The Break Up Break Down  

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  1. 1. Like or Dislike?

    • Sugar Belle: *stops once wagon wheel falls off, sniffles* "All the rotten luck!" (I HATE IT! >__<)
    • Discord: "Please! Can't you see that that holiday is a commercialized ruse pushed on you by the greeting card industry?" (I dislike it!)
    • Discord: "Well, you two have certainly bought into that romance nonsense hook, line, and sinker." Spike *deadpan*: "For a former friendless, immortal despot, you're pretty cynical." (…meh…)
    • Spike: "Aw, c'mon! You may act tough, but deep down, you're a softie. I mean, you don't have tea with Fluttershy every weekend because you like tea." (I like it!)
    • Sweetie Belle: "Ah, it's funny. I've been sitting here feeling sorry for myself for not having a special pony on Hearts and Hooves Day. But…remembering all the fun we had…I think I have two special ponies… My two best friends." AB & Scoots: "Awww!" *all three hug* (I LOVE IT! <3)


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This ep is damn good, Nick did it again.:lol: Only thing bothers me in this ep is CMC subplot, they don't need to be there, should just focus more to the main plot. This ep made up for the cringeworthy episode in season 7 (Hard to Say Anything). The visual is nothing amazing but the dialogues are just so good, I love the scene Discord teaching Big Mac how to love himself. Another good holiday episode, 8/10.

Random: 

Skelenor is the best cardboard.

Leaning against something is cool.

Lyra x Bon Bon is real now. You cant fool me anymore, Hasbro. Best friend my ass.

Spike:As a great dragon poet once wrote to his beloved, "I love you with the utmost clarity. I love you, dear. My sweet, sweet Rarity—" . No no, Spike, you are too young for this.

Spike: Ogres & Oubliettes? I thought you'd never ask! Oh, and... just wondering. No biggie, but... is Skelenor gonna be there? . Oh fuck, you never get Rarity so you jerk off over a 1 dimension cardboard? And she is an undead character??????????? What the hell... Please, Spike, get a real dragon girlfriend!

 

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(edited)

Poor Spike, he's going to be mowing lawns with tweezers for all eternity... 

On 4/10/2018 at 1:48 PM, SwitchGuy2018 said:
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I wonder how the people who ship Discord lovingly with another (particularly Flittershy) will react to Discord implying he doesn't believe in love. 

Still, I only saw it once so I could be mis-reading Discord's meaning. We'll see.

 

He's just in denial over his feelings, like usual. 

On 4/10/2018 at 4:48 PM, FirePuppy said:
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After this episode, I want one of two things to be guaranteed to happen to Big Mac:

He either moves out of Sweet Apple Acres to live with Sugar Belle in his final episode in Season 9 (like Maud Pie did from the rock farm in Rock Solid Friendship), OR this will be his final episode of the series and he will get no more episodes at all.

Remember, Big Mac usually never gets more than one episode in any season; in fact, he was only a background character in Season 1, and he also didn't have an episode for himself in Seasons 3 or 4.

 

 

More likely, she's going to end up moving to Ponyville, that's how this episode is setting it up. Hopefully there is a marriage episode next season.

Edited by Ganondox

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10 hours ago, Ganondorf8 said:

Now that was a pretty good episode and one where none of the Mane Six made an appearance. I've got to give huge props to Peter New for his stellar performance as Big Mac especially when he goes through all of those emotions. I'll admit that the plot was predictable and there were a couple of cringe-worthy moments, but I was honestly shocked at how Spike figured out Sugar Belle's reasoning for wanting to talk with Big Mac without even realizing it. I thought that was just a throwaway idea and not the actual reason.

It was clearly just to set up for a joke, it's kinda like the overly specific denial trope, except he actually was just guessing. 

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(edited)

A more serious review:

Well It is another SugarMac episode, and their post mail system is really , how should I say stupid. I know that Spike can wite an actual words, so why not just write an actual Sugar Bell's address. Instead he refers to the name by pictures, because its a kids show, and the post office worker confuses by the delivery address and then sends the package to the wrong person just for lols. What should have happened is that package would have returned to Big Mac. Sugar Belle actually wanted to break it up and her having a brother was just an excuse.Writters just made it up because I don't know really awful plot twist, shrugs. CMC are obssessed with boyfriends, why not with mares?

Edited by R.D.Dash

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I really REALLY want to watch this episode! T_T Sadly, can't find a version that doesn't have the subtitles burned in (can't turn them off, they're part of the video), and they are SUPER distracting!  Am I the only one with this problem?

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@Lambdadelta If you remember the episode Dragon Quest, his own kind has shunned him and are known to be brash and daring, often in the most reckless and dangerous manner ever, making him unfit to be one of them, especially with Garble often trash-talking Spike most of the time. Also, Dragon Lord Ember is obviously unfit to be with Spike, romance-wise. My only guess is for Discord to ponify Spike, but not permanent however, but rather, temporarily.

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Nice!  Sure I guessed guessed how the main plotline was going to go, as I suspect most did.  But was still a fun ride and great bits.  If there was a pony that would break a relation (with or without explanation), Mac would be it.  He's gone from being shippable with Fluttershy when they were singing.  To his love-poisoned relation with Cheerilee, which later seemed like might be turning into more of a real relation when she was going gaga over him singing.  And in Hearthbreakers he and Marble Pie were pretty much an official couple.  Then she's gone and he's got Sugar Bell.  So could he end up with yet another?  Sure.

Loved having an episode focusing on Spike, Discord, and Mac again.  Can always use more Discord!

Also great that came probably as far as Hasbro will in a MLP cartoon of a same-sex relation with Lyra and Bon Bon.  Certainly seem more than friends, with the H&HD gifts, hugs, and nuzzling too.  Pretty unlikely you're going to see a kiss.  Even with Cranky and Matilda they cut the scene short of seeing them kiss.

And Spike was great.  His poem for Rarity and his infatuation with bone warrior Skelanor all in the same episode. :-)  I think he has similar feelings when he saw dragon Princess Ember. :-)

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(edited)

This is my first time hearing Sugar Belle's voice, And I have to say, it's adorable! And More Sparity Hintness!

Edited by bwrosas

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(edited)

Not much I can say about this one... It's just here. 

... Although that doesn't mean it's bad. In fact, it was very enjoyable. I liked how the episode worked on building the dynamic between Discord, Spike and Big Mac, as well as showing us more of Sugar Belle. The Sub plot with the Cutie Mark Crusaders was less prominent, but it was different to see ab alternate side to them. Things did eventually come full circle as well, so I'll give it that. 

So eeeyup, a good watch. 

Edited by Cash In

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When Three's Company meets Friendship is Magic! 

This was a cute and at times hilarious outing. Spike and Discord continue to have decent chemistry, but most importantly .... SugarMac was actually well executed here. Sweetie's hunt for her secret admirer added some funny moments too -- as well as an obvious fan nod done appropriately!

This is a solid 4/5

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8 hours ago, Ganondox said:

Poor Spike, he's going to be mowing lawns with tweezers for all eternity... 

No, he won the bet! Discord's mowing his own lawn with tweezers for all eternity! ;) 

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We finally got to see BigMac talk more and find out how he felt about everything! :pinkie:

I liked the entire episode in general. That's all I can say about it. :)

Except that from what I can see, Ponyville's (or maybe even Equestria's) Mailing system doesn't look too good from what we can see from the very brief behind-the-scenes of the mailing action. :sunny:

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What an adorable episode! :pinkie: I had heard it was a great episode before seeing it, but I was still positively surprised.

A rare episode with no Mane 6 appearances – not that it bothered me, it's great to see the rest of the cast get their moment in the sun once in a while. And this was definitely a good one, with great chemistry between the trio of Spike, Big Mac and Discord. None of those have appeared much lately (especially the latter two) but this was a great episode for them. Big Mac got his most prominent role in a long time, and it was great to hear him say more than "Eeyup!". :D Discord was funny, and I liked how they had him be that obligatory person critical of holidays and their commercialism. Spike's comments on Discord and Fluttershy's relationship were also nice, as was his crush on Skelenore. :lol: I liked the CMCs' part of the story too, and seeing a romantic side to them was new but fitting. And how could I not mention best mailmare and her scene?

My favorite moment in the episode had to be the scenes with Big Mac and Sugar Belle, though –  the characters' emotions were depicted really well. The scene with them getting back together near the end was the most touching moment of the season for me. As for negatives, I can't really think of any at the moment.

This episode and "Horse Play" are essentially tied for best episode of the season so far for me. The latter might still be slightly ahead, but this is regardless a clear highlight of the season. It gets a rating of 9.5/10.

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(edited)

And a for brief moment, we had a Sparity Hint and Acknowledgement. Also S9 may have a 3rd SugarMac Episode which probably tie in with the finale. Can somepony say "Wedding Bells"? in their future.

Edited by bwrosas

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7 hours ago, MegaSean45 said:

No, he won the bet! Discord's mowing his own lawn with tweezers for all eternity! ;) 

This episode failed to convince me of the importance of Hearts and Hooves day, and I am far less cynical than Discord. Poor Spike is doomed!

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16 hours ago, Ganondox said:

It was clearly just to set up for a joke, it's kinda like the overly specific denial trope, except he actually was just guessing. 

And the joke clearly worked.

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Gave this a second shot on a full night's sleep and had a much better time with it. The "love is real" stuff is still way too saccharine for my tastes, but I was able to better appreciate the clever dialogue and get past the still kinda rote and tiresome plot structure. I even picked up on a lot of small jokes I missed when I was tired. Point by point:

  • No, Discord, I think you're a first-rate clown magician for hire. 
  • Since the main appeal of this one for me is the jokes, I can't go into too much detail without just listing gags I liked, but what this episode really has going for it is timing. I think my favourite is still Big Mac's letter, which is so vague that it sounds like a sexual innuendo, but the jokes just keep coming and almost all of them land. I totally missed how weirdly specific Spike's lucky guess was, for instance, and that reminds me of one of my favourite gags from the first Equestria Girls movie. 
  • Surprisingly, this time I got a kick out of all the misunderstandings. Part of it is because the episode doesn't dwell too much on any of them, but the extreme emotions everyone demonstrates helps. The CMC are so excited that Sweetie Belle might have a secret admirer, and Big Mac is just so distraught over what he thinks is going on. More importantly, this episode's snappy pace keeps the plot moving quickly, and the contrivances themselves are mined for maximum humour. 
  • I especially like that we eventually get to see this from Sugar Belle's point of view. Mrs. Cake addressing her weirdly ominous language is one of my favourite jokes in the whole episode, for instance, and possibly added some value to this second viewing. This is basically our first time seeing her in a casual context, and I find her quite charming. 
  • Can't believe I didn't think this episode deviated from the misunderstandings, either. Spike and Discord are constantly riffing, and the episode is far more interested in pursuing gags than continuing plot, just as I like it. Besides, not that many of the jokes are about the fact that the CMC and Big Mac have misunderstood things, and instead about how they react to those misunderstandings.
  • Discord is a jerk again here, but seeing him support Big Mac does help answer my long-held question of why anyone hangs out with him. It's still a bit distressing to see him try to ruin his good friend's relationship out of seeming impatience and boredom, but he's also super funny in this, and while the return of the Ogres & Oubliettes stuff is somewhat less creative than his usual shtick, I enjoyed seeing his friendship with Spike and Big Mac expanded upon, and that shtick allows for some funny gags, especially the appearance of Skelanor. 
  • "Love is about spying in the bushes." - Spike
  • And while the "love is real" stuff still does nothing for me, I do still like the moral about being honest with your significant other, and being able to hold mature conversations about your feelings. I wish this further explored Big Mac's feelings about talking, but even what we got deepens him significantly, and it's a good moral all the same.
  • Big Mac and Sugar Belle are adorable together as well. This show is often criticized for its approach to romances, but it's always shown the ability to make couples charming, and I think it's putting that to much better use this season. 
  • So Discord probably has a crush on Fluttershy? I sure hope that ship doesn't become reciprocated...
  • LyraBon: canon!

Score:
Entertainment: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Themes: 8/10
Story: 6/10
Overall: 78/100

Also, if Spike wants to get with the skeleton enemy from their LARP, maybe he needs to get a real girlfriend. 

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(edited)

Long follow-up. TL;DR summary: It was awesome, amazingly well-structured and engaging despite using an age-old premise, and had tons of memorable lines and visual gags. Spike is a sincere, romantic goofball, Discord has a heart and loves O&O, Big Mac is a bit like a male counterpart to Moondancer in this episode, and the CMC like boys.

For everyone else, here we go:

STORY

When I first saw the premise in the leaked information, I was dreading this episode because of it revolving around a mix-up over a breakup and it sounded like it was going to be a nasty, hurtful experience for Big Mac and Sugar Belle to go through. I wasn't even sure who was going to be in it besides the two of them. I figured Applejack and Apple Bloom would be present, but never would have guessed the O&O guys would be the ones to try and help Big Mac out of his heartbreak. And then there's the CMC - instead of them re-visiting their roles as Cupid in the very first "Hearts and Hooves Day" episode, they instead are looking for love themselves - specifically Sweetie Belle's "secret admirer."

This episode could have taken the safe, dull route and spent all its time with Big Mac trying to change Sugar Belle's mind. Instead, it skipped all that and instead had Discord and Spike trying to cheer him up and forget about her. I suppose that in itself is also some well-worn territory in live-action romance-comedies, but it feels unique here. Perhaps because MLP:FiM spends so little time talking about romance in general, seeing characters experience this sort of heartbreak is new territory? And unlike a lot of movie romcoms, Spike and Discord don't spend any time belittling their friend for seemingly having lost at love. If they had pointed their snarky remarks at Big Mac himself, I think this episode would have a lot less fans.

Except for the climax, the whole episode is very upbeat. The episode could have had Sugar Belle get the rejection early on, with both her and Mac feeling angry about the misunderstanding for most of the 22 minute run. It didn't, and in fact that anger aspect is resolved in just a few minutes. Even then the jokes keep a lot of that lighthearted. The scene of Big Mac taking it out on Sweetie Belle is even shorter - only a few seconds - and in a stroke of genius by Nick Confalone, it (and the CMC subplot) serves to present a scene that actually reveals the moral of the story - and lowers Discord's defenses enough for him to take action. Taking a nastier approach with the characters in this episode would have left a lot of the audience bitter, and it would have felt like it was treading into "Fame and Misfortune" waters again for me - where the jokes are funny but the price is putting up with a lot of unlikable characters. =P

SPIKE

Not only is snarky Spike back again for the second or third time this season, but we get to see a side of him we haven't seen since season 2 - his romantic side. Sure, he's been lovelorn over Rarity for most of the entire series, but in recent years it's been unclear whether he really understands love like he used to, or whether his thing with her has become some sort of unhealthy obsession. While the jury may still be out on how he really feels about her (he's an adolescent now, and if it's anything like it was for me, it's a confusing time where that notion of love and romance mixes with baser emotions), one thing is clear by his speeches and feelings in this episode like the following line:

We're not like you, Discord! We can't put on a front to pretend not to love. It's impossible!

Spike, deep down, is an absolute hopeless romantic. And for the first time ever he confides that openly to one of his closest friends.

We saw some of this from how he talked about Rarity in seasons 1 and 2, but we also saw it doesn't have to be his "one true love" to put him in that mushy mood - no doubt you remember how he loved roleplaying with the cake toppers in "A Canterlot Wedding." Even then, he was into the romance between his brother and fiancee, hoping they could live happily ever after in wedded bliss. Now whenever he sees a gloomy Gus like Discord, he has to prove them wrong and that "love is real."

Only when the whole situation blows up - and it does in a big way - does it cause a hopeless romantic like him to stop and question if he hasn't been wrong all along. Seeing him like that does create a certain amount of feels in the episode. While I'm a little more on Discord's side of that debate, I have to admire the little guy for being so persuasive in arguing the existence of true love. A few years ago, his words did allow me to see how he and Rarity made sense for a little while - generosity moderating his greedy nature bound by love is an absolutely romantic notion. But that's been watered down in recent years; it's mostly just a gag, though he still seems to feel like it's real from his poetry. Poetry which is by no means the most artful in the world, but it's at least as good as somepony who Rarity sees as an artist - Trenderhoof. XD

So yes, Spike's romanticism is real even if it's sometimes corny. He's young. He's not quite been beaten down by a cruel world to cause him to follow Discord's vision. I hope he does find someone to love romantically soon. It would be a tragedy to lose all that optimism because he gives up hope on having that kind of love returned to him. =(

One other thing is it's funny how Spike can be the King of Snark and be such a hopeless romantic at the same time. I can, however, see those two seemingly opposing natures co-existing: He loves his romances but having grown up with Twilight's antics (e.g., the freakouts) he can take a pretty cynical view when anypony around him starts going overboard in the same way.

 

DISCORD

We kind of suspected Discord had a softer side - it's pretty clear by how he cares about Fluttershy. I love how he trolled Spike during the reveal of the sabotage of the wagon wheel - he pretends to go back to focusing on his bottle model, only to reveal it was the wagon she was leaving in. It makes perfect sense for a trickster like him to make that revelation in such an obtuse manner.

One thing we learn that's new is how much he's grown to love the O&O sessions with Spike and Big Mac. He's practically obsessed with gaming with them! You wouldn't think the Lord of Chaos who can create new realities with a snap of his claws would be into a role-playing game so intensely. The only thing I can surmise is he is now very close with Spike and Big Mac - outside of Fluttershy they are very likely his two closest pals. Also Spike must be a really good dungeon master if their games are so compelling. =)

Speaking of O&O - I love his quest recital: Shall we storm the ramparts of Squizard's castle to reclaim Calico's Ring of Imperceptibility? That sounds so realistic I wonder if that was a quest from one of the showrunner's actual D&D games? XD

 

BIG MAC

He was perfectly in character here. We've always known he's very sensitive on the inside despite his rugged physical appearance. He doesn't like getting hurt and we learn that's a leading cause of why he's such an introvert. A brilliant callback to "Where the Apple Lies" that shows that when he starts showing others what he's thinking and feeling, he inevitably ends up getting hurt. In a way, he ends up a bit like Moondancer did back in the (retroactively told) series opener - he put himself out there for Sugar Belle and thinks it was all for nothing and there's no pony he can be that another pony can love. If the episode hadn't resolved the conflict, he'd likely give up on showing that side of himself ever again.

Admittedly, Big Mac is totally adorable whenever he blushes. Also no one can say no to him when he brings forth the puppy dog eyes! It's like he has his own version of The Stare. =)

Also noticeable at the start of this episode is how close Spike and Big Mac have become:
spikeandbmagree.png.6176a8974544526c267dcfea49dff657.png

We saw in "Dungeons and Discords" they were a lot closer than when Spike tried to con Mac out of his hoofball cards, but here they are so agreeable with one another - practically completing each others sentences! That and how Spike refuses to give up on helping his friend is a testament to how close they are.

 

SUGAR BELLE

She shows that same resilience she showed in "Hard to Say Anything" here - maybe even more so. Once she gets Big Mac's news, she's heartbroken, but doesn't lash out at him. Like him, she just gives up. I guess that's one example of how their personalities intersect. One cute thing about her is that laugh - Big Mac is right about it being memorable! =)

 

CMC

it was kind of fun watching the CMC back in action in a way that was reminiscent of the old days when they were trying to get their marks. That's what this quest for the "secret admirer" felt like.

And who knew all this time they were interested in having a special somepony? XD Poor Scootaloo - she looks so forlorn over the lack of attention:

scootsforlorn.png.a4f7a5514c0954d4e0f4c0376b28d877.png

I guess seeing others with their special someponies can have that effect on someone, so I don't fault her.

One thing is for sure - their search for the "secret admirer" just sank a bunch of ships that had them paired with other fillies since they only mentioned males. Sorry Diamond and Silver - you'll have to find somepony else to love in fanfics. =) Granted, the reality is they couldn't do that without causing a huge uproar among certain groups of people.

On the plus side, the ending did nothing to dissuade fans from pushing forward with their intra-shipping within the various members of the CMC, lol.

 

NOTABLE VISUALS

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I don't know if those two are cooing over a gift pie or the egg they just gave birth to.
Either way, Discord seems disturbed over the whole thing. XD

 

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I love the expression on Spike's face just before Discord unexpectedly teleports them both outside.
I also love his followup line after he falls into the bush (I tried and failed to make a GIF of that):
Will you warn me the next time you do that?
That wouldn't be the first time Spike has complained about hasty teleportations - that goes all the way back to him scolding Twilight in "The Ticket Master."

 

spikedemandshat.jpg.0cf855fa569df2cfa04aad4e53dbf8e7.jpg
Spike want. I love the little visual cue of Spike demanding he should get a hat, too. XD
It's funny to see him be offhandedly aggressive. Watch out, Spike - remember the last time you really wanted a hat?


bmbiggrin.jpg.d18046a2067471c3886f77f4e8484c28.jpg
This Discord-manufactured grin is just too much. XD
Also note the hat - I'm pretty sure that is the same kind of hat Peter New (Mac's VA) wears in real life!

 

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Having Spike unfold the cardboard to extend the scope was an inspired idea.

 

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"I was prepared to do my best - but I wasn't prepared for thiiiiiis!"
They don't teach dealing with broken hearts in Minion 101!

 

beammeouttahere.jpg.cd965dcbd424c5f6dbf297b8bd967e57.jpg
Beam me outta here, Scotty!
Skelenor can't take any more sobbing - she's starting to get soggy from all the tears!
I find Garbunkle's unimpressed look and Discord shrugging at his creation's complaints amusing . XD

 

sweetiechart.png.50707d63389e6f1dd49b3f444cce27e5.png
Are those photos taken by Featherweight, or is one of the CMC a really good artist?
Speaking of him, why isn't he in the running? He can't be less appealing than Snips.
Other have noticed Spike not being in here. That at least makes a little more sense since they never said they asked him (presumably because Sweetie Belle is all too aware of who he is interested in). I mean, he was standing right with them in the barn during the chart scene - if they wanted to ask, they would have.
Finally, WHERE'S MY NAMESAKE! D=<  C'mon, Sweetie - you're even my favorite CMC! =( (j/k for those who think I'm being serious. XD )

 

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Cue the obligatory Lady and the Tramp ref.

 

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Spike... No one blushes over a fictional character.
Unless you have plans that go father than what you'd do on a date with a real character. XD

 

NOTABLE DIALOGUE (That @Dark Qiviut hopefully hasn't already covered.)

Scootaloo: "You don't think??"
Sweetie Belle: "Could it be?"

Oh, if only I could read the minds of these two! XD I really want to know which pony they were thinking of as the initial possibility of the pie-sender. Lots of possibilities - Button Mash and Spike might be two that come to their minds. But it could really be anyone!

 

Spike: (after faceplanting into the oven) "Mig Bac, Mig Bac."

I didn't notice he was reversing the pronunciation of Mac's name until the second viewing! XD

 

Discord: "Spike: Love is about spying in the bushes."

Discord isn't far off - Spike does know something about that after the whole "Honest Apple" incident. XD

 

Spike: (to Mac) "Oh. Hey. We're just... not spying."

 

Spike: "Oh! I know! maybe Sugar Belle has a wacky cousin whose never been on his own and she has to leave him in charge of the shop while she apprentices with Mrs. Cake, who does like have two days a week - no, no - three. That's why she won't need you to come to her village anymore, because she'll already be here! Nah, I don't even buy that one."

(Aha! Spike was right all along back in "Equestria Games" - he really DOES have psychic powers! XDD )

 

Discord: "Besides, we can't have you ruining any more of my 1000-year old monogrammed handkerchiefs. These are silk, you know!"

Huh, I wonder if he had those made right before he got turned to stone by Celestia and Luna? =)

 

Spike: "I don't think leaning is going to help." (beat) "Am I doing it right? Whoa, oof!"

 

Discord: "....Sugar Belle."
Big Mac: "You..said..her..name!"
Discord: "Oyoyoy..."

 

Apple Bloom: "Excuse me, Pipsqueak. Mind answerin' a few questions? No? Late for somethin'? Are you Sweetie Belle's secret admirer?!?"\

I'll give her one thing - she doesn't mince words. Just like her sis. XD

 

Discord: "Sir McBigguns, meet Skelenor. She's a level 18 Bone Warrior in Squizard's Mage Army - but only to pay off skeleton student loan debts. Get to know each other, why don't you?"
studentloan.png.9422a1a020e35e3c4f490af4407eeaec.pngshelikesu.png.6bd5fb15322101b761158ee436066621.png
I love the look on her face when he mentions her student loan debt - and the blush over Mac that follows! XD

 

Spike: "I think he's showing her a picture of Sugar Belle!"
Discord: "What?!"
Spike: "And.. now he's crying."

 

Big Mac: "She used to do this thing where her nose would wrinkle when she laughed - right there - in that hole where you're nose used to be!"

 

Spike: "Okay. I think we've had enough of the 'aloof Master-of-Chaos remedies for a broken heart'. You know what I do when I have a problem too big to solve?  I hide from it."

Well, there you go - the problem a moral will solve for next season's Spike episode. XD

 

Spike "Dude. How long have you been not hiding?"

 

Big Mac: "I - I heard you said - we're finished when I was hiding in the bushes." (beat) "That sounds worse than it is...."

 

Big Mac: "Wait'll I tell Spike!"

 

Spike: "Ahhh. And so ends another Hearts and Hooves Day, despite a bumpy start - and middle - and ending - a lotta bumps today, love was in the air!"

 

Spike: "Oh, and - just wondering - no biggie. But, is Skelenor going to be there?" (Ha, that blush in Spike!)
Discord: "Spike - she's an imaginary, 1-dimensional, paper cutout skeleton."
Spike: (sighs) "Well, nopony's perfect."

 

MISC THOUGHTS

  • Spike seems to end up with characters who either binge eat or binge drink when they're sad. XD
  • Also interesting that it's Big Mac of all characters who comes up with the idea of tricking Discord into appearing. Element of Honesty he ain't! XD
  • Discord says Big Mac owes him for cooking the pie, which could be called in at a later date. But it doesn't seem likely seeing how Discord did him another solid by delaying Sugar Belle's departure!
  • I have to think some of the colts in town would have asked the CMC out by now, especially because of the intimate way they have to interact with the town's ponies to solve their cutie mark problems. One would think a relationship could easily spring from that. (Heck, many in the fandom shipped Tender Taps with Apple Bloom from that exact sort of thing!)
  • I wondered how the package found it's way to Sweetie Belle. How would the post office know she was visiting Sweet Apple Acres? I suppose it's possible they went to her house first and her parents told the mailpony she was at the farm. The other possibility is there was a return address hidden somewhere on the package, and because of the smudge they simply returned it to sender.
  • Curious the girls asked all the "stallions" in town as to who the secret admirer was. I would think they would only ask the colts, as Sweetie Belle having a stallion for a secret admirer would be creepy. But perhaps they think of all the males in town as "stallions" and were using that term for colts in that sense? I.e., an attractive-looking colt would still be slangily referred to as a stallion.

 

 

Edited by Truffles
Added 1 more pic =)
  • Brohoof 5
  • Yay 1

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1336365416832.gif.d54d98fbd517be25725e0563fdf900fb.gif

Total meh.

It was better than Non-Compete Clause, but that's a low bar.  It was kinda dumb, a little immature, fairly cringey at times, but the final act kinda saved it.  Surprisingly nice and mature resolution.  That's it.  Really nothing more to say about it.

Big Mac really is the biggest dork on the show, isn't he?  I mean, being so quiet, it's easy to assume that he's really cool and mature, like a Spike Spiegel or something, but every time he opens his mouth, you're reminded that he's a huge dork.  Not saying that that's necessarily a terrible thing....but just...y'know....he's a huge dork!  That's all.

I think that Discord was poking fun at the fandom when he told Spike that the O&O character he liked was just a 1-dimensional paper cutout.  I think that was little jab/nod to people with pony waifus, or just any of us folks with pony crushes.  I liked that.

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Overall, this was an okay episode. The basic plot is hokey and cliche, but the sarcastic quips and reactions among the three guys were amusing; Big Mac and Sugar Belle are cute; and it's nice to see the three guys, including Discord, showing that they care about each other. @Truffles documented many of the little things in the episode that were entertaining. I know he was looking forward to this episode, and I've probably written more than my fair share of lengthy episode posts, so I'll gladly let him take the title of "longest episode post" this time around. Below, I'll give a few larger episode observations, then some observations about the pie shipping mix-up, and finally my other smaller episode observations.

-----

Even as I'm more inclined toward Discord's kind of cynical (or, as he describes it, "realist") attitude toward love and toward Hearts & Hooves Day, Spike's bet was that he could prove that Discord "believes in love", and it would seem rather difficult to deny the concept of love or deny that people feel emotions that are usually described as love. So, in that sense, Discord's saying that love "isn't real" is probably overstating the case. One can "believe in love" without necessarily believing in many of the stereotypes about it (and without believing in many of the cultural stereotypes and expectations about Valentine's Day or Hearts & Hooves Day, for that matter).

The scene in the barn with Big Mac, Spike, Discord and the CMC seems a little off to me. Why does Sweetie Belle push Big Mac so hard to help with the chart about potential secret admirers? Is Big Mac expected to know a lot about the CMC's male peers on the chart? And after Big Mac says "Not right now!", Sweetie Belle launches into her frustration about "having a secret admirer who's too scared to tell me who he is!". But, as far as I can tell, Big Mac doesn't know what the CMC have been up to, and doesn't even know that they're looking for Sweetie Belle's secret admirer. But then the exchange continues as though Big Mac already knows or is unfazed by what Sweetie Belle's talking about. I suppose the scene is supposed to lead up to Big Mac's outburst about talking getting people into trouble, followed by the realization that it was good to talk about his feelings. But the lead-up to that just felt weird to me.

Okay, so I spent a lot of time thinking that the "We're finished" line from Sugar Belle was never explained, while we did get the (silly) explanation for the "He has been on his own before" line, and for the "You won't need to come visit me in my village anymore" line. But it finally occurred to me that Sugar Belle was saying "We're finished" to Mrs. Cake, as in "We're finished with this conversation". So yeah, I can see how the confusion came about.

Finally, it's heartwarming and all that Discord broke Sugar Belle's wagon axle so that Big Mac could catch up to her and talk to her, but the way it worked out, that didn't seem to be very necessary. Big Mac shows up about 10 seconds after Sugar Belle's wagon axle breaks, so if Discord hadn't intervened, then Sugar Belle would have...gone marginally farther down the road? I suppose Discord had his "idea" light bulb and teleported away before Big Mac realized that he had to run off and talk to Sugar Belle, so maybe Discord was thinking that Big Mac might not come to that realization until much later than he actually did.

-----

Now there are a few observations I had about the attempted shipping of Big Mac's pie to Sugar Belle. Of course, the pie-in-a-box has only a pictorial depiction of the recipient - no actual name or address, nor any obvious return name or address - and even that doesn't appear to be attached to the box very strongly. It reminds me of a video I saw about the campaign by the U.S. Postal Service to get people to use zip codes back when they were introduced in the 1960s. And one of the selling points of using zip codes was that it would reduce errors and lost mail from illegible or incomplete mailing information. In this episode, though, it seems that the postal service first just needs to get people to write an actual name and address (and return name and address) on their mail! I'm surprised that Derpy accepted the package without the (what we would consider) essential sender and recipient information.

Seeing how the pie-in-a-box was handled by the postal workers also reminds me of the years that I worked as a teenager in a DHL package sorting facility. I worked in what was called "non-conveyables", which handled all the stuff that wasn't standard cardboard boxes, including things that were large, heavy, oddly shaped, not made out of cardboard, etc. In that job, I saw plenty of damaged and destroyed packages, often as a result of people not packing boxes correctly or using bad packing materials. I also observed firsthand that you can't expect your box to stay upright and to be handled with only the utmost care throughout the shipping process; you have to prepare for boxes sent in the mail to be flipped, tumbled, tossed, dropped, crushed, dragged on the ground, and more. So I might not expect that Big Mac's rather flimsy cardboard box or its contents, all held together with paper and a couple of ribbons and with only paper hearts as packing material, would survive the shipping process fully intact. However, despite the episode's showing the "rough" (though not out-of-the-ordinary) handling of the pie-in-a-box, it actually wasn't damaged when Sweetie Belle opened it.

There's also the question of why the pie-in-a-box was delivered to the Apple family barn. If the idea is that the label was mistaken as being addressed to Sweetie Belle, I wouldn't think that the postal service is in the business of delivering packages to people wherever they happen to be at the moment, rather than just delivering to specific addresses. If the idea is that the package was returned to the sender, there's no obvious sender information on the box. Maybe the postal ponies were able to remember which post office the box came from, and were able to remember that Big Mac was the one who dropped it off? Of course, this is why packages sent in the mail need to have this kind of information!

-----

Now for the rest of my miscellaneous observations:

The oven in the Apple family's kitchen looks as though it has heating elements, which, as far as I know, are used in electric ovens. So it appears that the Apple family doesn't use gas, wood, or any other burnable materials to heat their oven.

As the pie is cooking in the oven, Big Mac is looking at what appears to be a mechanical timer, the kind which you wind up and then they count down to zero. But then the timer ticks up from 30 to 31; Big Mac might want to see if there's a problem with the timer if it's doing that.

A paper invitation inside of a pie may not hold together or be readable after removal, and trying to clean it to read it might be messy. Plus, this plan seems to be relying on Sugar Belle wanting to eat some pie that day, cutting the pie open, and actually finding the invitation. What if, say, Sugar Belle just didn't feel like eating any pie that day, or ate a slice but didn't find the invitation, or found the invitation too late to be able to act on it?

Of course, Spike shakes hands with Discord on his "gentleman's wager", and only afterward asks about the details of what "loser mows my lawn for eternity" means. I don't recall seeing the two of them formally deciding who won and who lost, though, so it might not have mattered if the two of them kind of mutually forgot about it or dropped it.

It feels a bit weird seeing Apple Bloom calling on the CMC to "help my big brother decorate the barn for his big date with Sugar Belle tonight". My siblings and I mostly stay out of each other's romantic relationships, so it's hard to me to imagine any of the older siblings in my family asking younger siblings to help with the set-up for a date.

If Discord didn't want any more of his thousand-year-old monogrammed handkerchiefs ruined, then why did he offer one for Big Mac to use? Why not just conjure up some tissues or an ordinary handkerchief instead?

Given how Sugar Belle's wagon axle fully broke into two pieces, I'm not sure how a couple of taps of Big Mac's hoof would get the wagon in working order, and able to support the additional weight of Sugar Belle, to boot.

Finally, regarding Lyra and Bon Bon being "confirmed" as a romantic couple because they exchanged gifts and hugged on Hearts & Hooves Day, I would also note that Sweetie Belle called Apple Bloom and Scootaloo her "two special ponies" and hugged them, too. Is it also "confirmed" that the CMC are a romantic love triangle among themselves?

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Discord finally called out on his crush on Fluttershy

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Despite the fact that I really, really hate the standard miscommunication kind of plot, I still liked the episode. Big Mac and Sugar Belle are a cute couple so I'm glad there wasn't any actual problem between them. Also, Lyra and Bon Bon exchanging presents. I love it when fandom nods like that are inserted into episodes, especially in such a non-forced way.

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Great episode. The plot was pretty standard miscommunication problem, but the delivery and support characters involved were amazing.

Big Mac's faces are great, Sugar Belle is the sweetest thing, Spike was great and even he knows he needs to move from his crush and Discord was so damn good!

The CMC subplot was also funny, especially when they were interviewing the colts.

It also made me glad to see such a great non-mane ponies episode, it kind of surprised me that I didn't miss any of them at all.

Overall a great episode, a good and creative way to use such a common plot and making it look fresh.

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I could actually see a PMV of the Lion King version of Can You Feel The Love Tonight? using this episode. (with Spike and Discord as Timon and Pumbaa (with Discord as Timon being the more pessimistic one of the group when it comes to Big Mac's relationship. ....Which leaves Spike as Pumbaa. :sealed: Sorry little buddy, didn't mean to make you the gassy one. :please:))

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15 hours ago, ggg-2 said:

I could actually see a PMV of the Lion King version of Can You Feel The Love Tonight? using this episode. (with Spike and Discord as Timon and Pumbaa (with Discord as Timon being the more pessimistic one of the group when it comes to Big Mac's relationship. ....Which leaves Spike as Pumbaa. :sealed: Sorry little buddy, didn't mean to make you the gassy one. :please:))

Throw in some SFM Antics to "Pumbaa, We Can't Let Them Feel the Love Tonight!" and the Peter Gunn theme from the Lion King 1 1/2, and it would come full circle.

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