Once upon a time I was part of the furry community in a website known as FurAffinity. It’s well known for its constant outages, technical issues, and a crowd so filled with scum and villainy it makes the Mos Eisley cantina look like a church. In there I met some nice people whom have followed me to the Brony fandom, but more often than not I was bullied, attacked, mocked, laughed at and, worst of all, got my art stolen several times only to be accused of stealing some else’s artwork. This went on for over six years until I encountered the MLP Fandom and then realized that people don’t usually attack and eat each other like a pack of cannibalistic hyenas fighting for a prey they didn’t even catch in the first place. Every fandom has problems with art theft, and the MLP fandom is no exception, but every now and then I like to think back to those years to remind myself where I come from and how bad things could be. I did meet very nice people, I admit that, but I am really glad I put all of that behind me and finally moved into a crowd that I can appreciate and respect as much as they appreciate and respect me. When I write these reviews, or when I draw my pictures, I know there is going to be someone reacting to them and I love hearing their feedback. I like making fans of this show happy and give them something they’d want to add to their favorites, or talk about on Twitter and Tumblr. I don’t aim to become popular, I just like making people happy and give them something to think about. I think you can imagine where this episode review is heading, so let’s get to it.
I am going to bring back my TL; DR’s from 2011, those were faster and less flashy. Is this a good Rarity episode? Yes. Is this the best episode of the Season? Maybe. Is this the best episode written by Dave Polsky? Yes, for the love of Celestia, Luna, the Sun and the Moon, yes it is! And if you want to know why then you should keep reading!
So the episode starts with the Mane Six getting ready for a weekend of fun and fashion in Manehattan, and Rarity is inviting all of them to come along for the ride so they can see her and her designs at the show. She is so generous and excited about it that she is inviting all of them to watch “Hinny of the Hills”, the most popular musical in Bridleway (oh horse puns, you hurt me so). Upon arriving to Manehattan the six friends are rewarded with a city full of activity, interesting ponies, and Mad Men references, and they are so thrilled that they break into song as we see how Rarity’s generosity bursts left and right on the metropolis. At the rhythm of this new tune we see how her good intentions turn smiles upside down, as she fixes a taxi’s broken wheel, gives away her scarf to Daniel Ingram’s voice cameo, and gives considerable tips to bellboys in hotels. Sadly, singing, dancing and pole-dancing on the streetlamps takes its toll on Rarity’s time and she’s suddenly pressured to arrive to the fashion show’s pre-show. In the middle of the rain, and with a shortage of cabs, she seems to be in a desperate situation until the owner of the Taxi with the broken wheel comes in and saves the day! Everything seems to be going alright, until her friends and Spike realize she has forgotten the dresses.
Rarity finally reaches the reception of the fashion
show, which seems to be run by the pony version of Janine from “Ghostbusters”, as she suddenly realizes that her dresses are not
Right when she thinks she’s completely doomed, the bellboy who was so
generously tipped shows up carrying the rack with all the dresses, as Rarity
takes them but not before giving him another generous tip. Once at the preshow
Rarity is met with a rather stern look from the show’s organizer Prim Hemline
who tells her that, due to being late, she will show her designs last. Once
Prim dismisses all of them Rarity is then greeted by an old…let’s use the word “acquaintance” to describe this mare, named
Suri Polomare, who catches an immediate interest in Rarity’s designs and
especially the fabric she’s made them with. Clouded by her generous nature
Rarity agrees to giving Suri a roll of her fabric to use for the accents on her
own clothes, but little does she know that this obnoxious sounding mare doesn’t
want to do just the accents but her entire fashion line out of Rarity’s
custom-made fabric! And if you think that’s bad, then things get only worse
when we are told that she didn’t make the dresses; her assistant did, a meek
looking fashion earth pony called Coco Pommel.
|And the prom is tomorrow!|
|Yes! Someone did it!|
|Who is going to win all the awards for Cutest Thing in the World.|
Distraught, betrayed, desperate and absolutely heartbroken, Rarity runs to the hotel where she interrupts the celebration of her five friends to tell them that everything is ruined because she has been too generous in a town full of ponies that just look after themselves. Twilight decides to cheer her up and offers the help of all of them to make a new fashion line from scratch no matter what the cost. This leads to Rarity building up a sweat-shop out of her friends (did HotDiggedyDemon predict this or what?) and losing her cool in several occasions after hearing some legit complains from them. Despite all these set-backs and slowdowns the new fashion line is finished and everything seems ready for Rarity to blow everypony’s mind at the fashion show. And, wouldn't you know it, the audience loves it! They seem to adore these designs even more than Suri’s copycat collection, but this doesn’t make Rarity feel any better as she notices that her friends are absent in the audience, surely angry at her for not appreciating their generous help.
Taken by the concern Rarity leaves the fashion show,
despite the complains of Prim Hemline, and rushes to the hotel to look for her
friends, but in there the bellboy tells her that they are already gone.
Thinking that she’s been left behind by her friends she wanders the streets in
the middle of the rain as she breaks into song for a second time, but this time
all alone. Once she’s regained her composure and fixed her wet mane, she
returns to the fashion show to try and talk with Prim, but instead she’s met
with Suri, who tells her that Prim is really furious at her, and her five
friends and Spike, who all greet Rarity with the biggest of smiles. As it turns
out the Mane Six missed the show because they overslept after a night of hard
work helping Rarity, not because they were mad at her. They then tell her that
Suri told them that she’s lost the competition, to which Rarity replies that
she doesn’t give a flying feather about it. She is just glad that her friends
haven’t abandoned her, and Twilight reassures her that what happened the day
before hasn't affected their friendship. In order to make up for this ordeal,
Rarity takes all of her friends to a private pass of “Hinny of the Hills”. Once the play is over they all wonder how she
got tickets for a private pass, and Rarity explains that she cut a deal with
the costume designer of the play in exchange of doing all the costumes for the
next one. They all congratulate her for the opportunity, although they are also
sad since they are not going to be seeing her in a while because of it.
But then, coming out of one of the doors, enters Coco
Pommel, carrying the trophy for the first place winner on the fashion show,
which happens to have Rarity’s name on it. What happened is that she actually
won, but Suri lied and hoped that, in Rarity not showing up to pick up her trophy,
the judges would give her the award in forfeit. Coco then apologizes and tells them
that working with Suri made her think that everyone in Manehattan was just out
there for themselves, and it wasn’t until meeting Rarity and her friends that
she realized how generous they were with each other. She realized that there
was something better for her out there, so she quit and moved on. In
appreciation for this, Rarity offers her the chance to work with the costume
designer of “Hinny of the Hills”,
since Coco’s fashion sense would work great in the theater. Rarity returns to
Ponyville learning that even though sometimes others might take advantage of
your generosity, one shouldn't give up on their generous spirit, and that
nothing feels worse than taking advantage of the generous nature of your
Where do I start with this episode? I guess the best
way to start is with what I think of it, let’s see the good versus the bad, and
figure out why I consider this to be Dave Polsky’s best work to date.
I have no doubt when I say that this is one of the
most hopeful, positive episodes ever put together for this show, if not the
most. The whole thing is a build up to that final dialogue between Rarity and
Coco, and the speech that the later gives about how generosity is repaid with generosity.
It’s something that is present during the entire episode, and we see it happening
before our eyes, though they never bash our heads with it. I loved how those
who Rarity helped at the beginning, like the Taxi driver and the bellboy, show
up later on to help her out. They were small examples that helped build up the
sense of support that ended up exploding all over the screen at the end. The tone
and rhythm of this episode are perfect. They walk the fine line between comedy
and drama really well, and they never let the background swallow the
foreground. It kept the cameos and references to a minimum, like the Mad Men
ponies or the Grumpy Cat Pony, but they were not the focus and they felt like
very nice throw away jokes. The episode kept itself focused on what is
important, and that is Rarity and her ordeal to keep her sense of generosity
alive in a town that seems to have forgotten it.
|I wouldn't blame them, to be honest.|
|We will miss your bossy ways and the sweat shop's swamp smell.|
|"Best Bitchy Pony Award? Well, that's better than nothing!"|
|"I've forgotten my dignity too! I need a pillow and a Manehattan cocktail!"|
|Time to break into song! Come Darlings!|
|With enough wet-mane to compensate for the gloomy atmosphere.|
But not only the tone, the rhythm, the songs and the focus were good, but also the story. There is no better setting to tell a story about generosity than the fashion and artistic side of any community. Let’s be fair, artists can be (and are) elitists. We favor and watch only those that touch our sensibilities. We rarely go out of our way to give advice and help out, and we can get to be a pretty obnoxious bunch of self-centered jerks. I am saying “we” because I count myself upon them. I can be like this too, and so can my other artist friends. But those moments of generosity do happen. Yes, I see a lot of selfish behavior, but I also see a lot of good coming from us. I see artists giving away free artwork, and opening charity drives to help other friends and other people with their talent. It is really touching to see that generosity alive out there, and the way they portrayed it in this episode is just perfect. It’s spot on, from the Fashion Show’s organizer Prim Himline being a bit of a stuck up to later on warm up to Rarity, to Coco’s final reveal and telling the truth.
|Is this the Cutie Equines Convention Center?|
|Can I have another episode?|
|No! No episode for you. And stop being so adorable!|
|"I like being next to you Rarity, you make me look so bitchy"|
|Pictured up here: Eye candy.|
|Rarity is so good she could even make internet memes work.|
|"Oh, wait, hang on. This is the award. Most Hopeful and Positive Episode Ever"|
- Defining Moment: Coco’s confession at the end, and her subsequent redemption. I surprised myself when I started sobbing tears of happiness.