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knighty is the creator and lead developer of Fimfiction. It's probably best if most requests for help go to other staff members

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    S7E24 - Uncommon Bond

    Synopsis

    When Starlight gets a visit from Sunburst, she discovers that he has tons in common with her friends and starts to wonder if he still has anything in common with her.

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    58 comments · 863 views
  • 1 week
    S7E23 - Secrets and Pies

    Synopsis

    When Pinkie Pie thinks she sees Rainbow Dash throw away one of her pies, she suspects the worst. Pinkie Pie attempts to catch Rainbow Dash in her web of lies…using pies.

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  • 2 weeks
    S7E22 - Once Upon a Zeppelin

    Synopsis

    Twilight is torn when she discovers the cruise she and her family are on is actually a themed vacation experience in which ponies have paid for the privilege of spending time with her. Will she be able to please both her family and the cruise attendees?

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    S7E21 - Marks and Recreation

    Synopsis

    The Cutie Mark Crusaders start a Cutie Mark Day Camp only to find out that one of their campers doesn't want a cutie mark.

    130 comments · 5,688 views
  • 4 weeks
    S7E19 - It Isn't the Mane Thing About You

    Synopsis

    (Having a hard time finding one for this episode)

    Apologies for the mega late post, I've been in Spain the past week.

    73 comments · 5,206 views
  • 6 weeks
    S7E18 - Daring Done

    Synopsis

    Rainbow Dash is distressed when she and Pinkie Pie discover that A.K. Yearling has announced her retirement from writing the Daring Do book series, thus ending her adventures as the titular hero.

    100 comments · 8,595 views
  • 7 weeks
    S7E17 - To Change a Changeling

    Synopsis

    Starlight Glimmer and Trixie visit Thorax at the changeling hive and meet his brother, the only changeling still unwilling to share love and transform.

    mfw looking through the trixie and glim tags on DB ordered by score

    162 comments · 10,212 views
  • 8 weeks
    S7E16 - Campfire Tales

    Synopsis

    When their big sister/little sister camping trip is ruined by Fly-ders, Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash tell Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo the stories of their favorite legends. Inspired by the tales, the girls make the most out of their new situation.

    182 comments · 8,944 views
  • 9 weeks
    S7E15 - Triple Threat

    Synopsis

    Spike accidentally invites Ember and Thorax to Ponyville on the same day! Confident that the two new leaders will not get along, he does all he can to keep them apart and cover the fact that the other is there.

    284 comments · 10,101 views
  • 10 weeks
    S7E14 - Fame and Misfortune

    Synopsis

    Twilight Sparkle’s publishing of the friendship journal has unintended consequences when ponies start to argue over who wrote the best lessons.

    383 comments · 11,644 views
Sep
24th
2017

Episode Discussion » S7E20 - A Health of Information · 8:08am September 24th

Synopsis

While helping Fluttershy gather supplies in a swamp, Zecora contracts a rare and terrible disease called Swamp Fever that threatens to eventually turn her into a tree, for which no cure is known.

Comments ( 100 )

I wonder how many other Equstrian diseases with 'no known cures' are that way because no one bothers to write them down after going on these kinds of quests.

**SPOILERS**

The episode was middling for me. The interactions between Zecora and Fluttershy were wonderful. They weren't the problem. For me, the biggest issue was Best Pony (IMO): Twilight Sparkle.

When Twilight is asked by Fluttershy to help find a cure for Zecora, it seems almost like an inconvenience for her. I don't like that, because if anyone would be willing to jump right into research to find a cure for somepony who is supposed to be a dear friend, Twilight would be the one. Instead, it's Fluttershy leading the charge, with Twilight playing catchup. I know, I know, cartoons don't always follow general logic for story purposes, but it still doesn't sit right for me. Same applies when Fluttershy, Fluttershy managed to cross-reference her research to find the answer, and while Twilight answered in the affirmative, she seemed burdened with the idea of leaving before breakfast. Again, dear friend has incurable disease, will turn into a tree. Why is this not paramount to Twilight?

During the scene where Fluttershy wakes up after passing out from exhaustion, Twilight informs her she has been out for several days, and learns that Zecora has already begun to sprout leaves. Again, Twilight doesn't seem so concerned, and that bugs me. According to her and Cattail, they've attempted a number of times to retrieve the honey but have failed. I find it odd that Twilight, being an Alicorn who is well-read on multiple levels, can't find a way to retrieve honey from a beehive (easiest method? Smoke them out).

The moral given this episode is that we must take care of ourselves as well if we want to take care of others, and as a caregiver I understand this quite well, but the way they went about it just doesn't feel right.

In all honesty, Twilight didn't seem like much of a friend for Zecora, with Fluttershy carrying 95% of the bulk work. Research is Twilight's wheelhouse and she didn't seem at all committed. So while the episode was cute, and we got to see Zecora again, and Flutters is always wonderful, Twilight's uncharacteristic behavior kind of dragged it down a bit. This was not, at all, the behavior of someone who is the Princess of Friendship, and most definitely isn't the same behavior we'd have seen from Twilight in pre-Princess seasons.

This episode just didn't work for me. Twilight came off as a self-absorbed jerk, IMO, and I hate to say that because she is my favorite character. I just think they missed so hard with this one.

At least it isn't swamp ass.

4677183
Dude you nailed it. Exactly how i felt.

Another great Fluttershy episode!

Sollace #6 · 3 weeks ago · · ·

Fluttershy did not become a tree. -infinity/10

Keriwi1 #7 · 3 weeks ago · · ·

4677183
Yeah, it was very out of character for Twi, who normally would stay all night just to study for a test, not mention to help somepony who is DYING. Come on, And where's all other mane six, Starlight and Spike? Heck, in situation like this, I'm surprise that no other doctors and mages were consult. We talking about rare diseases that result in a plague back in a day.

But I like how they refrence reall history by using mask on healers to avoid catching diseases themslefs.

Huk
Huk #8 · 3 weeks ago · · ·

Finally, a good Fluttershy episode (somehow, neither 'Fluttershy Leans In,' nor 'Discordant Harmony' was enjoyable for me). However, I'm with 4677183 when it comes to Twilight's actions.

I'm not talking about 'let's eat breakfast first' suggestion - IMHO that one was 100% valid (people/ponies don't function very well on an empty stomach, and they were going... somewhere, possibly for the whole day or longer). But, after Fluttershy passed out, Twilight's actions were... hmm irrational, would be putting it lightly:

1. Fluttershy and Zecora are, well... DYING, and what is Twilight doing? For three days she - allegedly - tries to get the honey from the hive... not only this is hard to believe (seriously, an alicorn princess, can't get past some bees? Hmmm...) but even if - why didn't she ask for help? Celestia, Luna, rest of mane six? What? They are on vacation or something?

2. Even after Fluttershy figured out how to get the cure - why didn't Twilight offer to try to do it instead of her? Fluttershy is barely standing on her legs, and Twilight is like 'Oh, yes! You should definitely try to get the honey yourself - we will just sit back here and watch. Good luck!' Seriously, writers - this is a very, VERY bad scene, with no logic whatsoever :twilightoops:

3. And as for the disease itself - again, why didn't Twilight asked Celestia for help? While Sunbutt wouldn't probably know the cure herself, she could have ordered someone to help with the search (search Canterlot library for clues, for example).

Most of that 'plot holes' could have been fixed by a few lines of dialog (instead of Fluttershy was passed out for three days, they could change it for three hours for example), and by showing Twilight carrying a little more... it's sad they missed it. Otherwise, it would have been a perfect episode...

4677184
When they said swamp fever, swamp ass was exactly the first thing that popped into my head.

Amereep #10 · 3 weeks ago · · 1 ·

My comments:

Zecora: Of course. I know where it grows, so it's not much to ask. Though retrieving it has been a difficult task.

Fluttershy, get your lazy wings over there. You're the one that can fly.

I'm afraid you have a very rare disease called... Swamp Fever!

Rare? With a name like that, I'd assume that happens everyday.

the last stage, the afflicted turn into the very trees that drop the disease-spreading flower.

See Fluttershy, you could've finally achieved your dream of becoming a tree if you'd helped.

But Fluttershy, you haven't slept! And that's a long journey!

Oh pisha. Horses only need about 3 hours of sleep and most of them are in 15 minute intervals.

Didn't mean to scare ya. I do that a lot.

A lot? What do you scare in this ghost town, dragonflies?

Oh, no! I've caught Swamp Fever!

Dreams come true! Way to go, Fluttershy!

*Fluttershy getting honey with mask and bees accept her.*

Wait, Fluttershy said earlier 'The male bees aren't aggressive around the queen bee' then why isn't the queen bee attacking? Queens are very vicious toward others, so...

*Doctor comes asking for a cure for his Swamp Fever.*

Him, Zecora, Fluttershy, and an entire village. Are you sure that this is a very rare disease?

My girl Fluttershy a savage. The haters need to fall back.

I may suck at using Electrokinesis but damn, sneezing lightning? That's so cool!

And wow, Fluttershy's famous Stare ability just got nerfed!

4677183
This is the biggest thing I worry about when it comes to the MLP series getting more seasons.

I love MLP of course, but every extra season we get increases the chances of writers throwing away any kind of logic/continuity just to push a moral theme that was already done in a previous season.

This was not a bad episode, and I would even say that it was pretty cute.

Unfortunately it feels like the writer did not know what they were doing.

Swamp fever? Really?

I mean not one person questioned how generic and unimaginative that name sounded?

The writer even made the moment a bit of a comedic one right before proclaiming how deadly this rare disease was.

Then you have Twilight who was completely OOC...Her friends are dying, and yet she has not asked for any help.

To be fair Twilight should not even need help. She is an alicorn princess who was able to lift an Ursa Minor while she was just a unicorn.

If they had used one of the other mane six instead of Twilight, say Applejack for example, it would make sense why she could not do anything against magical bees...at least it would have been bit more believable.

>It was one of the great Mage Meadowbrook's nine enchanted items

> I haven't studied Eastern unicorns as much as I should have, but I'm pretty sure Meadowbrook only had eight magical items, not nine. And I don't remember any of them being a staff.

>There's a healer of legend who never would fail. But I only know her from ancient folktales. Mystical and masked, she came in the night and cured everything from hoof cough to fur blight. What became of the healer, nopony knows, for she disappeared ages and ages ago.

>The Mystical Mask wasn't just a legend. The Mystical Mask was Mage Meadowbrook!

>The ancient sorceress from Hayseed Swamp? We studied her at Celestia's school! Are you sure?

>Mage Meadowbrook wasn't just a sorceress. She was also a healer, and back then, healers wore masks so they wouldn't get sick themselves!

Alright a couple things here.
1. It's perfectly possible that Meadowbrook had enchanted items, you don't have to be a unicorn to use magic items.
2. Meadowbrook is known to be from Hayseed Swamp and that's in Eastern Equestria, so assuming you think she's a unicorn it's perfectly ok to refer to her as a eastern unicorn
3. Nobody knows she was a healer, Meadowbrook is commonly thought of as a sorceress.

Putting this altogether we have a Earth Pony who used alchemy and perhaps enchanted items to do a lot of good deads, over time a bunch of legends formed about her and two characters ended up getting created from the real person, The Mystical Mask who is a typical folklore healer and Mage Meadowbrook a unicorn archmage similar to Starswirl the Bearded.
This is actually pretty realistic and it would be nice if we got a similar episode for Starswirl himself, I mean he's mentioned so much that at least some of the legends about him have to be fake.

- 4chan Anon.

So, a disease that turns you into a tree? Does that mean that Fluttershy contracted that disease in Fallout: Equestria?

Y'know, when I first heard of Meadowbrook, the last thing I pictured was a Cajun plague doctor. Good on the writers for the creative concept. :rainbowdetermined2:

Besides the intriguing world-building, this episode feels strange to me. For all intents and purposes, this is basically Applebuck Season with higher stakes. Yet there wasn't a point where I felt Fluttershy felt out of place in Applejack's role. However, I could also say that if you swapped out Fluttershy for Applejack, not much would change. Perhaps Twilight's friends share more in common than we think. :rainbowderp:

Beyond that, there's not much else I can say. It was a very average episode with some interesting concepts to ponder.

4677181
4677194
I'm with Dr Wolf on this one. This episode (and the disease by extension) seems darker the more you think about it. Could it be that the Everfree Forest is so magical and dangerous is because there are like hundreds of pony-trees around? As Brawny Buck would say, "Oh, god! The implications!":twilightoops:

4677201
You mean swamp... gas. Right?:unsuresweetie:
4677226
That was Killing Joke, not Swamp Fever, dude.:ajbemused:

BenRG #18 · 3 weeks ago · · 1 ·

Okay, that was a great episode. Not as good as last week's but it was a rock solid Fluttershy vehicle with a well thought-out crisis of the week. Once again, we see that Equestria is a Death World and that, behind the cute pastel exterior, its flora and fauna are pretty terrifying. I mean, a tree that reproduces parasitically, using what is either a retroviral pollen or pseudo-fungal spores to turn victims into more of its own kind? That's hard sci-fi-level dark! We'll set aside the electric-type bees straight out of a slightly insane version of Pokémon but they're pretty nasty fauna too!

The story was nicely balanced with the exposition and flashbacks not detracting in any way from the flow of the story and the writers (who are newbies, IIRC) never losing their focus on the principals' characters and proper in-character behaviour.

Overall, a excellent experience and a nice introduction from the pony world's first Mambo! Louisiana's own wise mare herself, Mage Meadowbrook!

These last two episodes have been head-and-shoulders above the rest of the season, IMO. I've got a feeling that, with Campfire Tales, they started working towards Shadow Play and the season had serious overall direction for the first time.

BenRG's Rating: 8.75/10

4677209
I'm not sure if the Stare was 'nerfed' but making it ineffective against hive minds is a useful limitation to avoid making it too OP in every scenario.

4677197
Regarding Twilight - One of the great fears in the fandom when she ascended to being an alicorn was that she'd be too powerful and would be able to make any problem go away with a wave of her horn. I find it ironic that, years later, fans are criticising the writers for not making her powerful enough.

Now, I personally agree that they under-use Twilight's political and magical power as well as her pretty-much encyclopedic knowledge of magic (especially in order to make Starlight Glimmer look like the author's pet she is). However, I do think that, in fairness, it should be remembered that the writing team is very visibly responding to one of the fan community's concerns about having a potential Physical God as a main character.

Only two things I didn't like about this episode: 1. The moral felt super tacked on. 2. Yet again, we have an episode expositing its moral at the end in the most inorganic way; 'moral dumping', if you will.

Other than that, it was okay.

Maran #20 · 3 weeks ago · · ·

I for one am thrilled that the writers made Mage Meadowbrook an earth pony. It shows that earth ponies can perform amazing magic and discover famous enchanted artifacts. Even the unicorns study her at their school! Granted, I don't know why Twilight called her a unicorn in "The Cutie Map." It might have made sense if the knowledge of Meadowbrook's tribe was lost to history and modern ponies assumed that she was a unicorn . . . Except that Twilight doesn't seem surprised to learn that Meadowbrook was actually an earth pony. So one way or another, the writers goofed. Still, I'm glad they did because maybe now the fandom can finally put the "elite unicorn" fanon to rest. This fanon has been defunct since at least the end of S1 but now it's really, super defunct.

And now I'm curious as to how and why Meadowbrook/Mystical Mask disappeared. It would be a good topic for fanfiction to explore.

Wonderful episode. Keep 'em coming, DHX.

Snuffy #21 · 3 weeks ago · · 1 ·

Bonus point for being a Twishy episode, but the high stakes didn't match well with how everyone acted. It would have made more sense if the disease had been less severe.

Caballeron tries to murder Dash and now this—the writers sure are getting dark on us.

4677237

I'm with Dr Wolf on this one. This episode (and the disease by extension) seems darker the more you think about it. Could it be that the Everfree Forest is so magical and dangerous is because there are like hundreds of pony-trees around? As Brawny Buck would say, "Oh, god! The implications!"

Let's be real here: It isn't said, it turns you into a random tree. It's said it turns you into the very tree, that caused you the illness. Since it's a rare disease, it's a long shot to say there are more than few trees, that actually used to be ponies once. We didn't see this specific tree so much. Also, bees are flying on the flower, so it looks like a pollination is another way to grow their numbers, not just the parasitic one.

I'm gonna talk about swamp fever flower on this one:

Origin

It's a parasitic flower, that reproduces through their victims. However, bees are flying on the flower, pollinating the others. That's really weird, because there aren't flowers in the real life, that would use BOTH of these tactics. This leads to a theory - it surely looks like a mutation of a flower reproducing through pollination, and a flower reproducing through its victims. Is that even possible? I mean, it has some similar symptoms to (harmless) Poison Joke:

  • Feeling unwell in a way. (Zecora losing ability to rhyme vs Mane 6 losing their talent)
  • The spots (Blue vs orange ones)
  • Neither of these aren't told to be overwalked with time - both of them need a special treatment to be eliminated.

It's just a theory, but the origin could be a failed lab experiment, or some mutation within the nature.

Wood creatures

We've seen Timberwolfs and a Cragadile - creatures made entirely out of wood. I think you can see where I'm going by now. It seems, like an unsuccessful "transformation" into a tree. However, how could this work? There are some ideas:

  • Equines turn into trees, wolfs into timberwolfs, crocodiles into cragadiles. This one doesn't make much sense - if other animals turn into a tree/animal hybrid, why not ponies and zebras?
  • A margin of error in transformation. It sometimes doesn't take its expected route - there is no particular reason, it's just a mathematical chance.
  • It happens, when you cure a pony early enough for them not to become a tree, but too late for them to return to their normal form. They stay somewhere in the middle as a living, half-sentient creature with a lifespan of a tree, life of a predator and a soul of a pony. Well, that just got dark.

Neither of these are really... satisfying. All of these theories would require more background in order to be plausible.

Morbid curiosity (Warning: Literally thinking about the way the ponies die - you might rather pass this one)

The way the spores work is a bit weird. I mean, a pony inhales it and the first signs of infection appear ON their skin. Not in the skin, nor beneath it. The only logical reason is, that organism can get it (somewhat) outside the body very quickly. Then, what happens, if it isn't cured? It doesn't seem that Zecora was turning naturally into a tree, it looked like the tree was growing on top of her, slowly killing her. I guess, that the tree would just eventually root somewhere, making the pony impossible to move. Then, embrace the pony and let them slowly dehydrate, starve and/or smother. (shivers)

(I recommended you passing this one for a reason!)

Fluttershy contracts a disease that will turn her into a tree. :derpyderp2: The same kind of tree that grows the flowers that cause the disease. Does this mean that the trees in the Everfree and the swamp were once ponies? If you rub the honey on them in the right spot, will they change back? :twilightoops:

Poison Ivy from the Batman series, Dr. Caulder and the Creeper from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, or the Metarex from Sonic X. Take your pick because there's no way in hell that Hasbro came up with this Nightmare Fuel on their own. There's no way they weren't inspired by one, two, or all three of these.

4677209
I think she was too sick to do it right.

4677194


So I wasn't the only one that thought that. Seriously missed opportunity here to fulfill a long standing quote from the early days.

4677237
Welp. Sounds like fanfic material to me.

In fact... the whole episode felt a bit like it.


4677281
Through the whole episode was rooting for Fluttertree, multiple times being like "dammit, she's right there!" in the chat. I really wanted it to happen.

4677181
Enough to make you wonder what dangers got left unchecked in Equestria.

In addition, I noticed how Zecora, when infected with swamp fever, got sick then got a tree branch on her head and was about to become a tree.

Sorta reminds me of Harold from Fallout 1, 2, and 3.
Got sick, then got a fruit branch stuck on his head then became a talking tree.

Okay, this episode was SWAMPED (wink) with problems. First, Fluttershy doesn't just use her wings to get the goop she needs at the beginning of the episode. The disease being as close to lethal as Hasbro likely allowed means that Twilight's lack of zeal comes across weird. Twilight getting tired of research before Fluttershy = instant non-canon (lulz). The moral about taking care of yourself for the greater good is wonderful in concept, but when Fluttershy wakes from her three day sleep, all she has to do is look at a bee for five seconds to find the solution. She couldn't have done that while tired? Heck, she's STILL tired (or weak, whichever you want to call it), but Twilight levitates her into the tree with the necessary mask instead of going up herself (though as was pointed out by someone, Twilight wouldn't have been able to speak the bee's language).

But I can shrug all that off and say I liked the episode, more than average even, because I love Determinator Fluttershy. I've liked Fluttershy since episode one, but this season has been especially kind to her. The gap between Twilight being my favorite pony and Fluttershy being my second favorite pony has definitely shrunk. I absolutely loved Fluttershy Leans In (believe it or not, it's my favorite episode since Pinkie Pride), but after that episode I thought: Well, they never need to make another Fluttershy episode. She's perfect now. She knows how to balance being kind and firm and solve problems. But the writers were clever yet again this season (seriously, I might end up liking season 7 more than 4, 5, or 6 at this rate) and found a new character thread for her. She's still not used to having so much confidence and drive available at her disposal, and here she gets over zealous with it, and I enjoy watching it so much. If you had told me in season one that eventually Fluttershy would be shoving ponies across rooms and saying "mind over matter" and generally being so determined that even Twilight tells her to calm down . . . well, I would've gotten friggin' EXCITED is what I would've done. Plus, this episode had some very pretty environment shots. Another thing I like about this season is that they've lessened the focus on weird, crazy faces from season 6. I'd rather look at stuff like the exterior of Cattail's treehouse. Speaking of which, Cattail was cool too.

Fluttershy has some of the most impressive character development I've ever seen, and that's going to stick with me after all this episode's problems fade away.

4677243
Sometimes I think that the writers noticed bronies worries about Twilight becoming a Mary Sue, and overcompensated. After season three, I wanted to see more things like Twilight opening relations with the Yaks and talking down Starlight in The Cutie Re-Mark. Not complaining that she's read all her books like in Made in Manehattan and taking three days to organize her books in What About Discord, if I recall correctly. Twi, you're one of the most important ponies in the world. At the very least you could organize a bake sale for charity. Anything's better than nothing!

4677220
Something I want to point out.

Swamp fever? Really?

I mean not one person questioned how generic and unimaginative that name sounded?

Swamp Fever is another name for not one but two real diseases: equine infectious anaemia and malaria.

4677243

However, I do think that, in fairness, it should be remembered that the writing team is very visibly responding to one of the fan community's concerns about having a potential Physical God as a main character.

The problem with this is that the solution to "we don't want Twilight to be overpowered as an alicorn" is NOT to make her less competent and seemingly weaker than she was as a unicorn. It's to make her stronger, but reasonably so, and to saddle her with problems that can't be solved with "and then Princess Twilight twirled her magic horn".

This was an excellent episode. The illness was kind of disturbing, especially the end result of turning the victim into a tree.

Fluttershy's assertiveness actually worked against her here. She was so determined to help Zecora that she refused to let Twilight talk her out of getting rest when she was tired, then ill herself.

And we got another pony of legend, Meadowbrook. She was both determined and compassionate. And her early diary entries was pretty funny.

Overall, the episode had a good moral, and some solid comedy and action. Season 7 is really on a roll.

4677274
Thats one theory, that might come into play in the future. They kept telling us, that meadowbrook, "disappeared". Some think, thats just their way of saying, she passed away, but they already had the "she lived ages ago" part to explain that. Turning into a tree could be a way of suspended animation. Would be an interresting alternative to petrification, amber and glaciers. (seriously freezing yourself to travel into the future is sooo overdone).

And it doesnt even have to be a swampfever tree. If she figured out how it works, she could have become any less dangerous tree.

4677312
They keep adding rules to the way magic works. Like, giving wild creatures magic resistance, to explain, why they cant just blast them away, see dread maulwurf. Or add consequences to using magic, like ruining your hair similiar to how steroids and plastic chirurgy can have negative side effects on your body.

4677343
The most disturbing part, was that its realistic. Its a parasitic plant, that uses ponies as hosts, to reproduce.

poison joke transforms you seemingly without obvious benefits for itself, unless its some kind of defense, like how clover tries to kill cows.

From a world lore point of view we get the Flash Bees, a look at a ghost town in Hayseed Swamp, and a look at Mage Meadowbrook.

The most interesting of which being Mage Meadowbrook. Who was apparently an earth pony alchemist and user of magic items of such potency that the legends about her mistakenly assumed she was a unicorn.

I found it quite enjoyable.

As for the episode itself, overall I’d say it was a good episode.

Others have pointed out the logic errors in more detail, so I’ll only mention one that really stood out to me.

Namely Twilight and her inability to fetch the honey on her own. It doesn’t even take much imagination to envision Twilight just using her magic to levitate some honey out of the hive, toss it in a jar, and teleport away all take-the-money-and-run style, no placating the bees even needed.

The sad thing being that unlike ‘It isn’t the mane thing about you’ giving the victory moment to Twilight doesn’t counter the lesson the episode went with. So having Twilight do nothing as to give the victory to Fluttershy wasn’t a necessary logic error.

4677269 Though, the first story that immediately came to mind...

T Joker's Wild
A pony with a very odd and unique look returns home to find his farm waiting for him. He thinks back, recalling how he ended up leaving home and changing his name, destiny, and gender.
Damaged · 26k words  ·  61  2 · 768 views

4677358

I don't know about it being a change to how magic works, more like they're reinforcing old ideas.

Like Poison Joke, for instance; the natural magic of those flowers needed an alchemical/natural remedy to counter it. I don't like the idea from the "Mane Thing" episode about how mane magic is "tricky" but at the same time, the issue WAS caused by an alchemical mixture which would be difficult for normal unicorn magic to fix.

4677271
What if the bees arent pollinating them? I mean, bees dont purposely try to pollinate flowers out of the goodness of their hearts, they just want the food, and they take it in a way, that happens to benefit the ordinary flower as well. and the flower does the same thing, it wants to reproduce. It just happens to benefit both.

Maybe the flowers lure prey in like a venus fly trap. just the bees are immune, and take the bait, without getting infected.
Instead of an symbiosis, the bees are just another parasite, that uses the flower to its advantage.

Have to say, very pleased with both Zecora being back in a starring role and the sheer guts for the writing staff. This was Transformers Prime dark in some ways, perhaps even more so with the implications of what Swamp Fever can do.

Gotta say, the implications of Swamp Fever are damn terrifying. I thought back to the original Fallout Equestria when it was revealed Fluttershy was turned into a tree by Killing Joke. Well now we don't even need to wait for the bombs to drop, people; we got all the ingredients for the apocalypse right here!
#TheLastOfUs:MLP

That aside, I loved Fluttershy in this episode. Her assertiveness and caring nature have really reached a new height with how far she's willing to push herself to save a friend. I only wish Twilight wasn't toned down in order to be the still-minded voice of reason.
"Can't we at least get some breakfast?!"
Breakfast can wait Twilight... Zecora is getting as close to an on-screen death as we're allowed on this show.

Finally, I just loved the reference to the old-time Plague Doctor masks. It's little touches like that that make the show that much more enjoyable for me.

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Well, Fluttershy wasnt tired in the end, she slept for 3 days, she was weakened by the sickness. And while Twilight could have worn the mask, she wouldnt have been able to tell the bees to leave them alone for a while (Fluttershy made bee noises on top of wearing the mask, and i dont think twilight is fluent in bee).
And we dont know if Twilight tried to smoke them out. But those werent regular bees, they were magical electric ones. And lightning strikes can cause fire, so they would run the risk of smoking themselves out on accident, unless the bees are somehow able to extinguish it. The flowers can make ponies sneaze energy blasts, so why shouldnt the bees have weird abilities too.

And twilight was always the most likely to overwork herself, and a fair share of episodes dealt with her overdoing it, most of which have her causing a desaster.

So while it is kinda strange of her to be THIS calm, it kinda makes sense with her showing character development by learning from her own mistakes and being concerned about fluttershy. Like the breakfast thing. We dont know if shed brought it up, if fluttershy hadnt pulled an one nighter, as in "you havent slept and want to skip breakfast?"

"I met a colt today. He pulled my mane, so I put a frog on his head. Also not helpful. But I DO kind of wanna see where it goes!"

Of course you do, Twilight. You damned perv. :flutterrage:

I quite enjoyed this episode. I think Meadowbrook's story is my favorite of the legendary ponies' so far.

So now we can add hyper-aggressive electrogenic bees and trees that reproduce by parasitically transforming other creatures into more of their own kind to Equestria's charming flora and fauna. I just love the contrast between the cheerful and friendly nature of the ponies and their society and the parade of natural, unnatural and supernatural horrors that pullulate the wilderness right outside any given town's borders.

In terms of the story... pretty solid for the most part, my only gripe is with Twilight's characterization. It just felt kind of weird having her be the one who did not want to study and being outpaced by Fluttershy, especially when she's put far more obsessive efforts in less urgent or crucial matters. That said, I understand the narrative necessity of having her be the one to say that Fluttershy should calm down and take a break in order for the end-of-episode lesson to make sense. Giving her her little obsessive moments during and after the cook-off and having her fangirl when Fluttershy mentioned Meadowbrook (and also at the thought of getting her hooves on Meadowbrook's library) helped with that though, so at least for me it wasn't a deal breaker.

Heh, as for the dark implications... I watched Dr. Wolf's review yesterday, and I remember he asked the question what if the reason the Everfree is so weird is that a not insignificant portion of its flora used to be ponies? I'm aware that swamp fever turns ponies into swamp fever trees specifically -- the fact that those trees seem to reproduce by turning creatures into more of their kind requires that to be the case, really -- but it got me thinking. If it is canon that the right stimuli can turn a pony into a tree, it's hardly a stretch to imagine that a different but generally similar stimulus could turn a pony into a different tree. Heck, is that the reason Applejack's parents aren't around anymore?

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Eh. If we want to get theorizing, like I said, it's not hard to imagine that if there's one way for a pony to turn into a tree there might also be another way for this to happen. As for the bees, it could be that they were pollinating or it could equally be that they were feeding on the pollen to no gain for the tree -- their immunity could be derived for the same reason leatherback turtles are immune to the stings of the jellyfish they eat. There's nothing in the episode to say these things are true, I'm quite aware, but if we want to get technical there's nothing saying they aren't either.

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To be fair Twilight should not even need help. She is an alicorn princess who was able to lift an Ursa Minor while she was just a unicorn.

How does a character being able to lift large weights imply or require that they are also good at curing disease?

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