The map is fixed again courtesy of Starlight and Twilight and it sends Rarity and Pinkie Pie to Canterlot to help a father (Coriander Comin) and daughter (Saffron Masala) with their struggling restaurant. It’s an Indian-type restaurant that’s unlike the rest of the restaurants of Restaurant Row. In other words, the food is much tastier and the atmosphere is not at all stodgy.
There is tension between Coriander and Saffron as the stress of keeping the restaurant afloat is getting to them. Rarity works with the former to make the restaurant more like the others in order to woo restaurant critic Zesty Gourmand, whose three hooves rating is a marketing chip on Restaurant Row. Pinkie and Saffron go out on the street to advertise their food—and only net two ponies from Whinnyapolis. (Writer’s Note: I was at MLP-MSP for a screening of the episode and the Whinnyapolis ponies got massive cheers.)
However, the attempts to woo Zesty are a total disaster and it’s back to Square One. Things turn around when Saffron fixes her Dad a dish that makes them reminisce about how they just wanted to cook their food to ponies. Rarity and Pinkie switch roles and Rarity attracts customers to the Tasty Treat while Pinkie restores the original decor. This time, the Grand Re-Reopening is a success despite Zesty’s objections. Rarity and Pinkie respond by telling her that she’s not one to tell other ponies what to think just because she thinks things should go a certain way. It inspires others on the Row to start making food the way they want to instead of how Zesty feels they should.
With that it’s friendship mission accomplished and we go into the midseason break.
This was a nice way to go into the break as it’s been 16 episodes since the last map episode. Rarity (mostly) and Pinkie were on song again and we got interesting new characters in Coriander and Saffron. The song is one of the better ones in the first half of the season as well. I say mostly with Rarity because her initial advice on helping the Tasty Treat was to adjust the decor to be like the other restaurant on the Row. Maybe that’s Rarity basing things on how Zesty critiques, but that’s in conflict with “Canterlot Boutique” when Rarity insisted on uniqueness for her designs. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a minor flaw though in what was a great episode.
You can’t help but feel that we’re in for something extraordinary for the remaining 14 episodes of Season Six—especially since the map is back in order.
Pluses and Minuses:
- + Rarity and Pinkie dynamic
- + Interesting new characters
- + Song
- – Initial advice from Rarity is in conflict from her beliefs from earlier episode.