Sunday, July 8, 2012

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 1 Episode 19

Back in the very first episode, Spike got a crush on Rarity for some reason that I really just can't figure out.

Spike: Beautiful...

In Episode 13, I first discussed the prospects of how shipping between characters began, particularly between two females.  Now, in this episode, we're finally getting a more in-depth look at Spike's crush on Rarity.

 A Dog and Pony Show
It all begins when Rarity shows off her latest fashion design dress to a celebrity named Sapphire Shores, who demands five more of the same dress with different jewels for each one.
So Rarity sets out on a scavenger hunt to find more jewels, in which we learn that her signature magic spell is being able to detect hidden jewels buried in the ground.  And of course, since she refuses to get her hooves dirty by digging, she brings along Spike to do all the digging for her.

Spike: At your service, my lady.

Yeesh.  Well, this could be wrong for a couple of reasons.  For starters, this is the first real time we learn that Spike loves to eat gems, so with him helping her out, you can imagine it's all too tempting for him to get an easy snack or two, despite Rarity promising him that he'll get at least one gem to nibble on for helping her.
Also, why bring Spike?  Why couldn't she just bring Applejack to do her digging?  She can certainly be counted on when you need her, right?  Or does Spike have these dragon qualities that Rarity finds useful somehow?  Does this mean that Rarity is actually using Spike because of his crush on her?

Now pardon me for sidetracking for a bit, but in the TV series Monster Buster Club, there exists a snobby girl named Wendy and one of the main characters of the show, Danny, has an obviously one-sided crush on her and not only does she know it but practically everyone knows it and they don't seem to be too supportive of it.  I'd say for a good reason, though.
Because Wendy knows that Danny is crushing on her, even if it's because of her looks alone, she uses him to get exactly what she wants and he willingly does it without hesitation despite even acknowledging that she's never exactly nice to him.  That's kind of dumb.  And the worst part is that Danny never manages to win her affections (good thing because she's a brat) and doesn't get anything in exchange for doing favors!  Either way, Rarity is far different from Wendy as far as personalities go, never mind that they both happened to be voiced by American-born Canadian actress Tabitha St. Germain.

So are we expecting something similar with Spike and Rarity?  Maybe.  But no, that can't be because Rarity did promise Spike he would get to eat at least one of the jewels they find.  Plus, she's supposed to represent the element of generosity, never mind that she hardly shows it in the series, as in only a few times.

Anyways, during their hunt, Rarity keeps her word and gives one gem to Spike for him to eat.  But Spike never actually does because he still yearns for Rarity herself, considering this is the first gift he received from her.
After that, they finish digging up enough jewels, but that's when three big dogs who apparently call themselves Diamond Dogs, show up and decide to kidnap Rarity, as they had witnessed her magic detect jewels.  It seems Rarity isn't the only animal who wants treasure, never mind that the dogs want the jewels to keep for themselves.
Despite Spike distracting all three dogs at once, they still manage to get a hold of Rarity and drag her down into her underground lair, causing him to let loose with a dramatic cry of...

Spike now has no choice but to return to Ponyville and recruit the other five main characters for help.  But none of them are able to burrow their way underground, as the Diamond Dogs somehow make fools out of them in the process by filling in their holes.
However, being the dumb antagonists that they are, they miss one hole and Spike decides to go fishing with his prize gem that Rarity gave to him.  And it works!  The dogs take the gem and everyone is pulled into the hole and they fall into the underground lair.
But somehow the dogs slunk out of sight before the main characters realize they have loads of tunnels to choose from.  And of course, they don't know which way to go.

Ah, give it a rest, Spike.

Meanwhile, the Diamond Dogs try to put Rarity to work to help them dig up jewels for their own collection, but it turns out she's giving them a lot more than what they bargained for.  At first they stupidly bend to her demands by treating her like a queen, but when they've had enough, they inadvertently cross the line when their leader named Rover says...
Rover: Hyah, mule!
Rarity: Did you just call me a... mule?
Rover: Ehh...
Rarity: Mules are ugly. Are you saying that I too am ugly?
And this ended up to be the final straw for the dogs.  Rarity intentionally bursts into dramatic sobs, never mind that her flank was spanked, so when the others finally find her thanks to Twilight having somehow learned Rarity's signature magic trick some time ago, the dogs beg them to take her and all the jewels they found so far out of their den.  Boy, are they dumb, I'd say probably the most idiotic antagonists in the whole series.  I mean, they just surrendered their own treasure and their captive because they apparently couldn't handle a prisoner complaining and they were once never able to man up and treat Rarity like their slave.  Guess that's what was meant to make the situation funny, or maybe even to prove that a lady should not be taken lightly, which turns out to be the friendship lesson of the episode.  Funny.  What's that got to do with friendship anyway?  It's more like a lesson in adventuring.

And the episode ends just like that, so... what the hell happened?  I mean, was Rarity able to fulfill Sapphire's order?  What now becomes of her and Spike?  Ah, never mind the latter.  We'll get to that sometime in Season 2.  But seriously, how many episodes have been seemingly unresolved now?  Okay, it might be obvious that with all the gems, Rarity was able to make those dresses and then some, even if Spike started eating his fill on the way back, but still...  Well, I guess maybe it never had to be shown.  What does it matter?  I'm not crazy about this series and I don't think I'm ever gonna be.  Oh, but the animation is still worth drooling over.  Does that help?

So we see Spike actually eating jewels for the first time.  Enjoy your snack while it lasts!  Just keep him away from those Chaos Emeralds...

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