Thursday, November 22, 2012

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 3 Episode 3

Happy Turkey Day, all you gobblers across America.  And for Canada, sorry I'm a month late, but I only just learned today, you know how it is.  So while you're all preparing to sit down and feast your hearts out, I'll be preparing a special of my own - another critique on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  Our family meal is coming a little late, so in the meantime, I'll be discussing the third episode of Season 3, "Too Many Pinkie Pies".

Too Many Pinkie Pies
We start with Twilight trying to turn an apple into an orange, which I do not think these fruits were picked coincidentally by the way.  That's when Pinkie tackles her as a way of greeting and says Isabella's well-known catchphrase from Phineas and Ferb again.

Pinkie Pie: Whatcha doin'?

That's when we're introduced to the problem of the episode, in which Pinkie is trying to be with all her friends at once, especially when they're doing their fun stuff is happening at the same time.  And just like with the Cutie Mark Crusaders in the episode "Hearts and Hooves Day", Twilight just has to go and open her big mouth and suggest an idea we all know is going to be stupid.

Twilight Sparkle: I'm afraid no matter how hard you try, the only way to pull something like that off is if there's more of you to go around. 

And that's all it takes.  So Pinkie goes to the Everfree Forest in search of this legendary Mirror Pond, and by reciting this incantation...

Pinkie Pie: "And into her own reflection she stared, uh, yearning for one whose reflection she shared, and solemnly sweared not to be scared, at the prospect of being doubly mared!"

...she clones herself, just like that.  Gee, I wonder what would happen if a male came to the pool?  Well, we don't ever have to worry about that problem.  So now there are two Pinkies bouncing around Ponyville to help do twice the work and twice the fun.

Pinkie Pie: Coming in, Dashie?

Hey, Pinkie's now calling Rainbow Dash 'Dashie', just like fans make her do.  Maybe Hasbro does love their fans after all.

But apparently, the double decides that two isn't enough, so they both return to the Mirror Pond and duplicate themselves from two to four.
But even when the original Pinkie declares that this is enough, the three copies multiply themselves into six, and then into twelve, which then leads to the creation of a whole shitload of Pinkies.
And it isn't long before they cause chaos and mayhem all over Ponyville because they all decide to be in the same place at once instead of spreading out.  Yep, they're duplicates of Pinkie all right.  God help me.

So the denizens of Ponyville approach Twilight, either thinking she has the answers or somehow figuring out that it was her big mouth that got them into this mess, but even she can't tell who the real Pinkie is.  And that's when the stupid part comes.  The real Pinkie realizes the cloning chaos she's created and gets all downhearted about it while her copies are still running amok.  But Twilight thinks that she could still be a copy.
Spike: Maybe that one's the real Pinkie.
Twilight Sparkle: Please. The real Pinkie Pie never sat that long in one place her whole life!
Really, Twilight?  I mean, really?  You think any Pinkie could act so miserable and depressed over this matter?  Next thing you know, Twilight will be saying that the real Pinkie Pie never cries.  That's just sad.

Hey, wait!  What's Fancypants doing here?  Last I checked, he was supposed to be a denizen of Canterlot!  They'll pick anyone to be a background character now!

Anyways, Twilight learns a spell tied to the Mirror Pond which is capable of sending any intended target back to the location, but the trouble is she doesn't want to make a mistake.  Please, Twilight.  Just target the Pinkies who aren't sad and your problem is fixed.  Easy peasy.  Except Twilight has to get all dumb just assume that even the sad Pinkie could be a copy.

Hey, look!  There's Tank!  Welcome back, little feller.  Oh, and so is the bear that Fluttershy gave that massage to.  Typical.

So she sets up a test in which all of them are assigned to watch paint dry and anyone who loses focus for even a split-second is called off as not the real Pinkie.  At first, none of the Pinkies budge, but one by one they get distracted and two of the distractions point out some very interesting references.

First up, one of the clones is able to make fingers appear on her hoof.  Fans of the series have made this happen before, especially with Lyra Heartstrings, whom fans depict for some unknown reason as a human lover.  But since Season 3 had been in production since September 2011, we don't know if Dave Polsky wrote this to be a tribute to fans.

And here's the second reference.  Another copy makes a face that bears a striking resemblance to a pony face from a previous generation of the My Little Pony franchise.  How crazy is that?  Lauren Faust, eat your heart out.

Eventually it comes down to two Pinkies remaining, so Rainbow Dash intentionally distracts the last one and the problem is solved.  The real Pinkie then reveals that with such high stakes, she didn't want to get distracted.  So she then has Spike write her fourth letter in the series to Princess Celestia, but then takes the record of being the first other main character to officially sign off her letter.
Pinkie Pie: Respectfully yours, Pinkie Pie.
So now, Pinkie Pie holds the record of being in second place for the most number of letter written to Celestia, with Twilight in first place by a landslide.  Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Spike tie for third with three letters apiece.  And yes, for Rarity, reports delivered in person count, including the episodes "Sonic Rainboom" and "Sweet and Elite".  Applejack and Fluttershy tie for fourth with two letters each.  And finally, Apple Bloom is placed fifth for one letter.  And in addition to keeping score, it should be noted that Twilight's most current letter was written in the episode "Luna Eclipsed" and she hasn't done any since.  Her friends are officially taking over... unless she does one in the upcoming episode "Magic Duel".

Speaking of upcoming episodes, I'm really, really not looking forward to doing the next one.  Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are back to their old antics and this time, they've got a new recruit - Babs Seed, an Apple family member gone to the dark side.  Ho boy...  How am I ever gonna survive this one?  Wish me luck.

Well, that's three episodes down and ten to go.  And as I finish this critique, I'm about to sit down for my Thanksgiving family dinner.  So I'm gonna try not to think about this episode, as like any others, it was mediocre at most.  It does go to show once again that Pinkie's definitely not stupid despite her craziness.  But anyways, I'm gonna go eat.  See you all next time!


  1. The biggest thing that bugged me about this episode was that the real Pinkie wasn't sure if she was the real one. I mean, come on. Even for Pinkie Pie that's really pushing it.

    Also, all of the clones didn't seem to have Pinkie's memories (they had to be reminded of names and locations), but since the "say something only the real one would know" has been widely done elsewhere, I guess they decided with "watching paint dry" instead. And for Twilight this was a very dumb and risky move, since if she had chosen wrong she would have killed Pinkie because it was made clear that Pinkie couldn't be brought back if she chose wrong, and that the clones are being returned to what they came from (nothing). So it's not hard to do the math there. For being the hero of the series, Twilight sure can be completely stupid at times.

    During the whole episode I was reminded of that Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode where Homer cloned himself with a magic hammock (and then some of the clones cloned themselves), and the clones were much dumber than the real one and eventually ran wild and were all eventually destroyed. Some of this FiM episode was so similar that I think the writers must have seen that (with the obvious change that the real Pinkie survives, though).

    1. Treehouse of Horror episodes go ahead and kill Simpsons characters, but even killing Homer sounds a bit over the top. Now even thought Twilight might have acted a little stupid in this episode, it still doesn't mean she deserved heartbreak in "A Canterlot Wedding". The reason those episodes will continue to be the worst is because the way friends can harm each other is far worse than bullying. It's because one knows good friends much more so than mere bullies who just exist. So as bad as I think "One Bad Apple" will be, it may just become a new close second to "A Canterlot Wedding", surpassing "Ponyville Confidential" as a really bad episode.

      Now Meghan McCarthy, head writer, said this about "One Bad Apple". "[It] explores how you should handle a bully, and sometimes what the source of bullying is," and that "It's wrapped in a story that's really fun and funny, and has music, and doesn't feel heavy-handed." I'm like WTF? Fun? Funny? Quite frankly, the source of bullying is usually due to a bad upbringing, but still, what's gonna be to like about episode? All it's really gonna do is show viewers that CMC exist purely as characters meant to be tortured, which is NOT cool.

  2. I think, going by the preview clip, that Babs herself was bullied herself back in Manehatten for being a blank flank and joins Diamond Tiara to not end up being a victim in Ponyville as well. We'll see how this goes. Hopefully she'll come to her senses by the end.

    I just hope she doesn't get her cutie mark, whether by Diamond Tiara's help or at the end of the episode (by her sudden epiphany if she's redeemed). The former would mean that Diamond Tiara could full well also help the CMCs get theirs but deliberately chooses not to, just to make them suffer. The latter would just be too cliché. Either way, I don't want to see some other new kid out of nowhere get his/hers before the CMCs again.

    The whole point of cutie marks in the show was to make one special but it's been twisted (by the show itself!) to instead divide and set apart. I call BS on Twilight and Applejack saying to the CMCs that they're "lucky" for not having them. Now, ignoring that they're still not seeing the blindingly obvious for their talents, how do you think they feel at seeing their classmates pass them by when they get their cutie marks one by one (Twist comes to mind here), getting bullied daily for not having one, and everything they try to earn theirs fails? That's *not* lucky.

    And "One Bad Apple" is supposed to be *funny*? I'm sorry, but what I felt watching that clip wasn't funny in the slightest, especially after hearing Sweetie Belle near the end. Anyone who finds that funny has obviously never been a victim of bullying in real life.

    1. Wait, what? Babs Seed is from Manehattan? The city of sophistication?

      And, uh, what do you mean by BS?

      I know, I think Meghan McCarthy need to stop lying and write something good for once. Perhaps the MLP:FiM staff doesn't have a clue what bullying means. Seriously, the writers need to stop torturing the CMC. If Equestria really does thrive on love and friendship, why hasn't it fallen already? If it were Kingdom Hearts, the land could be shadowed by Heartless, Nobodies, AND Unversed.

      Man, the episode's gonna suck, I'm sure.

    2. BS in that Twilight and Applejack, while having good intentions, don't really understand what the CMCs are going through because a) they never really obsessed over getting cutie marks when they were young and b) they both have their own. Maybe I shouldn't have said "BS"... sometimes I forget that this is still a kid's show and I look too deeply into things that aren't there. I think a lot of viewers do.

      And yeah, she's from Manehattan and doesn't talk with even the slightest bit of "sophistication" whatsoever. You think Derpy's first voice was bad? Wait until you hear what Babs sounds like.

    3. There's obviously a legitimate number of reasons as to why the CMC obsess over getting their cutie marks time and time again.

      Eh, I never thought anyone's voice on the show was bad, not even Ditzy Doo. The only reason I might think Babs Seed would sound bad is because she wouldn't be voiced by Grey DeLisle, who does badass girls extremely well.