Friday, December 5, 2014

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 4 Episode 22


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

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Hey guys, this is the Thunder.  So... who hates Pinkie Pie?  And before you say anything about me, I don't.  "Filli Vanilli" wasn't about to change my mind and neither was this episode.  Because from my point of view, I don't see why Pinkie is getting a lot of hate and I did hear that while "Filli Vanilli" was a factor, there was something about this episode as well that made bronies want to stick pins into her vagina.  Well, let's see if I can figure it out by reviewing this episode.  So here's "Trade Ya!"

We begin with the Mane 6 arriving at the annual Rainbow Falls Traders Exchange, which apparently requires royal supervision.  And Twilight is on the job!

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So we learn that Rainbow is after a first edition copy of a Daring Do and the Sapphire Statue book, which you may remember is the story that got her hooked into the series to begin with.  And here's a little bit of foreshadowing.

Fluttershy: Oh no! I'd really hate to see you disappointed.

Forget Rarity's over-the-top generosity.  We got Fluttershy's over-the-top kindness.  Also, we get a side plot involving Rarity and Applejack that kind of goes nowhere, but first...
Rarity: I'm so glad I have a friend like you, Applejack.

Applejack: I feel the same way.
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And the third plot involves Pinkie Pie and Twilight.  Now for some reason, this is where bronies and maybe other fans got really pissed off at Pinkie for the second time this season.  I can't imagine why.  Twilight is deciding to trade away some of her books that she doesn't seem to want anymore because she's running out of room... which she won't have to worry about by the time this season's over--
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...and I'll get to that train wreck in a cock-filled toilet at some point.  But Pinkie says she's watching over Twilight to make sure that her trades are a fair deal.  Sure, Pinkie ends up passing off Twilight's stuff as princess-related, but at least she's...
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Oh...  That's why.
Twilight Sparkle: Pinkie, I appreciate your help and all, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this. Nopony should trade for my books just because I'm a princess. I'm not better than anypony else!
Well, now that I've figured out the reason behind the hatred (gee, that escalated fast, didn't it?), let's move on to the main plot.  So Rainbow Dash is after the entire collection of Daring Do books, no surprise, but you know, if it were me, I would just get any version of one copy of each.
But to make a long story short, she has to go through several trades just to get that book, starting with the collector wanting a two-headed dog called an Orthros.

Dying for a book?  Sounds like my mom!

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Right, right.  So as you might have guessed, Fluttershy easily tames the Orthros.  Hey, she did tame the mighty Cerberus, so we shouldn't be surprised.  She's like the Hagrid of My Little Pony.
And once Rainbow is finally able to trade her most precious possession, a rusty old horseshoe...

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...the episode turns into a sequence of trading items from a Game Boy The Legend of Zelda game, which has Fluttershy and Rainbow working behind a fast food stand to speed up service, dragging the Orthros through the crowd, and Fluttershy losing her bear call whistle that she intended to trade away in the process.  I think you can see where this goes from here.

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I should point out another possible big upset from those bronies.  This episode includes the appearance an original character named Stellar Eclipse designed by Sylvain-Nicholas LeVasseur-Portelance, a teenager with spinal muscular atrophy type III.  Thanks to the wonders of the Make-A-Wish foundation, which I'm sure you're all familiar with, he got to have his character on screen and provide the voice as well.  This marks the fifth original character in the series, so if there's any reason the bronies had to get mad, which I don't know because I don't know the whole story behind this, it's because Stellar Eclipse is the first original character that wasn't designed by a crew member to be featured in an episode.  So if anything, it's possible that bronies were like "Oh sure, this kid gets his OC featured and we don't.  Thanks a lot, Hasbro."  And if that was the case, it's a pretty selfish reason to be mad, especially if they actually hate original characters to begin with, preferring fanon interpretations of actual characters instead.  The Make-A-Wish foundation always goes out of its way to grant kids happiness because their conditions are life-threatening and they may not survive their ordeals.  So again, I don't know the whole scoop, but if the bronies got furious, then fuck them.

So the collector for some reason doesn't want the Orthros because she thought twice about it, I guess, but thanks to Fluttershy's taming and persuasion, she agrees to trade... on the condition that Fluttershy accompanies her back to Manehattan to help fully train the beast.  And of course, Rainbow agrees.

Now before you all start grabbing your torches and pitchforks, let's think about this for a minute.  Sure, maybe you think that Rainbow is the jerk in this scenario, but if you look past that, Fluttershy didn't exactly stand up for herself, which she's supposed to be capable of doing.  Her focus was solely to make Rainbow happy at all costs, not even thinking about herself.  And second, Rainbow did realize the mistake he... I mean, she... made, and goes to Princess Twilight to settle this unfair trade.

But before that, thanks to Pinkie pointing out just how valuable Twilight's books happen to be, no one wants to trade anything for them and Twilight actually thanks Pinkie for reminding her.

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I'm gonna ask you to remember this part when I get around to reviewing the Season 4 finale, as I'm gonna bring up something that other users who actually respect my opinions have told me.  But for now, Rainbow Dash needs help from her royal highness.
Twilight Sparkle: I've heard what you both have to say, and I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash, but my hooves are tied. You said it was a fair trade.
Does... that mean Twilight's okay with Rainbow having traded away Fluttershy just like that?  I know she's supposed to handle this rationally in front of a crowd, but... Fluttershy's her friend too.  Is she just expecting Rainbow to live with this?  That's actually pretty harsh... princess.  But it's all good because Rainbow bounces back.

Rainbow Dash: I did want that book, a lot. I said I wanted it more than anything in all of Equestria. But there's no thing that's worth as much to me as a friend. I might have forgotten that for a little bit, but it's true. Which means there's no way this trade can be fair!


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And what she says touches the collector, so she agrees to call off the trade just as Twilight declares the Rainbow Falls Traders Exchange over for another year.  Guess this episode was like ponies going to a con.

In the end, Rainbow ended up trading the Orthros for a bird call whistle, the thing that Fluttershy wanted, and Twilight gives away an old paperback copy of Daring Do and the Sapphire Statue for Rainbow to keep.

Rainbow Dash: [gasps] Even better, because I can read this one with all my friends!

And that was "Trade Ya!" for ya.  ...Eh.

It's not an amazing episode, just okay and at least bearable to sit through.  Despite Pinkie saying a flat-out 'insult' to Twilight (though to be fair, it was probably done to show just how much value her books have), I still don't see any reason to point fingers at Pinkie and bear animosities towards characters for minor setbacks.  In the case of Pinkie, I think a lot of viewers tend to forget that she's loud, talkative, crazy, brimming with energy, and probably has a permanent sugar rush.  And that's who she is.  So again, this is last time I'm gonna say this, but I love Pinkie for all that and I wouldn't change a thing.  She did nothing in this episode that I can see, she's still one of my favorite characters, and I say she's definitely not stupid.

As for this episode, it's almost hard to keep track with three plots going on at once, but since one goes nowhere, I consider that a saving grace that doesn't give me a brain-ache.

This is The Thunder signing off.  Trade ya next time!

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