SPOILER ALERT! Those of you who have not seen the show, be warned. This review is going to contain spoilers about the episode. If you have not seen it yet, watch it right now and read my review in 20 minutes, or prepare to have some of the critical plot mentioned before you view it. I am assuming many of you are bronies, or fans of the show, and you are reading this review for an interesting insight on an episode you have seen countless times already (as have I), in which case, continue reading, and enjoy!
Back during my senior year of high school, when I first began watching this show regularly, I used this episode to show off my knowledge of the show. I enjoyed the other episodes, but this one especially resonated with me. I remember trying to sound like I knew a lot about the show by saying things, such as “I feel as tired as Applejack in season one, episode four of MLP, entitled ‘Applebuck Season.'”
I liked this episode because it was really relateable. And although it shifted away from Twilight Sparkle a bit (I do like having Twilight as the mane character), having an episode about somepony else was definitely an interesting change.
“Applebuck Season” opens up with a cute sibling moment between Applejack and her older brother, Big McIntosh (Big Mac). Since Big Mac is injured, AJ says she will harvest all of Sweet Apple Acres by herself. She refers to herself as being “the loyalest of friends and most dependable of ponies.” This makes me wonder why Rainbow Dash is the element of loyalty if Applejack is the loyalest of friends. I’m assuming the writers just had her say that to show that she was determined to harvest the apples without her brother’s help, despite him thinking she would not be able to.
Before she can begin harvesting apples that span as far as the eye can see, Applejack has to save Ponyville from a stampede of cows. The shaking from the stampede gave me one heck of a headache, so thank goodness Applejack (and her dog, Winona) got those bovines to steer clear of Ponyville. The phrase “steer clear” was also used in the show, although I am not sure if the pun was intended or not. I like to think it was, because puns make everything better.
Pinkie Pie comes up with the idea of throwing a party for Applejack to thank her for saving everypony. Pinkie has thrown a party in every episode so far. I get it. The pony likes parties. We don’t need one in every single episode! Anyway, at the party in honor of Applejack, Twilight has a stack of note cards for a speech she prepared. Although I sort of wanted to hear Twilight’s speech for twenty minutes and have this be a 2-part episode, I did not get that opportunity.
She was interrupted by Pinkie announcing that Applejack would be helping her bake. Then, Twilight was interrupted by Rainbow Dash, who said AJ was going to help her do some flying trick. These two interrupting didn’t surprise me, as they seemed like the most obnoxious and rude of the mane six. I was surprised that Fluttershy interrupted though. She interrupted Twilight’s speech to inform the crowd that AJ promised to help her with the bunny census. Why, Fluttershy, why? You were my favorite! Be polite!
When it is time for Applejack to be recognized and awarded at the party, the curtain opens and reveals that she is not there. Where could she be? Well, obviously she was kidnapped by Black Snooty.
Okay, no, Applejack wasn’t kidnapped. She was just running late, due to an excessive amount of applebucking wearing her out. Tired Applejack was loopy, and seemed almost drunk, but this is a kid’s show, so I know she wasn’t acting like that as a result of too much hard cider. After making silly faces and watching the reflections in the trophy with Pinkie, Applejack took the award and headed off to buck some more apples.
All of her friends (except Pinkie, who always acts slightly drunk) noticed that something was the matter with AJ. Twilight went to Sweet Apple Acres to talk to her. Applejack was so tired from all the applebucking that she fell asleep. I know Twilight tried to be nice by offering help, but in order to do so, she woke AJ from her well-needed rest. Twilight should have just taken advantage of Applejack being asleep and used her magic to harvest some trees. Of course, when Applejack was awake, she refused Twilight’s help, even though she obviously needed it.
In the next scene, Applejack meets up with Rainbow Dash to help her to perfect her performance and be able to impress the Wonderbolts with her tricks. AJ is supposed to land on a platform to launch RD into the air. However, as you can see below, Applejack needs to work on her aim a little.
When she finally lands on the platform, she catches Rainbow unprepared, and launches her to Twilight’s house. Rainbow Dash crashes, and Twilight immediately suspects that it is because of Applejack. Twilight again tries to convince Applejack to accept help, but Applejack is so tired she can’t hear well. (In this comical conversation, zoos are confirmed to exist in Equestria.) Once AJ finally understands what Twilight is saying, she still does not accept help, though.
Later on, Applejack goes to help Pinkie with some baking. Applejack is still to tired to hear properly, though, which makes the baking very… interesting. While Pinkie reads the recipe and apparently pays no attention to what her friend is doing, Applejack adds chips instead of chocolate chips, soda instead of baking soda, a cup of lemon juice (sour) instead of flour, and earthworms instead of wheat germ. The result is a batch of muffins that taste awful and make whoever eats them sick. Well, except for Spike. Spike loves the muffins.
So, Twilight Sparkle still has not given up on Applejack. After this most recent episode, she tries to get her friend to accept assistance. Applejack refuses, but the fact that Twilight continues to try makes her my new favorite pony. She is a truly great friend.
The too-tired, worn-out Applejack goes to help Fluttershy round up bunnies for the bunny census. We all know this is going to end badly. Applejack treats the bunnies roughly, like they’re the cattle from the beginning of the show, not the adorable little fluffs that they really are. Great job causing a bunch of terrified bunnies to stampede into Ponyville and devour all the flowers, AJ!
Thankfully, Applejack is finally finished harvesting all of the apples, and can rest. Oh wait, just kidding. There’s still a huge section of apple trees that need to be harvested. Applejack passes out in shock, but when she wakes up, she finally puts her stubborn pride and accepts help from her friends. Together, the mane six are able to easily harvest Sweet Apple acres.
In her letter to Princess Celestia, Twilight explains that while it is great to give to your friends, it is important to accept what thy have to offer as well. Applejack thanks her friends for their help and apologizes for her behaviour over some apple juice. Rainbow is hungry, though, from all the applebucking, so to end the show, Spike offers one of the “delicious” muffins which he got from the garbage. Yuck!