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Synopsis:

Stuck with needing to attend the Canterlot Royal Fashion Show with all of her assistants during Manehattan’s busiest shopping season, Rarity needs somepony to keep “Rarity-4-U” open and ends up asking Fluttershy. While she agrees, she’s severely intimidated by the pushy and aggressive attitude of Manehattan shoppers, even with the help of Smoky and family (from “The Saddle Row Review”), until she decides to try Rarity’s advice and go with a new outfit for more self-confidence. However, rather than simply trying a new outfit, Fluttershy takes “the clothes make the pony” a bit farther and takes on a new persona to match. Soon, Fluttershy is running the shop as three different individuals: a snooty snob, a “Valley Girl”, and a goth. However, as she gets too much into character, she eventually starts acting not only hostile to the customers, driving them off, but to Smoky and family as well; prompting them to run to Ponyville to get help from the girls. However, on confronting her in Manehattan, she doesn’t break character and throws them out as well; prompting them to pull Rarity from the fashion show to come back and confront her as well. After needing to fire her three separate times (one for each persona), Fluttershy reverts and apologizes for her behavior, while Rarity and the others assure her she didn’t need to adopt a rude Manehattanite personality to run the store as she’s already self-confident enough. Getting inspiration from that, Rarity finishes her centerpiece in the store and has Fluttershy act as model: the Warrior of Inner Strength. Fluttershy learns to rely more on her inner strength…after giving one last tongue lashing to a critical customer.

Review:

Well, this episode was certainly…a thing.

While fans have long since considered Pinkie Pie to be the most likely member of the Mane Six who could be, well…insane…the next most likely candidate has likely been Fluttershy. Already living as an anti-social recluse, prone to spontaneous acts of aggression and violence, and, as this episode hit on, likewise prone to dramatic shifts in personality bordering on MPD, depending on the writer Fluttershy can be unlikable or even scary.

This episode didn’t try to go to the lengths “Feeling Pinkie Keen” did. Instead, it tried to treat most of Fluttershy losing herself to her roles and ability to seemingly be all three characters practically simultaneously as mostly humorous from start to finish. Nevertheless, it didn’t quite make it stop being awkward to me. The very premise itself seemed to come out of nowhere; where Fluttershy spontaneously started to assimilate herself into the roles and not know when to stop.

As the episode seemed to be self-aware of, this was Fluttershy kind of learning the same lesson again; which was originally pointed out in meta humor way back in “Fame and Misfortune”. As a result, it doesn’t quite seem as bad this time, but it does seem like a rather unusual way to handle it. Almost all of the episode is set within a shop floor and almost all of the entertainment value comes from Fluttershy’s performances. And while some of the things that are said do make me crack a smile, Fluttershy isn’t as loud or boisterous as Pinkie Pie to where she can knock them out of the park. The episode seemed to be building to something but didn’t quite make it. Also, the fact that the episodeย did call out the fact Fluttershy learns the same lesson more than once was kind of rubbed in when Fluttershy again overreacts at the end.

I don’t think there’s anything outstandingly bad about this one, but it is one that leaves me kind of scratching my head. And coupled with the low energy and lesson rehash, it was kind of a low point in the season for me.

Fun Facts:

While not as bad as he was in “Putting Your Hoof Down”, Angel is still physically abusive toward Fluttershy as he throws his empty bowl at her head. I have to kind of wonder what Fluttershy fed the vulture…

Fluttershy’s knitting hobby is actually one of the few things that originated in the IDW comic, though I don’t think it was intentional. It’s actually a bit odd that this episode makes Fluttershy out to be poor on clothing knowledge when “Suited for Success” was back in Season One showed she’s actually rather knowledgeable about seamstressing.

Perhaps the first episode to highlight “pony numbers”, in whatever weird script they’re written in.

The return of Rarity’s three assistants and Smoky and family, who first appeared in “The Saddle Row Review”. Apparently, Rarity hired the raccoons full-time.

Fluttershy can tie ribbons with hooves. Most impressive. ๐Ÿ™‚

“I don’t understand any of that, so I don’t care about it.” Valley Girl trope in a nutshell. ๐Ÿ˜›

On a side note, I’m a little surprised they used the term “woke” in an episode.

The sound the store pony makes when the tea accidentally spills on Fluttershy honestly makes me smile. ๐Ÿ˜€

I can understand it given the time and budget, but one of the things that I focus on in this episode is the exact same ponies keep coming back to the store.

Considering the fact Fluttershy hangs around Discord so much, the fact that she’s able to seemingly spontaneously change characters and costumes actually makes sense. O_o Nevertheless, she actually confused Pinkie Pie…which is kind of shocking when you think about it.

Fluttershy as a model at the end is actually a throwback to an earlier episode as well: “Green Isn’t Your Color”. I’m a bit surprised more Manehattanites don’t recognize her coming out of retirement. ๐Ÿ˜›

Rating:

2 Stars out of 5