Season 5, Episode 6
And so we get our first Dave Polsky episode of the season, featuring the ever so adorable Cutie Mark Crusaders!
Will they finally get their cutie marks? Of course not! Will they ever? At this point, I'm not so sure.
We begin with a pan over Appleoosa. Apple Bloom reveals to the other two Crusaders, and to the audience, that their reason for being here is to watch Applejack compete in the upcoming rodeo. After a showcasing of the various activities involved with this approaching event, a mysterious character hidden in the shadows watches from a distance and leaves a hoofprint behind.
After the theme song, we get some banter between Applejack and an injured Braeburn, followed by a near disaster in which the Cutie Mark Crusaders are almost crushed by a toppling stack of hay. Sheriff Silverstar then comes by, spots a hoofprint next to the freshly disheveled pile of hay and declares that there "ain't no doubt" that it belongs to "Trouble Shoes".
And then the fitting dramatic background music which plays turns out to be coming from a clown playing a harmonica. That was actually pretty funny.
Anyway, this scene shows that Trouble Shoes' hoofprints are characteristically unique in that they're abnormally large, making them easy to identify. Apart from the size and the fact that it looks like he's wearing horseshoes, there's nothing much more to them.
Upon hearing of this news, the worried town gathers and is promptly addressed by the sheriff who promises that the rodeo will go on. Apple Bloom then tells Applejack that she and the rest of the Crusaders want to take part in the rodeo, a suggestion for which they are almost sent home. Luckily for them, Braeburn intervenes and promises to keep an eye on them.
Of course, he fails. They escape and go on a trip to find Trouble Shoes, a supposed dangerous criminal. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo seem somewhat aware that this isn't the smartest idea, but they follow Apple Bloom deeper into the forest anyway. They get totally lost.
On a side note, Trouble Shoes' hooves are ENORMOUS! They're the size of an entire filly!
Speaking of which, they run into Trouble Shoes after breaking into his home. He turns out to be a simple unlucky fellow rather than the criminal he's made out to be, so the Crusaders decide to befriend him.
On the trip back to the town, we get the origin story of his cutie mark, the meaning of which he misinterprets to represent bad luck. The Crusaders bring this point up just as Trouble Shoes gets arrested.
The next day, the three fillies break him out of jail and sneak him into the rodeo dressed as a clown, and he really gets into it!
By the way, why did Applejack get a trophy for a group effort in her event? Did everyone get one? That's a lot of trophies.
Trouble Shoes realises his true talent and unintentionally reveals himself to the crowd. The crusaders stick up for him, explain away all of the misunderstandings, leading to a nice moral and resolution.
While funny, I found the jokes to be weaker than those in some of Dave Polsky's other episodes, as well as the episode that preceded this one, "Tanks for the Memories".
So why is it that I like this episode more?
Yes, you read that correctly. I like this episode more than the last one!
Maybe it's the inclusion of the three cutest fillies in the show. Maybe it's Trouble Shoes. Maybe it's just the way Dave Polsky writes.
What this episode might have lacked in laugh factor, it more than made up for in heart. That's not to say it wasn't funny, it most definitely was. Trouble Shoes was a great character to pair up with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Their personalities played off each other quite well since they contrasted so much, and provided some funny scenes. Having the trio help realise someone else's destiny was a nice change from constantly seeing them trying to realise their own.
On the whole, I quite liked this episode! The story progression flowed very nicely, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were enjoyable to watch, and Trouble Shoes was fairly amusing also.
Dave Polsky did not disappoint!