Things have been popping in Ponyville (well, at least that sounds a little better than heads rolling in Toupay) during the past two weeks. Hot on the hooves of the "Mane 6"'s turn as superheroes in "Power Ponies" came another nod to comics' Silver Age, so to speak, as "Bats!" included both several homages to Batman and another "unexpected transformation" of a main character. Then, in "Rarity Takes Manehattan," Rarity got her first featured role in over two years, which would have been significant enough (especially in these precincts), but the "stinger" at ep's end may have laid down the first clue as to how the story arc introduced in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" may be resolved.
Well, um, I guess there was no need to hang up a *SPOILER* regarding which character got turned into a bat... "Flutterbat" comes to be when Twilight Sparkle's spell to neutralize a bunch of "vampire fruit bats" that are devastating Applejack's apple farm does what most "change a creature's nature" spells have done on this show. Namely, it backfires. Oh, it "convinces" the bats to stop eating fruit, but, for reasons more or less convincing, the spell also strikes Fluttershy (who, true to her kind and pro-animal nature, had been defending the bats against the others, who simply wanted to get rid of the destructive creatures by any means necessary) and gives her vampiric attributes. You can probably imagine the fan art that flowed out of this. "Flutterbat" is ultimately brought back to normal... so we think. Mwah hah hah!
"Bats!" is fun but kinda contrived and gimmicky, as many of the Season 4 episodes have been. With "Rarity Takes Manehattan," the show returns to first principles with a vengeance. It's not surprising that a lot of people, myself included, are calling it the best ep of the new season thus far. When you're working with the best pony character to begin with, it's hard to miss the mark, but this one definitely strikes the bullseye. Having entered a fashion contest in the Equestrian metropolis, Rarity is betrayed by an old Ponyville colleague who swipes her design ideas, rationalizing the dishonesty away with the argument that "it's everypony for herself" in the big city.
Dave Polsky, recognizing how long it had been since Rarity had been in the spotlight, felt the need to hammer home the "Rarity's Element is Generosity!" meme for the forgetful among us.
here. Look for "kimba_1962."
Actually, I'm not as sure about Fluttershy as I was when I originally wrote the comments. Since Fluttershy unaccountably kept her vampire fang at the end of "Bats!"...