C.S.I.: Train to Canterlot: “MMMystery on the Friendship Express” review

This week on My Little Pony, we witness an interesting phenomenon: The application of critical thinking.

Remember back in season one? The episode Feeling Pinkie Keen was all about Pinkie’s precognitive abilities, and Twilight being extremely skeptical, and continually searching for a more logical explanation, but in the end just accepts it without another thought.

This pissed off a lot of skeptics. She should not have just accepted that Pinkie had superpowers, she should have vehemently denied their existence. Well, I disagree, primarily because the events of the entire episode verified Pinkie’s abilities. The thing about the supernatural is this: Skeptics don’t simply not believe it exists because it doesn’t fit any models of known science. We don’t believe because there’s no evidence that it’s anything more than deception.

If you can prove that you can predict the future, beyond any doubt, and can do it over and over again, I will believe you. It’s easy: just tell me what this week’s Lotto numbers are…and do it more than once to prove it’s not just a fluke. After that, we can work on modifying, adding to, or replacing the various physics models we use, so they fit this new evidence.

Prove there are ghosts, and I’ll willingly throw out the Theory of Relativity!

But still, it pissed off a lot of skeptics, and I guess I can understand. It might send the wrong message to children who wouldn’t see the big picture. But this week, it appears they’re making up for it. When we see Pinkie call up her inner Greg House and learn how to be a bit more skeptical…kinda.

The episode opens with Pinkie Pie offering to escort a giant cake to a competition in Canterlot. In order to get it to the train, she enlists the help of Big Macintosh, who’s basically just a glorified trolley; and the rest of the gang, who each have their own jobs to try to get it to the train in one piece. Personally I think it would be easier if they just used a frigging trolley! No magic spells, no trampoline, no ropes! Just a trolley! Plus, it’d be a lot easier on Big Mac!

So they get the cake, which is oddly enough called the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness, or MMMM, onto the train, and as the gang are admiring it, their competitors arrive: A griffon bearing Eclairs, a mule bearing a moose-shaped chocolate mousse, and from last season, Pony Donut Joe, bearing a city made of donuts. Actually, that’s kinda odd, they changed his name.

Anyway, all four chefs/bakers/Pinkie begin the trash-talk! You’re goin’ downtown bitch!!! Which really doesn’t accomplish much. What were they expecting, the other three to go, “Sigh, you’re right, I suck, I guess I’ll just drop out now”?

Anyway, as everyone gets ready for bed, Pinkie refuses, and decides to stay up all night guarding the cake.

Night falls, which I find odd. I’ve said before that you can see Canterlot from Ponyville and vice versa. So, for the train-trip to take this long, one would presume they are making stops in Fillydelphia, Los Pegasus, Baltimare, and Manehattan…or at least one of those places. Why would this be an overnight trip?

Anyway, as she’s guarding the cake, she notices somepony rushing past her. So Pinkie chases the culprit to the caboose, where they disappear. Then she sees somepony else in the desert car, so she chases this pony to the engine, where they disappear. Then she returns to the desert car when suddenly, the blinds in the car close. A struggle ensues, which we can only hear, before the lights turn on, and the assailant disappears. What the fuck? Then, Pinkie falls asleep, obviously exhausted. I’d be too.

She wakes up and I gotta give props to the animation team. I’m not sure if horses do scratch their faces with their hind legs, but I know cats do, and I love cats.

…anyway, I need to stop getting off track. She wakes up and sees the cake completely intact, but Twilight enters the room from a different angle and sees something completely different. A big bite, actually several big bites, since the cake is tiered, were taken.

It’s a murder mystery! The frigging cake has been murdered and Doctor Pinkie House is on the case. Now, she doesn’t channel the classic Holmes character completely, she’s got the hat, but she doesn’t get high on opium, just a bubble pipe, which I find to be a bit cheap. Then again, it is a family show. But she might be high on candy, so that certainly counts.

Pinkie appoints Twilight as Doctor Wilson, or…actually Wilson rarely helped House on his cases. I guess she’s Chase…or…Thirteen…or…actually, she reminds me more of the new girl, Adams. Why am I referencing House!? Oh right, I never actually read Sherlock Holmes.

Anyway, Pinkie decides to begin her investigation by declaring she knows who did it!!! Since when did she start working for the Bush Administration!? She makes up some bullshit about each of the rival bakers sabotaging the desert, each an homage to classic movies. The griffon is Snidely Whiplash, Joe is James Bond (who gets all the mares), and the mule is a kung fu ninja! Each destroys the cake in their own way (in Pinkie’s stories). But Twilight quickly finds the holes in each of the stories. The big thing being: the damn cake was bitten! Not sliced with a katana!

Pinkie then explains why she thought it was one of them: after all, each of the rival deserts look so delicious, so why attack just the cake if not to eliminate the competition? The train then goes through a tunnel and when it emerges, all three rival deserts are eaten. Why are there no lights in these cars? It appears to be something that would come in real handy during murder mysteries.

What I love is that we hear a scream when that happens. More deserts are murdered!!!

So, basically at this point we’ve learned that what one thinks may not necessarily be the truth. In fact, it’s often times not true. A skeptical lesson if ever there was one. Twilight takes over and sends everyone to their quarters. The only problem, Twilight Holmes isn’t high on opium, Vicodin, or candy! But she is high on the truth! …wow, that’s lame.

They begin tracing the steps of the only eyewitness: Watson Pie. Twilight finds clues in both the caboose, and the conductor’s hat. But we don’t actually see them, which pisses me off a bit, and apparently it pisses Pinkie off too!

Twilight solves the case, and calls everyone back to the scene of the crime to declare who did it, a la The Doctor in that one episode of Doctor Who with Agatha Christie. I’ve actually never read any mystery novels.

You see, when Pinkie chased that one pony to the caboose, they didn’t disappear, they flew to the ceiling, to hide. Hold on, do people seriously not look up? I find that perplexing. Hell, it’s within your field of view! Anyway, they flew to the ceiling where they left behind a blue feather, and the only one with blue feathers is…RAINBOW DASH! THAT BITCH!!!

But that’s not all! For you see, when Pinkie returned to the car, she found someone else, who she chased to the engine room. When she got there, the culprit disappeared, but they didn’t. They just hid, pretending to be the conductor, who Pinkie wrote off and didn’t think to ask, “Hey, did you see somepony run through here!?” But it turns out that would have been a good idea, considering said conductor was actually the very pony she was chasing. The one who left a light pink hair in the conductor’s hat, and the only one with light pink hair is…FLUTTERSHY! THAT ADORABLE BITCH!!!

But that’s not all! (Oh god, this goes on!) For you see, when Pinkie returned to the main car, she got into a scuffle with somepony who turned out all the lights! That kinda thing doesn’t happen randomly. It could only be unicorn magic, and since there were only two unicorns on the train (that we know of) it sorta narrows down the suspect list. One of the unicorns is investigating the crime, and the other is missing a false eyelash that fell off during the struggle; and the only unicorn vain enough to actually have false eyelashes is…RARITY! THAT SEXY BITCH!!! She’s also the only unicorn that changed her manestyle to cover one of her eyes. Nice catch, I didn’t even notice that the first time. I should have.

All three confess to taking a bite of the cake, because after Pinkie said how delicious it was, they just had to try it. No…no they really didn’t.

So, basically, this week’s lesson is: fucking evidence!!! I like that lesson.

This actually kinda shocked me, I expected the culprit to be a new character we’ve never seen before, that way it won’t ruin anything when we never see them again because they have to serve some jail time. That’s the thing that bugs me, no one serves any time at the end. They’re all forgiven, and they all get off Scott free! Were the Cakes okay with that? You know, the ones who spent several months on this cake you three ruined in one night!

Anyway, that solves one mystery. But what about the other deserts? Pinkie takes over, quickly getting the hang of this whole evidence thing, and gives the room a quick once-over. Finding the evidence she needs, she accuses the very bakers that lost their deserts. That is: each of them ate someone else’s desert. The proof: each of them had traces of the deserts they ate, on them. Traces they never thought to wash off in the intervening time, of which there was plenty.

Anyway, they make it to Canterlot for the competition, however, they have nothing to enter into the contest. So they decide to take what’s left over, what was left uneaten, and combine them into one entry, that somehow wins. I say ‘somehow’ because presentation wise, it’s a piece of shit. Just a giant clusterfuck!

The episode ends with Pinkie eating the whole cake in one bite. Ha, ha…that’s endearing somehow…seriously, how is gluttony endearing?

Before I close this off, I’d like to add one little thing: Trains are bumpy. Getting the cake to the train was a pain in the ass for the team, but once it was on the train, it didn’t move an inch. I guess ponykind has developed inertial dampeners and are putting them on trains. Also, why didn’t they put it in a box or something to protect it from dirt and dust? That goes for all the bakers!!! I guess it looks better on the show, so they didn’t bother.

So that was this week. A really good episode with a really good lesson. Next week: nothing because we’re on fucking hiatus again. But the week after: the big season finale wedding episode! Apparently Tori Spelling will be hosting the show’s bumpers. Which I guess is okay. I don’t know why, or what they’re going to do with her, but whatever. I have one problem: this is a wedding episode. Specifically a wedding of two characters we’ve never seen before. Now it will certainly be interesting, if for no other reason than to see a traditional pony wedding, but if it’s not sufficiently badass, there’s a good chance they’re going to lose 90% of their audience. If they want to do that, all the power to them. Then again, at first glance, the Grand Galloping Gala was also pretty lame and turned out to be pretty awesome as well. We’ll see where this goes.


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