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Synopsis:

It’s Cider Season at Sweet Apple Acres, a big time of year for them that makes their money for the winter months. Unfortunately, because their cider is high quality, there’s always supply shortages and dozens of angry townspeople who wait in line every day only for them always to run out. During the latest “dry out”, a pair of unicorns named the Flim-Flam Brothers drive into town with a machine called the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, a machine that automates and speeds up cider making. They offer to let the Apple Family use it…but want 75 percent of the profits, not leaving enough for them to live off of, and they refuse. As a result, the brothers threaten to compete and run Sweet Apple Acres out of business. Finally, the Apple Family challenges them to see who can make the most cider in one hour, with the winner getting exclusive rights to sell cider in Ponyville. The next day, the competition starts, and the Apple Family is doing poorly until Twilight Sparkle and the others join in as “honorary Apple Family members”, at which point the Apple Family is actually able to surpass the output of the machine. The Flim-Flam Brothers end up speeding the machine up and disabling the quality control to produce faster. While Rainbow Dash protests that they should worry about quantity and not quality, the Apple Family makes everyone keep focusing on quality even as they try to work harder. At the end, the Flim-Flam Brothers clearly win in spite of the massive amount of cider the Apple Family produced and move to take over the farm…until it turns out their cider is totally undrinkable and, more importantly, unsellable. The two run out of town, and the Apple Family is back in business and now has enough cider for everyone. Applejack writes to Celestia that she didn’t learn anything…she already knew the importance of quality and your friends helping you out.

Review:

Another good, fun episode, and a nice rebound after the previous one. It’s got one of the best songs of Season Two in it, both upbeat and catchy, and the storyline is pretty good too even if it’s kind of a knockoff of American folklore. It doesn’t have many “funny” parts, but the whole episode in general just seems “fun” to begin with. It’s one of the few episodes where you see the entire Apple Family doing something together, and, heh, if you notice they keep calling it “cider” as opposed to “apple cider”, you can pretend the real reason that all of those ponies are so desperate during cider season…

My only major beef with it is that this is one of the worst episodes for Pinkie Pie. One can argue she’s just so crazy that she doesn’t notice when she’s doing rather thoughtless things…but I still don’t care for it.

But other than that, another good, entertaining episode, and it helps usher in the second half of a great season.

Fun Facts:

This episode is similar to many other American folklore myths involving “man vs. machine”…the “tried and true, old-fashioned” way of doing things versus modern technology that would replace manpower.

The Flim-Flam Brothers are named after the expression “flim-flam man”, or another word for a conartist. However…it’s worth noting that they aren’t actually “snake oil” salesmen like their fan reputations came after this episode. The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 does make high-quality cider faster and easier than the Apple Family can. It’s only because they disabled the quality control that the cider ended up being bad. If they hadn’t it would have been fine-tasting. It wouldn’t be until their return appearance in Season Four, “Leap of Faith”, that they would actually become conartists and sell phony products.

Another great song, and, in my opinion, possibly the best in the series: “The Flim-Flam Brothers Song” was in this episode. Again, it’s very “musical-esque”. Even I can’t help but try and sing along. 😀

As a rather “odd” joke…the uncovered Fluttershy blushes as if she’s nude when Rainbow Dash pulls off the covers to her bed. I suppose that’s a joke that she “sleeps in the nude”…although all ponies do…

Wait…if Rainbow Dash has never gotten any cider ever…how does she know it’s any good?

I’m sorry…Pinkie Pie is a jerk in this episode. She knows there’s a shortage and tons of ponies in line yet she buys dozens of glasses of cider and doesn’t give any to Rainbow Dash, doesn’t let her cut in line behind her, and when she told everyone about her idea to camp out for cider…she apparently told everyone except her closest friends. Finally, she rubs it in her face. No wonder Rainbow Dash hates her. I don’t blame her. 😦 This is one of the episodes where the flip-side of Pinkie’s zaniness leads her to be rather thoughtless…and I never care for those moments.

There’s a fan-theory “joke” about this episode. Although both “apple cider” (non-alcoholic) and “cider” (alcoholic) can foam, everyone keeps calling it “cider” season and talking about getting “cider”. Although it’s obvious that in the process of making the cider they don’t have a “fermentation” step…a lot of fans like to think the reason everyone is crazy over the cider is because it’s alcoholic, being the only alcoholic beverage the residents of Ponyville get. This theory is somewhat supported in Season Four’s “Simple Ways” when one of Rarity’s events is a Cider Tasting and Silent Auction event. Normally…that would be something you do for wine. 😛

The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 is probably the closest we’ve ever seen to a car in the series. It actually reminds me of a similar contraption/vehicle in Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon”.

Although “Doctor Whooves” had appeared before now…the fact that he appears in this episode with a tie and an hourglass probably gave him his name.

Fluttershy’s not bad at applebucking…er…picking. 😛

This episode is somewhat “unique” in that the letter to Celestia features Applejack saying she didn’t learn anything.

Rating:

3.5 Stars out of 5

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