Pinkie Pie and Rarity are both heading to Manehattan for different reasons: Rarity to seek out a location to open another boutique franchise, and Pinkie to spend a “PSSSD” (“Pie Sister Surprise Swap Day”) with her older sister Maud Pie. The tradition is a once-a-year event where Pinkie and Maud will spend the whole day touring a location (in this case, Manehattan) that will culminate with swapping surprise gifts at the end of the day. Feeling she always gets Maud an inferior gift to the ones she gives her, Pinkie believes she has discovered the perfect gift for her at an exclusive store in Manehattan that sells rock pouches. Yet when Rarity distracts Maud so she can go buy it, although she finds the perfect pouch for sale, the store proprietor has gone on vacation for several months and she has no way to buy it. After spending an unfruitful day with Rarity trying to find a better gift, Pinkie finally finds someone on the street with the rock pouch she wants, but will only part with it in exchange for her party cannon. Reluctantly, Pinkie gives it up to make Maud happy. At the gift swap, Maud (according to Pinkie) loves her present, but the present she gives Pinkie was cupcake-scented confetti for her party cannon. Shortly thereafter, Rarity accidentally spills the beans to Maud and, once Pinkie confirms it, she uses her “Maud Sense” to find the pony she sold the cannon to and gives him back the pouch in exchange for the cannon. When Pinkie laments that Maud got her two “perfect” gifts instead of one, Maud reminds her that the entire tradition isn’t supposed to be a competition but an expression of love, and affirms that she knows Pinkie always gives her gifts with lots of love. Before leaving, Rarity finally finds the perfect location for the future “Rarity-4-U”, and Maud and Pinkie announce a new tradition for next year: “PSSDWR” (“Pie Sister Surprise Swap Day With Rarity”).
As I said earlier, after a (pardon the pun) rocky start, Maud Pie has really grown on me as a character. Enough to where I get excited to know she’s going to be in an episode. And after the somewhat disappointing season premiere, this was a nice episode to get back on track.
It’s nothing too terribly new or monumental. The show tends to focus on the progress of Rainbow Dash’s dream, but the truth is it also draws attention to Rarity fulfilling her own as she’s slowly going from being a small business owner to being Equestria-wide. This episode helped highlight that, but that was all that was really new. The title itself gave away that the plot was going to be a knockoff of “The Gift of the Magi”.
Yet it doesn’t have to necessarily be new. It has Pinkie, Maud, and Rarity all being in their characters and has lots of enjoyable moments of them interacting. There are times when the episode seems to be padded with dialogue going nowhere, similar to a first season episode, but that’s a relatively minor complaint. And for an old plotline, it’s done very well. I actually go “aw” at the end when Maud quotes Pinkie’s own “five-ever” bit to her, and even follows up with one of her rare smiles.
While I did expect a bit more wackiness from a rare episode that highlights Rarity and Pinkie Pie, with the sights of Manehattan and the inclusion of Maud Pie, it’s a good, solid, “friendship lesson” episode all around and whet my appetite for what the rest of the season had to offer.
The title of this episode is a knockoff of the Christmas story “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. Like that story, it deals with someone selling their most prized position to get a gift for someone they love, only to find the gift they got in exchange from them is something meant to go with their prized possession.
Once again, as in Season Five’s “Hearthbreakers”, the pony versions of the two leads from “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” are on the train to Manehattan. Pinkie Pie actually interacts with them. What I never noticed in that episode that is also reproduced here is the pony version of the mom from “Home Alone”. I’m not sure who, if anyone, the first two ponies Pinkie interacts with are supposed to be.
This episode highlights Rarity’s entrepreneurial spirit in that she’s opening yet another franchise location in Manehattan. As such, this episode serves as a set up for “The Saddle Row Review” later this season.
One of the locations the three visit is a knockoff of Rockefeller Center. Pinkie is wearing the same outfit she wore in Season Five’s “Tanks for the Memories”, while Rarity, naturally, has a new outfit resembling a figure skater’s just for the occasion. Maud, being indifferent, doesn’t change. 😛
Pinkie Pie seems to have some knowledge of high-quality stitching in this episode.
The “floor piano” bit is a nod to a similar scene in “Big”, although the song in this case is the My Little Pony theme.
In the jewel store, Rarity is dressed like Audrey Hepburn’s infamous portrayal of Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Maud lowers her voice to a whisper to not “offend” the other rocks in the store. 😛
One of the items Rarity pulls out at the street market is the Twilicane. Another is Ms. Smarty Pants.
In my opinion, Rarity’s impression of Pinkie Pie is one of the best parts of the episode. Apparently, even imitating Pinkie Pie is enough to give you her reality-warping powers. 😀
As a nice touch to compliment personalities, Pinkie Pie’s gift to Maud is lovingly wrapped with personalized wrapping paper, while Maud simply wrapped hers to Pinkie in brown paper and twine.
Pinkie Pie running around throwing the confetti might be an allusion to Rip Taylor.
Maud demonstrates, not once but twice this episode, the ability to be so fast that she can get in your path while you begin to walk/run away from her; something one normally expects from Pinkie Pie. This, along with “Maud Sense”, hints that maybe all of the Pies share her cartoony abilities…they just never use them.
I honestly can’t tell if Rarity is just making stuff up about what Maud looks like when she gets temperamental, or if she’s learned to “read Maud” after spending so much time with her. 🙂
Maud’s slow and deliberate “wink” is the other best part of the episode. 😀
Yet another missing ending theme.
3 Stars out of 5