Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 9-10)
Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.
[Dove: D- (see Final Thoughts for my reasoning)]
Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches. Also, if any one person had to recap this whole thing, I think that person would resign.
We open with the Furbob staring in frozen horror as Bumble, Pointer and some other drones approach. At the last second, Megan’s hand appears from the hole in the ground and drags him to safety.
Down in the hole are the Flutter Ponies, Sting, Megan and the Stonebacks. Megan reassures the Furbob that the Stonebacks won’t hurt him, she gives no further information, and everything’s just dandy. Also, he really has no name, she uses his species as a name. They then “fill up the hole”, which means they make a tower of mud leading up to the hole, but leave a gap of several feet between the top of the tower and the actual hole. If “There. I fixed it!” still existed, this would be a perfect submission. [bat: So My Little Pony started that meme before the internet was a thing!]
On top of the ground, Bumble tells Pointer to go after them. He’s afraid of the dark, and you can imagine how sympathetic she is over this, but he manages to manipulate her into leading. She dives into the hole and gets stuck because she’s fat. Pointer drags her out, and they tumble around hilariously.
Down in the hole, Furbob is hiding because he doesn’t trust the Stonebacks. Oh, ok, so this is still going on. Right. He then blows a raspberry at the Stonebacks. Megan asks him why and he explains they always do that, then the Stonebacks chase them, and the Furbobs run away. Megan asks if he’s ever considered that the Stonebacks want to be friends. He says he can’t imagine such a thing.
And of course, you know what this needs? INSPIRATIONAL FRIENDSHIP SONG, BITCHES!
If Megan ever came to my land, I’d duct tape her mouth shut. She’s too damned earnest for my liking. Also, why did that imagine spot have such crappy animation? I could believe it was a style choice, but since the animation is so off everywhere else, it’s easier to believe the animation team got drunk the night before, sent over their pitch as the finalised product and were like “Yeah, it’s a style choice. No, we’re not hungover. Yes, we’re very proud of our work. You see, it’s a metaphor for the Furbob’s lack of imagination.” *faint sound of cheering as the rest of the team applaud this very obviously bullshit statement*
Back to the story though, they cannot move the Sun Stone because it’s too hot – so, shouldn’t they be sweating and maybe having trouble catching their breath, since they’re underground, the hole they came through is largely blocked and the Sun Stone is hot enough to set fire to whatever the plot requires it to?
No problems here though. It’s time to SHIFT TO UTTER FLUTTER, BITCHES.
Within seconds, the stone is cold enough for Megan to pick up. [bat: I feel like somepony should have shouted, “NO HUMAN HANDS CAN EVER TOUCH THE SUN STONE!”] [Dove: And then Megan withers away to dust?]
Now they don’t know where to go, but no problems their either, the Stonebacks will lead the way!
Over with the bees, Bumble is very upset about losing the Sun Stone and insists she and Pointer go to Flutter Valley to get the stone back. How does she know it’s there? Uh… the plot says so?
Over with the Flutter Ponies, they’re upset that it’s nearly sunset, and Flutter Valley will “wilt away”. It’s worth noting that the lighting hasn’t changed at all, and there’s even a rainbow in the background. I guess nobody told the animators. [bat: Why go to all the trouble of painting a sunset background when small children won’t even notice?]
Megan reassures them that she’s on it and she will get stuff done. Then Furbob informs them that the witches have taken Flutter Valley. He adds that he’ll go to Fubobia and get the rest of the Furbobs, they might be able to help. Sting offers to fly Furbob there. I’m sure in the early episodes, they said they couldn’t remember where Furbobia was. And also there were only a handful of Furbobs. Also, if they’re calling the green Furbob “Fubob”, what are they going to call the others? [bat: Furbob Too, Furbob You, Furbob Bob, Furbob Sue…] [Dove: But the Furbobs are programmed to disagree with everything, so there’s a big old fisticuffs over who’s got what name. Hey, wait, the Furbobs haven’t disagreed since that initial scene where it was laid out as their defining characteristic. FFS.]
Over in Flutter Valley, Draggle is running laps as punishment for letting the ponies escape… except the ponies are back in the net – was this addressed? I know I’ve just watched those episodes before I started this recap, but I honestly can’t remember whether the witches re-caught the ponies? Oh well, I’m sure bat will have paid more attention than me. [Dove: Note from bat’s recap, yes, there was a big scene where they were caught on flypaper. It was so weird I guess I repressed the memory.] [bat: Face it, we’re both going to repress A LOT about Flutter Valley.] Also, the ponies in the net are the creepiest things ever. They don’t have bodies. It’s like a bait bag. (“Bait” being the term for ponies that are so damaged the kindest thing is to repurpose them as customs.)
Buttons and Fizzy try to take responsibility for Draggle’s misbehaviour, saying they were only trying to teach her some magic tricks. Uh, no you weren’t, you liars. You were tricking her into letting you go. And I do not approve.
Draggle notices the tinkle of Flutter Pony wings. Hydia summons Ahgg to guard the entrance to Flutter Valley and not let anyone in. Draggle remembers the last time they tried that, so Hydia gives Ahgg an anti-ticklish potion. Ok, that’s nice continuity, I’ll give them that. Hydia says that they now have nothing to fear from “Megan and the Flutter Ponies”. Uh… how does she know Megan’s around?
Back with Megan and co, someone has finally clued in the animators to the fact that sunset is approaching. Also approaching is Ahgg. I don’t know why he doesn’t just web them up and stick them to a wall or something.
The Flutter Ponies say they can fly over Ahgg, but they can’t carry the Sun Stone. Dude, one of you half-carried Megan with only a bee to help. Find something to share-carry the stone.
Megan smugly says she knows how to deal with Ahgg: TICKLING! Except no.
We open where we left off, except the layout has changed between this episode and the previous one.
Rosedust cries that Flutter Valley is doomed and Honeysuckle points out if they’d just killed (she actually says “dealt with”, but we’ve been on this episode long enough for me to understand her subtext) those pesky witches earlier, it wouldn’t have come to this. #HoneysuckleForPrez
Megan reassures them that everything will be fine. And she spots the Stonebacks and decides that they can tunnel underneath Ahgg. Dude, I thought you were on the clock? Sunset is minutes away and you’re planning a tunnel about the length of a tennis court. Do any of you have any engineering degrees? I mean, ideas like this are what prompt headlines like “Child tragically dies in unsupervised tunnel cave-in”. [bat: Does Ponyland even have a free press system? A daily newspaper??] [Dove: OMG, I’ve been dying to share this link, and you just gave me the perfect setup: Behold! The Ponyland Press! Uh, but in-universe, no, I don’t think so. Again, score 1 to FiM, which does.]
They all move out of Ahgg’s line of sight and the Stonebacks start digging. Rosedust says the Flutter Ponies can help dig too. Megan just stands there. Because pretty white saviours don’t do menial labour. They’re just here to take the credit.
Over with the witches, they all have cocktails and they’re toasting to the end of Flutter Valley. This is probably the least dysfunctional this family has ever been. Also, who is Reeka and/or Draggle’s father? Is this another magic mirror thing? [bat: Scorpan was technically human… wow, that goes down a whole road I’m not sure I want to travel.] [Dove: *blinks* So… about that podcast we talked about? I believe we’ve got an opening topic!] [bat: Scorpan! You might be the father!]
In the net, the ponies wail that they have no ideas on how to save the day, if only Megan the Messiah were here. She’d save us with her pretty white skin and her obvious superiority to us. And that’s literally all that happens. The ponies shill Megan. (BUY OUR FUCKING MERCH?)
Back at The Tunnel, Megan moans that if only they had more help, it would be easier. She still doesn’t lift a finger to help though. Thankfully Cupcake, Baby Cuddles, Sting, the Pink, Green, and Blue Furbobs and the Purple, Blue, and Yellow Bushwoolies arrive. I’m sure they will dig for Megan.
The Pink and Blue Furbobs see the Stonebacks and immediately blow raspberries. [bat: Well, they can’t flip the bird, it’s a childrens cartoon and I’m not sure they have the proper digits to manage rude gestures.] Green says he told them to be friends, but it will take awhile, and Megan says, no! NOW! They must all be friends and work together. She orders them to start digging. She’s a bossy little thing, isn’t she?
Seconds later, the tunnel comes out right between Ahgg’s back legs. Wow. That’s some speedy digging. Not only that, they’ve made a huge cave, so even Megan can walk upright with no sign of the roof above her. “We did it!” Megan exclaims, having done precisely fuck all, nothing, nada and a side of zip, for the cause.
Their triumphant yelling causes Ahgg to turn quickly, fall over, then run for his life. I don’t get it either. He could easily eat them all.
At the sight of Team Good Guy running into Flutter Valley, the witches moan that it’s over, and run away. I don’t see why? Why not throw a spell at them. You only have to delay them for a few minutes before your plan comes to fruition.
There’s a really excellent FiM fanfic called “Not The Hero”, which is a character study piece about a Gary Stu coming to Equestria and the world shaping itself around his required narrative. It’s all from Discord’s point of view, and I really really recommend it. Having watched this scene, it’s easy to see the same story for the witches. Not The Hero is far more nuanced obviously (having an excellent writer and much better source material), but I kind of feel for the witches that they immediately feel compelled to give up when they’re so close to succeeding. I still don’t think this is a great plan though. The Volcano of Gloom is a much cooler location than Flutter Valley.
The Flutter Ponies use UTTER FLUTTER to break the net containing the other ponies, who have basically done nothing throughout. I think we could chop out their part in this and nobody would notice.
With everyone free, they head back to the Aztec Stonehenge thing to set the Sun Stone back. This requires lots of ropes and pulleys. Megan does not help. Are you surprised? I’m shocked.
Once it’s in the right place… oh for fuck’s sake. The fucking bees arrive. Will this story every fucking end? I would gladly watch Megan sing that there’s Always Another Rainbow if it meant this story came to an end.
Bumble tries to take the stone and Sting tells her to LEAVE BRITNEY THE FLUTTER PONIES ALONE. Bumble wants it because it grows flowers.
Sting tells her she’s fat, greedy and selfish and she only thinks of herself. Ah, fatness, a crime far worse than the theft of a Sun Stone or the attempted murder of the Flutter Ponies in Golden Epcot. Definitely needed to be mentioned there instead of them. [bat: The subtle way the writers tell viewers that being thin, white, and blonde is best.]
Rosedust says if Bumble promises to leave them alone, she can come back any time for the flowers. That’s kind of a contradictory offer there, Rosedust. Are there lawyers in Ponyland?
Bumble has an immediate face turn and promises to be nice. Sting says if she’s nice to him, he’ll come back to Bumbleland. It is agreed, so off they go.
Well, that’s that. Surely it’s over by now?
Rosedust announces only a few more minutes of light and the valley will be restored. Uh… wasn’t it seconds before sunset when you got the stone in place? [bat: WHAT IS TIME??]
Honeysuckle and Morning Glory both congratulate each other on being right, sometimes you need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Of course, sometimes you need to cut a bitch. You just need to know which is which. (I bet Honeysuckle will still cut a bitch first.)
Well, surely that’s everything now.
OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE THERE’S ANOTHER “FINAL” PROBLEM!
The sun goes down – no, wait, it’s a brand new cloud blocking the sun and then we hear Hydia’s cackle.
I bet this can be solved by SHIFTING TO UTTER FLUTTER, BITCHES.
*sigh* Called it.
Oh. I didn’t call it that the ponies would Utter Flutter at the witches.
Well, that should be the end, right?
A musical number.
OMG. I’M DONE! I’M SO HAPPY. HIGH FIVES ALL ROUND!
Grade: I’m going to give this a D-. First of all, I’m not a massive fan of the Flutter Ponies, because of how they acted in the movie. I also didn’t like that they redesigned Flutter Valley to make it barren and ugly. It was flower porn in the movie. I didn’t care about the bees, and oh god, this dragged on forever. I feel like bat and I have been recapping it for years – some of that is on us, we recap early so we hit our deadlines, but most of that is on this 10-part episode. So much of this felt like filler, and without Gusty and Honeysuckle’s ongoing sass, this would have been rotten. I feel swindled that Draggle didn’t get a face turn, it would have been nice to see another villain gets reformed (see Catrina) storyline. Oh, and the endless endings in the last 10 minutes. I’m just tapped out on this storyline.
[bat: I’m going to be a little kinder and say D. You wonder if the writers thought that no one saw the film and thought that rehashing the plot was okay. Guess what? NO ONE SAW THE FILM IN THEATERS. It was a box office bomb, raking in only $6 million in 1986 dollars; Hasbro LOST $10 million between My Little Pony: The Movie and Transformers: The Movie, which caused them to scrap a screenplay for Jem. So, knowing that, it makes sense why we got a shadow story line that mimicked the movie. The introduction of characters that never came about in toy-form feels like a waste of time. Granted, this is a common theme in the MLP cartoon series, which I am still mad about to this day. Not that I really think the bees were worthy of actual toys. Neither were the Furbobs (we already had Bushwoolies anyway) or the Stonebacks. Hell, the overall standards were lowered post-Catrina, so stories and plots, and whatever else just kept sinking lower and lower… but we’ll discuss that as we plod through this series. BURN FLUTTER VALLEY TO THE GROUND AND SALT THE EARTH!]