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Title: The Washouts Release Dates: September 8, 2018 (official US Discovery Family airdate) Writer: Nick Confalone (my mane man) Synopsis: "When Scootaloo becomes enamored with The Washouts, a touring group of stunt ponies, Rainbow Dash is concerned for her safety and worries that Scoot's days as her number one fan are over." Could be alot of feels in this episode, I presume! This is the only episode where Discovery Family hasn't released any sneak peek sketch footage, so we're probably in for a real treat! Episode Link
Good evening, everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! Goodness me, at this point the amount of exceptional episodes this season has become so commonplace that it's almost starting to lose its effect. But just almost. This past week we had yet another delight of an episode in "A Health of Information," and easily Fluttershy's best episode of the season. It was well-paced, well-written, had great appearances from new and old characters, and a side of its main character that we rarely get to see. Without further ado, let's begin, this is "A Health of Information." "Ya'll ready to learn all about the magic of... the perfect gumbo recipe?" So first things first, even though she appeared in this episode less than last week's, I'd say this was easily the better of Zecora's two appearances this season, so far at least. For starters, we got to see her helping somepony *gasp* outside of her damn hut! OK, fine, I know this is hardly the only time she's stepped outside of her house, but still, it's a rare enough occurrence that it stood out to me, plus it was interesting that she wasn't helping somepony brew something like she usually is. She was specifically helping Fluttershy track down a moss for some oxen visiting her animal sanctuary whose location in the Everfree Forest she was familiar with, though I have to admit this opening scene raises to points of concern. (1) Does this mean that oxen aren't sapient in this universe? If so that's fairly confusing considering both yaks and cows are. (2) Why the hell was Zecora fetching the moss when she ended up falling into the water in order to get them? Look, I know it set off the whole plot in the first place, and it even tied into why Fluttershy felt so bad about everything, but still, let me reiterate a common sense point that both Fluttershy and Zecora should have been well aware of... FLUTTERSHY CAN FLY!!! Like, I know Fluttershy doesn't like flying that much, but it's not like she would've been flying over a mountain, she would've had to hover like two feet over the water while she was gathering moss! It's not something that breaks the whole episode, but still, I kinda found it to be a silly oversight by both characters all the same. Why does Zecora look so bucking cute in this still image? Wings. You have them. USE THEM!!! Anyways, it's not long before this episode goes from being a pleasant bit of slice of life to a medical drama. Oh wait, my mistake, it doesn't become JUST a medical drama... IT BECOMES BUCKING NIGHTMARE FUEL!!! Why, you may ask? Well because of the disease in question which Zecora (and later Fluttershy and Doctor Horse) catches from a mysterious flower pod called Swamp Fever. I don't know what sick bucker on the MLP writing staff came up with this disease, but get a load of this... you've got silly symptoms like it causing you to exhale bubbles or causing you to break out in spots (which aren't exactly pox so much as polka dots), but it also gives you fatigue, confusion, causes you to eventually start sneezing lightning apparently, and worst of all is the end result. This bucking disease causes its victims to eventually TURN INTO THE TREES THAT DROP THE FLOWER PODS WHICH SPREAD SWAMP FEVER?!?! Well, I think it's safe to say that this is the appropriate response to that... Holy. Bucking. Shit. THAT IS THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES!!! I mean, let's wrap our heads around what this disease in a children's television show does to ponies. It transforms their entire biological structure into a form completely unnatural to their own, and assuming they lose sapience, more or less kills them in the process of slowly transforming them into a bucking tree. That sounds like some bucked up idea that you'd find in a 1980's children's television show or film, and again, I have no idea who the buck came up with it for here, but it's bucking terrifying in concept alone. Not that I'm complaining, it certainly raised the stakes from the very beginning for everypony involved, but still, definitely wasn't something I was expecting here. Once Zecora's been diagnosed, we get to the real meat of this episode where Fluttershy shines, and on top of that a very solid, subtle moral is delivered as well. Feeling guilty for putting Zecora in a position to come down with Swamp Fever in the first place (and she's not wrong technically, which is possibly the only thing that KIND OF takes away from a still very powerful moral), Fluttershy throws herself into frantic efforts to find a cure. She sifts through Twilight's library even more ardently than the alicorn princess herself, and in the process (through some excellent research) discovers exactly where they need to go to find a cure, Hayseed, the old village of Mage Meadowbrook, a legendary sorceress and healer (some question how an earth pony was a sorceress, but we know that earth pony's do have their own type of magic and the ability to interact with and use magical elements, so I certainly think it's possible for an earth pony or a pegasus to be a sorcerer/sorceress in their own way). Once there, they track down her old home and even stumble across her descendant (seemingly sole descendant by the looks of things), Cattail, and also hunt down information recorded by Mage Meadowbrook in her old diaries leading them to conclude that the key to a cure for Swamp Fever is the honey produced by Flash Bees, who are immune to the effects of the Swamp Fever flower pods. During all of this, Fluttershy foregoes getting any rest for herself, and soon it becomes apparent that she too is coming down with Swamp Fever. In desperation, she frantically attempts to use her natural charm on animals, and when that doesn't work the Stare itself, to get honey from the Flash Bees, but neither works, and after getting stung by them, Fluttershy faints from her fatigue and remains unconscious for three days while nothing Twilight or Cattail do to retrieve the honey works. When she awakens, Fluttershy realizes that in not getting herself any rest, she not only endangered herself but also Zecora as well, since if she'd been fully rested she might have managed to retrieve the cure sooner. Realizing that Mage Meadowbrook successfully got honey from the Flash Bees by wearing a healer's mask with a stripe pattern similar to those of Flash Bee queens, who the males are subservient to, Fluttershy uses the mask to get the honey and heals herself, Zecora, and Doctor Horse of Swamp Fever, in the process also rediscovering the cure for Swamp Fever for good (very odd that Mage Meadowbrook only recorded the cure in her personal diary, but given that she seems to have lived centuries ago long before printed works in Equestria, we can give her a bit of a pass for not more widely publishing her medical knowledge). Fluttershy's character arc in this episode is at the heart of a very mature, subtle moral, especially personal and meaningful to people who can relate to it (such as at least one very dear friend of so many of us on the forums here). People who've had a loved one get diagnosed with a bad disease or debilitating medical condition in general often go through hell to help them get through it, if they can. They try everything they can to make it better, whether that be financially or just anything at all they personally can do for the one they love. They might drive themselves to such lengths that they even start blaming themselves for what's happening in the first place, or keep convincing themselves that they're not doing enough. Again, this message was just slightly undercut by the fact that this was technically Fluttershy's fault, but again that is easy enough to ignore when you consider just how good the message is. It is not good for one to neglect their own needs when trying to care for another, no matter how much you love them or how bad things may be for them. They wouldn't want you to do so since they love and care for you as well, and on a more pragmatic level, not looking after your own needs might actually make it more difficult for you to take care of them, much less yourself. While such perseverance and determination to aid another as Fluttershy displayed is certainly admirable and capable of achieving much, it needs to be tempered and balanced if one hopes to sustain such a drive in the long run. This is a mature message both on an intellectual and emotional level, and I am sure those who can personally relate to Fluttershy in this episode were very much affected by it and knew exactly what the show was doing. Beyond these core elements, the episode had a lot of other great things to offer viewers as well. Twilight had one of her best supporting roles in sometime, and a true one at that. Oftentimes a risk with having Twilight as a supporting character is that, by the sheer nature of who she is as the show's main character, she will dominate the screen time. Heck, we've seen her paired up (rarely) with Fluttershy in past episodes, such as when they visited the Hooffields and McColts, and while they were both supposed to be main characters in that episode, one could argue Twilight stood out far more than Fluttershy. Here, however, she was firmly a supporting character; Fluttershy took the lead on most things, while Twilight offered good support and mature advice the whole time. It wasn't even out of deference to Fluttershy or anything, Fluttershy just had a better handle on the situation from the start than Twilight did and she knew this. Her intro with Spike in which they were having a cooking competition was also rather cute and funny, a more normal side of Twilight we don't get to see nearly as much these days like we used to, plus it was fun seeing her do something not related to her love of intellectual pursuits like baking (also, those sweet potato muffins honestly sounded REALLY good if I'm being perfectly honest). OK, Twiley looks ridiculously adorable with flower on her little hoovesies and her horn! Remember kids, this is what baking too much does to you. Before you know it, you're having fever dreams about pans!!! Cattail was another fun, new element added to the episode. The entire village of Hayseed seems to have had an Equestrian version of Cajun-bayou culture, which was pretty unique to see in this show. While the real world parallels could only go so far, the show has never made a habit of stereotyping other cultures when it does have shades of cultures similar to ones in our own world, and the same was true here. In addition, his willingness to simply help Fluttershy and Twilight as soon as he learned what they were after was admirable to see seeing as he'd just met them, not to mention he basically opened his home to them as well (well, after they inadvertently broke into it, though in their defense they had no idea it was occupied to begin with). The lore with his distant relative and ancestor, Mage Meadowbrook, was quite cool as well, and it was nice learning about the last of the Legends of Magic (though I still think it would have been cool if Fluttershy's allegory among them were Somnambula). But all in all, the best elements of this episode that will stick with me going forward are those relating to its message and just how great of an appearance Fluttershy herself had. That's not to say the episode as a whole wasn't exceptional, it really was. It's just that these elements in particular are what make it particularly unique in its own way as an exceptional episode, especially in a season like Season 7 where there have been so many great episodes already. Well, that's all I've got for you everypony. I feel fairly certain that by the end of Season 7 this episode will still stand out as Fluttershy's best of the season, so it was a pleasure getting around to finally reviewing such a great episode. Until next time, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit*
Hello everypony, I see you! OK, good morning everypony and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! This should be a fairly short review today, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a lot to like here. Without further ado, let's get going, this is "Viva Las Pegasus"!!! First and foremost, I would describe this episode as an exceptional experience episode. It didn't have a particularly deep message, if any at all, BUT it was just a whole lot of fun, and in that regard it excelled. I've been wanting to see Las Pegasus in the show for a long time (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) and boy oh boy the animators did not disappoint here. The sights were a blast and exactly what a Las Vegas-ponified locale should look like, and there was a lot of fun to be had this whole episode. I adored the side characters we got, from the adorable acrobat pony and her director to the hilariously obvious Siegried and Roy parody! The backgrounds looked great the whole episode and the LOADS of background ponies were a lot of fun as well. Smugshy is so, so smug Flim and Flam also had exactly the type of episode you'd want them to have. It was nice getting to see them in the role of hesitant heroes (for once), but at the same time I very much appreciated that they did not get reformed. It just wouldn't seem true to their natures to do so, and besides, they're not really evil anyway; I'm pretty sure this episode solidified their status as true neutral characters. They're always out to improve their own fortunes, and that's exactly what they were doing here, it just so happened that this time they actually helped other ponies for a change as well. Besides, at least now they're just ripping ponies off at a tourist destination, it's not like they're claiming to cure diseases or trying to run the Apples out of business now. So yeah, fun episode for them, and I'm happy they didn't get reformed; Equestria's not a perfect place, after all, and it's nice to see that some "scoundrels," especially hilariously over-the-top ones like those two, never change. Plus their revenge on Gladmane was actually quite satisfying to see unfold. Applejack and Fluttershy also got the combo episode those two always deserved. When "Bats!" first aired, I was EXTREMELY disappointed in the results because the entire time, Fluttershy was portrayed as always being in the right, and AJ always being in the wrong. It just wasn't very well executed and didn't live up to what those two as a pair could be. THIS episode, on the other hand, completely did! From the start they complemented each other nicely, and they continued to do so even after they had disagreements. They both weren't comfortable in a locale like Las Pegasus, they both helped solve the problem when they went their separate ways, and they supported each other with their own strengths from start to finish in identifying the friendship problem and solving it. Suffice to say, this episode has more than made up for the disappointment that "Bats!" was. Applejack: she just found your magazines, you know, THOSE ones Overall, like I said before, the episode was an experience first and foremost (a fun one at that), and in that capacity it excelled. It felt actually very much like a Scooby Doo episode; solving the problem was more important than any lesson learned, and even the resolution wasn't that important compared to the viewing experience itself. The episode was about giving the viewer a fun time above all else, and with that being the case I must say it passed with flying colors. That's all I've got for this week everypony, until next time this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit* You may be happy, but you will never be as happy as a pegasus covered in pink prairie dogs
Good afternoon, everypony, sorry I'm late! I'll try to keep this review short seeing as I have some errands and work I have to take care of, but boy oh boy do we have a lot to cover! Let's not waste anymore time and dive right in, this is "Hearthbreakers"! So what can't I say about this episode? Because seriously, there's a lot to say. We had a successor episode to both "Hearth's Warming Eve" and "Pinkie Apple Pie," we had the Apples spending the holidays with the Pies, we got to see the Pie family in the present for the very first time (not including Maud), and we got to see where they live and how they spend the holidays, as in, the very environment that Pinkie herself came from. On top of all of that, we had a very lovely message, if I do say so myself, one that really works fantastically for this show especially. So where to begin? Well I suppose we ought to start with Pinkie and Applejack first, seeing as they are the stars of this episode. They were great, both of them, really, they were. I really actually love seeing these two get to interact one-on-one with each other, at least since "Pinkie Apple Pie." Maybe it's cause they're earth ponies, maybe it's cause they both have far more simple, homey tastes and a deep love for things like family gatherings and such, there's just something very warm about Applejack and Pinkie Pie when they're around each other compared to some of the other characters. Applejack's the only character of the show who we've ever seen extensively with her entire family (Twilight and hers don't count seeing as her parents have yet to even speak in the show), and Pinkie Pie's referenced hers multiple times before this episode. So they definitely are far more similar than one might think. But it was really interesting seeing how the both of them were trying to make their holiday celebration with each other's families work. Applejack was thrown for a loop by how the Pie's traditions didn't meet her expectations (no surprise there, that's definitely a very AJ-reaction to have), but Pinkie Pie also made a mistake in assuming that AJ and her family would be completely comfortable with her family's traditions. It's an understandable error, really, and one that I'm guessing most of us can relate to. Different families have different traditions and different ways of celebrating holidays, that's almost as old as time itself. And it speaks to a bigger issue for people in general, that being that we're uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. It's a huge reason, when one thinks about it, that people have a hard time getting along with new people or different cultures, and some people are too critical of that reaction because I think all of us have a hard time dealing with the unfamiliar when we first encounter it. This episode shines because it both highlights that people, or rather, ponies have a hard time dealing with a different lifestyle, especially when it comes to something as precious as a holiday, but also doesn't judge either party for it. AJ was wrong for assuming they'd have the same traditions and then trying to have them celebrate entirely how she was used to, and Pinkie was wrong for assuming AJ and her family wouldn't be uncomfortable with this. They didn't just run from the problem (even though they almost did), but they reached a healthy compromise; in the end, neither set of traditions overruled the other, but both were shared with each other, and that is truly when traditions are most precious. Not just when they bring you and your loved ones joy, but when you're willing to share them with others and likewise let them share theirs with you. Heck, that's what a lot of new families have to deal with when a husband and wife share their traditions with each other! So yeah, great lesson here, great execution, and great rapport between Applejack and Pinkie Pie as the leads of the episode, I loved it very much. Next, let's talk about the Apples and the Pies. I don't have a whole lot to say about the Apples seeing as they're hardly new, but they were all totally fine. It was really fun getting to see them interact with the Pies, that's for sure. Granny Smith was a hoot with Igneous and Cloudy Quartz, Apple Bloom and Maud were surprisingly adorable together, and Big Mac got the BUCK shipped out of him with Marble Pie! I mean, holy cheese, they weren't even trying to hide it, someone at that studio wants to make this ship happen (much to the chagrin of CheeriMac shippers). I like CheeriMac myself, but I won't lie, these two were pretty cute together! Shipping: this is how it works See? Ya know, I wonder how that happened? We should totally ship mah brother with your sister!!! Huh, seems legit As for the Pies, I couldn't have hoped for anything better. I mean, holy cow, THAT FAMILY! Oh my goodness, that is totally the family that only a pony like Pinkie Pie could come from. You got Igneous Pie and Cloudy Quartz who are TOTALLY how they should be; the Amish dialect was predictable, but it killed me all the same. And ya know, they're super cool, I liked that. They're A-OK with who they are, but they clearly have no problem with their daughters being their own ponies either considering how different they all are from each other. It seems that Maud is the oldest of all of them (at least I think so), and ya know, she's really grown on me since her first appearance. In her first appearance, I thought her personality was obnoxious and blandness taken too far, but now, I really, really like her. Maybe part of it is that DHX seems to get that much of her personality that works is making a joke out of it, but IDK, I really, really like her at this point just as she is, can't really explain it. Anyway, she was great here, whether she was with Pinkie, Apple Bloom, Boulder, or "singing" more songs about rocks. Be you, Maud, be you. Limestone Pie (previously referred to by fans as Blinky Pie up to this point) was... scary. She seems to have a severe case of middle-child syndrome and is obsessed with her job as manager of the Pie's Rock Farm. It was a bit over-the-top at times, admittedly (though part of that might've been the voice, really), but for the most part she worked just fine and was entertaining to watch. I would've liked to see a bit more of her softer side, but who knows, maybe she'll feature in a Season 6 episode somewhere down the line. Seriously girl, you gotta calm down. It's like Maud stole all your chill and left none for you. Finally, we learned that apparently Pinkie Pie is a TWIN (at least, for all we know she could be a triplet or even quadruplet, but IDK, until that's confirmed she's at least a twin). Yup, apparently she's a fraternal twin with Marble Pie (previously referred to by fans as Inky Pie up to this point). And oh my, Marble Pie. This filly... is adorable. The Fluttershy is strong with this one She's basically the Pie Family version of Fluttershy, not even joking, but I couldn't help but want to see more of her! I don't know why, maybe it's because it's so bizarre a pony like this being in the Pie family, maybe it's just cause she's so cute, maybe it's because DHX kept blatantly trying to ship her with Big Mac (seriously, still not kidding about that, DO NOT be surprised to see that crop up in the future!). Whatever the reason, I need more of her (and her ship with Big Macintosh). Just kidding, just kidding. Though to address that, as multiple people have pointed out, if they are indeed related, they are pretty much as distant as cousins can possibly be, so it really wouldn't be awkward at all to ship them. Overall, the Pies were great as were the Apples, and I really hope we get to see more of Pinkie's family in the future. I need more MarbleMac, perpetually-angry Limestone, adventures of Apple Bloom and Maud, and Granny Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Pie have silly old-pony conversations. They share the same bed when they're all home, THAT IS SO CUTE!!! Besides all that, not much else to cover with this one. The timing was a bit wonky on this episode seeing as we're getting a Nightmare Night one NEXT BUCKING WEEK, but it was most definitely a worthy successor to "Hearth's Warming Eve" and lovely to see them return to that holiday. Twilight and Spike had a cute bit at the beginning, the animation was lovely as always, the humor was spot on, and I loved the Pie's Rock Farm and just how big the show's writers made it, it was very cool getting to see both how colorful it was (especially at the holidays) and how many diverse locations there were on it. I still have no bucking idea what you do at a rock farm, but eh, details. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not point out that DHX made a "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" reference, as well as a "Home Alone" reference in the same scene, in the SAME... BUCKING... SHOT!!! That... is bucking amazing, and this episode is full of win for that alone! :comeatus: That's all I got for this week, everypony, see you all next Saturday when it'll be time for things to get SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKYYYYYYY!!!!!! This is Batbrony, signing off. I'm off! *cue dramatic exit*