• Member Since 21st Nov, 2011
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RK_Striker_JK_5


I'm an old-school MLP fan, glad the new show is doing great.

More Blog Posts599

  • 3 weeks
    First of the Month Update

    Dear followers, readers, passers by...

    Today is June First! Boy, the year's going by quickly. So, as I've been doing, here's a bit of a tally of what I've written, pony and not. Been a decent month, updated an old Trek/Wars crossover on AO3, updated Chaos Runs Rampant there and here and am working on more updates. So, carry the Pi...

    6024 words for the month of May

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    0 comments · 54 views
  • 3 weeks
    Chaos Runs Rampant Updated!

    Dear followers, readers, passers by...

    Chapter eleven of Chaos Runs Rampant is up! It's a short chapter, yes, but I wanted to get something up before June hits. Which for me at this moment is about... one hour and forty-two minutes away. ;)

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    0 comments · 49 views
  • 6 weeks
    An off-site update

    Dear followers, readers...

    So, remember when I said I uploaded as many of my fics as I could to Archive of Our Own? Well... I kinda got inspired. And one of my old Star Trek/Star Wars crossovers just got a new chapter. The least time it got updated? 2010!

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    0 comments · 115 views
  • 7 weeks
    An update with some good news and slightly bad. WARNING! Some Striker's Ranty Rants of Ranting inside!

    Dear followers, readers, passers by.

    Last month I told you I'd be transferring my fanfics, pony and non, to Archive of Our Own to consolidate as much as I can. Well, for the most part... it's done. You can now find me there...

    at RK_Striker_JK_5. Yay!

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    3 comments · 196 views
  • 11 weeks
    First/fourth of the month update

    Dear followers, readers, passers by...

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    2 comments · 109 views
Jun
16th
2014

MLP episode review: Over a Barrel · 5:58pm Jun 16th, 2014

Okay, after being... nauseous last night, natch, it's time to go out into the desert and see this... episode. Get your hammers ready, because we're about to go...

Over a Barrel
We open with a train going down the tracks, tooting and being... pulled by a team of ponies. Okay, I've read explanations by other people about how the technology's new, it broke down, whatnot. I know Lauren Faust wanted there to be no engine, which would've been fine. As this is here... it looks just plain old stupid. It's the worst of both/any worlds here. We sweep over to the caboose and zoom in on Applejack reading a bedtime story. Then Rarity comes in and we see Applejack is reading a story to... a tree. The tree is in a bed. And is being tucked in. This is not funny. This is disturbing. Also, shouldn't the tree be upright or something and prepped for transport?! Applejack says 'Bloomberg' is one of her favorites. She has never shown this towards any other tree before. Rarity complains she's got a private sleeper car for a tree while she's with the others. Wait, there are other cars on this train. And shouldn't Bloomberg be in a cargo thing or something?

We get an info dump that he's being given as a gift to her relatives in Appeloosa and he needs his rest. He's a tree. And I think being horizontal isn't good for a live tree. Rarity says Applejack's treating it like a baby, and Applejack scoffs at the idea... and then talks baby to Bloomberg. It's Rarity who's all saddy-waddy! Oh, that hurt!

We come back to it being night. Now I'm wondering if there are shifts for the pullers or if they stop somewhere along the tracks for the night. Inside, we hear Dash say they're going fast. What, compared to how fast you go? Rarity's not pleased with the chatter. Rarity, there are other cars! Spike also complains, since he was up early fire-roasting those snacks. Dash complains that some of the kernels didn't get popped. Dash, you're an asshole. Spike incinerates her bag and goes back under the covers. Good on him! Also, Dash? *Slaps with a halibut* Twilight says they should get some shut-eye. The lights are turned off, but Dash pssts Pinkie. We get an amusing scene of Pinkie being painfully oblivious and not getting sarcasm. And the Fluttershy is a tree meme is born. Twilight pops up and acts kinda dumb. Spike storms out, and I'm with him. "Huffy the Magic dragon." Snort, okay, funny. Then Rarity rears her mud-masked head, scares the horse apples outta them and they go to sleep. We see Spike going to Bloomberg's private car to get some sleep.

The next morning, the train's a rocking! They look out to see a buffalo stampede right next to the train. Rarity focuses on their accessories, while Twilight in season-one 'only sane mare' mode, notices they're getting close. They start ramming the train and ponies pulling it, sending the Mane Six into a ball of chaos inside like a pinball game! Spike somehow sleeps through the ensuing chaos. The engineer ponies actually ram the buffalo back and speed up, but the buffalo hop on one another, allowing a younger one onto the top of the train. No, Pinkie, they're not doing tricks. Dash finally cottons that this "isn't a circus act." Thank you, Captain Obvious! She flies up to confront the smaller one, acting pretty damned casual. Dash chases her down, but the buffalo ducks down between cars and Dash eats a railroad crossing sign, getting left behind.

The buffalo lets out the hook keeping the caboose attached to the rest of the train and whistles for the herd. They high-tail it out f there with the caboose, Bloomberg, but most importantly, Spike! Dash comes to, hears Spike and, with a definite concussion, decides to show her. We come back from commercial and the train pulling into a wild-west town. They pile out and meet Braeburn, Applejack's very excitable cousin. He... needs decaf at this point in time. He headbutts into them and pushes them around. We learn Appeloosa was built in the past year and we get some legit funny scenes. Horse-drawn carriages, with them switching between passenger and driver. Horse-drawn horse-drawn carriages. We see the Salt Block, a definite bar and a definite drunk pony. Sherrif Silverstar, wild-west dances and then mild-west dances. :D I'd prefer the mild-west dances, personally. And finally, a huge apple orchard. He exposits that they need the first harvest to live on while Applejack wishes to choke a bastard. They finally tell him about the buffalo, and that Pinkie Pie's gone missing too. I wondered where she was in those shots. Braeburn gets green-eye... for some reason.

Braeburn finally comes down off his high. He tells them the buffalo wants the orchard gone, but no idea why. We get some sympathy nods from him about why the trees are needed. We cut to Dash, apparently looking for the Road Runner. We also see aftereffects of her hitting the sign. And she walks right onto Pinkie Pie, who scares the crap outta her. Pinkie... thinks this is hide-and-seek? The hell? Pinkie is seventeen kinds of obliviously stupid here and it's actually pretty irritating that she doesn't get it. Dash yells at her and the buffalo surround them. They start to charge, but suddenly Spike. Well, better than Suddenly Susan. :p He's remarkably blase and semi-surfer dude. He vouches for them and gets a claw/hoof bump from a buffalo.

We cut to later that night. Turns out they were after the tree. They actually respect dragons, which I rather like. They don't like ponies, but they're with them, so it's cool. Dash hates the food they gave them, but Pinkie digs in. Point to the Pie. Spike gets a bowl of turquoise and he properly introduces Little Strongheart. Dash snorts, but recognizes her from before. She goes to leave, Strongheart leaps in front and apologizes. They didn't mean for anyone to get hurt. By directly barreling into the engineer ponies and the train itself. Right... Dash, amusingly, has about the same reaction I just did. Strongheart says they just wanted the tree, and we have an odd segue into that the Appeloosans planted trees all over their traditional stampeding grounds.

We're introduced to Chief Thunderhooves, a bit of a droner. Admittedly it's funny seeing even the other buffalo starting to nod off. We learn they run the path every year, but with the trees there, they can't run the trail. Dash harrumphs. Literally, too. The buffalo are stuck there. Dash suddenly hops up, turns around, strikes a menacing pose... and agrees with them. Wait, what? They've got some apple-picking Appeloosans to talk to!

Did I miss something, here? Is her head injury worse than before?

Back at Appeloosa the others are getting ready for a rescue mission. Rarity's saddlebags are tightened by Applejack with a "Gently, please!" that sends out all kinds of wrong signals. They gallop off for a long hike into buffalo territory... and find the three just outside of town. Episode's over? Good! Fluttershy tackles Pinkie and sets the Shipping Wars ablaze anew. Twilight asks how they escaped, and Strongheart pops out from behind a rock. Dash promised them a chance to talk. Applejack is... none too pleased. Dash says Strongheart's got info about why the trees have to be moved, and Braeburn does seem to be receptive to the info. Applejack says Braeburns' got info on why the apple trees have to stay. And Strongheart is receptive to that. And if Applejack and Dash can keep their traps shut for five effin' seconds we might end this episode early, but they basically eat the idiot balls and argue like friggin' morons. Twilight says they both have good reasons to use the land. To be honest, I am more on the buffalo's side here. They were there first and the settler ponies have been there for barely a year. Pinkie pops up with an idea, and her and the idea crash to earth.

We cut to the ponies and buffalo gathered in front of a stage. Ho, boy. Pinkie emerges from a clamshell all done up like Miss Kitty and we get a musical number. We gotta share, we gotta care. It's bad, but intentionally bad methinks. Legit awesome moment when both Silverstar and Thunderhooves agree how bad it was. It's pretty cheesy and I am watching with the mute button on. Thunderhooves declares they stampede at high noon tomorrow, and if the orchard's there, they'll flatten it and the town. Silverstar says to bring your best. The buffalo and ponies run off to prepare while Pinkie laments.

We cut to the Appeloosans getting ready and Applejack saying a storm's a brewin' here. Listen, Applejack. You kinda stoked those winds with your attitude and actions. They go around to try and 'talk some sense' into everyone, but no go. Not that I can exactly blame the townsfolk at this point. They buck down apples and bake pies with them. They raise a flag and cheer. Over with the buffalo, they're butting heads, sharpening horns a'la Looney Tunes and putting on war paint.

Noon tomorrow the buffalo ready themselves, and the Appeloosans do as well. The clock tower chimes, but no De Lorean. Standoff. Strongheart puts one tiny paw on Thunderhooves' cheek, and he relents! Yay! But then Pinkie Pie starts singing again, and STAMPEDE! She does some crowd surfing as the settlers ready... pies. And they halt some of the buffalo. Pony what?! Carrot Top does a bit of bronco bucking with one of them, and there is a legit good bit with an anvil being hidden in a hay bale. But still, pies? One buffalo's hit and then veers right into the clock tower, which crumbles. Thunderhooves charges Silverstar with friggin' engine noises. A p;ie comes out of nowhere and hits him. Everyone acts sad... for some reason. He's clearly not dead, since no one else was killed by the pies. Also, what about the others hit with pies? Ugh! Some of the pie slides down into his mouth... and he decides it's delicious!

We cut to a path being cut in the orchards. The buffalo stampede through, and will allow the trees to stay for a share of the apples/pies. Spike prefers the turquoise, and we see a semi-creepy shot of Applejack and Bloomberg. Twilight gives the Aesop anout sharing and caring, Pinkie complains that that's she said, and end.

Thoughts
Ugh. This episode is pretty bad all-around. The Mane Six, Applejack and Dash specifically, carry huge idiot balls and make the situation worse. It's also a pretty insulting oversimplification/generalization of the conflict between Native Americans and settlers. Hell, Rawhide did a better job at this and it was made in the 50's/60's! The pie fight broke my SOD in a bad way, as well as Thunderhooves'... whatever the hell that was.

Overall, I am sailing past this one.

Headcanon
Appeloosa is to the south of Equestria proper. That's it.


I hope no one's surprised I have a buffalo Transformer by now. ;)

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Comments ( 11 )

It isn't that you have a Transformer of a buffalo that surprises me. The fact that there is one out there is what shocks me! I've watched Beast Wars a few times...who is this guy and why do I want him to have a texas accent?

That's a buffalo? I see it now, but at first I thought it was a tribble

2211177 This is Bighorn, a recoloring of Bonecrusher. He didn't appear in the Beast Wars TV show.

Actually, Lauren Faust is pretty blunt with her messages, which is why this episode is how it is. It's supposed to be a kid friendly version of the conflict. Well, atleast the Buffalo don't own casinos, get drunk, or act like braves, or have Mohawks

I've actually used this episode to justify earth pony magic giving foodstuffs the ability to incapacitate. It's like the dwarf bread of the Discworld, only far tastier.

But yeah, this was a weird one.

I actually really like the pie fight! It's pretty obviously the classic Wild West shootout, cleaned up and made kid-friendly, except for the fact that it isn't actually sanitized. No awkward euphemisms or anything; Thunderhooves got shot pied and now he's dead, played utterly straight. (Except for the part where he isn't actually dead.) It's a wonderfully absurd bit of bathos.

Both the engine-less train and the salt-lick tavern are two aspects of 'established canon' I think most fans prefer to ignore. Never really got the latter one, and only read two fanfics where it came up at all.

Also, I've never really understood how "You Gotta Share" was supposed to be bad compared to any other songs Pinkie has sung.

When it comes to the horse-drawn train thing, I saw a blog from JohnPerry where he mentions that before steam engines, the first rail vehicles were in fact pulled by horses.

Also, Dash? *Slaps with a halibut*

Like the Monty Python Fish Slapping Song sketch. :twilightoops:

Pinkie is seventeen kinds of obliviously stupid here…

You oft mention in these blogs things being seventeen kinds of whatever. Why seventeen kinds?

And if Applejack and Dash can keep their traps shut for five effin' seconds we might end this episode early…

But if the episode ends early, then we have to fill out the time reading dirty limericks.

I never understood why no one or pony really like Pinkie's song here. I liked it.

Like with "Bridle Gossip", I feel it was rather gutsy for the show to make this allusion to the whole Native American thing. I understand its oversimplified, but that oversimplification is the result of the constraints of the show being directed ostensibly at children and their families. Now, if you wanted to write a fanfiction depicted the Buffalo being decimated by disease and the westward expansion of Equestrian ponies, then by all means knock yourself out.

I have a certain fondness for Braeburn. That may be in part due to stories like DiveBomb's Riflepony Series and to a lesser extent Bad_Seed_72's Tangle Roots Trilogy

2211189
The fact that I thought the same thing scared me a bit.

I'm more positive on this episode than most people. It's extremely uneven and the whole does not hang together well, but there are all sorts of interesting things in it, as well as some fine scenes.

For example, we get Braeburn here, and he's just too fun to ignore. The buffalos are cool, and Little Strongheart is another great character. (Yes, I do ship her and Braeburn. It's the perfect Romeo & Juliet scenario, without any foolishness with daggers or poisons or anything, and I think the show's hinting at it while Rainbow and Applejack keep derailing things.) Pinkie's musical scene is hilarious (while it being obvious that you can't always defuse things with just a song and a dance), and the final shootout scene is a wonderful Western setpiece ponyfied.

I think that it's ultimately less than the sum of its parts, but there's a lot of good in there. :twilightsmile:

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