Like it or not, My Little Pony with this season has taken a different route. The slice of life stories with messages has been replaced with random adventures and an overarching arc. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you. Take this episode for example, one that is definitely the most random out the season. Out of all the episodes so far, ‘BATS!’ was the most mysterious. No one really knew what to expect. There wasn’t much hype until the last few days, and that was only on the song. So…how good is ‘BATS!?’ ‘BATS!‘ is no all-star, but definitely fun because of FLUTTERBAT.
Here’s the official episode description from The Hub:
When Applejack’s beautiful orchard falls under attack on Apple Bucking Day, it is clear that the dreaded Vampire Fruitbats have returned and Applejack is ready to take drastic measures to protect the orchard. However, the always compassionate Fluttershy argues for a more humane plan, which causes conflict between the two and could cost them their friendship.
The interesting thing about this episode is that at first it’s an Applejack one, then a Fluttershy and Applejack one, then in the end it turns into a Mane 6 adventure. It’s up to you to decide which criteria it falls under. The last creature swarm episode was way back in the classic Season 1 episode, ‘Swarm of the Century.’ The vampire fruit bats may not go down as classic like the always amazing Parasprites, but they were decent enough. Merriwether Williams has a very interesting writing career for the show. She wrote the strong ‘Hearth’s Warming Eve‘ and ‘Putting Your Hoof Down,‘ the pretty good ‘Wonderbolts Academy,’ the alright ‘Mysterious Mare Do-Well’ and ‘Spike at Your Service,’ and the rather weak ‘Dragon Quest.’ This episode is better than the latter three, but doesn’t quite come close to the first two. The writing isn’t bad though, Pinkie Pie stood out with her funny comedy scenes. (Something this season has struggled with.)
One of the biggest things about this episode is the song. It’s definitely catchy and works great. It won’t go down as classic, but it works well enough. This episode poses an interesting dilemma for Fluttershy, when she has to choose between defending the fruit bats and helping her friends. It’s interesting because besides her friends, the #1 thing she loves are animals. This conflict has never been explored in the show, so it was neat to see it touched upon. Of course, the big surprise that somehow was kept a secret is Flutterbat. A vampire Fluttershy is something only seen in fan-art, so this was truly something else. It does not disappoint and gives the episode a boost of excitement and makes it stand out amidst the many adventures. And judging by the ending, it looks like Vampire Flutter will appear again. Also a big hats off to the design, it’s fantastic.
Overall, ‘BATS!‘, like the majority of Season 4, isn’t particularly great but still a fun enough watch. Vampire fruit bats is a neat concept, but Vampire Fluttershy? Awesome. Last week she Hulked-out, this week she was Batman. (Next time I’m guessing it’ll be Ironshy.) The song is catchy, and the rest of the Mane 6 get some nice lines here and there. The end moral is kinda randomly thrown in, it’s almost as if the Hub execs said, “Alright we need a message thrown in there at the end.” The actual moral is great however, on not letting others pressure you into doing something, even if it means saying no to your friends. Without Flutterbat, ‘BATS!‘ would have been another average Season 4 episode.
Daniel is a huge fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. His favorite is Fluttershy and you can follow him on Twitter: @Destroyer_199