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Synopsis:

The Cutie Mark Crusaders notice that Big Macintosh has been making lots of large apple deliveries to Starlight’s old village and decide to tag along, and realize on arrival that all of the apple deliveries have been going to one pony: Sugar Belle. It turns out Big Mac has a crush on her and has been using them, as well as her desire to have more ingredients to make more baked goods, to see her continuously. The CMCs encourage him to tell her how he feels, but he soon gets dissuaded when it turns out she also has eyes for a cassanova of a pony named Feather Bangs. The CMCs decide to help him out by suggesting he do various things from fairy tales to try and win Sugar Belle’s heart, but Feather Bangs upstages him each time. Finally, the two get into an over-elaborate and loud sing-off, which annoys Sugar Belle so much she snaps at them both to leave her alone. Sad and dismayed, Big Mac sulks off along with the frustrated and downcast CMCs, who wonder why the fairy tales didn’t work. When Big Mac points out that Sugar Belle isn’t a “fairy tale princess” and instead thinks of everything he loves about her, the CMCs decide they need to do something special for her rather than try to imitate stories. As a result, they help distract Sugar Belle long enough to help Big Mac build her a new display case twice as big as her older one, which was exactly what she mentioned to Big Mac earlier she wished she had. The gesture endears Big Mac to her and they become each other’s “very special somepony”. The CMCs learn a lesson about relationships and, in a surprising twist, end up finding themselves needing to help out Feather Bangs with his own Cutie Mark problem when it turns out he only knows how to woo mares…not how to actually talk to them.

Review:

I can’t help but frown a bit at this episode. One of the show’s biggest controversies ended up being Big Macintosh and Marble Pie. On a personal note, I thought the two were great together. It’s one of the only shippings I ever endorsed. But (sigh) fans got way too hung up on the fact that Pinkie Pie and Applejack might be very distantly related and many insisted such a pairing was incest, and they were so loud about it the writers would actually make fun of it later this season. So…this.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love for Rebecca Shoichet to have more roles on the show as she has a great ability to constantly make herself sound different from character to character. But…I liked Marble Pie better, and I think, similar to Maud, she could have been played off of a lot more. That’s my personal beef with this episode.

Aside from that, the plot is alright but not that much else to me. Similar to Applejack, Big Macintosh is ok as a bit part but he’s pretty bland like the rest of the Apples. In many ways, this episode is an upgrade from Season Two’s “Hearts and Hooves Day”, which is considered by many to be one of the worst episodes in the series. It shows how the writers have gotten a lot more clever in handling love in a plausible way yet still keeping everything Y-rated, and I compliment it for that. And while on the second watching this episode feels more padded than it was, it’s a good kind of padding. The kind that keeps things moving without being obvious. Even the song was fitting. The CMCs still haven’t really learned about love yet, which figures as they’re not old enough for it yet, but the resolution seemed a lot better than the “Hearts and Hooves Day” one also, so I give that to it too.

Much of the humor fell flat on me in this one except for some of the CMC jokes, mostly because almost all of it derives from Feather Bangs being a Justin Bieber ripoff. I’ve never really paid attention to him as a performer, so I didn’t quite get the jokes in many instances or found them that sharp. And while everything in this episode and Big Mac/Sugar Belle is perfectly plausible, it didn’t really seem all that fitting or perfect in this one. I think it would have been more endearing if after this Sugar Belle started showing up at Apple family events or something. We may still get that in Season Eight but, for right now, it just seemed kind of there and a bit unnecessary. I would have thought Big Mac/Marble Pie was necessary, but that’s kind of gone by the wayside now.

And I’m never going to be able to enjoy “Hearthbreakers” quite as much again because of this episode. 😦

Fun Facts:

The title of the episode is likely a knockoff of the romantic comedy “Say Anything”, only keying off of how Big Macintosh normally says nothing.

Starlight’s old village still doesn’t have a name yet. I’m starting to wonder if its official name is “Starlight’s Old Village”. 😛

It’s hard to tell what the CMCs are saying when they talk over each other in the beginning, but subtitles reveal the three things are “taking up skiiing lessons”, “training for a marathon”, and “cooking a lot of broccoli so he wants to get away from the smell”. All three are completely clueless. No wonder “Hearts and Hooves Day” happened.

Sugar Belle, as in her first appearance, is voiced by Rebecca Shoichet, the voice of Sunset Shimmer. Really, if no one pointed that out I’d never know it.

When the CMCs say that Sugar Belle “sure likes her apples”, and considering the fact that Big Macintosh is “an Apple”…just write your own joke. 😛

Big Macintosh’s special “eeyup” that he says when the CMCs, uh, “reveal themselves” is sort of ill-founded. He didn’t recognize they weren’t apples earlier, after all. 😛

Marble Pie doesn’t even get mentioned on “former crushes”. Sigh.

Feather Bangs is, if it wasn’t obvious, the pony version of Justin Bieber. He’s the first pony with frosted tips.

Ironically, some of the shots in this episode indicate Sweetie Belle is somewhat attracted to Feather Bangs also.

Similar to Disney’s animated version of “Beauty and the Beast”, there’s three mares who follow Feather Bangs around everywhere and sigh dreamily at him. Ironically, one of them is the pony version of Belle from the same movie. 😛

The CMCs have vastly improved on their ability to feature musical numbers since “The Show Stoppers”.

While Sugar Belle ultimately was irritated by both musical numbers, it’s worth noting she was “going along” with Big Mac’s at first. The most bizarre part to me is when Feather Bangs does the bit from “Flashdance”…only with, uh, cheese fondue…

Sugar Belle points out how Starlight’s former village is simply the one street. 😛

Double Diamond, Party Favor, and Night Glider all make background appearances but none have any speaking roles (in spite of the fact Rebecca Shoichet is also the voice of Night Glider).

Rating:

2.5 Stars out of 5