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Synopsis:

It’s time for the National Dessert Competition in Equestria, being held in Canterlot, and Pinkie Pie is overseeing the Cakes’ entry: Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness AKA “the MMMM”, and invites the other Mane Six members along. Almost immediately, she and three other bakers clash while on the train: Gustave Le Grand, a French-inspired griffon submitting eclairs, Donut Joe, with his “city” of “Donutopia”, and Mulia Mild, a mule who baked a life-sized chocolate mousse moose. Fearing that they’ll try to sabotage the MMMM, Pinkie Pie elects to guard it that night, and, before falling asleep on the job, is ambushed by a series of strange events involving a shadowy figure, first chasing the figure off to the caboose and vanishing, then chasing the figure to the engine and vanishing, and finally getting in a scuffle when the blinds to the dessert car close on their own. The next day, the MMMM has monstrous bites taken out of all three tiers, and Pinkie Pie, naming herself detective and Twilight Sparkle her assistant, begins immediately making wild accusations of the bakers with no basis of facts. To make matters worse, after passing into a dark tunnel and emerging again, all of the desserts have been ravaged. Twilight eventually “switches roles” and looks for clues, and ends up concluding that the culprits who vandalized the MMMM were Rainbow Dash (she flew to escape Pinkie Pie in the caboose), Fluttershy (she hid herself as the conductor), and Rarity (she used her magic to lower the blinds in the dessert car). Taking a cue from that Pinkie Pie looks for clues as well and discovers that the other bakers devoured each other’s desserts. Everyone reveals Pinkie Pie’s description of the desserts tempted them into eating them all and apologizes. The bakers decide to combine the remains of their entries to create one new entry, which immediately wins first prize. Pinkie writes to Celestia about the importance of never jumping to conclusions.

Review:

Considering what happens in the very next episode…the moral of this one is rather ironic. 😛

I like this episode a lot better on review. It’s something that’s been missing since Season One…good, wacky fun that only Pinkie Pie can provide. True, this is another episode where her silliness gives way to stupidity, but it’s a “good” kind of stupid in this one, where she comes off as more wacky and fun than mean. There’s a moral in it, but for once in Season Two the “drama” is completely overshadowed by the humor. It’s loads of fun. Pinkie Pie’s accusations are great, the characters are great… I can only guess that with the seriousness (at least for ten minutes…) of the next episode, they wanted to end the “regular” episodes on a very light-hearted note.

True, the moral of this story seems almost “tacked on”. Yet in terms of pure humor enjoyment, you don’t really care so much about the “moral”. You’re too busy having a good time with this episode. Plus, I read “Mystery on the Orient Express”, so that adds to my enjoyment although I’m not a rabid mystery fan.

About my only beef is that I think they could have left Applejack out. She’s effectively just “there”. And I don’t like that the episode’s mystery didn’t “play fair”, although it would have been instantly obvious to the audience that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were guilty if it had revealed the clues Twilight found. Yet still, like I said, this is a pretty good episode…and, as will become evident in my review of the Season Finale, was the “high point toward the end of this season”.

Fun Facts:

The name of this episode is obviously a takeoff of the infamous Hercule Poirot mystery: Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”. However, it shares something else in common with it too. *SPOILER ALERT* Similar to “Murder”, every potential suspect ends up being guilty (except Applejack). *END SPOILERS*

In Season Four, it’s revealed that Ponyville has a fast-food, McDonalds-esque restaurant called “Hay Burger”. However, at the beginning of this episode, Twilight is drinking from a Solo cup with a picture of hay on it. My guess is she either made a stop there in this season or this is one of those “hay shakes” from an earlier episode. 😛

Again, the distance from Ponyville to Canterlot is up in the air. In this episode, it seems to take nearly a full day for a train to get there.

Gustave Le Grand is the first griffon to appear on the show since Season One’s “Griffon the Brush-Off”. Donut Joe, who appeared in “The Best Night Ever”, also shows up in this episode. Finally, Mulia Mild is a parody of Julia Child, an infamous cook.

Fluttershy is scared of the chocolate mousse moose.

A “Whodunnit” is a slang term for a mystery, but Twilight can’t resist correcting the incorrect grammar. 😛

The hats that Pinkie Pie pulls out for herself and Twilight Sparkle are those corresponding to Sherlock Holmes and Watson.

Pinkie’s “wild allegations” are all parodies. Her allegation of Gustave is a knock-off of classic silent film “dastardly villains”. Donut Joe’s allegation is a James Bond knock-off. Mulia’s is a knock-off of samurai flicks/anime.

Also, similar to Agatha Christie, the mystery in this episode doesn’t “play fair”. Although it shows Rarity’s eyelash on the picture, it doesn’t reveal what the “first clue” Twilight Sparkle found was (Rainbow Dash’s blue feather), which would have solved part of the mystery a lot sooner. Similarly, it doesn’t reveal Twilight found a long, pink hair in the conductor’s hat, implicating Fluttershy.

Celestia appears in this episode but has no lines. She’s too fixated on the dessert to answer Pinkie Pie. 😛 She’s also the only one who gets to actually eat the desert as Pinkie devours the rest in one bite afterward. What a pig. 😦

An odd episode in which the girls go to Canterlot in this episode only to go to it again in the next episode.

Rating:

3.5 Stars out of 5

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