Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 43

Season two sure has been piling on the holiday episodes, hasn't it?  First Pony-Halloween, then Pony-Christmas, and now Pony-Valentine's Day.  What's next, Pony-Arbor Day?
Hearts and Hooves Day
Outside of Ponyville proper, the CMC are hard at work in their clubhouse, putting the finishing touches on a Hearts and Hooves card for Miss Cheerilee.  A card as large as their feelings for her, though without an envelope to match.  Somehow they get it out the door and into the schoolhouse in time for the H&H party, and Miss Cheerilee is suitably impressed with it.  Though the card contains all the love of three fillies, Sweetie Belle is sure it pales in comparison to what Miss Cheerilee's "special somepony" got her.  But their teacher, she must confess, does not have a special somepony as such, to the CMC's utter astonishment.  They question how such a thing could even be, but Miss Cheerilee assures them that she has enough love in her life with just her friends and students.  She heads off to start the H&H-themed games, and Sweetie Belle gets the best idea ever: they, the CMC, will find a special somepony for Miss Cheerilee!  Apple Bloom and Scootaloo agree, and they head into town, on the prowl for the perfect male.
Easier said than done, as the CMC find flaws in every stallion they encounter (in song), and they learn, as countless ladies have before them, that all the good ones are already taken.  But Sweetie Belle soon finds the perfect candidate: Big Macintosh!  Though his good qualities make him a good match for their teacher, Apple Bloom points out that her brother is pretty shy, and would never ask Miss Cheerilee out.  Once again Sweetie Belle has the answer: they'll put the two ponies in a setting so romantic, they'll ask each other out for sure.  And so the CMC put together a picnic under a gazebo and surreptitiously invite both Cheerilee and Big Macintosh.  Cheerilee arrives first, under the impression the girls need help identifying a tree, and is followed by Big Macintosh, who was told the gazebo needed repairs.  The CMC give their victims a bump toward the romantic picnic and skedaddle, but not before turning on the romantic music.   They keep watch from the bushes, but all they get to see is awkward small talk.  But then, Cheerilee leans in close to Big Macintosh...and tells him he has something in his teeth, much to Sweetie Belle's consternation.  The two ponies agree this whole thing has been strange, and go their separate ways.
The CMC wander about town, wondering how their plan failed, and bump into Twilight Sparkle, who was walking and reading again.  It seems she's been reading up on the history of Hearts and Hooves Day, and informs the CMC that it all started because of a love potion.  This gets the CMC's attention, and when Twilight tells them the book has the very recipe used back then, they ask to borrow it.  Twilight obliges, unaware of what shenanigans the CMC are planning to get up to with it.  And so the fillies get down to business, collecting the necessary ingredients: a tuft of cloud, a rainbow's glow, and a pegasus feather for stirring.  With the potion ready to go, they set up another picnic and wait for their guests to show up.  Apple Bloom begins to doubt whether tricking her brother and teacher is the right thing to do, but Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo assure her that the potion is just a nudge in the right direction.
At last, Big Macintosh and Cheerilee arrive, wondering what trick the CMC have up their sleeves this time.  Sweetie Belle swears up and down that they just want the two ponies to taste-test some punch for them, and they once again skedaddle.  Once alone, Cheerilee apologizes to Big Macintosh for her students' behavior, admitting that she started this whole thing by telling them she didn't have a special somepony.  They share a laugh at the thought of the two of them together, but decide to humor the girls and try the punch.  Much to the CMC's delight, the potion does its thing, and Cheerilee asks Big Macintosh to be her special somepony. The girls celebrate, until Cheerilee and Big Macintosh suddenly break out the cutesy-wootsy baby talk.
So the CMC retreat to their clubhouse to figure out what went wrong with their potion.  After all, they just wanted Cheerilee and Big Macintosh to admit their feelings for each other, not go lovey-dovey crazy.  Going over the recipe again, Sweetie Belle reads the rest of the story and discovers that what they thought was a love potion was actually a love poison: it causes the drinkers to focus only on their love, to the exclusion of anything else.  Apple Bloom sees this as a tragedy of epic proportions, as without Big Macintosh's work on the farm and Miss Cheerilee's work at the school, Ponyville will be filled with apple-starved ignoramuses.  Fortunately, Sweetie Belle reads on and finds there's a way to reverse the potion's effects: if they can keep the drinkers from looking in each other's eyes for one hour, the spell will wear off.  And so off they go to put right what they made wrong!
They find Cheerilee and Big Macintosh at Sugar Cube Corners, grossing out Mrs. Cake with their lovebird routine.  She comments that it won't be long before those two get married from the looks of it, which is good for business, but instead gives Sweetie Belle an idea!  And so she approaches the sickeningly sweet couple and proposes they get hitched.  Cheerilee and Big Macintosh are all for it, so Apple Bloom and Scootaloo put their part of the plan in motion: keep Big Macintosh occupied at the jeweler's.  Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle sends Miss Cheerilee off to her sister's to pick out a wedding dress, and barricades her in the dressing room.
Thirty-five minutes pass; so far, so good.  But the moment Apple Bloom turns her back, Big Macintosh purchases a diamond and goes off in search of Cheerilee.  Apple Bloom and Scootaloo split up so that Scootaloo can warn Sweetie Belle while Apple Bloom tries to slow down her brother.  But little can stop Big Macintosh on a normal day, never mind a day when he's full of the vigor of love, and thus all of Apple Bloom's attempts do absolutely nothing.  With just five minutes to go, Scootaloo arrives at the Carousel Boutique and fills Sweetie Belle in on the situation, and they hatch a quick plan.
As Big Macintosh hops ever closer, he falls into a hastily-dug pit, landing safely on a mattress.  It looks like the spell will be broken, as there's only one minute to go.  However, the sound of Big Macintosh's voice from outside the boutique fills Cheerilee with strength!  She smashes through the barricade and breaks down the door.  Big Macintosh, meanwhile, tries using the mattress to bounce out of the pit, and the CMC do their best to keep the two ponies from making eye contact.  As the clock chimes the hour, Cheerilee runs like a pony possessed, crashing through the CMC blockade and launching right into Big Macintosh's face.
The CMC approach the pit and hope against hope that this last bit of eye contact was after the end of the hour.  And it looks like things are back to normal, as Cheerilee tries to figure out just what the two of them are doing there, and turns to the CMC for an explanation.  And so Sweetie Belle spills all, though Apple Bloom is quick to point out they only did it because they wanted the two ponies to be happy.  But through this whole affair, the three of them have learned that meddling in other ponies' relationships just isn't right.  They apologize, but despite this, Cheerilee and Big Macintosh agree that the fillies need a punishment to really drive the lesson home.  And so the CMC spend the next few hours harvesting all the apples Big Macintosh missed thanks to their love potion.  And with the free time, Big Macintosh and Cheerilee decide to have an actual picnic, and to mess with the CMC's heads a little.
One, it was awesome to hear Big Macintosh with actual lines, even if they were said in a lovenut kind of way.  Two, I really liked the little background stuff at the H&H party, like Twist pinning the heart on Miss Cheerilee by accident.  Three, what was up with that jelly pony, anyway?  And four, Cheerilee and Big Mac being all lovey-dovey was actually pretty funny.  So overall I liked this episode, though I think I'm getting a little burnt out on pony holidays.

Misc. Screenshots
Cheerilee doesn't appreciate this
"Wait, yer talkin' about my brother?"
Rubbing noses
Enough to make you sick

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