Thursday, 4 May 2017

Episode review: S7E05: "Fluttershy Leans In"

Fluttershy getting angry
"An episode starring me and you write a short review? Why, I oughta..."
I've realised that I can't really keep up with doing two full episode reviews per week, so I'm going to have to cut them down a bit. It's a shame, but the only alternative would be to delay them and I don't want to do that. This one, being a Fluttersode, is still reasonably long, but others won't be. They still won't be as short as the mini-reviews I write about other stuff, but until the broadcast schedule slows down a bit I just won't have time to do a rambly piece each time. Sorry.

Anyway, G. M. Berrow made a return to writing duties for episode 5. The only previous ep she'd written was "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows", which I thought was fairly enjoyable without being world-shaking in any way. This episode starred Fluttershy, though, so I was both nervous and excited about it. If only somepony had come up with a word for that... past the break for (a bit) more!

This episode turns out to be just about what you'd expect from Berrow: pleasant and cute, with a mildly amusing cast of supporting guest characters, but not exactly deep. Fluttershy herself is reasonably well characterised, although I would have liked to have seen a little more self-doubt after her assertive comments to the various "experts". I think this was done well in "Flutter Brutter" with 'Shy's conversations with Rainbow Dash.
Hard Hat looks at Fluttershy's Dream Board
"Also, can you write a 100,000-word story about chipmunks for me by Tuesday?"
Fluttershy's life goal does come rather out of nowhere. We've known since the early days that Rainbow wanted to be a Wonderbolt and that Rarity wanted to open a boutique in Canterlot – but has Flutters ever mentioned a large-scale animal sanctuary before? I don't think so. I'm not saying it's out of character for her, but it's less satisfactory than if it had been gradually built up over the seasons as the other ponies' ambitions have been.

Those supporting characters, then: it's nice to see Dr Fauna the vet again, but they're clearly mostly there to give Fluttershy somepony to stand up to. The Mane Six too, really. This she does quite effectively, although as some people have pointed out there is an (I'm sure unintentional) overtone of "Don't listen to experts, your dream is all that matters!" here. Yes, Fluttershy is the undisputed animal caretaking expert, but that doesn't mean her vague "I want this dream made real" approach is enough.

All in all, a rather meandering, quiet episode, and if I weren't such a huge Flutterfan I might even have found it a little too quiet. I'm all for the idea that not every ep needs to have some Equestria-threatening disaster or monster, but when the unexpected return of Big Daddy McColt is the thing most people are talking about, perhaps you've gone a little far the other way. "Fluttershy Leans In" is a slight disappointment, and scrapes a three-star rating largely because of my personal bias.
Dr Fauna despairs, as Angel looks on
I may be in a small minority as someone who didn't like seeing Angel injured
Best quote: Pinkie: "Oh, goody! Is your dream to make a bouncy castle shaped like a gigantic bundt cake? ... Just me then."

  • There's a lot of Fluttershy in it...
  • ...and she does have a point about her expertise
  • Angel is fun early on
  • Supporting characters are mildly amusing
  • There's really not much new here
  • 'Shy's assertiveness is a bit one-note
  • Not much memorable dialogue
  • Little actually happens


  1. Here my little rants:

    *Just finished watching Fluttershy Leans In*

    Oh boy, i have a very very very veryyyyyy few good things to say about this episode... .The idea of the is good, Fluttershy has reach her next level of her development, so what is so bad about this ep? The executions.

    THIS EP IS SO BORING. It's a Applejack's Day OFF with humors are minimized to nothing, what wrong with pacing? Why the episode pacing is so slow and dull!? OH MY GOD, i called Mare Do Well the worst episode because of how shitty the mane 6 in that ep, but NOT the PACING and HUMORS, that shitty ep can even have proper 3 acts writting. The characters are just souless, even Pinkie look so dull. The antagonists are shallow and uninteresting. The humors are non-existence. And the climax... oh god... i can forgive a terribly slow pacing story but at least the climax, the most important part of the story should reward me for endure the over half of the episode, the climax is just non-existence, i got nothing, NOTHING.

    MLP with non-existence humors and shallow story in the same episode, what the hell is that? Even season 1 episodes are not like this. If i am a kid, i will switch the channel if i watch some episode LIKE THIS. If this is the first episode i watched of this show, there will be no "me", who is fanboying for this girly show, although his mom questioned his masculinity for watching this show.

    Worst episode of this series. This ep give me the new lowest standard of FIM episode. I dont care if the writers wrote shitty morals, cringe-worthy humors, unfortune implications, controversies, flanderization, torture porns, and many stupid cliche plot, as long as they dont do WHAT THIS EPISODE DID, they will never be the shittest episode in my list.

    It could be the best Fluttershy episode ever, what a waste....


    I have to spend some times to rewatch all episodes i considered the worst of this show, maybe i will see them in the different ways this time. I will start with Mare Do Well...
    (rant over)

    Yeah, i hate this ep. G.M. Berrow should redeem herself in the next 3 episodes, i dont want to see these kind of episode ever again.

    Bonus: After rewatching Mare Do Well, i finally forgave that ep after 2 years watching the show. That ep is no longer the worst episode, it is a MEDIOCRE EPISODE.

  2. Fluttershy face through the peephole was awesome!

    1. Ooh, I forgot that one! But yes!

  3. I'll be a latecomer to all these reviews, since I'm watching them as they air on DF.

    Yeah, this was cute enough, but it was a whole lot of nothing. The show's already somewhat written itself into a corner by having the main characters achieve their dreams (Twilight's a princess, Dash is a Wonderbolt now, Rarity's got several successful shops open in the big cities), at least for the ones who have dreams. Applejack's is just to strike it rich while keeping her roots, as far as I can tell, and it was never clear Fluttershy or Pinkie had any ambitions. Well, now we learn Fluttershy's... and it gets introduced and resolved in a single episode.

    The whole thing felt incomplete to me. These experts are brought in, and they wouldn't be successful in their fields if they didn't know how to give their customers what they wanted, plus Fluttershy was so vague about saying what she did want. So she tells them to leave, and nothing comes of it. Then we get the big reappearance of McColt, but he says hello, then flash to the finished sanctuary without seeing him do any of it. It's a pointless cameo.

    It was cute and fun, and I still enjoyed it, but it's not very memorable and not one I'd make a point of rewatching.