It's better than last week's, that's for sure. But how much better?
So, in this week's episode, Fluttershy! Fluttershy has been sinking in to caricature over the course of the season, but thankfully this episode undoes that. Fluttershy has a lead role that doesn't ridiculously exaggerate her fondness for animals for once! Well, to be fair, there's still a bit of it, but it's done in a much less annoying way. She isn't overprotective, but she cares enough to carry out this fundraiser. At the very least, it's a step up.
More importantly, this episode delivers with the laughs. This is yet another funny episode, which is especially good after the calamity that was last week's. I was laughing throughout the episode. Not much more to say about that. As for the other usual qualities, yes the animation is great, and yes the voice acting is great. Those are consistent throughout the entire show.
Characterization wasn't at its best, but it was solid. Fluttershy was, as said, surprisingly normal, and Pinkie was as random as always. Yet, with Pinkie, she acted differently than would be expected. It's been controversial, but I found it hilarious. Really, being random is what you'd expect from Pinkie. I'll also say that the ending was also very pleasant, but I can't say much more without spoiling.
On the downside, while Fluttershy isn't nearly as exaggerated as usual, the episode still revolves around her shyness. It would be nice if she had an episode about something other than the two traits that writers seem to focus on, and while she's still fairly three dimensional, her appearances seem far more based on specific traits than any of the rest of the mane 6, and this one is no exception. The main idea of the plot also comes across as being less than a good idea, but it's somewhat justified by the end.
This is yet another great pony episode, and while in some areas it was far more safe than many episodes this season, where it was good it was really good. Can't wait for next week.