FimFiction Link - Short ID: 304042/it-all-comes-down-to-this
Published: Dec '15
'It All Comes Down To This' is a five thousand and two hundred-word oneshot, which retells 'The Cutie Re-Mark' from Glimmer's perspective.
Fundamentally, I like the idea a lot. Not only would a switch in perspective allow the author to make Glimmy's redemption feel far more natural than it is in the show, the whole divergent futures idea is also basically a free pass to put any sort of creative idea you want into your story. Sadly, however, the fic does little to exploit either.
For one, half of this story is just an almost-verbatim retelling of the episode itself and while we do see into Glimmer's head, the author largely states the obvious in a way that a first-person story shouldn't. For instance she almost immediately says that she's in denial, even though at that point she's still fully convinced that Twilight is just lying to her and showing her a false future. Things only get weirder when suddenly, instead of making peace with her, Twilight breaks character and just yanks the scroll away before going "Okay, so you want to see how shit the future is if you keep this up? I'll show you" and with its help transports the trio (Spike is there too, but he's about as relevant as he usually is) to several additional possible futures created by the author. These include: An Equestria terrorized by Tirek. A Ponyville destroyed by so-called bloatsprites. Sombra coming back and taking over Equestria. And finally Glimmer taken to her own village, where she is forced to watch as an alternative self of her takes away Sunburst's cutie mark. This, along with the fact that she stumbles upon a small group of ponies who really aren't happy with their marks taken away, convinces her that she might have not been the best pony ever and that maybe the M6 is important, and allows Twilight to take them back to the present, now fully accepting to try her ways.
None of the characters really feel like they have any agency in this story. Glimmer angsts her way through the whole fic; Twilight acts more like a vengeful force of nature, who doesn't bother to even try to explain things to Glimmer, just reiterates the fact that this is what would happen if she has her way; and Spike is Spike. None of the alternative futures are shown in a way that is in any way interesting. Due to the story's length the reader is only shown a tiny glimpse into what's going on and then the story rushes on to show something new. This ultimately causes Glimmer's redemption to feel paradoxically even less earned than it does in the show and even more like she's forced into it, instead of being a character-defining choice.
Overall: 3/10 My heart bleeds for the concept and I do like that the author went for a something bit more unique with the first-person perspective, but sadly it doesn't manage to shine in either prose or plot. I cannot recommend it.