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Synopsis:

Pinkie Pie’s sister, Maud Pie, is visiting Ponyville for a week before she goes to get her “Rock-torate” in Rock Science, and Pinkie is obsessed with them all becoming best friends so she can share in the rock candy necklace making tradition she and Maud have had since they were fillies. While she says Maud is interested in everything the girls are interested in, they’re soon in for a shock on meeting Maud face to face and find her to be Pinkie’s polar opposite. Maud is the most deadpan, emotionless, quiet, unenthusiastic, and boring pony imaginable. She has no sense of humor, her interests are completely mild and unconventional, she takes everything literally, and her only love seems to be rocks…and she doesn’t seem to be too “crazy” about those. The girls utterly fail to find common ground and confess the same to Pinkie, who, in a desperate attempt to bring them all together, creates a psychotic obstacle course “combining all their interests”. Yet when she demonstrates a test run, she ends up getting pinned on the “rock slide” and nearly crushed by a boulder…until Maud jumps in moving like a bullet and demolishes the boulder with her bare hooves. Realizing the fact she and the girls aren’t “hitting it off” is making Pinkie unhappy, she aborts her visit early to Ponyville to keep from upsetting Pinkie any more, causing the latter to escort her back home to their rock farm. The girls realize what Maud has done as well as the fact that she clearly loves Pinkie dearly even if she doesn’t “show it off”, and they end up beating the two girls back to the farm with the rock candy and say that their mutual affection for Pinkie Pie is something in common they all share, and Maud agrees and (sort of) makes up with them. A few days later when Maud is getting ready to leave, she and Pinkie swap rock candy necklaces as always, only for Twilight to discover she’s never eaten any of them as she dislikes candy. However…she’s kept every last one in a special box out of love for Pinkie Pie.

Review:

This episode instantly became one of the favorites not only of Season Four but of the entire series. It’s very highly rated on IMDb, even more than other episodes like “A Canterlot Wedding” and “The Return of Harmony”. As for my opinion?

(Gets the same face the girls do when trying to confess to Pinkie Pie they haven’t hit it off with Maud) Er…well…um…

I give this episode a lot of credit. I really do. I was looking forward to this episode because I thought it would be cool to see one of the sisters from the flashback at long last as an adult mare. And it had the virtue of doing something with the show that works great but hasn’t yet been explored: what does a show about friendship do when faced with someone who’s very difficult to make friends with?

And Maud Pie definitely is the highlight of this episode…by being remarkably uninteresting, quiet, and not a highlight. The show is full of wonderful characters, but this is the first one who really doesn’t have anything to her…which ironically makes her a great character. Her constant, incessant lack of enthusiasm, bland responses, and just the way she does things in a very dry and monotone manner is ironically one of the craziest things done on the show so far. If they had a lot of characters like her this wouldn’t work, but having just the one in a show full of animated characters…acting rather like how an adult would react to everything if seeing the show for the first time…it’s interesting and still entertaining. Maud ended up becoming not only a fan favorite for this season…but likely the favorite new character of this season overall. Enough to where she got a cameo appearance in “Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks”.

Still…the episode has one or two flaws. The single biggest one I can’t overlook is during the big scene where Pinkie gets caught in the rock slide. I know the whole purpose of that scene was to have Maud “leap into the fray” and rescue her…but come on. Twilight has magic that could have lifted the boulder. Rainbow Dash is the fastest in Equestria. The others would have at least made a move. But no…no one does anything except gape at the situation motionlessly. I felt like shouting: “Don’t just do something! STAND THERE!”

And while Maud is a nice, interesting character…she doesn’t really give anything to write home about. Her main character trait is supposed to be her lack of character traits. That makes her a bit intriguing and amusing, but…it doesn’t give a whole lot to make this episode intriguing or interesting. And the ending seems a bit weak as well. The girls still aren’t really “friends” with Maud so much as they realize they have a common ground in their friendship with Pinkie Pie. It may have ended up being a bit more corny, but…I would have liked it a bit more if they learned to at least “tolerate” her a bit better.

I rate this episode high, but…not as high as everyone else does.

Fun Facts:

Pinkie Pie is apparently drawing her cartoon flashback as she presents it.

Maud Pie has one of the voices “you swear you’ve heard before”, but, in reality, the voice actor Ingrid Nilson has appeared in very few other productions so far, like most of the “guest voice actors”.

When Fluttershy is trying to guess what kind of pet Maud has, Angel Bunny visibly gets more jealous with each new name.

The “cutaway” to the next scene in this episode is a rock avalanche.

I think it’s a nice “touch” where they do a close up on Maud’s face when she says: “They’re all about rocks.”…taking something mundane and making it into living torture. 😀

It’s a bit funny to me that what really “turns Rainbow Dash off to Maud” is only when she says: “I’m not really into winning.”

Again, Pinkie Pie’s mane deflates. It goes farther than it did in “Pinkie Pride”, but not as flat as “Party of One”.

The…I don’t remember the exact name of it…Big Obstacle Course Pinkie Pie makes up is similar to the Obstacle Course in “Double Dare”, a kid’s game show from the early 90s. Fluttershy’s segment is a knockoff of the iconic “Dogs Playing Poker” artwork series by C.M. Coolidge.

Pinkie is right…when Maud says: “Sure.” in response to the girls, her voice is very slightly more “upturned” than it has been for the rest of the episode.

The first non-flashback appearance of Pinkie Pie’s family’s rock farm. Also, the train station there resembles the buildings in “The Flintstones”, which were always made of rocks.

A trait that’s hinted at is that Maud is abnormally strong, even for an earth pony. She doesn’t even react to eating a rock during the picnic, she throws a boulder with the force of a nuclear blast, she’s as fast as Rainbow Dash and tunnels through rocks with her bare hooves, and when Rainbow Dash gives her her own rock candy necklace that is so heavy it drags on the ground, she doesn’t even shift weight when it’s placed over her neck.

Rating:

3.5 Stars out of 5

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