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Synopsis:

Sweetie Belle and the CMCs are putting on a school play that Sweetie is seeing as her chance for success, as everything about the show is her production except for one thing…the costumes, which she took to Rarity to check out but, in between her rush to complete the newest costumes for her best client Sapphire Shores, ended up remaking them into much more attractive dresses. However, after the show is done, Sweetie Belle’s own poor production is upstaged by Rarity’s costumes, making Sweetie angry at what she considers the latest in a chain of events featuring her being “overshadowed” by Rarity and jealous of her own success and skill. As revenge, she sabotages the headdress Rarity made for Sapphire Shores to humiliate Rarity and then goes to sleep. That night, she has a nightmare about being an award-winning playwright/director/producer, but having a Rarity-shaped cloud ruin it. However, the cloud is dispelled by Princess Luna who shows Sweetie Belle a series of visions. The first is of her fifth birthday party where she thought Rarity “stole the show” with her party favors and cake, but in reality only brought them out because the guests were getting impatient waiting for Sweetie Belle to show up and she was trying to keep them from leaving. The second shows Rarity frazzled, tired, and anxious from working hard on Sapphire Shores’ costumes, especially after having to have devoted time to redoing Sweetie Belle’s costumes. Finally, the third vision shows the consequences of Sweetie Belle’s cruel act…Rarity gets fired by Sapphire Shores, publicly humiliated by the diva, and gives up dressmaking to become a crazed recluse. Now deeply regretting her actions, Sweetie Belle wakes up only to find Rarity is already gone. With the help of the CMCs, she rushes to where Sapphire Shores is trying on Rarity’s new costumes and steals the headdress before Rarity can unveil it. She confesses her jealousy to Rarity and apologizes, the sisters reconcile, and (with Luna’s help) Sweetie makes an improvement to the headdress that Sapphire Shores loves more than before: placing a dolphin in the stitching (Luna knew she’d like it because she dreams about dolphins).

Review:

The original episode that debuted Princess Luna’s “role” in Equestria, “Sleepless in Ponyville”, was written by Season Three newcomer Corey Powell. This episode was written by another Season Three newcomer, Dave Polsky, who, in my opinion, alternates between great episodes and “meh”. This one might not be “Sleepless in Ponyville”…but it’s still a great in my opinion. Maybe because it combines two of my favorite characters: Rarity and Princess Luna.

Sweetie Belle unfortunately still suffers from a lack of character. Pretty much the biggest character trait she’s shone so far is an eagerness to please and a belief in her own ability to excel at everything she attempts, usually ending very badly. That said, for the first time she’s “headlined” an episode…she did very well. I thought her anger was a little excessive toward Rarity and ultimately culminated in something rather mean, but…that was kind of the point of the whole episode. And once Luna showed her the consequences of her thoughtless cruelty, she quickly repented of it.

Again, Luna is fantastic in this episode. Just as in “Sleepless in Ponyville”, she conveys a sense of mystery and power, definitely something greater and more terrible than the “mortal” characters, and yet is still someone approachable and a source of comfort and order. In other words, she’s exactly what a goddess should convey. Episodes like this hammer home how Luna gives the idea of being both a god of Equestria as well as a princess interested in assisting her subjects far better than Celestia…who has been almost entirely absent this entire season. Even the sequence is marvelously well done. The dream is some of the most imaginative artwork seen on the show so far, and it does its purpose very well. Parts of it are intimidating and frightening…but they were supposed to be as the dream was supposed to “scare Sweetie Belle straight”. Luna seems cold and aloof at points…but only when she’s trying to show her disapproval in Sweetie’s actions. At the end of the episode she’s warm and friendly again. As the icing on the cake, Luna takes the opportunity to show her personal stake in helping Sweetie Belle with her problem: how she too once let her jealousy of her more talented sister get the better of her and eventually drove her to do very horrible and senseless things out of envy, and how she doesn’t want anypony else to ever succumb to the same jealousy.

All in all, it was great. I can’t really find anything bad about this episode and, with Luna along, it’s a recipe for fantastic.

Fun Facts:

This is pretty much the first episode to focus on Sweetie Belle after almost four seasons. Although she was “half the equation” in “Sisterhooves Social” back in Season Two, and she seemed to be the dominant character in “Twilight Time”, this really is the first one that has her headline solo.

This episode shares a lot in common with “A Christmas Carol”…which is actually rather interesting. It’s not set at Christmas (or Hearth’s Warming Eve) and it’s not the exact same thing, but the dynamic and plot device is similar: Princess Luna acting as a “spirit” to show Sweetie Belle the truth about events in the past, how Rarity isn’t always as perfect as she assumed she was in the present, and showing her the future outcome of her selfish act of malice to get her to give up her jealousy of Rarity.

The award show in Sweetie’s first dream plays out like the Oscars with the four different faces on one screen.

I’m not sure Luna actually showed Sweetie the real future or if she hammed it up a bit in order to make a point, although I can totally see Rarity overreacting like that.

First appearance of Sapphire Shores since “A Dog and Pony Show”, all the way back in Season One. I don’t know about most fans, but I had forgotten she even existed.

How did Scootaloo and Apple Bloom get past the security guard to get to the door Sweetie Belle opens?

Rating:

4 Stars out of 5

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