Granny Smith is headed out of town for a visit, and both Big Macintosh and Applejack need to make deliveries to distant (and dangerous) locations, meaning they have no choice but to let Apple Bloom be home alone and take care of things on the farm for the first time. Apple Bloom does fine, but Applejack doesn’t get too far before she suffers a panic attack worrying about her and goes home to check on her, and soon overreacts to a mess she made as a result of Applejack bursting in the house and scaring her. It’s not long before Applejack is “baby-proofing” everywhere and being horrendously overprotective, frustrating Apple Bloom to no end. To prove she’s old enough to handle herself, she decides to deliver the pies Applejack failed to deliver herself, while Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle “stand-in” for her and pretend to be napping. Unfortunately, the delivery site is so dangerous that it would be a life-or-death risk to Applejack, let alone Apple Bloom. She ends up having to take the pies through Flaming Geyser Swamp and encounters a hungry chimera who wants to eat both her and her pies. Although she manages to hide the pies and wagon from the chimera, she herself gets cornered, but Applejack (having discovered the ruse) breaks in and saves her just in time. On discovering that Apple Bloom only did this to prove she could take care of herself and that in spite of the situation she managed to save the cart and the pies, Applejack realizes she can take care of herself and, while she still vows to ground her, agrees to let Apple Bloom stay home alone from now on, and both sisters deliver the pies to their intended recipients.
Talk about getting a “base hit” with one strike left to go.
Going OOC in order to make a plot work is never a “good thing”, even if only just a little as in this episode, but the fact is, at best, this is “a side of Applejack we’ve never seen”. Her going back to check on Apple Bloom and then immediately considering her too young to take care of herself was one thing…but for her to immediately start baby-proofing everything, all while pulling a “Stepford Smiler”, is a little extreme even if it’s meant more as a joke than anything, and it doesn’t really “fit”. And aside from that, this episode does mostly “ho-hum” territory as well. As I’ve said before, Applejack episodes just don’t seem to work. Mix it in with the CMCs who rarely have episodes that work and things are even worse, although, in all fairness, this episode is more about Apple Bloom than the other two.
But then comes the last third. The animation of the Flaming Geyser Swamp and the chimera is fantastic…especially the latter. I’ve never seen the show put out such an amazing-looking monster. Compared to how “cartoonish” the Manticore and Hydra looked like in the first season, this thing is far more scary-looking and deadly-looking. Almost too much so, unfortunately…as it kind of makes all things before and, to a degree, what was still-to-come after look a bit “tame” by comparison. The monster even argues with itself in a spot of humor…although I think how fearsome it looks kind of “dulls” the comic relief effect.
They kind of had to “force” the moral to work in this one by making Applejack as neurotic as Twilight used to be, but the scenes with the chimera make up for a lot of it. Although it’s mostly an Applejack/Apple Bloom episode, I consider this the closest the show has ever come to a “hit Applejack episode”.
Applejack is the only member of the Mane Six who appears in this episode, although Rarity is mentioned and the CMCs are present.
There’s a “hats and bows” closet at Sweet Apple Acres. Maybe Applejack and Apple Bloom are like those geniuses who don’t want to think about what to wear every day…
When Applejack opens the wardrobe and says: “Scootaloo?!”, the only lame defense Scootaloo can think of is: “Uh…no…?” This is similar to the old “Good Burger” bit that used to be done on Nickelodeon’s “All That”, where Ed would always royally goof something up, a customer would call him on it, and his only defense would be to say: “Uh…no…?”
When Applejack lifts up Apple Bloom’s bed looking for her…Ms. Smarty Pants (from “Lesson Zero”) is underneath.
The “Flame Geyser Swamp” is reminiscent of the Dread Fire Swamp from “The Princess Bride”.
It’s been a while since the show used a monster from classic mythology. This episode features an (admittedly impressive-and-monstrous-looking) chimera. As an unusual turn, the monster is actually fully sentient, unlike others. The snake portion, at one point, appears to have “hypno eyes” similar to Kaa from Disney’s “The Jungle Book”, but these are never used in the episode. In fact, in an ironic twist, the snake ends up being hypnotized. All three heads are voiced by the same voice actor (which…actually makes a lot of sense): Ellen Kennedy, the same individual who provided the voice of the Mane-iac in “Power Ponies”.
I think it’s kind of funny the lion tamer’s chair is collapsable.
Yes…Cajun ponies exist. 😛
2.5 Stars out of 5