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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S9 E18 "She Talks to Angel"

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It's Freaky Friday between a pony and her rabbit.
Written by Nick Confalone
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Fluttershy holds a predator/prey support group in her animal sanctuary, but Angel keeps disrupting it. In spite of Angel, Fluttershy gets Antoine the python to stop trying to eat Muriel, a baby elephant with an injured trunk. Throughout the day, Angel keeps wanting attention from Fluttershy, but she has a long list of chores to get through with Dr. Fauna, and keeps brushing Angel off. Finally, Angel gets into her supply closet, wanting some concentrated carrot extract, but Fluttershy refuses to let him have it. Angel's frustrations boil over, since he's upset that not only will Fluttershy not pay attention to him, but that she's the only one who can understand him. Meanwhile, Fluttershy is getting increasingly annoyed with what she feels is Angel's needy behavior, since she has to do a lot of hard work for every animal in her sanctuary, and Angel gets to just freeload off of her.

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Zecora arrives at the sanctuary with a small smoke-breathing lizard, asking for Fluttershy's help. Zecora sees the impasse that Fluttershy and Angel are in, and offers to help. She brews up a magic potion in her hut, then tells Angel and Fluttershy to only drink it when they're alone together and back at her sanctuary. In Ponyville, Angel loses his patience and just drinks his half of the potion anyway. Not wanting to waste it, Fluttershy also drinks hers, causing Angel and Fluttershy to switch bodies from Zecora's spell.

Angel-as-Fluttershy is rather delighted with the change, since it means he finally has the ability to talk. Meanwhile, Fluttershy-as-Angel is concerned that she can't do her chores, and that the animals need her. She hops off in Angel's body to go back to Zecora's hut to see what can be done. Meanwhile, Angel-as-Fluttershy agrees to try and do the rest of Fluttershy's chores. However, Angel-as-Fluttershy's rude and crass behavior causes the animals no end of grief. Fluttershy-as-Angel, meanwhile, has trouble just navigating the Everfree Forest to reach Zecora's hut because of Angel's small stature, and rapidly tires herself out. She even bumps into Twilight and Spike on the way, but Fluttershy-as-Angel can't communicate what's going on, further adding to her frustration. Fluttershy-as-Angel finally manages to reach Zecora, but the exhaustion overcomes her, and she collapses.

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Back at the sanctuary, Angel-as-Fluttershy's apathy for anyone else's concerns results in Antoine eating Muriel. Only then does Angel-as-Fluttershy explain what's going on to Dr. Fauna and the animals, causing them to come up with a plan to free Muriel from Antoine's belly. Zecora arrives with Fluttershy-as-Angel, her exhaustion leaving her unable to even move. Finally realizing how hard she's been trying to help, Angel-as-Fluttershy gets the concentrated carrot extract from the supply cabinet and uses it on Fluttershy-as-Angel, making her wake up. Once she does, Fluttershy and Angel admit to each other that they both have difficulties and frustrations that the other didn't anticipate, and hug each other in understanding. This causes them to switch back to their normal selves.

Fluttershy holds another predator/prey therapy session, this time without interruption. Dr. Fauna also mentions that Zecora's lizard didn't have any trouble; it was a fire-breathing lizard, and needed more food to not cough up smoke. However, Dr. Fauna has Zecora promise to never do anything like the body swap again.


Tropes:

  • An Aesop: Don't assume that someone close to you has it easy.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • At the predator/prey support session at the beginning of the episode, Fluttershy gets most of the predators to agree to only eat vegetables while at the sanctuary, despite some of them (such as Antoine the python) being unable to digest plant matter. Furthermore, Antoine is shown chewing the snake treat Fluttershy offers him, despite snakes being unable to chew their food.
    • Antoine the python is able to swallow Muriel, a baby elephant, whole — snakes can accommodate pretty big meals, but inflating to multiple times their usual volume to accommodate an entire elephant calf is beyond even them.
    • Antoine is shown to have fangs, despite the fact pythons are non-venomous. Snakes also don't have their teeth stick out of their mouths.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Angel invokes this when Zecora offers to help him and Fluttershy.
  • Book-Ends: The episode begins and ends with Fluttershy giving a predator/prey support session at the sanctuary, only that Angel doesn't disrupt the second session this time.
  • Breather Episode: This episode is softer and more comedic than the previous which got rather serious.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Implied. Angel does this by stepping on the wolf's tail and it attacks the little bunny for its trouble.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Sweet Feather Sanctuary returns, and is the main setting for the episode.
    • Fluttershy breaks out the Stare once again, albeit while in Angel's body. It still works, though.
  • The Cameo:
    • Lyra, Bon Bon and Cheerilee are briefly seen in the background while Fluttershy and Angel are walking through Ponyville.
    • Twilight and Spike have a minor scene where Fluttershy-as-Angel tries and fails to talk to them.
  • Carnivore Confusion: This is the first episode in the series addressing the fact that sapient predators and sapient prey may not get along very well.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The concentrated carrot extract. First seen in act one when Fluttershy denies it to Angel, saying it's meant to revitalize exhausted herbivores and she can't afford to give it to Angel just because he likes the taste. Used in act three when Fluttershy, in Angel's body, becomes that exhausted herbivore.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Right after they switch bodies, Angel-as-Fluttershy tries to follow Fluttershy-as-Angel by hopping around.
  • A Day in the Limelight: After nine seasons, Angel finally gets a starring role.
  • Discretion Shot: We never see the actual act of Antoine swallowing or vomiting up Muriel, nor (what is implied) the wolf briefly swallowing Angel before spitting him out to teach him a lesson — only the aftermaths of both scenes.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Fluttershy and Angel's visit to Zecora is similar to a couples' therapy session.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Angel-as-Fluttershy is horrified when he hears that Antoine the python wants to eat Muriel the elephant. He also drops the more jerkish parts of his behavior to try and save Muriel.
  • Foreshadowing: The "gecko" Zecora brings to the sanctuary breathes smoke. It is later revealed to actually be a fire lizard.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Zecora's potion causes Fluttershy and Angel to swap bodies. In an unusual application of this trope, it is the actual bodies that swap, not the minds; both Angel and Fluttershy stay in the same relative position to each other when they gain their new forms and later when they revert back.
  • Gender Bender: Fluttershy [female] and Angel [male] switch bodies.
  • Heroic RRoD: Fluttershy-as-Angel exhausts herself going to and from Zecora's hut. By the time she gets back to her sanctuary, she needs Angel-as-Fluttershy and Dr. Fauna to use carrot extract on her just to help heal the exhaustion.
  • In Another Man's Shoes: The purpose of Zecora's potion was to help Fluttershy and Angel appreciate each other, by seeing firsthand how difficult the other's life is.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Angel-as-Fluttershy makes a baby cry while ecstatically enjoying his newfound ability to talk.
  • Jerkass: In fitting with his previous characterization, Angel causes no end of trouble for everyone involved in the story by causing a ruckus during Fluttershy's peacemaking attempt between predators and prey, causing the episode's problems by not following Zecora's instructions, and never taking Fluttershy's own duties and responsibilities into account. This nearly results in the deaths of multiple characters, like Muriel the baby elephant and even Fluttershy herself, because he half-asses her chores while in her body just so that he can drink some of the concentrated carrot extract in the sanctuary supply closet, which Fluttershy makes clear is only for emergencies.
  • Karma Houdini: Zecora only gets a bit of scolding for pulling a trick that almost got Fluttershy and Muriel killed.
  • Lack of Empathy: Angel-as-Fluttershy openly admits that caring about the other animals is more of a Fluttershy thing. The only time he starts to care is when Muriel the baby elephant is eaten. Plus, when the other animals confront Angel about his neglect, he just throws it back in their faces by stating that now THEY know how he's been feeling.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Due to having no idea that Angel and Fluttershy have swapped bodies, Dr. Fauna is deeply confused about Fluttershy's uncharacteristic behavior.
  • Lovable Lizard: The fire lizard is friendly and looks like a cute gecko.
  • Messy Hair: Fluttershy's mane and tail are disheveled when she gets the animals under control by the time of Zecora's arrival.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Angel-as-Fluttershy quickly decides that talking is "so cool".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Discussed. Dr. Fauna notices how out-of-character Fluttershy is acting when she comes back to the animal sanctuary, being very aggressive and ignoring many of her chores. That's because it's Angel-as-Fluttershy doing all of it, not Fluttershy herself, but Dr. Fauna doesn't know that.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Fluttershy in Angel's body has it rough, due to her inability to talk to anyone else.
    • The central conflict involves Fluttershy being the only one who can understand Angel. Even so, the two of them don't see eye-to-eye on each other's needs, causing tension between them.
    • If Zecora was more explicit as to what the potions would do, both Fluttershy and Angel would have likely waited until they were at Fluttershy's home to use them.
  • Reality Ensues: Between running the Sanctuary and teaching at Twilight's school, Fluttershy doesn't have as much time to spend with Angel as she used to.
  • Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...: After first switching bodies and realizing that he can talk, Angel-as-Fluttershy goes up to the Flower Trio.
    Angel-as-Fluttershy: Roses are red, violets are blue, you sell flowers, and so do you!
  • Ship Tease: While in Fluttershy's body, Angel claims that Fluttershy wants to marry Discord.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Antoine the python eating Muriel the baby elephant is a reference to The Little Prince. The snake shares its name with that of the author of the aforementioned book, as well.
    • Angel's happy dance at becoming a bunny again is a direct reference to Snoopy from Peanuts.
    • The episode's title is one to the Black Crowes song "She Talks to Angels".
  • Skyward Scream: Fluttershy lets out a shrill rabbit's cry to the sky when she discovers Zecora's potion made her switch bodies with Angel.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Besides being the only pony who can understand Angel, Fluttershy communicates with a snake, an elephant, a fire lizard, and a giraffe throughout this episode.
  • The Speechless: Fluttershy becomes this in Angel's body. It causes her no end of grief when she runs into Spike and Twilight, but she can't explain what's going on.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Angel gains the ability to speak verbally in Fluttershy's body.
  • Swallowed Whole: Muriel the elephant ends up getting gulped down by Antoine the python after his treats are given to Zecora's fire lizard.
  • Tempting Fate: After Muriel the elephant accidentally sucks up Fluttershy's keys, Angel-as-Fluttershy shrugs that everything's fine, "as long as we don't need those keys". True to form, they end up needing those keys.
  • Tongue Twister: After first switching bodies and realizing that he can talk, Angel-as-Fluttershy says "rubber baby buggy bumpers" to a mother and her baby. He starts saying "toy boat" a few times, but Fluttershy-as-Angel stops him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Angel loves carrots. In Fluttershy's body, he's distracted by the scent of some, even though he's not himself at the moment.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: Fluttershy attempts to convinces the predators at the sanctuary to not eat any of the other animals while they're there, and instead try vegetables. Downplayed in that she isn't suggesting they stop being carnivores, just that eating other animals in the sanctuary is a no-no.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Downplayed. Angel-as-Fluttershy has a slightly deeper, slightly harsher and more masculine tone than Fluttershy's normal speaking voice. But it's definitely still Fluttershy's voice.
  • Voices Are Not Mental: When Fluttershy and Angel switch bodies, each body's original voice remains intact. Thus, Angel gets the ability to speak, and Fluttershy loses it.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: After everything has been settled, Dr. Fauna asks Zecora to never switch Fluttershy and Angel ever again.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: Angel-as-Fluttershy invokes this when Dr. Fauna asks what's wrong with "her".
    Dr. Fauna: What's gotten into you?
    Angel-as-Fluttershy: You do not want to know.

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