In five words: Nickname ruins Rainbow Dash’s dreams.
Premise: Rainbow Dash has finally gotten into the Wonderbolts, but at the cost of regaining her old embarrassing nickname: Rainbow Crash. She is not happy about it.
This episode starts with Rainbow Dash flying over Ponyville, with everyone’s favorite middle-finger-shaped castle in the background. The shape of the castle is clearly meant to indicate how Rainbow Dash will feel when she gets her new nickname, making this one of the cleverest pieces of obviously completely intentional foreshadowing the show has yet done.
Rainbow Dash has a little chat with Scootaloo about her supposedly small role in the Wonderbolts’ next performance, but then three of the Wonderbolts come in so that Spitfire can drop the news: Rainbow Dash isn’t just a reserve, but now will be flying with the Wonderbolts full-time. Scootaloo’s reaction is how Rainbow Dash would have reacted to this news back in season 1, while Rainbow Dash has the face of someone who was just told that something they have waited years for has finally happened.
Then Rainbow Dash’s face turns into that of someone who has processed that something they have waited years for has finally happened. Surely nothing will go drastically wrong on her first day, right?
Sorry this post took so long! My next few MLP posts may also be a little slow, partly because my weekly queue has caught up with me, and partly because I am working on quite a few other projects. Rest assured, I plan on finishing season 5 no later than early November.
Season 5 Episode 19: The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows
In five words: Pinkie Pie keeps baby secret.
Premise: Pinkie Pie learns that Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are going to have a baby. She must keep it a secret from her friends, and yet temptation lurks around every corner.
I love how Pound Cake is riding on top of Gummy.
This episode starts with Pinkie Pie somehow counting 568 cupcakes without needing any paper to keep track of things or prevent miscounts. This reminds us of what makes her different from the rest of the Mane 6: her brain operates on cartoon logic rather than normal logic, which makes the moments where she’s genuinely panicked and insecure greatly stick out.
I didn’t get this post done in time a week ago, so I decided to push it back a week (plus a few hours), making this the first time my MLP posts skipped a week. This may happen sometimes as I prioritize finishing my Homestuck posts (only twelve left!) over making my MLP posts. The good news is, once I finish my Homestuck post series, I never have to think about Homestuck again!!!
Posts about a different work of media aside, we’re now at the first of several points where the episode numbering of my MLP review posts might get a little confusing, because the release order differs from the production order. In this case, Hearth’s Warming Eve was moved ahead a few slots to be released around Christmas. I’ve decided to do these posts in release order, because that’s what most unofficial mirrors of the show do, and I must admit I’ve been using those to watch the show. An advantage of this order is that the season 3 episodes “Just for Sidekicks” and “Games Ponies Play”, which take place at the same time, are side by side.
With those little clarifications out of the way, let’s begin!
Season 2 Episode 10: Secret of My Excess
In five words: Spike’s dragon greed causes havoc.
Premise: As he gets lots of birthday presents, Spike gets carried away with greed and turns into a ferocious, gigantic dragon. (Er, not to imply he wasn’t previously a dragon.)
As previously promised, I’m going to compare Spike’s and Rainbow Dash’s episodes before I start this run-through. Both these characters have personality traits in common, specifically high self-image and tendency to embarrass themselves. Rainbow Dash’s episodes are a frequent source of second-hand embarrassment for me, but when Spike gets up to antics with questionable morality, I more often think, “come on, you’re better than this”. I’m not sure where that difference comes from; both characters in their episodes tend to have personality traits exaggerated or contrived. Maybe it’s because Spike’s personality isn’t portrayed quite as consistently as Rainbow Dash’s? It takes quite a long time—until season 6, I’d say—for the show to start being kinder to Spike, making his episodes before then a bit of a mess. This is easily one of the more tolerable ones, but then you have “uh, what?” episodes like Spike at Your Service. Although I’m generally defendant of Spike’s character, I won’t deny that his episodes tend to be weird.
This beginning of this episode tells us that this is going to be another one of those episodes focused on Spike’s self-admiration. Spike walks in on Twilight Sparkle reshelving her books and holds a fire ruby gem that is supposedly his birthday present to himself. Spike’s self-image is either endearing or obnoxious depending on the circumstances, and in this episode it’s the pivot of the friendship lesson, so it’s naturally going to be a little obnoxious.
WV, thinking John is dead, tries to escape his command station but the door jams because the station is out of fuel.
Of course you still have your secret treasure, but it will almost certainly prove to be of no use to you in this dilemma whatsoever. It clearly serves no significant purpose other than to be pretty, and to make your hand glowy.
Sure, whatever you say, Mr. Narrator! Some time later in the exile arc, we learn about plans for dealing with Jack Noir where it’s made clear that the ring will be used for stuff. With that in mind, PM being the final wearer of the ring is quite the plot twist.
Here’s something Homestuck occasionally does: linking to earlier pages in order to remind people of things they might have forgotten about. I think this probably should be done more often; for example, I’ve seen people reading Homestuck completely forget about the time Karkat told past Jade her robot will blow up when it is referenced several times later. In this case it’s a reminder of the Chekhov’s uranium. The “more than a year ago” bit is another one of those things that made the most sense to serial readers. But I guess that could make sense to archival readers (most especially those reading at a slow pace) given that as the link reminds us, the uranium was eaten over two thousand pages ago.