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Official Discussion Thread - S07E20 in: A Health of Information

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The Everfree can be deadly to even those who choose to live there! So be mindful and beware!

 

While helping Fluttershy gather supplies, Zecora comes down with a terrible disease called Swamp Fever; even though a cure has not been discovered, Fluttershy makes it her mission to heal Zecora no matter what it takes. The episode aired Saturday 11:30 AM EST on September 23rd!!
 
This thread is dedicated to discussing the episode before, during, and afterwards. As the thread is now open it may indeed contain spoilers. I ask that potential spoilers talked about or shown before the episode airs stay within the spoiler tags please, after the episode you no longer have to use the spoiler tags, but warning, if you haven't seen the episode yet after it airs, this thread no doubt will have all sorts of spoilers in reviews, images, etc. So tread at your own risk!

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Nice to see a bit of an adventure with slight dark undertones.


 

Spoiler

 

And lots of world and history building! For a cute little cartoon disease, Swamp Fever starts off with equally cute little cartoon symptoms. Spots and coughing bubbles. Then it forcefully twists its host into a nasty looking tree. Well, Fluttershy always wanted to be a tree...

 

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That's kind of dark. And it's an rare episode where the character's actual lives are at stake. Not only do they have to deal with the 'fever', those bees are pretty nasty. Liked the bit with Meadowbrook and her mom...I read somewhere that they were considering calling Fluttershy "Meadowbrook" when the creators were working on the show. Probably when she was an Earth Pony who owned an flower store. Wonder if Twilight borrowed any of Meadowbrook's books? She seemed curious where the young healer and the young colt's story went. Also, it's always nice to see Zecora.

 

Things I'm wondering about:

 

1. What sort of things did Twilight and Cattail do that they refuse to speak of? :|

2. What happened to the villagers of Hayseed Swamp?

 

 

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Perhaps darker than you think - Swamp Fever had known symptoms, but no known cure for quite some time.  So there could be whole groves of trees that used to be ponies from before the cure was found.  Wonder if it infects other creatures, or just ponies (those zap bees may be immune simply because they lack a protein receptor on their cells or something; their honey would contain whatever chemicals the plant the nectar was extracted from.  Plus whatever they put into it.)

 

A mutagenic disease is sort of novel - I suspect the bubbles the victims cough up might be slightly infectious (I don't recall Fluttershy or the Doctor ever coming into contact with the actual spores of the flower like Zecora did, but they did come down with swamp fever much later.)

 

Being turned into a tree is a LITTLE better than what Cordyceps does to ants.  Or horsehair worms do to grasshoppers and mantids ...

 

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Things I'm wondering about:

 

1. What sort of things did Twilight and Cattail do that they refuse to speak of? :|

2. What happened to the villagers of Hayseed Swamp?

 

 

1.  Hard to say, given pony psychology is a bit different than a human's.

2.  Many possibilities :

a.  Maybe they're like Cattail - really, REALLY bad housekeepers that stay inside most of the time.  And only interact if someone actually enters their house.

b.  Off farming somewhere else most of the day.  I'd imagine some crops don't grow well in a swamp.

c.  Most of them moved away years ago.  There are many deserted towns all over the world.

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I really loved this episode! 

 

Spoiler

1. Zecora! I'm glad that after a hiatus from previous seasons we get to see the Zebra. She's developed her personality well, making it unique. 

2. The Swamp Fever. This has big implications. What if those trees that produced those spores were former ponies affected by the Swamp fever? This has major implications on the Everfree Forest. Also, I don't think Fluttershy wants to be a tree after this event. 

3. Zecora doesn't rhyme? That must be serious. 

4. I think Hayseed Swamp was evacuated or the ponies there became trees. 

5. I liked the idea of mimicking the Queen with the mask to distract the bees. 

6. The moral of the episode was good of helping yourself so that you can better help others. 

 

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This episode was a lot of fun, to me.  I'm not going to 'overthink' the medical issues here, just going to accept the story at face value and enjoy what I saw.  Fluttershy learned a valuable lesson about ignoring one's own needs while being 100% focused on the needs of others.  Her dedication was commendable, however, worrying yourself into a frenzy (a sleepless one at that) can do more harm than good to everyone, including yourself and those you're attempting to help.  Simple message introduced in a fun way!  And it's the first time we ever see Zecora in need of help.  Usually, she's the one ponies come to FOR help.  Proves that even the best of us need help once in a while.  

 

The only question I have is, if Swamp Fever is NOT treated, will the pony/zebra infected eventually complete turn INTO a tree?  If so, then many of the trees surrounding that swamp COULD be transformed ponies/zebras/creatures.  WOW!!!

 

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On 9/27/2017 at 9:21 AM, Mojo said:

The only question I have is, if Swamp Fever is NOT treated, will the pony/zebra infected eventually complete turn INTO a tree?  If so, then many of the trees surrounding that swamp COULD be transformed ponies/zebras/creatures.  WOW!!!

 

That's what it showed in book the Doc showed to Fluttershy and Zecora - the last stage completes the cycle. 

1.  Tree drops flowers to infect pony.

2.  Pony gets red spots.

3.  Pony coughs up bubbles.

4.  Pony sneezes lightning bolts.

5.  Pony turns into a tree, which drops those flowers to start the cycle again.

 

The only way anypony could know that was the cycle was if it happened at least once where there was a witness.

 

Which, as you note, could lead to lost villages and haunted groves.

 

In the first case, a map shows there SHOULD be a village of ponies, but there's nothing there but abandoned houses (few may notice extra trees).

In the second case, a group of oddly shaped trees may give off a VERY creepy vibe. 

 

Only thing worse would be if there was something of the victim's minds trapped within those trees ...

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On 9/27/2017 at 9:21 AM, Mojo said:
  Hide contents

 

 

Spoiler


Or even worse. You find a tree. You cut it down and use the wood to make a desk. One day something magical happens and BOOM! Wood turns back into horse! You got a pony-table! :o

 

And I'm guessing overtime, the ponies simply left Hayseed. Lack jobs. Lack of things to do. Lack of families having kids. And bigger towns/cities opened up nearby...

 

 

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