Episode 21! Season 1 is nearly over, and I for one am eagerly anticipating getting past it to Season 2, if for no other reason than the milestone. I have been...warned about this episode. I'm told that it's considered one of the worst of the series, but no details on why. Going into this one is what I imagine patronizing a gloryhole would be like if you only expected pain from the other side. Well, let's get this shit over with...
00:13 Okay, so this episode starts off with something for me to nitpick-- steam-powered train...pulled by horses...so not steam-powered?
00:40 In one of the passenger cars, Applejack is caught reading a bedtime story to an apple tree, and I felt about as annoyed and incredulous about it as Rarity did. The premise hasn't even been established and I'm already annoyed! I'm not even trying to make this a self-fulfilling prophecy or anything.
01:02 AJ says that this tree is one of her favorites, which is why she is cooing at it like a baby, Rarity is annoyed that the tree has it's own private car while she has to share with the other ponies...Alright, I'm giving a mulligan to all the characters in this episode for any stupid bullshit, since that seems to be the foundation upon which this episode is built.
01:31 Applejack states that the whole reason for the trip is to take Bloomberg (the tree) as a gift to her family in Appleoosa. I like that the ponies are going to other towns, it makes Equestria seem more fleshed out instead of being in Ponyville most of the time. They really should go back to Canterlot for a few episodes though.
Anyway, yeah, more sappy crap from AJ over the tree, Rarity stomps off in a huff.
02:22 Back from the intro and it's now night time and the ponies are up chatting excitedly about...whatever, except for Rarity and Spike, who would greatly appreciate it if the lot of them shut their goddamn mouths.
02:38 Spike complains that he had to get up early to fire-roast all the snacks their eating, and who else but Rainbow Dash would decide to pipe up and complain that all the kernels didn't get roasted. Spike does the only thing I like in this episode so far by breathing fire all over Dash's popcorn and scorching it entirely, except one kernel that promptly pops and strikes Dash right in her ungrateful fucking face.
02:48 Twilight Sparkle takes the hint and suggests that they all turn in for the night. Sometimes she really is the "smart one".
03:51 Or not-- Dash asks Pinkie Pie if she's asleep, who says no and asks if Dash is asleep, and this spirals into a stupid-ass conversation with Twilight and Fluttershy about Dash thinking Applejack is a tree...all these ponies totally need the mulligan for this episode, because this is a bunch of banal, cloying bullshit masquerading as "quirkiness".
Spike, the only relatable character thus far, tells them once again to shut the fuck up. They keep talking, Spike leaves in frustration, and they jabber on until Rarity also tells them to shut the fuck up. Thank God she was wearing her beauty mask and scared the shit out of them, or we'd never stop hearing this crap dialogue.
04:03 Spike snuggles up with Bloomberg and apologizes for his snoring. Spike, you're great. :)
04:36 Morning time, and the ponies are rudely awakened by a buffalo stampede that attacks the conductor ponies. I'd be more interested if I wasn't wondering when one of these things would talk and sound exactly like a Native American stereotype.
05:18 A female...I'll assume buffalo joins the fray and boards the train, all the while Pinkie Pie is encouraging her to do tricks. Dash states the obvious about this likely not being a circus act, and rushes off to meet the intruder. What gave it away, all the buffalos ASSAULTING THE CONDUCTOR PONIES AND TRYING TO DERAIL THE TRAIN MULTIPLE TIMES
05:44 Dash tries to confront the female buffalo, who ignores the fuck out of her and manages to outpace Dash, going so far as to leap over Dash and continue with her aggressive not-giving-a-shit about what anyone has to say.
I like her.
06:01 Dash tries to capture the female buffalo, but gets tricked into getting off the train and jumping face first into a crossing sign while the female buffalo uncouples the car with Bloomberg and Spike in it. Oh noes, don't let anything happen to the only characters in this episode I give a shit about!
06:26 The buffalos take off with the rear car and Bloomberg and Spike along with it. Dash swears vengeance, as if I care.
06:41 The gang arrives in Appleoosa and are greeted (read: ambushed) by Applejack's cousin who's name I could barely make out, and he starts yet another sequence where the characters can barely get a word in edgewise to say something critically important. So over this gag. Stop it.
07:02 Rayburn-- I'm calling AJ's cousin Rayburn because that's what it sounds like-- is a douche. He's pushy, obnoxiously congratulatory about how awesome Appleoosa is, and I hope I never see him again after this episode without a drastic rewrite of his personality.
07:18 "Horse-drawn" horse-drawn carriages, and there is nothing about this episode that I don't want to light on fire, including whoever wrote it.
08:00 Rayburn finally gets the hint, although I would have opted for physical violence by this point, what with one of my friends (and my apple tree) being in GRAVE DANGER
08:11 the look on Rayburn's face when he finally gets the info dump he's been delaying for the past two minutes is probably the only good thing in this episode so far, and probably for the duration.
08:29 At last, we hear why the buffalo are attacking; they want the settler ponies to take their fucking apple orchard and fuck off. If their only exposure to ponies was Rayburn, I cannot blame them in the slightest.
08:54 Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash is slinking around the desert, trying to track the buffalo.
(this is taking forever, god i wish this episode would end)
09:25 Pinkie Pie pops up, is exaggeratedly annoying (even for her), and they end up getting into an argument about how stealthy they need to be that attracts a huge group of buffalos. WAY TO GO
09:40 Dash gets ready for a skirmish, only to be interrupted by...Spike? And he's cool with the buffaloes, who sound more like buffa-bros than INJUNS, which thank GOD.
10:27 It's now night time, for some reason, and Spike explains that the buffalos only have a grudge against ponies, so he's an honored guest who eats only the finest gemstones while Pinkie and Dash get served sloshing bowls of brown disgusting-looking shit. Guess who finished hers and asked for seconds. We are formally introduced to Little Strongheart, the female buffalo from earlier in the episode, who is totally cool.
10:59 Little Strongheart lays it all out for us; she and the other buffalo stopped the train in order to prevent yet another apple tree get planted on their sacred stampeding grounds or some shit like that. Wasn't this Wesley Crusher's last episode?
Anyway, Spike suggests they go see Chief Thunderhooves for even more elaboration. *sigh*
11:27 Chief Thunderhooves starts pontificating about how his ancestors ran on the stampeding grounds for several generations like a book out of the Old Testament, and Little Strongheart puts a stop to that shit, because she's awesome.
11:52 Anyways, the chief explains that the Appaloosans (which he says with extreme disdain) planted apple trees all over their sacred ground without asking, and would greatly appreciate it if they'd find somewhere else to be annoying assholes. Dash seems antagonistic the entire time, but they do a fake out where she looks like she's gonna start some shit, but instead says they need to go talk to the Appaloosan settlers about working something out. Good for her! Dash, you can keep this specific development on your ledger (unless you fuck it up, then you still get to use your mulligan for this episode).
12:36 the not-Pinkie and Dash ponies, plus annoying douchey Rayburn run into Pinkie and Dash on their way to save them. lots of heartfelt reunion crap, blahbity-blah.
13:31 Dash and Applejack get into it about who has a claim to the land while drawing out Little Strongheart and Rayburn, who seems uncharacteristically conciliatory for once. A drama bomb begins to detonate until Twilight intervenes. 50/50 odds says she will competently play the role of the voice of reason.
13:47 NOPE, Pinkie is the one with an idea...and we cut to a stage with Spike playing a piano...goddamn it.
14:08 Pinkie comes out on stage in a giant clamshell which reveals her to be dressed like a burlesque performer of sorts, doing a musical number that I've already begun to tune out of my mind. On the plus side, Applejack has a look on her face that screams "Are you serious with this shit right now?"
If only Pinkie weren't serious...
14:58 Welp, song's over...UTTER. SILENCE.
15:53 The sheriff and the chief concur that Pinkie's performance fucking sucked, and the chief says he and his tribe are gonna stampede through the orchard grounds if it's still there or not, and the sheriff says he and the Appaloosans would be waiting for them, which is an empty threat because there's no way this show would allow for any of the kind of graphic violence that would inevitably result from this kind of conflict.
16:09 The Appaloosans are boarding up windows and bracing for the stampede, while Applejack laments that things have come to this. Twilight tries to reassure her by saying all they have to do is find a way to resolve this "before somepony gets hurt", showing that she doesn't give a floating fuck if anything happens to a buffalo.
16:21 The ponies try to reason with the Appaloosans, who promptly slam shutters and doors in their faces for their trouble. I totally wouldn't mind if their town got razed to the ground.
17:16 The Appaloosans continue to aggressively go about their daily routines and build barricades on the edges of town while angrily ignoring Twilight and the other's call for rationality. I hope Appaloosa ends up as a smoking crater.
17:54 The buffalos are getting ready for the stampede by donning stereotypical war paint and headbutting each other. Spike asks Little Braveheart if this can be stopped somehow, and Braveheart says it's unlikely if the Appaloosans don't move the trees.
Dash tries to get the chief to reconsider, but he ain't havin' any'a this shit. At noon, it's going down.
18:05 Game time! The buffalos have arrived in force and the Appaloosans look nervous.
18:48 Looks like the chief pussied out, which Pinkie uses as an excuse to sing again...which pisses off the cheif and myself, and he does what I would do and orders his troops to charge.
20:14 As I thought, lots of cartoon slapstick combat. The Appaloosans are throwing pies instead of using guns, which is a reasonable concession to tell a story that shouldn't have gotten out of pre-production in the first fucking place.
This goes on for a minute or so before the chief gets hit with a pie while trying to trample the sheriff. I'm sure the very next sequence will lead to both sides realizing that violence is never the solution and will you get this shit over with already? Please?!
21:09 As expected, the chief tastes a little bit of apple pie and decides to let the orchard stay, providing that the Appaloosans cut a path through to for the stampede and pay a tribute in the form of apple pies. You know what? I'm done. There's a minute left, and you can easily guess what happens next if you haven't even seen this. Roll credits. Fuck off.
This episode actually made me consider giving Adam a refund and swearing off this show for good. It was a pain to sit through and I truly hope that this is the series' lowest point over all. I don't know who wrote this off the top of my head (and I've been told, but keep forgetting because I didn't care enough to remember), but I will be watching for them so I can write a review that consists of the word FUCK 8,000 times.
See you next time for the hopefully less grating A Bird In The Hoof...