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The Yaks are back! Hoo boy. XD

❄️ SYNOPSIS ❄️
Pinkie Pie is ecstatic when she receives an invitation to a celebration all the way in Yakyakistan. Loving the idea of being an ambassador, she’s eager to leave a good impression on the Yaks in hopes of establishing peaceful relations in the future. Things go smoothly and she’s well on her way to becoming an “honorary yak”… until all of the stomping they do at the party causes an avalanche to bury the entire town. Pinkie tries to get Prince Rutherford to admit that he needs assistance, but the leader is firmly against asking for outside help. This leaves Pinkie wondering how she can help the yaks while avoiding wounding their pride.

❄️ IMPRESSIONS AND STUFF ❄️
As much as the yaks didn’t leave a good impression on me like the other non-pony races of Equestria, I’m looking forward to some more world-building and insight into their culture. And I think Pinkie going there is a good choice: she’s shown to be eager to connect with others and open to new concepts and cultures (like in “Spice Up Your Life”!). I like that Twilight has officially started using the term Friendship Ambassador! It’s exactly what they’ve been doing for a long time now, anyway.

Okay, I kinda like how joyfully destructive the yaks are. Mad? Destroy. Happy? Destroy. Feeling “meh”? Still destroy.

Prince Rutherford said “check self before wreck self”, I’m done. X’D

Good on Pinkie taking her trip to Yakyakistan seriously. Sure, she genuinely wants to have fun at the celebration, but she understands just how important it is to build good relations as an ambassador. She’s come a long way in the maturity department. Impressively, she had integrated herself very well into their customs without a single problem, demonstrating how easy it is for her to connect with pretty much anyone.

Welp, all that stomping from the Yaks ends up causing a huge avalanche. Prince Rutherford claims this has happened before and that they know how to get their village free of snow, but Pinkie realizes they need help. She is quick to offer the assistance of herself and her friends, but we then see that the Yaks are adamantly against accepting outside help, taking great pride in their ability to handle themselves. Rather than accept help and get the snow removed as quickly as possible, Rutherford would rather wait who knows how long for the snow to melt, showing how illogically stubborn he can be. This is where Pinkie Pie shows her rare sensible and rational side, pointing out all the problems with that choice. You know there’s something wrong when she’s displaying more common sense and than you!

Oh my God, would they stop saying “yak” for every other word when the kids were talking? It reminds of the “smurf” speak. XD

Pinkie’s story was funny! I love how she tried to flip it around as much as possible (tundra to desert and yaks to goats), with it still being painfully obvious that it was about the current dilemma. She’s so cute. 💕

But in all seriousness, I love seeing this side of her: as whimsical and laid-back as she is, Pinkie’s got her limits and will point this degree of silliness out if she has to. The only reason she went along with Prince Rutherford’s plan was because she didn’t want to cause conflict, and I completely understood that. She displayed a lot of tact and care in trying to get them to admit they needed someone to help them out as well. Even when she was getting fed up with their denial, she kept a cool head. I like how she didn’t take any of Rutherford’s BS backstory and weak justifications for not reaching out, she was perfect. Even when she was treated terribly for trying to help them, she still had their best interests at heart: while she did follow-up on her plan to bring her friends in to help, she insisted on them not making their assistance obvious and going covert so as not to hurt the yaks’ pride. As irrational as they were, she still respected their reasons, and that’s admirable. Pinkie and company were fine with doing this in secret, even if it meant Prince Rutherford would get credited with having the right mindset in response to the avalanche.

Prince Rutherford’s a bit more likable here and that’s a relief. I rightfully got the impression he was just a trigger-happy brute, but his easy-going dynamic with Pinkie Pie was nice. Well… until his stubborn refusal to admit that his village needed help came into play. It was obvious that all the other yaks would have been more than okay with accepting assistance from ponies, but didn’t speak up because of their leader. This moral has been done in season 1 (“Applebuck Season”), but that was more understandable – AJ was only really hurting herself by refusing to ask for help. Rutherford is putting his entire village in jeopardy out of pride, and that’s utterly selfish. But you know what? I still liked him at the end. When he realized Pinkie and her friends had helped despite him refusing to accept it, he admitted that a true friend would help out even if they weren’t asked and didn’t get any benefit out of it. As much pride as he displayed, he wasn’t above acknowledging that Pinkie made the right call.

I loved Pinkie in this one! Her characterization was a rarely seen responsible and rational figure, while still retaining her childish, sweet, and bubbly nature. She did everything well and I just wanted to give her a huge hug. She just may be the best Friendship Ambassador in the group! First griffins, then yaks, next, the rest of Equestria. They might as well send her and Spike to the Dragon Lands.

Oh, and the humor of this episode was on-point. The fun customs of the yaks in combination with Pinkie Pie made for a fun watch.

❄️ FINAL SCORING ❄️
🌟 🌟 🌟

Try not to let the star ranking fool you. This was a really good episode… just not great.

Prince Rutherford’s stubborness was the main drawback. I’d forgive it a bit more if he fully admitted that he was being an idiot by willfully putting his village in danger by not asking for help. Sure, he recognized and praised Pinkie Pie for saving his people, but he still needed to own up to his own bad decisions. Yeah, it’s nice to have a friend that understands when you need help without you outright saying so, but it’s even more important to learn the lesson of humility and the value of reaching out for help. Your friends aren’t mind-readers, and you need to learn how to communicate. Heck, all of these Season 7 friendship problems sparked from characters not communicating properly, so that seems to fly in the face of those lessons. And the other adult yaks should have learned a lesson in not being afraid to confront their leaders: would they have just starved to death rather than call out their prince? The aesop feels more shaky the more I think about it…

Ah, and a case can be made about intervening in a situation when you were explicitly told to stay out of it. I don’t agree with that one given the situation (innocent lives were at stake), but there you go.

Still, a solid episode. I’m usually swinging back and forth with my opinion of Pinkie Pie, but with episodes like this I know I could go into full support mode for her. She was the perfect pony to be sent to the Yaks’ village and handled herself and the problem beautifully. A must-watch for anyone who loves a good Pinkie episode, full of humor and good characterization. Even better, this broke the chain of “make-up with each other” resolutions! That was starting to get predictable.
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