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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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I didn't have time to look at the forum earlier but my opinion won't be so long.
I think that this episode was very good and I enjoyed it much. Apple family spending time together was very adorable. The Applejack's dilemma with honesty was very well showed.
The one thing that was just absurdly stupid - when granny Smith wanted to jump into this small bowl of water. What she wanted to prove by committing suicide? There was no way that she could survive that jump.

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I really enjoyed this episode, and while some seem to have a problem with Haber's eps, I've rather enjoyed them all.


The stinger was enjoyable and set up the future problem well.  We get some insanely cute AJ and another interesting flashback into Granny Smith's past.  We see how fond the memories Granny has of these times are, and how much she dislikes not having the courage to enter the water again.  This makes it understandable when she buys the tonic later.



Next, we get to Flim Flam's re-introduction.  I've seen some people complain how suddenly they are now playing Conmen, when before their machine actually worked.  But I argue they were still conmen in the "Cider" episode.  Keep in mind, they are introducing a machine to the town which could make cider out of Apples, and the machine does work well.  However, Flim and Flam don't actively work to grow quality apples, and obviously have no interest in doing so.  So what do they do--they bring their equipment to towns with an Apple supply, whip the town into a frenzy about having limitless cider, and reap almost all of the profits.  But those apples just don't come from anywhere, they have to be grown and cared for by the apple farmer.  This apple farmer has to put a lot of time and money into growing these quality apples.  So, they back the apple farmer, in this case the Apple family, into a corner by showing their customers how much more cider their machine can produce, force them into a contract where the farmer gets almost none of the profits, and then utilize their apples at an unsustainable rate.  The apple grower can't keep up with the demand given that they are making almost no money, and go out-of-buisiness.  The Flim Flam Bros use the rest of the apples, maximize their profits, and move onto the next town.


So: The Flim Flam brothers sell a ton of cider and receive almost all of the profits with almost no expenses for growing the apples, and then they just move on to the next apple supply once the apple farmer can't support their farm anymore.  The apple farmer can't do anything because they cannot run the machine themselves--it requires Flim Flam's magic.  This is totally a con, and matches up with the con in "The Music Man," which this episode is a homage to, quite well.



In conclusion, it makes sense that once their cider business was ruined by the Apple family, they'd move onto another con that required even less effort on their part.  The song here is another fantastic one, and borrows just enough from the previous one.  My favorite part of the song was definitely the lyrics.  Take some time to listen to them, as they are some of the best of the show.  I love the almost subtle threatening nature of the line "you might slip and fall, break or sprain something here tonight." 


However, its the little parts of the lyrics that let us, the viewer, know their true intent that I like.  Such as the over-general (and hilarious) line: "luckily for you we've got that thing you need" or the following line "It's just what the doctor ordered...I'm sure."  Plus, the fantastic rhyming and alliteration when the brothers are going through all of these different ailments. Haber and Ingram really did a fantastic job here with the lyrics.



And yeah, citizens of Ponyville are whipped into a frenzy again by Flim and Flam, but you could argue that many of the people here weren't at the cider event before, as these are a different group of injured ponies we haven't seen in the show before (even if many are reused background characters).  And yes, this kind of stuff happened in the past, and continues to happen IRL, so it happening in Ponyville isn't odd.  Flim and Flam are just masters of words.



Now, I want to jump to probably one of the more controversial topics from the episode: Applejack and how she is portrayed.  Personally, I though this was one of the best Applejack episodes and one of her best portrayals in the series.  AJ has the tendency to be the "pillar" of the Mane 6, acting as the level-headed voice of reason in many episodes.  So it's always great to see one of her episodes where she struggles with something.  And in this episode we see her struggle with something we haven't really seen her struggle with before: her element.  That's what I've liked best about this season--the key episodes where we see each of the Mane 6's elements tested, with them learning about the negative consequences their element can sometime have, and in the end teaching their element to another pony as they learn something about it themselves.  I love the concept.


I don't know why people seem to be so up-in-arms about AJ struggling with honesty in this situation.  Just because it's her element, doesn't mean she can't struggle with it and have further development with it sometimes.  All of the other Mane 6 have struggled with their element at some point in the show's history.  Rainbow Dash has had many episodes where she struggles with loyalty, Twilight has learned a ton about friendship and magic over the show's course (she didn't even want to make friends in the first episode), Fluttershy has had episodes where she was unkind, Pinkie had episodes like "Party of One", and one of Rarity's main faults is how self-centered she can sometimes be.  In the end of these episodes, however, they always come back to their element and stand true to it.  And this episode is no different.  AJ's honesty is challenged, she struggles with it, and in the end her honest nature prevails.


I think this was one of the most believable element struggles of the series too.  I've seen a few people mention that they think AJ is out of character because she doesn't tell Granny the truth and that AJ always puts family first.  I agree: one of the most, if not the most important thing to AJ is family.  But that's exactly why she is having trouble with honesty here in the first place!  Granny is happier than she has been in a while here, and it's all due to this sham tonic.  Applejack is legitimately concerned, as shown at the end of the episode, that by telling Granny the tonic is fake, that she will suddenly lose the placebo effect that gave her this new confidence.  Her concern for Granny's happiness is so great that it causes Applejack to not tell her, and the Ponyville citizens, the truth about the tonic.  Of course, her lie (and I don't really think it was a lie, but more she was just withholding the truth) begins to spiral out-of-control, with the Flim Flam brothers smartly taking advantage of it.  But Granny Smith is still extremely happy, and it's becoming contagious to the rest of the Apple Family.  AJ is between a rock and a hard place.


But when this placebo effect causes Granny Smith to have too much confidence in her abilities, AJ realizes that her dishonesty is actually going to wind up causing more harm than good, and her element prevails.  This was a fantastic test of honesty, and a believable one.  AJ learned the hard truth that sometimes honesty can hurt, especially those closest to you.  But even lies with the best intentions can build up and have extremely negative consequences.  This is an extremely good and relatable lesson for the audience.



Yes, Granny trying to jump into an extremely small water pool is a little crazy, but she's done this before with a shallow pool (albeit a little bigger) as a young mare, so with this new-found over-confidence its not completely out there.  Plus, between this and AJ's bungie rope--keep in mind this is a cartoon and follows cartoon rules and physics a lot of the time.  Sometimes you have to remember that.



Overall, this is probably Haber's strongest episode yet, and I personally feel he's written AJ very, very well in his three episodes so far.  We got a song with some great lyrics, an enjoyable and relatable story, and an actual challenge for Applejack's honesty--and it only took until season 4!  AJ best pony: confirmed.  ;)

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This was such a fun episode, I loved it! :D I knew AJ was going to get her key in this episode. It's kind of strange how the rest of the mane 6 were absent for the entire episode, though. I was actually hoping that Flim and Flam would redeem themselves at the end of the episode too, but I guess they didn't. They're still my favorite ponies anyway. And their new tonic song is so catchy, I listened to the instrumental more than 20 times now. But don't get me wrong, the cider song is still one of my favorites. It's just so exciting to hear Flim and Flam sing again, they have really good voices. :3 Also, Silver Shill is adorable! And, is it just me, or do Flim and Flam seem a bit different than before? It might be their eyes. Anyways, I saw this episode three times already. "Leap of Faith" is definitely one of my favorite episodes of season 4.

Edited by melodystar
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So unsurprisingly, like pretty much every episode she's had this season (not counting "Bats!", but that episode's promblems weren't AJ's fault  :okiedokielokie:), Applejack had yet another awesome turn in a starring role.  "Leap of Faith" was the fifth key episode we've had this season, and like most of them (with the exception of "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies", bleh  >_>), it was solid in every sense of the word.  Not a whole lot to talk about here aside from the episode's superb message and execution of said message, but let's get going and take a look at "Leap of Faith".  C'mon everypony, adventure awaits!  WHIMSY!!!  :wub:



(OK, so I may be trying to build up the hype just a bit much here  :ph34r:)


OK, so to start I'll talk about Applejack and the lesson she learned here, because her role and the message are too intertwined not to discuss together.  To be honest (HA!  See what I did there?  :comeatus:), this was probably the best test we've ever seen of AJ's honesty when she was in her own mind (because c'mon, she was magically corrupted by Discord in "The Return of Harmony: Parts 1 and 2").  Applejack is the living embodiment of the Element of Honesty, but she's also an all around decent pony who makes the well-being of others, especially her family, almost always her top priority.  Here, we saw these two traits of hers actually come into conflict; in not telling the truth about Flim and Flam's sham "miracle tonic", AJ thought that she was actually helping other ponies, most notably her Granny Smith.  The writers, however, did a bang up job of disassembling and undermining this misplaced, albeit sincere, belief of AJ's by brilliantly illustrating just why it was so unsound.  First, Applejack was confronted by the fact that her "endorsement/approval" of the Flim Flam brothers cure-all was actually suckering throngs of ponies with serious ailments, illnesses, or physical injuries to buy their product, which she knew obviously wouldn't cure them, no matter how much they believed it would, seeing as most of them had far more serious conditions than Granny Smith's own aches and pains.  Sure Granny Smith was having a hootenanny of a time, but Applejack eventually realized that a lot of her problems had stemmed from mental blocks to begin with.  These other ponies had far more problems beyond mental blocks, and eventually we saw that it was just too much for AJ to take, even before Granny Smith put herself in harm's way.  She told the truth, and was on the brink of fessing up entirely before she had to stop Granny Smith from basically snapping her neck (as an aside, AJ once again went out of her way in that climax to further prove that she is the Batman of the group, and it was AWESOME!  Such slick moves AJ!!!  B)).  This bit of dangerous absurdity on Granny Smith's part showed AJ the other reason why her earlier reasoning was so unsound; not only was her lie convincing ponies that something would cure their ailments when it really wouldn't, but it also could lead other ponies to attempt foolhardy and dangerous stunts out of misplaced confidence, like her beloved Granny Smith.


In the end, this is what AJ learned; a lie is never, ever right, no matter how good your intentions may be.  Even if it seems that your lie makes people happy, that happiness in and of itself is hollow and unreal.  The truth is the truth, a precious, infallible reality that cannot change, no matter how happy your lie may make people; in repeating a lie over and over again, all you're doing is building up a house of cards that'll eventually come tumbling down, ever more spectacularly and hurting more and more people the longer you keep it up.  The thing that I loved especially about this message was not only how well-executed and delivered it was, but also how relevant it was, especially to those in power in the present day.  These days, at least in the good ol' U S of A, it seems that far too many of our politicians are all show and no substance.  These men and women (not naming any parties, but let's just say the idealists and optimists of the whole lot are most guilty of this) are happy to time and time again just tell the people what they want to hear, spouting nothing but whatever hollow rhetoric it takes to get passed whatever they want to get passed.  Most of the time, this type of talk leads to bad things, and millions of people get hurt as a result (and usually not the ones who sold whatever legislation or rhetoric they were pitching in the first place).  Sure there's a lot of stupid naivety behind a lot of these blunders, after all, people are stupid, and that'll never change, but there's also a lot of deception to boot.  Heck, our own president has gotten called out for I-don't-know-how-many-lies by now in the past six months alone, and really, the root of this problem lies in the fact that, these days, our leaders just don't understand the power and import of words.  They're happy to say whatever they want or need to say to get done what they want to, no matter how removed it may be from reality, and this is a seriously dangerous attitude.  So in summary, this episode's message was extraordinarily current and relevant, and its delivery just made it all the better.  It rounded out nicely by showing a truly ashamed and sorrowful AJ admitting that she'd compromised her most dearest personal quality, her honesty, and apologizing for it (more sincerely and blatantly than any of our leaders ever do these days, when they get caught that is, I might add  >_>).  Wonderful message in its substance and execution, and a wonderful performance from a truly conflicted AJ to boot; not much more you can ask for out of an episode beyond that!



Applejack ain't having any of your s*** Flim and Flam; that goes for you too D.C.!!!


Besides Applejack and the episode's message, there was plenty of other things that stood out here.  The Apple Family was a delight as it's been all season; the Apple siblings were all adorable in the swimming hole at the beginning, Big Mac got some great one-liners (literally, along with a bit of trollery at the beginning there) in there (though I can't help but want him to get his own episode some time down the road, maybe one focusing on his relationship with AJ or both of his sisters), Apple Bloom was adorable as usual, and Granny Smith was just awesome!  Her backstory as an earth pony high diver was amazing (albeit unsurprising given who she is), and her newfound confidence, although foolhardy for most of the episode, was very cool, and it was very neat seeing all the things Ponyville's most incredible grandparent could accomplish once she'd gotten past some of her mental blocks that had come with age.


The Flim Flam brothers were their usual, con artist selves (complete with yet another catchy tune, though I still like their first song number better, to be honest), and I can't help but love them.  Sure they're complete jerks, but they're complete jerks who persistently continue trying to to sell themselves until it's clear beyond a doubt that the jig is up (though to be fair their original cider-making contraption did actually work, quite well in fact, their only downfall there was compromising its quality for the sake of quantity).  I can't help but love their shameless enthusiasm, and especially loved their "hypothetically-speaking" conversation with AJ in the middle of the episode when they pretty much fessed up without actually fessing up to their cure-all tonic being a total scam.  Flim and Flam remain my favorite foils to AJ's character, and I really hope they'll return yet again some time in the future (as long as an episode or season calls for their return, of course).



Look how few bucks we give about the s*** we're selling!



Seriously, no bucks given at all!!!


Silver Shill, our by now to-be-expected key-episode OC, was pretty cool himself.  For starters, he's got the best punny pony name I've heard in sometime, and it's actually quite hilarious when you think about it; by the end of the episode, he was committed to becoming an honest salespony, but the guy is, literally, a Shill!  :lol:  All I gotta say is good luck buddy, cause I'm pretty sure you were born into a family destined to be (or at least having a reputation for being) con artists.  But seriously, he turned out to be a decent guy, like most of these OCs have, and I really liked that he had a nice explanation for his giving AJ her key at the end there.  His voice was pretty unique as well; kind of had a Barney Fife sound to it, and I don't know, just pleasant to the ears, at least for me.  Definitely a great addition to the slowly-but-surely growing list of male characters in the show, and it'd definitely be nice to see him again sometime down the road.


Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about the background ponies here, specifically, all the injured ones!  Holy buck, this episode had some dark and downright depressing imagery.  I mean, what the heck, since when did Ponyville have so many sick and injured ponies; did one of their weekly disasters happen while the Mane 6 were out of town or something???  Probably the worst imagery for me were the ponies in wheelchairs; I'm sure some of them just had broken legs, but you just have to wonder how many of those ponies were actually cripples, and it was just downright depressing watching some of them hobble around like that.  :(  It didn't take away anything from the episode, it was just a distracting and depressing element of it that added a dark element to an otherwise run-of-the-mill slice of life episode (though it definitely did add some gravity to the lesson AJ was learning).  Besides the dozens of ailing background ponies, we had some great showings from others as well; Cloud Kicker, Colgate, Doctor Whooves, and Carrot Top got a few appearances, Derpy had a subdued but still pleasant cameo at the diving/synchronized swimming competition, and Lyra had probably her best cameo all season (who knew she was such a hard-to-impress swimming/diving judge  ^_^).  All in all, this was a very good episode for background ponies in general.


As usual, the animation was top notch, the comedy was spot on (with a whole bevy of laughs coming from the Apples, the Flim Flam brothers, and the background ponies themselves), and the sound and music were a delight.  All in all, "Leap of Faith" was another great key episode with probably the best message in terms of both substance and execution of any of them since "Rarity Takes Manehattan" (fitting considering both Rarity and AJ continue to have such a good season, and are also such surprisingly similar characters).  My hat's off to the writers on putting together such a well-written episode, and I can't wait to see what else they have in store for us in the final six episodes this season!

some times the truth is just cruel! its up to the wise pony to figure out the difference!

on the rest of it I have to agree!

I just don't like it that much cause it wasn't as exiting as most of the other episodes but it was still good. Applejack needs to teach them not to lie. 

Flim and Flam not lie not going to happen!

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Unfortunately, this was quite possibly one of the most predictable episodes to date. I'm really not trying to brag here, but I called it from start to finish about three weeks before the actual airing (when all I had to go off of was a 2-3 sentence description). All I had to do was follow the pattern of the previous like-episodes. When I saw the rainbow refraction from the bottle, I literally jumped up and down knowing then that I was right. This is the first episode I've been able to predict, so I was pretty excited about it.

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That was a... good episode.


I do like the theme it put up in the first place. Honesty IS the best policy, and no matter what good a lie can do, a lie is a lie. The problem doesn't come in the placebo that the tonic came from, but that the Flim-Flam brothers were achieving success without putting in actual effort to making something that would actually go as far as to truly help the general populace recover from their ailments.

I mean, the Placebo effect only goes so far.


That said, there was little outside of that truly worth noting about this episode. It was fairly straightforward and simple.


Nothing bad, but nothing amazing. I still think it was worth the time, though.


I give this episode a 7/10.

Pretty much agree with the statement above.  The Song was..okay i mean flim flam are the type to break into song so it not a episode breaker., though the conflict (if you can call it that) started at alike 12mins in...well at least it wasn't rushed but yeah the episode was good but nothing really that memorable.  AJ told white lies before but yeah felt this was a a bit too direct to her element, honesty doesn't mean you never lie, does it.


But man how are all these "keys" going to work in the end ohhh I cant wait to see how clich..i mean epic it will be

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got around to watching this after it disappeared from my DVR all those weeks ago. And I can't believe I missed out on such a well-written episode. Applejack's conflict here was most intriguing as she had to choose between two things she cares about: telling the truth or keeping her family happy.


Now, I wonder how Twilight will receive her key...

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I always get a good kick out of Granny. She's quite the character, in fact all the apple family episodes are really great. As far as the Flam brothers...they're okay. I could do without them, they're a little to "show boat" for me.

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I have a question.

Now I try to dub the Tonic song to Japanese(I'm a Japanese brony), but I can't understand completely some words and phrases.

What does each of "reins", "horsentery", "bridle-bit cleft", "saunter sitz" mean in this song's lyrics?

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AJ's key was money? How long before she accidentally spends it. 


LOL, I didn't even think about that! Maybe that's why the season finale is all in one day instead of being split up over two weeks.

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  • 1 month later...

I really liked seeing Flim and Flam again, they are a good contrast to Applejack because in Leap of faith they were using dishonesty to make ponies happy. Where as Applejack knew that in the end, this dishonesty would only go so far and would end up hurting somepony. overall a very good message =)

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  • 3 months later...

When I first saw the synopsis for this episode, I was kinda hoping Zecora would appear. Maybe instead of Applejack finding out the tonic was fake on her own, she could have bought a bottle and have Zecora check it out, and then tell her it was just apple juice.

Edited by flutterbard
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I have to say, when I watched this episode... I felt really bad for Applejack... I mean, she was beating herself up (metaphorically) over how she 'lied' to Ponyville.. (I'm really glad that it was an easy forgive at the end, It's actually believable because even if she had actually lied... It's a literal first offense as far as I know.).


But yeah, She stated an observation of how the tonic 'seemed to be working for/helping granny' but the Flim Flam Brothers took her picture and used her as an endorsement, almost literally shoving the words 'Applejack approved' into her mouth and using the crowds to add credibility. She stated an observation, and it definitely was an honest observation. (the tonic definitely seemed to help Granny Smith, even if it really only helped her confidence and her belief in her own abilities.. That's still a type of help that seemed obvious.) 


So I think that Applejack kind of got the short end of this episode's stick at the beginning/middle. But that's just my opinion! :P


Stay Happy and have Fun, Smiles, and Baked Treats everypony! =)

Edited by Storm Shine
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