• "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies": Episode Followup

    Fluttershy couldn't believe her luck. She'd always loved watching the Breezies and helping them travel across Equestria with their stories of pollen each year, but now her entire home was full of them! They'd be on their way again soon, of course, but for the time being, she couldn't have asked for a better surprise gift.

    As she leaned back against her couch and watched the little creatures flitter around her living room, the sound of buzzing wings suddenly began to grow louder, and then cut out as she felt the slightest bit of pressure on her shoulder. Out of the corner of her eye, she could barely see Seabreeze perched there, his gossamer wings standing up on his back and his face compressed into his trademark scowl.

    "So," the leader of the Breezies said after a moment's pause. "Think you're ready to take care of us?"

    "I suppose so," Fluttershy answered. Two of the Breezies careened into each other in midair and went twirling down together onto the same pillow, and a smile broke her concentration before she could finish the thought. "For a little while, at least."

    Seabreeze sighed and went quiet again. Even though she could no longer see him, Fluttershy had the distinct feeling he was glaring at her. "Well, if you're fixin' ta keep us here long, there are some rules you've got ta follow."

    "Oh?" Fluttershy said. "What kind of rules?"

    "First of all, keep us out of the light. We hate bright light, especially sunlight. It'll kill us. Second of all, don't give us any water, not even ta drink. But the most important rule, the rule ya can never forget no matter how we cry or how we beg... never feed us after midnight."

    "Don't worry," Fluttershy assured him. "I can handle that. Besides, I've dealt with parasprites before. Breezies can't be more dangerous than that, can they?"

    Seabreeze took off from her shoulder before she even finished her sentence, and his braying laughter cut off the last few words. "Oh, you know all about the parasprites, do ya?" he said, zipping in close to her so their eyes were inches apart. "Then tell me this, Missy: where do ya suppose those parasprites all come from?"

    My name is Aquaman, this is the "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies" episode followup, and I swear Ponvyille looked like this when I got here. Off to work we go.

    Pinkie Pie's tail: like Batman's utility belt, only more functional. And probably more efficient at repelling sharks.

    Which, of course, doesn't stop Fluttershy from secretly hating Pinkie with every fiber of her being but being too shy and polite to ever outwardly show it. Look, you've heard stupider headcanons, just let me roll with this one.

    This episode seems to continue supporting the notion that ponies have complete control, or at least a large influence, over pretty much every natural process in Equestria. We definitely knew they were responsible for everything from the weather to plant growth to the movements of celestial bodies, but apparently they even play a major role in the migratory patterns of other sentient species. No wonder none of the dangerous, bloodthirsty beasts the Mane 6 encounter never seem to rack up a bodycount: they probably depend on those little walking marshmallows to teach their hatchlings algebra or something.

    Look at her subtle off-pink coloring. The tasteful thickness of her mane. Oh, Celestia, she even has a watermark.

    "Fluttershy, why aren't you cheering with us?"
    "I... I have to return some videotapes."

    Applejack seems to have gotten more and more sarcastic as the season goes along, and it has done nothing but endear her to me more and more. It's tough being the only one who wonders what in tarnation a "quiet cheer" is supposed to sound like, but somepony's gotta do it.

    "For Pete's sake, Rarity, quit cowerin'! It's just Fluttershy."
    "Speak for yourself. You weren't the one who had to help clean out her shed last weekend!"
    "What in tarnation's wrong with her shed?"
    "It was filthy. You'd think she would've at least swept up every once in a while."

    I'm not sure why the arrival of the Breezies merits a mariachi band, but any day when someone ups Ponyville's Manly Mustache Quotient is a good day in my book.

    "Told you I could fit the whole thing in there. Pay up, Twilight."
    "That's what your mo--"
    "Double or nothing it can fit up your nose too."

    I thought this was Thunderlane at first, but as far as I can tell no one really knows who the stallion on the right is. My first instinct is to say that he's Flitter's attempt to make Thunderlane jealous because he's dating her sister instead of her, which should tell you a lot about why I'm usually not allowed to follow my instincts without protective headgear and adult supervision.

    I guess it's not out of the question that Mr. Cake wouldn't know what the heck's going on with the whole Breezy Breezie BrE-Z-Bake Oven seriously what the hell is the singular form little-flappy-things-with-magic-pollen deal. After all, Fluttershy's the animal expert, and by that I mean the one who's scared of performing in front of a crowd yet totally cool with trekking halfway across the country just to watch a bunch of Smurficorns pig out on pollen. Phobias are a tricky business.

    And then there's... ugh. Never mind. It's just too easy now.

    Poor Twilight, though. Four seasons and a free pair of flippy-flappers later, and she still can't even get her notecards organized without somepony shocking her into incredulous silence. Colgate knows how it is.

    If I had to categorize these faces, I'd label Rarity's as "just realized that Sweetie Belle's at home alone and knows where the power tools are stored", and Fluttershy's as "just noticed the cameras that have been following her and all her friends around for over three years".

    My Little Pony: directed by J.J. Abrams.

    It's right about at this point that we get our first glimpse at the Breezies themselves, whom Applejack aptly describes as being "cute as Apple Bloom on the day she was born". Which brings up weirdly conflicting emotions for me, because on the one hand it puts the image of baby Apple Bloom in my head and damn that little bucker's adorable, and on the other hand it reminds me that Applejack was also totally old enough at the right time to remember and comprehend the fact that her parents are dead.

    Guess that would explain the face she makes here, then. How is turning Fluttershy into Patrick Bateman not the darkest part of this followup so far?

    "Dammit, Spike, get back here! That wasn't even okay when you actually were a dog!"

    In his defense, though, dealing with this was his other option.

    And once again, Spike takes the pivotal role of "Thing Ruiner/Permanent Butt Monkey" by throwing a bunch of Breezies off their gorrove by accidentally knocking a leaf off a tree. At this point, it's not a question of whether the universe and Princess Celestia both are conspiring against him, just of which one is laughing harder when it happens.

    "Faith an' begorrah... I picked a doozy of a day ta quit drinkin'."

    The Breezies' accent (or more specifically, that of their de facto Equestrian-speaking leader) is surprisingly hard to place. I've heard guess ranging from Swedish to Norwegian, but I've had my heart set on Scottish since the moment Seabreeze's sarcastic little butt flittered into view. It's just so much cooler to imagine that the Breezies are jabbering away in some equine form of Gaelic the whole time, with the audience of young children blissfully aware of just how many Breezish synonyms there are for "mare of ill repute".

    "Yes, as a matter of fact, I can speak fluent Breezish. And just to make a couple other things clear: no, my mother has never done anything of that sort, and yes, I could squish you like a rotten grape and literally no one would stop me. Tread lightly, you adorable little thing, you."

    "I told you not to say the one about her mother!"
    "I was talkin' about your mother, ya dafty dunderheed! Now stuff a stamen in it!"

    "Ugh. This is worse than the time I told him Santa Hooves isn't real."
    "The hay do y'mean, Santa Hooves ain't real?"
    "Applejack, darling, you... may want to sit down."

    "You sure you're okay with taking care of the Breezies for a little while, Fluttershy?"
    "Oh, it's no trouble. I love Breezies! Plus you wouldn't believe how much Breezie milk sells for these days."
    "There are so many questions I'm not going to ask about that."

    That is definitely the face of a rabbit who remembers what happened the last time Fluttershy brought home a bunch of cute little bugs with separation anxiety.

    Is it just me, or are Breezie wings impractically and hilariously oversized? Seriously, each wing is like four times the size of the My Little^2 Pony it's attached to. I guess a good stiff breeze just makes them look bigger. Ahem.

    And on the eighth day, Celestia woke up hung over from the Sabbath and spake unto herself, "Heh. 'Intelligent' design. That'll be the day."

    Man, a bunch of other Breezies get hoof-knitted sweaters, and what does Twirly get? 

    Twirly got hosed.

    Meanwhile, Applejack trots in and almost immediately kills one. Dependability, honesty, situational awareness. Pick two.

    "What did that little blue one just say?"
    "Um... well... okay, the last bit about my father may have had some truth to it. Just a little."
    "Nothing. Allegedly."

    I don't know what it is about seeing Seabreeze chew out Fluttershy that's so satisfying. It's not that I inherently enjoy watching Fluttershy get taken advantage of, and it's not like there haven't been loud ideological conflicts on the show before. I think it might just be because his squeaky little accent makes everything he says hilarious. Kind of like how if Sean Connery was berating you over being a loser who just "tries their best", there's a part of you that would still want to giggle at how he pronouces "losher" and "besht".

    "Celestia, Mary, and Joseph. I picked a doozy of a day ta start drinkin'."

    The context we get later in the episode does a lot towards justifying Seabreeze's take-no-crap attitude here, but it's still shocking to see him acting like this at first. And by "shocking", I mean "schadenfreude is a confusing and yet wonderful thing".

    "But of course, you don't have to leave just yet. Say, any of you guys like Huey Lewis & The News?"

    Getting back to the time limit on the Breezies' departure, though, it is a little odd in retrospect that seemingly none of them have any desire to get back home except for Seabreeze. It would seem they genuinely don't understand how screwed they'd be if that portal back to G3 Land closed before they could get through it, which kind of lends a little bit of credence to Seabreeze's assertion that they're not the brightest bulbs on the Hearth's Warming tree.

    Another thing that seems a little odd in retrospect: everyone's insistence that Fluttershy must know what she's doing with keeping the Breezies in her house for so long. Granted, she does have far more animal expertise than anyone else in town, and it's not like her friends have any real reason not to trust her, but the looks on Flitter's and Not-Thunderlane's faces after Rainbow Dash stops by make it clear that things are getting a little bit complicated. Conversely, the Breezies throw kick-ass parties, so really it all balances out.

    Pour up (drank)
    Wings out (drank)
    Fly down (drank)
    Take off (drank)

    ... I guess it's more like a Dixie cup of liquor for Breezies rather than a swimming pool, but whatever. It works.

    "I'm not saying I'm gonna call the cops if you don't get out of my house. I'm just saying that based on your physiology and the fact that you all sound like squeaky toys pumped full of helium and Natty Light, I'm pretty sure all of you are underage. Your call."

    That moment when Fluttershy's first instinct when Seabreeze goes missing is to calmly check to see whether he's a mangled lump of fairy dust and pollen stuck to the bottom of her hoof.

    Holy crap, you guys, look! It's Pete Townshend!

    "It's just like that old gypsy zebra saaaaaid!"

    "Put the bunny back in the box!"

    No, dammit, hang on. Wrong movie. It's... something with that guy in it, whatever his name is.

    Once again, it hits me how utterly tiny Breezies are. Three of those honeybees could easily pick up Seabreeze and carry him off, let alone roll over him in a fight. Good thing Fluttershy shows up just in time to talk some sense into them.

    "Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'. That's how I do."

    And if that doesn't work, she can just move on to... this.

    Presented without comment because I have no idea what comment I'd have that could possibly be appropriate for this site.

    And if when that doesn't work, she just slips back into what always ends up working for Fluttershy. Namely, loss of control, screaming and hollering, and most importantly: threatening physical violence.

    "Swing first, n[no Aqua]. Swing first, n[Aqua no]."

    "You can't let 'em push ya around like that! Ya are who ya choose ta be!"
    "Su... per... mare?"
    "'Kay, so little bit of a stretch there and we probably just broke several readers in the audience, but whatever. Let's go."

    I saw some people expressing confusion about what the moral of this episode actually was, so since I like to think I have a pretty good idea of it myself, I'll try to go over it as best I can. It isn't that Fluttershy's learning that it's okay to be a jerk to people if they deserve it. Rather, it's that once you've exhausted all other opportunities to be civil and polite, sometimes you have no other choice but to smack them upside the head, figuratively or literally. Seabreeze is an example of how that can be taken too far: if you start out shouting and being a hardflank, no one will listen to you whether you suddenly start being nice or just keep yelling. If you start out kind and then assert yourself if that doesn't work, that commands both respect and obedience, and that's what Fluttershy's learning to do here. Not a terribly complex moral once you lay it out like that, but its presentation in the episode does leave some details a little vague.

    Which is all kind of moot once Fluttershy gets her Rainbow Power stinger here. Priorities, people.

    This is a somewhat uncommon situation for FiM, in that there's actually a relatively large amount of time left in the episode after the main conflict has seemingly been resolved--about four to five minutes' worth. This can lead to a couple interesting possibilities: we could be getting more worldbuilding in lieu of plot development, or the plot could have one more twist up its sleeve that we haven't seen yet. In this case, it's kind of both: at first, Rainbow Dash and co. have trouble getting the right wind speed for the Breezies to skedaddle on home, but then after that... well, I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone what happened after that.

    I'm totally going to anyway, though.

    "I love new things that feel funny at first!" - Pinkie Pie, presumably talking about Twilight's new spell she just learned and hasn't tested (of course), but actually talking about Luna (is probably horrified to) knows what.

    A part of me never came back from Equestria Girls. I guess transformation spells are my trigger.

    "Aaaaaaand not gonna lie. This is Ponyville. I've seen much weirder stuff happen there."
    "I bet I'd look a-maz-ing with Breezy wings, though."
    "And see, this is why dating you to make Thunderlane jealous was a stupid idea."
    "Wait, you were serious about that?"
    "Just shut up and flap, Twinkletips."

    Seriously, though, despite how much I'm making fun of the Mane 6 digivolving into fairies and all, the reveal of the Breezies' home was actually a really cool moment. The background music took on a more ethereal tone, the buildup didn't take up much time but still felt properly paced, and although we only catch a short glimpse of this place, it still looks like great fodder for all kinds of fanart and fanfics that are sure to be spawned from this episode. And with any luck, as much as 30% of them won't be porn!

    Against all boundaries of logic and rationality, Pinkie's voice somehow got even higher-pitched from this spell. I'm still a fan of this show, but I'm pretty sure my dog hates it now.

    And then there's this, which really made the whole episode a lot heavier than we first thought. Kind of lends a new perspective to Seabreeze's attitude throughout the ordeal when you realize he was trying to get home to his newborn baby the whole time.

    On that day, ladybug-kind received a grim reminder...

    "Okay, a monkey. Can you turn me into a monkey? With, like, fingers and stuff?"
    "Treading on some real thin ice there, Rainbow."
    "Sooo... maybe?"

    And we'll conclude with a shot of the flower Seabreeze gave Fluttershy to remember the Breezies by, which appears to be her Rainbow Power key/token/Soul gem/whatever. Looks like the beast is nearing its final form.

    I guess the fact that this was Fluttershy's Rainbow Power episode came as a bit of the surprise since it broke the trend of those episodes' titles being eponymous (pun intended, duh) with their lead characters, but I suppose it's always more fun to not quite know what to expect each week. In any case, we've got four out of the six items we'll probably end up seeing before season's end, and the wait to find out what their purpose is will just keep getting tougher and tougher to bear.

    And that's all I have to say about that. Until next time.