• "Trade Ya!": Episode Followup

    Header image courtesy of Silentmatten

    We've reached the last leg of Season Four, but our favorite ponies are far from finished, it seems.  This week, Scott Sonneborn brings us an episode that brings out a lot of the finer points of the character of the Mane Six, both good and bad.

    Let's talk about "Trade Ya!" below the break.

    So, this is the second time this season we have an episode in the town of Rainbow Falls.  Compared to Season Three, which took place almost exclusively in Ponyville and the Crystal Empire, we sure have seen a lot of diverse Equestrian locales this season.

    Sorry, Twi.  If you're trying to pull off the Rainbow Dash look, you're going to have to put in more effort than that.

    One has to wonder if Spike's opinion of the Power Ponies comic series has changed since he viewed their world from Humdrum's perspective.

    Although, to be fair, that looks a little more like a cover from Watchmares than Power Ponies.

    Twilight's got a long way to go with wing dexterity training before she can make this look as cute as Rainbow Dash did near the beginning of the season.

    Confirmed: Ponies wag their tails when happy.  Go update your headcanons.

    Isn't that pony at the stall on the right the same one who worked at the freight company with Derpy back in Season One?  And the one who was selling cherries to Fluttershy in Season Two?  Poor guy can't seem to hold down a job.

    It's nice to see that Applejack and Rarity are able to put aside their vastly different personalities and find some common ground now and then.  Given, it did kind of disintegrate as the episode went on into petty arguing and passive-aggressive insults of one another's tastes, but that's beside the point.

    Wait, what am I talking about?  That was kind of the whole point.

    In other news, we see Spike walking up to the comic stand to trade his comic.  Let's keep an eye on him as the episode progresses.

    "Maybe there's some other way I can persuade you to part with that book, if you know what I mean..."

    [Thirty seconds after the previous caption.]

    I shall call him... Two-Thirdberus.

    Bon-Bon's never going back to that salon again.

    Is it possible to win best face for the same exact expression in two different episodes?

    I wouldn't be surprised if Applejack picked this skill up from the Flim Flam Brothers.

    It's interesting to note that the creature in the lower left cage was one of the same ones seen in the scrapbook photos Pinkie Pie took in the Scariest Cave in Equestria earlier this season.  I wonder what kind of license you need to run an "Ancient Beasts stall" at a traders' fair?

    Discord is just vain enough that I can believe he modeled for these.

    I'm pretty sure this is the first "true" movement aid device for a handicapped pony we've seen.  Not like the makeshift ones in "Leap of Faith" anyway.

    RainbowDash.exe has performed an illegal function and must be shut down.

    This episode had a lot of really interesting pony designs.  This one, as it turns out, was voiced by Ashleigh Ball.

    *Neighing loudly*

    Like, Zoinks!

    Pinkie casually defies all logic by retrieving the traders' fair rules from somewhere offscreen.  I can't tell if Twilight is trying to process how this is possible, or trying to stop herself from attempting to.

    "We've got opportunity in this very—"

    Wait, wrong pony.

    Boy, the chicken, I say, the chicken mosaic was unexpected.
    (Alright, who here's old enough for that reference? Show of hooves.)

    What Fluttershy doesn't know is that the salespony has a large stock of live chickens and one well-trained cockatrice hidden in his tent.  It's a lucrative business.

    We laugh now, but when Twilight has two horns and four wings it won't be so funny anymore.

    Oh, right, almost forgot.  Here's our weekly dose of heart problems.

    I guess this is where he works when he's not bowling?

    Let's check in with Spike, shall we?  About two thirds of the way through the episode, and apparently hours into the fair, and he's still here, trying to close a deal with the comic pony.  After years of working with Twilight, I suppose the little guy is nothing if not patient.

    Not touching it.

    Okay pony fangame designers, I have a job for you.  I'm sure at least one of you can mod Frogger into a "help Dash get to the Daring Do stand without getting trampled" game, right?

    I wonder if any possible construction could cause an object of this size to make the sound that it did.  I have a few friends who are versed in physics that I'll have to ask about that.

    That moment when everything crashes down around you so hard that it takes a bit for your body to catch up.

    I thought dogs were supposed to mimic their owners, not the other way around.

    I would caption this one, but Cereal did it for me yesterday.

    Thanks, Cereal!

    In case any of you were wondering what in Equestria this thing is, my friend told me it's a Daruma Doll.
    Now I kind of want to see how the Japanese fans react when this episode gets dubbed.

    I wonder if there are auctions at these trade fairs?  Why else would they need a gavel?

    And when all is said and done, we can't forget about Spike.  After the entire day, he appears to have come to an agreement with the comic pony.

    "C'mon Rares. I'll let you wear the hat tonight."

    "You do realize Rainbow Dash can hear you, right?"

    When all was said and done, Fluttershy was the only member of the Mane Six who didn't try to trade anything herself, yet the was the only one who got the item she went to the fair to get.  Karma's funny that way.

    And that about wraps it up!  This episode felt a little like Castle-Mania, composed of a set of sub-plots rather than one central narrative.  I wonder if we'll see more episodes like that in Season Five?

    Speaking of Season Five, this is my last episode followup until then.  Enjoy the rest of the season, everyone!