My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 3 Episode 4 "One Bad Apple" Review
This episode was great, and you should all totally go watch it right now. See ya next time!
... Alright, alright, you can get blood from this turnip. Lemme explain.
SPOILER WARNING! READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVE YET TO SEE THE EPISODE IN QUESTION!
Now, this is so far my favourite episode this season, and mainly because it actually shows the harsh reality of bullying and how it can really affect children. I speak from my own tortured experience when I say that I know the mind of a bully inside and out, because I was horribly bullied throughout middle school. It was the worst three years of my life, and I wouldn't do it again for all the tea in China.
But enough about me, let's summarise the episode. In this episode, Apple Bloom's cousin Babs Seed comes down from Manehatten to stay for a week or so, and it turns out that she has yet to attain her cutie mark (for the uninitiated, this is basically a mark that appears on a pony's flanks that determines what their talent in life is and what they are destined to do, more or less. It's essentially the MLP analogue for puberty.) However, when Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo try to get Babs to join the Cutie Mark Crusaders, she rejects their invitation and takes to tormenting them over the fact that they are blank flanks as well, joining forces with longtime rivals of the CMC Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Shenanigans ensue, culminating in the three Crusaders attempting to embarrass Babs in from of the entire town during the annual Harvest Parade.
Now, this seems like pretty run of the mill stuff: newcomer is asked to join a club by the local ragamuffins, and rejects them for the preppy little douchebags that bully them, blahdie-blahdie-blah. It is a tried and true formula with a tried and true twist to it. Apparently Babs got picked on back east in Manehatten, and only took to bullying them to make herself feel better and avoid the torment she experienced at home. Overall the plot is extremely formulaic, but it is executed competently enough so that it feels fresh.
The two high marks for this episode were how they blurred the line with how mean Babs inherently is, as well as a great new CMC song that will be going on my iPad. The Crusaders pretty much tried to recruit Babs as soon as she got off the train, and it is extremely obvious that they are making her uncomfortable with all their talk of the Cutie Mark that she doesn't have. It made me want to reach through the screen and tell the three of them to stop talking about it with the back of my hand, and it also made Babs' fall into an unrepentant bully more believable than just saying that she is inherently mean (I'm looking at you, Sombra.)
Going back to that song I mentioned, "Bad, Bad Seed" is probably the best one for this season so far. It is hip and catchy, and it also does a great job of showing how much of a hard time Babs was giving the CMC during her stay at Sweet Apple Acres. Of course the real villains here are Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon (as they always are in a CMC episode), but it still makes you despise Babs enough that the twist at the end throws you for a curveball.
On the whole, this was a great episode, and it shows good things for the season to come. After the rocky start with the two Crystal Empire episodes and the pretty average Too Many Pinkies, this is the first episode I can honestly say is up to the standards that were set last season. Let's just hope that they can stay there. See ya next week, and be sure to follow this blog for more reviews of games, movies, and television shows!