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Oliver


Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

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Jun
1st
2019

Points of Canon: S9x10 - Going to Seed · 4:00pm Jun 1st, 2019

Let’s keep going.

  • Chronology markers: Friendship Castle, School of Friendship, Spike or Starlight are not in visual evidence, but School of Friendship is mentioned in speech. No other markers past that appear, so this could backslide a fair bit.
  • “The Confluence. A harvest a hundred moons in the makin’. When every apple comes ripe at the same time.” This is now a thing, for whatever bizarre reason. Basically the only way it could possibly be a thing would be a natural magical cycle.
  • “Big Mac’s been up late workin’ on this schedule so we can be sure not to miss a single tree.”

    • Notice the schedule seems to cover a contiguous piece of land. Prior observations suggest Sweet Apple Acres has at least one non-contiguous parcel elsewhere, not that anyone remembers.
    • The map is split into color-coded squares, and colors are marked with cutie marks:

      • Apple Bloom – 6 squares.
      • Big Mac – 21 squares.
      • Granny Smith – 9 squares.
      • Applejack – 16 squares.

      Bit of a strange distribution, and also the first evidence that Granny Smith still bucks apples herself at all.

    • Notice that throughout the episode, the scheduling itself is on Big Mac rather than anyone else, and is a major contributor to his not getting enough sleep.
  • “Twilight and the others are too busy at the school to lend a hoof.” First time ever that stopped them from doing anything.
  • “The Great Seedlin’ ain’t no mare’s tale! He’s a magical Earth spirit…”

    • This is one of those rare times anyone uses the term “spirit” to refer to anyone other than Discord.
    • And Goldie’s narration portrays it as some manner of a deer.
  • “And those that have the ingenuity are rewarded with crops that are always in bloom.” Just like the ones we already see? Because there isn’t any time in the year when apples are not on the trees around here…
  • “As I’m up to recall, Apple Bloom used to love settin’ traps for the Great Seedlin’ when she was a young’un.” Good to know.
  • “Oh, now, that reminds me of the time Dottie – that’s my cheetah, you understand – she found out where I keep the catnip.”

    • The cheetah’s name is Dottie.
    • Equestrian cheetahs are interested in catnip, not a given. Notably, no tests on our cheetahs appear to have been performed, though it works on leopards…
  • “You’re gonna have to redo that schedule.” Notice that by this moment the schedule has been redone once already, giving Goldie Delicious some of Granny Smith’s squares.
  • “He was just up late workin’ out a new schedule so we can stay on track.” This time, Big Mac appears to have taken all of Apple Bloom’s and even three of Applejack’s squares – but no changes to Granny’s or Goldie’s squares are seen.
  • “The Great Seedlin’ did this! Didn’t he?!” Well, they couldn’t rightly do crop circles with apples, could they.
  • “I swear, sometimes I think she’s part mule.” This is racist. Not to mention normally impossible: A mule is a horse/donkey hybrid, and as most hybrids, infertile, as a rule.
  • “You know where there’s more rope? I’ve got a lot of traps to make if I’m gonna catch the Great Seedlin’.” Many of the traps set up by Apple Bloom involve the use of tin cans. While we have previously observed tin cans in Equestria, it’s somewhat surprising to see the Apples have that many empty tin cans on the premises.
  • “Because the Great Seedlin’ is just somethin’ to make the harvest fun for young’uns.” While it’s Applejack saying that, we don’t know if the legend has a factual origin anywhere or not based on that. The rest of the episode doesn’t help either.
  • “Your sister was plumb loco about catchin’ the Great Seedlin’ when she was your age. Same as you are now. Worse, even.”

    • Was not catching the Great Seedling the reason Applejack left the farm then? Because that is when she was Apple Bloom’s age…
    • The word “loco” belongs to the elusive Spanish-like pony minority, and it’s a bit surprising to hear Granny use it.
  • “Well, it must’ve been the last Conflu-inky, I reckon.” This is pretty big but puzzling: This statement indirectly establishes that “a hundred moons” ago, Applejack was the same age as Apple Bloom is now.

    Using a moon equal to 1000 hours, as per RTAC #11, this would mean that Applejack is ~11.5 years older than Apple Bloom an is now ~23 years old. Unfortunately, that’s too little, considering that between four and six years has to have passed since the start of the series, if not more: The difference needs to be greater for the numbers to mesh well with everything else. There are multiple ways out of this, to name a few:

    1. The actual number is not a hundred, and the statement is not sufficiently specific.
    2. My length of the moon is off.
    3. It’s at most four years since the series began, which is possible if this episode happens during the first semester of the School of Friendship.

    I don’t like #3 because this makes Applejack ~19 at the start of the series, never mind that it compresses time harder than any other constraint. I don’t like #2, because it would result in a senselessly long moon given other known constraints. #1 doesn’t exactly make this statement useless – it at least establishes that Applejack is more than 100 moons old, which could come in useful – but it’s much less interesting than it could be. In any case, it is strongly incompatible with week-scale moons.

  • “I was supposed to keep an eye on your sister, but she was slipperier than an apple seed.”

    • And did not have a cutie mark at the time, if the flashback is to be believed. Which it often isn’t.
    • Notice also the much more youthful Granny Smith, who looks exactly as she did in The Perfect Pear. Looks like ponies age explosively, if this is correct.
  • “And missed out on helpin’ with the harvest because I was chasin’ somethin’ for little foals.”

    • So that’s where Big Mac got his yoke.
    • Apple Bloom was already born at the time and old enough to eat solid food. Notice that this actually makes Apple Bloom older than exactly half of Applejack’s age, and we don’t really know by how much.
  • “Then let’s get to work.” So why exactly is Applejack rushing to save Apple Bloom from a cage that should be completely harmless?…
  • “We’ve got to set up traps in every row! Even the carrots!” Wait, what carrots?…
  • “Big Mac can make time in the schedule for us to set traps, right?” Now wait a moment. This is early morning, right? They’re just setting off to work. Why do the barrels in Big Mac’s cart already contain barrels full of apples? For that matter, why didn’t anypony notice?…
  • The last version of the map schedule contains two squares for Granny Smith, three for Goldie Delicious, and 48 for Big Mac. Mysteriously, none were cleared in the preceding two days, Big Mac only gets to marking them off as completed now.
  • “I’m not worried about scarin’ him.” Notice that prior references to the Great Seedling did not portray him as scary in any way, but suddenly, Apple Bloom is afraid of him.
  • Big Mac sleeps in a night cap.
  • Big Mac sleepwalks like there’s no tomorrow.
  • “Big Mac wasn’t harvestin’ the carrots. Just the apples.” This at least establishes that the Carrot Building is unambiguously part of the Sweet Apple Acres.

The existence or non-existence of the Great Seedling remains ambiguous, however, as if not enough things about Equestria were ambiguous already.

Gah. Moons.

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Comments ( 7 )

There goes that 'Apple Bloom isn't Bright Mac and Buttercup's kid' fanon. Although it is a flashback, and Apple family flashbacks can be notoriously unreliable-narrator.

Kind of a pointless episode, but as I am a sucker for adorable Apple Bloom it still worked for me.

  • Notice that throughout the episode, the scheduling itself is on Big Mac rather than anyone else, and is a major contributor to his not getting enough sleep.

I think that was a misdirection, we were supposed to think that, but really his lack of sleep was due to his sleep walking. (Though the schedule was probably genuinely responsible for lack of sleep when we first see him).

  • “Twilight and the others are too busy at the school to lend a hoof.” First time ever that stopped them from doing anything.

This is also important because if it was summer vacation the entire staff wouldn't be too busy to help, so this is probably sometime during the school year (and Applejack's taking a leave from teaching).

ust like the ones we already see? Because there isn’t any time in the year when apples are noton the trees around here…

Earth pony magic may mean the apple trees can have multiple harvests per year, but the existence of the confluence shows they are not all ripe all the time. I think the legend means apple trees would be ripe even in the dead of winter, and new apples would start growing immediately after ripe ones were picked.

  • “I swear, sometimes I think she’s part mule.” This is racist. Not to mention normally impossible: A mule is a horse/donkey hybrid, and as most hybrids, infertile, as a rule.

Also kind of indicative of the stereotype of mules among ponies, it looks like. Suggests they are thought to be serious and not very fun, a lot like Cranky Doodle Donkey.

Goldie and Grannie seem to be going out of their way to annoy Applejack with the Great Seedling bit, though whether this is just because they think she should loosen up or a revenge for how Applejack tried to ruin their vacation last year, who knows?

Because that is when she was Apple Bloom’s age.

Given that we see for the first time an infant Apple Bloom being held by Pear Butter, it's also likely this flashback is taking place pretty soon before their deaths. I saw another reviewer have the opinion that Applejack being stuck in that hole meant she missed the last chance to harvest with her parents, and that could be a big factor in why she dislikes the myth of the Seedling.

  • The word “loco” belongs to the elusive Spanish-like pony minority, and it’s a bit surprising to hear Granny use it.

She probably picked it up from mules.

This statement indirectly establishes that “a hundred moons” ago, Applejack was the same age as Apple Bloom is now.

Which would make Applejack about 8 years older than Apple Bloom. I can't quite recall their ages, but I think its got to be a bigger gap than that.

I don’t like #2, because it would result in a senselessly long moon given other known constraints. #1 doesn’t exactly make this statement useless – it at least establishes that Applejack is more than 100 moons old, which could come in useful – but it’s much less interesting than it could be. In any case, it is strongly incompatible with week-scale moons.

Good call. I will say for an explanation of moon difference, maybe moon length changed somewhat when Luna came back and started managing it, but I think neither of us really want to go down the moon-hole again.

Looks like ponies age explosively, if this is correct.

Also that having your son and daughter in law die on you and then raising their three kids by yourself ages you rapidly.

  • The last version of the map schedule contains two squares for Granny Smith, three for Goldie Delicious, and 48 for Big Mac. Mysteriously, none were cleared in the preceding two days, Big Mac only gets to marking them off as completed now.

Big Mac ended up doing like 95% of the harvest didn't he? At least everyone else got to have fun and bond with their family members.

This at least establishes that the Carrot Building is unambiguously part of the Sweet Apple Acres.

Yup, though it raises the question of why they have that super fancy building there. It looks way to nice to be a barn for storing carrots in.

I wonder why Apple Bloom never invited the rest of the CMC to hunt the Seedling with her?

Prior observations suggest Sweet Apple Acres has at least one non-contiguous parcel elsewhere, not that anyone remembers.

Really? What observations would these be?

"And those that have the ingenuity are rewarded with crops that are always in bloom.” Just like the ones we already see? Because there isn’t any time in the year when apples are not on the trees around here…

Well, there are the three times we saw winter. But yeah, being loaded with ripe fruit is very much the default condition of apple trees in the show.

While we have previously observed tin cans in Equestria, it’s somewhat surprising to see the Apples have that many empty tin cans on the premises.

Apple Bloom guzzled more canned apples, canned pears and assorted canned food that night than she had ever done in her short life. The things we do in the name of a cause...

"I'm not worried about scarin' him." Notice that prior references to the Great Seedling did not portray him as scary in any way, but suddenly, Apple Bloom is afraid of him.

Eh, mysterious supernatural figure, magical powers, you know how it goes. I used to be scared witless of the idea of running into Santa Claus on Christmas night. I didn't find the concept of Santa, in and of itself, all that intimating. I did find the idea of running into this mysterious magical entity in the middle of the night to be utterly terrifying. I assume Apple Bloom is going through a similar thought process.

This at least establishes that the Carrot Building is unambiguously part of the Sweet Apple Acres.

Took eight and half seasons, but they did it.

5067956

I saw another reviewer have the opinion that Applejack being stuck in that hole meant she missed the last chance to harvest with her parents, and that could be a big factor in why she dislikes the myth of the Seedling.

Certainly a good option.

Which would make Applejack about 8 years older than Apple Bloom. I can’t quite recall their ages, but I think its got to be a bigger gap than that.

They don’t have set ages. However, most ponies appear to get their cutie marks in the first school year, (with the CMC being an exception noted by everyone else) and school schedule has, so far, matched ours, so…

Yup, though it raises the question of why they have that super fancy building there. It looks way to nice to be a barn for storing carrots in.

No idea. It looks like a home of someone supremely carrot-oriented, and yet – apparently isn’t.

I wonder why Apple Bloom never invited the rest of the CMC to hunt the Seedling with her?

Because they weren’t cool enough.

5068212

Really? What observations would these be?

On multiple occasions “East Orchard” and “West Orchard” are mentioned, and reaching one of them requires transport through land that appears not to belong to the Apples.

this would mean that Applejack is ~11.5 years older than Apple Bloom an is now ~23 years

If we accept comics as canon then according to 20/20 comics M6 supposed to be around 26-27 years old.

Oh look, the Applejack micro comic got an animated adaptation. Hooray.

Notice also the much more youthful Granny Smith, who looks exactly as she did in The Perfect Pear. Looks like ponies age explosively, if this is correct.

Well, of course. Don't you remember? The legend of Rockhoof was all true. Ponies don't age. They evolve. Like Pokémon. Happened to Mistmane as well. And it's the same for dragons, going by Spike's moult. This is probably also why the Cake twins don't seem any older as well.

Current canon makes me cry sometimes.

Somehow this episode is avoiding horribly contradicting established canon for the most part, at least on any issues big enough to jump out at me.

However, it seems odd that 1. AJ isn't willing to ask her friends for help harvesting the apples (Considering Twilight could literally do it in seconds even before she ascended...) Is she too prideful, or is there not really time pressure here?
edit: School Shmool, Twilight and Starlight can teleport and Rainbow Dash is fast. Also this is over days, they could spare a few minutes at least, right?

Likewise, why isn't Applebloom asking for the crusaders' help? Hell, given her motivation of helping the family and earnest belief in the Great Seedling, why not ask the Mane Six (who've tangled with worse creatures) or even just Twilight and Starlight (magic experts who might be able to come up with ways to catch a magical being)?

Did Goldie say she has a pet cheetah?

If she didn't plant the 'tracks', Goldie sure likes acting like she did to mess with Applejack.

Why do they keep setting up clearly visible traps noone could possibly be fooled by? Did the myth say the Great Seedling was blind? I don't think it did. If it IS a test of ingenuity you two fail hard for just doing the same thing over and over again.

The thing bucking trees at night is Big Mac sleepwalking, isn't it.

Or... not? Wow, the Seedling is real, c'mon, catch it you two, you've tangled with worse! Remember the chimera?

Or... or it is]/i] Big Mac after all.

You just know they're going to pull an 'it's not real ...OR IS IT?!!!!!!!1 before this episode ends, aren't they.

Ee-Yup.


Who says Applejack and Applebloom aren't older? The CMC are well into their teens now, they just are still drawn as kids.

Flashback-Granny looked to me like she was 'old but not as old'.


All in all, not a particularly great episode but at least it made less nonsense than most.

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