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Sprocket Doggingsworth


I write horse words.

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Jun
28th
2020

Help! My Heart is Full of Pony - MMMystery · 6:45am June 28th

MMMystery on the Friendship Express is an episode that doesn't come up a lot in analyses or reviews, but I feel it's deserving of praise because it manages to go completely off the wall with its humor, pushing the boundaries of the show's silliness, and at the same time, remaining grounded.

In this episode, Pinkie Pie is charged with being the courier of Mr. and Mrs. Cake's entry to a National Dessert Competition in Canterlot.  She and the Mane Six take the Marzipan Mascarpone Merengue Madness cake onto the Friendship Express, where they meet Donut Joe, Mulia Mild, and Gustave le Grand, (a Griffon coded as a Frenchman) - all competitors in the same competition.  In the middle of the night, someone takes several large bites out of the MMMM cake, and Pinkie Pie spends the rest of the episode concocting wild fantasy stories accusing the other bakers of sabotage.

Twilight eventually takes up the investigation, and proves that every creature on the train had taken a bite, not only of the MMMM cake, but also of the other contestants' entries.

This story is the perfect balance of the respective energies that Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle each bring to the table, and stands out as the only episode in the whole series that features a TwiPie-based personality conflict that, in the end, vindicates Twilight Sparkle instead of Pinkie Pie.

It also keeps with the early seasons' tradition of paying homage to tropes created by classic works of literature.  This show was many kids' first exposure to the concept of the pied piper (Swarm of the Century), the thorn in the lion's paw (Friendship is Magic, Part 2), the flight of Icarus (Sonic Rainboom), the legend of the Phoenix (Bird in the Hoof), and in this episode, the classic story of "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie.

MMMystery manages to be down to earth, larger than life, and just plain ridiculous at the same time.  It truly is a delight.  However, this episode stands out most of all for its prophetic friendship lesson - one that is far more relevant now than when it first aired.  The moral of this story, ultimately, is that we all have a civic responsibility to examine actual facts, and to recognize that just because a particular narrative feels true does not necessarily make it true.

A lesson for our times.

Discuss.
-Sprocket

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Comments ( 3 )

And you again shine an interesting light on things. :)

"This show was many kids' first exposure to the concept of the pied piper (Swarm of the Century), the thorn in the lion's paw (Friendship is Magic, Part 2), the flight of Icarus (Sonic Rainboom), the legend of the Phoenix (Bird in the Hoof), and in this episode, the classic story of "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie."
Also, wow. I mean, it makes sense when I think about it, but was a very surprising idea to me at first.
But I suspect my childhood may not have been typical where exposure to classic works of literature was concerned; among the jobs my mother had were "author", "copyeditor", "librarian", and "university English lecturer", and the house was full of a wide variety of books I was exposed to from an early age.

Just a bit sad they cut the scene of AJ admitting that she also took a bite of the cake, but was too good to leave any evidence of it behind.

I thought about writing an entire essay about this, but figured this was as good a place as any to cover that ground.

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