Whenever Discord is involved, you know the episode will be entertaining. At least, it usually is. The last time he appeared was in the Season 4 finale. Many to this day still don’t like the fact that he’s reformed. By now of course it’s something to accept, and the writers have been utilizing him well. The Grand Galloping Gala has been major event in the show since Season 1. (One of the very best episodes in my opinion is the finale of that season, “The Best Night Ever.”) So, two important things was happening here: Discord and the Gala. Somehow however the episode actually ended up being more on the mediocre side.
Here’s the official description from Discovery Family:
When Discord learns that Fluttershy is taking a new friend to the Grand Galloping Gala instead of him, he goes to extreme lengths to prove that he isn’t upset about it.
My main problem with the episode “Lesson Zero” is that it just seemed mindless. It felt like a random Spongebob episode where nothing really happens. This applies here, though it’s not the worst. There is a moral here, and it’s solid. Basically, a close friend of yours might be jealous if you have another friend, but ultimately realizes that it doesn’t change the friendship. It’s a solid lesson, but at the expense of Discord’s character. I had warmed up to the idea of him being a good guy, but here he’s pretty much a joke. The entire sequence where he tries to be a stand-out comedy was painful. Considering the fact he’s the most sarcastic character in the show, one would think all his lines would be great. But it’s like a bad writing attempt at him throughout the episode.
One of the main things was the introduction of new character Tree Hugger. Writer of the episode Natasha Levinger sadly makes her our to be a parody, which is a shame. Nicole Oliver does an excellent job voicing the new pony, and the concept is interesting. Sadly it’s over-done. The Mane 6 all have solid roles. It was quite sweet seeing Applejack for example making note that her little sister’s “all grown up” since it’s the latter’s first gala. A highlight was seeing Discord’s world for the first time, which was appropriately trippy. The Smooze was an okay character, though more of a plot device than anything. Maud Pie was fantastic.
Overall, a surprisingly average episode. Discord just seemed rather off writing wise almost the entire time. Much of his dialogue is more cringe-worthy than the usual entertainment we’re used to. Tree Hugger is a great character in concept and voice, but ends up being a parody. (Still, it’d be interesting to see her have a conversation with Zecora.) The message driven home by Fluttershy’s dialogue in the climax was very well-executed. Sadly though, this is definitely the worst Discord episode.