Monday, 28 September 2015

Episode review: S5E16: "Made in Manehattan"

Coco Pommel gets emotional
"At last you notice me again... and you let those humans take all the attention?"
I was a bit preoccupied last night watching Equestria Girls: Friendship Games – a review will follow at some point, but it looks as though it's going to get a cinema release in the UK next month. If so, I'd like to follow the pattern for the first two films and write my review only after that. Sneak peek: it was better than the first film but not as good as Rainbow Rocks. Mind you, the 287 ad breaks probably didn't help.

For that reason, this review will be a bit shorter than usual, and much of it will be simply a light reworking of the one I posted over on Fimfiction earlier.

Well, that was... an episode. Honestly, I can't think of very much to say about it. Some people have said that it felt like an S1 ep, and I can see where they're coming from, but I think it was quieter even than many of those. When I consider that Noelle Benvenuti is the writer who gave us the fabulous "Maud Pie", I can't help being a little disappointed. There were some nice references and entertaining one-liners (notably Rarity's nod to her own "Generosity" song and Applejack's "That's the spirit... sorta"), but the whole thing was rather lacking in energy.

Rarity goes looking for a friendship problem
"Still no friendship problem... where's a Want It, Need It spell when you need one?"
I only watched this a couple of days ago, yet I had to do quite some re-watching even for this short review. This was a real filler episode – probably a good one to have on the day of the Friendship Games premiere, but disappointing in its own right. It was also rather disappointing in its use of the Applejack/Rarity combo: they sparked off each other much more enjoyably in "Trade Ya!", "Simple Ways" and even "Look Before You Sleep". This episode was just... there. Still, at least we should no longer have to endure enormous fanfics about how Applejack's hat is the greatest heirloom in Equestria.

Twilight got another rather poor deal. Not only has she apparently read every book in existence, it's looking increasingly as though her Map episode will have to wait until in the finale. I can't help notice that Fluttershy hasn't had one yet, either. Hmm. The little montage was also fairly meh, nothing like as enjoyable as the "Hurricane Fluttershy" one. The actor pony playing Charity had an odd accent, and the Method Mares sounded stilted rather than actorly. They missed a trick by not having Real!Charity turn up late on.

Twilight gets all starry-eyed
"No, Twilight, I can't look the other way and send you too. Professional map ethics, y'know"
And yes, of course it was nice to see Coco Pommel again. It's just a shame that she didn't really get to do very much beyond react to what Applejack and Rarity were doing. "Maud Pie", which walks all over Benvenuti's new effort; this is the "difficult second episode". The repeated comment about the Sisterhooves Social surely has to be setting up a future storyline, though; having seen the episode title list, I think I could make a pretty good guess at which one it will be!

Finally, I liked the Peanuts reference, even if the comics have already done it. I think this is a highish two-star episode: it's competent and does the job, but I never really felt any sort of spark, certainly not in the way I did last week. With luck, the next episode will be more interesting to me.

Best quote: Applejack: "You bet your boots they will!" Coco Pommel: "Oh... I don't wear boots. I find they chafe my calves when I walk." (Though Rarity's "Good grief" runs it close.)

  • Lovely to see Coco Pommel back again
  • A pleasantly quiet, S1-ish feel to some of the episode
  • Several really fun one-liners
  • Filly Coco was stupidly cute
  • Applejack and Rarity just didn't spark together
  • There was a lot of talking without much actually happening
  • Pacing was rather weird: it took ages to meet Coco
  • A missed trick not having the real Charity show up
  • Coco didn't actually get to do a great deal


  1. Oh dear, looks like another season 5 dud...

    I did find out there is another Applejack episode on its way though, but yeah, Fluttershy still hasn't had a single episode here yet. Hopefully something like that won't happen (and from what I heard, Rarity didn't even have an episode in season 3!)...

    Twilight did kinda have her own episode in season 5, wasn't that Amending Fences?

    1. "Amending Fences" wasn't a Map episode, which is what I was specifically referring to there. Twilight keeps being denied. :P

      S3 was only half-length, so it didn't have space for as much as usual.