Well well well, everypony. Time for another new episode.
Maud Pie is one of those unique characters who shows so little emotion, yet manages to be extremely lovable. So of course I wanted to jump for joy when I found out that she was getting an episode early on in the season. And once again, Maud failed to disappoint. But what really made me happy was seeing how Starlight was unexpectedly integrated into the story. Looks like Starlight and Maud have actually crossed paths before, in a strange twist of fate that led to Starlight's enslavement of her old village...
But alas, now that these two have encountered each other once again, they have a cool chemistry going on. Maud tells Starlight that one reason she holds rocks so near and dear to her heart is that they can never judge; rocks don't care if you're different from everypony else. And that theme fits this pair so well... Maud is Starlight's Boulder who accepts her regardless of the regret that still tries to eat away at her. Heartwarming lesson at work here.
My only real gripe about this episode was Pinkie Pie. Yes, good old Pinkie means no harm and only constantly bugged her sister out of love. But even I, a viewer, have trouble dealing with Pinkie when she's too hyper and in everypony's face too much. It just gets boring; Maud and Starlight (seemingly) have a moment alone with each other to bond, and then Pinkie comes in like, "OH MY GOSH AREN'T YOU TWO HAVING SO MUCH FUN TOGETHER? AREN'T YOU BECOMING THE BEST OF FRIENDS?!?"
Then there was Pinkie's mysteriously out of character behavior that made her more like Twilight than anypony else. Seriously, doing scientific analysis on friendship is Twilight's job, not yours, Pinkie.
Whatever, though. The good far outweighed the bad.
I suppose I should call some attention to the cute little Bon Bon, Lyra, and Derpy moments, too. Some people will undoubtedly call these moments fan service, but you know what? I see nothing wrong with showing some love for these background ponies. Bring it on.
Overall, nice episode that hopefully means we'll see a bit more Maud this season than we normally would, since she's now got a beautiful cavern abode on the edge of Ponyville. Seriously, I may not be a geology geek, but LOOK AT IT:
Nice scenery in this episode, if I do say so myself.
Anyways, I give this a rock solid 8.5/10. Apart from an overwhelming Pinkie, it showcased plenty of cute moments with plenty of beautifully deadpan Maud humor. Definitely an episode I want to re-watch a bunch of times.
One more thing... these two are adorable together. I can already see the shipping starting to happen.