Applejack’s “Day” Off
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!
“Applejack’s ‘Day’ Off” was written by Michael and Wil Fox, the same people who wrote “The Gift of the Maud Pie” earlier this season. That being said, I had high hopes for this episode, as “The Gift of The Maud Pie” was really enjoyable. However, “Applejack’s ‘Day’ Off”, though not a terrible episode, was not all that great.
The episode begins with Rarity waiting for Applejack at the spa. The two plan to spend some quality time together, relaxing. However, the fact that Applejack has so many chores to take care of leads to Rarity waiting. Applejack arrives right when the spa closes, and Rarity, who had been in the sauna the entire time, looks like a terrifying raisin pony. This “Prunity” image is one of the best/most horrendous of all time, and one of the few memorable parts of the episode.
The next day, Twilight, Spike, and Rarity all head to Sweet Apple Acres, where Applejack is busy making pies for Spike. In order to give Applejack an hour to spend at the spa with Rarity, Twilight and Spike agree to feed the pigs for Applejack.
I have heard some question as to why Applejack raises pigs, but as a vegetarian like the ponies, it does not seem confusing to me. Apart from finding truffles, pigs could be used to eliminate waste. I watched a show where a body was fed to the pigs to get rid of evidence, but I doubt the Apple Family contains any murderers. (Although Big Mac is pretty quiet and suspicious…) I am sure there is plenty of other waste, like apple cores, perhaps, that the pigs could get rid of. And they could probably pull carts. As an animal lover though, I see no reason that the pigs could not be kept just for companionship. They could be pets or show animals.
Anyway, Twilight begins working through the long and convoluted list of pig-feeding instructions.
When Applejack and Rarity get to the spa, they see Rainbow Dash there. They laugh, thinking spa treatments were not her thing. I mean, if we are going to judge, they don’t seem like AJ’s thing either. But I got my first massage about two months ago, and let me tell you, spa treatment should be everypony’s thing, because massages are so relaxing. Rainbow tries to pass it off as a sports treatment, but her friends see through her story. Although Rainbow Dash’s comedic appearance is not important to the story line, it is one of the best parts of the episode, especially thanks to her Tank slippers.
Rainbow leaves, and Applejack and Rarity want to enjoy some time in the sauna together. However, the steam is not building up properly, and the line is extremely long. Applejack does not want to do other treatment and decides to see what the matter is. After far too much time devoted to it, Applejack figures out what is wrong. There is a small leak and it causes the steam to build up slower. In order to keep the ponies in line happy, the spa frequently provides them with a large number of warm towels. Doing the laundry uses hot water and makes the steam build up problem worse. Applejack gets her tools and fixes the leak while Rarity goes and enjoys other spa treatments.
By the time the leak is fixed, the hour Applejack had to enjoy the spa is up. Rarity calls out the spa for not checking for leaks right away, and mentions that it is a good thing Applejack’s outside eye noticed the inefficiency and problem. She and Rarity decide to check on Twilight and maybe they can return to the spa if everything went smoothly with the pigs.
Back at the farm, Twilight is not having a good time. She and Spike are following the list, but Applejack’s instructions were inefficient, just like the spa was. Applejack explained that they did not get to relax, due to the inefficiency, as she inefficiently finishes her own chores. She is a hypocrite and says you can’t go about doing things the same way and expect them to get better. Twilight points this out and the three ponies and Spike get to finishing the chores in a more efficient way.
The issue is that Rarity and Twilight are able to use their magic to help, meaning Applejack might not be able to do such efficient things on her own. In addition to this, they replace an entire section of fence rather than having Applejack repair small holes in a chain-link fence, Rarity replaces the entire section with new material. This is not only impractical, but a waste of money. I doubt that Sweet Apple Acres has the funds to replace entire fences due to a small hole.
The help from her friends does give Applejack enough time to go back to the spa with Rarity, though. While there, they run into Rainbow Dash again, who admits how important her pampering massages are, not knowing her friends are behind her. They ask her to join them in a few treatments, and she agrees. The end.
This episode, as I have already mentioned, was not great. The Rarity/Applejack duo had so much potential, yet I feel as though it was not played up very well. Ever since season one, the pair’s differences have made things exciting to watch, but this episode seemed weak in that regard. Their different and contrasting personalities were really downplayed in this one.
The best parts were the short scenes involving Rainbow Dash, as the jokes about her and her “sports treatment” were pretty funny. However, these had no bearing on the actual episode or the plot. I’m still glad they were included, because they saved the episode from being a boring flop. A few other things (also with no relevance to the story) were enjoyable, such as the Bulk Biceps stomp massage.
Another problem is that the lesson seemed forced. Yes, an outside eye can be helpful in determining problems in a traditional routine, but it was taught twice, and neither time was it done well. Applejack spent far too long following pipes through the spa and determining the problem. Had this been done quickly and allowed for more time to be developed on her own farm inefficiency, the episode might have been more exciting.
This episode simply failed to capture my full attention. It was good, but not captivating. I found myself choosing to browse Facebook on my phone while watching, since that was more interesting than many parts of the episode. As much as I hate to write a bad review, “Applejack’s ‘Day’ Off” was disappointing. All episodes are worth watching as someone who enjoys the show, and I am sure someone just getting into MLP would not dislike it. I am used to a higher quality cartoon though, and expect MLP episodes to deliver more excitement, better humor, and a more developed story than this one. I hold the show to high standards, and this episode sadly did not meet those. It was simply an average cartoon.