It’s “Apple Con 45”, and the Apple Family is heading out to make money at their own booth. Granny Smith is being unusually grumpy due to the large numbers of orange and berry growers at the con, but she’s soon more upset when she sees the Flim-Flam Brothers are there trying to scam ponies again with a new apple peeler, only that they are doing so at separate booths and seem rather depressed. She goes to try and put a stop to any scams they might pull, only to find out that their depression is quite real. It seems both of them got into a feud over an attractive mare named Marian and got to the point where neither of them ever want to talk to or see the other again. In spite of her past with them, Granny feels pity for their situation and ends up tricking them into meeting by taking over the PA announcement, and once there explains how a similar situation happened with twins named the Jonagold Brothers over her years ago, and that in spite of both being old stallions and her leaving both to keep them from fighting each other over her, the brothers still haven’t spoken to each other ever since. Realizing that will be them if they keep holding a grudge, the Flim-Flam Brothers reconcile and thank Granny. On the way out from Apple Con, the Apple Family sees the Flim-Flam Brothers are back to scamming people and a success now that they’re together again, and Applejack realizes Granny was behind getting them reconciled. She admit she did, but insists that everyone needs to be reminded friends and family are the most important people in their lives…even the Flim-Flam Brothers.
The Flim-Flam Brothers make for catchy tunes on the show, but other than that I’m not a tremendous fan of them. And Granny Smith, being a member of the continuously-bland Apple Family, isn’t exactly my favorite character although I like how she injects some “age” into the show, and in a lot of cases the show hits well on issues involving more elderly citizens. So normally that would have grounded this episode solely in “mid-range”.
Sure, it does hit on the core value for the entire “Friends Forever” series, namely the power of friendship even between unlikely or odd pairings. And sticking Granny Smith with the Flim-Flam Brothers is a rather big one. And even the message that’s within is good, as it’s about friendship with one’s own family members, so in terms of plot and moral it’s pretty spot on.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not that good of a story. Oh, it’s not bad. None of the “Friends Forever” ones are really that bad. It’s just…well, as usual, not that good. The show itself has done friendship with family members a lot better, in particular with Rarity and Sweetie Belle. Flim and Flam lose a lot of their charisma on paper too. Coupled with Granny being OOC and lack of anything really humorous or dramatic, and I give this one a little below average.
There’s some meta-humor in the setup for this one. If you’re a convention goer, you realize that it’s hard to hit a convention for one thing without seeing a lot of stands/cosplays/occasionally panels for something else. Lots of fandoms that are small and growing are located in parts of the country where there isn’t much in the way of conventions and the few ones that are around are usually small. What con-goers end up doing is “crashing” larger cons and setting up there so that they can sort of “have a con within a larger one”. MLP:FIM is big on this one. Bronies often crash other cons due to the shortage of MLP:FIM ones. Same thing with what happens here. And just like real cons, there are con-goers like Granny Smith who despises anyone not there for the “true” con showing up, but she’s got a point when the people from different cons show up and try to “take over” the con all together, as it seems the orange growers are doing.
Most of the cast can be found wandering the two-page panel for Apple Con. There’s also a stand for the pies made from Rainbow Dash’s apples during her Micro-Series, and a stand reading “Goops for Stuff” from Rarity’s Micro-Series. (Apparently they went back to their old name. :P)
Most of the Cutie Marks in this storyline seem to have been cut and pasted onto the artwork as opposed to drawn directly on it.
In the flashback, Flim gives Marian a stuffed gremlin from Rainbow Dash’s Micro-Series. It seems a lot of people liked that arc for how it keeps getting referenced…
The latest scam is the Handy, Dandy, Super-Speedy, No Mess Apple Peelcore 8000. It gets a song for it, but…as I’ve said before, the comic is a hard medium for songs.
2 Stars out of 5