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Synopsis:

Rarity has been looking for an opportunity to spend some time with Applejack at the local spa, but due to increasingly finding herself bogged down with more chores Applejack hasn’t found time. While heading out with Rarity to the farm to pick up more pies, Twilight Sparkle and Spike suggest taking over Applejack’s chores for an hour so that she and Rarity can have some time for relaxation. Unfortunately, on arrival at the spa, there’s a line of ponies waiting for the one treatment Applejack wants: the steam room. Doing some investigation, Applejack ends up discovering the backup ultimately stems from a small problem that everyone at the spa was too busy to fix that eventually led them to waste a lot of time and energy accomplishing nothing. Yet in the time it takes to fix it, the hour is up and she and an unhappy Rarity head back to the farm. Once there, they see that Twilight and Spike are still trying to feed the pigs, seemingly through a rather nonsensical and pointless checklist. On interrogating Applejack about it,  they discover that she herself has been caught in a rut with a lot of chores on her farm; wasting time on pointless steps that serve no purpose than to make the work harder. Rarity and Applejack both acknowledge the need for an “outside observer” to make sure you’re not wasting your time every once in a while and, after streamlining Applejack’s work, head out for their spa treatment at last.

Review:

Last week’s episode was kind of meh to me, but this one, unfortunately, seemed even blander. It has the feel of a Season One episode, many of which suffered from the fact that the writers didn’t fully consider that an idea might not fill out 22 minutes and ended up spending a lot of time on padding. This episode is no exception, only in addition to normal padding of having montage scenes that stretch rather long, there’s also a lot of padding where characters are simply taking long times to explain things to one another.

Yet probably the most disappointing part of this episode is that none of the padding or dialogue is that entertaining. It’s just Applejack and Rarity mostly talking about time management, spa treatments, and fixing steam rooms. And in spite of all the padding, there are not one but two joke scenes with Rainbow Dash thrown in just to be humiliated for getting spa treatments as well…neither of which are that amusing and go on too long.

The irony is that this episode itself ends up seeming like it represents the show writers being stuck in a rut. I actually wouldn’t be too terribly surprised if that was how it came to be. There were a number of other episodes this season that seemed to be born from ideas scraped from the bottom of the barrel (“P.P.O.V. Pony Point of View” comes to mind), but most of them managed to inject at least something entertaining in them. This one is just…there. I can’t honestly say it’s a “bad” episode, but with pretty much nothing to write home about…I’m going to go ahead and rate it lower.

Fun Facts:

Is the spa the only thing mares do for fun together? Anyway, we already know Rarity and Fluttershy head to the spa together. Apparently, so does she and Applejack.

Rarity’s horn got “pruny” as well as her skin. :O

An unexpected cameo of the only character possibly more disliked than Svengallop, Spoiled Rich. She actually appeared once already this season, but only in the “story universe” in “A Hearth’s Warming Tail”.

Mr. Cake is getting the deep-tissue massage by Bulk Biceps.

It’s been pointed out in previous seasons how awkward it is for ponies to hold things that normally can only be used by hands in their hooves, but somehow Applejack manages with all of her tools. 😛

Aloe’s accent pronounces Applejack “Appleyak”. :X

When Twilight Sparkle slips on the rope and nearly hits the ground, it resembles the infamous scene with Ethan Hunt in the first “Mission: Impossible” movie. To accent it, the background score plays the first few notes of the infamous theme.

Anyone else ever think it’s odd that herbivorous ponies harvest eggs? And raise pigs, for that matter?

Rating:

2 Stars out of 5

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