|Date||December 10th, 2010|
|Written by||Amy Keating Rogers|
|Theme||Don't Judge People|
|Previous Episode||Look Before You Sleep|
|Next Episode||Swarm of the Century|
The episode starts with Twilight Sparkle and Spike walking toward Ponyville, commenting on how Rainbow Dash must have cleared the clouds, upon entering the town they realise that it's deserted. They contemplate this for a few moments before Pinkie Pie shouts for them to come with her into a building, telling them to hurry before "She gets you". The two follow her into a building where they find Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Apple Bloom and Pinkie all in darkness. Applejack explains that they are hiding from a strange striped figure outside, shrouded by a cloak and digging at the ground with her hoof.
After the title sequence, Apple Bloom reveals that the strange figure outside, which the audience can see is a zebra, is named Zecora. Applejack begins telling the group about how Apple Bloom was terrified upon seeing Zecora, to which Apple Bloom responds, "I'm not a baby, I can take care of myself." After this, Twilight reveals to the whole group that Zecora is a zebra and Applejack exclaims that she lives in the Everfree Forest.
After Twilight asks what the group have actually seen Zecora do, they begin to tell of how she comes into Ponyville once a month and lurks by the stores and digs at the ground. Soon after, Apple Bloom claims, to herself, that she is brave enough to actually get to know Zecora, and leaves the building to go after her, following her to the Everfree forest. Noticing she has gone, The Mane Six go after her. Once they are in the Everfree Forest and have seen Apple Bloom, Zecora sees the group and yells, "Beware you pony folk, those leaves of blue are not a joke." which the group decide is a curse she has put on them.
That night, Twilight has a troubled sleep, filled with visions of Zecora. She wakes up to a messy mane, which, upon brushing, she finds is covering up her horn which is floppy and covered in bright blue spots. She searches the library for a cure and declines Spike's offer of a book named Supernaturals, claiming it's a bunch of "hooey". That is when Pinkie Pie appears, her tongue lolling out, also covered in blue spots, leaving her unable to speak (and causing spit to fly everywhere). Moments later, Rainbow starts bashing at the window with her face, seemingly unable to control her wings, followed by Rarity who is now a mound of messy hair, her face not visible. Applejack enters too, her voice high pitched, which we soon discover is due to the fact she has been shrunk and is sat atop Apple Bloom's flank. At first, Fluttershy seems to be in perfect condition, until she speaks and reveals a rather man-ish voice.
Apple Bloom decides to leave the library to go after Zecora and fix this, followed by tiny Applejack and the whole group comes after them soon after. They reach Zecora's house, upon looking inside, they find African-style masks, bottles and candles, a bubbling cauldron in the centre of the room, which Zecora begins chanting over. Once Zecora states that it's "The perfect temperature for ponies" the group presumes that she intends to cook Apple Bloom and run inside to stop her.
They accuse her of cursing them to which she explains that it was the blue plant, poison joke that caused their problems and that she was creating a potion to cure them. The "creepy decor" is just treasures from her native land and her chanting was a nursery rhyme. She also shows that the book "Supernaturals" is just a book about natural remedies and if Twilight had just read it in the first place, rather than judging it by it's cover, she would have learnt of the cure for their problems. She also says that she is missing a herb from Ponyville, but whenever she enters the town shops are mysteriously closed. The 8 of them go down to Ponyville, the residents see them and believe that they have been cursed by the Evil Enchantress (the horror, the horror!) Twilight explains to the flower ponies that Zecora isn't evil at all, a scene we don't see, and the group all relax into a bubble bath, their problems solved.
Letter To Princess Celestia
Dear Princess Celestia, My friends and I all learned an important lesson this week: Never judge a book by its cover. Someone may look unusual, or funny, or scary. But you have to look past that and learn who they are inside. Real friends don't care what your "cover" is; It's the "contents" of a pony that count. And a good friend, like a good book, is something that will last forever. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.
You can view the transcript of this episode here...