Do these rainbow episodes ever fail?
Now, the last rainbow episode was strong in many respects but wasn't necessarily my cup of tea. This, however? This is fantastic. I adored every second of this. The humour and the story are among the season's best. The characters are perfect. The tension, the pacing... It's all just so great.
Fluttershy's episode didn't follow the formula in the same way as the other episodes, but this one does, and it works really well. Applejack goes against her core virtue with perfectly understandable motivation, only for it to be reinforced near the end. This has to be amounting to something related to the elements or harmony near the end. The supporting cast was also great, featuring (as usual) an interesting new character, fun appearances from the Flim Flam Brothers, Apple Bloom being cute, and Granny Smith being awesome.
I liked how the episode worked with AJ's doubt about the half-truths she says in the episode. There's tension communicated through a number of close-ups, which gives the episode a somewhat tense feeling. Despite that, there is an abundance of humour to be found here. This is perhaps the funniest episode since Pinkie Pride, and I'd say that it actually matches that level of humour. It's truly wonderful.
Then there's the lesson, which is itself something great. It teaches that believing in a lie may feel good, but it won't always be the best thing in the long run. In a way, this is an apology for the poorly-worded lesson of "Feeling Pinkie Keen" from the first season. It says that while believing in a lie may seem good, or even lead to great things, in the long run it causes problems. This has a broad range of applications, but isn't so vague as to be confusing.
There's also a song, and it's perhaps the best this season. Of course, it's a Flim Flam Brothers song, so that's to be expected. Arguably it's a little derivative of the previous one, but I don't see that as a problem. Meanwhile, the visuals are some of the best yet. This is truly a really nice looking episode.
All in all, this is possibly my favourite episode of the season so far. It's probably tied with Rarity Takes Manehattan. It's been a long time since I've been this excited about the show, but these past few episodes have reignited my enthusiasm. I can't wait for the next episode, and especially not for Twilight's episode and the finale.