• Member Since 17th Nov, 2012
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Lifelong Nerd. Lifelong practical Catholic and firm believer that an egg is an egg. Amateur fanfiction auteur elsewhere and maker of YouTube videos.

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SPOILERS? Mariusioannesp Reviews: "Appleloosa's Most Wanted" · 5:25am May 9th, 2015

Just so you know, there are spoilers here for "Appleloosa’s Most Wanted". Probably doesn't matter that much since is a few days late.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my review of "Appleloosa’s Most Wanted".

Applejack and the Cutie Mark Crusaders arrive in Appleloosa for the Appleloosa Rodeo. Applejack is apparently competing in place of Braeburn, who has injured his forehoof. The CMC hope that if they are allowed to participate in an event, they could possibly get a cutie mark. Those hopes are dashed though when the sheriff discovers evidence that an outlaw that has been plaguing the Equestria Rodeo circuit named Trouble Shoes is in Appleloosa, threatening to end the rodeo then and there. Applejack wants the CMC to have no part in this and wants to send the CMC back home. The CMC then resolve to find Trouble Shoes themselves so they could compete in the rodeo and possibly get a cutie mark. What they discover when they finally find Trouble Shoes turns out to be quite the surprise.

So, what’s the verdict?

I had suspected this would be a more adventure-driven episode in the same vein of the MLP comics. (Especially like that “The Good, the Bad, and the Ponies” arc.) It turned out it wasn’t. It’s more of a comedy piece, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

So yeah, I liked it.

I was kind of concerned this episode would not be liked by fans given who this episode’s auteur is.

But whilst carefully perusing Equestria Daily and Derpibooru to avoid spoilers in the days following the episode’s airing, I did not find anything resembling open animosity towards this episode. So yeah, there’s that.

Anyway, we begin with Applejack and the CMC arriving in Appleloosa for the Appleloosa Rodeo. The CMC are particularly excited. They’re particularly excited as they hope to compete in a competition and get a cutie mark. They also get excited when they overhear the Sheriff Silverstar mention that there’s possibly an outlaw on the loose. Applejack is competing a hay bale stacking event in lieu of Braeburn because he has injured his foreleg. Braeburn apparently has difficulty keeping track of the CMC, but they happen to show up just before Applejack tears him a new one. They try asking Applejack if they could compete in the rodeo when the hay bale stack collapses and almost falls on them. The sheriff finds an oversized hoofprint and determines this was the work of Trouble Shoes! At a town meeting that the sheriff doesn’t want to turn into a mob, we discover that Trouble Shoes is a wanted outlaw who’s been sabotaging all the rodeos on the Equestria rodeo circuit, forcing them to be canceled. Sheriff Silverstar declares that this rodeo though will go on, and Appleloosa won’t be intimidated! Applejack then wants to send the CMC back home and considers going home herself. Braeburn convinces Applejack to stay and assures her he can keep an eye on the CMC. So, he triple-locks the door, gets his trusty gun, and stands guard over the CMC. (Actually no, Braeburn is not armed in this episode… Unfortunately.) He eventually falls asleep though, giving the CMC the opportunity to escape. Apple Bloom plans for them to find Trouble Shoes themselves so the sheriff can arrest him, and then they could compete in the rodeo and maybe get a cutie mark. They find a trail of oversized hoofprints in the woods and follow them in hopes of finding Trouble Shoes when it starts to rain.

Back at the Apple Family Appleloosa homestead, Applejack is coming in from the rain after practicing her hay bale stacking when Braeburn informs her that the CMC have gone missing. They go to the sheriff, playing a card game with his deputies, and inform him how they think Trouble Shoes has absconded with the CMC. Though Sheriff Silverstar doubts Trouble Shoes is behind the CMC’s disappearance, they all ride off together to find them. Back in the woods, the CMC find that they have gotten really lost. They fall off a cliff and go down a mudslide. Fortuitously enough, they find an abandoned trailer that they hope they can dry off in. While they’re there, the trailer’s owner shows up! He’s a large Earth pony standing ominously in the shadows who then proceeds to trip over stuff, gets wrapped up in his curtain, knocks stuff over, and falls on the floor. Turns out this is Trouble Shoes, and he really doesn’t mean any harm. He’s just incredibly clumsy and has a tendency to cause accidents everywhere he goes. Interestingly enough, he blames his lot in life on his cutie mark, an upside-down horseshoe. He believes it means his destiny is to have bad luck. He insists the CMC leave, but since they don’t know the way back to Appleloosa, he is forced to escort them.

On their way back to Appleloosa, they learn Trouble Shoes’ story. As a colt, Trouble Shoes had dreamed of becoming a rodeo pony, but he didn’t seem to have any skill at traditional rodeo stuff. When he finally got the chance to audition for rodeo school, he knew rodeo was what he was meant to do, and he got his cutie mark. However, this caused him to knock over some stuff and a barrel to land on his head. The judges laughed at him, and he walked away in shame, his dreams of rodeoing dashed. But the love of the rodeo never left him, so he continued to go and watch the rodeo from the sidelines. No matter what though, he’d cause some accident to happen, leading to his reputation as an outlaw.

After hearing this story, Apple Bloom concludes that Trouble Shoes has got it all wrong. She shares with her friends that she thinks Trouble Shoes’ cutie mark really means that he’s meant to be a rodeo clown. She says if they had seen all the stuff they just saw happen to Trouble Shoes happen to a rodeo clown, they would have thought it was really funny. The CMC then concoct a plan to show Trouble Shoes what he’s really meant to do. However, it’s at this moment that Sheriff Silverstar and his posse that includes Applejack and Braeburn show up and arrest Troubles Shoes. Hooray! Braeburn caught a criminal! The CMC try to explain the truth to them, but it’s to no avail.

Later, the CMC try to explain things to Applejack, she won’t hear it as she has to go compete in the hay bale stacking competition. The CMC then decide to break Trouble Shoes out of jail. Apple Bloom distracts Sheriff Silverstar, and Sweetie Belle uses her magic to float the keys out the door. Wow, Sweetie Belle has gotten good at her magic! Twilight Time is paying off. Once they’ve gotten him out, they dress Trouble Shoes up as a rodeo clown and bring him to the rodeo clown show. Apple Bloom explains to him how his cutie mark doesn’t mean he’s meant to have bad luck; it can mean that he’s meant to be a rodeo clown. He was never wrong about being part of the rodeo, just how he would be part of it. The only way to prove it is for him to join the other rodeo clowns. Trouble Shoes does so and his usual klutziness manages to get quite a laugh from the rodeo spectators. Eventually, his pants fall off and the barrel on his head washes off his make up, and the audience discovers who he is. Before the mob can form, the CMC explain that Trouble Shoes never meant to cause any harm at all the rodeos. He just has a tendency to cause accidents. Trouble Shoes also admits that he felt a sense of meaning bringing laughter to those attending the rodeo. The sheriff admits they could forgive him for rodeos, but he can’t understand why Trouble Shoes would take off with the CMC. Apple Bloom then tells the truth.

The CMC are punished from running off by having to clean up the mess Trouble Shoes made. They’re a little miffed they didn’t get a chance to get their cutie marks. Applejack points out that they still helped another pony understand what his cutie mark meant. Isn’t the good feeling they get from that worth it enough? That’s a lesson I can stand behind. They agree, but Applejack still doesn’t let them stop cleaning up the mess.

The best thing about this episode was the humor. There were these moments where they sent up aspects of the Western genre. Like when Sheriff Silverstar finds Trouble Shoes’ hoofprint, there’s a harmonica playing in the background, and they pan out and there’s a guy actually playing a harmonica.

And when Sheriff Silverstar is telling the ponies at the town meeting that he doesn’t want a mob scene, there’s these two ponies with a pitchfork and a torch. They show up again when Trouble Shoes is discovered among the rodeo clowns.

It was also great seeing Appleloosa and Braeburn again.

Braeburn is a background character that has gotten quite a bit of attention in the fandom since his debut way back in Season 1. Some stories like the Riflepony Series and the Tangled Roots Trilogy depict Braeburn as a gunslinging badflank. Here though, we see Braeburn used primarily for comic relief. His losing track of the CMC becomes a recurring thing. He also suffers a bit of cartoon violence as well.

I also found it amusing how Braeburn’s injured forehoof would switch from side to side.

Let’s talk about the colt of the (half-)hour, Trouble Shoes.

Trouble Shoes, aka Troubleshoes Clyde according to the initial promotional material, is a rather unique character. His design makes him resemble a real-life Clydesdale horse. In fact, he resembles an actual horse more than any other pony we’ve seen before. I also can’t help but find his resigned pessimism in response to everything that happens to him amusing. He’s not just a sad clown; he’s a sad rodeo clown. I liked it when the bed he’s standing on to see the rodeo while in jail collapses, and then you see he’s broken a few of them already.

In a way, he’s a lot like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. And I’m not the only one to have noticed.

This apparently was intentional on the part of the show staff. He even sounds a bit like Eeyore’s country cousin. You know, Eeyore on The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was voiced by Peter Cullen. (You know, Optimus Prime!) Here, Trouble Shoes is voiced by Jim Miller. Wait, is this the first time one of the show crew has voiced a character on the show? (Jim Miller is a co-producer.)

There’s part of me that can’t help but think that Polsky created the character of Trouble Shoes for the sole purpose of doing cartoon violence onto so as to avoid doing it onto a main character. Although as mentioned previously, Braeburn did get a little piece of that.

What I especially liked about this episode is how it is thematically linked with “Bloom and Gloom”. Back in “Bloom and Gloom”, one of the fears Apple Bloom had about her cutie mark was getting one she might not like. In the case of Trouble Shoes, we see that a pony can get a cutie mark they don’t like, or at least think that it’s a cutie mark they don’t like. In the end, we see it was just a matter of how Trouble Shoes interpreted his cutie mark. I kind of like the idea that a pony can spend a good portion of their life misunderstanding what their cutie mark means. It makes them seem a little more like us. We humans, especially without the benefit of cutie marks, can spend much of our lives aimlessly wandering in search of meaning for our lives. Anyway, I think this could be considered like the third part of this “Cutie Mark Magic” theme they got going on this season.

As for what I didn’t like about this episode… I got nothing. I see no discernible flaws here.

Overall, “Appleloosa’s Most Wanted” was a funny little episode that I found amusing and delightful.

What did you all think about “Appleloosa’s Most Wanted”?

God bless you all. God bless America. And God bless Equestria.

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Comments ( 3 )

> "I was kind of concerned this episode would not be liked by fans given who this episode’s auteur is."

Dave Polsky is a technically good writer. It is just that his bizarre sense of humor finds antiscience and genocide funny. He also lacks subtly:

He could have wrote a song about Generosity, without being so explicit. As the Musician George Hrab says, "The best love-songs do not contain the word 'love' in them.".


It is just that his bizarre sense of humor finds antiscience and genocide funny.

He did at one point write for South Park.
Now, that show is messed up! :pinkiecrazy:

I liked this episode as well and found it to be a pretty solid one overall. I also definitely noticed the similarities between Trouble Shoes and Eeyore. I didn't notice the animation flop with Braeburn's injury the first time around. I also wasn't concerned about this episode. I've enjoyed Dave Polsky's episodes. There's no writer on the show that I have any beef with. Not even favored punching bag Merriweather Williams (who I think gets far too much hatred for her own good in spite of her being the writer of the episode that a majority of the fandom dislikes, which I don't hold against her as a person).

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