It’s nice to wake up on a Saturday morning knowing a new My Little Pony episode is on the way. (It reminds me of the glorious Saturday morning Fox Box/Kids WB days.) Season 6 premiered with a solid two-parter. It wasn’t the best opener, but still pretty good. Interestingly, unlike the premieres for the last two seasons, no ongoing plot was established. The last couple of seasons had a story which ran through most of the episodes culminating in a grand ending. It seems that Season 6 is returning to the style of Season 1 & 2, being completely episodic. Good or bad thing? On one hand the episodic nature of MLP can’t be beat by any other show. On the other hand after ongoing plot elements it can be tough to return to form. With that said, “The Gift of the Maud Pie” is a very solid team-up & sisterly episode. There are quite a few things to like.
Here’s the official episode description from Discovery Family:
While in Manehattan looking for the ideal location for her new store, Rarity has to help Pinkie Pie find the perfect gift for her sister, Maud – without Maud finding out.
Siblings aren’t always super identical. Often they have diverse personalities, which is one of the reasons why Maud Pie quickly became a fan favorite back in her debut episode in Season 4. Pinkie Pie is so hyper & energetic that her friends would assume everyone in her family was too. How shocked they were when they saw how low-key Maud was, a complete opposite to Pinkie. She is a fun character to have around, even if the ponies in-episode might not agree. Here she is really solid, perfectly delivering the message herself at the end. Sometimes in life we can get caught up with gift giving that it can become a competition and the real meaning is lost: the present simply as an expression of love. The sisterly dynamic between her and Pinkie is always great to watch.
Besides Maud, the aspect I liked most about the episode is that’s it’s also a team-up for Rarity and Pinkie. The two have of course shared many dialogues together, but never actually had the focus set on them. The two make for a cool Brave and the Bold focus, with Pinkie prancing around with her head in the clouds not really caring how the city ponies function while Rarity is more down to earth. My favorite ongoing plot point here is how Rarity wants to help Pinkie acquire the perfect gift for Maud. (Even if it meant Rarity enduring Maud’s dialogue about the latter’s boulder.) We see Rarity’s focus go from doing business in Manehattan to helping her friend, which was great to watch. The best scene was when Rarity notices Pinkie is not acting like herself, so she gets Pinkie to tell her what’s wrong so she can help. This best exemplifies the concept of friendship in the show.
Arguably the most powerful scene is when Pinkie makes a great sacrifice so she can get the perfect present for her sister. How all this comes together in the climax was heartwarming to watch, though with a new character’s ending rather anti-climatic. I did like how this character was on the onset presented, being a blackmailer bargainer. One noticeable plot hole was when Pinkie was shouting about getting the rock pouch for Maud. There’s no way the latter didn’t hear that. The background music in this season seems to be considerably stronger than previous seasons thus far. Rarity gets elegant themes, followed by secretive detective-like music and more. Manehattan always makes for a fun setting since we’re so used to the more suburb-like Ponyville. There’s parodies of Times Square and even the Statue of Liberty. Also of course, we finally got to see an actual police pony. (Do they simply not exist in Ponyville?)
Overall, “The Gift of the Maud Pie” is a solid, even great episode. The title character alongside Pinkie is a great combo to watch. Friendship is such an important subject in the show that family isn’t as often portrayed. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, but it’d be nice to see the show explore the family relationships for each of the Mane 6 more often. (That’s why I’m especially looking forward to the episode which introduces Fluttershy’s mysterious brother.) Rarity showcases what a great friend she is, not that there’s any surprise of course. New writers Michael P. Fox and Will Fox deliver a quality installment.