Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 1, Episodes 13 and 14

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_14_fallweatherfriendssuitedforsuccess_header.jpg

Honesty and loyalty give way to competition and distrust, and generosity leads to exhaustion -- and terrific musical numbers.

Episode 13: "Fall Weather Friends"

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_episodetitle.jpg

Down on Sweet Apple Acres, Applejack bests Rainbow Dash in a game of horseshoes. Applejack insists that it's all in good fun (while still gently gloating about winning), but Rainbow's ego is having none of it, especially the implication that Applejack might be the superior athlete.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_04_you_rethinkyou_rethetopathlete.jpg

They decide to find out once and for all, via the only logical approach: an Iron Pony competition. They seal deal with the first of many spit-swears. If the previous episode was fascinated with pony rumps, this one is awash in pony saliva.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_05_spitswear.jpg

Twilight Sparkle (who is unquestionably the superior mathlete) agrees to be the judge and scorekeeper, and Spike anoints himself the announcer, which is always the most fun.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_06_helloeverypony.jpg

The first event is an obstacle course, which Applejack completes in 17 seconds -- with a five-second penalty for nudging a barrel. This also leads us to what I believe is the first instance of pony cursing. It's not "nudging a barrel," though that does sound filthy.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_07_nutsnscrews.jpg

They both try to remain good sports, but neither does very well as they make their way through the following competitions, including the Bronco Buck ...

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_08_broncobuck.jpg

... the Pony Ride (which is more of a challenge for Spike than for them) ...

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_09_ponyride.jpg

... rope tricks ...

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_10_ropetricks.jpg

... ball-bouncing, a record Rainbow presumably already holds, and during which rose-dropping spectator Proto-Derpy gives us this episode's Derpywatch ...

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_11_derpywatch.jpg

... and hay-tossing, hoof-wrestling, and football-punting. By the time they reach the tug o' war, and Rainbow is winning the overall competition by a strong lead, Applejack realizes that Rainbow's ability to defy gravity gives her an unfair advantage.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_12_that_snotfair.jpg

Rainbow Dash gloats. Applejack objects.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_13_iamtheironpony.jpg

Applejack challenges Rainbow to race her in the following day's annual Running of the Leaves, without using her wings.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_14_thepointistorun.jpg

Challenge accepted! And sealed with another deliciously gooey spit-swear.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_15_spitswear_2.jpg

Spike is eager to get to the race the next day, because he's looking forward to being the announcer again -- except Pinkie Pie beat him to it, marking the first time the hot-air balloon from the intro has actually appeared in the show. (The canon-stickler in me has always been irritated by that damn balloon. That's not how Twilight Sparkle and Spike got to Ponyville.)

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_16_pinkiepieeyeinthesky.jpg

Pinkie Pie exposits that without the Running of the Leaves, in which the wake of the running ponies blows them loose, the leaves would never fall in autumn.

Two points: Tirst, didn't they just wrap up winter? Yep. But My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is exactly as serialized as it needs to be. The Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes occur after "Call of the Cutie," the Grand Galloping Gala doesn't occur until after "The Ticket Master" and "Suited for Success," and so forth.

Secondly: I'm endlessly fascinated by the how much responsibility the ponies have for their environment. Seasons don't change, rain doesn't fall, and plants don't grow without pony intervention. The show is building itself an interesting world.

To her credit, Pinkie Pie senses that Spike is a little heartbroken about losing the gig, so she offers him the co-anchor slot. He happily accepts, unaware that he's about to become that other guy to Fred Willard in Best in Show. Pinkie Pie will also give us our second "my little ponies" joke in as many episodes, and far from the last.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_17_wouldyouliketobemyco_reporter.jpg

Less gracious: Applejack and Rainbow Dash when Twilight Sparkle enters the race, armed with nothing but enthusiasm and her book-knowledge about running.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_18_haveyoueverrunarace.jpg

Twilight Sparkle's number is 42. Okay, new theory: Equestria was created by Deep Thought. Explains everything, doesn't it?

The race is on! It's mostly a grudge match between Rainbow Dash and Applejack, and when the former stumbles, she's convinced the latter did it. Twilight objects, and Applejack curses yet again.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_19_ohhayseed.jpg

Twilight later stumbles, this time over a tree stump, but doesn't believe it when Twilight says it wasn't Applejack's fault. She also gets her own curse in when Twilight points out that she's now last due to spending so much time obsessing over Applejack.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_20_ohhorseapples.jpg

Remember how Applejack and Rainbow Dash are supposed to respectively represent the elements of Honesty and Loyalty? That doesn't make for nearly as interesting characters as the elements of competition and distrust.

In the end, Twilight beats them both, though the episode avoids getting too Aespoian by having her happily win fifth place.

click to enlarge sc_45_mlpfim_13_21_ipacedmyself.jpg

Princess Celestia conveniently arrives so the Shoehorn can be delivered personally: Friendship is more important than competition. Oh, she would think that, wouldn't she?

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"