GamerKuma

Season 7 Episode 5 Fluttershy Leans In

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Welp....you go Flutters! Felt kinda shoehorned that after 7 seasons in we learn she's had this long time dream of an animal sanctuary, but at least we got to see all her lessons in being bolder finally shining through. Now if only they STAY shone through, and aren't forgotten by next week. Also, great callback to Big Daddy McColt

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The way the giraffe was designed, I was pretty shocked she was actually an animal instead of a sentient character.

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2 minutes ago, Anti-Villain said:

The way the giraffe was designed, I was pretty shocked she was actually an animal instead of a sentient character.

You thought that as well? I know most of the animals in the show are just slightly more intelligent than our own real ones, but I agree that maybe giraffes would have been another sentient creature, like maybe from wherever Zebras come from.

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2 minutes ago, GamerKuma said:

You thought that as well? I know most of the animals in the show are just slightly more intelligent than our own real ones, but I agree that maybe giraffes would have been another sentient creature, like maybe from wherever Zebras come from.

 

I know, right?

 

Usually, anthro face = character, and non-anthro face = animal.

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Just now, Anti-Villain said:

 

I know, right?

 

Usually, anthro face = character, and non-anthro face = animal.

Once again diving into the dark theory that ponies are the uber race, slowly eradicating the sentience from other non-essential species!!!

Or, yknow, they just felt like having a cute giraffe.

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Actually Fluttershy was assertive in last season too when she was dealing with her brother. So it was nothing new really.

The episode itself though honestly didn't leave an impact on me. While it was nice that I didn't predict the course of the episode as I expected the moral to be that to achieve goal you must compromise and let others to help you. Instead it was that if you have a dream you must not compromise and that you know best. And McColt just came, did his thing and that was it so I wouldn't call it "great callback".

Think what was missing for me was real conflict. From start Fluttershy had plan how to solve everything and the potential conflict was resolved by Flutters just replacing contractors with a single pony and she got help from her friends.  



And Giraffe was exploiting free healthcare.

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1 minute ago, Cinder Vel said:

Actually Fluttershy was assertive in last season too when she was dealing with her brother. So it was nothing new really.

The episode itself though honestly didn't leave an impact on me. While it was nice that I didn't predict the course of the episode as I expected the moral to be that to achieve goal you must compromise and let others to help you. Instead it was that if you have a dream you must not compromise and that you know best. And McColt just came, did his thing and that was it so I wouldn't call it "great callback".

Think what was missing for me was real conflict. From start Fluttershy had plan how to solve everything and the potential conflict was resolved by Flutters just replacing contractors with a single pony and she got help from her friends.  



And Giraffe was exploiting free healthcare.

True, but it's nice seeing her sticking to her assertiveness, since they like to forget about it for plot convenience. 

It's a nice lesson, and one that is a two sided coin, like you pointed out. Sometimes we need to compromise, but sometimes we need to stick to what we feel is best for us. And while you're right in that its not quite a 'callback', still nice to see him again. I liked that episode :D

One could argue the conflict was present in the experts fighting with Flutters, but again, you're right that it was resolved to easily. Maybe having the respective friends that recommended them be present for the breakdown could have added some drama?

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I thought this was a pretty good episode and a nice episode to really highlight Fluttershy's assertiveness to where it seems she has achieved the level necessary to do well in life. Only issue I had is that I wished they had made mention of Fluttershy's dream for a sanctuary sooner. Much like Twilight suddenly having a brother and an alicorn babysitter from A Canterlot wedding, the sanctuary goal came out of left field and to compound it more it was done after it became apparent the vet needed help and not out of her trying to create one before hand. Other than an awkward setup for Fluttershy's dream goal, this was a good episode. I would give it a B upon first impressions.

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It's nice to see Fluttershy keeping her learned lessons in mind. No regression. 

So much critter cuteness. xD

Fans of Fluttershy will like this. Though I can imagine that others could be bored like I'm usually bored at fashion themed episodes. It was laid back slice of life without strong conflict. It reminded me of older episodes, which is positive.

 

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Fluttershy was absolutely on point here. Since her disastrous performance in Rainbow Falls (then again, everyone there was disastrous ;)), her characterization has gradually improved with little flanderization and/or out of characterization. Even in bad episodes like Flutter Brutter, she was the highlight. While she was still sweet and caring, her entire goal for this project is to care for and respect the animals and will do everything in her power to make sure they were given the proper treatment.

While those "experts" had their vision, it was clearly not the one she was looking for. No, she's a very bad blueprint planner, but she clearly has a pictorial idea of how she wants the sanctuary to be developed. Not only does she clearly understand how the animals behave. She understands they need the right habitat to thrive, rehabilitate, and survive. All three "experts" clearly betrayed her by not only doing what they wanted, but doing it right behind her back, even though she flat-out said "No!" Three words: "No means no!" While it was surprising to hear her shout and yell at them, she's well within her right to do so.

There was some criticism of Fluttershy for hiring Hard Hat, Wrangler, and Dandy Grandeur and for the RM5 for recommending them to her. That criticism makes no sense. Like a building itself, animal sanctuaries require design and construction. According to her friends, they were experts in their fields and worked with them during their spare time, so Fluttershy trusts their instincts. The construction worker would plan and build the sanctuary. The interior designer would lay out the sanctuary and make the enclosures fit in each of their environments. The wrangler would help build the fencing so no animal can either escape or invade in other animals' spaces. In short (and credit to Maud Pie for this), the three occupations make a whole lotta sense. Unfortunately, each of their recommendations are reliant on word and mouth. While it's understandable in Fluttershy's point of view, having flashbacks of these three showing showing us how well they craft their work can lend in some extra credibility to their work. How? When people see how well they work, then we as an audience can believe them better and trust AJ's, Pinkie's and Rarity's advice. All of the characters were never even heard of until here, so this doubles the important. Moreover, when the audience can see how well they work, yet betray Fluttershy's vision, that betrayal can sting more to the audience.

It's a little detail, but it's also important. One big flaw from last season is how Starlight wasn't treated as an actual part of the cast, but was thrown in whenever the episode needed her. Even if she didn't have to speak and could be included as some cameo like Dungeons, she was absent. Here, she was directly involved in building the sanctuary. Little details like these further establish her as an organic part of their world.

As I think about this episode, some issues definitely crop up.

The biggest one is how simplistic the plot is. If you read G. M. Berrow's books, simplicity in plot is what she tends to write. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well in a 22-minute plot, which makes the conflict drawn out overall and overlooked on some key things, particularly in one scene. Like any form of construction, building a sanctuary is really complex and requires a lot of planning. Despite clear understanding of how Fluttershy wants the sanctuary laid out, there's a big difference between drawing a landscape and designing/planning one. There's no blueprint in the literal construction of the place. She showed Hard Hat the drawing and notes, told him very clearly what she wants and doesn't want, and it was off from there. When you don't have a blueprint, nothing truly gets done, much less get started, and you risk major mishaps along the way. It's very important in any job to have clear and concise direction and communication. Clarity on both sides was semi-absent. The conflict would be given much better justice had there been some development of a blueprint for the sanctuary. Sadly, DHX skips over this really important level of detail, and it hurts the conflict. Credit goes to EQD's Seraphem and Sirius Face for pointing this out.

The language of "sanctuary" could've been clearer, too. Traditionally, animal sanctuaries are built so they live there for the rest of their lives. From what Fluttershy suggests to the audience, no one in Equestria has done this type of project before, which is why it's treated as so ambitious. In real life, sanctuaries exist throughout. Now, before we get further, not all sanctuaries are equal. Some sanctuaries are treated as rehabilitation centers or temporary homes for animals, where the wild is treated and will either be released or relocated to a new home. Here, the show exclusively treats an animal sanctuary as a physical rehab place, and as the animals here show some level of sapience, it makes sense. Could've been better if there was…I don't know…another word or phrase.

Fluttershy's goal is very sudden, too, but it's more of an issue with the show itself (in particular its on-the-fly canon) rather than the episode itself, so I hold nothing against it. That said, she does show some understanding of building the right environments for specific animals, as evident by Bats's ending, so there's some credit to continuity here. It could've been a better if it was hinted early in the episode to lead her goal in better.

While there are some issues here, it doesn't change the things it does right. As far as character and progression is concerned, this is some of Fluttershy's best characterization. She had the right idea on what the animals need and is absolutely in the right to call out the people she hired for betraying her word. And despite not having a blueprint, she does know what she's doing, and she's assertive without crossing the line. It's a good episode, but could've done better if the plot was quicker.


ETA: Things have changed a bit. Read my follow-up why.

Edited by Dark Qiviut
ETA added, last paragraph crossed out.
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3 minutes ago, Dark Qiviut said:

Fluttershy was absolutely on point here. Since her disastrous performance in Rainbow Falls (then again, everyone there was disastrous ;)), her characterization has gradually improved with little flanderization and/or out of characterization. Even in bad episodes like Flutter Brutter, she was the highlight. While she was still sweet and caring, her entire goal for this project is to care for and respect the animals and will do everything in her power to make sure they were given the proper treatment.

While those "experts" had their vision, it was clearly not the one she was looking for. No, she's a very bad blueprint planner, but she clearly has a pictorial idea of how she wants the sanctuary to be developed. Not only does she clearly understand how the animals behave. She understands they need the right habitat to thrive, rehabilitate, and survive. All three "experts" clearly betrayed her by not only doing what they wanted, but doing it right behind her back, even though she flat-out said "No!" Three words: "No means no!" While it was surprising to hear her shout and yell at them, she's well within her right to do so.

There was some criticism of Fluttershy for hiring Hard Hat, Wrangler, and Dandy Grandeur and for the RM5 for recommending them to her. That criticism makes no sense. Like a building itself, animal sanctuaries require design and construction. According to her friends, they were experts in their fields and worked with them during their spare time, so Fluttershy trusts their instincts. The construction worker would plan and build the sanctuary. The interior designer would lay out the sanctuary and make the enclosures fit in each of their environments. The wrangler would help build the fencing so no animal can either escape or invade in other animals' spaces. In short (and credit to Maud Pie for this), the three occupations make a whole lotta sense. Unfortunately, each of their recommendations are reliant on word and mouth. While it's understandable in Fluttershy's point of view, having flashbacks of these three showing showing us how well they craft their work can lend in some extra credibility to their work. How? When people see how well they work, then we as an audience can believe them better and trust AJ's, Pinkie's and Rarity's advice. All of the characters were never even heard of until here, so this doubles the important. Moreover, when the audience can see how well they work, yet betray Fluttershy's vision, that betrayal can sting more to the audience.

It's a little detail, but it's also important. One big flaw from last season is how Starlight wasn't treated as an actual part of the cast, but was thrown in whenever the episode needed her. Even if she didn't have to speak and could be included as some cameo like Dungeons, she was absent. Here, she was directly involved in building the sanctuary. Little details like these further establish her as an organic part of their world.

As I think about this episode, some issues definitely crop up.

The biggest one is how simplistic the plot is. If you read G. M. Berrow's books, simplicity in plot is what she tends to write. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well in a 22-minute plot, which makes the conflict drawn out overall and overlooked on some key things, particularly in one scene. Like any form of construction, building a sanctuary is really complex and requires a lot of planning. Despite clear understanding of how Fluttershy wants the sanctuary laid out, there's a big difference between drawing a landscape and designing/planning one. There's no blueprint in the literal construction of the place. She showed Hard Hat the drawing and notes, told him very clearly what she wants and doesn't want, and it was off from there. When you don't have a blueprint, nothing truly gets done, much less get started, and you risk major mishaps along the way. It's very important in any job to have clear and concise direction and communication. Clarity on both sides was semi-absent. The conflict would be given much better justice had there been some development of a blueprint for the sanctuary. Sadly, DHX skips over this really important level of detail, and it hurts the conflict.

The language of "sanctuary" could've been clearer, too. Traditionally, animal sanctuaries are built so they live there for the rest of their lives. From what Fluttershy suggests to the audience, no one in Equestria has done this type of project before, which is why it's treated as so ambitious. In real life, sanctuaries exist throughout. Now, before we get further, not all sanctuaries are equal. Some sanctuaries are treated as rehabilitation centers or temporary homes for animals, where the wild is treated and will either be released or relocated to a new home. Here, the show exclusively treats an animal sanctuary as a physical rehab place, and as the animals here show some level of sapience, it makes sense. Could've been better if there was…I don't know…another word or phrase.

Fluttershy's goal is very sudden, too, but it's more of an issue with the show itself (in particular its on-the-fly canon) rather than the episode itself, so I hold nothing against it. That said, she does show some understanding of building the right environments for specific animals, as evident by Bats's ending, so there's some credit to continuity here. It could've been a better if it was hinted early in the episode to lead her goal in better.

While there are some issues here, it doesn't change the things it does right. As far as character and progression is concerned, this is some of Fluttershy's best characterization. She had the right idea on what the animals need and is absolutely in the right to call out the people she hired for betraying her word. And despite not having a blueprint, she does know what she's doing, and she's assertive without crossing the line. It's a good episode, but could've done better if the plot was quicker.

Well said!

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Fluttershy is Awesome: The Episode.

This is the kind of episode that makes fans happy.

 

EDIT: By the way... Something good came out of The Hooffields and the McColts...

Edited by Metemponychosis
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On 5/1/2017 at 0:16 AM, Dark Qiviut said:

While there are some issues here, it doesn't change the things it does right. As far as character and progression is concerned, this is some of Fluttershy's best characterization. She had the right idea on what the animals need and is absolutely in the right to call out the people she hired for betraying her word. And despite not having a blueprint, she does know what she's doing, and she's assertive without crossing the line. It's a good episode, but could've done better if the plot was quicker.

Well, things have changed. If you click on the link, notice how the bottom paragraph's crossed out now.

The more I think about it, the bigger the issues surrounding the conflict come up.

What helps create an engaging story is not just the conflict in itself, but also the depth of the conflict. When you have both sides being right and wrong, you help create interest for the viewer. Fluttershy is very assertive here, which she should be after the people she hired turned their backs on her. Yet, her and everyone else being in character doesn't make an episode or story good in quality. There are some huge additional problems with the conflict.

  1. It's extremely bare, if not nonexistent. Even though the pacing is really slow (which I'll get to), there's almost no tension here. Whatever tension is there is wiped away because the antagonists are one-dimensional, stereotypical, or both. When there's no tension, you tend to feel annoyed or cross at the antagonists if they do something bad just for the sake of it.

    If you're going to make an antagonist a really big dick, add another vessel to enhance that conflict. Two episodes do this right: Rarity Takes Manhattan and The Main Attraction.

    In RTM, Suri plagiarized Rarity because she believed that the only way to make it to Manehattan is to take no prisoners. Rarity was visibly shaken and took it out on her friends even though they did nothing wrong. Why? Because she feels psychologically and emotionally betrayed. Rarity's feeling of betrayal and lust to get back at Suri adds depth and tension to the conflict, catapulting when she realizes her friends weren't there and believes her actions cause a fallout. Moreover, there's a small B-plot with a lot of visual storytelling: Coco visibly regretted being involved in Suri's scheme in every scene she was in leading up to the ending.

    Svengallop is Equestria's biggest jerk, and Applejack has to prove that he's manipulating Rara. But even though he's self-absorbed, he helped her rise to stardom, and Rara gave out valid reasons to believe him and stick with him directly to AJ. It took AJ's stubborn instincts and help from her friends to catch him in the act.

    Both episodes spend their time developing their conflict from the beginning to the end. That doesn't happen in FLI. She hires ponies to help her develop the sanctuary, and when she isn't looking, they go behind her back, and leave after getting caught a few minutes later. Conflict goes in and out.
  2. The pacing is really sluggish. When does the conflict begin? About eight minutes in. Remember, each FIM episode is only 22 minutes long. Beginning the conflict more than one-third of the way through is really late. And it's not like they're stuffing in so much detail in the beginning, either. The story leading up to the conflict is extremely straightforward and took plenty of time preparing itself. When your pacing is that slow, then people are gonna get bored. When people get bored, they may stop, fast-forward, or change the channel. No good episode can dawdle to a sterile conflict. I'm not sure if that truly happened here, but the final product feels over-edited.
  3. It's so one-sided when it shouldn't be. Fluttershy is portrayed to be one-hundred percent in the right the entire time, when she should've borne some responsibility for this mess. Fluttershy met them together only once to explain what she wants. Then when she and Hard Hat talk together, they spend no time planning or preparing a blueprint. She gives them her ideas and vague guidelines, and that was that. For Dandy, the same thing with the colors she expects. She doesn't talk a lot about what type of patterns she wants, what type of material she wants, whether the material will be safe for the animals. For Wrangler, Fluttershy could've talked with her about not just the cages, but the size and height to keep them all safe and not worry about them running away prematurely. Fluttershy can work with Wrangler alongside Twilight and even Starlight (and perhaps Sunburst) into creating enclosures that can potentially repel Everfree creatures humanely. If she worked with Hard Hat, Dandy, and Wrangler and took their time conversing with each other, then they could've cooperated with each other better and understood Fluttershy's expectations and standards.

    This episode feels like it's trying to ride Suited for Success's coattails, this time in the client's point of view instead of the freelancer's. Unfortunately, the primary moral of sticking true to your creative vision even if others try to get in your way doesn't work here. What if Fluttershy has conceptual flaws in her sanctuary? Is everything safe for the animals, and can the sanctuary keep dangerous fantastical animals out? How can you plan it so you have the right measurements, acres, height, and area? Can they test it? Since these animals have some level of sapience in it, and Fluttershy can communicate with them easily, she can ask the animals for advice and be the middlemare to build the best sanctuary possible. There's no such thing as a perfect project. Everything can improve. Because of its shallow, sluggish conflict and Fluttershy's careless mistakes that any responsible client or contractor should pay attention to, the theme and moral they're trying to teach really ring hollow.

After sitting back and thinking about the episode, the flaws become more and more exposed. It did many things right, yet has some major issues with the conflict, both in its plausibility and weight. If one of your most important parts of telling a story has major issues, then your whole story begins to collapse.

Is Fluttershy Leans In bad? No. But is it good, either? No. It's the weakest episode conflict-wise since AJ's "Day" Off, and I would even say FLI's a little worse. At average, it's the worst episode of the season so far.

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I liked this episode. I like how it showed how far Fluttershy has come since the series started when she told off the ponies that didn't do what she wanted (admittedly, I wasn't sure if she knew what she was doing either at least when it came to the architecture, but but betraying her trust like that was not okay) and that she was able to get the sanctuary going.

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10 hours ago, PinkiePie97 said:

I liked this episode. I like how it showed how far Fluttershy has come since the series started when she told off the ponies that didn't do what she wanted (admittedly, I wasn't sure if she knew what she was doing either at least when it came to the architecture, but but betraying her trust like that was not okay) and that she was able to get the sanctuary going.

Totally! I mean yes I really liked the episode too and :yay: for McColt! I agree that Fluttershy wasn't 100% clear about directing the creation of the sanctuary. When a project leader is too vague then things can go badly. But I do think it was more of the other ponies fault for not communicating well. I mean, it's a big no-no to secretly change plans or go against requests like they did (and they clearly knew that what they planned was not what Shy wanted). Fluttershy gave them some parameters and they went against it. A good project teammate fully communicates what they're going to do to contribute. That's coming from my own experience IRL. :HappyPinkie:

 

Also :glomp: for cutie giraffe~!

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Yay for yet another viewer discretion!! Oh wait...

 

Not much for me to really say about this one.

It was unsurprising that Fluttershy's 'dream' involved animals. Honestly... the problem was a little predictable with the help from ponies the Mane 6 knew.

But I liked seeing Fluttershy being assertive correctly this time instead of the previous incorrect way. :mlp_smile:

I also kind of liked the 'lesson' for this one. That being that when you strive for your dreams make sure you do it your way and not the way of what so-called 'professionals' think is the better way to do it. :newspaper:

Either way I kind of liked this one. Pretty good honestly.

Current Status:

Stay: 40%
Leave: 60%

Not good enough for a 20% increase to stay but good enough for at least a 10% increase to stay.

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A nice, low-key episode for a nice, low-key personality! And an important lesson in there, too. Not just for the Fluttershies of the world, but for the Hard Hats/Wranglers/Dandy Grandeurs of it too! And I think that's pretty much all of us at some point.

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As a Fluttershy fan, I didn't like this episode too much. I liked how it made Fluttershy assertive, but the plot itself just seemed too simplistic. 

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I'm gonna be nice and give this one a B-, while I do agree with most and say that not much really happens in terms of stakes, it's always a treat to see AssertiveShy

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