MLP Friendship is Magic, Season One, Episode Twenty-Five, "Party of One" Review

Welcome back everybody.

Once again this review will contain spoilers. Those of you who haven't watched the episode yet, you have been warned.

So the episode starts with Pinkie Pie giving Twilight an invitation to a party she's throwing in honour of the one-year birthday of her toothless pet alligator, Gummy. She present this invitation through today's song, which I'll get to later. As the song progresses, not only do we see Pinkie hand out invitations to all the other main ponies, but becoming increasingly tired as she does so. This eventually results in her collapsing when she goes home, leading to today's title screen.

When the episode begins proper, we find all of the ponies attending the party. And to Pinkie's credit, it looks like a pretty fun party to be at. Dancing, music games, Gummy hiding out in the punch bowl, it's got everything. As the night progresses the party comes to an end and the other five ponies go home. Twilight tells Pinkie how much fun she had before leaving, leading to Pinkie getting the idea of having an "after-birthday" party for everyone. So the following day she goes out to Twilight to invite her. Unfortunately, Twilight tells her that she has lots of studying to catch up one, so Pinkie accepts that and moves on. Then she goes to Applejack, but she too declines the invitation, saying she has a lot of work to get on with on the farm. Then Pinkie goes to Rarity, but once again is turned down as Rarity declares she needs to wash her hair than night, which she purposely makes dirty in front of Pinkie. Finally Pinkie goes to Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy but they also refuse to go, saying (by way of a confusing, contradictory and hastily-put-together explanation) that they have to house-sit for a bear.

Back at her home, pinkie is getting suspicious over all this, wondering how it is that ALL of her friends just happened to be busy tonight. Her suspicions are reinforced when she sees Twilight, not studying, but in fact making her way to the Ponyville cake shop (which Pinkie lives above for the record). Upon eavesdropping on a conversation between Twilight and the baker, she finds that twilight has ordered something for later today. Pinkie decides to follow Twilight across town (which is conspicuously empty today) to find out what's going on. She finds Twilight go to Rarity to pass on the box. Further investigation leads her to see Rarity then pass the box onto Fluttershy, who becomes frightened at the sigh of Pinkie's disguise (which for the record looks like Spongebob if mixed with Groucho Marx). After this, Rainbow comes along carrying a bag filled with unknown contents, and when she notices Pinkie, she bolts in an attempt to escape her. After a series of Looney-Toons-esque hiding and being found moments, Rainbow eventually flies off to Applejack's farm to hide, with Pinkie in hot pursuit. Upon questioning Applejack she's told that there's merely some construction going on. Pinkie, of course not believing a word of it, leaves, still suspicious.

She's becoming increasingly paranoid over all this so decides to seek answers from the weak link of the group. So of course she get's Spike, who's invited to her home under the false pretence of being offered a free bowl of gemstones. However, it soon turns into an intense interrogation on the part of Pinkie Pie, who demands that he tell her what he knows. Spike, becoming increasingly worried and frightened by her questioning, eventually just snaps and tells her what she demands to hear. That her friends are intentionally snubbing her and don't want to be associated with her anymore. However, hearing this, Pinkie goes into a deep depression, with her usually "puffy" hair now going back to being straight, like it was before she got her cutie mark.

The following scene involves her thrown a fake part with some artificial guests, such as a bag of flour, a pile of rocks and a bucket of turnips. Through and increasing delusion, she comes to the conclusion that she doesn't need the rest of them and that she's much better off with her imaginary friends. Just then, Rainbow Dash comes in to apologise for being aloof and avoiding her earlier and that she's like her to follow her. Pinkie Refuses and after much "persuasion" from Rainbvow, she eventually gets dragged over to the barn on Applejack's farm. Once inside the truth is revealed, that the others were planning a surprise birthday party for her. After a brief moment, Pinkie "puffs" up again and goes back to being her usual happy-go-lucky self, utterly thrilled that her friends have done this for her.

The group has a great time at the party and the episode ends with Twilight narrating a letter to the Princess over the lesson that's been learned in all this.

So how does this episode hold up?

Well, I'm just going to come out and say it. I love this episode. It's is a huge amount of fun from beginning to end. The story may be simple and one that's been seen hundreds of times before in other cartoons, but the execution of this story is just note-perfect for this episode. While the story itself may not have the same sense of character development as other episode, it's clear that, much like "A Bird in the Hoof", the emphasis is less on story and character as much as it is on simple entertainment. But that's no criticism, as I can safely say that I was more entertained by this one episode than many of the episodes I've reviewed so far.

Now before anyone thinks I'm selling this episode short, let me just say that in terms of the characters, there IS plenty of good stuff in here. I can probably cite this as being Pinkie's single greatest focus episode, not only because of how entertaining it is, but also because we see her character in situations and shades that we've never seen her in before, and it all works great. Seeing Pinkie becoming increasingly frustrated with the obvious deceptions going on around here was very fitting for the character. Her more deranged moments, especially towards the end were both fun to watch and honestly, a little disturbing. Also, and I know I'm going off-topic here, but I actually kind of like the design they gave her after her interrogation scene with Spike. Not just her hair going straight but the fact that they actually tone down her colour to be less bright than usual. It was very subtle and I didn't pick up on it first time round. Andrea Libman, the voice actress for Pinkie does a very good job throughout the episode, providing the character with a great deal more range than we've seen from her so far, having her sound angry, frustrated, depressed and even slight mad. It's interesting because during her "crazy" period towards the end of the episode she actually sounds more like a normal person than the usual bubble voice they give her, and that couples with the disturbing moments they gave her was a rather odd yet effective combo.

As for the other character they all come across well and none of them are really bad here. Plus, I'd like to talk about a moment with Applejack because I know that if I don't bring this up someone else will. I mentioned way back in my "Applebuck season" review, that I took issue with the fact that Applejack, the "element of honesty", was lying to both herself and her friends throughout the episode. Here, she's in a position where she has to lie once again, only this time it has to be less about stubbornness and more a case of outright deception. Many of you are probably expecting for me to rant about the fact that she has to do this but actually, in the context of the episode and the way the deception is delivered, I actually like it. The reason for this is that she's very, VERY bad at lying. Her attempts to throw Pinkie off the trail are all blatantly obvious to anyone watching. The notion that the "element of honesty" can't give a convincing lie to save her life is actually perfect for both the episode and the character.

However, do not take all this praise as me saying this episode is perfect. There were one or two moments that had be scratching my head with confusion, as usual. Firstly, there's the issue that the five other ponies are trying to do their best to keep this birthday party a secret and yet order the cake (which has Pinkie's face on it I might add) to be made in the cake shot that Pinkie is living on top of. I know there's no other cake shops seen in the show but come on, that's just asking for trouble. Secondly we have Spike. I know what they were going for, that he would be so scared and intimidated by Pinkie's questioning that he'd say anything to get out of it. But to just have him come out and say that the others don't want to be her friend when she asked that he say so, just seems odd to me. I mean he saw first hand how depressed that statement made her when she heard it and all he could think about was eating his dinner. He didn't try to console her, he didn't try to explain that he didn't know what was going on, he just left her like that. Bad form Spike, bad form.

Time to talk about the song now. This week we have "Pinkie's birthday invitation song". I know I've beaten on Shannon Chan-Kent for her singing in the past, but here I'm willing to cut her some slack. She does a good job here of providing an upbeat and energetic song that slowly descends into a sense of exhaustion and being worn-out. In many ways I think this my favourite of Pinkie's songs simply because of that one fact. In fact, when I listen to it, I can't help but imagine the people in the recording studio actuall having the actress go ahead and sing it multiple times just so they coule get the right effect of having pinkie sound tired at the end. I know that probably isn't how it happened, but still.

Humour now and what can I possibly say? This is the funniest episode of the series yet. Everything from the song at the start, to Pinkie's chasing everybody across town, to her crazy time with her made-up friends was just beat-for-beat hilarious. The chase sequence involving Rainbow and Pinkie reminded me very much of the similar chase from "Griffon the brush-off" with the exception that there's more intentional intimidation on the part of Pinkie here. The exchange between Pinkie and Applejack which followed I can safely say is one of the funniest things I've seen in ages. The fact that most of it is done through their expressions is just brilliant. Sometimes you don't need words to be funny and moments like this just exemplify that.

Moral of the story now and this week it seems to be that if people are truly your friends, they'll always have your best interests at heart and that you shouldn't think them as "against you" because of it. No problem with this moral this week.

Overall this was a really fun episode with some good lines, a fine look at the character of Pinkie Pie and some of the funniest moments you'll ever see in this series. It was entertaining from start to finish and I thoroughly recommend that people watch this one.

Join me next time when we finally see our heroines journey to the hotly-anticipated Grand Galloping Gala in the season finale, episode twenty-six, "The Best Night Ever".

See you then.

Glad I'm not the only one who thought the bit with Spike seemed a bit off. Poor Pinkie... That was one of the saddest things I'd ever seen in the show.

I find that it's a lot more depressing to see Pinkie Pie being sad, than Fluttershy, really. A lot of people seem to freak out when they see Fluttershy in tears. But, really she cries over spilled milk. Pinkie Pie, on the other hand, is always so cheerful, upon all odds. So, it's a lot more impacting when she becomes depressed, herself.

Party of one is one of my favourite episodes, as you can see by my avatar.

 

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