Rarity gets a visit from the pop diva Sapphire Shores, who likes a diamond-encrusted costume she made, but wants five more each a different color for “costume changes”. Out of gems, Rarity enlists Spike’s help go to “douse” for more using her horn, but they end up attracting the attention of Diamond Dogs, subterranean creatures that crave gems, who kidnap Rarity to force her to find gems for them. Spike quickly enlists the help of the rest of the Mane Six to go on a rescue mission, all the while he and the girls fearing that Rarity is helpless and terrorized by her captors. As it turns out, Rarity has been annoying the Diamond Dogs incessantly while finding gems for them, first being too delicate to dig, then complaining about all of their terrible hygiene, then whining about the conditions of the cave, and finally breaking down in loud sobbing when the Diamond Dogs insult her. Her captors are so tormented that soon they’re waiting on her hand and foot just to shut her up. By the time the girls finally get to where they’re holding her, the Diamond Dogs not only beg them to take her away, they freely give up the large amount of gems she found for them if they’ll do so. Twilight Sparkle plans to write to Princess Celestia that just because someone is “a lady” doesn’t mean they’re weak and can’t handle themselves.
This…this is Rarity at her best. The sequence where she torments the Diamond Dogs with her incessant complaints and whining just keeps getting funnier and funnier as it goes on. By the end of it her captors are even complimenting her in a vain attempt to get her to quiet down. The frequent fantasies the other characters have about Rarity in danger is great too, especially with Rarity flipping out about being surrounded by mud and an older, “manlier” Spike saving the day. This episode is just fun, fun, fun. Even though most of the Mane Six are in here just for “gloss”, with Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy barely getting any lines at all, it’s an episode where everything clicks and it relies on equal blends of physical slapstick humor with genuine “vocal” humor.
The best part of this episode is it shows how much more “mature” this show is compared to others. There are lots of kid shows that have archetypes like Rarity…the snobbish, prissy, and “fashionable” character. And all of them are exactly the same…always only being self-centered, caring about being lady-like and proper and hosting tea parties and wearing impractical dresses. By comparison…Rarity is “all that and then some”. She’s dynamic enough to be more than just a China doll and can even use her own unique character traits to get by in difficult situations. She may be “high class”, but she’s far more “real” than a stereotype. Because of that, even in her most annoying and “drama queen”-esque, she’s still likeable. That’s the genius of the show right there.
Some would point to this episode as being a big “Spikeity” episode, but in my opinion, as with most episodes like this, it really isn’t. There are lots of episodes where Spike is head-over-heels about Rarity…but extremely few scenes where she returns his affections or sees him as anything more than a friend. To me, the big “Spikeity” episode (which inspired the “Spikeity” arc in the comics as well) wouldn’t come until Season Two…
However, it’s still fantastic. One of the funniest episodes in the entire series.
The name of Rarity’s boutique is rarely mentioned, but it is in this episode: “Carousel Boutique”.
Sapphire Shores appeared for the first time in this episode, and would appear again in Season Four. Most of the ponies that show up for Rarity’s episodes are never seen again or aren’t terribly notable, but this one was one of the few who made more than one appearance.
It’s somewhat ambiguous how valuable gems are. At the bare minimum, they are more plentiful and, hence, less valuable than they are in the “real world”, but they’re not totally worthless as there are episodes in which the ponies use them as currency rather than the “bits”, although bits seems to be as valuable if not more so. Dragons still hoard them…but Spike seems to eat his fill of them frequently.
This episode revealed Rarity’s “special talent”…aside from dress-making. Her magic allows her to find gems. It also elaborated on the concept introduced in “Boast Busters”, about how Twilight’s talent is magic itself, which has the helpful ability of allowing her to copy any other unicorn’s spell.
An original species, Diamond Dogs, were introduced in this episode. They act like Gollum from “Lord of the Rings”.
When Applejack is trying to hit the one Diamond Dog popping out of holes, it resembles a game of Whack-A-Mole…complete with sound effects.
4.5 Stars out of 5