• "Between a Rockhoof and a Hard Place": Episode Followup

    Welcome everypony to the Followup for Season 8 Episode 21, "Between a Rockhoof and a Hard Place". We've got a dark and important moral lesson as well as quite a bit of catching up to do with the Pillars of Equestria. Also we'll learn about how to make a pony realize his destiny and where he belongs thanks to the Cuttie Mark Crusaders Twilight and Yona.

    Please join me below for my last planned Followup of the season about an episode all about a pony who rather be turned to stone than be a ditch digger, firefighter, pro sports player, announcer, lumberjack, or guardpony.

    (title source)

    So the moral lesson of the episode is a fairly important one. Always help your friends feel like they matter because people with drepssion can have some pretty dark thoughts like getting themselves turned to stone or worse. Also, it's better to imprison yourself forever in stone than be a ditch digger or lumberjack. Stay in school kids.

    Also, job hunting is hard. Persevere.

    Let's dive right in.

    Welcome to Rockhoof's ancestral home. It looks like it didn't change much from when Rockhoof fell into Limbo which suggests that village didn't survive long after one of it's greatest heroes vanished.

    I guess if you have a cherry cutie mark it means you can cherry pick things. Some of these background ponies have some pretty odd side jobs. Like they can't hold down a good regular job or something. Foreshadowing?

    Boom. Protagonist. As a reminder, this pony's cutie mark is the trefoil variant of the valknut, an ancient Viking and Celtic symbol of unknown meaning but possibly related to Odin.

    So that looked like a helm she is digging up in the middle of a courtyard area, not inside building wreckage or something of that nature. So a helm discarded out in the open supports that "something bad happened to his village while he was away" theory.

    Also, a toy found out in the open nearby the helm. There was a very dark day indeed in his village's history.

    So I had to dig into the sweat lodge thing and while a lot of info exists about Native Americans' use of them as a way of life, as well as the cultural appropriation of them, many other cultures including Celtics used them for physical cleansing as well as cleansing of the mind. Now imagine Rockhoof super sweaty.

    You're welcome...

    So a few things to note here:

    I wonder how Celestia would have handled the situation if the Professor Fossil went to her instead. I'm sure Tartarus has some Cerberus sized droppings that need shoveling.

    Also, earth pony jaw strength is like that of reptiles and can likely rip out a jugular. To be fair I once had the same thing happen to me and I also bit through a fake fruit but it was wax and I was able to blame my sibling.

    So with a swing like that why can't he learn to play golf and be a pro golfer? It's practically the sport of his heritage. Baseball even.

    This face.

    Saving his village from a river of lava is literally the only thing about this guy. Hopefully, he'll tell us a story later of something else cool that he's done.

    I love getting screencaps mid-blink. Looks like Spike is prematurely celebrating Canada's new laws on Cannabis which will take effect in 31 days. Thanks DHX.. you know...since Friendship is Magic is made in Canada.

    Moving on...

    I didn't notice the first time but when Yona pushes Gallus here, he makes an undignified turkey noise. Also, Yona has got the hots for teacher.

    "I'm, uh, your new defense against the dark arts teacher." With the seemingly tall tales he recounts later he's more of a Gilderoy Lockhart. Also, I like how they were able to wiggle in a mention of stone sleep spell for reference later.

    So if Rockhoof was in Fighting is Magic all his moves are already named: "Shovel leap, Shovel Throw, Shovel Whack."

    Note that a creature that grew up underwater, Silverstream has very little reference as to what terrestrial creatures sound like hence her dog barking.

    I love this little visual gag that further illustrates that Rockhoof just doesn't fit in.

    Through the Fire and the Flames by DragonForce.

    PTSD is Magic.

    I found it a little fishy this new classmate was sort of shoved in our face as if was someone's OC.

    An approved evacuation plan: Escape Shovel.

    Twilight is so chill in this scene because her insurance is phenomenal and/or she's got a spell for that.

    Also, looks like Rockhoof would be good as a firefighter.

    The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality. Therefore its the perfect way of showing he's not welcome here anymore. To be fair to Rockhoof though Twilight could have easily stopped him magically. It's like she wants to watch the world burn sometimes, or in this case not burn.

    Time for a job hunting montage...

    I would have loved this more if Derpy fired him.

    Matilda will never let him forget this moment. Also, I bet Rockhoof would be good as an announcer.

    That stallion like scream. Couldn't have been too bad, he could still run. Wuss. If you remember, Bulk Biceps also worked at this same spa and also job hops a lot. To me Rockhoof should do what Bulk did and talk to a professional about belonging. You know, the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Helping ponies understand their destiny is like their whole schtick. I feel robbed of a cutie mark crusader episode now.

    I'm disappointed that they weren't twittermites. Also, why can't he be a lumberjack?

    Flash Magnus everypony. He mentions the perfect job for Rockhoof by the way: ditch digger. Also, why not get Rockhoof into the military.

    Also, the episode is 0/10 as those night guards aren't bat-ponies. Literally unwatchable.

    To be fair this looks like a nice job. I have many questions about crystal based life forms. Also, this is your daily reminder that when two crystal ponies make out, it sounds like rubbing two bottles together.

    I love Rockhoof's line about motivational speakers: "We didn't need them. Ponies knew what to do with their lives." Poor Rockhoof. How the times are a changeling. If he winds up in Equestria Girls, they get to teach him how to use a cell phone.

     Me last night instead of writing this Followup.

    "Many creatures need healing in this modern world." It's the opioid epidemic. Also, is there a lack of an Equestrian FDA? I guess so with Flim and Flam's cure-all a few seasons back.

    You're not helping Twilight. Also, lotta swamp ponies in this scene. I'm getting some Left 4 Dead 2 flashbacks.

    Also, maybe Rockhoof should be an author because he has so many stories.

    Is there a button they can press to turn this thing on?

    Why do they have a navy? I suppose being in a dirigible airforce would make it more difficult to crash a ship and propel the plot along. Love the uniforms though. This ship and sails look Chinese Junk inspired.

    O'Bridle's Pelt everypony.

    Now Twilight mentions the 1000 year star shift.

    Dragons are so dignified.

    So this is when this episode turns dark and serious. Rockhoof wants Twilight to turn him to stone which really isn't being alive. To be fair Twilight intends on waking him up eventually. Anyway, this is as close as a children's show can get to dealing with suicidal thoughts. Here, Rockhoof argues that he wants to be remembered as a hero and not "the disappoint" he's become. At this point, Twilight and Co. have failed to show him a reason for living in this world.

    Spike is best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

    Spike casually drops the bomb that a professor wants to kill himself rather than do anything else.

    "How should I stand so the birds don't crap on me." The answer to this, by the way, is with your butt up in the air, higher than your head, so the birds poop there and not on your head.

    Yona is pretty adorable in this scene. Also, it bothers me that he says his stories aren't worth anything when Stygian is an author now.

    These don't look like handles as they have never been animated in such a way as to suggest that they stick out from the door, nor do they look like the correct shape, size, or height to be handled as would look ergonomic for hooves. It, therefore, stands to reason that these doors are inlaid with a material that makes it easier for unicorn levitation.

     The big dude is a good storyteller. You don't meet a lot of barabarian bards out there do you?

    The big dipper everypony?

    This face.

    Equestria's Official Keeper of Tales. That's quite the made up on the spot title. Not really the perfect resolution to the episode but it'll do I guess.

    Anyway, that was the follow-up and that was the episode. Let me know what you thought about both in the comments. Did I miss something? Please do the usual and copy pasta of your own reviews you wrote a month ago, when this episode aired in other countries, into the comments and let me know what I messed up grammatically because I totally don't internalize that stuff at all.