My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Bats”
Okay, what’s up with Fluttershy this season? This is the second episode in a row where they turn her into some freakish creature!
Is she to be the Jimmy Olsen of My Little Pony? If so, there’s something strangely delightful about dear little Fluttershy turning into these… things. What will they do next week? Turn her into a slimy mutant blob? That could work.
And now, this week’s episode, simply titled “Bats”!
We start off with Applejack up bright and early because it’s Apple Bucking Day, where she bucks trees and watches the apples fall. But this time, the apples are mushy and rotten, because it turns out all the juice has been sucked out of them by “vampire fruit bats”. In fact, her entire orchard is infested with the critters.
Since Applejack’s brother Big McIntosh and her Granny Smith are conveniently both out of town (in the middle of apple bucking season? …And heck if I know where Apple Bloom is in all of this), Applejack calls upon her pony friends to help her with the infestation, and they all agree to help.
That is, except for Fluttershy, who would befriend a cockroach if it crawled under her bed. She thinks that the bats have a right to be there, and they should work with the bats. Umm, Fluttershy? I’m sorry, but I have to agree with the other ponies on this one. This is not a question of Applejack moving into some other animals’ territory and completely messing up their habitat. This is a critter infestation on Applejack’s farm. If you get a rat infestation or a cockroach infestation in your house, you don’t invite them to live there, because that would be disgusting and unhealthy. You’ve got to get rid of them!
Fluttershy suggests giving them a piece of the land, and there are several problems with this idea. For starters, if you invite critters to stay, it’ll just attract even more critters, while the critters settled there will reproduce, and eventually you’ll be swimming in critters and they’ll eat everything!
But at least we get a song out of this one, and what an awesome song it is. I love how this is one of the more somber and scary numbers they’ve done, like something you’d hear at Halloween. I especially like the ending, as the five ponies sing together as a choir against Fluttershy. It’s just the right mixture between fun and a little bit creepy.
So at least they agree that they need to get rid of the vampire fruit bats. Twilight has an idea: she’ll cast a spell that’ll make the fruit bats hate apples. Oh yes, because this exact plan worked so well in season one, didn’t it?
But the ponies decide to go ahead with the plan anyway. In order for the spell to work, they need the vampire fruit bats to gather together and stand still for a certain amount of time. Fluttershy finds herself in a tight spot, as the ponies decides that her special stare, able to stun any animal, is the perfect way to do it. At first Fluttershy says no, but I guess peer pressure is a motherpony.
They lure in the vampire fruit bats, and Fluttershy captivates them with her stare, and Twilight does her spell, and everything seems hunky dory.
…Or does it? Because the next morning, Applejack discovers the apples are ruined again. It can’t be the fruit bats, since they refuse to eat the apples now, so what could it be? To find out, the ponies decide to investigate the following night.
Eventually, they discover that the culprit is Fluttershy, who’s turned into a pony-vampire, sucking all the juice out of the apples. Oh… kay.
To explain how this happened, Twilight shows off one of the accessories she got along with her princess wings. Namely, a cybernetic projector that looks like something out of Star Trek, that shows how the vampire fruit bats’ lust for apples accidentally got transferred to Fluttershy while Twilight was casting her spell. In the process, it apparently turned Fluttershy into one of Princess Luna’s minions.
To get Fluttershy back to normal, they have to keep her still, like the fruit bats from before. But since they now lack her stare to do it, Applejack sacrifices her prized apple, which appears to be just big enough to get Cinderella to the ball. The bait works and Vampire-Fluttershy closes in.
Thanks to another spell from Twilight, Fluttershy is soon turned back to normal, but so are the fruit bats. So Applejack suggests going ahead with Fluttershy’s original idea of giving the bats a sanctuary among her apple trees. Apparently, this will create a healthy ecology where the fruit bats eat the apples and spit the seeds out, thus planting new and better trees. Which will then create more apples for the bats to eat, until there’s enough exponential growth in the bat population that the farm won’t be able to contain them any longer. I guess Applejack will just have to shoot the critters and serve up some Bat Wing Stew to Fluttershy’s bear friend. Can’t let ‘em go to waste!
This episode is a mixed bag, and pretty average for My Little Pony. The highlight for me in this episode was definitely the song “Stop the Bats”, which was highly enjoyable.
The message (that you shouldn’t give into peer pressure, or you’ll just end up being turned into a vampire… or something) is worthwhile, but gets obscured by the fact that Fluttershy is actually in the wrong this time around. Yes, it’s pretty unfortunate that she got turned into a vampire pony, but who the heck even saw that coming? Twilight has used magic plenty of times before without any consequences; the episode is not even trying to tell a “use your powers responsibly” lesson.
This message of learning how to stand up for yourself has been told better in previous episodes. For instance, there’s the season two episode “Putting Your Hoof Down”, where the lesson is that you’re allowed to say no to your friends. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.
Yes, it was wrong of the ponies to force Fluttershy into something she didn’t want to do, but I don’t think any of them counted on her turning into a vampire.
That being said, there were a lot of fun moments, and the story was quite solid. It’s a completely average episode, so that would be two and a half ponies out of five. Oh, and one last thing…
What is this final image teasing at? Is Fluttershy a permanent vampire now?
See you next week!