In which we investigate the ethical implications of cloning and question the nature of identity
Time for another MLP:FiM review, everypony! Today we learn the dangers of “too much of a good thing.” Or, more accurately, what it's like to have an existential crisis and access to a magical cloning device. A valuable lesson for any budding supervillain.
Pinkie interrupts Twilight’s Transfiguration homework, resulting in the creation of a horribly fruit-animal hybrid. Ten points from Ravenclaw! (TwiSparks is totally in Ravenclaw.) Rarity stops by to brag about the fun she had making a new ensemble – who knew that ponies like to wear elbow-length gloves? Or whatever the equine equivalent of elbow is. Pinkie suffers from a small aneurysm, worried that fun is occurring without her. The horror!
After a quick recoup in a chez lounge conveniently supplied by Fluttershy, Pinkie is invited to two different “fun” activities by Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash – a barn raising and catching some rays. One might argue that “barn raising” might not fall in the category of “fun” for all but a very select group of people. Also, AJ is definitely Amish, y'all. She attempts to ferry herself back and forth between activities, but can't seem to make it work. If you've ever been to multiple high school graduation parties in one weekend, you too know her pain. Twilight plants a horrible idea in Pinkie’s head- that there needs to be more of her if she’s going to maximise the fun. Pinkie recalls a legend of a magic cloning mirror, and sets out to make this dream a horrifying, horrifying reality. You know, most magic mirrors just serve as windows to the soul and aren't magic at all. Kudos to the fantastic MLP writers for making this as terrifying as possible. Could you guys maybe stop in on the set of Once Upon a Time and explain to their writers how to be creative? Just so The Resident's reviews don't have to be so angry.
Pinkie effectively clones herself by reciting a rhyme to her reflection (Doc confirms, that’s totally how cloning works). Once the fun has been doubled (see what they did there??) She splits her time between relaxing at Ponyville's watering hole with Dash and barn raising with AJ. Pinkie off-handedly explains the cloning process to Dash, who decides napping is more important than the impending horror. The Resident decides that the remaining events of the episode are completely Dash's fault.
Everything is going swimmingly (pun completely intended) until Fluttershy invites her to a woodland creature tea party. In all fairness, you could NOT say no to that party – there was a bear sipping tea with his pinkie finger out and mice offering cheese! The Doc worries about The Resident’s fondness for animals that think they’re people. Pinkie decides there needs to be even more Pinkies. This sends her and her double back to Clone Lake. (Just think how terrifying that ballet would be.) They make doubles, who make doubles, who make doubles…everything gets a little out of control. Remember the Futurama episode where Bender did this too? It's like that, but with less booze and no robot floozies in sight. (They’re off camera.)
Zerg rush! (Doc, zergs are not a thing. Starcraft is an elaborate joke being played on the world by the state of South Korea.) (Res- the twist is that it’s actually North Korea!) The Pinkies invade Ponyville, much to the dismay of all the sane
people ponies who live there. Twilight does some investigation into the spell that allowed the cloning process when Spike finds a secret book hidden in the library. The Resident now has a mission: find the secret book in ALL libraries! Turns out, there’s a spell that will banish the clones back to the lake- however, there’s no magical way to determine which one is the real (i.e. original) Pinkie. But they have to find her fast, because all of these Pinkies defying the laws of physics are maybe seconds away from opening a black hole in the center of Ponyville. (Doc, that's how physics works right? I'm just guessing. -The Resident) (Res, I already told you that since I see no indication that the same matter is occupying two different parts of space, there’s no reason to suspect any undue quantum effects from this process. Just the terrifying, terrifying psychological ones. )
Twilight tries to ascertain which one is the real one in the easiest way possible: by asking the Pinkie horde. Of course, they all say they’re there real one. This brings up a real moral quandary- who can say who is “real” once you make a clone? Though in this case the clones aren’t made with the memories of the originals (Pinkie had to explain who her friends were to each of them), they still have hopes and dreams. Okay, well mostly they just want to “have fun,” which is for them apparently interpreted as “overrunning the city with a swarm of pink madness,” but you get the idea. At the moment of cloning, they ceased to be the same person because they had completely different perceptions of the world from then on. How can TwiSparks condone this mass Pinkiecide, as a member of the Imperial government? This is a dark day for Equestria indeed.
Anyway, Twilight misses the obvious (that the sad, stressed out Pinkie, who is regretting their actions is the real Pinkie) but devises a test. She reckons the real Pinkie would be so determined not to be banished to a lake that she would do something incredibly boring, just so she can stay with her friends. Thus, Twilight’s plan: have the horde watch paint dry. And it's going to take a while, because they really globbed it on there.
After Apple Jack’s family hilariously herds the Pinkies to their testing location (Apple Bloom sighting!), the test begins. Twilight weeds out the falsies in a terrifying fashion- exploding them and sending the shimmering pink goo that was once a living, breathing, feeling pony back to the depths of the cloning lake from whence it came. The real Pinkie is revealed, and writes a letter to ODL to explain that budgeting your time is a more practical solution to having fun than cloning yourself. I have a feeling ODL was the one who ordered Twilight to block the path to the magical lake, which we see in montage. Is, is that rock Tom?
Instead of partying with her friends, Pinkie then takes a nap. Fin.
Resident: Ya know, Doc, I really think Pinkie has turned a corner here, in terms of personal growth. She will no longer be the out of control party pony of seasons past – maybe she will be a role model to exuberant young women everywhere (and men, based on what the internet tells me) about the necessity of choice. The implications for Andrew W.K. are astounding. Also I think her path to supervillainy is blocked as completely as the path to the lake.
Doc: I’m less concerned about anyone’s moral growth and more upset that I can’t make clones by simply reciting a poem. Do you have any idea how much it would expedite my progress if I didn’t have to send stuff off for DNA sequencing all the time?!
Next week: The return of the Cutie Mark Crusaders! Will they find their cutie marks? Probably not.
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About the Author - DrImprobable
Before you ask, no, Dr. Improbable is not that kind of doctor, and will not be diagnosing your genital warts today. Seriously, put it away. The doc does more of the "mad science" brand of doctoring, though one day hopes to be that "time and space traveling" kind of doctor. In the meantime, Doc passes time cloning things, memorizing acronyms, and using large magnets. When not plotting all the terrible ways to destroy the human race (particularly those found on public transportation), the doc kills time by watching television and making sarcastic commentary on it.
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