• "She Talks to Angel": Episode Followup

    Fire lizards! Body swapping! Marital intent! We had a little bit of everything this episode.

    It's time for Fluttershy and Angel to walk a mile in each others' hooves... feet... whatever. What troubles are they about to create and what perils do they experience?

    Catch the full followup below!
    For any who doubt if Fluttershy is hardcore, please consider the following:

    Forget talking to a bunny. Fluttershy is playing group counselor to a snake. With really big fangs. The fact that she isn't the least bit perturbed speaks volumes!

    Antoine the snake is just one member of this group discussion. Herbivores vs carnivores and their eating habits. Personally, if I'm the menu item on another creature's diet, I do think I'd have a stake in the discussion and that their business is my business. Because I have things to say about being consumed and becoming some other creature's "business".

    And yes, Fluttershy's no stranger to caring for carnivores. Thing is, the animals we saw back in "Dragonshy" were under her care. The fish and worms were not. Within Sweet Feather Sanctuary, all of those creatures are under her care. So I don't see this as a contradiction.

    If anything, the fact that she doesn't resent a carnivore diet shows how much she accepts the creatures for what they are. Doesn't mean she won't run from something like a Timberwolf or hydra that wants to eat her, but she doesn't view them as evil.

    Speaking of evil, let's talk about Angel! He really is a child, isn't he?

    There's that bear again...

    And here's where Angel went a step too far.

    If anything, Angel should be counting his blessings. Being retrieved by a wolf is far better than some of the alternatives.

    It's pretty clear that Angel is doing this for attention. It's a classic, bratty idea that there's no such thing as negative attention. Given what's to come, I'd almost call this an Angel-focused episode rather than a Fluttershy-focus.

    Oops! Here comes our supporting cast.

    "It might look like chaos, but Fluttershy makes it work, even with Angel running around."

    Methinks the good Dr. Fauna could do with an eye exam. And maybe a reality check.

    Rabbit stew, anyone?

    It's strange how little this guy matters in the overall episode. He is a mystery creature burping smoke, but not much attention will be given towards identifying him. If anything, he's a connecting point between Zecora, Fluttershy, and Angel.

    Remember the old days when Angel was Fluttershy's most important charge? Yeah, those days are done. More on that later but seeing this much antagonism from Angel really sets the feeling that it's he who has to change more than Fluttershy.

    But there is one thing to which I can fault Fluttershy. She needs staff. Dr. Fauna's right when she asks how Fluttershy can handle all this on top of her school duties. Fluttershy is overextending herself and sooner or later, that's going to undermine her efforts. Treehugger's an obvious choice to help out. Maybe introduce some more caretaker ponies?

    "I will devour him with fava beans and a nice chianti..."

    I feel like we're too far in for me to complain about animal biology now. Yet I am compelled to ask how Antoine is even doing that!

    "Talk to the wing!"

    Seriously, I love how the animators have made use of pegasi and alicorn wings beyond just flight appendages.

    Seriously, who wouldn't jump at a chance to give a giraffe a neck massage? You'd have ponies lining up to work at this place!

    What I'm saying, oh disheveled Fluttershy, is that you need help!

    "Disheveled". That a funny word. You think anyone has ever said, "I say, Rarity, you look quite sheveled this morning. What? No! It's not a come-on!"

    Wow! What a well-provisioned room. I still don't know how Fluttershy affords all this. Government grants? Shakedowns using the bear? Extortion thanks to information gained by her "little birds".

    Yes, I have a dark imagination.

    This is the best scene to demonstrate how things have changed. When Fluttershy only cared for a group of animals in her cottage, Angel could be the center of attention and she could treat him with much more patience. 

    Now we're witnessing a pendulum effect. She's gone so far in the opposite direction that she's stopped giving him most attention. She hasn't yet found the median and likely won't until she gets some extra staff. 

    But Angel isn't helping the matter by acting out. He's only adding to her frustration and thus taking away more time she could invest towards him. Of the two, I still think Angel is more in need of an attitude adjustment.

    But for all the grief I might give Angel, he is the one first willing to admit that their friendship is strained and they need help. Someone's gotta take the first step.

    This isn't even the most unusual couples counseling in Equestria.

    Okay, Zecora, you have a problem. You seem to think everything can be solved with a potion. Stage fright? Give them a potion. Dragon puberty? Surely a potion can fix that. Past mystery? Questionable potion!

    I think the last time she refused to give a potion was back in "The Cutie Pox".

    Oh, look! It's best friends Lyra and Bon Bon Sweetie Drops. Having a totally normal picnic between friends. Because that's what they are. Really good friends. So much friendship here!

    And here we have the moment where I'm most sympathetic to Angel. Fluttershy is all for rekindling their tea parties, but right away she starts to back out due to responsibilities. So his frustration and impatience are at least understandable. 

    Ignoring Zecora's instructions about a mystery brew, however, is not the smartest course.

    I think that whole "take it while you're alone" rule is just a formality. So you can have a freak out in your new body away from prying eyes!

    Interesting that they change positions rather than seeing their "souls" swap bodies.

    "Am I a pony? Why am I a pony?!"

    You are living the fanboy dream, Angel-Shy. No complaining!

    "Dude, my ears are huuuuuuge!"

    Hang on! That baby that Angel-shy is talking to... It's the same one Rainbow Dash saved way back in season 2. The Equestrian passage of time is indecipherable.

    Interesting that Angel-Shy can still understand Flutter-Angel; as if the gift were still linked to that body.

    But the stare is still unique to Flutter-Angel. I probably shouldn't be reading so much into this.

    "Anypony know where that useless list of Fluttershy's chores is?"

    It is here that I start to think that Andrea Libman/Fluttershy is this show's Latka. Who is Latka? A character from the old Taxi sitcom played by Andy Kauffman. 

    Kauffman hated the sitcom genre's humor repetition. So the show writers often gave his character different personalities to keep things lively.

    I don't think Andrea Libman shares that frustration, but let's consider how many personalities Fluttershy has had over the series. 

    Flutterhy's timid voice has been psycho, cruel, raging, feral, proper, goth, new age, and now disinterested. I'd argue that she's had the most diverse vocal range.

    I think Antoine is hiding cards. Don't ask where!

    And there it is! The line of the episode! Let the shipping commence!

    Is that the face of mercy to you?

    And our obligatory Twilight appearance. It's very rare to have an episode sans Twilight. Not unhappy to see her, but it mostly reinforces that Flutter-Angel has no one to rely upon except Angel-Shy. 

    Are these naming conventions confusing you yet?

    "And we're gonna keep at it until you start to develop a taste for it."

    You do not want to invoke a wolf's anger. Although, if he eats enough does that mean his coat will start turning orange?

    So here's the building tension. Angel-Shy breezing through Fluttershy's list. Because he's pretty "meh" about the whole thing, it's not as tense even though we know what's coming.

    That's an impressive suction. It's also the first time we've seen an elephant in this show. I know there was the mascot on The Tasty Treat, but this is the first "live" elephant. 

    "Eh, seems fine to me. As long as we don't need those keys."

    Is it garish to use my own meme? Ah well...

    Yes, excellent!

    Okay, you are just tempting fate at this point!

    I think Flutter-Angel can feel the encroaching doom, hence her already building frustration.

    Hey look! It's an eagle! It is really quite regal.

    So before you think I'm going to harp on Angel for this situation, let's consider something.

    Why was Angel-Shy so calm about Flutter-Angel going into the Everfree Forest? I think he didn't even consider the danger. He's always gone with Fluttershy. Mama-dearest kept him safe. So the idea that predators might prey on a tiny bunny didn't even occur.

    Again, if I were the one on the menu I think I would have something to say about the diet plan!

    Hey, Zecora! Look at what your potions hath wrought!

    "And if you were to both apologize, having learned this little lesson, I imagine that might bring an end to the friendship therapy session."

    Oh, she totally knows what's what. Zecora, you troll!

    But that is a pretty adorable image. My snark is fading.

    Dr. Fauna is serving an important role. Unlike most of the town, she's actually challenging why one of the Mane Six is acting different. Given how often Ponyvillians get caught in the crossfire, I wonder why this hasn't happened more often!

    Flutter-Angel: Sister, you think you've had a hard day? Try me!

    Here's the turning-point for Angel-Shy. Now that he sees the consequence of his choices, he can't hide behind apathy.

    Angel-Shy: Why did I dismiss those keys? Who in the cosmos would know that would be relevant?

    And yep, The Little Prince reference finally pays off! I... cannot imagine how Antoine accomplished this but I am impressed.

    "I get that you don't want to help me. But don't you want to help her?"

    What happened next? Well in Ponyville they say that the critter's hearts grew three sizes that day.

    Actually, this is a pretty subtle endorsement for kindness. You may not win over everyone, but it's amazing how many people will be willing to support you.

    Antoine: Uh, guys? I have serious doubts about this plan. Guys? GUYS?

    Who do you think is going to have the greater therapy need? Antoine or Muriel the elephant?

    My money's on Muriel.

    Stay strong, Antoine and Muriel. You are a credit to your respective species!

    "I guess Fluttershy was right. Predators and prey can work together." 

    Technically predators and prey do work together to maintain a healthy eco–You know what, I'll shut up.

    And now Angel-Shy finally understands the pressure that comes with Sweet Feather Sanctuary.

    Dr. Fauna is still confused.

    She's alive! The power of carrots saves the day!

    A mutual apology ends the "friendship therapy session." I think I know why Zecora isn't the princess of friendship.

    I think Angel-Shy really did learn the greater lesson here. Having benefitted from Fluttershy's care, and knowing the pain of an injury in "Fluttershy Leans In", he might have empathized with the other animals. Sometimes, folks just need an immediate consequence to see.

    Adorable reconciliation!

    Change... NOW!

    Don't fight the madness, Dr. Fauna. Just let it sink in.

    I will admit, happy Angel is cute Angel.

    So we end with the various critters happier, healthier, and even Angel is more harmonized. However, this doesn't fix one of the biggest issues. Fluttershy promises to make more time for Angel, but she doesn't have the support to make that happen. She really needs some extra staff to help ease her demands.

    Oh, and we learned this guy was a fire lizard. Good know but not the biggest revelation. He's no Tri-horn Bunyip!

    "Speaking of surprises, can you please never do that again?!"

    You tell her, Doc! But your words shall fall on deaf ears!

    Because the troll has accomplished her goal!

    So that was "She Talks to Angel" and it's a pretty fun episode. It's a slow buildup to fixing the problem but it features a lot of development, especially for Angel. There are some dangling questions. 

    Given that we've had nine seasons of Angel often acting as an antagonist, it's nice to see him learn some empathy. A good time and fun episode for me. How about you?

    But before we all chime in, let us celebrate some Fluttershy (Angel-Shy?) expressions.

    I'm Silver Quill. Thanks for reading!