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Synopsis:

Rarity gets a rude awakening one morning when she sees her parents are going on vacation for a week, leaving her with Sweetie Belle. So wrapped up in her own routine, Rarity is quick to brush her off and her attempts to do something fun together, and Sweetie Belle’s own attempts to help out end up clashing with Rarity’s “neat” style. She accidentally shrinks Rarity’s favorite designer sweater when doing the laundry, she uses all of her rare sapphires in a picture she made, and she cleans up her “work area”, ruining her “feng shui”. Still wanting to do something together, Sweetie Belle suggests they participate in the annual Sisterhooves Social at Sweet Apple Acres, but Rarity turns her nose at the thought of getting dirty and sweaty and ends up getting in an argument that causes the sisters to break off from each other. Sweetie Belle meets up with Applejack and Apple Bloom soon after, who have a much nicer relationship, are friendlier, don’t mind messes, and have lots of fun even doing chores together. As for Rarity, when she sees Sweetie Belle’s cleaning up inspired a new fashion, that her shrunk sweater is perfect for Opalesence, and, most importantly, the drawing she made was of her and Sweetie Belle…she realizes how repulsive she’s been and has a change of heart. Yet when she tries to make amends with Sweetie Belle, her self-centeredness ruins a chance at a reconicilation. On the day of the Sisterhooves Social, since Sweetie Belle doesn’t “have” a sister to run with, Apple Bloom “loans” her Applejack to run in the race with her. At the very first obstacle, a mud hole, Applejack falls in and a mud-covered pony wearing her hat comes out, but the two run a great race and come in second at the end. Sweetie Belle is simply happy she got the chance to have fun…and ends up accidentally removing the hat on “Applejack”, revealing a white horn. It turns out it was Rarity the whole time, who worked it out with Applejack and Apple Bloom to prove she could be a “good sister”. The two end up spending the rest of the week having fun together and write a letter to Celestia via Spike about the importance of give and take in a sister relationship.

Review:

Yet another great episode…and, in several ways, the best of the “run”.

This was the first episode that really featured Sweetie Belle as her own character, and it worked out very well even if she really spent most of the episode playing off Rarity. Unfortunately, we would still have to wait until Season Three for Scootaloo to finally highlight an episode.

Again, this episode is light on humor and heavy on drama…and it’s fantastic at it. Maybe it’s because I have both an older sister and a younger sister, so I’ve played the “roles” of both Rarity and Sweetie Belle at times in my life, but this is the first episode that really hit me in the “Feels”. The part where the still-angry Rarity sees the picture Sweetie Belle made and breaks down almost made me break down as well. And while I can normally see the twist at the end of episodes coming a mile away…I honestly didn’t realize that it was Rarity impersonating Applejack during the race, and so the show actually caught me off guard for once.

Yet another great episode where the characters “walk the line”. Rarity indeed crosses over into pure repulsiveness in this episode, what with her self-centeredness and condemnatory attitude, but she manages to snap back from it too. Even though Rarity gets what she deserves, having to deal with the pain of someone you love not wanting to have anything to do with you, you really feel for her when she almost desperately tries to insist that she can be a “good sister” to an unbelieving Sweetie Belle. It’s a bit OOC that Rarity was not only physically strong during the race but managed to completely suppress her hate of dirt and toil for the duration of it, even if she was doing it to redeem herself, but still…it’s a fantastic episode. Yet another one that helps make Season Two the best.

Fun Facts:

After a long run where she at least had to pop in to give the letter to Celestia, this is the first episode where Twilight Sparkle doesn’t appear. In fact, this is one of the “least featured” episodes as it only has two members of the Mane Six, Rarity and Applejack.

Rarity’s parents appear for the first time in this episode. She obviously doesn’t get her “refined” nature from them.

Are they making grape juice? Or, heh, something that needs “fermenting”? 😛

Sheep appear to be sentient too…but don’t get any respect from ponies.

Rarity has another “drama queen” bit in this episode, but…it’s a bit more “deserved” this time. Her line: “As Celestia is my witness, I’ll never be sisterless again!” is obviously a parody of the line from “Gone with the Wind”…but also introduces something interesting. Celestia is invoked the same as God, confirming she’s not just a powerful alicorn who is a ruler but is actually a deity.

Since Rarity’s eye color is distinct from Applejack’s (blue versus green), if you had been paying attention to the series you’d know it was her in the Sisterhooves Social all along. I hadn’t at the time, however…and the fact that Rarity is suddenly as athletic as Applejack didn’t help.

Rating:

4 Stars out of 5

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