The magical “Zap Apples”, the pride and joy of Sweet Apple Acres, are beginning to appear, meaning its “Zap Apple Jam” season. Diamond Tiara’s father, Filthy Rich, owner of Rich’s Barnyard Bargains, drops by to place an advance order on the jam, and when Diamond Tiara spots Granny Smith going a chain of seemingly random and erratic behavior and having Apple Bloom join in, she uses the opportunity to make fun of her for having strange relatives and making her ashamed of Granny. When Family Appreciation Day comes up and Apple Bloom is next, she further plans to humiliate her by getting Ms. Cheerilee to schedule Granny Smith for Apple Bloom’s visit. The CMCs try numerous attempts to prevent the event from happening, but are unable to keep Granny Smith from arriving. However, she ends up telling an amazing story of how her family founded Ponyville, and even is the reason that Diamond Tiara’s family became wealthy due to her great-grandfather being the first to buy the Zap Apple jam to resell it. When Diamond Tiara tries to make fun of her anyway, Apple Bloom, now having pride in her family, sticks up for her. The episode ends with the best Zap Apple Jam yet and Diamond Tiara being forced by Rich to help “sing to the water”.
By now, I think the “drama” episodes were getting a tad stale. Each one had its “good” parts and the messages were especially poignant as a result…but the show, to me, was “losing its fun”. To me, the only really fun part of this episode in spite of its numerous attempts was the move by the CMCs to turn Granny Smith into a life-sized “puppet” and get out of the presentation. She seems oblivious to the fact that her limbs are being manipulated to invade Cheerilee’s personal space. 😛 Also, the fact that Diamond Tiara is revealed to still be getting away with bullying every single episode while the adults are blissfully unaware wasn’t too appealing. And it’s kind of a let-down after this episode that Silver Spoon is the first one to applaud Granny Smith’s story…and then goes right back to being a b***h alongside Diamond Tiara in her next appearance.
The flashback in this episode was very nice. So far it’s the only time we’ve seen the younger Granny Smith…although no one in the flashback calls her by that name because, frankly, it would be odd if a filly was being called “Granny”. It gave in some important “historical details” about the background of Ponyville, fleshing out its history even more. The biggest change is that Granny Smith’s character was simultaneously retconned and fleshed out. Until now she had been mostly just used for gags involving the elderly. Even earlier in this season she seemed so senile and frail that she appeared better off spending most of her time sleeping. Yet while she’s still rather senile in this episode, the “Granny Smith” that would fill the rest of the series became more prominent: the energetic and determined Apple Family matriarch. Sure, her age still shows in many episodes, but she’s definitely more determined not to let it “get her down”.
So…again, a good-not-great episode.
Until this point in the series, Granny Smith had been portrayed as slow, senile, and decrepit. Starting in this episode and for the rest of the series, she was portrayed as more “feisty” and energetic. It’s a marked contrast between Granny Smith in Season One vs. her in Season Four.
Most of Granny Smith’s odd behaviors are eventually explained by her story…but why she needs to hop over watering cans in a bunny suit while singing her “A-B-C”s is still a mystery. I guess…water likes A-B-Cs in bunny suits…
Diamond Tiara’s dad is introduced in this episode, Filthy Rich, and an owner of a chain of stores called Rich’s Barnyard Bargains. He’s still a creep to me even if he doesn’t do anything overt due to the fact that his family and Applejack’s go way back yet he doesn’t rein in his brat of a daughter.
Again, everyone is totally oblivious and/or unresponsive to Apple Bloom being bullied. For goodness sake, Ms. Cheerilee doesn’t even tell Diamond Tiara to be respectful during Granny Smith’s presentation. This show loves bullies. 😦
The CMCs have built an addition to their clubhouse with a telescope in this episode.
The Apple Family is German descent? Huh…
This episode reveals the Smith Family actually founded Ponyville. It seems they “married into” the Apple Family and changed the name. It gives some indication of Granny Smith’s age when it mentions Stinking Rich is Diamond Tiara’s great-grandfather and bought the Zap Apple Jam from her. Although…it’s kind of odd that he would buy the jam, go about 100 feet from the future Sweet Apple Acres, and then sell it at a markup. 😛 However, it’s a “notch” in Celestia’s belt when it’s revealed she gave the Smith Family the land which eventually became Sweet Apple Acres.
The first episode that didn’t have a letter or speech to Celestia, although Apple Bloom still “learned a lesson”.
The first episode to feature only a single member of the Mane Six: Applejack. And she’s barely in it.
3 Stars out of 5