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Toonzone Bronies - "We would be honored to have you." ~ Twilight Sparkle
Also just realized it would've also been nice if Pinkie got accusations flung back, accusing her of eating the cake as well, and as such it was also a proof of innocence tale which also showed her how awful it is to be hit with baseless accusations.
Doesn't change the fact that this was a good episode, but you have to wonder...
1) Don't suspect people based purely on their looks or simply because you don't like them.
2) Do not let your friends take the blame for actions that you caused.
Pfft, I'm too tired to think of anything else but yeah, I have to say for the final regular episode of season two, this one was enjoyable and it was nice to see ALL of the mane six together with some fun new characters as well.
No one mentioned this earlier but I will say that I am glad that the griffon character wasn't a 'jerk' character much like Gilda and in the end wasn't the culprit of the entire thing. Sure, he was stand-offish in his behavior but in the end, he was more than willing to help everyone (as was Mulia and Joe of course) and admitted that the mousse was delicious despite his comments of it earlier. I guess this goes to show that all the writers aren't going to follow the entire 'X characters are going to be jerks, no exceptions' rule that I was afraid was going to happen. 'Sides from that, WOOT! MORE GRIFFONS! 8D
Toonzone Bronies - "We would be honored to have you." ~ Twilight Sparkle
I'm currently rewatching the series between the end of season 2 and the start of season 3, with two episodes per week. There's really no way to adjust my viewing rate at this point.
The title of this episode is, of course, a reference to Murder on the Orient Express, most well known for its twist ending where everyone on the train was involved in one of the crimes to occur. That did not necessarily mean that this would be the case in this episode, though, since the title choice could have just been for the sake of the pun. A common theory was that it would turn out that Pinkie accidentally ate the cake in her sleep, since it seemed far more likely than actually placing any of the characters at fault. I was glad that that wasn't the case, since it would have reflected badly on Pinkie's ability to control and take responsibility for herself.
I'll get this out of the way: this episode has a lot of alliteration. While it would be a problem if it was a common part of the series, I enjoyed its presence in just this episode. In particular, the alliteration lends a nice sound to Pinkie's descriptions of the desserts, which explains why they were able to drive everyone else to eating them. There are also amusing puns like “pegassistance” during the pre-credits sequence throughout the episode.
The pre-credit sequence is taken up by Big Mac carrying the cake to the train and the others helping. It's strange that he would have trouble carrying the cake after being able to pull a house, but I imagine a large part of it is balance. There's also the fact that he's carrying it on his back, as opposed to pulling it. Plus, who knows, maybe the cake is actually around the same weight as a house. Tiered cakes like that usually are very heavy, to my understanding, and this an exaggerated cartoon cake. Cup and Carrot Cake's panic over the cake falling is amusing, especially with Carrot fainting.
The sequence of everyone coming to help with the cake goes on a bit too long in my opinion, but it's still amusing. I think the shot with Twilight when Pinkie calls for her help is quite adorable. On a side note, it's hard to imagine Twilight as being anything other than a college student when she's reading with a wheat drink in a coffee cup next to her. For some reason, Twilight chooses to make a force field around the cake instead of using telekinesis, and this is another appearance of the force field before “A Canterlot Wedding” that I had completely forgotten about. I did like that it's the Cakes' nervousness that forces Pinkie to bring in Rarity and Applejack for extra help, instead of another near disaster. Finally, the cake being too big to fit in the door is an amusing end to this sequence.
I liked how they just had Big Mac take down the side of the train cart and then put it back up, though I don't know what he hopes to accomplish by hammering where he does. Applejack is clearly set up to be a red herring here, with her being the only one to try a taste openly and drooling the most at Pinkie's description. How blatant of a red herring she is is one reason why I prefer not having Applejack be one of the culprits, which was what was originally planned. Right before Gustav enters, you can see Fluttershy get, er... really really excited about the cake, with her excitement lifting her off her feet when even Rainbow Dash is still grounded. Perhaps nearly everything about the cake was one of her weaknesses, which overrode her usual kindness.
We are then introduced to the other chefs. I liked that we finally got another griffin in Gustav, who not only acts completely differently from Gilda, but his eagle half is even a different species. Despite being French, he's based on a bald eagle. In general, I do like his design, especially with his mustache. Donut Joe returns, having previously been named Pony Joe but definitely the same character. I like that they had Twilight recognize him and even explained why he would be in Ponyville instead of already being at Canterlot. By the way, given that he recognized Twilight in “The Best Night Ever”, I'm actually surprised that the fans haven't done more to explore how they know each other. I suppose there wouldn't be much more to it than Twilight frequenting his restaurant for breakfast and coffee, but I imagine that perhaps he tried to talk to her a lot, only for Twilight to politely try to end the conversation as quickly as possible so she could get back to reading while eating. In any case, his overdramatic presentation of his dessert's superiority is amusing. Lastly, while Pinkie trying to talk to the mousse moose is amusing, there's not much to Mulia other than being a Julia Child parody. Still, it's interesting to see a mule play a major role in an episode.
By the way, while Donut Joe was explained, we don't know what Gustav and Mulia were doing in Ponyville. Pinkie knows everyone in town, but she doesn't appear to recognize them, she had never seen a griffin before Gilda, and I don't think she'd be so suspicious of others from Ponyville, so they are likely from out of town. I would say I'm surprised the fans haven't latched onto this, but I don't think many even thought of this.
Overall, the crew did a great job making all the desserts actually look appetizing. Well, not really the mousse moose. I'd say Donutopia actually looks the tastiest. Also, I just noticed that none of the other chefs were present for anything except the very end of Pinkie's description of MMMM, which explains why they didn't do anything during the night.
By the way, it's very clearly still morning outside, so I have no clue why everyone's already going to sleep. I'll just assume it's actually supposed to be night and the morning background was just something that was overlooked. Still, it's strange that it takes a trip through the night to get to Canterlot when other episodes show the trip as taking a few hours as most. I can't come up with any Watsonian (in-universe) explanation for that, so I'll just go with the Doylist (out-of-universe) explanation that it's for the sake of the plot.
It's interesting seeing everyone's reactions to Pinkie standing guard knowing who takes a bite out of the cake. Fluttershy looks nervous while Rainbow Dash seems to be taking it as a challenge. Rarity doesn't show much of a reaction, though; maybe she just has a better poker face.
When everyone strikes, while you don't see the clues that Twilight ultimately finds to implicate Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, you can fairly clearly see their silhouettes. With Fluttershy, while she's wearing a hat, her tail is still recognizable. I did find it a bit strange that Pinkie Pie didn't think to investigate the conductor or even look around the room. With Rarity, we don't get a silhouette, but we actually do get a pretty good view of her fake eyelash on the painting. I did like how with the way everyone acted, it's still possible for the culprits to be the chefs. Gustav is perfectly capable of flying, Fluttershy sticks to the ground so it could have been Mulia, and Joe is a unicorn like Rarity.
It's interesting that no one struck while Pinkie was actually asleep; apparently, in the original version of the script, this was when Applejack took a bite. Pinkie waking up and scratching her head is quite adorable. Notably, Pinkie didn't notice any damage to the cake, despite being at the right angle at some points. A downside of the ability to break the fourth wall?
Throughout the rest of the episode, Rarity has one of her eyes covered with her hair. I think it's a nice look for this episode, and my first time through, I assumed it was just to match the setting. I don't think anyone actually thought about her fake eyelashes when it aired, despite them being established in “The Best Night Ever”.
Twilight correcting Pinkie about “whodunnit” and Pinkie just getting more confused is funny. Though Twilight explicitly says that she reads a lot of mystery novels, it seems Pinkie does too, given how familiar she is with the cliches, but she neglected to pay attention to the process of solving mysteries. Anyway, Pinkie bringing out the hats and pipe and relegating Twilight to the Watson role is amusing.
Pinkie then starts her wild accusations of the other chefs. All of her imagination scenes are very amusing, and I don't think anyone was ever expecting them. One thing to note is that even after Twilight points out that the cake wasn't sliced, Pinkie keeps on imagining it was. I was quite surprised that the “Con Mane” section actually included Joe using Golden Harvest as a table and having mares hang off his legs at the end, considering the target audience. I like how Twilight unintentionally offended Joe by calling him big, gruff, and messy, and I love how excited he got when Rarity said he'd look dapper in a tuxedo. Now did he get excited because of the compliment, or Rarity giving the compliment? I'm surprised the fans haven't done much with this.
Notably, Pinkie's explanation for why she suspects one of the chefs actually does make sense: none of the other desserts were eaten, despite the others being delicious-looking too, so it must have been sabotage. She just failed to take into consideration her food descriptions. When Pinkie describes the other desserts, you can tell which chef ate which dessert by seeing who is shown when each one is described, except for the eclairs. Only Mulia is shown for Donutopia, and Gustav is the one with the strongest reaction (drooling) when the mousse moose is described, leaving Joe for the eclairs by elimination. A common theory was that the mousse moose was a real moose and the culprit, but of course that theory was shot down when it was eaten. In any case, I love the use of the train going into a tunnel, causing all the lights to go out and another “murder” to occur.
I also loved all the hat switching during this section of the episode, and Twilight cleaning off the bubble pipe before she starts using it. Is it wrong that my first thought during that scene when I first watched this episode was that shippers were denied an indirect kiss? Pinkie walking backwards to retrace her steps is great due to Twilight's reaction.
At this point, I thought for sure that the real crime occurred while Pinkie was asleep, but I realized that Twilight had no choice but to investigate the time before that, since Pinkie obviously had no testimony for that time. I was disappointed that we weren't allowed to see the clues that Twilight finds until the summation, but as I pointed out, there were other clues that only the viewer was privy to, so it's not as bad as it could have been. At first I found it strange that Twilight wouldn't show Pinkie the clues, but I imagine she knew that Pinkie would just jump to a conclusion before investigating further.
It's a good demonstration of the moral that even after Twilight was sure that Rainbow Dash was the culprit, she continued to follow up on the rest of Pinkie's testimony and thus discovered that there was more to it than she thought. It's kind of strange that Twilight didn't ask the conductor about what he did last night, but I suppose she would have done that if the hat turned up no clues. Note that when Twilight removes the fake eyelash from the painting, we see it both before and after. On another note, while Pinkie carrying around hats makes sense, why would Twilight have envelopes with her?
I will admit, I was caught off guard by main characters being culprits. I thought for sure that it would turn out that all three chefs ate from the cake, since there was no way the episode would place main characters at fault. Fluttershy being a culprit caught me off guard even after I recovered from the surprise of Rainbow Dash.
It's interesting that Twilight describes clues as something that a criminal should make sure never to leave behind. Feeling pride about the fact that she didn't leave any clues? I like how Rainbow Dash reacts by cowering when the feather is unveiled while everyone else gasps, and when Fluttershy's hair is unveiled, her eyes get small while everyone else gets wider eyes. Rainbow Dash saying she doesn't have pink in her hair is amusing given that G3 Rainbow Dash actually did have pink in her hair instead of red. Given how Rarity was putting on fake eyelashes in front of the other main characters in “The Best Night Ever”, I'm guessing her reaction to being revealed to have fake eyelashes is due to having this be revealed in front of strangers. In any case, her overreaction to that and under-reaction to admitting she took a bite out of the cake is amusing.
A lot of people had problems with the fact that three of the main characters would eat the cake, especially in the case of Fluttershy, who hadn't demonstrated moral failings like this before (that didn't involve her going completely overboard). Personally, I'm fine with the idea that Fluttershy would do something like this in the dark of night with a disguise when she thinks she won't be caught. I like that the characters in this show aren't saints all the time, and can have moral failings outside of episodes focusing on them. Besides, as I pointed out before, Pinkie's description of the cake got her really excited. Incidentally, I think it's actually fairly likely that Fluttershy was the one to take the biggest bite, on the lowest tier, both because it's funny and because she actually had the longest time with the cake. Rainbow Dash took the smallest bite at the top, which she reached through flight.
Concerning why they'd even think of doing something that would ruin something so important to their friends, I imagine that, given what Rarity says, all of them only intended to take a small bite and cover it up with frosting, like Applejack would have done in the original version of the script. However the smell and tastiness was too much and they all took huge bites. People also didn't like Pinkie forgiving them so easily. I admit, I would have preferred to see them get chewed out about it a bit more.
In any case, I like that Applejack taking a bite was removed from the episode, both because she wouldn't be a red herring otherwise, and because while having half the main cast be culprits is fine, once you do more than that, it wouldn't feel quite right unless all of them were culprits. If Applejack took a bite, I feel that it would have been necessary to do a full Murder on the Orient Express reference by also revealing that Twilight snuck in a bite and maybe that Pinkie did do some eating in her sleep. Otherwise, what was it about Twilight that made her so above it all?
It's good to see Pinkie take responsibility for solving the mystery of the other desserts, because otherwise she would have just failed at everything in the episode. Plus, it shows that she learned her lesson. We didn't get any clues for this mystery beforehand at all, but it didn't feel like a major mystery, so it was fine.
The solution to entering the contest is a clever one, and looks quite delicious. I love how Celestia's love for cake from the previous episode appears again here, and the Fifth Doctor appears!... with a different cutie mark. It's a shame that only Celestia and Pinkie get a taste of it, though. I wonder how the prize money (if there was any) was handled, and most of all, I wonder how the Cakes reacted to all this.
I thought the moral about jumping to conclusions was handled well, especially since, as mentioned, Twilight continued investigating even after she was sure that Rainbow Dash was the culprit. Overall, the episode was very entertaining, and I didn't have as much of a problem with three of the main characters being culprits as a lot of other people. Regardless, the beginning sequence went on for a bit too long and I would have preferred having a scene at the end involving the Cakes, perhaps with them fainting after hearing what happened.
And next week will be the end of this review series.
Last edited by SigmasonicX; 10-09-2012 at 07:20 PM.
Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.
Toon Addict for Life and "gated community" member since August, 2002.
"ph34r t3h cute ones" -Megatokyo
Yeah I know it's a kid's show, but on the other hand, they could've done better with all the intrigue being made from this.
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