Rarity and Sweetie Belle are making a short trip to Manehattan for the latter to stay with Babs Seed for a few days and the former to do a fitting for Sapphire Shores’ latest performance. On arrival at the venue, however, Rarity discovers that it’s Madison Mare Garden, a much larger stage than Sapphire had planned, and now she’s needing Rarity to redo the entire costume set to accommodate the larger stage. However, Rarity soon gets a shock when she finds a different mare has also been brought in to make the performance larger and more eye-catching: the “Great and Powerful” Trixie. Rarity, still sore over her past encounters with Trixie, refuses to work with her and instead puts them in a situation where both only focus on their own spheres. This seems to work out fine until dress rehearsal, when Trixie’s fireworks accidentally set a train on Rarity’s costume for Sapphire on fire. This enrages her and she threatens to fire Trixie on the spot, but Rarity steps in an admits the mistake happened because she wouldn’t work together with her. Sapphire reluctantly lets them work again due to not having time to hire anypony else, and, via working together all night long, the two are able to put together a new ensemble and performance that works even better. At the end, everyone is reconciled, including Rarity and Trixie, and, after meeting up with Sweetie Belle after Babs gave her a new hair style, Rarity tells her that her weekend was almost as “colorful” as her new mane.
As this came out after the Season Six finale, it’s another one of those storylines that has a touch of “bad timing” with it. By this point in the main series, Trixie was, at worst, a tad annoying and self-centered but far from a villain. My guess is this story was written when the main impact from her was still on her first two appearances.
Nevertheless, it still works out pretty well. Again, nothing too monumental. Babs Seed gets another appearance as she’s likely to never appear on the show again, and with her Cutie Mark to boot. And I made an interesting observation on Sapphire Shores. At first, she seemed to be the voice of reason and fairness. She even made an admittedly good point to Rarity that Equestria has a history of forgiving “former villains” when urging her to give Trixie another chance. However, once a mishap does actually occur, she quickly does a 180 and actually starts sounding like she believed Rarity’s fears the whole time. She even immediately blamed Trixie for everything rather than looked to Rarity. And that’s a bit of a dark note but based on realism. Someone can go around constantly being anti-racism, anti-sexism, or whatever, while at the same time secretly harbor much of the same thoughts and vent on them the moment something happens that impacts them personally. Not to mention she threatened to fire Rarity on the spot along with Trixie in spite of her always coming through for her in the past and her own talk about giving ponies second chances. In doing so, this issue may have actually pointed out Sapphire Shores as genuinely shallow and petty.
Aside from that, though, again there’s not much new here. It’s a short little entertaining story but, like the bulk of “Friends Forever” stories, that’s it. Trixie isn’t her normal over-the-top self but more humbled and cowing, and aside from her moment where she stood up for Trixie there wasn’t much for Rarity to stand out either.
Sweetie Belle mentions she’s glad she didn’t get sick “this time”. This is a reference to and earlier “Friends Forever”: Rarity & Babs Seed.
Babs Seed makes another appearance. In keeping with the continuity of Season Five’s “Bloom & Gloom”, she has her Cutie Mark (a pair of scissors).
This issue touches on a very real problem with live performances by pop stars. A lot of people think the big elaborate shows, makeup, and costumes are meant to be gaudy and tacky, but the truth is part of the reason they’re so large and loud is so that audience members in the back of a large venue can see them on stage.
Pretty sure a pony nearly being set on fire would up the rating to Y7 in the main series. 😛
Lyra and Bon Bon are in the front row at Sapphire Shores’ performance.
2.5 Stars out of 5