Now that the second season is over and things are calming down, I can make lengthy blog posts without feeling guilty about interfering with other wiki work.
This will explain the best I can why I hate The Last Roundup. This is not meant to be offensive to anyone who loves it. I just wanted to let you know before I get going.
Let’s start from the beginning. The first moments after the theme song were not a good sign.
Yeah, I never considered myself a fan of Derpy. I don’t think adding her was a good move. Not only did it complicate an already complex plot, but people got offended, and I don’t think it would make any sense to the targeted audience, the little girls that do watch it. Yeah, they do exist.
The day after I saw it I went online to see nothing but Derpy Derpy Derpy Derpy Derpy. It wasn’t surprising that that scene was the only one most people cared about.
But I didn’t write this post to rant about Derpy, I did it to talk about the episode, so on to the next point.
She was perhaps just as big of a problem as Derpy, if not worse. I don’t dislike Pinkie Pie, but she still got more attention than Applejack in this episode. My count on the transcript says she has almost forty speaking lines and almost each one is annoying and unnecessary.
"I don't know how I'll make it to the next stop!" Where do I start with this one? As a person with some moral value I try my very best to avoid anything that would ruin the innocence of this show, even though it’s difficult to venture anywhere in this dark internet without mature material jumping out at you. Even subtle things can get the imagination going in an undesirable way. Simply put, this lengthy scene wasn’t helping. Crude humor was something I was hoping the writers wouldn’t have to stoop down to. "Nopony breaks a Pinkie promise!" With all the characters pushing Applejack to spill the beans, I was already starting to question how much of a "friend" she really was to them. Of course, I knew Pinkie had to be the one to make it worse. The way she angrily pursued Applejack made her look like the antagonist.
"Chimmy cherry, or cherry changa?" An unfunny and annoying way to waste a whole lot of time.
We now come to my final and strongest point against the episode. From the first few seconds of the episode you can see Applejack training hard for the rodeo. Does this sound familiar to the opening of another episode? If you guessed Sonic Rainboom then you would be right. Let’s see how these episodes compare in their beginnings.
Rainbow Dash is seen training for the flying competition. She makes a mistake at first and is worried about how she’ll do but seeing as Fluttershy wasn’t a good cheerer she decided to go alone. She dreams of winning.
The Last Roundup:
Applejack is seen training for the rodeo. She makes a mistake on a hurdle. Apple Bloom says she’ll do great but Applejack is modest about it, even though she still dreams of winning it. She goes alone. Sounds pretty interesting, huh? Now let’s see what happens.
Rainbow Dash is nervous about doing well. She isn’t doing as well as she hopes until Rarity falls. Then her moment comes. She can save Rarity and her idols, the Wonderbolts. And she does it; she saves them all, and performs a sonic rainboom, something that is so rare that it has "legendary" status. She met her goal, and earned cheers from the crowds, and recognition from the princess, and a crown thing, and gets carried by the crowds, and gets to hang out with the Wonderbolts. It was her moment and she shined. In her words, "This really is the best day EVER!"
The Last Roundup:
Applejack disappears and her friends go after her. They eventually find her in Dodge Junction where she is upset. They grow more angry and concerned and try to force her to tell them what had happened. This continues and tension rises until she gets chased away. Later she is seen on the ground, looking terribly sad next to non-winning ribbons. She was emotionally hurt about not winning. It was her moment and she failed. But that’s not the most important thing, that was just the beginning. If that wasn’t enough, she was chased by her angry friends who thought she was trying to trick them, and then they suddenly they have a change of heart and tell her about what a great lesson she could learn from this. Oddly, of all the characters in the episode, she probably had the least to learn. What was wrong with trying to earn money for your mayor who needs it to repair town hall and you don’t want to let them down? What has another one of the main characters done to show more integrity than that? Not only did she lose but she sacrificed more of her time away from family and friends to get a job. Still, she agreed with her friends about how she was wrong, and wrote a letter to Princess Celestia about winning and losing, something that wasn’t really as important as the other troublesome points in the story. She took all the pain and all the guilt. All of the out of character behavior and other nonsense were ignored. Somehow the writer twisted it in a strange way to look like a happy ending. Pathetic.
I was certain she was going to retaliate. I thought other other five were going to understand her situation and to see her good intentions. To both of those assumptions I was wrong. Apparently it’s better to assume that someone won’t hate you if you let them down than to try your best to do it anyway if you think you can. The way she just took it so easily made me love her character even more.
Besides my extra pity for Applejack for being outshined by others and being made to look bad in every way possible, I got nothing from this episode but anger. It still boggles my mind how this could be one of the most popular episodes ever. The Last Roundup? What is that even supposed to mean? All I got was a cold hard slap of reality from my little magical fantasy world. I thought FiM was a superior form of kids’ animation. I had come to expect greatness from the episodes rather than this heap of garbage. The only thing fantastic about it was how awful and out of character it was in every conceivable way. I was foolish to expect perfection. I was foolish to think that there would never be an episode that I would hate. In my mind this episode will never be canon.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this. I am also currently drafting a somewhat related post that’s much longer. It’s about why I think Applejack is the best pony.