Nuggets of Wisdom

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Wonderbolts Academy" Recap


This is truly a monumental episode, for in this one, we get to see Rainbow Dash move ever closer to her dream of becoming a Wonderbolt.

This episode managed to exceed my expectations. Since The Hub promos showed Rainbow Dash racing Lighting Dust, I expected this episode to introduce a rivalry between the two with an episode emphasizing competition. Instead, the two become teammates with the episode focusing on the risks of reckless behavior. So kudos to the creators for not going down the predictable route.

Next to Magic Duel, this is one of the better episodes of the season. It really developed Rainbow Dash as a character, especially with the tough choice she had to make at the end. I hear there was going to be an alternative ending where things didn't turn out for the best, but thankfully, we received the ending where things did go well, and I find that a good thing. Overall, this episode made Dash twenty-percent cooler.

Anyway, here is the episode and recap:

Wonderbolts Academy


Thoughts

• Pinkie Pie is reaaallllyyy happy that Rainbow Dash was accepted—perhaps a little bit too happy. (The RDxPP shippers are going to have a hay day with the hugging scene!)
• The Wonderbolts Academy is built upon a plateau, as opposed to other Pegasi buildings and communities which are built in the clouds.
• Most of the other Pegasi in the Wonderbolts Academy are the same ones from “Hurricane Fluttershy,” including Horse Power (the overly-muscled pegasus that screams “Yeah!”) and Cloud Chaser (though her twin Cloud Flitter is absent. I guess she doesn’t want to be a Wonderbolt.)
• As Spitfire inspects Horse Power, it’s almost as if she recognizes the implausibility of an overtly-muscled Pegasi with tiny wings. (Steroids, perhaps?)
• Spitfire tells Rainbow Dash that she probably wouldn’t make it past the first day. These words will prove to be rather prophetic later on.
• For the Dizzitron, Spitfire chooses the pink pegasus rather than Rainbow Dash or Lightning Dust, despite both eagerly volunteering.
• The reflection of the Dizzitron in Spitfire’s sunglasses make her look dizzy—or like Dr. Insano! Either/or.
• LOL! at the icon for the Maximum Speed setting for the Dizzitron.
• Spitfire sits in her office signing autographs on pictures. Seems like important business!
• Spitfire folds her glasses addressing Rainbow Dash. Looks like we’re in for a serious talk.
• The Rainbow waterfall changes from a rainbow into regular water. (You can’t explain that!)
• It’s kind of hard to describe “Capture the Flag” as anything other than fun.
• Maybe it’s just me, but Rainbow Dash’s clipped wing doesn’t seem all that bad. Something that you truly can walk off. Again, it’s just me.
• I don’t really care for the Pinkie Pie cutaway scenes. I know it’s to set up for the end, but to me, they seem like a needless distraction.
• For the obstacle course, either they changed to a different location, or the creators were extremely inconsistent with the background designs.
• Give the ponies balancing the buckets on their heads credit: balancing them like that takes real skill!
• Horse Power saves the box! :D
• Rarity cuddles the pegasus who saves her. (Countdown to shipping in 3…2…1…)
• Cloud Chaser catches Fluttershy, who is embarrassed by it. (You are a pegasus, Fluttershy! Did you forget?)
• Pinkie Pie’s expression after Rainbow Dash addressed her.
• Most people overlook Rainbow Dash’s quitting the Wonderbolts, as we all know she’s going to be accepted at the end anyway, but that moment by itself is very powerful. We all know that Dash’s dream has been to join the Wonderbolts, so seeing her make such a bold and painful decision is moving to say the least.
• Spitfire makes RD do 20 laps, when earlier, she had them all do 500.

Questions

• Anyone else disappointed that the mail pony wasn’t Derpy Hooves?
• Does it seem like Spitfire is out of character in this episode? In previous episodes, she’s a fairly laid-back pony, but here, she acts really gritty and tough. It seems as though the role of the drill sergeant was meant for another pony, but the creators placed Spitfire in as fanservice. I don’t know. She just seems off as a drill seargent.
• Is it just me, or does Lightning Dust look like a recolor of Rainbow Dash?
• Was anyone else expecting Horse Power to upchuck as he was hunched over after riding the Dizzitron?
• Why does Rainbow Dash and Lightning Bolt have to wait behind the other two pegasi? Why can’t they fly around them?
• If Spitfire is watching the race (which she is supposed to do to monitor and grade their performance), how come she didn’t realize that it was Dash and Dust that caused the ponies to stumble?
• Why are the other pegasi weakly beating the clouds? Shouldn’t they be able to break them easily?
• How was the cloud able to catch them? It has been stated before that only pegasi can walk on clouds, and that other ponies require spells in order to do so. So did Twilight cast the spell before they got to the Academy? If not, they should have fallen through the cloud.
• Why is Rainbow Dash angry at Lightining Dust? If I recall, she’s the one who agreed to creating the tornado, so she’s equally to blame. And yes, I do understand that she’s angry because of Lightning Dust’s flippant attitude towards the disaster. Which leads me to my next question:
• WHY IS LIGHTNING DUST SO FLIPPANT ABOUT THE ACCIDENT? Seriously, five ponies could have been killed because of that tornado, and she treats it like it’s no big deal. At least she should feel some remorse about nearly killing them. But no. She doesn’t! Which leads me to my next question:
• Why didn’t the Wonderbolts address Lightning Dust’s reckless behavior earlier? If they don’t condone the behavior, why did they not address it until the end? Yes, they do end up demoting her, but not after she clearly harmed her own classmates in the obstacle course and destroyed property (or at least a chalkboard) during the cloud clearing challenge. Either the instructors didn’t notice this (which would make them poor instructors), or they didn’t address it until Rainbow Dash brought it up. Either way, it seems like the Wonderbolts were more than complacent with LD’s reckless behavior, which would make RD’s anger justifiable.
• How are the others going to get home? The balloon was clearly damaged, so unless the other pegasi are busy gathering it up and repairing it, they’re pretty much stuck there.

Quotes

• Pinkie Pie: And it will be all. My. Fault! (Rarity: “This is the. Worst. Possible. Thing!”)
• Pink pegasus: “You make it look so easy.” Rainbow Dash: “I make everything look easy.”
• Pretty much every mindless rambling from Pinkie Pie! I’m not bothering to write it all down, as in the words of Apple Jack, “Is any pony else following this?” Nope!
• Apple Jack: “It’s a Twister!” (“Auntie Em, Auntie Em!”)
• Pinkie Pie: “You remembered me!”

Gags

• Rainbow Dash molding the cloud into a slide and sliding down it.
• Rainbow Dash pretending that she didn’t get in. “Gotcha!” (RD is best troll!)
• Pinkie Pie calling to Rainbow Dash with her megaphone! (“Don’t forget to write!”)
• Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust slapping wing.
• Pinkie Pie opening and closing the mailbox in anticipation of Dash’s letter.
• Twilight faceplaming—or rather, facehoofing!
• Horse Power crunching cloud and screaming, “Yeah!”
• Dash and Dust bouncing off clouds with pinball sound effects.
• Ranbow Dash going “omigosh!” at being promoted leader.