Sorry this took so long. I was extremely sick so I couldn't make this review yet. Also before I start, let me just say that this may be my most disagreed with review.
The episode is about Apple Bloom being excited because her cousin, Babs Seed, from Manehatten, is coming to visit. After she finds out Babs doesn't yet have her cutie mark, Apple Bloom brings Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo to join her and Applejack in meeting Babs. Babs meets them and seems very shy. It doesn't help the fact that when the CMC try to help Babs join the group, they become less subtle than Twilight Sparkle. That's quite an accomplishment girls, quite an accomplishment.
They finally show Babs a float they have for a Summer Harvest Parade, a giant pumpkin, and then Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon show up, why?! How are these two even important characters anyways?
They do the obvious thing they do all the time but also insult Babs for having no cutie mark. She is given the option of whether to spend time with her cousin and her friends or two ponies she's never met that are mean to her. Can you guess what happens? Of course it's obvious. For no reason, she joins the bullies. Oh so that's what this episode is about. I for one, thought Babs wouldn't be able to stand up for herself and then does later on as we cheer for her. So this obviously means that she's mean.
The CMC are heartbroken and don't know what to do. Sweetie Belle suggests they tell an adult like Applejack, Rarity or Twilight but because Babs called them snitches, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo don't want to do that.
Their only option left is to hide from Babs until she leaves as we enter a song that I'll talk about later.
Babs continues to be mean to them and even takes away their clubhouse, leaving the crusaders to stand up for themselves. Hooray, their standing up for themselves. This makes so much sense because no other option will work for them. So how do they do it? They boboy trap their float to trick Babs into going on it, so she'll fall in a river and drown. Wait what?! That's way too far for the CMC to do something as dark as that. Eventually though, Aplejack shows up and explains that back in Manehatten, Babs was bullied for also not having her cutie mark. The CMC in the end, decide to save Babs. She becomes their friend and forgives them for everything. Wow I hated this episode. Why did I hear so many like this.
Oh dear sweet Celestia no.
CMC: I appreciated them standing up for themselves but that whole drowning thing. Wow. They provided some good comic relief and all and are alot less annoying however.
Applejack: I really really hate Applejack for how she was here. At the end, she says to them that the problem would've been solved if they came to her. What?! What?! WHAT?! No, no, no. Applejack did nothing to help the four girls. Yes I agree that if bully is becoming a problem you should tell an older figure but the episode shows a potential problem, the person could be absolutely useless, like how Applejack was. Think about it, once Applejack found out what was going on, what did she do? Let's run down the line shall we?
Did she punish Babs for making the three girls miserable after they helped her? No.
Did she even tell Babs to stop bullying? No.
Did she give proper advice to Apple Bloom to handle the situation? No.
Diamond Tiara: And let's not forget about Diamond Tiara. That witch bullies Apple Bloom all the time. And yeah, her dad Filthy Rich happens to be one of the family's best customers but we saw in Family Appreciation Day, that even he's tired of how annoying this spoilt brat is. So let's once again ask what Applejack did. I'll tell you. NOTHING!
Babs Seed: Let's break this down a bit. When Babs arrived, she was horribly self-consciousness about not having any cutie mark. So Apple BLoom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo offered her a group to deal with it's specific issue, where she could be safe and have moral support. And in return, she calls them names, breaks their stuff, steals their clubhouse and spits in their faces. The girls did nothing to deserve this. This is what makes Babs a bully. The fact that Babs get's bullied making her one might explain her actions but this does not automatically excuse them. Any negative consequence she deserves, she invites it on herself by acting this way int he first place. And kep in mind, the girls weren't originally going to do anything to harm Babs. They didn't try getting back at her until she continued to mentally hurt them. Sure, the whole drowning plan is too far but the basic idea of standing up to her in and of itself doesn't make them bullies.
Pinkie Pie: One of the only positives. I loved when I saw in the background, she hijacked a lettuce float and was nonchalantly driving it. Or when she was about to crash and started yelling veggie salad. See this is an example of character development from Too Many Pinkie Pies. Pinkie's going random but she's not trying to harm anyone.
Animation & Visuals
Nothing really stood out to me here.
The visual gags are excellent, especially Pinkie Pie.
This song is one of the only stand out positives, although it's reason it's flawed even though the episode is itself anyways. It's catchy but it doesn't affect the plot in anyway. We know nothing more about Babs from this.
Sorry this is a really weak episode
Still not finished with my complaints. Okay let's talk about the message because no character even learns a moral.
See here's the thing. Bullying is a very serious and complex issue. There's different bullies out there, and there's different ways of handling them. Depending on the kind of resources you have, this could be potentially difficult to deal with. This is the reason that the problem here isn't the problem that applies to universally everyone and it's far too hard to explain in a 22 minute kids show to say nothing of the choppy terrible water-down ending we have here. To say that all you should do is tell an adult who does nothing and then actually imply the girls were becoming bullies themselves by standing up to Babs is an awful message.
So you know what? Instead of them focusing on bullying itself, this episode needed to be more character focused. Firstly, Babs should've never been a bully. It made it really difficult to sympathise with her at the end. And besides, you already had Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon there. Run the traditional course. Make them the bullies. Make the episode about Babs trying to open up and overcome her insecurity. Say, she sees the bullies and doesn't know what to do but sticks with the crusaders because that's where she needs to be. And by spending more time with them, she learns she's stronger than she thought and now she can stand up for herself and this makes us really cheer for her at the end. I don't know. It's an idea. let us know alot aout her over the course of the entire episode, instead of just, she's mean, she's mean, she's mean, oh guess what? Turns out she's not so bad.
-Sort of acknowledges issue
-Cutie Mark Crusaders develop
-Tries to make Babs likeable
-Applejack does nothing
-Lack of focus
-Song serves no point
-No Babs Seed punishment
-No Diamond Tiara or Silver Spoon punishment