Imagine you had to make a choice, some type of decision that basically came down to: how do you want to spend your time? For instance, you can spend the next two years studying Journalism, Cooking, or IT…I might be projecting there; or you have to choose whether to continue to date a girl you had a crush on for years, or her little sister…I’m actually writing that story.
It seems like this kind of problem could be resolved easily if one could clone themselves. Unfortunately, we are not Michael Keaton in Multiplicity, Arnold Schwarzenegger in The 6th Day, or that kid Carl in that cartoon I haven’t seen and have little desire to.
I’ve always contemplated what that would be like. What if there was another me around? Would we get along, or would I find him as annoying as others find me? More importantly, would he be willing to follow my orders? Doubt that.
But what if you did it? Somehow managed to clone your own ass! Would the results be beneficial, or disastrous? I guess it all comes down to whether you could control them. Something Pinkie Pie fails to do in this week’s episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
The episode opens with Twilight testing a new spell to turn apples into oranges. I don’t know why…maybe for ponies who are allergic to apples. But as she’s about to set it off, Pinkie tackles the unicorn, causing her to miss and turn a blue jay into an orange with wings…KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE! KILL IT!!!
Rarity shows up to show off her new gown, and Pinkie comes to a startling realization. That she missed watching/helping the designer make the elegant ensemble.
It’s horrifying! How could she miss out on something as fun as that!? I remember when I was really young, I had this strange compulsion. I hated to miss out on anything, no matter how boring it might have been. It’s why I hung out with my mom so much, even though she knew I was responsible enough to stay at home. A missed opportunity is something you may never get back.
So it’s at this moment that Pinkie zooms around town to see if her friends are doing anything fun without her. She helps Rainbow restore a small body of fog into a cloud, and it surprises me that Pinkie Pie could interact with the cloud at all. I wouldn’t think that would be possible, given the established mythology.
She then sees Applejack pulling a carriage filled with apples and a young Apple Bloom. So not wanting to miss out on the fun, she jumps on and shoves her hoo-ha in Apple Bloom’s face, causing her to recoil in shock. Oh, come on, I’m not the only one who noticed that, look at the angle!!! Anyway she sticks around for two seconds before zooming off again!
All the running gets to her as she meets Fluttershy, who’s reliably boring, and collapses in exhaustion.
After a quick rest, Rainbow and Applejack arrive to invite her to hang out by the lake, and raise a barn, respectfully. So Pinkie has to choose: Which friend is she going to hang with? Such a dilemma. I don’t know, it seems easy to me: Chillin’ by the lake would beat a barn raising any day of the week.
But Pinkie is adamant about going to both, so she runs between Sweet Apple Acres and the lake, trying to see if she could make it there and back in under a few seconds. But Twilight points out that her plan isn’t going to work. The only solution is if there was more of her to go around.
Pinkie processes this information and comes up with a solution: The Legend of the Miracle! Wait…what? Oh! Mirror Pond! I gotta clean my ears out.
Yes, the Legend of the Mirror Pond! Hidden in a cave in the Everfree Forest, the Mirror Pond is a magical underground lake that has the ability to clone ponies. Someone steps through the lake, and they pass through to the other side, as a duplicate. Though the big question is: who’s the duplicate? Who’s the original? First assumption, the one who just came out of the lake, since that was the one we were following. But thinking about it again, that makes little sense. I don’t believe in a soul, particularly, but I do think that one’s consciousness is indivisible. Which is why the Star Trek: TNG episode, Second Chances, where we meet a duplicate of Riker created through a transporter accident, bugs the shit out of me, due to the massive implications across the entire franchise.
Anyway, my point is, it’s not clearly established from the first scene who the original is. But I think we can figure it out pretty quickly, as one of them is super hyper and super insane, and the other is relatively calm, and has a clear goal in mind.
The thing about Pinkie Pie is that she’s not an archetype, even though many fans think she is. I’ve read so many fan-works that depict her as a one-dimensional dimwit, but she’s not, she’s a little more complex than that, and it’s made pretty clear in this episode. Pinkie-Prime is thinking things through and explaining her plans, while the other is running off in all directions trying to find some fun. How annoying!
So after explaining the plan, Pinkie-Prime goes swimming with Rainbow, while Pinkie-2 heads off to see Applejack. But on the way to the barn-raising, she meets Fluttershy who invites her to a picnic. Not one to miss out, Pinkie-2 panics and goes off to see Prime. It’s also at this point we learn the clones don’t have perfect memories, when Pinkie-2 calls Applejack, Applejohn.
Anyway, Pinkie-2 explains the situation to Pinkie-Prime, and Prime comes up with a perfect solution: MORE CLONES!!!
You see where this is going.
So with three clones running around, each one more crazy than the original, Pinkie-Prime quickly loses control. The clones clone themselves, and those clones clone themselves, et cetera, et cetera. So with a horde of Pinkies running everywhere, they manage to cause more chaos than Discord as they begin to annoy Rainbow Dash during her relaxation time, and destroy Applejack’s barn.
It gets worse, as they descend upon downtown Ponyville, pissing off Rarity and Fluttershy, and every other pony in town.
Twilight quickly tries to look for a solution, and Spike finds a hidden compartment, featuring a book with a section on the Mirror Pond. What is this book? Where did it come from? Why was it hidden? What else is in there? Another element to this season’s arc perhaps?
So there’s a spell that can send the clones back to the Mirror Pond, but there’s a catch, they need to cast it only on the clones, if they cast it on Pinkie-Prime, well…I think you know what happens.
This bugs me. Either the cloning process also affects the Prime, or this spell can affect everypony, allowing Twilight to send anypony she doesn’t like to be trapped forever in the Mirror Pond. Not good. That’s too much power for one mare.
So, the goal is clear: Find the real Pinkie.
The result is an interesting revelation, as Twilight leaves the Library, and asks the crowd if anyone can tell who the original Pinkie Pie is. She’s your best friend! You’re telling me Twilight can’t tell the original from the horde!? I can! The original is the one who’s not acting like a maniac!
Prime arrives and declares that she’s the real one, but then, the rest of the Pinkie-horde descends, declaring each of themselves to be the original. Then Prime has an identity crisis. She’s not even sure she’s the real one either, since they are all perfect duplicates with no identifying markers. So Prime falls into a depressive state.
As Twilight tries to think of a way to determine which one is the original, they encounter Prime with her head on a table, Spike assuming she’s the real deal. But Twilight dismisses the idea, after all, this Pinkie isn’t acting like the generic archetype one would expect her to. Did I mention I’m starting to hate Twilight!?
After a quick talk, Prime proposes some type of test to determine the identity of Pinkie-Prime, just have them all do something really boring, and the one who wants it the most will be the one who sticks around, and that one must be the original. But I don’t know if that’s true, all it would determine is: which one wants to live more. Because basically, anyone hit by the spell would be killed.
Twilight finds the rest of the gang holed up in a tree stump. Turns out the local wildlife decided to take them in as refugees. She gets the Apple Family to round-up all the Pinkies, herding them all into the town hall. The plan is simple: Get them all to watch paint dry. Anyclone who looks away gets vanquished back to the Mirror Pond, and it looks painful.
What bugs me is that Twilight appears to be a bit trigger happy, because she doesn’t just vanquish the Pinkies who are acting up, but those who are looking at those who are acting up.
Eventually, it comes down to two, and Rainbow deliberately tries to distract them. Only one falls for it, and is quickly vanquished. So, with only one left, who we presume is the Prime, the crisis is resolved. Is it really the original? I hope so. Many shows that try for the same plot line often try to put in a sliver of doubt in the viewer’s mind at the end. In fact, I don’t ever remember seeing a show involving clones or evil twins that didn’t try something like that. We don’t get that here, but who knows, maybe they did accidentally send the Prime into the Mirror Pond. We have no way to know for certain. Regardless, there’s no indication that they did, so I think we’re fine.
The episode ends with the Mirror Pond being sealed and Pinkie taking a nap. I think she’s the real deal.
So, what’s to say about this episode? Not much. It’s not that spectacular, but it’s not bad either. It’s just…there. Doing nothing. Honestly, it feels kinda bland.
Next week, the Crusaders try to recruit a new member, only to have it blow up in their faces when said recruit becomes determined to make their lives hell. I’ve been there…actually, I am there.