Ever since they were introduced, we’ve gotten a few Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes a season. They’ve also been the episodes that I see the show hinging on. Unlike the rest of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, even though the show is meant for little girls, all of the characters are seemingly adults. The Cutie Mark Crusaders run the risk of being entirely too obnoxious because they’re little girls going on adventures. They’re fine for kids, but with such a huge following, these episodes stand to feel like a kids show. So far they haven’t and the last Cutie Mark Crusaders episode turned out to be a lesson on the evils of yellow journalism; strange, but awesome.
I’ve actually grown to look forward to the Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes. Sure, they may be centered around trying to teach lessons to little girls, but the Crusaders themselves are adorable and their adventures are always entertaining. “One Bad Apple” has Applejack and Apple Bloom’s cousin, Babs Seed of Manehattan, coming to town for a visit (as much as the pony puns make me groan, there is something undeniably cute about them). On any other show, we would get a traditional story about bullying, but Friendship is Magic makes sure to spice it up.
Of course Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are all thrilled at the prospect of another ‘blank blank’ to join the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Unfortunately, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon steal Babs away into their little, antagonistic clique. There is a musical number this episode that the Crusaders sing when they see that Babs has turned. It was good, but it didn’t have the memorable qualities of past songs. Quite a bit of this episode felt like that, though it’s more from the played out nature of the plot.
We’ve seen so many anti-bullying messages, every show pretty much has to do one. If it weren’t for the spot on comedy, this episode would have been another forgettable warning about bullying, but you could say that for most of My Little Pony. Without the excellent writing, this would be yet another forgettable children’s show. It’s episode like this that really remind me of that.
I enjoyed that Babs was bullied and that’s why she became a bully. It was a nice way for the anti-bullying message to come across. This really could have happened at any time, since Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon have been bullies the entire time. It was a clever way for them to convey the message without permanently altering the dynamic of the show. We already have our ‘blank blanks’ banding together and trying to ignore the bullying, but what happens when it’s from someone that is supposed to be close?
“Ponyville Confidential” may still be the best Crusaders episode yet, but that doesn’t stop “One Bad Apple” from being a fun and entertaining ride. I’m not sure how long the show will be on, but I really hope that everyone gets their cutie marks at the end. As much as I enjoy the crazy adventures they go on in search of them, the Crusaders deserve a happy ending. Until then keep showing me those wacky adventures.