[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.
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.
Here are a few short stories about Beach City from Steven to help Lars catch up with things at home. Mayor Dewey is feeling worthless after no longer being mayor. Nanafue organizes an emergency plan in case gems attack again. Pearl has a cell phone! Ronaldo and Greg are lookouts and now have a huge telescope to work with. Sadie Killer and the Suspects are planning their show in Beach City. Jamie has formed an improv group featuring Amethyst, Peridot, Barb, and Mr. Smiley. Peedee has taken over Bill Dewey former van and turned it into a food truck for tater tots. Oh, the Big Donut is still closed and Mayor Dewey is still feeling useless. Steven puts two and two together and Bill Dewey is now running the Big Donut and a gives a few to Lars’s parents.
This episode was a breather and a (no pun intended) gem. Everything about this episode was fun and it was tied together nicely by finding a new purpose for the former mayor given all the changes that have occurred recently. And we all cannot wait for Lars to meet Peridot for the first time!
Twilight is planning to celebrate Celestia’s “ones-versary” (1,111th) of her raising the sun for the first time by staging a play at the school. Since being in a play is one of the things Celestia has never done before, though she has a love for theatre, Twilight decides in her infinite wisdom to cast Celestia in lead role as a way of doing something nice to someone who has always put herself before others.
Celestia is uncertain since she has zero acting experience. Despite Twilight’s reassurances, Celestia’s inexperience shows and no amount of acting lessons will help her. No amount of Twilight’s over-willingness to make the play work for Celestia instead of telling her the truth about her acting skills will help either. Rainbow Dash telling every creature she knows definitely doesn’t help—ruling out Spike’s suggestion of cancelling the play. Pinkie’s attempts of replacing the prop sun damaged earlier just makes things worse—especially when she imitates an Illinoisan looking to put on a fireworks show (where such amateur acts are illegal) and smuggled the fireworks from Wisconsin to do that.
Twilight goes over the edge and the cat escapes the bag—upsetting Celestia that her pupil had been lying to her all this time. Celestia tells Twilight that honesty is always better than the best of intentions paved by lies and has an idea to save the play. Celestia plays the role of production assistant and helps salvage the play with Fluttershy (some pony who has acting experience) as Celestia.
To some, this is a bit of a retread of “Inspiration Manifestation”. However, this is someone attempting to hide the truth from someone who has been like family and a mentor to her.. Also, this is not to help someone get out of a creative funk, this is someone trying to give back to said mentor. Twilight’s real fault is that she puts Celestia so far high a pedestal, that she does not realize that there are things that even the ruler of Equestria cannot do—such as act.
However, in both situations, honesty is still the best policy despite best intentions. However, this episode is still better than “Inspiration Manifestation” as Twilight isn’t one to be so dismissive about the lesson like Spike was in the former. The biggest problem with Twilight is placing Celestia high on a pedestal that some of things she feels she needs to do to pay Celestia back are unnecessary.
Past performances are not an indication of future events. Garnet is being a bit random lately from taking a job at the Big Donut, ordering 20 pizzas and giving them away, to wanting to chase a kitten with one eye. Well, she wanted Steven to tell her to chase the kitten while posing for a Vidalia portrait.
Garnet has been struck by how her future vision has not accounted for the decisions Steven has made recently and it’s been vexing when people want her to use her future vision to help predict things. That’s because Steven has grown up and taken responsibility for himself. Steven helps Garnet along by focusing on what we want to have happen instead of using her future vision to see what will happen.
Obviously, what we want to have happen with the kittens is for them to get a good home. The kitten with one eye will get one at the temple and will be named “Cat Steven”.
You really have to stay for the whole 11 minutes to figure out what was going on here. You can’t merely predict that Garnet was going off the rails for no reason. Those who stay for the whole episode are well rewarded for it. Even me as a statistics buff who is interested in probabilities, it’s a waste to focus on what the statistics say and it’s more useful to focus on what you want to have happen.
For example, you’re “future vision” would have had Loyola Chicago maybe getting to the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. What Loyola fans would want is for them to go as far as they can and they were well rewarded with a trip to the Final Four.
This episode requires people to stay for the whole 11 minutes and they will be rewarded for it.
SU Review: “The Big Show”
We take a break from the arc about the diamonds to present this documentary about a local Beach City band as they get their first big break in the form of a concert in Empire City produced by Steven. Sadie Killer and the Suspects (aka, Sadie, Jenny, Sour Cream, and Buck) have been playing in basements until Greg takes them on as their manager and books a gig for them in Empire City.
Sadie still has issue with her Mother being so involved in her life and how she doesn’t want her band to be encumbered in it as well. The group holds their concert, complete with effects, and the song and performance were excellent. We even get a cameo from Joan Jett as Sunshine Justice, an old friend of Greg and booking agent. After the concert, Sadie wants to play the next show in Beach City so that her Mom can see it.
So yeah, Sadie slayed it tonight. Everything about this episode was excellent. I liked how Steven filmed this on an old camcorder to give it that old effect. Greg is also fantastic here telling Sadie that he would’ve enjoyed the support Barb is giving her instead of his parents telling him he was wasting his life (turns out he wasn’t). It gets Sadie to eventually accept Barb’s support (even though she really wasn’t at the concert as Sadie thought).
Just everything about this episode was excellent from the song, to the performance, and every character was in top form.