For Whom the Sweetie Belle Tolls (S4E19)

S4E19

Watch Sweetie Belle learn that everybody perceives the world from a different perspective.

When Sweetie Belle asks Rarity to fix the buttons on dresses for a play SB wrote, produced, and costumed, Rarity returns them completely remade in Renaissance style.  When their play does well, but the only thing ponies remember are the dresses, it’s the last straw for Sweetie Belle.  To her, Rarity has done everything to take the spotlight from her since her 5th birthday party.  After locking herself in her room (she now lives with Rarity) and having a fit, she can’t sleep and vengefully decides to sabotage a headdress Rarity about to deliver to the Pony of Pop.  When Prince Luna appears in her dreams and in a Dickens-esque A Christmas Carol sequence and forces Sweetie Belle relive her past and see her sister’s future, Sweetie Belle realizes how little she understood about what really happened.  When she awakes, Rarity has left for Canterlot to make the delivery!  Will she be the agent of Rarity’s downfall?

Few better lessons on empathy and communication have been written.   A unique MLP combination of a fully functioning adult and an emotional teenager makes this episode accessible to most every viewer. The storm between Rarity and Sweet Belle had brewed since the Sisterhooves Social; the episode resolves the conflict by teaching the both of them a lesson in communication.  I remember being told a story about a cook told to use grade A eggs for a breakfast dish, but having run out used jumbo eggs instead; he was later reprimanded because now the customers would be upset getting the smaller (more profitable) eggs in the future. This illustrates how being helpful, as was Rarity, without understanding the person being helped, can lead to trouble.

What to watch for (and comment upon):

  • What did Sweetie Belle specifically ask for?  Why was she upset when she got more?
  • When Rarity can’t finish her dress order, who does she ask for help?  What episode does that remind you of?
  • Watch the sequence when the lights go out.  It creatively presents an easy to see image of darkness while preserving a dream-like quality.
  • What kind of music does Sweetie Belle prefer?
  • In what episode did we first meet Sapphire Shores?
  • What is Sapphire Shores’ lucky animal?
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