Friendship is Magic is not only a very entertaining show, it’s also moral based. Throughout the two seasons it was genuine in the messages it gave. Whether it be learning to act with grace and humility, or sharing and caring, there was always something to take out of it. But never had it attempted to do an episode with a ‘current’ issue. One Bad Apple is the episode about bullying that was announced last month. Apple Bloom’s cousin from Manehatten (love the city names in this show) comes and ends up becoming a bully. In the end, the episode succeeds in its purpose greatly, and even gives us a pretty good new character.
Here’s the official episode description from The Hub:
“The Cutie Mark Crusaders are crushed when Apple Bloom’s cousin, Babs Seed, rejects their invitation to become a fellow Crusader and instead becomes a bully determined to make their lives miserable.”
It starts out with Apple Bloom getting all crazy about what to wear to make a good impression on her incoming cousin, Babs. Applejack is of course annoyed by the craziness and then reveals Babs actually doesn’t have a Cutie Mark, which changes Apple Bloom’s perspective. First off, I thought it was pretty neat to get ‘a slice of life’ in the house of Applejack, I don’t think we’ve ever seen inside her house. Once Apple Bloom rounds up Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, they all head to the train station to welcome Babs. My first ever episode from the series was The Show Stoppers, so I’ve always had a liking to the Cutie Mark Crusaders and their crazy endeavors. This time we have a new filly in the form of Babs. She’s established really well early on, unsure and even slightly shy. Cindy Marrow handles the writing in this one, and it’s strong throughout. Once Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon pop up, Babs decides to join them and bully the Crusaders. It may seem like a sudden switch, but it actually isn’t when you get deeper into the episode. One of my favorite pieces of dialogue is when Apple Bloom tells Babs “That’s not fair Babs, we didn’t do anything to you!” Indeed, that’s the case there and in real life.
Like Meghan McCarthy said, we do a get a pretty catchy song. I don’t think it’ll go down as a classic like Winter Wrap Up or At the Gala, but it’s still pretty good. Later in the episode we see the Cutie Mark Crusaders plotting to get back at Babs. It’s true, retaliation when you could give it back to a bully is a first response. It’s only when Applejack reveals to them that Babs was coming to the farm because she was bullied back in Manehatten (saying that word never gets old) when they realize they are in error and that they became bullies themselves. Now it could be argued whether or not Applejack should have said that in the beginning. On one hand I understand that she didn’t want to single Babs out, on the other hand it also would have made sense for Applejack to have revealed that in the beginning. But either way, the only thing I was disappointed in was some of the potential with other characters, I would have liked the Crusaders to talk with the Mane 6 about bullying and get their perspectives. Oh, and Pinkie Pie’s randomness never fails to inject a good smile. “Hey, don’t leave me!” as she stands in a pile of leaves and laughs at her own un-realized joke.
Overall, a solid episode that succeeds in its purpose. We learn that there could very well be deeper circumstances when it comes to bullying. We also learn that in wanting to give retaliation, we eventually could turn into bullies ourselves. This line from Sweetie Belle sums up the episode pretty well, “Why does life have to be so ironic?!”