MLP:ER – Rarity Takes Manehattan & Pinkie Apple Pie

Whew.  Got some other writing projects finished so now back to PONIES!

Rarity Takes Manehattan

Ugh, a musical number right in the middle?  No I don’t care if it was self-referential 4th-wall breaking meta-whatever, it sucks!  Why do we need something like that taking up valuable time that could be devoted to plot??

Then… let me see if I can explain this…

So the story starts out with numerous examples of Rarity being generous.  At one point, she’s generous with the “wrong” pony and gets screwed by it.  Now the traditional motifs and tropes of this arc are: she decides to give up generosity, starts failing even worse, then is saved near the end by all the people she had been generous with before coming together (deliberately or accidentally depends on the tale) and reminding her that when you’re generous, the positives almost always outweigh the negatives.

Well… they don’t quite do that here, with all the “previously helped” folk coming together at the second act (in fact, before she helps the wrong pony) making the arc structure all messed up.  Instead of seeing it demonstrated that generousness is best the protagonist just has a sudden bout of guilt.  Yeah it’s believable and all, but it’s narratively unsatisfying.  Also these arcs often have a member of the antagonist’s side be “redeemed”.  It happened but, again, more out of a general sense of guilt and not by seeing the power of the protagonist’s generosity winning out over the antagonist’s selfishness in a very overt manner.  Again, nothing wrong with it, just like there’s nothing “wrong” with serving a meal out of order (like: salad – ice cream – steak), everything should still taste just fine.  But… it’s all a little ‘off’.

And way to skip out on your obligations, Rarity.  Yeah it’s nice to give the redeemed mook a job, but YOU promised the playwright that YOU would design and create the costumes.  You have no idea if the girl you just gave the job to can do the work as well or even if the customer will like the girl’s work as well as you.  You should stick with your original deal and send the newbie to Ponyville to maintain your shop while gone if you want to give her work.  Shame on the show for teaching kids that they can just pawn off their tasks and contracts.

Pinkie Apple Pie

Notice how Pinkie seems to be gaining greater control over the reality-warping powers her master, Discord granted her?  Undoubtedly she’s realized that Fluttershy and Applejack are natural allies, considering how both work so closely with nature and animals, if Rarity would be Lord Fluttershy’s grand vizer, then Applejack would probably be the “enforcer” or “chief of royal forces” (a natural given her strength and brains).  So Pinkie’s plan (obvious if you rewatch the episode) is to break AJ’s loyalties (if that fails – her mind) by first claiming a family bond then engaging in an adventure to strengthen the bond.  Given that Pinkie is now “officially” family, AJ will find her ties tested when the War of Ponies for the Crystal Throne begins.

The episode is initially set up that one thinks it will be one of those traditional motifs or arcs where Pinkie tries to join the family but the Apples don’t want her around (like the episode of Andy Griffith when Andy saved Gomer’s life).  Then it takes a left turn, however, when we come to find out that the Apples don’t mind Pinkie at all, in fact they WANT her to think well of their family, so we shift into a more “cover up the dysfunction, let’s impress” arc.  Clever and well done, I liked that twist.

Finally, that song was just awesome.  Yeah I would have preferred it stayed in “STOMP” style but if not, banjos & violins are a great substitute.  It’s just so catchy and fun.  I wonder we don’t trim up the plots to give more space to these songs!

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