“One Bad Apple” (MLP FIM S3 Ep4)

I can’t call this episode the highlight of my week (which has consisted of nothing but work and ponies), but I think at this point a new episode is always going to make me happy on some level. It’s a good episode, but I think it places somewhere in my bottom fifteen or so in terms of personal enjoyment.

This has nothing to do with the quality of its content; there must be a reason that I’m seeing a hell of a lot of praise for it on Reddit. It’s just that the episodes of MLP that I really enjoy are the ones which are dense—or if they aren’t dense, then the ones that are paced well. This episode is neither, so I’m eh about it.

Why isn’t it paced well? Because its concept is simple, and had to be spread thin over a 22-minute episode. This always leads to repetition of the main ideas, which are usually established well-enough in the first place, meaning that there’s a lot of frivolous dialog.


Take, for example, the events near the end, in which the Cutie Mark Crusaders realize what they’ve done wrong and share it among themelves, and then later repeat the story to Babs. They could’ve easily cut the Babs conversation in the screen transition and had us joined, with her having caught up to what we already know. This is extraneous dialog and it hurts the pacing because it leaves me waiting for something new to happen.

This is also true of the Babs Seed song, which is superfluous in narrative terms, and exists as nothing more than an entertaining extended montage. If you cut the song from the episode entirely, it would have all the same narrative strength and better pacing, but you’d be out two minutes.

Hey, but superfluous songs aren’t a bad thing. Winter Wrap Up and The Failure Song were both pretty superfluous, and those are great songs that I really enjoyed. And if I’ve gleaned one thing from Reddit reactions to this episode, it’s that the Babs Seed song was the highlight of the episode for most viewers. I, however, didn’t care for it.

I liked seeing the experimental style of slapping a music video into the episode (it reminded me of similar scenes in Dexter’s Lab or the Power Puff Girls), but I didn’t care for the video itself, and disliked the repetition of visuals used in the chorus. It’s possible I’ll warm up to this song when I’ve heard it more and it’s been remixed seven million times, but right now it is least favorite musical number in the entire series.

I seem to be stacking the odds against this episode, so here’s some stuff that I liked. Obviously I appreciate the animation, which seems to be a given this season. The voice performances of the Cutie Mark Crusaders were all really nice in this episode, although I don’t know what to think about Babs Seed’s voice. Applejack only got a handful of lines, but I loved them all because I’m an Applejack fanboy. Some of the jokes were nice (I lost my shit at the start of the CMC indoctrination ceremony).

As for Babs Seed herself and the story surrounding her, I have nothing to say. It was clean. No complaints, but nothing interesting. It certainly accomplished an actual lesson, unlike Griffon the Brush Off. It’s also a far more kid-relatable episode, being as it’s… about kids and all. I mean whatever, I’m not gonna sit here and complain about a well-done anti-bullying lesson, because I think it’s a fine thing. I would’ve preferred that Babs’ last line was “I’ll beat your sadity asses, bitch,” but you know. Kids’ show. Responsibility.

Can I be blamed for liking MLP better when the meanings have to be worked for and the characters fail in big, adult ways instead of childish, misunderstanding-driven ways? There IS a reason that MLP is my FAVORITE show, and cute ponies aren’t the whole of it.

By the way, Pinkie was totes stoned in this ep. TRIXIE NEXT WEEK, MY BODY, ETC.

6 thoughts on ““One Bad Apple” (MLP FIM S3 Ep4)

  1. The only thing that bothered me about the plot was Diamond Tiara. She seemed to have a HELL of a lot of complexity in that newspaper episode. Then the writers killed it at the end—or maybe not killed it, but sort of trivialized it. Maybe it was my inner loli or something, but I was like, “Must—have—MORE!” So, imagine my disappointment at seeing her return to typical bully. I was like, “Fuck, we saw this shit in Season 1!” If the jokes were new, like disliking the Crusaders for being who they were (Ben Franklin Effect, lol), rather than the simple “blank flank” stuff…though, truth be told, I could see its still being a sensitive issue for the trio. Kids have a smaller world than we do. The maxim of “naming your fear so that it loses its hold over you” doesn’t seem to work as well for them.

    That aside, I didn’t really mind an anti-bullying ep, either. Now, they might have shown Babs’ point of view. That would’ve made for more complexity, and I’m far more interested in that than in wasted dialogue or even a song (I’m not fond of the songs in eps; since babyhood I’ve been insane for sing-along vids, though). I don’t think the Crusaders were any more or less misguided, since they’d tried to be nice and express their confusion. “Tell the adult” makes for a nice kids’ show ep, and we do know that Applejack has had the “Manehattan experience”—so I guess she could’ve set everyone straight. Then again, Applebloom knows the story, anyway—so there wouldn’t be much of a point in repeating it.

    In the end, I don’t think I care enough to try to pick this one apart. It’s disappointing one, but probably not worth the agony. Not as long as there’s TRIXIE NEXT WEEK!!!

    • Yeah seriously, Diamond Tiara was amazing in that episode. I was primed to put her on my favorite ponies list, but she’s made no headway here. I’d love to see her really expanded upon in another episode. At least we got, “MORE LIKE, LAME-KIN” which honestly made me lol both times I watched it. Fucking dumbass.

      Oh man, Trixie… OH MAN.

  2. I realy dident like this episode. Babs is a giant ass during all the episode exept the end and she gets all good things from it. Destruction of property, Stealing, and almost seriously injuring the crusaders and pinkie pie the big things she did that was bad and no one care. I just feelt disapointed. in season 1 we had Trixie whos fault was “showing of” what a supprice a showmare that is “Showing of”. what happened to her? she lost everything she had and is more or less run out of town. Babs? get’s to join the crusaders. Being sorry for your actions does not make them less wrong and she should have got some sort of punichment for everything she did. all i learned is “if im bullyed its ok for me to bully”.

    • I don’t support punishment, I support reform. If Babs is reformed, then I don’t feel a need to complain. Trixie wasn’t reformed—after losing to the star bear, she still continued to lie and brag.

        • For what it’s worth, the Trixie episode is also just horribly bad in general. I really hope they plan to make up for it by bringing her back this week. Ideally, both characters would’ve had happy endings. But really, Babs was a bullied kid having a hard time, and while the things she did were cruel, the CMC forgave her. If they can forgive her, and they’re the ones who bad things happened to, I think it’d be weird if I won’t forgive her.

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