Monday, 3 October 2016

Episode review: S6E22: "P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View)"

Applejack putting on her pirate act
Because they know that Tractor Arrrplejack is waitin' in the bay
The Fox brothers were back as the writers for this episode. They'd previously given us the moderate "The Gift of the Maud Pie" and the outright dull "Applejack's 'Day' Off", so my hopes weren't all that high going in. Still, the synopsis seemed to be hinting at a Rashomon-inspired storyline, and I'm all for trying new things in the show. Beyond the cut, I'll say how I thought the episode did. As you'd expect, spoilers galore!

I'm afraid this one really frustrates me, because it could have been a wonderful episode but doesn't quite come together enough to rise above the ranks of the okay. The main problem is the resolution (of which more in a minute), but I also feel the choice of ordering of the flashbacks might not have been the best. Move the first one to the end and you'd have had a sequence that was increasingly amusing, not the diminuendo that we actually get.

Still, that first flashback sequence did give us the best thing in the episode, hooves down: piratical Applejack – hereinafter Arrrplejack, just because. Her wildly exaggerated behaviour and mannerisms (as seen by Rarity) are at least watchable all through, and sometimes quite hilarious. As she steered the boat through the treacherous seas, I became increasingly convinced that a real Arrrplejack story could be an absolute hoot. Someone go and write one. Please!

Rarity and her porter ponies
Their expressions are not uniformly enthusiastic, are they?
The other two flashbacks really can't match up to that one, although they both contain great moments: the unending line of stallions carrying Rarity's luggage, for example, or Rarity herself deploying the word "darling" at every conceivable opportunity. (I am now more convinced than ever that the writers read bad fanfics, whatever they may say in public!) We also get some lovely visuals, and some nice touches too – the flag is heavily based on real-life British Columbia's.

My biggest problem with this episode, and by miles, is the bunyip. The creature itself is quite fun, but it just comes out of nowhere. Yes, I know there are the bubbles, but nobody's going to look at those and think, "Aha! I bet it was a three-horned bunyip!" I would vastly have preferred Twilight to use her Princess of Friendship skills (as she briefly does when devising the "friendship emergency" thing) and for things to have been explained by reference to the ponies' personalities.

All in all, this is an episode that reminds me of the string of "meh" eps we got in the first half of this season. It doesn't really seem to know what it wants to be, and it rather wastes a great premise and setup (not to mention Arrrplejack!) with that disappointing reveal. I doubt I'll be watching "P.P.O.V." very often in the future, at least not right through. This is not a disastrous episode, but it's most definitely filler from the "could have been better" department.

The Tri-Horned Bunyip appears to the ponies
Cucumber sandwiches? Only with Marrrmite, please!
Best quote: Pretty much everything Arrrplejack says

  • Did I mention Arrrplejack?
  • The ponies exaggerating each other's traits is amusing
  • Some nice visual touches (eg Rarity's Titanic dress)
  • Spike has another good episode
  • The resolution is a very substantial let-down
  • Could have made better use of Twilight


  1. There was a monster in the map if you look it carefully, the monster is foreshadowed in this ep. This doesnt excuse for weak solution of this ep, but i removed the monster part as a negative =]] (If you look at my name, it is a name of the most mindfuck Japanese visual novel, i get used to something like that, The monster part is not "TOO" bad as the answer of the mystery).
    The final story broke my heart, It is so sad to see when Pinkie see Applejack as nice, loving pony, while in contrast, Applejack regards her as a retarded :{.
    All in all, a really fun episode, enough to be a 7+ scored episode for me.

    1. I'd meant to ask you about your username, so thanks for explaining. :) I'm not a manga/VN/anime person really, so I don't recognise those references.

      I gave this three stars in the end, and that to me is "enjoyable with some flaws". I'm just frustrated that it could have been better.

    2. Before i watch every episode of season 6, i often think like "What could be worse?" and then most of them are better than what i thought :) and then i got a lot of good ss 6 episodes.
      I have notice the decline of writting since Crystalling, so i stop hoping for another "Amending Fences" or "Pinkie Pride" or any greatness before season 5. I just enjoy episodes for what it is, try to emphasize the good than the bad (sometimes i failed A.K.A Legend of Everfree, i cant stand that movie and if the ss6 finale is bad, i dont know if i can control myself anymore lol).

      Off the topic... I heard the rest of season will be aired early in UK, will you watch them all? :))

    3. There have been S6 episodes I have loved to pieces. "A Hearth's Warming Tail" is one, though I accept that part of that is because I have an almost bottomless appetite for A Christmas Carol stories. "Stranger than Fan Fiction" is another, though it's not exactly a traditional MLP episode. Probably the nearest thing to that this season has been "Buckball Season". That one, to me, is pretty much classic Pony.

      I'll watch the episodes if they turn up in the UK, but Tiny Pop (the relevant TV channel) is all over the place about its schedules, so nobody yet knows for sure whether it'll happen!

  2. I realize the episode-mockery fic should be about a string of problems, from the mundane to the fantastic, where Twilight identifies the cause of each as the three-horned bunyip. And then you just get a shot of the bunyip hanging out in inexplicable places. It's always there...

    (I don't feel like writing it, feel free to do what you will. :V)

    1. Heh. I think that single paragraph probably covers it. Someone more skilled than me would probably be able to make it into something brilliant, though. :)

  3. "Show, don't tell." Isn't that some of the most often cited writing advice?

    I think Twilight takes them all back out there because it not only _shows_ her friends what went wrong, it also undoes the most unpleasant part of their trip, giving them all a fun boat party that incorporates all the things each of them were striving for. An antidote for the poison, so to speak.

    I think Twilight's getting very good at this friendship thing.

    1. I'm tend to be more tolerant of tellyness than many (most?) people, though! :P

      This feels like the sort of episode I might re-evaluate when I watch it in the future. Who knows? We'll see.

    2. Also, I'm tend to be entirely illiterate.

    3. Well, I have to admit, I only came to that conclusion after watching the episode twice, so who knows?

  4. This one reminds me a lot of Spike at Your Service, where an episode filled with amusing passages gets bogged down by a poorly thought plot. Also, both refer to bad fanfics.

    1. I prefer this one to "SaYS", if only because there are more bits and pieces I enjoy. But it's a fair comparison.