Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 44: Bloom & Gloom


< Part 43 | Part 44 | Part 45 >

Season 5, Episode 4

Warning you now: this review is even longer than the last one (believe me, I didn’t plan that). It’s slightly longer than that of The Best Night Ever, for reference.

Season 5 Episode 4: Bloom & Gloom

You know the drill. Cutie Mark Crusaders episode, spoilers for the big thing that happens midway through season 5.

In five words: Nightmares tease Crusaders’ running mystery.

Premise: Apple Bloom has a cyclical series of dreams where she earns her cutie mark, and nightmarish things happen each time. Luna eventually comes in to alleviate her worries.

Detailed run-through:

Over time, the Crusaders’ clubhouse has gradually gotten more decorations.

The first Cutie Mark Crusaders episode of season 5 begins with these three being exactly the same goofy kids I remembered. Apple Bloom hosts a meeting and does a roll call that the other two point out are unnecessary, demonstrating the trio’s endearing flavor of pseudo-formality that shows they have high dreams but don’t know what they’re doing. And this brings me to something I recall thinking when I first watched several Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes in the last season: are these three ever going to get their cutie marks? Season 5 has several episodes that build up this mystery before giving it a glorious resolution in an episode I plan on going through in extreme depth, like Magical Mystery Cure levels of depth if not more.

Oh man, this scene must have inspired SO much Babs Seed fanart.
Her cutie mark is right there, just waiting to be drawn on her flank!

Next up, Apple Bloom presents a letter from Babs Seed showing that she got her cutie mark. Some fans watching this scene may have thought “one down, three to go” here, but the Cutie Mark Crusaders remain a trio for all practical purposes. Anyway, their reaction to Babs’ letter is worth discussing.

Apple Bloom: She says it’s a pair of scissors.
Scootaloo: So… she’s good at cutting stuff?
Sweetie Belle: Of course! She was always fussing with her bangs and tail. I’ll bet that she grows up to be a celebrity stylist!

Babs Seed gaining a cutie mark in mane styling may seem random at first, but Sweetie Belle points out that the signs were there all along—it just takes a sharp eye to help others find out their special talents, which season 5 starts to show the Crusaders excel at. I’m sure some fans were upset Babs Seed earned her cutie mark offscreen, but she simply isn’t a character who the Mane 6 or Cutie Mark Crusaders run into often. She lives in Manehattan, remember? While it would certainly be cool to see Babs in person again and show what she’s been through, having her cutie mark discussed by the Crusaders is a good way to hint at their shared special talent and propel the mystery of what their cutie marks will be. Besides, now that one character who kind of arguably counts as one of the Cutie Mark Crusaders has earned her cutie mark, it feels like only a matter of time that the three characters who inarguably count get theirs as well.

Apple Bloom: But… if she spends all her time cutting hair… who’s gonna run the Manehattan CMC’s?
Scootaloo: Well, not Babs. She can’t be a Cutie Mark Crusader if she’s already got her cutie mark.
Apple Bloom: Oh, wow. I guess you’re right.

After the initial excitement wears off, the Crusaders hint at their worries about earning cutie marks: that once they earn their marks, their shared friendship over not having them may dissipate. They also naively assume that once you’ve earned your cutie mark, you’ll be stuck doing whatever activity the mark indicates for the rest of your life. It’s not an unreasonable assumption from fans given what we know about cutie mark lore, but later episodes start to give a more fluid and lenient description of cutie marks. I feel like the assumptions fans tend to make about how cutie marks work arise from them thinking of the show in the absolute most mechanical ways possible, which is common with fans of any media.

We’re only a minute in, and this review is already shaping up to be way too detailed!
This is going to happen a lot in season 5.

Sweetie Belle: I’m glad she’s happy, but… I sure wouldn’t want to be up to my flank in mane hair all day. Can you imagine getting stuck with a cutie mark you didn’t like?
Apple Bloom: No. Or, at least I hadn’t.
Sweetie Belle: Don’t worry, Apple Bloom. Most of your family has apple-related cutie marks. I bet yours will be too. And what’s not to like about apples?

Hmm… given that Babs Seed just got a cutie mark unrelated to apples, this is an odd observation for Sweetie Belle to make. Maybe she forgot that Babs Seed was Apple Bloom’s cousin? That might not be hard to believe, considering that Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed have only met onscreen in one episode. Whatever the case, I feel like Apple Bloom didn’t forget that, and after some pondering realized it’s possible for an Apple family member to get a non-apple mark. Just look at her shivering reaction:

Now that the Cutie Mark Crusaders are closer to earning their marks, they’re starting to think of uncomfortable possibilities about growing up—a very believable and real experience, given what growing up is like. Thanks to some observations from her friends, Apple Bloom is now terrified of what will become of her life when she earns her cutie mark.

Late at night, Apple Bloom has trouble sleeping and keeps interrupting Applejack with worries when she tries to console her little sister. This poor girl who’s normally spacey and easy to distract is now swimming with worries about the future, and there’s only so much her family can do to help. She falls asleep when Applejack sings her a lullaby (does this count as a musical number?), but the night that follows isn’t easy on her.

As is common in real-life dreams, Apple Bloom’s first dream doesn’t seem like one at first. She wakes up in a good mood, and Applejack rings a bell while saying “breakfast”. After Apple Bloom is out of bed, Applejack points out she’s earned her cutie mark, which gets her even more excited. I don’t think ponies ever earn cutie marks overnight, but how is Apple Bloom supposed to know? Though she’s heard the Mane 6 each tell the story of how they got their marks, I don’t think she’s ever watched a pony earn their mark firsthand, so as far as she knows, getting a mark overnight is perfectly possible.

I wonder whether or not this dream-exclusive elderly guy counts as a character in this show?

Perhaps he’s based on Apple Bloom’s mangled memory of several elderly stallions.

Apple Bloom’s excitement wears off when she realizes she doesn’t know what her cutie mark means, and Applejack doesn’t either. This is a cue for an elderly pony to come in and happily say this means he can retire. He gives Apple Bloom a quick rundown on these dangerous pests called “twittermites”, whose name reveal is accompanied by lightning flashing.

Apple Bloom: Twittermites?
Pest pony: Pest ponies like you and me are the only things keeping these live wires from destroying half of Equestria.
Apple Bloom: Pest ponies?
Pest pony: It’s no easy trade. Even the best of us yearns for the day they can move on to greener pastures. And now that you’re here to take over, my day has finally come.

This dream makes something very clear about Apple Bloom’s mind: she thinks growing up is an instantaneous process without any transition or easing in. In her mind, the moment you become an adult, a responsibility is dumped onto you without any preparation or warning. How is she supposed to know any better? She’s a child, after all. The newly retired pest pony releases the mites from his glass tubes, and at first Apple Bloom catches them all successfully and even has fun doing so. But then, some familiar faces appear:

The color of the twittermites makes it obvious that they were inspired by a social media website—one whose users tend to behave like vicious insects.

It’s Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, and they’re here to bully Apple Bloom about her cutie mark. This represents another worry of Apple Bloom’s about her prospective cutie mark, and a very understandable one: once she earns her mark, will Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon find a new reason to pick on her? We’ve seen them think of new reasons to pick on the Crusaders when their blank flank bullying didn’t work—remember when they decided to mock Scootaloo’s inability to fly for a change? It makes sense to assume they’d find a way to jab at the Crusaders after they get their marks. Apple Bloom has no idea what goes on in these two’s minds, and once she finds out the real problem with Diamond Tiara and helps her understand what her cutie mark means, the obstacle of the bullies is cleared, and Crusaders are rewarded with their marks.

Apple Bloom throws the glass tube containing the mites onto the ground, then runs off into a dark forest where a mysterious shadowy figure encourages her to get rid of her cutie mark. I wonder how long it typically takes viewers to realize this scene is a dream? New pony, new dangerous creature, new spooky figure, all introduced out of nowhere… I think a lot of fans are led to believe this figure is Starlight Glimmer, given what we saw she could do with cutie marks. And given that Starlight appears to be the arc villain of season 5, even though she only makes a few VERY sneaky appearances until the season finale.

After a gust of wind erases Apple Bloom’s cutie mark, she returns to Ponyville to see it in apocalyptic chaos thanks to the twittermites. This is easily one of the scariest episodes of the show yet, and we JUST got done with The Cutie Map. She tries getting rid of the mites, but since she got rid of her cutie mark, she now has much more trouble with it. All this is based on how Apple Bloom has been led to believe cutie marks work: once you get your cutie mark, your role in the world is permanently set unless you somehow get it erased, in which case everything will turn to chaos. It’s a lot like how kids tend to believe adulthood works, adding some realism to Apple Bloom’s fears. The mites destroy the barn at Sweet Apple Acres and shock Apple Bloom one last time, leading her to (seemingly) wake up.

At the start of each dream, Applejack is cooking something a little different.

The second dream starts off much like the first, with Applejack saying the same lines in the style of a never-ending time loop. The more times Applejack’s lines about breakfast and a good night’s sleep are repeated, the more unsettling they become, as though she’s reciting a scripted scene and everything stops feeling real. It’s a lot like the movie Groundhog Day, whose name may as well be synonymous with the same day repeating over and over.

While the cutie mark Apple Bloom earned in her last dream was rather confusing, this one is much more believable. While Apple Bloom has run through a variety of scattered interests through the show so far, her interest in potion making has been fairly consistent. And as a nice bonus, the potion in her cutie mark has an apple in it! This was surely one of the most common guesses among fans as to what her cutie mark would be, making this a clever bait-and-switch.

Apple Bloom shares the news with the other two Crusaders, who still don’t have their marks. They’re excited and proud at first, but then…

Apple Bloom: I don’t suppose either of you got yours?
Scootaloo: Nope.
Sweetie Belle: Me neither.
Apple Bloom: I know it’s silly, but… I always hoped we’d get our cutie marks together.
Scootaloo: Me too.
Sweetie Belle: But I’m still super excited for you!
Scootaloo: Absolutely!

At first, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are happy for their friend regardless of hopes that they would earn their marks together (foreshadowing of what happens later this season), which is probably how they’d react in reality. But since the other two Crusaders in this scene are just projections of Apple Bloom’s mind, their mindset abruptly switches when Apple Bloom remembers another one of her cutie mark worries:

Apple Bloom: I know! Let’s call this meeting to order. I’m sure the three of us can figure out how to get two more cutie marks.
Sweetie Belle: Umm… yeah. The thing is…
Apple Bloom: What?
Scootaloo: Well, you can’t be a Cutie Mark Crusader if you’ve already got your cutie mark. (Sweetie Belle nods)
Apple Bloom: Oh. Yeah. Just like Babs Seed.

Ouch, this scene stings.

Apple Bloom: Well, I can just sit quietly in the corner while you two figure out what to do.
Sweetie Belle: Well, technically the clubhouse is for Crusaders only. (Scootaloo nods)
Apple Bloom: Oh. Right.

This scene represents a very real worry of Apple Bloom’s: that Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle are going to ditch her if she earns her mark first. Notice the way the other two Crusaders nod along to each other’s statements. Apple Bloom felt lonely and left out in her class before she the Crusaders were founded, and it’s understandable for her to worry that she would be left out all over again. In the season 6 episode On Your Marks, we see Apple Bloom’s worries that the Crusaders won’t have anything left to do once they earn their marks have become reality: since they’re kids, they never planned much for what they’re going to do as friends once they’ve achieved their shared goal. But thinking about the future isn’t easy, especially at such a young age.

Apple Bloom: I guess I should just come back later then?
Sweetie Belle: Why? I mean, you can’t come in then either.
Apple Bloom: Oh.
Sweetie Belle: Rules are rules.
Scootaloo: I don’t even think we’re still supposed to be friends. (shuts the door)
Apple Bloom: WHAT?

Note that once Apple Bloom is shut out of the Crusaders’ clubhouse, suddenly all the doors and windows are locked tight with planks of wood. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo excluding her from the group was extreme, and this sudden change is a hint that this scene might be a dream…

… which is confirmed when the scene transitions to the same dark forest we saw before. This time around, the transition to the dream scenery is done much more quickly, which I think is cool and fitting. The first dream is meant to confuse viewers until Apple Bloom seemingly woke up from it; the second dream starts out much more believable until it quickly snaps to freaky dream mode. This difference between the first and second dreams helps put the viewer in Apple Bloom’s mindset.

I like how Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are shown from perspectives that don’t show their marks.

Anyway, the mysterious voice, who seems to believe cutie marks are evil not unlike Starlight Glimmer, erases Apple Bloom’s cutie mark once more. She meets with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, except it turns out they have now earned their marks and won’t show them to Apple Bloom. They display the very same “too cool for you” attitude that Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon always did with the Crusaders, showing how heavily Apple Bloom is worried to going back to where she started: being picked on by a duo of friends who unlike her have their cutie marks.

Once Apple Bloom’s third dream starts, it’s already easy to tell that this is a dream. Applejack says the very same words that she started the last two dreams with, not even listening to her sister’s words of concern. This is how the rule of three works: when something occurs three times, a light bulb goes off in most people’s minds, and they recognize a pattern. The rule of three is a very effective tool for works of media, allowing viewers to recognize patterns without it being any more repetitive than needed.

In the third dream, Applejack, Granny Smith, and Big Macintosh appear one by one showing reactions of disapproval to Apple Bloom’s cutie mark. The episode cleverly tricks viewers into thinking Big Mac will say “eyup”, but he speaks in a full sentence and the other two talk the way he normally does. This is a great way to heighten not just the freaky factor, but also the extent of Apple Bloom’s worries. And here’s how:

Apple Bloom’s cutie mark here is a dolphin, of all things.
She doesn’t even get to learn what it means!

Apple Bloom: Oh no. What is it now?
Big Macintosh: Well, tell you what it ain’t. It ain’t no apple.
Granny Smith: Nnnope.
Applejack (in Big Mac’s voice): And we don’t have time for non-apples.
Big Mac (in Applejack’s voice): Nnnope.
Granny Smith (in Big Mac’s voice): Time for you to mosey on. You can’t stay here.

I think this scene says something interesting about Big Macintosh, or more specifically, Apple Bloom’s perception of him. Remember in Ponyville Confidential, when Applejack refused to talk to the Crusaders and Big Mac brutally told them off? It’s clear through that scene and this dream sequence that Apple Bloom is terrified of getting her big brother to such a breaking point. It hurts even harder when you think of Brotherhooves Social, where Apple Bloom reveals how much she’s always looked up to Big Mac. In this dream, his voice is even being spoken by her other two family members, showing how heavily Apple Bloom’s brain is clouded with fears of getting on her brother’s bad side. I really like how he doesn’t just say his usual eyups and nopes in this dream; it heightens the tension a LOT to use his voice more extensively.

Apple Bloom’s family tells her to rescind the Apple part of her name, showing a bunch of pictures of the Apple family with Apple Bloom’s face cut out to show her very real fear of being disowned by her family. She knows how seriously her family takes apples, and it’s clear that she’s intimidated by the name she’s meant to live up to. Such insane, off-the-wall scenes are what makes season 5 so great: it doesn’t hold back on making episodes about the wildest things.

Pinkie Pie first wore this chicken outfit in an episode focused on Luna.
Could this be a hint that Luna is soon to appear?

Since we’ve now moved past the rule of three, Apple Bloom’s fourth dream starts with a distinct “what’s going to go wrong this time?” mood. She falls out of bed wrapped in her blanket and gets up in a sour mood, then we get a very well-placed lapse of humor with the obligatory “cock-a-doodle-doo” being played by a floating Pinkie Pie. This gag is easy to miss, but if you see it, it lightens up the mood a bit without compromising the bizarro factor of these dreams. Pinkie Pie provides all the best background gags throughout season 5, I’m telling you.

At first, Apple Bloom looks in the mirror and is relieved to see she has no cutie mark, but then her cutie mark keeps switching to all sorts of things. The freaky factor is cranked up a notch when her cutie mark becomes a picture of her face and winks, which leads to this crazy scene scored with backwards-sounding music:

Hmm… could the helmet on the bottom left be foreshadowing that we’re soon to meet yaks in this season?

This episode completes the pattern of the Cutie Mark Crusaders having episodes where they have freaky dreams and eventually meet Luna, and this one’s without a doubt the craziest of all. I think you get my point now: season 5 goes as wild as it possibly can. This is a natural thing to happen around the midpoint of a show: it’s after all the obvious ideas have been done, but before we start getting a ton of new locations and characters to set the later seasons apart.

Back in the dark forest once more, Apple Bloom talks to the mysterious voice who claims to only ever do what Apple Bloom wants. But then Luna enters the scene, revealing that the haunting voice was nothing more than Apple Bloom’s shadow—a symbol of the fears and worries that have been haunting her, represented in the ever-changing spirit of dream logic. Luna raises the moon to get rid of the shadow, then has an honest talk with Apple Bloom.

Luna blows away a cloud that was raining over Apple Bloom in this sequence, symbolizing her special skill in helping others face their fears.

Luna: I don’t suppose there’s anything you’re particularly afraid of, is there?
Apple Bloom: … Yeah. I guess I’m pretty worried about getting my cutie mark.
Luna: Well, that is the same as worrying about who you are. That is all a cutie mark is. If you cannot accept who you are, your life might seem like a bad dream.
Apple Bloom: But… if I like who I am… do you think other ponies will, too?
Luna: Of course.
Apple Bloom: Then it doesn’t matter what my cutie mark is!
Luna: Indeed.
Apple Bloom: But that’s so simple. I must be the only pony in the universe this worried about her cutie mark.
Luna: Oh… I wouldn’t say that.

This scenario Apple Bloom is describing is all too real: getting carried away with a worry about life that sounds very silly if you spell it out, and thinking that you’re the only person who has this worry to such an extent. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo similarly felt that they were alone in their worries in their respective dream episodes, and it’s once more Luna’s turn to prove them otherwise.

This scene made me realize Slice of Life is only five episodes away!

When Luna shows us a dream of Sweetie Belle’s, I can easily imagine fans screaming in excitement at this very scene. Octavia Melody and Vinyl Scratch are seen together for the first time ever, giving us some major fanservice that for some might distract from the emotional factor this scene is supposed to have. But I don’t think their presence is solely for the sake of fanservice. It also conveys how Sweetie Belle dreams of fame and glamour much like her big sister. In this performance, her singing is about to be judged by two highly experienced musicians who work in contrasting genres, plus Rarity who has some musical experience in the Ponytones. Much like the start of her dream in For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils, this sequence shows that Sweetie Belle would love to get recognition for her artistic endeavors, but doesn’t get it quite as easily as Rarity does.

As Sweetie Belle takes a deep breath and gets ready to sing, she gets her cutie mark and it turns out to be a broom and bucket. Even though she easily deduced near the start of the episode why Babs Seed got scissors as a cutie mark, this scene shows that there’s a part of her that worries her own cutie mark won’t make any sense. Maybe Sweetie Belle fears that all she’ll ever be considered good at is cleaning up messes, which is something Rarity has often made her do. Or maybe she just thinks being a cleaning pony is an incredibly unglamorous job to have, which would also be a parallel with Rarity.

Look at Rarity. She can’t even bring herself to watch this disaster.

Vinyl and Octavia rate Sweetie Belle’s performance a zero, while Rarity gives it a 1. Now, the obvious interpretation of this scene, and clearly the intended one, is that Rarity is taking a small amount of pity on her sister. But I’m going to offer a much less obvious interpretation of this scene. Could it be that Rarity thought the lowest score on this rating system was 1 instead of 0, and meant to grade Sweetie Belle just as harshly as the other two did? We can only assume the ratings were on a scale of 0 to 10, but who knows for sure? See, this is why I don’t like rating things on a numerical scale. Everyone has their own interpretation of what those numbers mean; for some, 6 out of 10 might mean “bad but not horrible”, while for others it could mean “good but not amazing”, and “worst thing ever created” might be 1 out of 10 for some, or 0 out of 10 for others. This is why I use letter grades for my episode reviews; while there’s still some ambiguity in what people might take grades to mean, and some people like to make S or SS or SSS for things they especially like which I think defeats the point of having A as the highest, I clearly outlined what each grade means in my review of the first episode. So if you interpret this scene in just the right way, it could be taken not as an example of someone giving their sibling a slight amount of leeway, but a demonstration of why a scale from 1 to 10 is not a good way to rate things.

This was a ridiculous tangent even for me. But I couldn’t resist, OK? Next up, we see one of Scootaloo’s dreams.

Scootaloo’s dream starts with her about to ride her scooter down a huge ramp, expecting to earn her cutie mark for it, until this happens:

But then, Scootaloo suddenly gets a cutie mark in cooking, and her scooter turns into a whisk. This is amusing at first until she lands into a river of cream and screams for her life as she fails to pedal her way out. Both Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo’s dreams featured fears of their own besides just cutie marks: Sweetie Belle fears making a fool of herself, and Scootaloo is afraid of getting into a dangerous situation with no one to help her. Scootaloo is all alone in her dream, certainly without a Rainbow Dash to save her, and this might suggest that she’s used to being alone and having to figure things out for herself. This is a lot like her bad dreams in Sleepless in Ponyville, and it sadly seems like those types of dreams haven’t gone away.

I must say, I’m a real sucker for dream scenery.

Apple Bloom is surprised to learn that her two best friends are having nightmares similar to hers, so Luna takes her to the other two Crusaders in a dream meeting. Both of them are adorably excited to see Luna, and here’s a part that tugs at the heartstrings. When Scootaloo realizes she’s dreaming, she gleefully starts flying because she knows she might never be able to in real life. This is part of the allure of dreams: there’s some things you get to freely do there that you can’t do in real life, and even though dreams are just your imagination, they still provide comfort to many. Like if you dream about someone who died in real life being alive all along, or stumbling into someone who you had lost contact with years ago and having a merry reunion… I’ve had these types of dreams a lot. Maybe you have too? Even though this episode is about Apple Bloom, there’s something distinctly bittersweet about Scootaloo flying in her dream.

Look at Luna’s smile when Apple Bloom initiates her dream meeting and makes honk noises with her hoof. This is the face of someone who’s joyed by seeing these goofy kids laugh and have fun. Luna spent so much of her life resenting that no one seemed to enjoy the night, and now she’s seeing some fillies who do.

This dream meeting is an appropriate setting for Apple Bloom to give a little speech that serves as this episode’s moral. For starters, their cutie marks won’t change who they are, and once they get theirs, it’s sure to be something that suits them well. But since cutie marks don’t exist in reality, there’s also something more applicable to viewers: your friends are likely to share your worries about growing up, and it’s good to face them together. Apple Bloom then suggests to bring Babs Seed a care package, which is rather sweet of the Crusaders. They realized it’s possible that their fellow kind-of-maybe Cutie Mark Crusader is worried about growing up too, so they’re taking initiative to help her out.

Applejack and Apple Bloom sing another short song here which may or may not count as a musical number.

Apple Bloom wakes up for real and has breakfast with her family, and I have one question. Do you think the Crusaders are going to remember to give Babs a care package? Once you wake up from a dream, it doesn’t take long for your memory of it to fade no matter how enthralling it was. But maybe Apple Bloom’s series of dreams is a lucky exception—one of those rare dreams that sticks in your memory for many years to come. Since all three Cutie Mark Crusaders shared that last part of the dream, it’s three times as likely that they’re going to remember that care package. So will Babs Seed get that care package or not? Maybe even if the Crusaders sent it, Derpy Hooves might be put in charge of delivering it and she’d accidentally send it to some other location like Las Pegasus. Or maybe the care package ended up with Gabby from the griffon kingdom, and that’s how she learned about the Cutie Mark Crusaders? Oh, whatever. I’m at the end of the episode now, and I should really stop rambling.

Overall thoughts:

Some viewers might view this episode as a tired storm of dream cliches, but I personally really love this one. It’s a great completion of the trilogy of episodes where the Cutie Mark Crusaders meet Luna in their dreams, bringing it all together by focusing on the issue that caused the Crusaders to become a thing. Apple Bloom’s nightmare sequences are a total wild ride that’s unsettling in all the right ways, and they eventually lead to an eye-opening meeting between her and Luna where the other Crusaders join. I think I have a soft spot for dream sequences in any media. The scenery is always so otherworldly and gets me immersed in the characters’ minds, and they often lead characters to have an important revelation about themselves.

Grade: A

Now that I think of it, a lot of things I enjoy about this episode are also things I like about For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils. What can I say? I think dreams are cool.

Miscellaneous notes:

  • Look at Sweetie Belle’s reaction to the possibility of Babs Seed being a celebrity stylist. That is such an extremely Rarity face to make, and it shows she shares her big sister’s romanticization of Manehattan. As I talked about extensively last season, she and Rarity really aren’t that different deep down.
  • When Apple Bloom screams that she got her cutie mark in her first dream, a few of the rainbow bats we saw in Apple Family Reunion fly out of a nearby tree. That’s a nice little callback clearly meant for viewers with a sharp eye to pick up on. There’s a lot of those in season 5.
  • Though Apple Bloom’s cutie mark winking is undoubtedly a freakish scene, there is one other pony whose cutie mark we’ve seen animate: Cheese Sandwich. But celebrity guest characters tend to be special cases anyway.

While this episode focused on the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ uncertainties about the future, the next one has Rainbow Dash deny a certainty about the future.

See you next week for a surprisingly emotional Rainbow Dash episode and another Cutie Mark Crusaders episode. The first of them will have a lengthy review, the second a more modest one.

>> Part 45: Tanks for the Memories + Appleoosa’s Most Wanted

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