Welcome once again fillies and gentlecolts to another edition of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic recap/review. Well, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and I’m certain that most of you have a special someone that you are going to share it with. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you’re destined to be forever alone. But that’s not so bad, because at least you still have My Little Pony to cheer you up. But how well does this new episode warm the heart? Let’s find out as ponyville celebrates “Hearts and Hooves Day”
We open the episode with the Cutie Mark Crusaders working on a rather large valentine… I mean “Hearts and Hooves Day Present” for Miss Cheerilee, their teacher. They give it to her at class later on, to which she is very touched by their sentiments. Sweetie Belle mentions that this is clearly small pickings compared to what her special somepony will give her. Cheerilee tells them that she doesn’t have a special somepony. While Cheerilee is perfectly fine by this, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are quite upset at this news, feeling that she is more than deserving of the love of a special colt.
We then go into song as the trio search high and low for the perfect colt to woo Cheerilee, but to no avail. That is, until they find Apple Bloom’s older brother Big Macintosh. Knowing that neither of them would ever break the ice themselves, the Cutie Mark Crusaders trick the two into coming to a mock picnic, hoping the two would fall instantly in love. But nothing happens, as the two just give each other friendly greetings and leave. This would be enough for the Cutie Mark Crusaders to just give up on the chance to put them together, until they run into Twilight Sparkle.
Twilight, who just happens to be reading a book on how Hearts and Hooves Day used to involve love potions, catches the interest of the three young fillies. They borrow the book from our poor, naive Twilight, and get to work on making the potion. They try one more time to get Big Macintosh and Cheerilee to fall in love. The two unknowingly drink the potion, and it immediately works, putting the two madly in love. But the potion seems to work too well, making them too infatuated with one another, and constantly calling each other by sickeningly sugary pet names.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders soon discover that they hadn’t actually given Big Macintosh and Cheerilee a love potion, but instead they gave them a love poison. Apparently the potion was made by a prince who wanted to win the heart of a princess, but the potion worked too well, and the two became so infatuated with one another that it eventually led to the fall of an entire civilization. Apple Bloom begins to worry that this will mean that Cheerilee will no longer teach, and Big Macintosh will stop harvesting apples, leading to a society of dumb, malnourished ponies. Sweetie Belle discovers that the only way to cure the poison is to keep the two of them away from one another for an hour.
The strategy in order to keep the two apart is to trick them into believing that they should get married. Sweetie Belle takes Cheerilee to Carousel Boutique to keep her busy and trapped, while Scootaloo and Apple Bloom distract Big Macintosh with looking for the perfect diamond. This only works temporarily as Big Macintosh eventually escapes the two young fillies, and heads off to find Cheerilee. And being as strong as he is, he is unable to tie down. Even a house isn’t enough to deter him. With very little hope left, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle dig a hole in front of Carousel Boutique in order to keep Big Macintosh trapped. But that is only temporary as Cheerilee escapes the boutique with only seconds left on the clock. She crashes into Big Macintosh as mere seconds remain on the clock. But thankfully for everypony the hour still manages to wrap up, and the spell ends up broken.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders apologize to Big Macintosh and Cheerilee for their actions and are forgiven, but only if they do Big Macintosh’s chores. The episode ends with the three fillies working hard, as Cheerilee and Big Macintosh mess with them by saving lovey dovey things to each other, hinting that this couple may be more together than we think, and that is much to the horror of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
Well, this was certainly a “lovely” episode. But was it enough to win the hearts of the masses. It’s time for Pros and Cons.
For the last few Cutie Mark Crusader centred episodes, I’ve often complained that their episodes are usually weak and feel like filler. Well, this episode proved me wrong. Not only were they entertaining and hilarious throughout this episode, but they were written quite strong throughout. This I think was the episode for them that a lot of fans were waiting for. But as much as I say that, I kinda hope this is the last one for them for a while at least. I think we still need more focus on the actual cast.
Again, we see another holiday in motion in Equestria. Yeah, just basic pony valentines, but it’s always interesting to see just what holidays are involved in this world. Though I kinda hope they don’t overdo it. I kinda shudder at the idea of an MLP equivalent of Arbor Day. Probably just be about Fluttershy trying to save a bunch of trees. Actually, that doesn’t sound too bad. Note to studio B, I think I just gave you a season 3 episode…
For once the lack of mane six ponies was a good thing. They weren’t needed to advance the plot, as they would’ve just been filler. That said though, at least Twilight showed up to remind us that this show is still technically about her and her friends experiences, not so much the little ones.
Finally Big Macintosh said more than “Eeyup” and “Nope”. Granted, a bunch of it was just cutesy wootsy pet names, but it was still better than nothing. I kinda had my worries for a second that they would’ve just kept this whole silent stallion gimmick going. It was good to not have to deal with it for at least one episode.
Also, I think Cheerilee and Big Macintosh make a cute couple. Sorry Fluttermac shippers, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Another excellent song from the show, and from Sweetie Belle no less. It’s funny how she’s gone from the filly afraid to sing in public, to now singing in public about wanting to find mr. right for her teacher. Just thought that was kinda interesting. Catchy song too.
Twilight Sparkle being so naive as to give the CMC a book involving love potions did kinda irk me. While the show has had Twilight suffer from being overly naive at times, it really hadn’t happened for a while until now, and it feels really out of place. I mean this isn’t learning how to pull off a successful sleepover, this is entrusting a dangerous potion to three mischievous fillies. Then again, it could have rehashed Cutie Pox, and been Zecora again, which I wouldn’t have minded if the idea wasn’t already done this season.
Speaking of Cutie Pox, that’s another issue I had was that the whole magic item causing chaos has been done enough this season that the whole love poison idea did feel a bit stale given the stuff we’ve seen. It was a good plot device, but one being overly used so far this season.
Also, maybe I’m noticing this, but the letters to Princess Celestia gimmick of the show seems to be dying at an alarmingly fast rate. We’ve seen episodes without it, and even whole letters being about not learning anything. And maybe it’s just me, but I kinda hope they get back to talking about the values of friendship again, and not so much just whatever can fit into an episode like this one did (which going by next week’s episode that is indeed the case). Just a minor gripe, but darn it, it’s been a while without Princess Celestia, and I already miss her somewhat.
“Hearts and Hooves Day” was another quality episode of a quality season. And far better than the previous two episodes we’ve seen recently. It wasn’t entirely perfect, and I’d personally rather an adventure with the mane six more, but for what we got, it was still quality. This is not just a great Cutie Mark Crusader episode, but a great episode in general. Definitely a must watch.
RATING: 8.5 out of 10
Next week, Pinkie Pie takes the spotlight once more. Pinkie is used to having everyone in Ponyville accept her friendship. But when she meets Cranky Doodle Donkey, who refuses her friendship, can Pinkie make “A Friend in Deed” out of Cranky Doodle? We’ll see in seven days.
Until then, have a happy Hearts and Hooves Day. Have fun with your special somepony and we’ll see you next week everypony.