#17. On Your Marks
Writers: Dave Polsky and Josh Haber
Storyboard: Ward Jenkins and Hanna Lee
Season/Episode: 6, ep. 4
Characters: Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Tender Taps
Summary: Now that they’ve finally gotten their cutie marks, the Cutie Mark Crusaders have another problem: What to do next? And can they even still be the trio they’ve always been?
Review: This was an episode I was wondering about when it was announced. Unlike many fans, I was patient for the Crusaders to finally achieve their goal. See, I knew something the fans didn’t: “The Showstoppers” only showed their talents. Talents aren’t necessarily your purpose. They may help you achieve your purpose, but they aren’t the end. That’s why their constant failures didn’t bother me. Failure is probably one of the best teachers.
But there is always that lingering question that follows achieving any goal: Now what? And that was my main problem with this title. It was SO SLOW. It felt that not only were the Crusaders unsure of the next step, so were Dave Polsky and Josh Haber. And these two are actually pretty good writers. Dave was on from the beginning, and Josh joined in season 4, showing a lot of promise early on. He’s been accused of being formulaic, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
But there are some good points. The song is great. When we finally do get to the main plot (halfway through the episode, I might add!) , we do get a good payoff. We get a new ship for the shippers. (I saw all kinds of Apple Bloom/Tender Taps shipping fan art, but I have yet to see a combined couple name like I have for so many others.) They were cute together. And there were some funny moments, which is always Polsky’s strength, even when he isn’t at his best. (My favorite moment was when Apple Bloom was in the clubhouse with all those pictures of things she tried and failed and seconds from cracking. It seems there’s a rule in MLP: When all else fails, have your heroes crack.
This wasn’t an entirely bad episode. Just a slow one.