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Synopsis:

The Breezies, tiny fairy creatures who are incredibly delicate and frail, are migrating across Equestria to gather pollen and are now on a return trip home to their own world, but have to make sure to reach it by the end of the day or the portal that connects Equestria to their world will close, stranding them. While flying across Ponyville, Spike accidentally disturbs a leaf which is more than enough to catch a dozen or so of them in an eddy that strands them. Fluttershy comes to their rescue and immediately gains their admiration and affection…with the exception of one Breezie named Seabreeze who insults the others for being too incompetent and lazy to stay with the group. Fluttershy takes the Breezies back home to rest for a bit before resuming, but it’s not long before they begin to grow comfortable on Fluttershy’s TLC and keep making more excuses to stay with her and let her care for them. Seabreeze grows angrier and angrier and more insistent they go, but Fluttershy, not wanting to hurt their feelings or reject them, keeps caving into them. As it gets late and becomes more and more clear that the Breezies may not be able to return home in time, Seabreeze, getting desperate, tries to go alone and soon gets in trouble from a few common occurrences, culminating in nearly getting attacked by bees. Fluttershy comes to his rescue and he admits he didn’t really hate the others; he just knew he couldn’t survive in this world and was desperate to get them to want to leave. Fluttershy chastises him for that but at the same time realizes, as she had to shout at the bees to get them to leave him alone, that sometimes doing the right thing means needing to be forceful. With that in mind, she forces herself to order the Breezies to leave and throw them out of her house. Unfortunately, they’ve delayed too long and their reduced number can’t ride a strong-enough breeze to get them back as there’s not enough of them to act as a bulwark, so Twilight Sparkle turns herself, Fluttershy, and the others into Breezies to add more to the numbers. On the way back, Seabreeze changes his tune from being a “whip cracker” to more encouraging and motivating, also apologizing for his insults earlier. The Breezies and the Mane Six fly through the portal with only minutes to spare, and the girls get a brief glimpse of the Breezie world before Seabreeze gives Fluttershy a flower from the world as a reminder of them and a thank you. Fluttershy later writes that “showing kindness” can take many forms, including that of “tough love”, as Seabreeze’s flower gives off a rainbow shimmer…

Review:

This is probably the most reliant-on-plot-devices of the Keys of Harmony episodes…so much so that it’s hard to actually “get the back story”. Considering this is a show for little children and I’m an adult, that’s kind of saying something. Nevertheless…the “lesson” in this episode is rather important, hits close to home for me, and, most importantly, is rarely touched on in other children’s programming, and ultimately sells this episode more than a lot of others.

The sheer number of plot devices in this episode set up just to make sure the plot can work out the way it does is almost corny. And if it wasn’t for being the only way Fluttershy could have gotten her “Key of Harmony”, the whole bit with the girls being turned into Breezies for the final part of the episode would have seen like a shameless attempt to sell toys…although I can’t really say that now as I have yet to see a “Breezie” toy for sale. So there…the “bad stuff” is out of the way.

Now for the great stuff…

The fact of the matter is, in USA society, codependency is a huge problem. Especially among family members of addicts. They know the addict has to resolve a problem…or has to face the consequences of their actions in the hope it will get them to face a problem only they can face…but we don’t want them to suffer for it. And no parent who loves their child or close family member or friend ever “wants bad things to happen” to them. But that leads us to want to “cushion” them and forgive them. You see all these people getting 19th and 20th chances who are celebrities and you laugh and shake your head at them wondering how stupid you can be. That’s because it’s not your child, your friend, your loved one. But even so…it’s true. There are some things, as mature individuals, we have to do for ourselves. No one can do them for us…and if they try they’ll only make things worse.

Fluttershy may not have been a “parent” to the Breezies, but it’s abundantly clear she loves all living creatures and feels an obligation to care for them…even a responsibility (or “codependency”, really) to do so. The thought of “throwing a creature out into the cold, cruel world” is horrific to her because it would feel like the opposite of her nature: not caring for them, even being cruel or mean to them. Yet in this episode she’s forced to do something rather shocking for a kid’s cartoon…she’s forced to see that her kindness is actually harmful…and that the only way she can do the right thing…the truly “caring” thing…is to be “cruel”.

That scene where she finally “puts her hoof down”…and the Breezies come up to her and cling to her as they did all the other times, begging for more of her love and care…and she forces herself to bite her lip, turn up her nose, and firmly tell them to “get out”…damn. Just…damn. It’s even more heavy when it doesn’t do what it could have done. The Breezies don’t just “roll with it”, immediately realize “she makes a good argument”, and then go on their merry way. No…they look heartbroken and fearful. They bow their heads and sullenly and reluctantly fly out. And after Fluttershy forces herself to shut the door behind them…she breaks down in tears. Because that sort of thing is terribly, terribly painful. From personal experience…it HURTS. I can’t tell you how much it feels like something is ripping your heart out. I’m choking up right here writing this just at the memory. And this wonderful little animated program captured that. Even when “everything works out” at the end and the Breezies are safe back at home and Fluttershy’s course of action ends up being the best and the Breezies, no doubt, are even feeling a bit of gratitude for her throwing them out in the first place, you still think about that moment and it’s still painful.

Rarity and Rainbow Dash’s Key episodes were good…even great…but this is in a league of its own. I’d rate it even higher if it wasn’t for the fact I’m not sure my personal bias would be responsible.

Fun Facts:

The opening of the episode is a “flip-side” parody of the opening to “Sonic Rainboom”. Rather than trying to get the girls to cheer louder, Fluttershy is trying to get them to be softer. She even caps the sequence off with her now-infamous pathetic “yay”.

The Breezies were first mentioned in “Three’s a Crowd”, but they’re more “explained” in this episode. Apparently they’re a form of fairy creature (although tiny pony almost seems more accurate…) that needs to come into the “real world” to gather pollen (for some reason) and then migrate back to their own world which is more their size. And apparently they need to float on a breeze in order to “generate magic to protect the pollen”. That latter plot point is just to explain why the girls couldn’t just put the Breezies in a box and carry them to the portal much faster than they could have gone. Essentially, they’re a very complicated mythological creature created just so that the plotline would “work out”.

Seabreeze is voiced by Brian Drummond, the same actor who does the voice of Mr. Cake (who also appears in this episode). Although he uses a Swedish accident, there’s really no need as it’s nearly impossible to tell Seabreeze is even male, let alone the same voice.

While not nearly as popular as “Flutterhulk” or “Flutterbat”, “Flutterbee” became a small “thing” after this episode.

Fluttershy’s Key grew proportional in size to her.

Rating:

4 Stars out of 5

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