Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 4 Episode 9

WARNING!  From this point onward, the following reviews will consist of using heavy profanity.  It is advised not to proceed past this point unless you are 18 years of age or older.  Profanity will be used to express personal opinions only, so there can be no one responsible if anyone is greatly offended because you have been warned.  If you can handle profanity and you're ready to proceed, by all means do so.

"I used to wonder what friendship could be; until I surpassed those who first showed it to me."

- Russet Burbanks, Fanfiction.net

You remember Applejack saying this, right?  Well, let's reflect on the words "apple pie" for a moment.  We got Applejack as our Apple, but for our Pie, we have Pinkie.  Her last name is Pie.  So if we put together this Apple and Pie... we get the episode "Pinkie Apple Pie"!

So how many of you were hoping that I'd find a good episode in Season 4?  Well, you got what you asked for, because here's one!  This episode returns to the roots of the old Season 1 episodes in which most of them were well thought out, well written, had good plots, and some legitimate friendship lessons.  Granted that the lesson learned in this episode is more of a family lesson, but I love my family, so I'll take it seriously.
And while no episode or any form of media we create is entirely flawless, I have to admit that for a Season 4 episode, this one came fairly close.  So let's take a look and see just why I liked it.

We open at the Golden Oaks Library with Twilight Sparkle apparently doing some genealogy...

(sniggers) Oh, Pinkie...  You know I love you so.  Shut up, haters.

So Pinkie reads one of the scrolls that Twilight has gathered and makes a shocking discovery.

Wow...  That would be so fucking amazing... if only it was 100% confirmed.  Except that Applejack takes a look and says that the part of the scroll that supposedly ties the Apple and Pie families is smudged, so it's hard to tell.

So Granny Smith decides that the Apple family, along with Pinkie of course, should pay a visit to their relative Goldie Delicious, whose cabin apparently holds records of the entire Apple family and would know for sure if Pinkie is in fact Pinkamena Diane Apple Pie... which does sounds kinda... nifty.

But there's one more thing, which is probably a catch now that I think about it.  See, Applejack wants her family to be on their best behavior during their little trip down the Oregon Trail, just to show her that they are a proud family.  This isn't really considered a problem or anything wrong with the episode, but it is kind of a "uh... what?"

For one, Pinkie and Applejack are already good friends and the Mane 6 have somehow held together through thick and thin and all that, so what has Applejack got to hide?  And another thing... no family is perfect.  Every family has downsides, arguments, bitching, moaning, yadda yadda yadda...  And these flaws only make a family stronger because if they get through them, they're still family in the end and that's what really counts.  Home Alone is an excellent example of this.

Right, right.  So after the Apple family packs a good chunk of their belongings, Applejack checks in with Big Mac to make sure everything is handled.

You know, Applejack might have a point, Big Ass.  But of course, Applejack doesn't want to start an argument in front of Pinkie, so... yeah.  But look at Pinkie and that super grin!  She's just fine with everything!  Or she's just being Pinkie.

So off they go on their family road trip.  And it kicks off with one hell of a song that kicks ASS!  I'm sorry, it's just so good, I gotta play the whole thing!  Git along, li'l apples!  Yee-haw!!

So the wagon falls apart and of course Applejack, being the rotten apple she's proved to be in the last two episodes, blames Big Ass's lack of judgment, but of course, because they have Pinkie with them, they try to keep it cool.

But it's all good because the Apple family puts together a raft to go down the river.  How is the raft being held together?  With tree sap, of course.

As the Apple family plus Pinkie float down the river, Pinkie reveals that she's taking pictures for a scrapbook she's making.  Hey, if she's gonna be family, she might as well put together a scrapbook.

We don't question your logic, Pinkie, so we certainly don't question you on that.

But Applejack says that the raft is heading towards a fork in the river, literally because it splits into three separate ways, so she asks for the map to decide which way they should go.
Apple Bloom gets the map, but rather than hand it over, she gloats over it with an obvious reference to those fan-made stupid, STUPID 'licious' videos.

So Apple Douche loses the map and of course Applejack and Big Mac have to play it cool, through gritted teeth I might add, because Pinkie Pie's watching.  Yep, you don't wanna embarrass yourselves in front of your newest family member, so there's no need to place the blame on anyone.

But it's still good because Granny Smith claims she knows which direction to go, so they head southeast... towards a cave... and then she just happens to bring up the scariest cave in Equestria.

And, here's a shocker, it turns out the cave that they end up going through just happens to be the scariest cave in Equestria because of all those sound effects, contrary to Granny Smith's sense of direction.

Well, after that traumatizing experience, Applejack decides to take over the steering and ends up arguing with Granny Smith in a way that we can all see exactly what's going to happen next.  The steering wheel is gonna break off.  But it takes forever to get that part!  You think it's gonna happen, but it doesn't.  At least not until the whole family grabs the steering wheel in fits in frustration, that is.  But seriously, just watch this scene.

So now that all four Apples have goofed up once, just leave it to Pinkie to point out what could possibly make this even more cliched.
Going over a waterfall.
And, no surprise, Pinkie is still immensely enjoying herself and taking pictures...
...including this one.  That duck face.

Quite frankly, I heard that some people complained about that one.  I can't imagine why, though.

Wow... somehow that raft held together in one piece going down that waterfall.  How did it manage that?  I'll tell you.  Granny Smith's Apple Tree Sap.

Hm, should I be sensing a pattern here?   You know, that all old ladies in the Apple family might be a little... kooky?

Oh...  Sorry, Apple Bloom.  My mistake.

Goldie Delicious invites the Apple family into her cabin, which seems to be more cluttered with cats than knowledge on the Apple family tree.

But Goldie finds the book that supposedly holds the answers that connect the Apple family to Pinkie's ancestors, but you'll never guess what the results are.  It's so surprising.

But of course, Applejack tells Pinkie that she's proven to be a true Apple after all she went through from their family trip.

Goldie gives the Apple family, Pinkie included, a new wagon for the return trip home and they all sing a kickass reprise of "Apples to the Core".  Sing it, Apple family!  Sing it!

Applejack decides to log down the events in her journal, but guess what?  The Apple family starts arguing one last time over who should be the one to write it down!  Uh, excuse me?  Applejack is one of the Mane 6, right?  Clearly, this should be her job.  Or perhaps Pinkie's job.  
And look!  Speaking of Pinkie, she joins in on the arguing just to prove that she's family too!  Oh, Pinkie!  You're just ridiculously lovable!

So that was "Pinkie Apple Pie" and... HALLELUJAH!!  A good episode in Season 4 for once!

Despite the things I nitpicked about throughout the episode, it makes up for these minor setbacks with hilarious antics, classic family troubles, an air of adventure, a kickass musical number, and of course a valuable family lesson.  And of course, it's another episode that goes to show that Pinkie isn't stupid.  Now I don't anticipate finding too many good episodes throughout Season 4, given what I've heard about them so far, but maybe I'll see them in a whole new light once I see them for myself... and maybe I won't.  But this much I'll tell you.  If Season 4 doesn't hold a candle to your interests and you'd just as soon stay away from it, this episode is definitely still worth looking at and I'm almost certain it will not be disappointing.


  1. One thing I've noticed is that Applejack has gotten a lot of screen time in this season. And this episode does hearken back to season one... I just wish that more episodes did. The show overall is much different than it used to be.

    1. Quite frankly, I don't know if we can ever figure out the reason why the series isn't just what it used to be. I know the animation stays on top, but everything else seems to dwindle.