are gathered around a table, Applejack peeks over Twilight's head so she can be seen... by the camera.
Best Mare: Shining Armor asks Twilight to be this. Until she accuses the bride of being evil.
Bridezilla: Mi Amore Cadenza acts like this, and Rarity theorizes it's due to the wedding planning pressure. She did want her day to be perfect, but she was also literally not herself.
Broken Pedestal: Twilight's first reaction to being told her brother is marrying Cadance is nothing more than absolute glee that her childhood friend and the "best foalsitter ever" is marrying her brother. Then she sees the Jerkass Cadance has become (or seemed to). In the end, thanks to Cadance, she ends up becoming this in everyone else's eyes to some degree.
The Cameo: Luna appears several times throughout the two-parter, though she has no bearing on the plot.
Care Bear Stare: One of Cadance's powers is the ability to spread love — she uses it on an arguing couple, to make them instantly drop the (rather dumb) thing they were fighting about.
Cassandra Truth: Zig-Zagging Trope. Everypony dismisses Twilight's claim that Cadance is evil but then the next episode reveals that the jerk-Cadance was an impostor.
Chaste Toons: Mi Amore Cadenza is Celestia's niece, despite Luna having come down from the moon only short while ago. Presumably she's like Celestia's nephew Blueblood, whom Word of Godspecifies to be "the great great great great great great great great great great great (and probably even more greats) nephew on Celestia's and Luna's mother's side, about 52 times removed, roughly speaking."
Chekhov's Gun: Cadance's signature spell (Seen in flashback) is to inspire love in its target. This becomes very important in the next episode
The Smarty Pants doll makes a brief reappearance in Twilight's flashback to Cadance. Twilight is pulling Smarty Pants out of a toy chest with her magic just before Cadance walks into the room. When Twilight sees Cadance, she drops Smarty Pants to get a hug. Smarty Pants is even seen with her quill and notebook!
In the same scene, near the roof is a kite exactly like the one Apple Bloom tried to learn to fly in Call of the Cutie.
Nod to "Suited For Success", possibly mixed with Character Development. This time Rainbow Dash is able to articulate what she doesn't like about her dress and how it can be improved, and Rarity is more pleasant about making changes to it.
Control Freak: Mi Amore Cadenza — understandably, since it's her wedding and she has to do all the preparations by herself with her groom tied up with the upkeep of the protection spell. Though it's not the real princess, who is shown to avert this trope when it happens in the next episode.
Damned by Faint Praise: Twilight sees Princess Cadance's actions towards the other ponies like this, though none of the other five notice it.
Dark Reprise: Of Twilight's "B.B.B.F.F." song, after she's alienated her brother.
Cadance trying to dictate what Shining Armor can or cannot wear and hurting him when he disagreed with her made their relationship creepily abusive.
Watch the scene where Shining Armor argues with Twilight for the first time as many times as you like. It would soon start sounding like a Sibling Rivalry conversation.
Downer Ending: Part 1 ends with literally everypony, including Celestia, abandoning Twilight after she accuses Mi Amore Cadenza of being evil and then the Princess kidnaps her. Fortunately, it is a Cliffhanger.
Dragged Off to Hell: In a kid's show, no less! Cadance's spell to drag Twilight down into the mines brings this to mind.
The Dulcinea Effect: Twilight's friends leave her for and defend a pony that they only met for about a day or two. Rainbow Dash's case is larger, due to her representing Undying Loyalty and claiming that she barely spoke to Cadance.
Et Tu, Twilight?: Shining Armor and Princess Celestia's disappointment towards Twilight for accusing Cadence as evil, and Twilight's friends leaving her afterwards plays with it. Although the real Et Tu moment is when Twilight realizes that Cadence is really evil. Confirming her suspicions, and moments before the evil bride drags her down to the underground mines. Ultimately reversed in the next episode for the former case.
Fainting: Rarity does it twice, once when she found out she was making dresses for a princess' wedding and again when she learns that she'll be making dresses for the wedding of a princess and the captain of the royal guard. Twilight magically produces a pillow for the second one.
Fanservice: Twilight Sparkle accidentally mooning Cadance while trying to "do a little shake" with her could count as this. This may be why that it isn't shown to completion in the next episode. They may have seen some comments and avoided a similar situation the next time. note This is unlikely, however, as both episodes debuted on the same day.
Force-Field Door: The only way anybody can get into Canterlot, as "we don't know who's responsible" for the threat made against it.
Shining Armor mentions early on that there was a threat made against Canterlot and he has been busy maintaining a shield. We also see his migraine reaction at doing it, which comes up later.
Cadance's confusion when Twilight greets her for the first time.
In Twilight's flashback we see that Cadance's magic aura is a light, silvery blue. In the present day, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza's aura is a Sickly Green Glow.
When the song "B.B.B.F.F." repeats at the end of the episode, it ends on a minor note rather than a major one. In musical terms, this is known as a "deceptive cadence" (the first time the song ends, it is on an "authentic cadence").
While the ending of Part 1 bluntly reveals that Twilight's accusations of Cadance being evil were perfectly correct, only a split-second unnatural green flash in Cadance's eyes hints that she is not the real Cadance (nor even a pony) at all!
When Pinkie Pie goes over the games with Cadance, she rolls two dice. A close look at the dice reveals that she rolls two ones, or Snake Eyes. This roll is usually associated in most games with bad luck, and snakes themselves are associated with deceit and betrayal.
Fun with Acronyms: Twilight's B.B.B.F.F. and Applejack's countering P.F.F.note Pony Friend Forever, both of which require explanation.
Furry Denial: These obviously aren't real-life ponies, but we're still given this reminder. Cadance refers to Pinkie Pie's reception as a "six-year-old's birthday party." Horses, on average, live to be about 25-30 years old, so a six-year-old horse's birthday party would theoretically be more like a human Sweet Sixteen party... a far cry from what Pinkie's throwing.
Furry Reminder: Twilight snorts during her fit of rage towards the beginning.
Rainbow Dash covering her loins as the train passes through the barrier.
Cadance and Shining Armor are already living together.
Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: One of Cadance's powers is the ability to spread love — she uses it on an arguing couple, making them instantly drop the (rather dumb) thing they were fighting about. Portrayed as a positive thing.
Heroic Team Revolt: All of Twilight's friends leave her without saying a word, along with Shining Armor and Princess Celestia after she proclaims Cadence as evil right before Twilight's proclamations turn out to be right.
Hope Spot: During Twilight's My God, What Have I Done? moment, Cadance appears and gently strokes her mane. Twilight tearfully says that she's sorry, and it seems like the two are going to reconcile... until Cadance pulls out her Slasher Smile and imprisons Twilight beneath the castle.
"I Am" Song: "B.B.B.F.F." is a song that both describes what kind of pony Shining Armor is and also gives us more insight into Twilight's childhood.
Imposter Forgot One Detail: Twilight first becomes suspicious of Cadance after she scoffs at their Secret Handshake and seemingly doesn't remember her. However, Twilight is only suspicious of Cadance being a jerk, then being "evil", rather than thinking that she's a fraud. Strangely, no one notices that Cadance isn't using the right color magic.
Princess Mi Amore Cadenza is called Cadance by Twilight Sparkle and herself prefers to be called Cadance.
Insult Backfire: The Princess says Pinkie Pie's reception would be great... if they were hosting a six-year-old's birthday! Pinkie beams and thanks her.
Ironic Echo: A nonverbal one; in Twilight's "BBBFF" song, she's shown absentmindedly crashing into Shining Armor, who scowls and then breaks into a grin. After Cadance runs out of the chapel crying, the same scenario happens, only this time Shining Armor is absolutely not smiling.
Irony: Twilight says in her song that she and her brother "never had a single fight", but that's clearly no longer the case by the end of the episode.
Made Out to Be a Jerkass: Poor Twilight goes too far to warn her friends that something was not right about Cadance, leading to her friends, and Celestia, not to take her seriously. It turns out that Twilight was right all along, however.
Cadance is a variation of not only a musical term, but a heraldic one — cadency marks denote the birth order of sons or daughters of a given line. So her name connotes nobility, just like Blue Blood. It also has a connection to the military, as the classic boot camp Sound Off is properly called a Cadence.
Also, there's a meaning for the music experts: the song "B.B.B.F.F." was sung in the key Db minor. That means the root key was a Db major chord. Usually, an Ab major chord would lead into a Db major at the end of the song; this is called a V-I chord progression and is musically termed as an "Authentic Cadence". However, the song resolves on Bb minor, the relative minor of Db, to give it a sadder tone at the end. When a chord progression seems to be heading to a root chord but instead ends on the relative minor, that is called a "Deceptive Cadence". First documented herenote Note: the image is somewhat incorrect in that it is B.B.B.F.F. that does that little trick, not This Day Aria., and subsequently confirmed by Daniel Ingram.
Bilingual Bonus: Princess Cadance's full name is Mi Amore Cadenza, which is like "my love cadence" in a mix of Italian and Spanish.note It would be "Il mio amore Cadenza" in Italian, and "Mi Amor Cadencia" in Spanish. This is fitting given her cutie mark and special talent.
My Brother Is Off Limits: Zigzagged trope. Twilight is outraged when she thinks her beloved BBBFF is marrying some random noble lady. Then she finds out that the bride is her surrogate big sister and thus the only pony she would approve of, but then she sees Cadence acting snotty and is back to square one but only because she thinks something is off with Cadence. Everyone else thinks Twilight is simply jealous. The viewer may be able to see in advance that Twilight is right, even if there is a little bit of this trope there too.
My God, What Have I Done?: Twilight after everyone walks out on her and she thinks she messed up. Unfortunately, this time she was right.
Nice Hat: The Mane Six's hats — both in the episode(s) and in promotional material (see, for example, the billboard image).
Cadence brushing off the Secret Handshake is what sets off the alarm bells in Twilight's head.
Ping Pong Na´vetÚ: Spike gets all excited about organizing a bachelor party, but then asks what that is.
Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: The episode ends with every last one of Twilight Sparkle's friends — and her mentor! — on the outs with her. Luckily, the status quo is back to normal almost as soon as the second part begins.
Properly Paranoid: Twilight insists that the bride is evil and therefore shouldn't be allowed to marry her brother. Her behavior, however, makes everyone thinks she's jealous, but she turns out to be right.
Remember The New Pony: Twilights' Friendless Background was a key plot point in the pilot and came up again in later episodes. Now we learn that she had not only had a wonderful big brother but a equally wonderful surrogate big sister.
Celestia takes care of the day, Luna takes care of the night, and Cadance takes care of the twilight.
Suddenly Voiced: Though very briefly, fan-favorites Minuette and Lyra Heartstrings speak for the first time outside of group scenes (in Englishnote some of the foreign dubs voiced Lyra in earlier appearances), Minuette being voiced by Cathy Weseluck.
Trampled Underhoof: When Cadance returns to the hall near the end, she steps on and shatters the Twilight figurine from the "graphics" for the Dark Reprise of "BBBFF" as she approaches Twilight — which Twilight seemed to be creating with her magic.
What The Hay, Hero?: Twilight gets a heavy one at the end of the episode by Shining Armor after she accuses Cadance of being evil, sending her out of the room crying, on bases he can easily counter. Twilight reacts badly to this, but it turns out she was right to accuse her.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Twilight easily picks up on the cues that Cadance is up to no good — but the notion that her former favorite foal-sitter who suddenly acts as though they never met before might be an impostor never occurs to her until she finds the real Cadance in the next episode.
You Have to Believe Me: Twilight doesn't appear to do a good job of explaining why Cadence is evil to the rest of the wedding party (except for the spell she cast on Shining Armor, which was explained away) only because Cadence started crying, making Twilight look possessive and unstable in the eyes of her peers and alienate her from the group.