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Episode Discussion » S7E21 - Marks and Recreation · 3:33pm Sep 30th, 2017


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.

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Comments ( 130 )

Looks at title Cue music please!

...Sorry, couldn't resist. Terrible joke, I know.

That Thunderlane voice.


At least they're acknowledging his flying talent in terms of being a Wonderbolt.

Something tells me it's sibling rivalry in this one.

EDIT: I was wrong. But what a wonderful twist. Is M. Night Shyamalan on the writing team?

That Zecora/Applebloom call out.

Rumble more like Grumble amirite

Why the heck am I getting a flashback of Story of the Blanks?

Hopefully, I'm not alone in feeling that placing Rumble as someone who doesn't want a cutie mark was an example of inappropriate miscasting. Rumble strikes me as someone more optimistic about that cutie mark than that.

At first Rumble had a good idea

But then he launched dictator.exe

I am glad that Rumble put in a non-conformist message at the end; the show needed one; I feel that the message was put in rather too late.

7/10 needs more blackjack and hookers

Rumble DEFINITELY has a new voice here. I suppose it fits with the narrative role he serves, probably didn't want to spend money to animate a new colt model.

Thunderlane's voice grew on me by the end of the episode.

Damn you Trevor Devall.

Ehh, it was ok. But it seems like now there are more Wonderbolt pegasus then not. I know its an easy way to make someone seem great but making Thunderlane a Wonderbolt? Weird and random. Would have been more fun if he was a royal guard or something. Just, something else. yeah I know he showed up in the background in Wolderbolt uniform.

If I were to put myself in any box, it would either be:
A: A box full of adorable little puppies.
B: A box full of explosive dildos.
C: A box full of rape.

This episode was..okay. I don't know what's going on with the writers, but I'm not getting that excitement that I felt when watching episodes from seasons 1-5 with some ranging from good to okay in between. It's like they're running out of ideas or something.

I will say, I really enjoyed the bond between Thunderlane and Rumble.:heart:

When Rumble starting going on about not getting a Cutie Mark, I half expected Starlight to make an appearance.

Oh, and strangely, when Rumble starting singing, this song came to my mind.

BenRG #19 · Sep 30th, 2017 · · 2 ·

Now this is how you do a meta episode.

I think that this entire episode is, in part, a riposte to various fans who complained that the Crusaders' cutie marks must necessarily restrict them from other activities in which they've shown an aptitude. The riposte comes in two forms: 1) That the Crusaders love their vocation so much that it isn't a great loss to them; 2) You only need to be 'boxed in' by your true talent if you want to be.

Another interesting factor of this story was the 'you can't avoid growing up' subtext. The 'Blank Flanks' quickly grew bored with randomness and doing nothing. Growing up is painful and it is sometimes a shock to the system but it is, nonetheless, quite necessary.

Finally, we get an ending that fits in with an increasing theme of this season: No final solution. The problem is identified, Rumble is working on confronting it but the solution (and his cutie mark) is still some way away. This has been happening more than a few times in Season 7 and it is an interesting perspective: Sometimes, you need to be satisfied with identifying the problem. The solution will come another day.

Overall, a nicely workmanlike episode. Not spectacular but it was one of the better post-CM Crusaders focus episodes that we've had to date.

BenRG's Rating: 7.5/10

Also, this is technically knighty's 444th blogpost. Say something nice.

4682843 I think the writing in seasons 6 and 7 has actually been quite good. Season 7 is slowly becoming my favorite season, although season four will probably always be my overall favorite.

Seasons 1-3 are too childish. If you go back and watch them, you'll see what I mean. They have a voice more aimed at very young kids.

season 4-7 are more aimed towards teens and adults. And I like that a lot better.

But hey. That is just my opinion. To each their own.

I have friends who only like generation one. :')

They kind of have a point. generation one is still the best generation of MLP. :')

But Friendship Is Magic is okay in its own right.

I was thinking more that her dad works for Lucent Technologies or something.

Well from a world-lore point of view, there’s not much here.

All we really get is confirmation that Rumble is in fact a boy. Although given his name and little boy voice in Hurricane Fluttershy that was always the running guess, despite having been animated with a filly’s muzzle. And that’s easy enough to write off with 'kids can look the same at that age,' so he’s got a small muzzle for a colt no big deal.

That aside I thought the episode was awesome. Well done crusader episode.

The only logic error was something that can be as simple as 'that slipped my mind.' I’m referring of course to the first post cutie mark meeting of the CMC. What was the first thing they did after earning their cutie marks? Go do whatever interested them. (Or in Bloom’s case decide you don’t like doing things alone.)

Still, missing the easy counter argument to Rumble’s claim seemed reasonable enough. Especially since Apple Bloom picked a lousy example. So getting flustered and not thinking of something like ‘Scootaloo still rides her scooter!’ or “Sweetie Belle still sings!” is perfectly understandable.

So all things considered I really liked the episode. I though it was a really good slice of life crusader story.

Cool episode.

Plenty of great moments with comedic timing and body language. Sweetie Belle's totally calm discussion with Rumble, the colt hanging upside down in the tree, the filly apologetically sidling across the line to join the CMC, Rumble's deadpan humour... loved it all. :rainbowlaugh:

Their handling of Rumble's gripe with cmarks felt surprisingly nuanced and natural, too. Everyone had believable perspectives on cmarks that actually matched up to their personalities.

Rumble's misunderstanding of how cmarks work was grounded in the totally understandable fear of being put into a box he didn't want. The Crusaders couldn't convince Rumble because he didn't trust them, and heck, they couldn't even see what the problem was at first because he's approaching it from the opposite direction: they'd always been desperate to get a cmark in anything, whilst he wanted nothing except to be a stunt flyer like his brother.

And best of all: the story didn't try to take sides or come up with a contrived resolution. Rumble's a sympathetic antagonist, the CMC didn't have all the answers, and they actually allowed a grown-up (and one that Rumble trusts, this is a huge point) to demonstrate that his fears were unfounded.

I think this episode's concept was pretty much executed as perfectly as anyone could've asked for.

Also, Thunderlane's a cool big bro. (But Pharynx is still best big bro. Sorry, Thunderlane.) :twilightsheepish:

The winter cold hand of death
Reaches for us all

Okay, I'm calling it, Thunderlane is right up there with Shining and Big Mac for being the best big brother on the show. Now, wonder what his Wonderbolt callsign is...?

My God, that existential crisis of having a cutie mark of being bored.


That would be awful!

... I probably shouldn't be here, since I missed the last half of the episode due to broken stream.

Wow, Rumble didn't even need brainwashing to convince ponies cutie marks are bad.

One of those rare moments when background ponies barely have any speaking lines and today's episode proved to be one of the best. I can understand Rumble's thoughts on not wanting to have a cutie mark, thinking it's not worth it. Plus his bond with Thunderlane are one of the best things I've seen in a long time. Also I ship him with Scootaloo <3

Thunderlane & Rumble, The Episode

I liked this episode a lot more than last week's. What started as 'another CMC ep' for me turned into a something that introduced more lore building and put a huge focus on side characters that have needed more screen time. I adored seeing Thunderlane being a supportive older sibling, and using his relationship with Rumble as the means to bring Rumble to his senses.

Which brings me to my first point:
A: S7 is officially the season of brotherhood. It took us seven years, but we have finally established some focus on brother to brother relationships. Pharynx was introduced two weeks ago as a character to balance out Thorax's personality in leading the hive, with Thorax representing love and Pharynx representing strength, and we've now gotten in-depth elaboration on Thunderlane's relationship with Rumble. In a single episode, Thunderlane and Rumble have gone from background characters to side characters, and I find that glorious.

B: My other main point is that the 'cutie marks are restrictive' concept is something the fandom has talked about off and on throughout the show. Though it never sparked drama like Twilicorn or changedlings, it was definitely a point for discussion many times. It's nice to see that it's finally made its way into the show, being addressed by young ponies. I think it was handled well. Cutie marks are a highlight of your major talent, nothing more.

Let us continue the brotherly relationships, MLP. Let us continue.

The true moral: If you have your own problems, don't go forcing them onto other people and making them as miserable as you are, ya jerk. :duck:

This episode would've been pretty good if it wasn't for Rumble being completely unlikable. Yes, he has his reasons for not wanting a Cutie Mark, and yes, they are legitimate concerns. But he lost my sympathy when he thought "hey, I'll just undermine the CMC and force my opinions on everyone!" Even if he had something against Cutie Marks, what was the point of the coup? Why the personal vendetta against the CMC? It's not going to accomplish anything! He's just acting like a spoiled child throwing a tan—


Oooh~. :rainbowderp:

I mean, it still doesn't excuse what he did. This forceful form of rebellion wasn't okay when Starlight Glimmer did it back in Season 5, and it's certainly not okay now. But hey, Rumble's just a kid. Kids can be pretty dumb sometimes; especially when they have trouble adjusting to change. So, yeah. No further objections. :ajsmug:

It was an interesting episode. Felt like a take on the whole identity thing. #BlankLivesMatter

Open ended ending is a good thing, makes it feel less rushed than the usual CMC plot ending.

Rumble be that one kid that answers the question "What would you be like when you grow up?" with the answer "I don't wanna grow up!"

I think Scootaloo ships herself with Rumble. :scootangel:


"Also, I ship him with Scootaloo"

Pretty sure Scootaloo does, too, going by how she acted toward him. :pinkiehappy:

The episode was ok. I liked the idea of other kids going against the CMC and not wanting a cutie mark, but they dropped the ball with that idea and the ending felt very flat.

Decent episode, better than I thought it would be. Thunderlane was rather nice and I like how they fleshed him out a bit.

I really liked this episode. It had me at Cutie Mark Crusader Camp Counselors. The Crusaders have grown up so much. They're like teenagers; I feel like their designs should evolve, though I understand they probably can't do that because toys.

So, even after Bloom and Gloom, they managed to find a new, interesting story about cutie mark paranoia. What if it boxes you in and you can't do all the things you want to do? Of course, cutie marks don't work that way, but it makes for an entertaining story. The pacing was weird in a way I can't pin down yet, but I enjoyed myself. Plus we got pissed off Sweetie Belle. Automatic points.

That was surprisingly existential, in a way. Rumble and the others are so terrified of a cutie mark taking away their other options that they decide to cut off all of their options. Like when you don't know how you want to allocate your hours in the day so you spend all of it just watching youtube videos or Netflix or something.

Also that was a pretty catchy song.

This episode was good, but it could be easly better. What if Rumble get his cutie mark durning his rebelion? Or if he wasn't doing anything not because he want to be a wonderbolt like his brother, but because he dosn't want to be one? He could be angry that ever since his brother became wonderbolt he don't spend so much time with him and is always tired after day of work. Rumble could connect those two things, that it was foult of Thunderlane's cutie mark that he get a job, and now is a "jerk". I was hoping that the case when Rumble was stuck on CMC's camp when he wanted a whole day with Thunderlane, that would also explain why he wanted other campers on his side. With them not wanting their cutie marks ther is no camp. But no, this is pegasis, so they apparently all dream of begin wonderbolts.

Or Rumble could have just told the CMC that he didn't like the camp because they had nothing for pegasi...

Frankly this was a better episode about cutie marks than almost any that has come before. The irony in Rumble's fear of being pigeon-holed by his mark, and then other episodes demonstrating that cutie marks practically control your mind and the state of your soul, is almost palpable. Cutie marks not being the be-all and end-all of a pony should have been one of the few constants this show has. Here we thankfully get a relatable male antagonist, funny one-liners, and exposition about cutie marks that explicitly doesn't line up with what we've seen before, but at least makes sense within the episode itself.

This is what happens when you constantly cycle writers in and out I guess. Rumble is a better villain than Starlight ever was.

There are so many things wrong with this post, I don't think I can get them all.

1) He wouldn't have gotten his cutie mark, because his heart was set on being a Wonderbolt. That's what his heart is set on, so in some way or another, it's almost guaranteed that's what his mark will be about. Remember, his fear is an irrational one, thinking that he'll get a cutie mark in something he doesn't want. As we've seen, that's not how cutie marks work. You NEED to have a heartfelt bond with the activity for your mark to manifest.

2) Um... he never mentioned or showed being jealous of not spending time with his bro. If anything, he might be jealous that he's in his shadow due to how good Thunderlane is portrayed as being. Besides, Thunderlane constantly was with him throughout the episode, so I don't think he's forgotten about Rumble or anything. I never once saw any sign that Rumble thinks Thunderlane is not spending time with him.

3) Go back and rewatch literally almost any episode ever. There are plenty of pegasi with different, non-Wonderbolt (Sometimes non-flying even) related cutie marks.

I was so sure there was going to be a Starlight 'same cutie mark' thing in here

Oh, you get me wrong. It's just direction I would take, I'm not saing that I think that episode was about it.
And I know That there is many pegasis that are not wanderbolts, but they use so many of them as backgroung characters that are in academy, or get hype about them, (In fanfics too) that it gets silly.

Drinking Game: Take a shot every time you hear "Cutie Mark(s)" or "Blank Flank(s)".

Extra Hard Mode: Try to look at Applebloom's sad face for more than 5s without hugging your screen.

That Skedaddle (sic?) kid... I keep thinking that he looks like a SoarinDash foal. He's not even a Pegasus, yet that idea is stuck in my head. I think I've fallen way too deep in the shipping rabbit hole... there truly is no getting off this ride.

Speaking of shipping... welp, just one scene in one episode, and I guess the SkedaddlexKettleCorn (that's her name, right? haiku filly?) shipping can begin?

And of course, speaking of shipping... dem Scoots and Rumble

Blah blah, just being friendly, blah blah

Listen, that reasoning applies to EVERY single one of YOUR headcannon shippings as well, so shaddup.

Anyways, onto some actually useful toughts.

A really good episode, I loved it. The characters were on point, and there was plenty of good humor all around. Loved seeing the Cutie Mark Crusaders mentoring their expatriates. Also good to see Rumble and Thunderlane again. Cool to see that Thunderlane is now an official Wonderbolt as well, AND still has time to be an awesome big bro! Ponyville better have some good flyers in reserve, because between Rainbow and Thunderlane, they've lost some of their best weather ponies. I nominate Bulk Biceps.

Funny, cute, and entertaining all around. Not bad at all.

Deeper comments:

I really like the way Rumble was "antagonized" here. He isn't throwing a tantrum, as some people here seem to think. A tantrum occurs when a child becomes irrationally upset about something they feel entitled to for no reason. Rumble did what he did because he was irrationally AFRAID about having his dreams crushed.

Again, the key point is that Rumble is suffering from an irrational fear, and not only is that perfectly normal, it's perfectly relatable. I honestly don't think there's ever been a single person who HASN'T had an irrational fear. It's human (er, pony) nature to worry about things. Rumble wasn't just some S1 Diamond Tiara recruiting henchmen to boss people around. He legitimately thought that what he was preaching was a better way, a greater good, and he wanted others to be themselves. Notice that while he defied the CMC, he didn't actually try to stop any campers from leaving his side. He wanted to help them, so while he was upset to see them leave, he also didn't want to force them to do things his way, because again, he wasn't looking for power or to be a boss.

Though those sunglasses sure made him seem like one :raritywink:.

Even the ending was great with it's open-endedness. At first it seemed a little sudden, but thinking back, it actually worked almost perfectly. Why? Because again, Rumble had an irrational fear, and those fall apart QUICKLY once rational reasoning steps in.

Maybe the CMC got a little lost in their thoughts to remember that yes, actually, you CAN do more than just your cutie mark. They're three young fillies whose life almost literally revolves around cutie marks, so that's fine, I can understand why it took them a bit to realize the answer. But once they had the missing piece, a calm, rational adult, the situation was quickly resolved. Children arguing can't and won't resolve anything. It takes a grown, mature adult (Thunderlane) stepping in to calm things down, and that's exactly what he did.

Again, it may seem quick, but that's perfectly fine. Once mature, rational thinking steps in, an irrational fear will quickly fall apart, and that's exactly what happened here.

So yes, excellent episode, hats off to the writers and artists.

Lol,I keep forgetting there are new episodes.

If it weren't for these updates I'd probably wouldn't know if this show continued. Am I missing anything?

did anyone notice this was the 4th time in this series in which The Mane 6 don't appear at all? let me point it out:

Season 6: On Your Marks (first episode in the series in which The Mane 6 are absent)

Season 7: Hard to Say Anything (2nd episode with no Mane 6)

Season 7 (again): To Change a Changeling (3rd episode with no Mane 6)

Season 7 (AGAIN): Marks and Recreation (the episode we are currently discussing about. 4th episode with no Mane 6)

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