*Predictable story that went exactly the way you'd think it goes after seeing the first 4 minutes of the episode. Apparently the EW preview clip revealed the whole story, as well. I'm really glad I didn't watch it beforehand. Not to say the story really came off as a surprise, but I don't think that's the way you should do things
*Mandopony in the background. That's… That just feels wrong to me, it does.
*Pony with braces. I've never liked the look of those things. It is a minor thing, but I didn't like that.
*The song didn't feel as grand as the earlier one, at least to me. It felt a lot more subdued, if you know what I mean.
*The idea of the episode is nice, in that AJ has to decide if happiness is more important than the truth. However, in this case there really was no option. As was demonstrated in the episode believing in the tonic created dangerous situations. There was really no benefit to lying other than disappointing your family and afterwards being revealed as a liar. They are important things, sure, but I felt there really was no other option for Applejack. A scenario where it wasn't so clear-cut could have been a better way to use this idea.
*Merry May was a judge. I like Merry May. She's the green pegasus. Also Lyra, I guess. Having one judge of each type of pony was a nice touch.
*We got lots of new ailments in the episode. Worldbuilding is always cool when it doesn't break existing shit, I don't think this did.
*The plant's character seemed really, really odd. "I felt it was wrong to lie to ponies but thanks to you I realized honesty isn't the best policy!"…that's not what he acted like when he saw them earlier. And his later confidence felt a bit odd, too. But oh well…
*AJ's key is money. Okay, wow.
*The episode followed the basic structure of a key episode I had outlined for myself. Pony is normal, she starts acting against her Element because of some reason she finds important, later on realizes the error of her ways and sees the rainbow, acts according to her Element again and in the process teaches somepony else about it, preferably somepony who hadn't shown they understood it earlier. At least some consistency here, and with this I believe I can call this the actual theme, even though not all of the episodes went by it.
*The name of the episode is boring and could be more connected to the episode itself. Yes, yes, faith is related to placebo and all that, and Granny was leaping but meh.
*Tons of BG ponies in the shots, I think I might have some new Sparkler pics if I want to cap her. Also Cloud Kicker. Didn't quite notice Rose, though. Maybe she is smart enough to not fall for that crap?
*Speaking of crap, did FlimFlam bros get away with no repercussions (and all the money) again? I guess the papers will spread the story, but come on.
*I like Granny Smith.
Overall, the episode had some good things going for it and it wasn't offensively bad, but it felt very underwhelming and safe. The story took no risks and went on the rails everyone could see a mile away. After AJ knew the tonic didn't do shit I didn't feel there was really any escalation in the episode, we simply got scenes where Granny proved she could do stuff, very much the same as before she figured it out, only this time she tried to go with it to have Granny happy. I guess the whole "AJ-approved" and the spotlight she was getting could be seen as escalation, but to me I didn't feel the tension rising at all, or anything really being at stake there. Well, her reputation as an honest pony, I suppose, which could be a big thing for her, but as a viewer I didn't feel that. There were really no high points for me. Well, other than Merry May and happy ponies, but you know, storywise.
Might rewatch sometime since it has a good amount of Granny Smith and so on, but certainly not a favourite of any kind. Not the worst this season has had, but not very good either. Fairly meh and disappointing for me.