Overall, the first two episodes were pretty fun. I mean, the evil unicorn king dude wasn't as cool a villain as Queen Chrysalis of the second season finale, but he was okay for a dude with pretty much no speaking role (or characterization in general). And Twi can be bizarrely dumb when it comes to tests. Like, I knew that to begin with? But this episode sorta took the cake on that. Your mission was to save an empire from a giant hatemonster, your train of thought should probably be more "Damn what can I do to help, the fate of the ponies depending on me rests on my shoulders! I should put all my effort into saving them no matter what!" and less "Damn I'm doing a test, I'm gonna ace this test, I'm failing this test, also ponies. Last minute revelation, save the ponies!" But her unreasonable priorities when it comes to tests are part of Twilight's character, so it would probably be more weird if she didn't obsess over the test. And besides, it's not like the plot to this was even important in the first place. I think we all know what the most important thing in this episode was.
Aw, shit! I just looked up the episodes, and the next two (in order) are going to be Pinkie-focused and Crusaders-focused. I am not generally an immediate fan of Pinkie episodes, she works best in small, insane doses in episodes focused on other characters rather than the main star of an episode. Don't get me wrong, some of her episodes rock -- Party of One, anypony? But some of them (I'm looking at you, MMMystery on the Friendship Express/Baby Cakes/A Friend In Deed) (Well okay maybe not Baby Cakes, it's kind of on the cusp for me) are....eh. Let's just say I don't bother to re-watch them when I need my pony fix.
But the Crusaders! Noooooo! I have yet to really like a single episode about the friggin' Crusaders. I wish they'd been a spinoff series instead of getting episodes in the main series. I know, I know, the show's for a younger audience and I shouldn't complain when it isn't tailored to my demographic. But they're just so irritating, holy fuck. I want to punch Apple Bloom right in the accent.