Applebloom tries to prove to Applejack that she doesn't need her to constantly watch over her.Applebloom tries to prove to Applejack that she doesn't need her to constantly watch over her.Applebloom tries to prove to Applejack that she doesn't need her to constantly watch over her.
"Somepony to Watch Over Me" actually to me wasn't that awful, certainly didn't think it was irredeemable. It is one of Season 4's worst episodes sure and it is one of the biggest cases of episodes where Applejack is hard to take (which is the biggest criticism directed towards the episode). There are though far worse episodes of 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic', "Somepony to Watch Over Me" is not quite on the same level of "What About Discord" and the worst Spike-centric episodes (i.e. "Dragon Quest") mediocre at best. It should have been a lot better though.
There are good things in my view. Have no isuses with the animation, which is especially terrific with the chimera's character design and the very rich background and drawing detail there was in the climax. The music has character and atmosphere and is dynamic with the action. The voice acting is also fine, Ashleigh Ball does give her all as Applejack and she in my view is not to blame for the character not working here.
In regard to the story, the highlight is the climax which is intensely thrilling (the build up was so too) and also emotional. Applebloom was very funny and very relatable, it was great to see a smarter side to Scootaloo (her Applebloom's sass line was brilliant too) and the chemistry between the Cutie Mark Crusaders was very natural and caring. There is some nice humour.
Which wasn't the case for me in the sister chemistry between Applejack and Applebloom. This was a relationship that should have resonated a lot with me, with similar problems happening between me and my sisters frequently. What stopped me significantly from investing in what the sisters go through was the way Applejack was written and how she treated Applebloom. Being protective and being over-protective are both easy to relate to, have been in the same boat more than once, but not so much when it borders upon insanity and counter-productive obsession. A fine example of an episode that over exaggerates its main character's flaws. That was the case with Applejack. She behaves far too harshly in too mean-spirited a way towards Applebloom and we don't really know the motivations or get to know why she reacts the extreme way she does.
Most of the characters are underused and on the most part the Chimera was wasted. The character design was awesome and truly intimidating, but it would have been so much better if it stayed silent. When speaking, and in a way that didn't fit with the character design, the menace goes and is replaced by unintentional goofiness. While the story comes to life in the climax, it takes quite some time to get there with a very stodgily paced and near-aimless middle act in particular. Other than some nice humour and some nice character interaction, most of "Somepony to Watch Over Me" felt bland and Applejack's character writing and her treatment of Applebloom distracted me from investing emotionally. Same with the writing.
Concluding, not as awful as has been said but not a good representation of the season or the show. A small and perhaps generous 5/10
- Oct 12, 2020