So, in case you didn’t know, I’m not a big fan of Applejack. She’s kinda boring, and typically doesn’t do much, and she’s also very stubborn. I’m sure she’s fine as an individual, but on a show where you have such big personalities, her lack of one is a problem.
However this week, that all changes. As Applejack’s greatest quality, her integrity, takes centre stage. It’s an aspect that hasn’t seen a lot of screen time, but I’m certainly glad it did.
The episode opens with Rainbow in panic mode. It’s the start of cider season, and she will not miss out. Every year they run out too early and she never gets any. So she pulls Fluttershy out of bed, before she’s even had a chance to get dressed. Wait…
Honestly, that was actually a cute moment, as Rainbow pulls the sheets off her, Fluttershy looks down, and blushes. They don’t normally wear clothes, so it’s not really risqué, but it is adorable.
There’s also the question of why she needed to pull Fluttershy out of bed!? Why couldn’t she get there on her own? What did she need the backup for?
Anyway, Rainbow’s plan is to get there before Pinkie Pie, who will likely drink it all. Unfortunately, Pinkie Pie had the bright idea to camp-out the night before, and told the rest of the town her bright idea, so they decided to join her. So, right behind Pinkie, is an army of tents going all the way back to town. Pissing Rainbow off.
Rainbow spends most of this episode pissed off.
As they are waiting in line, Twilight mentions to Spike how exciting this is. The first day of cider season. Which causes Spike to mention that it’s only 30 days until Sapphire season, which in turn causes Twilight and Rarity to roll their eyes. Yes, how pathetic of Spike to be so excited about a crucial part of his diet. Seriously Twilight, it’s actually pretty normal. I roll my eyes at them rolling their eyes.
So as cider is served by Apple Bloom and Granny Smith, the barrels stocked at Sweet Apple Acres start dwindling down, until there is only one left. So as Fluttershy is served her mug of cider, Rainbow waits eagerly behind her for the next batch…when it suddenly runs out.
What are the fucking odds eh? If one less pony was in front of her, she would have gotten cider. How’s that justice?
I’d like to point out, with the enthusiasm the citizens have for cider, you’d think it was an alcoholic beverage. Which apparently would be accurate in some regions. However I think we can safely say that is not the case here. I’m not talking about the fact that Apple Bloom’s serving it, that shouldn’t be a problem as long as she doesn’t drink it. I’m talking about the cider-making process. We see later in the episode how it’s done, and there’s no fermentation, which is a very crucial step in the production of alcohol. Actually, it’s the crucial step in the production of alcohol…it’s the production of alcohol.
So, Rainbow leads an angry mob, complaining about the lack of supply. Every year the Apple Family fails to make enough cider for everyone, and every year they try to increase supply. So Applejack begins a speech explaining the care that goes into each barrel. They hoof-pick only the best apples, to make the highest quality cider. That shit takes time and I completely agree, it makes sense. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. You don’t want to half ass this, and I’m sure the citizenry wouldn’t want it either.
Then Pinkie tries to help, explaining how good the cider was directly to Rainbow Dash’s face. Inadvertently putting her own life at risk. Seriously, I was expecting somepony to get decked. Specifically, somepony who’s pink.
Then, saving Pinkie’s life is a giant car out of a shitty Disney movie, driven by two stallions by the names of Flim and Flam. The world-famous Flim Flam Brothers. I keep trying to think what they may be world-famous for, and I think I got it…being cunts.
They open with a big musical number, and while this is not a hard-and-fast rule, often times, if I can’t hear what the fuck you’re singing about, it’s probably not a very good song. Seriously, I had to look up what the fuck they were singing, that’s not a good thing, especially in musical theatre.
Anyway, the song sucks, but it’s essential to the plot so I’ll just explain what happens. The Brothers introduce a kick-ass new device: The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 automated cider presser. Heh, title drop. Anyway, the Apple Family each have their own reaction to this turn of events; Apple Bloom is all for the march of progress, as young ponies are; Granny Smith is a stickler for tradition, as old ponies are; Applejack is on the fence, as…um…somewhere in between ponies are; and Big Mac says “yep,” though to what is a mystery.
I’m with Apple Bloom, if the damn thing works, what’s the problem? But just as it looks like they might buy the damn thing, the brothers decide to “sweeten the deal” by ripping them off through a shitty business proposal.
Shocked the Apple Family wouldn’t accept the shitty deal, the brothers decide to just compete with Sweet Apple Acres, and threaten to put them out of business.
The next morning, Sweet Apple Acres runs out of cider again, once again pissing off Rainbow Dash. It’s like a cruel joke, and I think it’s hilarious.
So the Flim Flam Brothers arrive on the scene to sell some cider, but since the cider was made with their apples, Applejack takes it back. It’s their cider now bitches!!!
Funnily enough, Applejack takes it back just as Rainbow is about to have a sip, knocking it out of her hoof. Not that I like to see ponies suffer, but I thoroughly enjoyed that.
Just then, Apple Bloom decides to try to tough-talk the Brothers, continually trying to one-up them. Until eventually, the two sides agree to a contest to see who can brew the most cider in an hour.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!
The Tenth Doctor makes an appearance as the pony who times the competition. Which I guess is appropriate, but I really want to see a more overt Doctor Who reference in the future. Have him come out of a blue phone booth or something. They did give him a necktie, so that’s good.
So, both sides are making cider, but unfortunately, the Apples are only operating at one-third the speed of the SSCS6K. So Twilight asks if “family” can join, and not just family. You know what I mean. The Brothers, in their cockiness (with emphasis on ‘cock’) do not object, which is their first major mistake.
So all our heroes get together to kick some ass and while they only double their workforce, they manage to increase production five-fold. That’s some crazy Jedi-mind shit there. I guess the cooperation, by having two people on each job, managed to allow each of them to focus on their individual jobs at least twice as well.
So with the competition catching up, the Brothers decide to make their second major mistake and double the power on the SSCS6K. Which causes them to harvest not just apples for the cider, but whole fucking trees. Yeah, you see where this is going. The apples end up so fucked up, that the quality control mechanism on the SSCS6K pretty much rejects every apple, so they quickly make their third major mistake and disable the damn thing. After all, they don’t need quality. Their only making shit people drink, and generally appreciate the taste of. Seriously, what the fuck!? Don’t they notice there are tree branches in it. They should be disqualified for trying to pass bullshit as cider.
Then again, I think I can understand, I know people who think tea is supposed to taste like asphalt.
Rainbow Dash notices the Brother’s actions and decides that they should do the same, a decision Applejack quickly vetoes. It’s not worth it if they abandon the most important part. So they decide to work that much harder.
So, with all that hard work, they end up losing anyway, and are forced to give up Sweet Apple Acres to the Flim Flam Brothers. Which confuses me, I thought the initial bet was on the right to produce cider, not the frigging farm. But I guess cider production was so important to the farm’s operation, there was no point in not giving them the farm, so they did it anyway.
Moving on, the Brothers then make their fourth major mistake: they try to sell the shitty cider they made during the competition, you know, the shit with tree branches in it! So, once the citizenry taste it, they decide to run the Brothers out on a rail. Okay, they don’t go that far, but they might as well have, in fact they should have.
Of course at this point The Brothers could have simply decided to try to sell the good stuff instead, with apologies, but then they would have had to explain why they tried selling the shit stuff, or why they even had it, so they were better off keeping their mouths shut.
So, with the Flim Flam Brothers out-of-town, the Apple Family get to keep their farm, and keep selling cider. The show ends with Applejack writing her letter to Princess Celestia:
“I didn’t learn anything!!! I was right all along!”
As true as that is, I don’t think a letter to Celestia was necessary, especially considering the fact that she would likely get it out of context, and just be confused.
Next letter from Celestia:
To my faithful student, Twilight Sparkle:
Has Applejack gone insane? Now she’s sending me random crap I don’t really care about. It’s like a hoof-written drunk-dial.Sincerely,
P.S.: Seriously, what the fuck happened!?
Another thing worth noting is that, as part of her letter, Applejack says: “Sure I could tell you I learned something about how my friends are always there to help me, and I can count on them no matter what. But truth is: I knew that already too.”
Yeah, I know, you learned that last week, and early last year, during Applebuck Season. Hopefully this time it’ll stick!
So, in the end everyone gets cider, even Rainbow Dash. Of course, I’m pretty sure the credits run a bit to early. They must have cut the scene where Rainbow takes her first sip of cider and goes:
Pinkie: Something wrong Rainbow Dash?
Rainbow: Did you give me a bad batch?
Pinkie: [gulps down half a mug of cider] NOPE! [licks lips] It’s all good!
Rainbow: Oh…[sips, turns her nose up]
Applejack: Something wrong?
Rainbow: Um…I don’t think I actually like cider…
Applejack: Oh…well, it’s not for everyone.
Rainbow: Oh…[sips]…huh…well, that was anti-climactic.
Good night everypony!!!