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S5 E20: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
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© 2015 - 2019 Esuka
Get it? Cause rocks? It's, it's a- I'll go.

Anyway, as to this episode. I think they missed the holiday window by a few weeks, but they would have been squeezing it in right at the end of the season otherwise. This was a pretty fun episode, and we got to meet a lot of characters finally. It was interesting to see the Pie sisters with personality, and get an idea of how each of them developed. The parents remain virtually sans character, but that feels intentional. It was good also to see Pinkie and Applejack try to negotiate the scenario, something they both want but don't necessarily grasp the whole of. Pinkie understands both parties, but can't explain them properly, while AJ was lacking half of the critical information. The rest of the apples kind of existed to provide some insight later, but were mostly just foils to work with their Pie counterparts.

I think the big question of this episode is whether AJ's actions made sense for her, and I'd say yes. While perhaps an extreme, her big sister attitude and some reluctance to change from what she knows makes this response to the Pie traditions believable, if not reasonable. That said, I imagine most folks have encountered something other people do regularly that they just can't understand. In some cases, you can roll with it, and in some cases you might try to negotiate it. In uncomfortable cases, you try to navigate back to the familiar as fast as you can. Could AJ have talked the problem out and discovered things faster? Sure, but that doesn't suit the mare of action that she is.

While it's no Hearth's Warming Eve, this was a nice episode with some wonderful characters. Maud has managed to make her way back a few times, so maybe we'll see some more of the other Pie sisters too.

MLP:FiM is (c) Hasbro.
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Comments (9)
ChaosPhantom444's avatar
A good episode.
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horsebuttlover's avatar
horsebuttlover|Student Digital Artist
A good episode indeed, best suited as a time-traveling time capsule.
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SeriousJupiter's avatar
I loved this episode. We finally got to meet the whole Pie family outside of flashbacks and they were awesome. Well, Limestone was a bitch, but I liked everyone else. The moral of the episode was pretty good, even though it was almost exactly the same moral as in Party Pooped, another season 5 Pinkie episode. I guess they're running out of useful lessons to teach the kids. Anyway, I thought it was funny how Applejack turned out to be the only Apple who really disagreed with the Pies' traditions in the end. Even the other Apples looked awkward when they saw what she had done to the rock farm. I love Applejack, and I even liked how her biggest character flaw, her stubbornness, was used in this episode. Everyone can always use some more character development, after all.

The interactions between the two families in this episode were very entertaining. I smirked at the mutual awkwardness/attraction between Big Mac and Marble and Granny Smith not quite understanding Iggy and Big Mama Q's Ye Olde Englishe was hilarious. Maud was great as always. She's definitely my favorite Pie sister. I don't think I actually found anything cringe-worthy in this episode, which might be the first time for me when it comes to Pinkie episodes. She was definitely less annoying than usual in this one. I found her and Applejack speaking in unison quite unrealistic, but hey, Pinkie has so many superpowers that I probably shouldn't question it.

One especially interesting thing about this episode was the fact that it was the second winter seen in this season alone, and the fourth winter seen in the whole show. It seems clear to me that this episode took place exactly one year after Tanks for the Memories, because Apple Bloom had her Cutie Mark. So, it basically means that when the season finale arrives, Starlight Glimmer will have waited for her chance for revenge against the Mane Six for over a year, maybe even closer to two years. Wow. Also, my theory is that pretty much every season before this one has lasted for at least a year based on all the holidays and events that have been mentioned in the episodes. (In other words, Rainbow Dash's "first" winter with Tank was a load of bullshit.) It is extremely weird that in all that time, the CMC haven't grown an inch and the Cake twins have remained babies, but I suppose the animators must have been told not to age them for whatever reason, because otherwise the CMC would probably look like teenagers and the Cake twins would be at least three or four years old by now. Anyway, now that the CMC have their Marks and there's a royal baby on the way, perhaps we'll get to see some physical growth for the CMC and the baby Cakes in the next season. I certainly hope so.

My final score: 9/10.
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0Alfa's avatar
Imagine if they aired this episode on like July or something..! :lol:
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SublimeNocturne's avatar
Knowing AJ, she is a traditional and family-oriented mare with a stubborn streak and her level-headed judgment tends to fall apart when it comes to family and business matters. Her actions are plausible since there is precedence of her going overboard with family and tradition before as in Somepony to Watch Over Me and Apple Family Reunion.

It didn't help her bewilderment of the Pie traditions either when Pinkie didn't elaborate on what her family did for the holiday specifically despite her claims of shared traditions between the two families prior to the visit. In that case, AJ went into the situation with the presumption that the Pies did exactly what the Apples did in the same manner. Thus, the impact of being thrown off was even greater as it didn't meet her expectations initially.

All in all, it's cool to see more of the main characters' families fleshed out and the continuance of the minor storyline introduced in Pinkie Apple Pie.
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NickLozano2793's avatar
Rarity (Angry) Plz "Dumb rock!"
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987tails's avatar
987tails|Hobbyist Artist
rarity and tom was the worst date ever anyways. he was too solid, quiet and when hes rolling, he doesnt stop XP 
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Grogar-the-oneser's avatar
Good review also (I'm quoting for the most part here) Limestone is so much like Applejack that you know neither of them are going to admit it: pushy, domineering and, ultimately, with a huge responsibility complex that they and they alone can keep their respective family businesses going. unquote
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