Monday, 8 May 2017

Episode Review: S7E06: "Forever Filly"

The May Flashfic 150 contest is now on! This month's prompt, chosen by April winner Pascoite, is "Laugh so you don't cry". Everyone with a Fimfiction account, regardless of experience, is welcome to join. :)

Sweetie Belle and Rarity watch a puppet show
"Actually, Rarity, I'm just annoyed you're hogging the popcorn"
I'm writing this review after the following episode has already gone out on Treehouse. This is starting to get confusing, and we're only a week into the new Canadian regime! Anyway, this ep was written by the Fox brothers, which wasn't really news to gladden my heart. We knew it would be a Rarity/Sweetie episode, like "Sisterhooves Social" back in S2, but would it be any good? Find out my thoughts after the break.

No, not really. I actually find this episode rather boring, albeit not quite as much so as the Foxes' nadir of "Applejack's 'Day' Off". It doesn't help that it opens with Sassy Saddles, who is among the secondary characters I find quite hard to warm to. It's a relief that she isn't in the whole episode. Rarity herself is a great deal better, as you'd expect,  but the main part of the ep doesn't even get started until she comes to meet her sister in Ponyville. (Where are Sweetie's parents these days? They're almost as elusive as Scootaloo's!)

Zipporwhill at the door of the CMC Clubhouse
"Hi! I'm Twist's understudy!"
I have no problem with the setup of this episode: the CMC members are growing up, and it's nice to see the show recognise this in-universe. It's a shame in a way that Sweetie ends up behaving like a gentle version of a human obnoxious teenager, but character flaws aren't necessarily a bad thing as far as this show is concerned. I do wish there'd been just a little realisation on her part that Rarity wasn't the only one behaving badly, though.

Zipporwhill was... odd. I thought she was great back in "Filli Vanilli", but this time she really isn't. Part of the problem is her rather grating stupidity: would you trust someone to look after a dog who hadn't even noticed that he'd grown? As was (very lightly) touched upon, it suggested a bit of Cutie Mark Failure Syndrome. Zip also has a dad, so didn't he point anything out? I do like the way the Zip/Ripley and Rarity/Sweetie plots are juxtaposed, but it's not enough to make me warm to Zip this time.

Apple Bloom pets Scootaloo for retrieving a ball
"Scoot has the ball. The ball is round. Scoot is orange. Run, Scoot, run!"
As for the rest... we get several new locations for no reason other than plot convenience (an ice cream shop that Pinkie's never once mentioned?) and a scene with "Chip" which seems to be included just to let the CMC show off how easy it is to get a cutie mark if you ask them about it. Possibly the Crusaders' egos need taking down a peg on that one. All in all, "Forever Filly" is a forgettable episode, and one that hasn't done a great deal to make me look forward to seeing these writers' names on the screen again.

Best quote: Sweetie Belle: "You don't still play with the same toys you did when you were a filly... do you?" (Way to improve toy sales to bronies there, guys. :P )

  • The parallel "growing up" plotlines are nice
  • Rarity tries hard, even if she is misguided
  • A few cute moments
  • It really is tedious watching at times
  • Sweetie Belle does not endear herself to me
  • Zipporwhill is a bit of a pain
  • Sassy Saddles is still annoying


  1. I'm interested to know what you think Sweetie did wrong. :B

    1. Ah... this is going to take a bit of explaining. But basically, I would have much preferred for her just to have quietly said something to Rarity much earlier on, say during the puppet show. Just sitting there sullenly for that, and for the other things, was unkind because it meant Rarity was going to make herself look silly more than she needed to.

      Sister episodes are a big deal for me, especially ones like "Sisterhooves Social" and this one, for the simple reason that I lost my own little sister a few years ago. I'm therefore very sensitive to things that don't bother many people. For example, I love FiW, but the line in "Neigh, Soul Sister" – "...put up with Rarity until she dies. Sisters always do" – is one of the hardest bits for me to watch in the entire series.

  2. I'm watching these on the US schedule, so I'll be behind in weighing in. I don't have the personal investment you did here, which probably affects what I want to see out of this. I just like seeing the sisterly bonding, and it was a nice turnaround from earlier ones where Rarity had to be convinced to spend time with Sweetie Belle at all, or to realize making her take part in Rarity's activities isn't fun for her. I can see Sweetie Belle playing along just because it's not an opportunity she gets much.

    Zippoorwill did seem kind of dense for the amount of screen time she got, but Chip didn't bother me. They just needed a quick example to put on camera, and it played its role fine.

    I do think it's weird that they started having a bigger light show for cutie marks lately when the ones in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" were much more downplayed. It's odd that Sweetie Belle is basically the brains of the operation, though. Apple Bloom figured out the first example we saw last season, but the other two just seemed clueless without her. I did wonder at the picture of Big Mac (with Cheerilee, I think) on their wall of success. What cutie mark problem did they solve there? Or is that also their wall of matchmaking successes (subsequent torpedoing of that ship notwithstanding)?

    1. I do think it's weird that they started having a bigger light show for cutie marks lately

      If there's not some sort of "Glowing Cutie Mark" toy in the works at Hasbro HQ, I'll be very surprised!