Comic Book Resources has an extended preview of Friends Forever #21, starring Spike and Zecora. You can check out this issue this Wednesday, on October 7th, and check out the preview after the break. Two of the pages made up a two-page spread, and have been edited into one image.
There’s quite a lot to take in here, so let’s get to it. At Sweet Apple Acres, the Apple Family is getting ready for the Sisterhooves Social. Apple Bloom is confident of blue ribbons as she has her big sister Applejack. Big Macintosh, though, is feeling a bit left out these days seeing how AB is looking up to AJ and all her accomplishments. However, this episode takes place parallel to last week’s “Made in Manehattan,” so that means the map is calling AJ and Rarity, leaving Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle without partners for the competition. Scootaloo is competing with adoptive big sister Rainbow Dash since the definition of “sister” is admittedly ‘loose’ and there’s more of an emphasis of sisterly bond which Scoots and Dash clearly display.
Absent a nearby second cousin, Big Mac disguises himself as long, lost cousin Orchard Blossom—fooling virtually no pony. Still, he’s allowed to compete while AB is wondering if she should have sit out this year and wait for AJ to be available next year. After floundering in a couple of events, they come to the obstacle course which is the same as it was back in Season Two. Big Mac and Apple Bloom, but are later disqualified due to Big Mac’s trail of destruction culminating in knocking over Dash and Scootaloo who were awarded the win on the course.
Depressed, Big Mac finally opens up that when Apple Bloom was little, she used to look up to Big Mac a great deal. However, that’s changes since Applejack has become “the hero of the Apple Family” saving Equestria while he’s back at the farm doing chores and being “nobody’s hero.” He wanted to be Apple Bloom’s hero again and thought he could do so by filling in for AJ. Apple Bloom says that Big Mac is already a hero to her and appreciates that he was willing to dress in drag to help Apple Bloom get a blue ribbon.
That last scene was well done and perhaps the most emotional since “Amending Fences.” There were plenty of laughs throughout mostly courtesy of Peter New as both Big Mac and “Orchard Blossom.” However, some jokes didn’t pan out as well as others and Big Mac going overboard to help Apple Bloom during the obstacle course was a bit of a negative. There will be people who will make an issue of how Dash and Scootaloo were able to compete even though they weren’t truly sisters. Also, Sweetie Belle doesn’t appear again after midway through Act II, her absence kind of sticks out a bit. She does take not being able to compete with Rarity in stride and is wiling to cheer Dash and Scootaloo, but she really isn’t given much to do here apart from a deadpan comment that was really funny!
All that said, it is that final scene that fans will be talking about for some time. And of course, we finally get some character development for a pony fans have long wished got some development. Things might have gotten out of hand at times, but the positives well outweigh the negatives.
Pluses and Minuses:
+ The final scene
+ Development for Big Mac
+ Acknowledgement of AJ’s role in “saving Equestria”
– Big Mac’s unsporting behavior
– Sweetie Belle’s absence sticks out late
– Questioning Dash and Scootaloo even though rules permit it
518 – “Brotherhooves Social”
Written by: Dave Polsky
“When Applejack is called away and has to miss participating in the Sisterhooves Social with Apple Bloom, Big Mac decides to fill in for her.“
- Derpy News
- Otaku Ascended
- Brony Network (Channel 1)
- Brony Network (Channel 2)
- Equestria TV
- Brony TV
A short clip for Saturday’s episode is up on the My Little Pony Facebook page.
After we just got a bunch of synopses last night, we now have an air date for episode 522, What About Discord. This episode will air on November 7th, 2015, indicating that the streak of new episodes will continue at least one more week longer.