The Fault in Our Cutie Marks
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!
The episode begins with Scootaloo helping a pony named Petunia with digging in her sandbox. Inside of the house, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle are speaking to Petunia’s parents; apparently the two are concerned by her cutie mark and believe it is macabre since it’s a skull and bones. I legit thought we were going to have a serial killer pony. As they are talking, Petunia becomes excited outside. It turns out she found a dinosaur skeleton, and her parents quickly realize (with great relief) that she’s an archaeologist, not a pirate as they had suspected. A pirate pony is cool, and a lot less macabre than a serial killer, but I guess archaeology is okay too.
Afterwards, Scootaloo celebrates another successful CMC intervention and talks with the group about everyone they’ve helped. As they are talking, Sweetie Belle ponders if there’ll ever be a time they can’t help someone. Apple Bloom says “Like, a griffon?” As Sweetie Belle laughs it off, they eventually get her to notice the griffon perched on the house in front of them.
They decide to ask what she wants, even though the Crusaders are afraid of griffons and their reputation. Once they approach the griffon she’s extremely happy to see them and jumps to give them all a hug. She introduces herself as Gabby, and is extremely excited to meet the CMC because of their ability to help others.
Finally, Gabby reveals her purpose: she’s here to ask for help to get a cutie mark! The CMC decide to investigate and bring her for an interview about why she’d like a cutie mark. She says (as they know) griffons don’t have a reputation for being kind. She delivers the mail and is always upbeat and happy which makes her feel very isolated. One day, she saw RD and Pinkie come and help some griffons out, and realized that there were others out there (ponies) who were kind and helpful like she was. She tried and make sense of why they were so kind when griffons typically are not, and deduced it must be because of the cutie marks. When she finally got the chance to deliver a letter to Ponyville she asked all over town for help, and everyone told her to go to the CMC.
The CMC explain, while Gabby anxiously awaits the appearance of her own cutie mark, that getting a cutie mark just sort of happens and they’ve never heard of it happening to a griffon. Gabby realizes that it sounds like a challenge, and trusts the CMC to figure it out while she delivers a letter back to the griffons. The CMC go to Twilight for assistance. The picture Twilight paints is bleak, and the crusaders ask if its possible to use magic to make the mark appear for Gabby, something Twilight reminds them doesn’t work out very well, and Gabby’s chances of being able to get a cutie mark are very small.
The CMC are saddened by this, but while leaving, they realize that although they can’t help her to get her cutie mark, they can still help Gabby find her purpose in life. Returning home, they run into Gabby again, and while trying to explain why she can’t get her cutie mark Gabby interrupts them and assumes she’s going to be able to get one. She flies around and celebrates. Finally, the Crusaders confront her with the truth, and although she initially panics, Gabby points out that Twilight never said it was impossible for a griffon to get a cutie mark.
The Crusaders decide to be optimistic with her, and that helping her is worth a try. They immediately get down to business with a chart to find her purpose. When they ask her whats she’s good at, and she says she wants to try everything. So the CMC immediately break into song! Gabby tries all sorts of activities to see what she excels at, and immediately the problem becomes clear that she’s great at everything she does. They tell her they have no idea how to help her anymore, and she flies away upset. If only I could be as good at everything as Gabby…
Back at headquarters, the CMC are discussing what happened and lamenting over their failure. Gabby bursts through the door and proudly states she has gotten her cutie mark, which is a cauldron. As they question her, she becomes a little shy and says that it must have been the first thing they tried after breaking into song. The Crusaders celebrate their success and are overjoyed they’re no longer failures. They immediately want to bring Gabby to see Twilight and catalog this, but Gabby asks them to head to the castle to see Twilight, saying she’ll meet them there after delivering a letter.
When the crusaders get to the castle, it turns out Gabby was already there, and left a letter before leaving. Gabby says she’s heading home to tell all the other griffons about how they did the impossible to get her a cutie mark. Twilight overhears and can’t wait to research the issue. The CMC are confused that Gabby wouldn’t come in and show her the mark. They realize something is wrong and go to find her immediately. Eventually, they locate her, helping a pony out. The CMC confront her asking why she’s running away, and she says shes just excited to show off her cutie mark. This is when Apple Bloom points out that the mark is melting off her flank after she fell into some mud. It reminds me of the time Starlight’s fake equality CM washes off.
Gabby reveals that she faked her cutie mark to make the crusaders feel better, and not because she needed to pretend to be less upset. The CMC tell her she doesn’t need to apologize and that they just wanted to help her. Scootaloo tells her that they noticed every time she did something new, one thing stayed the same: her commitment to help those around her. She even tried to help the Crusaders when they were feeling down over what happened. That’s when they realized that helping others must be her special purpose. She protests this (since helping just feels good), but they tell her that what makes someone special isn’t what they are good at but what makes them feel good, so therefore, her destiny must be to help others.
No symbol is needed to prove that, but they made her a badge in the shape of the CMC logo, and invite her into the Crusaders as their first griffon member. Everyone celebrates and Gabby promises to go home and spread the values of the CMC, and they all make her promise to come back and see them soon.
I really liked this episode and the lesson it taught. Gabby was a super cute character and I loved her upbeat happy personality. Even though there have been a lot of CMC episodes this season, I am not yet sick of them. They’ve all been really good, including this one 🙂 The pun in the title (Based off of John Green’s novel, The Fault in Our Stars/ a line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar). Clever and catchy. I approve.