Monday, 4 May 2015

Episode review: S5E06: "Appleoosa's Most Wanted"

Trouble Shoes and the CMC at the rodeo
The CMC, demonstrating that Clowns Are Not Scary. No, really. Hey, come back!
We're up to episode six now, after which (for what reason I don't know) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic takes a one-week break. The last ep before that mini-hiatus was the first of Season 5 to be written by Dave Polsky. Combining that fact with an episode featuring the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and adding in a return to Appleoosa (which has apparently lost its second L) and I was hoping for something that would give us plenty of fun. Did that happen? My (short) review answers that question.

Not entirely, no. I was actually mildly disappointed by this episode on first viewing, and though a rewatch improved matters a bit, I'd still say this was the weakest instalment in S5 yet. (Which means my favourites, in order, are 1/2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. I hope that pattern doesn't continue any longer!) Surprisingly for a Polsky story, it's really rather short on outright laughs and ridiculousness. (Even "Rarity Takes Manehattan" made me laugh more often.) All in all, this is very much a filler episode, albeit quite a good one.

The Appleoosa setting is mostly used quite well, and it's nice to see some callbacks to S1 such as Sheriff Silver Star and (in flashback) the buffalo. The various rodeo ponies fit in perfectly well, and one laugh we do get is a nice running gag about angry mobs with pitchforks and torches. (The flaming kind, not the sort you put batteries in...) I don't think the reason for the injury to Braeburn's foreleg is ever explained, but it was A Plot Necessity so I can live with that. (Incidentally, I don't share the fandom's obsession with Braeburn. He's just... there.)

Trouble Shoes Clyde in his cottage
Clydesdale Flank: We care about here
I'm still not a massive fan of Trouble Shoes Clyde. The new animation model is good to see, and I'm quite pleased with the way the moral pans out with its callback to the CMC and their "Comedy!" thoughts in both "The Showstoppers" and the first Equestria Girls film. On the other hand, he reminds me so much of Cranky Doodle Dandy that, at times, I started getting distracted by the fact that he wasn't! More to the point, though, he lives, Zecora-style, in a hut in the forest. Yes, forest. In a desert. Even with Equestria's weird weather, this is stretching things.

I would like to pick out one moment from the episode that I love: Sweetie Belle, who is noticeably coming along with her magic, manages to get hold of the sheriff's keys without messing it up. Scootaloo, realising that she's succeeded, congratulates her with utter, unalloyed delight: Scoots is thrilled for her friend. This shows just how strong the bond between the CMC is and reassures me that they won't let getting cutie marks change this. Overall, though, this wasn't quite up to S5-scratch and only scrapes a three-star rating because of things like that scene.

Braeburn lays down the law to the CMC
"Y'all don't know what it's like with this fandom outside my door all the time"
Best quote: Sheriff Silver Star: "All right, now, I called for a meetin', not a mob scene!"

  • That wonderful Scootaloo/Sweetie Belle scene
  • Trouble Shoes' story, and the story's resolution, make pretty decent sense
  • It's fun to see sparks fly between Applejack and Braeburn
  • Surprisingly short on full-on laughs and silly quotes for a Polsky episode
  • Trouble Shoes is not terribly engaging, and perhaps too close to Cranky
  • Since when are there forests in the middle of a desert?


  1. I think this episode is like the one with Maud Pie. If you like Maud, it's great. If you don't, then not so much. You have to really be into Troubleshoes, as I was. I do agree that the forest was an odd idea. They are too used to the Everfree Crutch.

    Still, I don't think I'd rate this as more than three stars. I did really like Troubleshoes, but it's just a decent episode.

    1. Yeah, that makes sense. The Maud episode would have been a five on my current scale; I loved nearly everything about it. But Maud dominated it to an even greater degree than TS dominated this one.

      Gah, don't get me started on Everfree. The way that place has been devalued is a running sore for me. :/

  2. Its taken me ages to watch this, (I'm way behind) but I hard forgot how much a pony episode cheers one up.
    I agree with you on Trouble Shoes but kinda watched the episode around him.
    I liked the interaction of the CMS's and really liked Sweetie Belle this episode. The story when applied to the CMS's was a good one too. Its not enough to have a cutie mark, you also have to understand what it means.
    I also really liked being back in Appleoosa (in spite of the forest, which like Trouble Shoes I watched around). I am on a Weston fad at the moment having watched both Support your Local Serif, and Support your local gunfighter.
    And as for Having Breaburn throughout.... Um Fan service ^^