[source] 809 - “Non-Compete Clause” Written by: Kim Beyer-Johnson "Applejack and Rainbow Dash take the friendship students on a teamwork learning field trip, and accidentally show the students the opposite… (More)
I cut to the chase and say that this was a good episode apart from one part being telegraphed and one part extraneous.
The telegraphed part is of course Big Mac thinking (mistakenly) that Sugar Belle is in Ponyville to break up with him. The extraneous part is the whole thing with the CMC and thinking Sweetie Belle may have a secret admirer after the postal mix-up. I guess there needed to be a B-plot in this story and something else for Big Mac to bounce off of.
Now let’s get to the good parts. Discord is actually making an effort to be helpful and cheer up Big Mac. The part with “Skelanor” was quite humorous. Spike was good in this one too to tie in with “guys’ night”.
Long story short, Sugar Belle is taking a part-time apprenticeship with Mrs. Cake while her cousin is running the bakery in Starlight’s old village on weekends (to be on his own for once apparently). Of course, Discord “stalled” Sugar Belle so that Big Mac can square things away with her.
So overall, a better effort from last week apart from the telegraphed mix-ups and the extraneous portion with the CMC.
“It’s Hearts and Hooves Day and Big Mac has big romantic plans for Sugar Belle, but the day takes a turn when he overhears his special somepony tell Mrs. Cake that she’s planning on breaking up with him!“
There’s a time and a place for everything and in this case, Applejack’s and Rainbow Dash’s competitive nature does not fit the task they are charged with. After Fluttershy wins her ninth successive Teacher of the Month award, AJ and Dash volunteer to take the Student 6 on a field trip (to battle for hearts and minds).
Both AJ and Dash maybe “Teamwork Experts”, but they are also experts at being over-competitive. The poor students are caught in the middle of this whether it is building a shack or a canoeing or a nature walk. For that last one, both compete in trying to be non-competitive and both build bridges towards a perilous situation with biting cuda fish.
Throughout this, the Student Six show teamwork skills by learning through their professors’ how-not-to-do things. And no, AJ and Dash will not learn their lesson about keeping their competitive streak in check.
Outside of AJ and Dash, we have a good episode as everyone else sees through how their competitive streak might lead to trouble. That said, it wouldn’t be interesting if AJ and Dash weren’t in charge of the field trip. Then the Student 6 wouldn’t be the most interesting thing about this episode.
So if you were tired of another AJ vs. Dash episode—you’re not going to re-watch this again.
Oh my goodness gracious! Was that ever a twist to everything! I’m certainly not talking about Lapis just going to the Moon Base. Let’s get that out of the way. At this point, she prefers flight to fight because she certainly is still traumatized by what happened to her and does not want to go through that again. At the same time, she cannot help but wonder about what’s going on on Earth. She warmed to the idea about returning, but after Steven told her about his Diamond dream, off Lapis goes again to parts unknown.
So Steven wants to talk to Pearl as she might have been the one to shatter Pink Diamond. Pearl remains mum, but sends her cell phone inside her pearl for Steven to fetch and it will lead him to the truth. We have to go to the fourth power inside Pearl’s pearl to find out the truth. There was no shattering. Pink Diamond had Pearl disguise herself as Rose to pretend to shatter Pink, so she could roam free as Rose on Earth. If you go back to “Jungle Moon,” you saw an insolent Pink having an argument with Yellow Diamond over why the former could not have an army or fleet. At some point, Pink became enthralled with Earth and created a false story about Rose.
This is the series’ ultimate wham episode. It only leaves us asking more questions that won’t be answered until Summertime. We saw how Blue and Yellow reacted to Pink’s “shattering” in different ways. Now we’ll see how everyone reacts to this twist in the tale. In the preview after the second episode, at least one gem is not taking it well.
For the first time, the map calls somepony from outside Ponyville. That would be Sunburst and he and Starlight Glimmer have been called to their former home—Sire’s Hollow. There, we see how the Development Committee (led by Sunburst’s Mom) and the Preservation Committee (led by Starlight’s Dad) have gone to extremes. That’s not really the friendship problem. Then we see Firelight treating his daughter like she was a foal and searching through the archives for the “Friendship Problem”. Meanwhile, Stellar Flare is full of plans to ensure the success of his son. None of those are the friendship problem.
The friendship problem is Sunburst’s and Starlight Glimmer’s relationship with their parents, especially after they tell them off. Neither have visited their parents for ages (as foreshadowed by Sunburst throwing one his Mom’s letters on top of a pile). Two lessons are at play here. Things were hard for both Sunburst and Starlight after they split up, but neither sought the support of their parents who only really want to be a source of support—no matter how annoying they get. Also, the parents need to learn to give their children some space to learn and grow.
However, that does leave the matter of the town still unsolved and that was left on the back-burner during the episode. Maybe there’s still room for Stellar Flare and Firelight to come to a compromise in regards to the town?
There are some good lessons and credit to the episode to keep people guessing as to what is the friendship problem truly was, but there were opportunities to address other things during the episode.