As we begin the episode, it shows a zoom in on some fillies object on their flanks. we get introduced to Cheerilee who hope until this episode, was a background character in Boast Busters, Look Before You Sleep and Winter Wrap Up. She's the local teacher at the school that Apple Bloom goes to. She's giving a lesson to her class about a thing called cutie marks much to the dismay of another introduced character, Diamond Tiara who already has her cutie mark. Cheerilee mentions how back when she was the ponies age she didn't have a cutie mark and one day found her talent which was teaching after she got a flower cutie mark. She asks the class when a pony gets a cutie mark. After that, we get introduced to yet another character Twist who says it's when a pony gets her special talent. While Cheerilee is telling the high point to getting a cutie mark, Diamond Tiara is whispering into Apple Bloom's ear and gives her a note which turns out to be blank when Cheerilee sees it. Diamond Tiara asks if it reminds her of anypony. This shows two things.
One: Apple Bloom does not have a cutie mark
Two: Diamond Tiara's the antagonist.
Diamond Tiara basically works as the peer pressure towards Apple Bloom. She's the annoying rich girl who thinks she's better than everypony. Basically through this whole episode, she's the pressure that pushes Apple Bloom into being impatient for a cutie mark.
Scene 1 Part 2
Apple Bloom and Twist are walking out of their school. Twist asks Apple Bloom if she wants peppermint sticks and she made them herself. Unfortunately, Apple Bloom is too sad to take the offer on board. After that, we see Diamond Tiara. But we also see another introduced character, Silver Spoon who is basically her lacky. The two tease Apple Bloom and Twist for not yet having their cutie marks.
DIamond Tiara tells them that their still invited to her cute cenera. Nevertheless, as they leave, they still tease the two.
Silver Spoon is basically the secondary antagonist and the sidekick of Diamond Tiara. She basically treats Apple Bloom the same way Diamond Tiara does. Not much to her except that she's extra peer pressure to Apple Bloom.
Scene 1 Part 2
Apple Bloom complains to Applejack about how unfair it is that she still doesn't have her cutie mark. Applejack tells her that she'll get it someday. Apple Bloom wants it right now though because she doesn't want to be embarassed at the cute cenera. Applejack reassures her that she can go. Applejack also tells her though that Granny Smith, Big Macintosh and herself were all the last in their class to get their cutie marks. This sparks an idea with Apple Bloom. Apple Bloom believes that if being the last in their class runs in the family, then it must also run in the family to have a cutie mark that has something to do with apples which is what Applejack, Big Mac and Granny Smith have.
And so, Applejack and Apple Bloom sell their apples on the market. Apple Bloom isn't too good at selling them though as she demonstrates what you can do with apples. She eats one to promote sales but then uses one as a tennis ball and then breaks someone's window. After that, she kicks one into someone's painting. Next, she starts pressuring Doctor Whooves into buying apples but still no cutie mark. After scaring Whooves, she scares Berryshine causing her to run away. Fed up with still not having a cutie mark, she resorts to sale trickery and puts apples into Bon Bon's bag. After this, we hear Bon Bon's first canon voice. Too bad, it changes everytime we hear her talk. It's kind of funny. This episode introduces the cutie mark idea. Bon Bon's cutie mark is a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
In the end though, Applejack tells Apple Bloom that her apple selling days are over. Instead of accepting this though, Apple Bloom is still worried about the cute cenera and still really wants her cutie mark. Applejack tells her that there's probably others who still don't have theirs. Apple Bloom says that Twist doesn't. Applejack tells her that she could go with Twist.
Unfortunately, when Apple Bloom gets to Twist's, she discovers that Twist has found her cutie mark. Diamond TIara and SIlver Spoon then mention how embarassing it'll be for Apple Bloom causing Apple Bloom to get her most saddest, most adorable expression on her face. Yes, more adorable than her expression in Friendship is Magic, Part 1.
Apple Bloom is incredibly depressed about all of this. Rainbow Dash comes along to try and cheer her up. Apple Bloom explains her problems to Dash. Rainbow Dash says that she can help Apple Bloom get her cutie mark easily. Apple Bloom argues that Applejack said that these things take time. Rainbow Dash seals the deal though by saying that she was the first in her class to get a cutie mark.
And so the training begins. Rainbow Dash makes Apple Bloom do push-ups for the training. Dash says that the key is to do as manyt things as possible as quick as possible. They start off with juggling but Apple Bloom fails. They try handgliding but Apple Bloom trips over a rock. After that, they try karate but Apple Bloom fails. Wait, how does Dash know karate. I guess it's another incident of:
LIKE A BOSS!
They try kite flying but Apple Bloom fails. Finally, they try ultra pony roller derby but Apple Bloom fails.
Down in the dumps again, Apple Bloom doesn't know what to do. Rainbow Dash is still looking for ideas. Apple Bloom sees Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon and hides in the bushes as they talk about Diamond's new outfit and how bad it must be to not be special.
Pinkie Pie comes along and tells Apple Bloom that she could be good at eating cupcakes. Before she leaves, Apple Bloom thanks Rainbow Dash for help and leaves. ANd with the zoom-out, Dash looks slightly dissapointed. It appears as though Rainbow Dash is an insecure character, it just hasn't been fully dwelled on yet.
Apple Bloom and Pinkie Pie go into Sugarcube Corner. Apple Bloom asks where the cupcakes are, to which Pinkie responds by saying that she doesn't have any but Apple BLoom could help her make some.
And so, we cut into another Pinkie song called Cupcakes. This is basically where she actually says how to make some. This is a catchy song and whereas most of the other Pinkie songs before this were mostly meh to me, she does really well here. I think starting with Evil Enchantress, her songs really improved for me. After a stunner like Winter Wrap Up, this song makes me even more happier seeing two great songs twice in a row.
Unfortunately, even after the song, Apple Bloom is shown to be not too good at baking. And somehow, her burnt cupcakes is bakery that Pinkie eats. Oh Pinkie. You and you're breaking of the fourth wall. Apple Bloom just can't take it anymore. However, Pinkie says about a cutie mark Apple Bloom has. It's covered with flour though. Apple Bloom tries to guess only to discover that it was just the flour and no cutie mark.
Twilight Sparkle comes along and asks what's been going on to which Pinkie says that they've been making cupcakes and asks Twilight if she wants some. Twilight declines. Apple Bloom asks her to help and explains her troubles. Twilight asks what Apple Bloom wants her to do. Apple Bloom aks her to create a cutie mark for her but even with Twilight's magic it fails. To make matters worse, the party is already going on at Sugarcube Corner.
Apple Bloom tries to escape from the ceanara fast. Unfortunately, Applejack comes in and pushes Apple Bloom in thinking that Apple Bloom wants to come. Diamond and SIlver see her and Apple Bloom quickly covers herself with table covers. She tells them how she got her cutie mark. Diamond Tiara tells her to prove it by showing her mark. Apple Bloom escapes this by saying that she could outclass Diamond Tiara for getting her cutie mark. Nice move Apple Bloom. Unfortunately, as Apple Bloom walks off the cover falls over and is discovered as still being a blank flank. Her reputation is about to be shattered but is saved by more introduced characters, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo who say that she could be great at anything. They defend her because they also don't have their cutie marks. So wait, if they don't have their cutie marks, why did Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon keep on saying how Apple Bloom is the only one in the class who doesn't have a cutie mark. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are even seen in the class in later episodes. So what were they just hiding in the streets the whole time? In the end though, Apple Bloom's class warm up to her and pay less attention on Diamond Tiara. And so, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo introduce themselves.
While the parties going on, Apple Bloom comes up with the idea of them forming a secret society known as The Cutie Mark Crusaders.
In the end, Twilight learns that sometimes the thing that you think will cause you to lose friends and fell left out could actually be the thing that helps you make your closest friends and realise how special you are. This is a good lesson but I have some problems. Why is Twilight learning this? She already knows this. Apple Bloom should learn this. Like I said in my review of Look Before You Sleep, I know that Twilight's restrition was to learn all the lessons in episodes but she was barely any focus in either of these episodes. Besides in Owl's Well That Ends Well, she even gives Spike the option of writing a moral himself. My second problem is this lesson is made about in The Show Stoppers and The Cutie Pox. We get it. Good things come to those who wait.
So how does this episode hold up in terms of being the first CMC episode? It's okay. Like I said, the moral is pointless because it's used in two more episodes. As for the character of Twist who's bashed by fans alot, I have mixed feelings towards her. She seems genuinely nice towards Apple Bloom and it's not her fault that she got her cutie mark. Her problem though is after the CMC is formed, Twist's character just seems pointless after this. And finally, my issue with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo not even in the school. I know it was a twist at the end, but it doesn't exactly add up. Sweetie Belle is even seen in the classroom at the beginning of the episode. And of course the moral. This is a great moral but my issue is still with the fact that Twilight learnt it. Now, the positives. Apple Bloom gets some great development. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, while not doing much beforehand, do get a great introduction. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon worked as great villians. Apple Bloom and Doctor Whooves together was genius. The beginning of Bon Bon's voice with the line "I didn't put those in my bag" is awesome. THey also do a great job on explaining what a cutie mark is. As for Cheerilee, she was a great addition to the series and Meghan McCarthy characterized her pretty well. We also saw alot of introductions to these supporting characters And of course the amazing Cupcakes song is worth a mention.
-Apple Bloom Development
-Apple Bloom Cuteness Overload
-Introduced to some great characters
-Apple Bloom and Doctor Whooves
-Bon Bon's first line
-Rainbow Dash is a boss
-Moral is used in two more episodes
-Twilight learns the moral instead of Apple Bloom
-Twist becomes pointless after episode
-Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo not in the school before
Elements of Episode