The positives of this episode far outweigh the negatives. Continuity nods, character development, a nice Aesop
, etc. The one negative I find in the episode, though, is a rather large one.
The ponies' treatment of the CMC after they're exposed as Gabby Gums crosses the line into outright assholery. It's justified among those who wouldn't know
the CMC, and Fluttershy, sensitive as she is, can't be expected to take it well. But the rest of the Mane 6, Applejack and Twilight in particular, could have behaved better. Why is it that Rarity, who has a complicated, sometimes antagonistic relationship with her sister, is the only
one willing to have a heart-to-heart talk with Sweetie Belle, or any of the fillies? Applejack should be able to see that this is more the ignorance and desperation to fit in common to young children than anything else, and given how their relationship was portrayed in "Sisterhooves Social", that she would just blow Applebloom off borders on OOC. Twilight is to the CMC as Princess Celestia is to her; she's shown mentoring and advising them in several episodes, and interacts with them directly more than most of the other adults. Now she can't even be bothered? Rainbow Dash, of course, is just downright mean to them, and in disproportion to how damaging the column on her really was. This doesn't excuse the vitriol of most of the gossip columns shown, but the CMC are kids
, and that the more mature and understanding of the mane 6 aren't able to understand that kind of bugs me.
A good, deep episode, but I disliked that one bit.