My Little Pony Tales: Stand By Me (S01E05)
Title: Stand By Me
After an unexpected death, a writer recounts a childhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy. Wait… what? What do you mean we’re not recapping one of the greatest movies of all time???! [Dove: Yep, that’s exactly what I thought when you messaged me saying “Stand By Me is up.” Cue meltdown for Dove.]
The Ponies learn a life lesson through a classroom mock trial when studying Pony Court in school. Learn all about the “American” justice system via Ponies, kids!
I’LL JUST GET THIS OUT OF MY SYSTEM RIGHT NOW. ENJOY!
Seriously, though, I may have immediately staked a claim to this episode based on the title alone. Y’see, Dove and I both deeply love the 1986 classic film, Stand By Me. While sorting out who would recap what episodes, I didn’t look at the synopsis for this one, I just immediately was very much, “Please let me have this one, Dove!” And because Dove is wonderful, she let me claim it. [Dove: Honestly, I missed this title, and was captivated by the fact that the next one is about Tea. But now I am wondering why we haven’t recapped the movie yet. Are we waiting until 2026 for a big anniversary?] [bat: I don’t know why we haven’t recapped it. If we are given three years, will we get to it? Or panic when we realize it’s just weeks away from being due? I have a massive anniversary recap due this August and I am no where near finished, even though I started it two years ago.]
I mean, with the way things have been going in this series, she may have escaped a rotten episode and I may have ended up with a big sack of shite. Will I regret this? Guess you’ll have to read the recap to find out.
Oh, and some light summary work: no, this doesn’t involve
four twelve year olds seven ten year old Ponies going on an ‘adventure’ to see a dead Pony’s body, and then being threatened by hot juvenile delinquents led by none other than Kiefer Sutherland teenage Ponies over whom gets to claim the body. Imagine that episode. (Damn it, we keep coming up with so much better episode ideas then what was actually released.)
No, it is something much different. I guess the only thing the film and this cartoon have in common is misunderstood boys and bullying.
We open on what I am assuming is the school yard. I mean, there’s a swing set, and the Ponies are playing soccer and one that looks suspiciously like Apple Jack from a distance seems to be jumping rope. Also, the school house… boy, I just dated myself there. Let’s say the elementary school building instead. It seriously looks like a cross between Paradise Estate and… I’m not sure if it’s the Lullaby Nursery or what. I think the roof tiles are throwing me off.
Ironically, the Pony with the soccer ball cutie mark catches the soccer ball. A little too on the nose, My Little Pony Tales.
Gathered around a table… it looks almost like a trough the way the cell was painted, weird… are the main Ponies. Someone is talking about… something. Whatever it is, it isn’t in view. Oh, it’s a portable cassette player. Oh great. Melody owns it. It’s got “a gazillion buttons” and features. It plays music. She actually says that.
Melody also doesn’t know how to operate the cassette player; she smashes the big blue button with her hoof and the tape deck (SHOWING MY AGE YET AGAIN) goes into overdrive before spitting out the actual magnetic tape.
Damn, this show is old and weren’t cassette players on their way out in the early 90s anyway? [Dove: Even in sixth form – I was there very briefly – circa 1996, people were still using walkmans, rather than discmans, for their music over here. But only a few short years later, I accompanied my friend as she excitedly bought her first (of more than one) mini-disc player/recorders.] One of the first pieces of entertainment equipment I learned to use was a duel cassette deck. (And a record turn table, and a Beta video recorder, complete with button that allowed you to pause a recording so you didn’t have to record commercials. YOU 1990S CHILDREN HAD IT SO MUCH EASIER WITH VHS AND COMPACT DISCS.) I mean, a large part of my childhood was spent lugging around a handheld cassette recorder (that didn’t look like this one) and my friends and I would record each other singing or making up radio skits or whatever. I actually recorded a My Little Pony commercial on one tape. It was decided the best marketing line ever invented that would totally sell toys was “MY LITTLE PONY – THE PONIES THAT ARE PLASTIC!” [Dove: *blinks* I was about to judge you for that, but around the same age, I faked an eye test so I’d be given glasses because I thought they were cool. Thanks to that stunt, I really do need glasses, so… win??]
If anyone steals that genius bit of marketing, I will find that tape and sue your ass for intellectual property theft. (Now I know Dove totally wants to hear that taped recording of child me singing the theme song.) [Dove: Yep.]
We hear boisterous fake laughter and see… oh my god, it’s a blue male Pony with a neon orange mullet. He wears a pair of sunglasses on his head, the ultimate statement of cool in the late 1980s, early 1990s. His cutie mark is a plastic comb and his name is Teddy. What the fuck. He does not wear glasses and doesn’t have a severely burned ear! HIS NAME SHOULD HAVE BEEN VERN!
Anyway, Teddy laughs and says “the dodo hit the dumb dumb button!” in an attempt to insult Melody. Like, that’s your best shot, dude? Yes, yes, I know, bullying is wrong, but c’mon. Oh, right, these writers have no creative imaginations, especially when there’s insults thrown about. [Dove: *points at Friendship is Magic* “blank flank”. Totally bland words until the context kicks in and you can easily understand why it’s hurtful. Do better, writers, because FiM is crushing you.] Melody says it isn’t funny and what if she’s totaled her brand new tape recorder?? Look, you possibly destroyed the cassette tape, but not the recorder. Stop being this dramatic. Oh, wait, it’s Melody, the drama queen…
How these Ponies are holding the tape deck by their bent hooves is both confusing and implausible. Teddy snatches it away, despite Melody’s protests. The others watch in silence. Way to step in and defend your friend’s property. Or is it a case of being low on voice actor budgets or because of the script? It’s anyone’s guess. Teddy proceeds to smash most of the buttons until more of the magnetic tape spews out. Teddy gets mad and insists it is Melody’s fault, shoving the tape recorder back into her outstretched hooves. [Dove: Behold: Stallion-splaining.]
Melody, such a drama queen, insists that if it wasn’t broken before it “is now!” because Teddy. She has this very distracting red beret hat on her head with blue music notes attached to it. (No, it is not a raspberry beret.) Does Melody always have to wear some sort of accessory in her hair? Is this a theme? Melody proceeds to put the cassette player on the table top and pulls on the magnetic tape, clearly not doing shit to fix it.
Sweetheart wanders up and sticks up for Teddy, saying he simply trying to help and make it better. Oh Sweetheart, you do not understand anything, do you. Patch is pissed and says that’s not what she saw. (Patch isn’t particularly a pretty Pony in the cartoon, although her toy version looks better and is molded in Posey’s pose.) Apparently everyone else agrees with Patch. Uh oh. Sweetheart sees Teddy standing next to a garbage can, begins to walk over to him, and Teddy subsequently kicks it over, making a huge mess.
Because Sweetheart is relatively innocent, she suggests to Teddy that perhaps if he just apologized sincerely to Melody, it would be okay? Teddy scoffs at this, saying he isn’t a geek (?) and he apologizes to nobody. Oh boy. Particularly not to “know it all Melody”. [Dove: bat, look, it’s not just you that loathes her.] Teddy then runs off. Sweetheart, who is literally the proto-Fluttershy I am pretty certain, proceeds to pick up all the trash. An older adult male Pony approaches, carrying a push broom. How the fuck these Ponies walk around with one hoof/leg holding an object annoys the hell out of me.
It’s Mr Tidwell, the school janitor, who makes a remark about young Teddy causing trouble again. Oh, so Teddy is a repeat/known offender. Sweetheart insists, no, it was an accident! She finishes cleaning up the trash. Mr Tidwell observes that he wishes all young Ponies were as responsible as she is. The bell begins to ring. Sweetheart gallops into the school building.
We are shown a blue hoof/leg swiping the broken/jammed cassette player from the table, complete with a music cue that is meant to evoke OH NO A MYSTERY! So, instead of looking for a body we’re looking for a cassette player. Not as dramatic or interesting.
Firstly: if Melody is so fucking responsible, why was the cassette player left behind? So, already, it is obvious this is the mcguffin object of the episode. Secondly, it is entirely too obvious whom took the cassette player. There is no actual mystery in this episode, but I’m certain there is about to be a massive misunderstanding. And of course Melody is at the center of it, because she’s the drama queen. I honestly thought BON-BON was, but nope, it’s Melody. (I still hate BON-BON.)
Oh my god. Are the writers actually attempting a plot with a life lesson???
“Can you guess our lesson for this week?” the elderly-looking mare asks the class. No one answers; they’re too busy digging in a giant oversized paper take-away carton, pulling out black robes and a judicial wig. Did… did nobody inform the writers that judges don’t wear wigs here? Or is it just meant to be a sight gag so small children understand the Ponies are studying judicial procedures?
Starlight guesses it’s a fashion show, while Patch swings the gavel around and says they’re going to play croquet. Wow, I hate both of them. UP UNTIL PATCH NEARLY TAKES BON-BON’S HEAD OFF BY SWINGING THE GAVEL. WHAT THE FUCK I LOVE PATCH NOW. (It won’t last.)
Oh, my bad, they are studying “PONY COURT ROOM PROCEDURES”, along with putting on a pretend trial. This will go terribly. Miss Hackney announces everyone will play a part. (This will go just like the episode Das Bus, won’t it; only no wild hog as the culprit.) Of course, Melody isn’t paying any attention, she’s searching her desk. “No, no!” she cries, getting everyone’s attention. Then she starts searching other Ponies’ desks. “I can’t believe I lost it!”
No, neither can I. It is a huge cassette player. You’re a thoughtless drama queen who fails to take care of things properly, Melody. This isn’t remotely surprising. After what you did to your twin toddler sisters, none of your actions surprise me.
Melody rushes to the window, looking out and seeing that the cassette player isn’t on the table. “It’s been swiped!” she announces to her friends, who have gathered around to see what the commotion is. At that very second, Teddy enters the classroom. Melody immediately accuses him of “swiping” her cassette player. She demands he hand it over.
Teddy says “Search me!”, laughingly. Melody points out a piece of the magnetic tape stuck to his back right hoof. He kicks his foot, trying to knock the incriminating evidence away. Everypony begins to gather round, suspicious murmurs running through the classroom.
Starlight asks Miss Hackney if they can use their “Pony Court lesson” (a phrase I never thought I’d type in my lifetime) to prove whether Teddy took Melody’s tape player. Teddy is left open-mouthed in silent outrage as Melody glares daggers. “A splendid idea!” Miss Hackney announces. “Learn by doing has always been my motto.” Boy, way to not do your job, Miss Hackney. Also, how the fuck long have you been teaching? Because I’m guessing forever at this point.
Miss Hackney designates Starlight as the judge in this mock trial, because she is quote, “even hoofed”. Oh my god. Bright Eyes waves her hoof, requesting to be the prosecutor, while Clover asks what a prosecutor is. Miss Hackney explains that it is Bright Eyes’ job to try and prove Teddy is quote “really guilty”. I will give the writers points for making this part of the episode fairly clear and explaining it pretty simply to children.
Asking for someone to help defend Teddy, aka the defense attorney, Miss Hackney is met with silence. Some of the Ponies actually back away, leaving Sweetheart front and center. Giving her friends a nasty look, Sweetheart immediately offers to help Teddy defend himself. Wow. Just… wow. This episode is actually trying to teach children an important lesson. I MAY FAINT.
Announcing that the rest of the class will fill the role of jury, Miss Hackney says it will be their job to weigh the evidence and decide if Teddy is guilty or innocent. So I guess “innocent until proven guilty” isn’t a thing in Ponyland. Oh gee, and on top of it, if Teddy is indeed found guilty, he will be suspended for three days. How is that Miss Hackney’s decision? Does this elementary school not have an administration?? WHERE’S THE PONY PRINCIPAL??? [Dove: My jaw dropped here. Fuck an actual school investigation, we’ll just let a bunch of kids go Lord of the Flies on the kid they like the least.]
Sweetheart swallows hard as Teddy looks worried. Suddenly a lot is riding on this mock Pony Court trial. Just then the cuckoo clock chimes 3pm. The Ponies’ heads turn in slow motion as their mouths fall open. It’s a real Stepford Wives moment. Miss Hackney erases the chalkboard and announces trial will begin tomorrow and “prepare your cases!”
Everypony rushes from the class room and I have to state, we see the boy pony called Ace in the crowd. So,
I literally cannot escape, there is a blond male Pony named Ace in this episode entitled Stand By Me. If only Ace had been on trial. Seriously, though, do you think the writers were familiar with Stand By Me when these characters were named or is it all coincidence? [Dove: Coincidence. I don’t believe the writers were allowed to interact with the outside world at all. I think they were locked in a room for two days without bathroom breaks, and the resulting effluence is what we are watching now.]
Mr Tidwell is nearly mowed down by the Ponies leaving the classroom, as he carries a bunch of items in. He complains that these little Ponies are always in such a rush. He dumps the items in a bin. Uh, is this supposed to be a key plot point? I feel like it is. Sweetheart confronts Teddy, telling him he needs to tell her every damn detail so she can help him win. Teddy is immediately defensive, I sense a theme, and says Sweetheart is nuts if she thinks he needs help. Uh huh. Teddy jumps away and ends up with both front legs stuck in a trashcan. Um. Impossible and implausible.
Sweetheart slowly walks over and pries the trashcan from Teddy’s front feet. She reminds him everyone needs help sometimes. Teddy ain’t having it, but grudgingly agrees, “Yeah, maybe.” Honestly, this boy Pony is like Teddy Duchamp in temperament but the comb still tells me his name should be Vern.
Over at the… should we call it the Ice Cream Shoppe? Because the building isn’t in the shape of a saddle shoe. It’s just a regular old brick building with the front door that is a cone with a scoop of ice cream topped with… I hope that’s marshmallow… and a cherry. Seems… rather grandiose and probably not in line with city building codes. The only references I can find say it’s the ‘ice cream shop’ so yeah. Whatever.
Sweetheart walks up to the counter, where Teddy and Bright Eyes are sitting. She asks what Bright Eyes is doing, as the other Pony scribbles on paper. Bright Eyes informs Sweetheart she is preparing a list of reasons she thinks Teddy is guilty. The visual gag is the list is a massive scroll of paper that spreads out across the floor. HA HA. One of Bright Eye’s reasons? “He’s very, very rude!”
Yeah, that’s not how the legal system works… or at least it didn’t used to… and also something tells me Bright Eyes is not basing her list on the facts at hand but on every encounter she’s had with or rumor she’s heard about Teddy. Sweetheart sees Teddy sulking and defends him to Bright Eyes.
Oh fuck. Melody walks in. She greets Bright Eyes and Starlight, but pointedly ignores Sweetheart. When Sweetheart greets her and says she needs to talk to her about Teddy, Melody asks if anyone heard something. Starlight points out it is Sweetheart, to which Melody announces Sweetheart is her “ex-friend”. Oh FFS. As if I couldn’t hate Melody more, now this. [Dove: OMG, I hated experiencing this. I just want to hoof Melody into the sun.]
Sweetheart says she’s still Melody’s friend but Melody calls Sweetheart a traitor and says traitors can’t be friends. Melody basically says Sweetheart cannot be friends with Teddy and if she is, she cannot be friends with the other six Ponies. Whoa, hold up, who the fuck put you in charge of everypony, Melody???
Melody begins to seek backup amongst the other Ponies for her ultimatum. Starlight says she’s not supposed to take sides. Okay, a point to Starlight. Bright Eyes whirls around on the counter stool and announces she can take sides. Um, fucking what? And then no one else is asked, we’re just shown the other six Ponies gathered around a table that wasn’t there three seconds ago, and Patch demands an answer to Melody’s ultimatum. Wait, what? What happened to Starlight remaining neutral? What about the rest of you Ponies who are supposed to be on the jury? Bright Eyes and Melody are tainting the jury! [Dove: Have you noticed that this is now a pattern? Whenever there’s a conflict, two ponies speak, and we have to infer that the rest have opinions/interactions. Think about the ticket from the last episode. Two pony interactions and the rest is off screen. I am going to dub this the “Two Pony Rule”.]
Also, I am going to say it right now: this batch of My Little Ponies are fucking cunts. I had my misgivings about G2 and G3 – being that I never involved myself beyond a ‘oh that exists now?’ level – but I am almost certain those Ponies were never this self-centered, mean-spirited, and down right nasty. G1 Ponies might be daft and beholden to White Girl Savior Megan, but I don’t ever remember them being this out-and-out mean. (Yes, they laughed at their own children failing and falling, but this batch is a whole other level of nasty.)
First no magic and nothing but Earth Ponies, now they’re all cunts to their supposed friends. WHY DID I EVER SUGGEST TO DOVE WE RECAP THIS SERIES. I HAVE SO MUCH REGRET. [Dove: If it makes you feel any better, I’m not sure you did suggest it. You and I sat down with the G3 media, and I found it so confusing I suggested we did this instead. I think you can let yourself off the hook.] [bat: I am still responsible for reactivating our recapping of the Ponies on a whole, tho. Which meant this series. Ugh.]
Sweetheart stares at her supposed friends and we see a fantasy sequence of a massive golden scale, a statue of Justice, blindfolded, at the top. On one side the fucked up asshole Ponies weigh their side down, as Teddy struggles to hold onto his side, dangling in air as the scale tips in their favor. Sweetheart shakes her head, clearing her vision, informing her “friends” that she wants to help Teddy, he needs her. “Then we’ll see you in court!” snaps Melody. I HATE MELODY.
“All right, if that’s what you want, come on, Teddy.” Sweetheart and Teddy leave.
HERE IS THE VERY FIRST THING THIS CARTOON SERIES HAS GOTTEN RIGHT. Please note this momentous occasion! I am shocked that the writers had Sweetheart stand up to her fake bitch-ass friends and their shitty ultimatum. Not only that, but she didn’t stick around to argue with them, she removed herself from the situation. There was no begging, crying, whinging, just a simple, ‘okay be that way’. Like, Sweetheart is definitely an ancestor of Fluttershy. SWEETHEART IS MY FAVORITE NOW. Let’s see how long it takes for that to get ruined.
We fade into the next scene, the OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT of the elementary school building supposedly meaning it is The Next Day, I assume. I am still confused about this building. It’s trying so hard to be an extension of Paradise Estates but also a school. We hear a gavel banging and Starlight calls this session of Pony Court to order.
The class has been set up with the jurors’ box, tables for the prosecution and defense, and for some reason Miss Hackney let Judge Starlight have her desk and is sitting at one of the children-sized desks, but next to her regular desk. Weird. Also, I noted that the jury is made up of six Ponies and I know only one is supposed to be male (Ace) but I could have sworn there were more Ponies in this class.
Judge Starlight asks if Bright Eyes is ready to present her case against Teddy. Bright Eyes skips opening statements (is… is this for time? Because that’s a pretty huge part of PONY COURT.) and my god Bright Eyes is drawn with ANGRY EYES and a snarl on her lips. She calls witnesses Clover and BON-BON. Weirdly, we were just shown an empty chair as the witness stand but Clover is already in it, as BON-BON carries over a second chair and sits down next to Clover. Look, I know the clock reads just 4 minutes and 15 seconds left, but if this isn’t going to be remotely accurate or plausible… don’t bother.
At first both Clover and BON-BON raise their right hooves, but suddenly Clover drops hers and looks like she’s stoned while BON-BON swears in for both of them. WTAF. Then it gets worse! Judge Starlight starts the line of questioning! “What about the cassette player!!? DID YOU SEE TEDDY TAKE IT????” PRETTY DAMN SURE THIS IS NOT HOW PONY (OR HUMAN COURT) WORKS!
Clover, per usual and shitty character development, stammers around and admits she didn’t actually see Teddy steal the cassette tape player. BON-BON (I HATE BON-BON) interrupts Clover and declares Teddy “mean” and states that it would be “so like him” to steal it. Sweetheart immediately objects and cries “Speculation! Or something!” This entirely demonstrates that Sweetheart A) knows something about actual Pony court, and B) that Bright Eyes is a prejudiced prosecutor hellbent on framing the unjustly accused Teddy.
Sweetheart continues that Teddy isn’t like “that at all” and no one knows him like she does. Well… I have seen a lot of commentary online that Sweetheart is covering for an abusive male. Yes, that could be partly true. But I also remember the 1980s/90s and, here’s a shocker, BOYS WERE LIKE THAT. It is not an excuse for their behavior; but it was a different social climate and expectations of boys and girls were very different. As someone who 98% of the time hung around the boys in the class – because, *gasp* the girls were mean, rude, self-absorbed, and didn’t accept me fully as a peer for various reasons – I feel rather qualified to make this observation. (I even had a teacher tell me I was – paraphrased for clarity and the passage of time – an accessory after the fact, one time when the whole group of boys in my class got in trouble. I did nothing and did not participate but she tried to hold me just as responsible for their actions, all because I was standing there when they committed the trouble.)
Sweetheart breaks into song, complete with flashbacks, to explain how she knows Teddy. Because OF COURSE A SONG WILL EXPLAIN EVERYTHING, DAMN IT!
To summarize, we are shown Teddy tripping Sweetheart while she carries a lunch tray, causing her to fall and spill everything, which makes Teddy laugh. He abruptly stops, seeing Sweetheart on the floor, sitting amongst spilled milk (and for some reason staring at Clover’s ass? Said Clover doesn’t even turn around or help Sweetheart in any fashion, to boot.) and slides his full lunch tray over to Sweetheart, who is suddenly sitting next to him. They share lunch.
The next event is Sweetheart and Teddy, walking along opposite sides of the school building, before accidentally crashing into each other. Sweetheart’s massive stack of papers goes FLYING and Teddy looks real sad, before he gallops over and begins to pick them up for Sweetheart. “The things that most boys hide!” Sweetheart sings as Teddy looks utterly embarrassed.
Oh, now it’s a FULL ON SHARED SONG. Clover and BON-BON slander Teddy, or attempts to, because anyone can be “stubborn”, “brash”, and “impulsively rash”. LIKE BON-BON SHOULD TALK. Now Melody waves her hoof awkwardly, slandering Teddy again as “selfish at times!” OH MY GOD PLEASE HOLD UP THE MIRROR HIGHER TO YOUR FACE, MELODY, AND REMIND US ABOUT HOW YOU FUCKING ENDANGERED YOUR TWIN TODDLER SISTERS TO WIN A MUSIC COMPETITION INSTEAD OF STAYING HOME TO BABYSIT THEM AS YOU WERE TOLD TO.
“But breaking the law, he couldn’t do!” Sweetheart sings. Um, okay, anypony is capable of that, Sweetheart. This is where we’re going to agree to differ.
We are shown Sweetheart trick or treating, dressed in a half up-do and a red velvet cape with ermine time. HOLD UP. DOES THIS MEAN SWEETHEART IS RELATED TO BABY MOONDANCER?? Oh god, my brain just exploded with a train of thought so amazing… hold on…
Okay, what if this generation – which is technically filed under the umbrella of G1 – the third or fourth generation after the original G1 Ponies introduced by MLP’NF and the toys? Stick with me here. We’ve seen evidence this is plausible. Also, what if the influence of Megan, Molly, and Danny introduced the Ponies to human concepts of commerce and buildings/dwellings, automobiles, schooling and justice systems, etc? Yes, the Ponies had some of these concepts, particularly among the other anthropomorphic entities that always inhabited Ponyland but Megan and co., specifically influenced the Ponies by talking/explaining about their human versions? This would explain why this version of the G1 Ponies were obsessed with walking like humans, riding in human vehicles, having human technology, etc.
Did I just fucking crack the code or what?
Also, I am not so very well versed as Dove in MLP:FiM but didn’t they say the Ponies became tribal-like and segregated themselves amongst “kind” back in the pre-history days? Like, unicorns with unicorns, Earth with Earth, pegasi among the clouds with other pegasi? This show only features Earth Ponies and zero fucking magic, so is this where shit went wrong in the “pre-history” of MLP:FiM?? The gradual collapse of society brought around by the Ponies shunning differences?? WAS PARADISE ESTATE THEIR VERSION OF THE TOWER OF BABEL???
I never really thought about it, because why would I, but all the Big Brothers were Earth Ponies. All the “Loving Family” Daddy Ponies were Earth Ponies. All the Mountain Boys Ponies were Earth Ponies. IS IT ANY WONDER EVERYTHING ELSE OR SLIGHTLY MAGICAL DIED OUT BEFORE THIS SERIES?? I guess they broke the fucking magic cloning mirror. [Dove: Seriously. Go read this. It’s my headcanon. But yes, I think you might be on to something there. It would explain why this series is so mundane. Which means that FiM doesn’t follow on to this. There’s a split, and N’ Friends either led to G3 and FiM, or this. Basically, we are in the worst possible timeline. Because at least G3 has A Very Minty Christmas which combines three of my favourite things: Minty, Christmas and socks.] [bat: ‘”Five thousand years and the Ponies are still stupid.”‘ OMG someone else understands our pain and frustration! I haven’t gotten through all of it but yes. I agree, there is some sort of split or hiding this series in a bin and locking that bin to prevent it from ever being considered canon was probably the smartest move someone made. Unfortunately, you and I have now unlocked that bin. *sigh*]
Okay back to Sweetheart singing about Teddy. Anyway, she is totally dressed like Baby Moondancer and we see Teddy, dressed in a Maleficent-esque dragon costume, which is pretty bad ass I must say, hiding behind a bush. He, of course, jumps out and scares Sweetheart, who screams and flees. She drops her candy bag – weirdly filled with bread and apples and boxes that I guess are meant to be candy? chocolate? – before running down the street and bursting into tears. Suddenly Teddy is there, withdrawing her filled treat bag from under his cape and handing it back to Sweetheart.
“I know what’s in his heart!” Sweetheart finishes her song, which is also her entire defense of her client, because let’s kill one bird with two stones.
We flash back to present day in the classroom and there’s a hell of a lot of chatter, implied to be from the jury box. None of the Ponies’ mouths are moving. Weird. Judge Starlight suggests to Sweetheart that she should call Teddy as a witness to prove her case. Um, is this how judges work? I don’t think so.
Because PLOT SAYS SO, Teddy is now on the witness stand as Sweetheart recounts the evidence against Teddy. He wasn’t in class when Melody realized her cassette tape player was missing. Teddy says he was in the gym signing up for the soccer team. Sweetheart thinks the coach can give Teddy an alibi. Teddy says the coach wasn’t there and no one saw him in the gym. The jurors are absolutely scandalized by this, wtf. Teddy admits that the magnetic tape stuck to his hoof was part of Melody’s cassette, and it probably got stuck there when Teddy tried to help her make it play. We are shown Melody sharing a smug look with Bright Eyes and sniping “Yeah right!” under her breath. I FUCKING HATE MELODY.
Sweetheart posits that if Teddy has a cassette tape player, he wouldn’t need to take Melody’s, therefore there is no motive. Teddy says he doesn’t own a cassette tape player and would, quote “do anything to get one!” Wow, be dramatic and stupid, Teddy. Yet again, the jury is scandalized by this admission. Teddy attempts to backtrack his statement but then informs Sweetheart he is “dead” and she’s gotta help him.
WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK SHE’S BEEN TRYING TO DO, TEDDY. SHE SANG A STUPID FUCKING SONG IN YOUR DEFENSE.
Sweetheart practically throws in the towel, saying Teddy has practically convinced the jury that he took Melody’s cassette tape player. Looking out the window, Sweetheart starts mumbling to herself as she sees Mr Tidwell – yet again cleaning up after the bratty Ponies – and says there may be hope yet. Melody asks Judge Starlight if she can call a “special surprise witness”! She walks over and opens the door, where Mr Tidwell is standing. No. Just no. He was in the fucking yard a split second ago and no.
Mr Tidwell struggles to walk into the classroom, carrying something in his left hoof, while wearing a yellow satchel full of items. Sweetheart asks him what’s that stuff he has. Mr Tidwell says mostly things left out on the playground. Sweetheart asks him what he does with the items left out on the playground. Laughingly, Mr Tidwell says he puts them in the lost and found, saying no one would believe some of the things he finds.
Hold up. That’s the same damn cart they had the judge costume and court props in. And now Mr Tidwell is shoving in a brown satchel, no longer wearing the yellow one that was crammed full of things. RUN SHORT ON THE ANIMATION BUDGET BY THIS EPISODE, DID YOU?
Sweetheart leans into the bin and yells, “You mean, like THIS?” while holding up Melody’s cassette tape player. The jury GASPS. Melody stammers and runs over to Sweetheart, hugging her cassette tape player. Teddy yells, “See! I told you I didn’t do it!” Judge Starlight bangs her gavel and announces the case dismissed.
Miss Hackney proves she’s a useless teacher, announcing that it’s been “quite a day” and asks if anyone call tell her what they’ve learned. Really? REALLY??
Sweetheart announces she’s learned to stand up for what she believes in, even when no one agrees with her. OKAY: ‘LIFE LESSON LEARNED’ ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. Melody looks defeated and shamed, admitting she’s learned she better know the whole story before she gives someone a “bum rap”. AND? AND WHAT ELSE, MELODY??
Nope, nothing more for Melody. Miss Hackney moves on to Teddy, asking what he’s learned. He answers that he’s learned friends can be important. Then stammers, “If you need them. Which I don’t!” he yells, walking away from Sweetheart before tripping and landing head-first in the lost and found bin. “Sweetheart, help!” Teddy yells, as Mr Tidwell stands there and stares.
“Hold on!” Sweetheart calls to Teddy, prying him out of the bin, before holding his hooves with her eyes closed, as Teddy and Mr Tidwell stare. FADE TO BLACK.
Wow, did I accidentally find the first (and potentially only) actually good episode of this series? The one with an actual life lesson that the writers almost stuck the landing on? Sure it was far from perfect, but for the most part, this… was a decent episode.
I know. I’m stunned, too.
Yeah, it was a little rushed at the end, character development sucked, there was some weird editing and goofs, but over all… this wasn’t terrible. I mean, I’m not sure what to say that hasn’t already been said during the recap.
I honestly don’t hold out hope that the series will maintain this momentum and pull off another episode or two (out of 26 total) that will stick the landing on plot and a learned life lesson. Who knows, we may yet be surprised. Unlikely, but there’s still potential.
Giving it a B+ because, overall, it felt close to a MLP’NF episode in the sense of story and learning a life lesson. Plus it wasn’t one of those contrived “total fantasy” type plots – aka Melody wining a fucking battle of the bands contest – and I think the centralized plot helped. We still know only bare basics about these Ponies and this did a bit to help establish Sweetheart as the only kind, decent, loving Pony of the group. The rest are all awful and can fuck right off.
Will Melody stop being self-centered? Will Sweetheart get the apology she deserves? WILL BON-BON DIE? Doubt it.
[Dove: bat has summarised how I feel about this episode a lot. I was shocked that Melody learned half a life lesson, because so far she’s been kind of a nightmare. Sweetheart is living up to her name, which is nice. I’m so glad we have a pony to root for. I can definitely see the benefit of having the same characters have the adventures, but on the downside, I don’t like most of them.
I was going to give this a C, but bat’s actually convinced me it’s worthy of a B. I have no idea what’s coming next. This could be the high point of the season, or it could be the mark of things getting better.]