Monday, 4 April 2016

Episode review: S6E03: "The Gift of the Maud Pie"

The ponies at the PSSSD
Hey, I did say "hope to fly" — and now it's come true!
I'm a little bit quicker off the mark with this week's review than I was for the premiere! For our first one-parter of Season Six, we had an episode with a new writing team: Michael P. Fox and Wil [sic] Fox. In addition, Josh Haber contributed to the story, though wasn't credited on screen (so doesn't get a tag). As you'll know if you've read my reviews for a while, I tend to be wary of episodes written by teams as many of them haven't been very good. What about this one, then?

It has its ups and downs, and the downs have become slightly more apparent after a second viewing. Of its three principals, I enjoy one (Maud), find a second irritating (Pinkie) and am fairly "meh" about the third (Rarity). It is certainly nice to see a Pinkie/Rarity episode, since those two haven't done a whole lot of teaming up, but I can't help but feel that this episode doesn't quite live up to that pairing's considerable potential.

Let's deal with Pinkie first. For the first half of the episode, she's basically rehashing her rock candy necklaces stuff from "Maud Pie", but being more annoying in the process. I don't like it when writers make Pinkie out to be little more than "fast-talking hyper pony", as we saw rather too often in S4, but that's what we get for a long time. Things do improve a good deal once she loses her Party Cannon, but my word, it takes a long time for us to get there.

Pinkie floats past the Pony of Liberty
"Give me your huddled Pinkies... no, on second thoughts, scratch that one"
Maud, on the other hand, is comedy gold. Yes, her comments about cracks in the pavement and so on are repetitive — that's the point. She's the one to provide her sister with the friendship lesson this episode, and if you can ignore the fact that it can't be a new one to Pinkie then it's reasonably satisfying. For some reason, I also found her "please" to Dodgy Swap Bloke the second time around to be both hilarious and terrifying. Also, Maud Sense.

Rarity is a bit of a disappointment; frankly, I don't really care very much about her Manehattan branch, though maybe that's because I'm not a big fan of Manehattan in general — it feels too modern a setting for Pony, and there's a sense that it's increasingly pushing Canterlot into the background. And when Pinkie told her about the rock pouch, surely the best thing would have been for Rarity — a brilliant designer — to make one for her?

This is one of the shorter episode reviews I've done, because there really isn't a lot to say. Okay, we get the Hasbro Boats; fine, now we never need to see them again. Please. Okay, there is a Planes, Trains and Automobiles reference; fine too. But until it warms up considerably in the last few minutes, "The Gift of the Maud Pie" (clunky title, by the way) doesn't really stand out. It is a solid episode, but it's not a great one. It's just... good.

Rarity at the Manehattan market
"A cheese grater? Oh, how absolutely darling!"
Best quote: Maud: "Boulder promised his cousin a postcard."

  • Maud's remarkable range of emotions
  • Pinkie playing with the confetti to avoid hurting Maud's feelings
  • The resolution is reasonably satisfying
    • Pinkie feels borderline flanderised at times
    • Rarity is underused as a foil for Pinkie
    • Manehattan isn't quite as interesting as writers think it is


    1. I found this episode to be a lot more enjoyable than last weeks especially as this features my two least favourite members of the mane six. Rarity's impression of Pinkie was funny but not as funny as Dash's one of Twilight.

      1. Yeah, it does look as though I'm in the minority by not finding it better than "quite good". On the other hand, you've given me a smile by reminding me of Rainbow's Twimpression. :D