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S04:E20 - Leap of Faith

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S04:E20 - Leap of Faith  

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  1. 1. Did you like it?

    • No, I hated it! >:(
    • I didn't like it.
    • Meh. It was okay.
    • I liked it!
    • I LOVED IT! <3

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Better get your reading glasses on because I am not holding back


Applejack Has commonly been referred to as best background ponies mainly due to her character being much better used as a supporting role as opposed to having an episode revolve around her. The main problem with Applejack is that her conflict are heavily repeated and very simple. She’s stubborn and she cares a lot about her family and the farm. In almost every Applejack episodes we see her have an issue about being stubborn and not listening to others. After seeing the first part of the episodes that seems to be the case. However we actually see her deviate from her principles for once and have the conflict revolve on her deviating from her element.


Now Character not quite representing their elements have been fairly commonplace. I mean the mane 6 aren’t perfect. Rainbow dash is sometimes disloyal. Rarity ungenerous, fluttershy unkind, pinkie unhappy and twilight not really friendly. Applejack however is almost always honest. There are some occasions where she stretches the truth such as Party of One and The Last roundup and while we do see her do it here this is the first time we actually get to see it snowball into a huge problem forcing Applejack to admit her deceit.


An episode focusing of Applejack’s honesty being tested is something I’ve wanted for ages and I’m surprised we haven’t seen this sooner. Her conflict on having to lie because it could potentially help Granny smith enjoy her life again was a very interesting way of putting her into this situation.


The placebo effect if you didn’t study science is the given from an ineffective treatment that improves you due to the psychological belief that you're getting better. Have you ever felt ill and taken a tablet and within minutes you feel perfectly fine chances are you just felt the placebo effect and even though the drug you took is effective it would probably take about half an hour for it to take effect. alot of miracle cures are often the result of a placebo effect. It was kinda nice the show decided to explain this to the younger audience.


There wasn't really any stand out negatives for me except that this episode except in the terms of key episodes this one while it is my second favourite kinda had Applejack get short changed. I mean we had Manehatten, Equestria Relay, Rainbow’s birthday and Weird Al and Breezies and Applejack, more Fim and Flam. The song whilst good and not as long didn't get me into it as much as Opportunity.





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I consider this episode nearly on par with Rainbow Falls, only saved by Act 1 being average rather than terrible and also this



And somehow AJ's not winning contests for cutest pony.


In act 1, my main problem was that AJ was slower on the uptake than she should've been. But that pales in comparison to what happens when she first confronts the Flim Flam brothers. In short? She was 100% OUT OF CHARACTER.


And I'm definitely not the sort of person who says "My favorite character doing the wrong thing = OOC". Applejack's real flaws are part of what make her so awesome. I loved Somepony to Watch Over Me because despite AJ being the antagonist of the episode and being ludicrous in her treatment of AB, I believed the bad choices she made because I believed that AJ could get herself worked up with how dangerous the delivery was and her heavy sense of responsibility to her family.


I do not believe Applejack knowing that a placebo could seriously hurt her grandmother and then deciding to do zilch about it in order to "not hurt her feelings"


I could buy this from Fluttershy with no problem. In fact, it'd work pretty dang well as a Fluttershy plot.


I could buy this from Spike. Much like Fluttershy, he'd be a great fit for the episode.


I could buy this from Pinkie Pie. 


I could buy this from Twilight Sparkle. 


I could buy this even, just a little, from Rarity and Rainbow Dash.


Somepony's missing from that list.


Applejack is always concerned for her family's well being. It's a huge character trait and the focus of multiple episodes. She would never willingly put them in danger for any reason, especially not one founded on lies. 


This? In terms of character derailment, it actually does one over Rainbow Falls, at least when it comes to its lead. Because while Rainbow Falls undid character development, this one actually makes Applejack the antithesis of what makes her my favorite pony.


That's unforgivable.



Real, in character Applejack agrees.


Edit: Apparently this episode's a lot more well liked than I thought it would be coming straight out of watching it! I understood why people disagreed with my positive opinion of Somepony to Watch Over Me, but I kinda expected universal outrage this time around, y'know?  :lol:  



Totally understand the problems you have with this episode. I don't entirely agree with them, though, so I'd like to offer a few counter-points.


-The key episodes have all been following the formula of "Test the character's defining trait ---> Have character seemingly reverse course ---> Re-affirm defining trait ---> Oh hey cool you did a thing, here have a key". Since we've caught on to this, AJ's is the one I've most looked forward to seeing, because frankly, coming up with a believable situation that would make her willing to lie struck me as darn near impossible.


Turns out I was right. You can pry the plot of this episode apart with a crowbar. That said, given the task the creative team was faced with, I think this is probably about as well-done as anyone could have reasonably expected.


I guess what I'm getting at is, I think AJ is OOC for much of this episode because she HAS to be to make it work. It's a lot easier to "test" Fluttershy or Rarity and keep them in character than it is to do the same to AJ, and I think that's really reflected in how their respective key episodes play out. As long as this ends up being worth it when the finale arrives, I'm more or less ok with what happened with AJ here.


-I'm sorry, but what happened with "Somepony to Watch Over Me" reflected FAR worse on AJ's character than this episode, and was far more grating. Was it extremely out of form for her to not tell Granny Smith the potion was a fake? Yes, but at the same time, Granny Smith was clearly never in any real danger until she went to attempt the high dive... which is exactly when AJ snapped back into form and put a stop to it. Yes, this is a stretch. It's clearly forced. But that's the point, and I think it can be reasonably argued that there's at least a semi-rational explanation for AJ's behavior.


In "Somepony to Watch Over Me", they just whacked her with the Idiot bat over and over. Yes, family concerns have caused her to behave irrationally before ("Applebuck Season", "Apple Family Reunion"), but her actions were at least grounded in some sort of believable motivation. The things she did in "Somepony", on the other hand, were just... stupid... by any measure. (I don't care how "concerned" you get, you're not gonna check in on someone every five minutes while they're taking a nap.)


If you're still wondering why people are liking this episode and not the other one, I'd say that's probably it.

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is this applebloom as an adult? this was from the latest episode






That's Apple Bumpkin. She's been in several Apple family background shouts since the first episode.

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Watched it last night despite the clocks going forward and getting tired during the middle of the night.  :blush:


I thought it was a good episode with a lot of cool highlights which seems to have been mentioned by others already.  :)

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So far (at least in my opinion) season four has been great, and this episode was no exception. In fairness it was slightly predictable that the Flim Flam Brothers would be dishonest again and the song wasn't as good as the one in SSCS6000, but those are only minor issues. The episode had a good moral and we end up seeing what Applejacks key is, not to mention some good characterization on her part.


Overall- 8/10

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"I used ta be so good folks said I was like a sea pony!"

It's the sick and lame going to Celestia to be healed


The Music Pony 2: Medical Boogaloo!

Insert your "Break dancing" joke here

Wait, they use the same number every time? Does that mean they sang their original song every time they arrived in a new town? :huh:

"Silver Shell? You kin to a filly named Silver Spoon?" "Ummmm....no!"

Well, well, well! And here I thought she couldn't use magic.

"I've traveled through time, space and other worlds and I've never seen anything cooler!"

AJ learns the perils of being a celebrity spokesperson...

Remember kids: pans should be used for baking, not diving!

Cue the "Popeye" theme!

Well, that's random...

"Oh great, now we have to think up another scam!" "Worse, we have to write a new song!"


AJ was overdue for another episode...one that DIDN'T have the spotlight stolen from her at every turn. While Super Granny, the Flim-Flam bros., and backgrounder pandering (I can only imagine how the Lyra fans are reacting to seeing her finally use magic), tried, AJ still manage to stay in focus. It was also interesting seeing her Element clash with what she wanted. One of the better Rainbow Item episodes, actually :)


Josh Haber also wrote Castle Mane-ia and Simple Ways, which were both received badly.

Look out Merriwether, you're in danger of losing your title as Worst Writer!

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Despite how swimming and myself do not mix, I've always liked ponies swimming together in that pond we've now seen in episodes from Griffon the Brush Off to Too Many Pinkie Pies. Now the Apples are spending time together there. And Big Mac's hair is wet. And that totally isn't going to be abused in Stupid Sexy Big Mac meme that'll pop up, I'm sure.


Big Mac's gotten more screen time across three episodes this season than he's gotten altogether in the past three seasons combined, and then multiplied twice. And we won't even get started on the lines. Bet Peter New had loads of fun this season.


Yay for more old film flashbacks for Granny Smith! Yay for more Granny Smith in general! The more story, lines and screen-time she's gotten the more I've enjoyed her as the seasons have gone on.


Yay most of all for returning antagonists! For some reason I've seen a lot of people who didn't care for these two, yet I seem to recall their first episode being up with some of the best episodes in season two. Not to mention their song, which I know for a fact was insanely popular for a while afterwords. But eh, fans are fickle so I suppose I'll just chock it up to humans being ridiculous again. I for one am really happy to have seen them return, as they're probably some of the easiest bad guys to bring back, seeing as they left only because their won cider business didn't work out after all. New flim flam scam, new storyline, new episode.


The tonic idea overall is pretty neat, and I think it even better represents what these two are about than their initial appearance did. 'A Flim Flam' means a scam, or a deceitful way of getting people to buy a product through false-advertising using half-truths, lies, and in advanced cases like these two used, knowledge of how getting people to think positively through giving them the 'perfect product', can create the desired effects of being 'cured' that you advertise, even if your product doesn't actually heal or cure anything physically. This is precisely what this episode was about. In their first appearance, their cider machine did no such thing. It did the job correctly, and the only reason it started producing bad product was because Flim and Flam decided to sacrifice quality for quantity, after the fact. That episode was less about a scam, and more about the Apple Family being challenged by the speed and self-automation of modern technology. So yeah, I like this episode's premise because it's fairly unique (more on the 'potions' front that isn't coming from Zecora for once), and because I feel it's a great return for these bad guys.


Also, Flim and Flam successfully taught children about germ spreading through song. That's pretty cool, yo.


So was the little run-through of pony diseases, defects and ailments. Some more creepy than others xD


I love how Flim and Flam were right there to jump in and claim the fame from the paparazzi as soon as Granny Smith mentioned the tonic at the swim meet, too. God, they were funny, as well as clever as always this episode. Neigh-sayers be damned, I really like those two as antagonists and am super glad they came back.


Overall, this was a decent episode for numerous reasons:


  • The return of some antagonists that was handled very well and was all-too realistic, with a premise that fit their characters even better than their first appearance in some ways.
  • Everyone was in-character so shut up people who claim otherwise every single episode.
  • More Granny Smith episodes.
  • Learned quite a bit about pony diseases, defects and ailments thanks to Flim and Flam's presentation.
  • A life-lesson that adults can learn from, not just kids.

And so now we await next week, where Scootalove signs have been potentially hinted towards. Here's to hoping it's true.




Long as you're not a twit about presenting your opinion, no one's going to care :3 That said, some explanation might be nice. 'It sucked, oh god I'm sorry guys but it totally sucked' isn't very much insight.

Ok discord :P


I literally thought that there was nothing good about it, from the story to the song.

really? A fake juice that makes people confident or strong or young again? When are we getting a good ol' fashion adventure again ?

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Here's my impressions




- Lyra got a role other than background pony for once <3 (ok, she didn't speak, but she was actually doing something)

- Lyra's smile after she realized her mistake was so adorable <3

- Trollmac. Nuff said.

- Sharks are now canon (ok, that's just me, being silly)

- In the end, AJ really put her hoof down. Also, the fedora tipping has been doubled! :muffins:

- AB got some more character development

- Flim Flam brothers were in it




- There were some plot holes. Like how AJ's lasso suddenly became elastic enough to act as a bungee cord without Granny Smith breaking a bone or two

- Her rainbow item thingy was a coin? Really? Well, at least it wasn't an apple :lol:

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I'm gonna say this now that Applejack has her key.


Twilight will get her key in Trade Ya!

I agree with you, it seems from the plot I read that Twilight may get her key in Trade Ya!, if not that episode then a episode closer to the end of season 4.

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Silver Shell: Thanks to you, Applejack. I learned... *Gets bucked in the face.* x_x

Applebloom: Applejack, why did you hit him?
Applejack: I just couldn't stand that skreechy voice one second longer. Ever since I saw that face with those silly glasses and that voice, I just wanted to buck his face real good. He made me so mad.

Granny Smith: You did more than just buck him.

Applejack: You mean I killed...

Big Mac: Yep.

*Crowd of ponies look on in worry.*

Applebloom: Okay, so we are all clear. Silver Shell overdosed on the Flim Flam Brother's tonic and killed himself breaking the high diving record.

*Crowd of ponies nod.*

Applejack: I don't know. This doesn't feel right. I mean, I just...

Granny Smith: Be quiet and drink some of this.

Applejack: I'm not drinking any of that tonic... *Sniffs tonic.* Wait a second. *Tastes the tonic.* This is hard cider. Granny, you've been drinking again?

Granny Smith: Yep.

Applejack: So all that time and the hi diving, you've been drunk. Why?

Granny Smith: I knew the tonic was a fake and switched it out for some homemade hard cider. The tonic bottles were to just keep you from riding my flank about my drinking. Now if you excuse me, I've got a dancing date with a pole.

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Oh, Stella... it pains me to see you this disheartened. :(



I do not believe Applejack knowing that a placebo could seriously hurt her grandmother and then deciding to do zilch about it in order to "not hurt her feelings"


Applejack is always concerned for her family's well being. It's a huge character trait and the focus of multiple episodes. She would never willingly put them in danger for any reason, especially not one founded on lies.


While Applejack does place tremendous value on the safety and well-being of her friends and family, she is just as much concerned about their happiness, and I think that's why she played it by ear for the time being. She saw that the tonic was giving her Granny newfound strength and greater joy than she had before taking the tonic (which was pointed out by the Flim Flam Brothers as well). After all, Granny Smith used to adore swimming, and she seemed to be doing just fine due to the placebo effect, making AJ that much more conflicted. The situation was a catch-22.


And it wasn't as if Applejack did zilch about her Granny's security. She effectively tried to keep her Granny safe while also permitting her to swim. Whenever Granny Smith was swimming, Applejack continued to emphasize the importance of safety and expressed a lot of worry; rushing to her aid at least three times throughout the episode. That's typical Applejack at play here - fix everything with work and management.


Not sure if I totally missed the point of your post or not, but I wanted to weigh in on those things. I can't really fault you for not liking the episode's predictability, as much I might think most MLP episodes, including some of the finest in the series, are usually laden with predictable scenarios. It's still a valid complaint. But to compare this episode to Rainbow Falls? Ouch. :o

Edited by Sugar Cube
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I was kinda disappointed with this episode.  Flim and Flam's return was underwhelming, their song wasn't nearly as catchy as in Cider Squeezy, and the whole moral felt REALLY forced.  The whole placebo-effect thing was a REAL stretch.


And Applejack's "key" is the Pony equivalent of a dollar bill?  Really?


I'll probably have more to say later, but my impression is that, as a "key" episode, this was actually weaker than the Breezies episode for Fluttershy.  I just really didn't feel it this time around.

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I loved some of the comments from the chat. "AJ deserves a lasso of truth", "Trollmac", "Dammit AJ! You had ONE job to do and you screwed it up!", "The lesson will be about drug abuse", "I saw Derpy :D", etc.

I was kinda disappointed with this episode.  Flim and Flam's return was underwhelming, their song wasn't nearly as catchy as in Cider Squeezy, and the whole moral felt REALLY forced.  The whole placebo-effect thing was a REAL stretch.


And Applejack's "key" is the Pony equivalent of a dollar bill?  Really?


I'll probably have more to say later, but my impression is that, as a "key" episode, this was actually weaker than the Breezies episode for Fluttershy.  I just really didn't feel it this time around.

Well, when you think about it, AJ is a salespony, so I'm guessing it represents an honest bit.

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I didn't have high hopes for this episode. The episode in which Flim and Flam previously appeared, "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", rates for me as probably the most annoying and frustrating episode of the entire show. This episode didn't end up being quite as bad as that one, but it wasn't particularly good, either.


I didn't really like how Flim and Flam are shown to be outright defrauding their customers in this episode. In "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", they weren't trying to defraud their customers. Their machine did what they claimed it would do, and I sympathized with how they saw an unfulfilled desire for cider among the residents in Ponyville and were going to try to do something about it. Of course, they subsequently made a series of colossally stupid and annoying decisions, but everyone in that episode was being colossally stupid and annoying. But while I sympathized with Flim and Flam's initial goals in that episode, here, they're just stereotypical scam artists.


I don't really get why Flim and Flam start their song spiel with scare tactics about how germs are in everything we touch and see and every breath you breathe. Of course, germs are everywhere, but that doesn't mean all those germs are bound to make you sick; in fact, most of the time, they don't. Besides that, Flim and Flam largely abandon this idea about the tonic preventing or curing common disease in favor of claiming that it will cure long-term ailments, reverse the normal processes of aging, etc. Some of the claims that Flim and Flam make are in fact pretty easily disproven - for example, the claim that hooferia and horsentery are cured in just a night, or the demonstration of how Silver Shill's supposed disability which causes him to need crutches is instantaneously cured. (Of course, Silver Shill leaves immediately after being "cured", thus preventing any questions about his previous condition or how the tonic cured it.) The rest of the episode revolves around Granny Smith supposedly feeling young, not being afraid of swimming, and her hip not feeling bad, effects which are relatively difficult to quantify and determine the cause, but it would have been easier to cast doubt on Flim and Flam's claims just by showing that someone with hooferia or horsentery was NOT cured overnight, or showing that someone with a long-term disability was NOT cured instantaneously.


Speaking of that, the lack of skepticism of the residents of Ponyville is frustrating. Other people have pointed out that some of the residents of Ponyville should have retained some negative opinions of Flim and Flam after the events of "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000". But of course, they all buy right into the claims of Flim and Flam without question, even to the point of singing their song with/for them (which I found annoying here as well as in "Super Speedy"). As further proof of the gullibility of the residents of Ponyville, at Flim and Flam's second-day demonstration, they "cure" Silver Shill again while not changing how he looks at all, and apparently no one in the audience notices, even though we see that many of the audience members are exactly the same as those who attended the first demonstration with the Apple family. It takes Applejack and Apple Bloom to notice that Flim and Flam "cured" the same pony twice. I thought the way these scams are supposed to go is that Flim and Flam sell as much tonic as they can, then quickly leave town that night before anyone notices that the tonic doesn't work. I would say that it's kind of stupid for Flim and Flam to think that they can get away with "curing" the same pony twice in the same town, but apparently, if not for Applejack and Apple Bloom happening to be there, they would have gotten away with it.


It's also frustrating that Applejack lamely acquiesces to Flim and Flam's argument to go along with the false belief that the tonic actually cures ailments. After all, she had just identified a major problem with doing that - namely, that ponies who believe the tonic has cured them when it hasn't are liable to injure themselves even worse (or even kill themselves) doing reckless and dangerous things because of their false overconfidence and belief that they no longer have the conditions or limitations that they actually still have. Furthermore, if ponies believe that the tonic is some kind of cure-all, they might just drink the tonic when they have legitimate medical problems rather than seeking the actual medical attention they need. And this is not to mention how ponies could start believing that they're reliant on the tonic to continue doing the things they're normally capable of doing, thus becoming "addicted" and continuously buying and consuming more and more tonic just to function normally. Even after her exchange with Flim and Flam, Applejack only halfheartedly and ineffectually tries to apply the brakes to Granny Smith's increasing obsession with the tonic. By the time she does decide to put a stop to the charade, it's very nearly too late to prevent Granny Smith's high dive.


Near the end of the episode, it's especially puzzling to me that Flim and Flam egg Granny Smith on about how high a dive she could have done. Flim and Flam know that the tonic doesn't give Granny Smith magical powers to survive a jump from that high (at the very least not without major injuries). How is it good for their business to have a "cured" customer severely injure or kill herself because she believes in the power of their tonic? Wouldn't Granny Smith's disastrous failure serve to prove the limits of their tonic and the dangers of uncritically believing in its curing powers? And I suppose it's fitting that the same ponies who believe in the curative powers of the tonic on the basis of mere words and a dubious demonstration are just as easily dissuaded from that belief by Applejack's mere words. 


Now for the rest of my miscellaneous observations:


Near the beginning of the episode, it's a little baffling to me why the rest of the Apple family is emphatically against Apple Bloom being a high diver. Sure, the way that Granny Smith did it was dangerous, but concern for safety has progressed since then, and later in the episode we see that there are high-diving ponies who do so safely.


Did Flim and Flam issue any instructions with the tonic? Is there supposed to be a minimum amount to drink to see an effect, or a maximum safe amount to drink? Is drinking more supposed to increase the effects? We see Granny Smith down an entire bottle of the tonic several times throughout the episode. Of course, to me, a lack of dosage or explanation with the tonic would be more reason to suspect it of being unsafe or not doing what it's claimed it will do, but it's apparently too much to expect any of the ponies to think about such things.


When Flim and Flam start to distort Applejack's tepid endorsement and use it for advertising purposes, why doesn't Applejack do something about it? I would think she could go to them and say that she never authorized them to use her supposed approval for their advertising, and that saying the tonic is "Applejack-approved" is a distortion of her original words.


-Minor plot hole: That rope just happened to have the elasticity of a bungee cord? An ordinary rope tied to someone's leg from that height and bringing them to a sudden stop would break some bones.


These are very good points. I saw many other issues with the whole scene of Applejack saving Granny Smith from hitting the ground, and I made a topic about it here. To add to that a bit, it's pretty shocking that Apple Bloom doesn't think that Granny Smith diving from that height into a few inches of water is dangerous at all. And speaking of doing foolish and dangerous things, after Applejack saves Granny Smith, she slides down the entire length of the ladder to the high-dive platform in a little over a second. Wouldn't that seem a little dangerous and liable to cause injury?

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This episode... I like it... GIVE ME ANOTHER!




Okay but seriously, as always, this episode has some flaws, but I still quite enjoyed it. I'm not one of the Flim Flam haters, so it didn't bother me that they were coming back. I thought the song was cool. I found it really odd the first time the disguised pony said his part about "walking out the door...", or something like that, but it ended up making sense once you find out he's with the Flim Flam brothers.


You know what, I actually can't really think of many flaws other that that one disguised pony giving Applejack her key (seriously, what's with that). But yet, I only "like" this episode... I guess for me, even a likable episode with no flaws can't beat a lovable episode with some flaws.

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Of course, to me, a lack of dosage or explanation with the tonic would be more reason to suspect it of being unsafe or not doing what it's claimed it will do, but it's apparently too much to expect any of the ponies to think about such things.


I'll give credit to the writers for capturing the essence of old-timey snake-oil salesmen - back before the FDA and other agencies that regulated the medical industry, people were basically free to sell whatever they wanted as magic "cure-alls" - no instructions, no dosages, no nothing.  The people who bought into those scams back then were just as gullible as the ponies in Ponyville were here.  Flim and Flam actually executed their parts perfectly, in that they were excellent song-and-dance salesponies who enraptured the crowd enough to convince them to buy their product with the fake proof they offered.


In many ways, Ponyville has been portrayed as being at least partially set back about 100-150 years from modern times (though there are obviously some exceptions to that).  So I don't find it terribly surprising that ponies would lack these sorts of regulations that you and I take for granted.


And, you know, such snake-oil salesmen still exist today - peddling shoddy products that claim to cure large numbers of ailments without need for FDA approval.  So this sort of scam is still alive and well.



Well, when you think about it, AJ is a salespony, so I'm guessing it represents an honest bit.


Oh, I totally get what this represented, and it fits the theme of the rest of the keys... except, that this bit wasn't Silver Shill's to begin with, it wasn't anything particularly personal or representative, and the only significance it appeared to have for Shill was that it was the first bit he'd earned doing direct sales.  While I understand how that's a big milestone for many people, it just didn't have the same feeling of "This is important to me, and I want you to have it" that the other keys did.


I think the fact that I was being bludgeoned over the head with the moral at the time had something to do with it as well.  This episode had a whole lot more "tell" than "show" that I've seen many folks be critical of at other times as well.

Edited by Pixel Stick
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For me this was a typical AJ episode or nothing too special. That is, I've seen better episodes of AJ than this one, but this was okay, not bad either, just nothing above the average. I didn't see anything that interesting into that story. Though I liked Lyra's  0l grade that she gave, was very funny and cute of her as usual. Lyra is my favorite err 'cameo appearance' pony when in the group like derpy and the others.

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correct me if i'm wrong, i might be forgetting about an episode, but isn't this only the second time we've ever heard big mac actually LAUGH? i mean the last time i remember hearing him laugh was all the way back in hearts and hooves day!

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