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Season 7, Episode 21: Marks and Recreation

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Title: Marks and Recreation

 

Synopsis: Wanting to help as many blank flanks as possible, the Cutie Mark Crusaders start a Cutie Mark Day Camp, but are surprised when one of their campers doesn't want a cutie mark!

 

Airs: This morning at 11:30 A.M. on Discovery Family

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I was rather interested in this episode when I first heard about it. When I first got into the show and found out what a cutie mark is, I kinda wondered what it would be like if a pony didn't want one. I was thinking more of an adult that didn't get one growing up, but I liked this too. I also thought it was also nice that he realized a cutie mark didn't tie him to one thing.

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There's a number of interesting points raised by the episode though not necessarily for the purpose of getting the message across. Overall I liked this epiosde. I wasn't expecting the song but it was very fun! :approve:

I was bothered that Rumble was being pushed around to do things he didn't want to do. Turned out that it was part of the problem. Rumble relaxed and tried something different when it was on his own terms and people were willing to speak to his interests (starting with the Wonderbolt course). I think this was an important message about really engaging with others and not pushing them around but it was a little lost with the main lesson that was pushed (not being defined by just one thing). Also, it did bug me that the CMC snidely believeed Rumble DID want to be put in a box when it came to Wonderbolt-like athletics. That was very harmful not only to the idea of civil engagement but also to the episode's official lesson.

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1 hour ago, BlackWater said:

There's a number of interesting points raised by the episode though not necessarily for the purpose of getting the message across. Overall I liked this epiosde. I wasn't expecting the song but it was very fun! :approve:

I was bothered that Rumble was being pushed around to do things he didn't want to do. Turned out that it was part of the problem. Rumble relaxed and tried something different when it was on his own terms and people were willing to speak to his interests (starting with the Wonderbolt course). I think this was an important message about really engaging with others and not pushing them around but it was a little lost with the main lesson that was pushed (not being defined by just one thing). Also, it did bug me that the CMC snidely believeed Rumble DID want to be put in a box when it came to Wonderbolt-like athletics. That was very harmful not only to the idea of civil engagement but also to the episode's official lesson.

I think the irony is that Rumble became so afraid of being put in a box, he almost inadvertently put the other blank flanks in a box in the process. It's a good thing Thunderlane has some sense about these things.

In any event, this episode was alright.

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Overall, I thought this was a great episode. I expected it to be great and it didn't let me down. :) 

 

1. One thing I really liked about M&R is how the CMC never truly antagonize Rumble in the episode. Near the end, they get a little angry sure, but the whole way through I really got the sense that they cared about him and just wanted him to see that he is wrong about cutie marks. They were more angry that their camp was sabotaged rather than angry at him. I felt a legitimate level of concern coming from all three of them as they just felt bad that Rumble is misguided and not understanding the true meaning of cutie marks.

 

2. The narrative is also really well done. I'm really happy that the episode never punishes or disrespects Rumble for his views on cutie marks. The episode shows this by actually giving him some really good and legitimate points. The CMC have clearly been busy with work and this work comes directly from what their cutie marks say they are very talented at. Rumble is right to point out that with a cutie mark you will have less time to do other things and these other things may very well be things that you like to do. However, that of course doesn't stop the episode from showing that you are far more than what your cutie mark says you are. You can be very talented in what is said on your flank (obviously) but that doesn't mean you can't be very talented and good at things that aren't necessarily your special talent. Thunder's love for cooking is an excellent example of this.

 

3. The moral of not boxing yourself in and trying many other talents instead of just one is really great by it also shows growth for the CMC. The CMC helping Rumble realize this also leads to their development as teachers in a way. They learned something similar to this moral in On Your Marks and they are now passing it down. They are not just helping ponies get their cutie marks but also helping them understand how the cutie mark works and why it is so very important.

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This one bored me. I think the main issue is that I just didn't care about Rumble, and the appeal of the episode seems to hinge on wanting him to accept Cutie Marks. But Rumble is basically a new character, and he doesn't get much development aside from antagonizing the Cutie Mark Crusaders and wanting to be like his brother. I confess that I missed the cues that Rumble might just be projecting, but I don't think those would increase my interest. I also don't care about the Crusaders getting their camp back, Because I haven't been given time to grow attached to it, and it's easy to guess they'll get it back in the end, there's no tension, and I'm just waiting for the inevitable resolution to come. Mostly, this just doesn't have any good jokes, and it spends too much time verbally exposition thematic ideas that I don't really care about. I know this episode won't challenge the idea of cutie marks, so why should I care about all the pretense? 

 

I'l elaborate later at my review thread.

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I expected this episode to be good. I wasn't expecting it to become S7's third-best episode.

Everyone was excellent here, starting with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Out of every character seen in this series, they grew the most. This episode is no exception. Each of them become teachers to friendship and guides to finding others' cutie marks and, thus, biggest passions. But throughout the series, we never had a moment, character, or episode where they outright reject finding their cutie mark. Rumble's crusade against cutie marks is the first time the show tackles this issue, and the CMCs had to come up with the right solution to snap Rumble out of it. Of the three CMCs, Sweetie Belle was the breakout by screaming at Rumble, showing how sick she was of his anti-Mark pursuit.

Speaking of Rumble, the Hascon preview was really in your face about why blank flanks should refuse the mark quest. Now that the episode fully aired, there's a bunch of context why. From the beginning of Act 1, he outright feared getting his mark (and used his love for flying as a distraction mechanism and piled as many excuses and "whoopsies" to retain his blank flank status. His motivations are clear and thrust his misguided perceptions of them upon both other blank flanks and Kettle Corn. Yet, despite being written in the wrong, like Pharynx from To Change a Changeling, both sides have a point. At no point does DHX invalidate Rumble's misgivings. When Apple Bloom explains how much she enjoys potion-creating with Zecora, he asks her when she last did it, which she couldn't answer. Wondering whether their mark will determine their passions and hobbies will be have been a question bronies have wondered for years; May Chan and DHX at large constructively wove it into the canon and create a solid conclusion.

Yet, despite the CMCs' anger, they were never truly angry at him. At worst, they were annoyed at Rumble for his misguidance and angry at how he sabotaged the Cutie Mark Day Camp. They showed care for Rumble for the entire time and just wanted him to snap out of it. Their solution to solve the problem was extremely proactive, fitting in the friendly theme. Thunderlane had his best appearance yet, and how he worked with the CMCs to prove to everyone, including his li'l bro, that having a cutie mark or searching for one doesn't mean you have to actually give up what you love doing. It took a little bit of time, but when the obstacle course was announced, and he saw TL's passion for cooking, he finally turned the corner. It was also very smart of DHX to not give him his mark: Finding that special mark is a quest, but it doesn't what defines you.

This is easily one of the best episodes of the entire season.

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I hate doing this every time. But I pretty much have no choice.

Yes. This is a viewer discretion warning.

I legitimately don't have much to say here.

We get confirmation that Rumble and Thunderlane are siblings. Which apparently the fandom has been speculating for awhile now. Yay? :pinkieshrug:

Though it wasn't exactly shown to us how Thunderlane became a Wonderbolt so that has my suspicions honestly. I'm just supposed to believe this guy became one without an explanation? Yeah... okay... :eyebrow:

The rest of this episode was honestly Rumble being a jerk. The CMC were right. A cutie mark doesn't mean your stuck doing that particular thing for the rest of your life or as jerk Rumble put it 'put in a box'

You can try other things and see what your good at as well. That's like trying to decide what major to get in college. You don't have to pin yourself down to one. You can try different things and decide which major is best and even when you choose one your allowed to try other things/classes as well.

Rumble was a jerk here and I honestly didn't like it. Even when it was explained and Thunderlane sort of 'resolved' everything doesn't really change the fact that there was absolutely no reason for Rumble to be a jerk in this situation. :derp:

Scared of being unable to do what you want to do because your good a something else? Yeah... I don't see that. There's no rule stating your not allowed to do multiple things. :doublefacehoof:

As far as the 'song' in this episode... it was okay. I guess.

Overall this was another mediocre episode.

Again I didn't hate it. I actually liked it. It just had some... idiocies to it I guess. As in... 'stop being an idiot' situations.

So... yeah...

Current Status:

Stay: 80%
Leave: 20%

Mediocre episodes continue to leave it where it's at.

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I thought the episode was okay overall. While I don't think it was necessarily bad, it didn't have much of a lasting impact on me in any way. In terms of the song, I honestly didn't like it much. Maybe it was Rumble's voice or the fact that the song in and of itself wasn't very catchy nor did it have a memorable melody (I've listened to it twice at this point, 1st from the footage released from Hascon, then again when watching the episode, and I still can't remember it for the life of me) but I didn't care for it and it makes me sad that they're no more songs for the rest of the season, but I guess the songs from the movie mollify this for being so damn good.

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Who wants to be "the haiku pony" for the rest of their life? The format wasn't even designed for the English (or... Ponish?) language. Kettle Corn will be hanging out at a party as an adult, and somepony will come up to her, look at her cutie mark, and say, "Oh hi, are you a writer? My sister writes for the local newspaper. Of course, she really wants to be a novelist". And Kettle Corn will say "That's pretty neat, I (brief pause to indicate line break) actually do haikus. That's my cutie mark." And the other pony'll say "Really? That's... unique." and find an excuse to end the conversation. A cutie mark is a reflection of who you are, your core essence, and she got one in something entirely trivial. It's all well and good to have an abstract design like butterflies or gems, or to have a friggin' heroic shield with music inside it, Sweetie Belle, but what happens if one of these foals actually gets one in horseshoe tossing? Granted, it'll be a horseshoe, so they can pass it off as pretty much anything ("Yeah, I was the regional cross-country champion in college") but they'll always know. They'll always know that the best thing about them is that they're really good at one recreational activity that people do at outdoor social events.

Sure, you can do other things besides what your cutie mark is in, but that's what you're known for. It's a summary of you as a pony that everypony else can see immediately just by looking at your butt, and some of them are really dumb. As much of a little jerk as he was, I found myself siding with Rumble on this one. Riiiiight up until Camp Blank Flank became a lie-around-and-do-nothing party. I'm surprised anypony stuck with him after that.

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Really liked this one too. Mostly because seeing Rumble wreak dissent in the camp was so much fun to watch and because I loved Thunderlane as the big brother.

I also liked it as an episode about cutie marks and their meaning to ponies, as a "lore episode" and Applebloom was very good in it because she suffered from a similar fear as Rumble. Not to mention that the kids' mannerisms were so cute.

The conclusion was very nice too, and wrapped up great.

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Just caught this episode tonight. Thunderlane makes a prominent appearance? His little brother is sarcastic approaching the level of (dare I say it) snide? The writers are going to make me blush! I had a really good time with this episode! :awesomedash:

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