One of the flaws of Season 2 has is the increase of the episodes centering on the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Previous CMC episodes did not lit Equestria on fire in terms of quality. There are a total of four episodes focused on them, that's more than any of the main characters who either have 2 or 3 each. This makes them into something of a Spotlight Stealing Squad. The only one that did make it past Meh ranking on my tier list is Hearts & Hooves Day due to its 2nd half shenanigans.

After Hurricane Fluttershy, I had low expectations for this. And it went as I expected would be, a stock plot played straight with only a few moments that are good but not worth watching it in its entirety.

And this is pretty much my problem for the CMC episodes. The show put up such a high standard that stuff like this feels like a downgrade, like it was mandated by executives & the writers didn't put the same effort.

I did like two things...

  • The continuity nods were nice like Trixie getting name dropped, & Big Mac still having Smarty Pants made me LOL.
  • Speaking of Big Mac, his Silent Bob style speech was brilliant. And the fact it was juxtaposed with Applejack borrowing Big Mac's catchphrases.

But there's stuff I didn't like.

  • First, & this is really bugged me since she's my fave, why didn't Fluttershy say anything? She's a main character & should have a say in the matter! She could easily chimed in & agree with Twilight. Her crying does not count as dialogue since it was obviously recycled. Unless Andrea Libman was unavailable & could only do a couple of lines for Pinkie Pie, I'm taking points off.
  • For that matter, what was Applejack doing at the spa? Isn't she's supposed to reject that kind of fru-fruey stuff?
  • Diamond Tiara is 1-note again, seriously what is her deal? For a show that tries to add depth, it seems the antagonists get the short end of the stick.
  • The fact this plot is the same story I've seen in several shows & didn't add any twist. Even worse considering MA Larson wrote & is the show's best writer in my opinion. The closest I can think of is the CMC writing a letter of apology when they could've just do an article portraying Diamond Tiara in a bad light. But still, it's just bleh and was a chore to watch because of it.

Grade: C-

It's not bad but not good either, it's just meh.


  • dGalloway
  • 31st Mar 12
While I agree with some of the review, I have to point out that there have been only three "real" CMC episodes: Cutie Pox, Hearts and Hooves Day, and this one. Sisterhooves Social only had two of the Crusaders, and was focused on Sweetie Belle almost entirely, while Family Appreciation Day only featured the three together for the second act and spent more time with Apple Bloom and Granny Smith. In fact, only Cutie Pox and Ponyville Confidential had anything to do with their cutie marks.

And overall, the second season has done a great job redeeming the CMC. Instead of being a bunch of single-minded annoying kids, they've acted more like actual friends. They play together, hang out, and just be like normal kids rather than trying to force out some metaphorical breasts. I actually don't mind seeing them more often, especially now that their good episodes have washed the awful taste of Show Stoppers out of my mouth.

As for the rest...I actually liked this episode. It's predictable, but so is every other episode. The ending is very clever and fits the spirit of the show far more than just writing terrible crap about Tiara. The continuity nods were great, Big Mac feels like an actual character now, and a lot of the episode had me laughing. That being said, the Aesop was a little dinged because no one thought to call out the consumers that were demanding the gossip, and I felt the town was being a little too cruel to the kids at the end.

But yeah, it had some problems, but I still liked it.
  • DonEast
  • 31st Mar 12
I consider FAD a CMC episode since it a good chunk of the episode centers the three's exploits on getting Granny Smith out of Family Appreciation Day.

The continuity nods are nice but they don't justify the blahness of this episode. After all, one of the major flaws with Doctor Who in the 80s is how it inserted references & follow ups to old episodes that people who aren't longtime fans would get.

It's predictable, but Fi M proved in episodes like "May The Best Pet Win" & "Hearts & Hooves Day" proves that predictability can still be entertaining but this lacks that punch that made those two good in my book.
  • AkiraxAtsukifan
  • 31st Mar 12
I kind of agree. I had a problem with the episode concerning the attitude of the mane six. I can understand Fluttershy crying but what pissed me off is how they treat the kids like garbage when everyone finds out that they're Gabby Gum. They're kids. Sure what they did is wrong, but Rainbow Dash didn't need to hover the rain over her given how she was shown to be very sympathetic and patient in the last episode. Twilight didn't have to put up a barrier after she said at the beginning that they needed to talk to Gabby Gum. After Apple Bloom and Apple Jack are shown to be close during Sisterhooves Social, she blows her off instead of talking to her like Rarity did Sweetie Belle and even though Rarity was being mean in the episode, she at least talked to her sister and called her out on it instead of ignoring or attacking the trio.

And of course, I hate how Diamond Tiara just gets worse and worse. As far as I'm concerned, she's an ungrateful bitch (excuse me for my language) out to get everyone and satisfy her own greed. And even though it wouldn't be in character to wright crap about Diamond Tiara, I think it would serve as a better Humiliation Conga then having her lose the spot as the person in charge. That didn't seem the right punishment for her when the CMC group basically got rained on, kicked out and humiliated and just isolated from the entire town. Besides, even though I bet people wouldn't read the article about Diamond Tiara given that the CMC are considered liars at that point, it would make sense to apologize. Still...it would have made a lot of people feel better.
  • Psi001
  • 1st Apr 12
I admit most of the show's antagonists, though often still highly entertaining, are often rather basic and one note. Nightmare Moon is the nearest to one with a sympathetic motive, and even then she was rather generic For The Evulz in terms of persona (at least if the show considers Luna and Moon separate entities). This episode kinda has the same problem as Boast Busters and Griffin The Brush Off, the bad guys are so basic and one note nasty and are dealt with in a very preachy sense with no real twist, giving the moral a kinda Anvilicious and goody goody feel.

As for the CMC stealing the spotlight, they admitedly have had the most centered episodes in this season outside maybe Rainbow Dash. Truthfully there seems to be two or so characters each season that win the spotlight lottery. Applejack and Twilight had the most centered episodes (or at least largest amount of prominant roles) in Season One, now said characters in Season Two, makes me wonder which two may get the most attention (and perhaps some intriguing Character Development) in Season Three.
  • cliffc999
  • 25th May 12
Actually, I think Rarity was the only one to be able to have a heart-to-heart because she has a complicated, tense relationship with her sister. The Apples are normally close-knit and full of smiles; when the specter of betrayal raises its head within their own family they're going to be enraged about it. Consider how angry they must have been, for Big Mac to have been yelling like that while Applejack has to muzzle herself before she says something she'll regret? But Rarity is experienced with the sensation of having to force herself talk slowly and rationally with her younger sibling while simultaneously being so frustrated that she wants to kick a hole in the door, because Rarity calls that Tuesday. And so she's better able to pull it off, while everybody else has to put themselves in a cooling-off period before they're fit to talk about it at all.

Also, the reason Applejack was at the spa was to get a massage, which makes sense for somepony who does that much manual labor.

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