If this was the real TL; DR it will tell you what I think of the episode, thus making you save a lot of time in reading my review. But, how will you find out that this is the real TL; DR? Well, you can’t, sadly, so take my word for it. This is the real TL; DR and it says that this is one of the best Pinkie Pie episodes in the whole series, top three easy. If you want to find out why, keep reading.
So the episode starts three hours earlier because iTunes screwed up again. I don’t know how things are done at Apple, but somebody should get sacked for such poor management. I don’t mind though, thankfully there are thousands of bronies willing to wait and watch it air on the HUB, what with all the wacky commercials they air, am I right guys? Seriously though, the episode starts with an apple (I have nothing else to say). As Twilight Sparkle is trying to turn it into an orange Pinkie Pie tackles her into a hug, sending her magic missile to a bird that bursts into feathers, thus setting the tone for the rest of the episode. As is turns out, Pinkie Pie is being her usual self going from friend to friend and trying to make sure she is with each and every one of them during the day. She is a wonderful friend and wants to be with all of them, but this slowly starts getting to her. After collapsing in front of Fluttershy we see her taking some butterfly-therapy on a fainting couch. I never heard of that sort of thing, but I’m going to believe it actually exists. While Pinkie and Fluttershy are talking we are revealed that the writer for this episode is none other than Dave Polsky, and I have to say that really made me happy. I know not many people hold him in high regards, but I missed his work during season two. I always considered him to be a great writer for Pinkie Pie, and what better episode to prove his skills but this one? Not a second after the butterfly therapy is over; Pinkie Pie is suggested by three of her friends to hang out with them, which sets her stress meter back to eleven. It’s during the second time Twilight is trying to execute her spell that Pinkie Pie is hit with a genius idea. She will duplicate herself using magic, so she speeds out of Ponyville babbling about The Legend of the Mirror Pool. Twilight looks at her quizzically before returning to her studies.
|Lets study fragmentation she said, it will be fun she said.|
We then cut to the Everfree Forest (or a location that looks pretty much like it only brighter) where we see Pinkie Pie walking around as she is looking for something while muttering some kind of nursery rhyme that her grandmother taught her. Since she isn’t looking where she’s stepping she ends up falling down a hole and after a few seconds of bouncing she ends up in an underground chamber full of crystallized rocks where, surprise, surprise, the Mirror Pool lies. This whole set feels like it belongs in a different world, it’s almost alien. In previous episodes we have been introduced to other areas of Equestria, but for the first time something feels like it shouldn’t be there. It looks gorgeous, and the subtle choir of voices invites the traveller to step forward and look into the mirror, yet all this feels wrong. That place is a bad place, and even as Pinkie approaches the pool of water she too feels like she shouldn’t be in there. However, she gets closer to the water and, while looking into it, recites the rhyme she was taught, producing a clone of herself with the basic function of having fun, and having next to no memory at all of who she is.
|So she either cloned herself or Nicole Richie.|
When they return to town, Pinkie Pie splits up with her clone to try and cover as many of their appointments as possible, but as it turns out the idea doesn’t solve things at all. The cloned Pinkie gets distracted by Fluttershy’s picnic offer, preventing her from going to see Applejack, which results in the only logical solution: Make more clones. This is something of a recurring theme with Pinkie Pie. If a problem isn’t solved with the first idea, keep repeating the same idea over and over again. Obviously this has disastrous consequences as Pinkie Pie’s clones start cloning each other turning this into “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” but with pink ponies instead of brooms. As soon as the Pinkies get back to Ponyville things get quickly out of hoof and they start spreading chaos all over. As the situation grows desperate enough to make Fluttershy angry, the whole town goes to Twilight to find a solution to the problem, which leads into quite a revealing scene. While Spike is looking for a book that explains what the Mirror Pool is, he finds a secret compartment inside one of the library’s selves. Who put it there, who made it, and with what purposes is something we have yet to find out. This can either be a very intelligent way to present foreshadowing, or lazy writing. I will give credit to Meghan McCarthy and Dave Polsky and say this is clever foreshadowing, I bet we have yet to find out a lot more things about Twilight’s library. Lo and behold, the book they find inside the compartment tells the story of the Mirror Pool, and provides a spells to return all the clones back to it. However, if Twilight can’t find who the real Pinkie Pie is, she will return her to the pool.
This leads us to probably one of the freakiest and most disturbing scenarios ever put in this show. Twilight and her friends gather up all the Pinkie Pies in Town hall, and they submit them to an ultimate test: Watching paint dry. If they get distracted from watching it, they will get returned into the Mirror Pool via balloon-y inflation magic. Now, I say it’s disturbing not as a hyperbole or to make a joke, but because it genuinely is a disturbing idea. Just consider for a second that Pinkie Pie is not strong enough to endure the test (which she herself has suggested) and that she will get distracted. Twilight doesn’t seem to have a second thought before zapping whichever Pinkie Pie gets distracted, how can she be so sure she’s zapping the right (wrong) one? And they don’t just zap and disappear, oh now. They inflate, their eyeballs grow big, and then they shrink to the size of raisins before turning into pink dust that gets swallowed by the Mirror Pool. I don’t know what they were on when they came up with that idea, but I want some. But of course, in keeping with the positive atmosphere of the show, they do mix a big scoop of comedy as the cloned Pinkies bring us some practical jokes to remember, like the already infamous Generation 3 Pinkie Pie pony face, or the hoof with inflatable fingers. After Twilight sets her horn ablaze with magic missiles the real Pinkie Pie is left, as she is the only who watched the wall of paint the whole time without being distracted. The episode ends with Pinkie delivering the moral, before falling sleep on her back, snoring like a bear.
|I don't know what you're saying, I don't snore like that.|
So that was “Too Many Pinkie Pies”. What did I think of it? I think it beamed with creativity. It’s no surprise that this show has some of the most imaginative and original scenarios, and that the production values are above the usual TV show, but this episode was just incredible in that regard. First of all, and I have to insist on this again, Dave Polsky coming back after his absence in Season two. I have never been a fan of his work. I considered “Feeling Pinkie Keen” just okay, and I think “Over a Barrel” is one of the biggest insults to intelligence ever put on television. However, I always saw potential in his writing. I love the way he writes dialogue, very fast, very intelligent, and it flows really well. When the characters speak they don’t sound scripted, which is something very difficult to achieve. Even some of my favourite writers for this show have that problem. His ideas when it comes to set ups can work, depending on who is the pony involved in that setting. Being him the guy who created the Pinkie Sense, it’s no surprise that Pinkie Pie is his best pony when it comes to writing, and in this episode it shows. Pinkie Pie isn’t just hilarious and deliciously random in this one, but she is also incredibly human. I think the moment where she is depressed and poking her hoof in the ground says a lot about her. It shows she regrets using the magic mirror, and that she is terrified of facing this test. She has learned her lesson before sending it, cementing the moral of the episode and making it flow better. I don’t know what happened but I am glad to have Dave Polsky back in action, and I am looking forward to more episodes scripted by him in the future. Another thing that I really liked is how well they keep throwing us continuity and character in this episode. This credit goes to DHX, because having Rainbow Dash reading a Daring Do book at the pond, or showing the different members of the Apple family building up a barn must be something the animators put in to keep the world consistent. It’s also really cool to see some of the pets again, like Winona or Tank. Rarity’s appearance was short but memorable, wearing a gorgeous outfit and gloating about it. But, like in “Feeling Pinkie Keen”, the other pony that stole the show along with Pinkie was Twilight. Twilight is going to be this big enigma during this third season, as well as her library. If that secret compartment is not a lazy excuse to explain why the Mirror Pool works like that, then there is definitely something else behind it. Perhaps it’s a visual rhyme, since the Mirror Pool is hidden so is the book that tells the secrets about it. That could be it, and it would work perfectly as a narrative device.
|Honestly though, I have no idea.|
However what I really appreciate in this episode is the moral. Sometimes we do try to make everybody happy and be with everybody at the same time. This is impossible, and it can lead to us losing ourselves and who we are, like Pinkie Pie got lost in a sea of her own clones, to the point that not even she could believe who she was. That’s very important, and it’s never rubbed on our noses. It’s presented with visuals, which is a perfect example of show don’t tell. Well, there is a bit of telling in that Pinkie has to deliver the moral at the end. Besides that, the small moments pile up on this one like crazy. Between the Generation three face, the inflation hoof fingers, the dancing Pinkie on the collapsed barn, or Fluttershy having a picnic with her critters and a bear there is enough stuff in here to have a laugh with. It was fun, it was entertaining, it felt really short, and it made me want to watch it again right after finishing it. It is authentic Friendship is Magic goodness, and anyone can see that from as far as they can. Just, keep some safety glasses on. We don’t know if Twilight will make one of the Pinkie clones explode with her weird inflation magic.
- Moral: Don’t try to make everybody happy and attend to everybody’s needs, or else you will end up pleasing anybody and you will end up losing yourself.
- Defining Moment: The ending at Town Hall, with Twilight zapping Pinkie clones and sending them back to where they came from. Now that’s some PG rated nightmare fuel if I have ever seen some!