FiMpressions: Too Many Pinkie Pies

A real breath of fresh air after the lackluster Season 3 opener. Too Many Pinkie Pies has a lot of great gags worthy of its titular character, with just one, nit-picky oddity.

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4 thoughts on “FiMpressions: Too Many Pinkie Pies

  1. If you’re interested: I actually wrote about this ep a while ago; my thesis was that it’s toying with philosophical questions of identity. I was willing to argue this because that’s kind of Polsky’s thing.

    Thinking more about the final act, I ended up writing that the weird third act wasn’t totally out of left field: Polsky was continually trying to take the viewer away from the comfort of empirical data.

    For one thing, the Pinkies aren’t called clones, but duplicates. When Pinkie goes into the Pool for the first time, we lose our sense of original and copy. And, most relevantly, we learn a bit in the scene where everyone’s gathered around Twilight’s place. There, the Pinkies demonstrate their ability to lie and to mimic. The book ex machina thing hints at unpleasant past events. Another story, another telling of the legend? Maybe. Nana Pinkie’s told one version of the story, after all, right?

    It’s quick, it’s subtle, maybe a stretch, but I concluded that all of this genuinely shakes the viewer and veers him away from the usual “clones have outed themselves” motif. If Pinkie hadn’t been caught in her own head, she could’ve stood tall and said, “Back down! I’m real!” But she gets muddled in the epistemology. And everyone else is so annoyed and distracted that they don’tlook closely enough at the situation.

    What I extrapolate is that, people handle empirical information messily, people still get depressed, and in Pinkie’s case, people lose their sense of philosophical identity. But what do you do then? How do you advance through that gaping darkness? I guess that’s what I like so much about S3, how dark and desperate it gets. I’m sure kids can benefit from that kind of story, too.

    • I dunno, Pinkie certainly gets to a point where she almost begins to doubt her identity, but it comes off as kind of ridiculous because its pretty clear that she is the real Pinkie. There is a very clear difference between the original and the duplicates. None of them ever even come close to acting like the real Pinkie Pie. The fact that none of her friends can figure this out kinda weak too, as it hurts their characterization and makes them feel like they don’t know anything about Pinkie’s true self. I guess this could be an interseting commentary on Pinkie’s relationship with everyone else in town, saying how no one else understands her and keeps her at arm’s length because she’s so zany, and the duplicates being so single-minded is a way of physically representing how the rest of Ponyville perceives Pinkie, and that’s why no one can tell her apart, as that realization is what contributes to her epistemological (not a word xP) breakdown? I dunno…

      This also kinda ties into the defense popping up in the YouTube comments that the whole “name gag” is there to show that the clones aren’t perfect copies of Pinkie. I could buy that if it wasn’t instantly obvious even without this gag. The duplicates are so obsessed with fun without consideration for others that it’d be almost insulting to confuse a copy for the original, yet that’s the entire crux of the climax.

      …maybe I should have talked about this a bit IN the actual video xP

      • I think you did fine pointing out the weak or eyebrow-raising moments. And, yeah, that is a weak defense. The telling-them-apart aspect is a tough sell for sure.

        The identity argument is pretty strange, too. At the end, she jumps around yelling that she’s herself, which indicates that she doubted it. But then, what’s “identity?” What did she even doubt, exactly? The best I could come up with was that she believes that she’s a Pinkie—that she has, say, “Pinkie memories”—but something like, she doubts that she has all that is necessary to be the real Pinkie, the only Pinkie. Fallacy, sure, but phil guys think through it, right?

        Of course, it was a easier to think that way once I *rationalized* a philosophical angle, like the nonsense-that-sort-of-works jokes like “double-double-double me.” You can double a sheet of paper, for instance.

        The animals-to-oranges thing, the G3 gag, AJ’s “I’ll be an apple crisp,” even Pinkie’s “cut time by twenty minutes” (assuming it takes her fewer than twenty minutes to get there), random stuff that made me wonder what it means for a thing to exist and be itself at a time and place. Pinkie never really cares about any of that until she stops obsessing and just starts trying to be…better, I guess?

        The only suggestion I have about the obvious difference to viewers is frustration and ignorance. When Pinkie tries to get Twilight’s attention, she annoys the others around her. Wait—in retrospect, isn’t it actually playing the “Party of One” idea straight, where characters are *actually* annoyed by the antics? Yikes.

        Even this suggestion falls apart, depending on whatever Twilight actually read. Which we’re not even shown.

        In the end, the gap between viewers and characters would probably have been easier to handle and less grating if the swerves were more significant or interesting. After all, there’s nothing wrong with picking an obvious story progression and then throwing curveballs.

        The thing about Polsky’s stuff is that it always seems really weird compared to continuity stuff, no matter how morally-interesting or exploratory it gets. The better you can manipulate your suspension of belief, contextually, the less the eps tend to bother you, and the better they tend to seem.

        “Epistemological” is a word, but odd. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it wrong a bunch of times before. I think it’s, like, you’re supposed to say “epistemic judgment” and “schools of epistemological thought.” One has to do with the philosophical study, but the other’s describing the type of thing a person’s doing.

  2. I also wrote on the episode a few weeks back, but did a different approach from Misfortunedogged there. Instead of identity, I discussed the concept of “moral unfreedom”, which is a concept from John Stuart Mill’s version of utilitarianism.

    In simplest terms (you can read the article for more info if you wish), moral freedom is the ability to have a large basket of desires that are capable of trumping one another depending on a situation. Moral “unfreedom”, however, happens when one finds themselves in a position in which they continue to follow a principle absent any actual desire to follow it nor to be able trump it with any other desire (for example, addiction could be seen as a state of moral unfreedom).

    Mill himself hit a state of moral unfreedom in his youth when he found he sincerely believed in the principle of utility but discovered he actually got no pleasure in following it; he was pretty much following it out of an unbreakable habit. This sent him into a mental crisis that, I argue, shares similarities with Pinkie Pie’s in the episode. Except whereas Mill’s crisis was caused by an act of introspection, Pinkie Pie’s was caused by an external force: the clones.

    I argued that Pinkie Pie, at the start of the episode, was already starting to act in a manner of moral unfreedom with her determiniation to break the laws of time-space to have fun with her friends (instead of allowing, say, prudence or some other desire to help her choose who to spend time with). The clones themselves were pretty much moral unfreedom incarnate (minus a mental crisis).

    Long story short, I argue Pinkie Pie’s identity crisis is spurred on by her own belief about the possibility that she is, in fact, no better than her clones. The paint-drying test, then, was the perfect test because it was testing moral freedom: the real Pinkie Pie should be able to overccome the desire for fun in favor of the desire to stay with her friends (an interesting dilemma and I think the first time Pinkie’s desires for fun and friends were in conflict). And of course, the real Pinkie Pie did.

    Here’s the article if you want a little more explanation on this stuff: http://analysisismagic.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/john-stuart-mill-and-pinkie-pie-a-crisis-of-moral-unfreedom/

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