MLP:FiM Episode Reviews: Character and Story Analysis by Half the Battle

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Episode 136: "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks"

Aired 9/10/2016, story by Josh Haber (his twelfth episode) & Meghan McCarthy (her twenty-fourth);
written by Ed Valentine (his fourth)
Quick Take: Forget the recent teen sob story; the source of this title is the famous quote from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves, that we are underlings," wherein Cassius explains to Brutus that they have placed themselves in submission to Caesar and ought instead to take control of their destiny by ending Caesar's tyranny. Likewise, Gabby may seem fated to be without a cutie mark since she's not a pony, but she's determined to get one anyway, with the Crusaders' help. I'm over the moon about the Crusaders' willingness to help while being as honest as they can manage with Gabby about her chances. Scootaloo especially shines here, as she calls out her own limitations. Turning the mission from getting a cutie mark to finding Gabby's purpose is a creative and smart move on the CMC's part, and the writers throw us a fun curve ball by having Gabby be good at everything (as opposed to bad at everything, as would be the cliché). Gabby's skill of versatility, simply helping as needed, just happens to be the life purpose I suggested for Spike back in my review of Princess Spike. I'll also point out here that the cold open and the fact that the CMC now have a reputation remind us that there's more going on in Equestria than what we see on the show. We may only have three CMC episodes this season, but the Crusaders are ever hard at work, learning, and growing. The CMC's wisdom and Gabby's enchanting likeability make this one of the strongest Crusader episodes of the series.

The Fault in Our Cutie Marks armor rating: Diamond Armor
Ranked 12th of 26 season-six episodes
Ranked 46th of 147 stories overall

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