Good evening, everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"!!! Well, the midseason finale has arrived, and while I can't say that our final episode before the Season 7 mid-season hiatus was amazing, it was still a very, very decent episode that was very enjoyable to watch. Not flawless, but not in a maddening way whatsoever. This should prove to be a fairly short episode review since there's not too much to cover, so without further ado, let's begin, this is "Not Asking for Trouble"!
OK, not gonna lie, that's bucking adorable
So as there's not too much to cover with this episode, let's start with the most complex aspect of it, the lesson. This was both a strength and a weakness, oddly enough, and for very similar reasons. It was admirable how complex and subtle the lesson itself was, but at the same time it was almost too complex and subtle for its own good. The best way I can put it is that, in execution, this lesson was "confusingly nuanced." Jeric pointed out to me that unlike with most episodes, the lesson here wasn't telegraphed; this is not to say that we as an audience are too stupid to learn lessons unless they're spoonfed to us, but it's not like telegraphing lessons has ever been a big weakness of MLP, they usually do a good job of delivering lessons without making it seem like they're patronizing or belittling the audience. It's not even to say that MLP can't have subtle lessons, they have many times. This one, however, wasn't even apparent by the time the final frame had ended; the episode was far more about WHAT was happening than about WHY or what we were supposed to take away from it. After all, what happens is very simple: (1) Pinkie Pie goes to Yakyakistan to celebrate Yickslurbertfest with the yaks, (2) she celebrates with them, (3) avalanche buries Yakyakistan, (4) things suck for the yaks and they try to cope while Pinkie unsuccessfully tries to get them to accept help from the ponies, (5) she leaves Yakyakistan and secretly comes back with her friends, (6) they unbury Yakyakistan, the day is saved, and the yaks are grateful despite having insisted on no outside help.
And... that's it. That's the whole episode. So what are we to take away from all of this? I think two things contributed to why this lesson was so confusing: (1) the pacing, seeing as about rather than 2/3, it seemed like more like 3/4 of the episode were devoted to Yickslurbertfest and setting up the conflict itself, before Pinkie ACTUALLY fixed the problem, and (2) the fact that the lesson seems to be more applicable to a problem for individuals, but what we had before us was a national crisis for the entire nation of yaks, which made it harder to understand the nature of the problem and the lesson. The first point is forgivable considering Pinkie Pie was trying to help the yaks, she just didn't want to be a bad friend by going behind their backs and wanted to get their permission to seek help from others before she did (both considerate and a wise course of action considering the yaks have proven just how hot-headed they can be in the past). The second point I'm still trying to make sense of, but I think Jeric put it best to me when he said that the writers probably intentionally left it vague and muddled so as not to give younger viewers unfortunate implications. You see, the lesson at play here is basically that sometimes, friends or family who we deeply care about are in some sort of trouble or get themselves into some sort of trouble, but aren't willing to admit that they have a problem, even as the problem gets worse. Such self-destructive behavior usually arises because of one's stubbornness or pride preventing one from admitting they have a problem or being willing to ask others for help, or even an addiction that people are so hooked on they can't even see they have a problem. This makes it a little clearer why they would've kept things so vague and centered on a problem as strange as the yaks being unwilling to accept help with unburying their village; it's not like we'd be likely to see an individual character struggling with an addiction of some kind on this show, after all, that'd be a little too mature even for this show. So what we got instead was Prince Rutherford letting his pride get in the way of doing the right thing and stubbornly refusing to ask for help, even though he really did WANT help. And that's really what the lesson boils down to: sometimes pride, or stubbornness, or addictions prevent those we care about from asking for help, even if they really do want it, and when that happens it's up to us to step up and help them anyway, even if they haven't asked, because we care about or love those we want to and try to help. It's certainly not a bad lesson in the slightest, it was just oddly executed is all, but again, not in a way that really bothered or annoyed me. It was just... odd, overall, neither the best nor the worst lesson we've ever seen presented or executed in this show.
Someone needs to seriously dub Andrew W.K.'s "Party Hard" over this scene!
Good to know that Equestria is not the only culture in this world that has a problem with ridiculously high levels of sugar intake on a regular basis
Thankfully, everything else we got was incredibly likable and fun in this episode. Pinkie Pie had a far better episode than her last starring outing in "Rock Solid Friendship"; she was her fun, lovable, caring self, but her behavior was never unnecessarily too over-the-top, this was clearly a writer who understands how to healthily balance Pinkie Pie's fun-loving side with her serious, being-a-good-friend-and-solving-friendship-problems side. Considering how much of the episode was devoted to Pinkie just touring Yakyakistan and learning about and partaking in Yickslurbertfest (gosh that name is hilarious), I was very surprised that none of it ever got boring or felt like padding, it was actually a ton of fun to watch Pinkie just hanging out with Prince Rutherford and the yaks! Yakyakistan was pretty cool to see more of, and Prince Rutherford and the yaks themselves were just as hilarious as they were the first time, though thankfully not as insufferable either. Rutherford in particular was a hoot, and some of the bits where he trolled Pinkie or delusionally tried to act as though everything were OK with the yaks after the avalance were pretty hysterical. I do have to wonder how their village doesn't get buried more often by avalanches considering it seems like a festival like Yickslurbertfest would be very prone to setting off avalanches, but this was a silly enough episode that that point doesn't bother me too much. The Mane 6 were in the episode about as much as they needed to be (RD's line in particular about them not playing Pinkie Pie's roadtrip game was hilarious), and Gummy was quite funny here as well as only he can be. Also, Pinkie Pie is officially an honorary yak now, which just seems right and is also just kind of amazing and perfect. Overall, I really don't have too much to say about this one. It was a perfectly fine episode, not great, but very enjoyable in spite of some of its minor flaws, and a fine finish to the first half of Season 7. We're entering the mid-season hiatus now, but don't worry everypony, new MLP episodes will be back before you know it, and when they are I'll be right here as always, ready to write more reviews! Until next time, everypony, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit*
BEHOLD! PINK YAK, CUTEST YAK!!!