Recap: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S4 E21 "Leap of Faith"
Applejack, are you saying you lied? Applejack:
... I am.
Written by Josh Haber
The Apples are enjoying an afternoon swim, but Granny Smith stays on shore, claiming that a career as an "aquapony" in her younger days has left her too sore to enjoy the water. As they hit the road, the trio find themselves in the midst of a crowd of injured, sick ponies, all headed for a nearby circus tent. The Apples investigate and find that the source of the crowd is the Flim Flam Brothers, shilling a "Flim Flam Miracle Curative Tonic" which cures all ills. They demonstrate by giving the tonic to a pony with crutches named Silver Shill, who promptly discards his crutches and dances out of the tent after a single sip. Granny Smith is sold on the tonic, but Applejack and Big Mac are worried, given their history with the Flim Flam Brothers.
The next day, Granny Smith is swimming again, claiming that she's feeling much better. Applejack and Apple Bloom go back to the Flim Flam Brothers' tent to investigate. There, they find Silver Shill yet again dancing out of the Flim Flam Brothers' tent without his crutches. Applejack follows him and discovers an area filled with various wigs, crutches and props — Silver Shill was in on the act, and the tonic is useless. She confronts the Flim Flam brothers, who smoothly acknowledge that the tonic might
be bogus, but it still makes Granny Smith happier. Applejack has no choice but to agree.
Later on, Apple Bloom suggests that she and Granny Smith enter a Ponyville swim meet together. Granny Smith is initially hesitant, but Applejack points out that if she can swim in a lake, a pool should be no problem. The Flim Flam Brothers take the opportunity to sell more tonic, even using Applejack in their sales pitch. Applejack hesitantly tells the crowd that it seems to help Granny, which is enough to convince several residents of Ponyville to buy it.
Apple Bloom and Granny Smith perform their swimming routine flawlessly. During the applause, Applejack spots Silver Shill in the crowd, selling some of the tonic. Silver Shill admits he felt bad about lying, but that he's learned — through Applejack — that honesty isn't always the best policy. Just then, Granny Smith announces her intentions to break the Ponyville diving record, leaping from a great height into a tiny pool of water. Applejack sprints after her and catches her with a rope just before she hits the ground. Granny is irritated that Applejack should stop her when she has the magic tonic, forcing Applejack to admit before the gathered crowd that the tonic does nothing, and that she regrets her role in shilling it. She says that while there's nothing wrong with believing in yourself, it's wrong to make other people think they can do what they can't through selling snake oil. Silver Shill steps up to confirm her story, and the Flim Flam Brothers sheepishly make their exit. Inspired by Applejack's honesty, Silver Shill gives her all the profits he's made by selling the tonic — a single coin — and promises to make reparations to the pony that he cheated.
Later, Granny Smith is doing a little more diving (from a much safer height this time), while Applejack writes in the Mane Six's diary. She muses that honesty is difficult when the truth will hurt, but it's always better to tell the truth than participate in a deception. Applejack walks off to join her family members, while the coin she got from Silver Shill shines with a rainbow shimmer...
- Absentee Actor:
- Applejack, once again, is the only member of the Mane Six who appears. Notably, this is the only episode to introduce one of the magic keys that hasn't featured all six in some capacity.
- This is also the second key episode where Spike is absent, with the first being Rainbow Falls.
- All-Natural Snake Oil: The Flim Flam Miracle Curative Tonic. It's nothing but apple juice and beet leaves.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Horse diving was a real thing.
- Ambiguous Syntax: Makes a brief appearance in the intro to Flim and Flam's song.
Flim: And if we haven't captured your interest just yet, by the time we've finished, an unfortunate phenomenon practically guarantees that we will!
Flam: A phenomenon? What's that?
Flim: It's a circumstance perceptible by the senses, but in this case...
- Amusing Injuries: Averted. All the injuries, including Granny Smith's flashback and the probable results of her dangerous High Dive Hijinks, are Played for Drama.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Granny Smith's belief in the "miracle tonic" leads her to attempt a suicidal dive. Even if this stuff was amazing as it claimed to be (and in a land like Equestria, this isn't that far-fetched to consider), that jump would likely still cause severe injuries at best.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The opening of the Flim Flam Brothers' sales pitch does this in reverse.
Flim: Welcome one and all to the demonstration of a lifetime!
Flam: A demonstration of a better life!
Flim: A demonstration of a better time!
- Brutal Honesty: In an interesting inversion, Applejack finds telling the truth — or more accurately, admitting to a lie — to be more painful to herself than to the ponies who were duped by the Flim Flam Brothers.