Now that the furor over the latest episode has died down somewhat, let's take a look at it, shall we? Anyway, here are a few things that stuck out to me, all after the break.
-Yes, Derpy is the big news here. The name is now canon, and she even got a few lines. Honestly, did anyone see that coming? If you asked me last week what I thought the odds of Derpy ever getting a line were, I'd have said 0%, and I'd have said it with absolute confidence. I think everyone was caught completely off-guard.
-As you might expect, this all has gotten a very mixed reaction from the community. A lot of the 4chan crowd seem to think that fully canonizing what was, in essence, a fan-made character is jumping the shark. I have mixed feelings myself, for another oft-cited reason. On one hand, I'm glad that she spoke normal English, putting to rest once and for all my least-favorite incarnation of Derpy, the "spouts random words" version. On the other hand, I wish they hadn't given her such a stereotypically "retarded" voice. When you combine that with the way she was used for physical comedy and idiot humor (which I have no problem with, in and of itself), it gets dangerously close to offensive for me. I'm sure that was not in any way the intent, but I did feel a little uncomfortable by the end of the scene.
And on the subject of overturning everything we thought we knew about the pegasus with the bubble butt...
-While Applejack's giving her speech at the start of the episode, the camera pans through the audience, and we see Carrot Top and an unidentified unicorn stallion (purple mane, grey coat, scroll cutie mark) both turn to gaze lovingly at Dinky, who's standing between them. Then at the train station, Carrot Top and the unicorn are seen saying goodbye, and as the train pulls away we see Carrot Top and Dinky riding together in the front car.
Guys, I think we've had it backwards all this time. Dinky isn't Derpy's child; she's the foal of Carrot Top and this unicorn!
-Pinkie was a bit too much for me this episode. I prefer her antics at a nice comfortable 7-8, not cranked straight to 11 and left there the entire 22 minutes. She does get points, however, for being the only pony who wasn't a total dick to the guy who delivered AJ's telegram.
-Speaking of, I felt really bad for that guy. He's stuck working on his birthday, he goes to deliver a telegram, and everyone's happy to see him! Just as he's thinking maybe his day won't suck after all, everyone groans, Twi gives him her "piss off, nopony cares about you" look, and slams the door in his face. If it weren't for Pinkie, he probably would have cried himself to sleep that night while eating a quart of Cherry Garcia straight from the tub.
Sometimes I worry that I have too much empathy for one-scene wonders like him. But hey, someone's got to stand up for the little guy, right?
-What do you suppose rodeo clowns in Equestria do? Do they have bullriding in Equestria? Are the bulls really such jerks that they need to be distracted while the pony riders escape from the arena floor? Or are they just regular clowns, who entertain the audience between competitions?
-Chimi-cherry-chongas sound delicious. If I had a deep-frier, I'd be tempted to try and make one for myself. I suppose it's not really that much different than a cherry sopapilla, only with a slightly different bread component and deep-fried instead of baked, but it'd still be fun to try.
-After she and Pinkie are knocked off the wagon during the chase scene, Rarity coughs up a bit of cactus--it looks like it's probably a cholla of some sort. Having had a few bad experiences with teddy bear cholla in my time (if you don't know what those are, or what cholla are in general, here's the short version: cholla are a kind of shrubby cactus that grows in stumpy pickle-shaped sections which break off at the slightest touch, meaning that even lightly brushing up against one is a quick way to get a bunch of needles driven into your calf. Teddy bear cholla are a kind of cholla that have loose paper sheathes around each needle, so that even if you pull the needles out, the sheath stays in. They suck), I shudder to think what that would do to a pony's mouth and throat. I mean, obviously Rarity is fine/gets better, since she's grumbling to herself by the end of the episode, but that clip sends shivers down my spine.
-"Applejack, we can always find a way to fix that hole in the roof... but if you don't come back, we'll never be able to fix the hole in our hearts!" Really, Fluttershy? Usually lines that corny go to Twilight.
-One last observation: Dodge Junction appears to be surrounded on all sides by mountains, has tumbleweeds, cholla, pallo verde, and saguaros (those are the plants I was able to identify, anyway), and has at least one major cherry orchard despite cherry trees being water hogs. In conclusion, Dodge Junction is Tuscon, Arizona.