Nuggets of Wisdom

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pony Recaps: Daring Don't

This episode was a breath of fresh air following the disappointment that was “Castle-Mania.” Even though I didn’t care for “Read It And Weep”, I thought the concept and character of Daring Doo was interesting enough, even if she is an over-the-top parody of Indiana Jones—who in turn is an over-the-top parody of 1930s action-adventure serials. So I thought this episode was fairly entertaining with plenty of action and adventure.

Her revelation as a real-life pony as opposed to a purely fictional character split the Brony community over this episode. (Then again, schisms among Pony fans are a common occurrence. Just ask alicorn princess Twilight Sparkle!) While one half was more than accepting of her being real, the other half thought it to be too farfetched.

This is a world where the sun and moon are controlled by royalty, the laws of physics can be easily manipulated by a beast of chaos, and where a lost civilization once ruled under the tyranny of an evil king can be brought back and reintegrated in the global community. I think a Pegasus who goes on daring quests to twart the evil schemes of an Aztec monster is more than plausible.

But perhaps the best part about this episode were the many subtle (and not so subtle) references to the Brony community. The many fan girl moments from Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash (though mostly Rainbow Dash) reflect the ways that fans of this show often act and react, from Dash counting down the days until the new Daring Doo book comes out to Twilight and Dash arguing over details of the many books. Clearly the show’s creators are more than aware of the Brony community and wanted to give them a small shout out.

With that said, here is the episode along with my thoughts on it:

It’s nice that Fluttershy is willing to teach baby birds how to fly, but, don’t they have a mother to help them with that? Or are they orphans? Or is the mother allowing Fluttershy to tutor them?

“Four more months!” Rainbow Dash imitating the Brony community four months ago! (Of course, if RD was really true to character, she would be counting down the exact days, hours, minutes, and seconds!)

Looks like Daring Do is going to need a medallion to get past those temple gaurds. Too bad she only has half! (Kudos if you get the reference!)

Daring Do used whirlwind. It's super effective!

He throws everything at her but the kitchen sink—though he manages to throw a bird. I bet that bird is “angry”!

Cut! Cut! Cut! "Tweeting birds?" RD, read the script! Look what it says. It says, "Dash crashes into tree. Dash sees stars". Not birds, stars! (Kudos if you get that reference too!)

Fluttershy looks absolutely dapper (and cute) in that hat.

You know what I said about Pinkie Pie experiencing Flanderization in this season? Well, I’ll let her character slide in this episode, as celebrating a random holiday about random holidays is very much in character for a pony that decided to throw two parties in a row!

This is the second episode in which Rarity complements the punch. Is this a subtle way of saying she’s an alcoholic? (Because all punch is alcoholic, right?)

“You might just say that the secret ingredient is…a secret!” Okay. I admit. That made me giggle.

Obligatory spitake is obligatory.

Party hats make everything better. Like bandaids!

A.K. Yearling. J.K. Rowling. C.S. Lewis. J.R.R. Tolkein. R.R. Martin. R.L. Stein. What is with authors having abbreviated first names?

I hope those cupcakes aren’t made from pony flesh!

I wouldn’t be an Indiana Jones parody without a map-traveling sequence. And according to the official MLP world map, A.K. Yearling lives somewhere in Vanhoover. (Oh, and this slides too. Painting an actual traveling line is in character for Pinkie.)

A.K. Yearling must be bunking with the Seven Dwarfs. They certainly needed someone else after Snow White moved out.

Logic: Knocking on an obviously broken door.

As someone who freelances for a living, I can vouch for that. Most writers are slobs.

Gee, she looks familiar.

Return of the wub face!

Sure, let’s open our top secret compartment and show off our top secret artifact before a crowd of complete strangers. Logic!

A two key typewriter? How does that work?! And don’t say it’s because they have hooves. We’ve seen that the ponies manage to utilize most average human tools without fingers or opposable thumbs. This is simply pushing it.

Obvious twist is obvious!

Oh, don’t you six bother your pretty little heads assisting the pony who is being outnumbered and outmatched by mobsters. You just sit there and keep watching like drooling fan girls!

Well, this clearly is a reference to something. But what? I just can't put my hoof on it? Something about Lords and Rings. Willy Wonka?

Like a boss!

Um, how about you two stop fangirling and assist the pony who is being robbed of a very valuable artifact?

“Should we go in and help her maybe?” Oh, NOW they realize Daring Do needs assistance!

“Are you okay?” Oh, no, of course not. Daring Do only had to mend her own leg after having it broken by three gangsters who want to sell a ring of ancient power to a Mayan monster wishing to utilize it to instill 800 years of intense heat. No problem there!

And Twilight and RD reenact every MLP fan forum discussion ever!

“It looks like we are way, way over our heads.” Um, Twi, you six have gone against the powers of evil seeking eternal night, eternal chaos, an insectoid invasion, the reclamation of the Crystal Empire, and the destruction of the Tree of Harmony. (Oh, and if canon, don’t forget the demon girl trying to invade Equestria with an army of high school students!) This little venture seems like a walk in the park by comparison.

Stop hitting yourself.

Stop hitting yourself.

Seriously, stop hitting yourself!

Adorable Face #2!

That is the face and expression of a creepy stalker.

Like every tree stands on its own
Reaching for the sky I stand alone.
I share my world with no one else.
All by myself I stand alone.

My job involves secrets—which is why I share them with the world in my own book series!

Clearly all you need to completely disguise yourself is to smash your hat and smear leaves and mud on your face. Don’t even bother changing your clothes. They will NEVER recognize you.

"Now, Ahuizotl, you know I love you, but I can't give you the ring 'til I've properly proposed."

Adorable Face #3.

Obvious and obligatory callback is obvious and obligatory.

Ah yes, the obvious action trope where a gang of well-armed assailants attack someone one at a time rather than altogether. That plan can’t possibly fail in any way!

Where exactly is this episode? The setting clearly indicates a Central American environment, yet the episode clearly establishes that it takes place in their version of Canada. I don’t recall there being many Mezo-American architecture up north, eh? Unless of course they traveled all the way down south, which I highly doubt.

Clearly she messed up on her own, so having five others helping her out will be just as bad, right? Logic!

Something tells me that slowly lowering her down into the piranha-infested waters would have been more effective that simply filling up the whole room with water. Cliché? Yes, but again, more effective.

And once he unleashes the eternal drought, Team Magma will finally be able to accomplish their goal of creating more dry ground for the Pokemon to inhabit—that is unless the legendary Groudon intervenes.

Do the spikes serve a utilitarian purpose, or are they simply aesthetic?

And when she finally releases herself from her binds, the weight of the iron shackles and bricks will drag her down beneath the waters below where, if the piranhas don’t off her, the inevitable drowning will.

What is with Pegasi not realizing they can fly?

"Drop the ring, Ahui....whatever your name is!"

Hula hoop!

What is with protagonists intentionally getting caught? They claim it’s to help them get to the villain, but the plan can obviously backfire on them.

It’s the evil monkey that lives inside Chris’s closet!

If the rings could easily be destroyed, why didn’t she just prevent all this and destroy the ring she had in the first place?

The audience now has diabetes!

Self-insert fan fiction becomes canon.