Here’s a post I did in early 2015 for my MLP Season 4 retrospective that never got published because why not. I’ve avoided editing because I wanted to keep it authentic to my old writing so it might be iffy, but I still think it’s good stuff. Enjoy!
Pinkie Apple Pie is the second episode in Season 4 to do something completely and utterly world-shaking, except unlike Daring Don’t it understands the weight of its own development and draws the line. Though it is suggested Pinkie is an extremely distant relative to Applejack, it’s never confirmed nor denied by the end of the episode, meaning it avoids both severely tampering with the series canon and existing simply as a narrative device to get a Pinkie Pie and Applejack episode.
This isn’t simply a Pinkie and Applejack episode either (though that in itself is a compelling idea that this episode does plenty of good with), it’s an Apple Family episode wherein we first learn that things aren’t always perfect in their family relationships. It’s the culmination of both trying to impress Pinkie and their own personality quirks that shows the cracks in their relationship, which tells us why we haven’t seen this before. Though it is Pinkie that indirectly causes them to fight it’s also Pinkie that gives them closure by acknowledging their true closeness of a family that showed when they were able to admit their own faults to each other and apologise. Pinkie’s characterisation as the unexpected voice of reason who, despite appearing to be oblivious to all the arguing happening under her nose, was actually the only one who knew what was going on the entire time was brilliant. There just aren’t enough episodes that highlight a method to Pinkie’s madness like this.
Besides that, Pinkie Apple Pie also has some of the excellent little touches that tie a good MLP episode together. The gags in this episodes were some of the sharpest and by far the most devilish gags that the series has ever produced. Most notable of all is the numerous background gags of nature just being damn cruel throughout the road trip, which are played subtly enough that they come off as cheeky rather than mean-spirited. Pinkie Apple Pie is also the third consecutive episode to have a really good musical number in the form of the feel-good country flavoured ‘Apples to the Core’. I know some people wince when MLP gets as jam-packed with songs as Season 4 was, but I love Ingram’s work a whole lot and this is no different.
Pinkie Apple Pie is awesome, ’nuff said. It’s funny, it’s cute, it’s different, it’s a good time!