Recap: MLP: FIM S2 E24 "MMMystery on the Friendship Express"
Written by Amy Keating Rogers
It's a big day for the Cakes: they're entering their newest cake recipe, the "Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness" (or MMMM), in Equestria's National Dessert Competition, and Pinkie Pie is going to make sure that the cake gets there in one piece... even if she has to enlist Big MacIntosh and the rest of the Mane Six into getting it aboard the Friendship Express.
Once aboard, the gang meet some of the other competitors: Gustave Le Grand, a snooty French griffon who thinks his "Exceptionally Exquisite Eclairs" are a shoo-in for first prize; Canterlot's own Doughnut Joe, who's looking to make his doughnut shop world-famous with a scale-model city made out of pastry which he calls "Doughnutopia"; and Mulia Mild, who thinks she deserves the top prize with her intricately sculpted Chocolate Mousse Moose. Rivalries flare, but Twilight manages to calm everypony down and convince them to get to bed early... except Pinkie Pie, who insists on standing watch out of fear that one of the other chefs will sabotage the MMMM.
As the night drags on and Pinkie nearly nods off, she's jolted awake by shadowy figures darting through the cars. She chases them from one end of the train to the other, but somehow loses them both. Pinkie returns to the dessert car to check on the Cakes' cake when the curtains descend, leaving Pinkie Pie in the dark. Once the curtains are re-opened, Pinkie resumes her vigil convinced that her paranoia was justified... only to immediately nod off.
Morning comes, and Pinkie awakens to find the MMMM intact... or not, as Twilight Sparkle points out. Pinkie resolves to find out whodunnit by dressing up in a deerstalker cap and bubble pipe and dragooning Twilight Sparkle into playing Watson to her Sherlock Holmes
. Pinkie Pie wastes no time in accusing each of the other bakers of being the guilty party, complete with ludicrous flashbacks to how they did it:
- She first accuses Gustave Le Grand, in the style of a silent movie, of tying Pinkie to the railroad tracks and chopping up the cake with a saw blade. Twilight is quick to point out that Pinkie is clearly not tied to the train tracks and that the cake was bitten, not sliced.
- Next, Pinkie accuses Joe... or rather, notorious super-spy "Con Mane", who knocked out Pinkie Pie and destroyed the cake with an arsenal of spy gadgets. Twilight shoots this theory down, too, citing the lack of a laser beam security system and Joe's non-spy physique.
- Pinkie decides that must mean Mulia Mild is the culprit behind the destruction of the cake, and a ninja for some reason. Twilight points out the brow-beaten Mulia is probably not a secret master of the martial arts.
Pinkie Pie is forced to conclude that there's no evidence the other bakers were behind the sabotage of the MMMM and not only that, but she starts to wonder why the other desserts, as tempting and delicious as they look, were completely untouched. Then the train passes through a tunnel, plunging the room into darkness again... and upon the train leaving the tunnel, all
the desserts are in ruins and Detective Pinkie is completely stumped.
Pinkie Pie: Now I have no idea who-do-dunned it!
Twilight takes charge of the investigation and sends everyone back to their rooms while she and Pinkie Pie look for clues. The first order of business is to retrace Pinkie Pie's steps from when she was chasing the shadowy figures the other night. Through her thorough investigation, Twilight finds enough clues to figure out the culprit and tells Pinkie Pie to gather everypony together.
Once the other passengers are assembled, Twilight reveals her clues one by one. The first is a blue feather left behind in the caboose. The second is a lock of pink hair found in the conductor's hat. The third and final clue is a false eyelash stuck to the portrait! This means that Pinkie's friends Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Rarity were all responsible for taking bites out of the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness! The two pegasi and the false-eyelash-wearing unicorn ask for forgiveness, which Pinkie cannot refuse.
That still leaves the question of who ate the other bakers' desserts... a question that Pinkie Pie is eager to answer, now that she knows to look for clues. Mousse in Gustave's mustache, eclair in Doughnut Joe's hair, and sprinkles in Mulia's wrinkles reveals the truth — they each devoured each other's entries! The bakers confess to being unable to resist eating each other's desserts after Pinkie Pie's vivid descriptions. The mystery has been solved but now no one has an entry for the contest... or do they?
At the competition, we witness Pinkie narrating a letter to Celestia about not jumping to conclusions...before a massive cake made from the remnants of the damaged desserts is revealed to the the judges. It instantly wins the blue ribbon and after wrapping up her letter, Pinkie Pie promptly consumes the whole dessert in one gulp! As everyone joins in laughing with the super stuffed and mighty messy Pinkie Pie
, the episode ends with the fourth wall being promptly 'eaten'
- Absentee Actor: Spike
- Added Alliterative Appeal: About a third of the episode's dialogue.
- The cake Pinkie is guarding is called the "Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness", which has been "mutilated".
- "Clearly this dastardly deed was done by the baker who knew their dessert could not measure up to the mastery of the Marzipan Marscarpone Meringue Madness!"
- "Get your claws off that cake, you cur!"
- "I was so sure that it was one of the other bitter bakers..."
- "It's a spectacular city of donuty delight topped temptingly in sprinklicious sprinkles."
- "Gustav's eclairs look incredibly edible with glistening glaziness!"
- "Then there's Mulia Mild's Mousse Moose. Why, this mouth-wateringly marvelous mousse moose tempts the taste buds with its silky smooth yummy nummy chocolatiness."
- "...while leaving this trio of tasty treats untouched?"
- "This mystery gets more mysterious every minute!"
- "We have a cake culprit to catch!"
- "...this cake carnage!"
- "When committing a crime, it's crucial that one never leaves behind clues."
- "Did you find the devourer of the desserts?"
- Aesop Amnesia: The ponies learned in "Lesson Zero" and promised Celestia they would not accuse a friend of overreacting and would take her concerns seriously even if they didn't understand their friend's reasoning — but nopony wanted to help Pinkie guard the cake because they thought her concerns of sabotage were over the top. One might think it justified due to Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie, but they also learned in "Swarm of the Century" that even when Pinkie Pie appears to make no sense, there is a sensible reason that isn't necessarily obvious at a glance.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Twilight to Joe while insulting him unintentionally.
- All Animals Are Dogs:
- Pinkie scratches herself like a dog when she wakes up the next morning. This is something some ponies and foals can do, though full-grown, normal-sized horses are incapable of it. She also growls like a dog while pursuing the thief.
- Applejack pants and drools while Pinkie is describing the MMMM. Pavlov would be proud.
- All Your Powers Combined: The confection at the end is the Cake's cake, decorated/repaired with Gustav's eclairs, Joe's donuts, and the head of Mulia's chocolate moose. The judges clap eyes on it and award it 1st prize then and there.
- Badass: Mulia Mild is a BadASS ninja in Pinkie's Imagine Spot about her.
- Balloon Belly: Pinkie Pie gets a very noticeable one (with accompanying chubby cheeks and double chin) at the very end of this episode, after devouring the huge cake in one bite.
- Behind the Black: There are several times where Pinkie is at the same angle Twilight was at when she saw the damage to the cake, and yet she didn't notice it until it was in frame; a downside of Pinkie's Fourth-Wall-Breaking abilities?
- Big Eater:
- It's easy to miss that, in a Pinkie Pie episode, the three chefs reduced the baked goodies to leftovers in the less-than-a-minute the train spent in that tunnel!
- And Pinkie Pie forever cements her Big Eater credentials by devouring a cake bigger than her entire body in one gulp by jumping into the air and diving down on it, mouth wide open, triggering her stomach's size to triple as well.
- Bling of War: The compartment aboard the Friendship Express where the desserts were stored is decorated with a portrait of a pony wearing a Napoleonic-style uniform bedecked with brush epaulets, medals and a sash. For good measure, he also has a Badass Mustache.
- Bond Gun Barrel: As demonstrated in Donut Joe's clip. Naturally it uses doughnuts instead.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Pinkie Pie's case, eating the fourth wall!
- Breather Episode: A fun, Pinkie-as-Sherlock-Holmes episode before the epic two-part Season Finale. Its lightheartedness also contrasts sharply with the intensity of the two previous episodes.
- Bubble Pipe: Used by Detective Pinkie, and later Twilight when she takes over her role. Twilight wipes the pipe stem before putting it into her mouth — a callback to her anti-germ fastidiousness.
- Call Back:
- In the past the Cakes have been hesitant to trust Pinkie to be responsible and were impressed when she proved herself. Now they are entrusting her with a big responsibility and she is determined not to disappoint them.
- In The Best Night Ever, it's revealed Rarity wears fake eyelashes, which prove to be a clue to implicate her in eating Pinkie's cake.
- In Read It And Weep, Pinkie Pie reveals that she likes reading as much as the next pony. In this episode, Twilight Sparkle claims that she knows how to solve real-world mysteries due to having read mystery novels. Immediately after, Pinkie starts thinking in terms of mystery tropes, revealing that she must have been reading mystery novels as well.
- Carrying a Cake: How they get the "Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness" to the train. Averted in that they manage to get it to the train safely (despite several near mishaps), if not to its ultimate destination. Pinkie made sure of that.
- Chained to a Railway: Pinkie's Silent Movie Imagine Spot for Gustave includes him tying her to the railroad.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- That painting of a mustached stallion looks pretty normal, doesn't it? Except he has long eyelashes.
- Also notice how Rarity's right eye is never shown after the cake incident.
- Though there are no post-cake-munching visual clues for the viewer, the two shadowy figures that Pinkie chases down from the exterior train shown are drawn with the distinctive features of Rainbow and Fluttershy, respectively.
- Clueless Mystery:
- Averted in the first one. Much is made of Twilight picking up clues that aren't shown but there were already clues before that, and the last item picked up is shown but it's subtle.
- The second mystery gives us no clues at all before being solved.