All of the Alternate Timelines were really creative! I remember when I saw the first one, my initial thought was "Hey wait a second, shouldn't Nightmare Moon be throwing the world into eternal night by now?" and lo and behold, they actually showed that time line! (Though, technically, everyone would be DEAD, but whatever-) I was also really impressed with Zecora's explanation of how time flows in their universe, (which sorta lamp-shaded my original complaint) and it was cool to see her at the forefront of a resistance against Queen Chrysalis
I don't think I need to mention how cool Pinkie, Maud and Rainbow's designs were in the War AU haha. Speaking of the War, it was nice to see War!AJ be really understanding to Twilight's plight. It could have easily been a cop-out, but the writers found a way to make it work imo. (like keeping the Map in a place where AJ has probably been to a million times)
It was very refreshing to see Twilight actually struggle in this one. I don't think I've seen a bad guy actually get the upper hand ever since Discord was introduced. Starlight Glimmer's cunning and condescending attitude was also really entertaining! (Plus all of those smug faces,
) I also liked how the conflict between them wasn't solved with just brute force (although there was still some action involved, which I liked), but Starlight and Twilight had to actually talk it out. SG needed to be convinced
that destroying a friendship wasn't going to bring her old friend back into her life.
I also liked how they showed that Starlight Glimmer actually had some valid points, like when she and Twilight had that exchange infront of the bullies and filly Fluttershy. Yes Starlight Glimmer was only being "nice" to get the upper-hand, but they had an open dialogue about bullying and debating some of the flaws in their society, which was nice. (Starlight still ended up being in the wrong, but mainly because she seems to misunderstand the whole point of cutie marks. They're not meant to show off how objectively superior some ponies are over others, they're meant to show off what makes everyone different. It's okay to have friends who are nothing like you!
I kinda don't want SG to be a member of the mane 6 though
I'm okay with them all being friends with eachother, but I just think about Sunset Shimmer and Moon Dancer and all of Twilight's friends back in Canterlot. But we'll see how it goes
Her backstory was pretty weak though. Wouldn't it make more sense for her to study magic- (which I'm guessing is her
special talent) but then somepony else gets more recognition than her because they think they're "better" at magic than she is? In my opinion that would have been a more logical reason for her to be so obsessed with equality than the whole "my friend got sent away because of his cutie mark" thing. But that's just me.
Anyway it was worth the wait for me. Season 5 was sorta a drag for me so seeing this was really satisfying~