The Cutie Map has activated again and (much to their mutual displeasure) Applejack and Fluttershy are being called to Las Pegasus, which has an Equestria-wide reputation of being one colossal, loud, “fun zone” for shows, games, and parties. On arrival at one of the bigger resorts, run by a flashy pony named Gladmane, they have a hard time finding any friendship problems as the owner prides himself on being every guest and employee’s friend and keeping them happy. When they do finally find two ponies at each other’s throats, Applejack is infuriated to find that it’s Flim and Flam. While Fluttershy is willing to talk with them, Applejack is determined to find a different friendship problem, and finds ones in between Gladmane’s performers. After hearing all arguments, the two discover all of Gladmane’s performers would be more successful if they worked with each other to strike out solo, but because they’re at each other’s throats they can’t do it; and they realize Gladmane himself is poisoning everyone against each other to keep them working for him. With that in mind, the two manage to get Flim and Flam to reconcile so they can assist them with “hustling the hustler” and get Gladmane to confess to what he’s been doing. However, Gladmane sees right through their deception and ends up not falling for it. When Applejack and Fluttershy go to his office later to confront him personally about his behavior, he takes the opportunity to gloat over his success at manipulating others in the wake of their apparent failure…only to realize too late that was the real hustle: Flim and Flam expected him to boast after seeing through the scam, and when the girls went into his office they held his intercom button down while he bragged about his racket. The performers reconcile and leave Gladmane’s resort, leaving him ruined and getting him replaced by the Flim-Flam Brothers themselves. Applejack and Fluttershy’s flanks glow to show their success, but they soon regret it when they see the Flim-Flam Brothers successfully scamming patrons to see an empty stage for half-price tickets.
This is another solidly average episode to me this season, with nothing good and nothing bad about it. Not so odd that both of those episodes this season featured Applejack in a prominent role…as you know my opinion on her character from earlier reviews.
It tried to do things that were more interesting. Las Pegasus itself features a lot of background ponies who have never been seen before, but…they weren’t anything too monumental. The very idea of Las Pegasus appearing on the show was an opportunity at a new locale, but…almost the entire episode takes place inside Gladmane’s resort, so aside from the first look at it there’s nothing too big there. Plus, since a Y-rated show really can’t do a pony version of “Sin City”, the place looks like a big arcade or theme park almost rather than a casino. Basically, the citizens of Equestria are left with a rather lame reason to dislike it: it’s loud. There’s a lot of parodies of characters in the ponies in this episode, but…none of them are too incredible.
Last but not least, while the Flim-Flam Brothers had an amazing song in their first appearance back in Season Two, they haven’t had too much appeal to me personally since then. I actually think they’re a bit more interesting in this episode when they’re not running another scam, but as far as the “minor antagonists” go, they’re disliked by a lot of fans.
The dilemma, while alright, is more of a rehash of times it has been done better. Sunset Shimmer did the same thing in “Equestria Girls”, and, as much as people hated her, she did have more personality than being an Elvis impersonator. And there is a rather pointless scene at one point in which Gladmane brings Flam into his office to show off his plan to run every hotel on the strip that never really goes anywhere or ties into the plot. It seems the episode was running short so they had to do something, unless that’s supposed to be where Flam learned about Gladmane’s intercom to tell Fluttershy and Applejack about it later. It’s minor, but…it’s still there.
Once again, there’s nothing “bad” about this episode. It’s just there’s nothing really to write home about either. The curse of Applejack lives. 😦
After first being mentioned in “It’s About Time” way back in Season Two, Las Pegasus finally makes an appearance. Although its position on the Equestria Maps indicates that it’s similar to Los Angeles, this episode revealed it has more in common with Las Vegas. Like Cloudsdale, it’s a city in the clouds. Unlike Cloudsdale, it seems to have ponies of all three kinds living there.
“Pone Fantastique” is likely supposed to be a knockoff of “Cirque de Soleil”.
Gladmane is voiced by Jim Byrnes, an individual with not only extensive voice acting experience but also an actor and Blues musician. Between his ducktail mane style, flashy suit, cape, and way of laughing, Gladmane is supposed to be in part a parody of Elvis Presley.
The same tourists from the first Cutie Map episode this season (“Spice Up Your Life”) cameo, walking behind Applejack and Fluttershy when they meet Gladmane.
Is Bernard (the rabbit pulled out of the trapeze artists’s hat) the first talking rabbit the show has ever seen? (Voiced by Andrea Libman, same as Fluttershy.) Anyway, soon after Applejack talks to a pony version of Scooter from “The Muppet Show”.
The prairie dog trainers are parodies of Siegfried and Roy, magicians who were infamous for their shows in Vegas featuring white tigers.
Gordon Ramsey Pony makes another appearance at the buffet.
The pulling-down of Gladmane’s statue is reminiscent of the pulling down of Saddam Hussein’s statue.
2.5 Stars out of 5