Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pony Recap: Tanks For The Memories

When I first read the title, "Tanks for the Memories", I had assumed the worst for Dash's faithful pet. Would the creators actually be audacious enough to have an episode on the death of a pet? (Granted, judging by their work so far, I have enough faith that they could pull it off very well in a very mature yet kid-friendly manner.)

Well, the answer was no, but if you think about it, as every other fan has figured out, hibernation does seem to serve as a metaphor for "death." It's the closest thing there is to death for the episode to convey a message about death without expressly addressing it.

The episode does a very good job covering the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And while we know for certain that Tank isn't going away forever, the overall message of the episode translates just as well for death as it does for hibernation. So kudos to the creative team for covering the topic of death without actually talking about it.

Anywho, here are my thoughts on this week's episode:

So it seems that Cloudsdale is not a fixed location, as it constantly moves to different cities and towns in order to administer their weather. This does raise the question of what ponies do in order to get to the city, considering it's never in one single spot on the Equestrian map.

Nice to see some continuity with the "The Running of the Leaves" race, but it's weird that Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash didn't want to compete this year--though considering what it nearly did to their friendship last time, I don't blame them for not entering.

Good thing turtles don't have teeth; otherwise, his would have been knocked out.

As I said before, when this episode first started, I had assumed the worst for Tank; then I remembered that turtles like him hibernate for the winter. (Though now that I mention it, that raises the question of what happens to the Ninja Turtles during the winter? Do they go to sleep and allow the Foot Clan to go on an unhindered crime spree?)

Fluttershy makes for an adorable veterinarian.

"Tortoises don't hibernate. Somebody put that picture in there as a joke." I know Rainbow Dash isn't the biggest reader, with the exception of Daring Do novels, but even with her having previously dismissed reading as being only for "eggheads", she wouldn't dismiss the authority of a non-fiction science book.

And here we see Dash exhibit the first stage of grief: Denial. Not only does she dismiss the expertise of her animal friend, but she even denies the authenticity of a nature text. Clearly, Dash is neither this anti-intellectual or obtuse, so she must be in denial.

So we can assume from this conversation that dragons aren't reptiles? Or perhaps they're not the same class of reptiles as turtles. Dragons are clearly reptilian, but perhaps there's something about them that differentiates them from other reptiles. Dragons can breath fire, so perhaps their internal "dragon fire" allows them to keep a constantly warm body temperature, allowing them to stay awake during the winter. On the other hand, dragons tend to have thousand year sleeps, so...

"What do you know? You're a dragon!" Hey, Dash, that's, I mean speciest. (Also, it looks like Spike has a cool new room all to himself. Those extra rooms have to be put to good use.

I wonder if Pinkie Pie's pet alligator, Gummy, also hibernates. Alligators are reptiles. Though if that were the case, wouldn't Pinkie Pie have been able to console Dash by telling her that hibernation is perfectly okay and not something to get worked out about.

Dash exhibits clear aversion to the concept of hibernation, even to the point of refusing to use the very word. It's almost like the same aversion one would have towards the word "death", and yet another reason why "hibernation" serves as this episode's metaphor for "death".

Well those hats look familiar. Cartman. Stan. Kyle. But where's...OMG, they left out Kenny! You b-tards!

"Do I look angry?" No, Dash, you look adorable! :D

Stage two of grief: Anger. Not only is Dash in denial of Tank's impending hibernation, but she expressed anger whenever her other friends mention it.

Then she got an idea. An awful idea. Dashie got a wonderful, awful idea!

Who's on first? I don't know. Third base!

I don't give a darn? Oh, he's our short stop.

It's nice to hear Rainbow Dash single solo for once. The last time she did that was in the non-canonical Rainbow Rocks! This song is nice and fast paced, like her, though I doubt it's going to be as memorable as the other songs in the series, at least, I don't see it hitting the top ten lists anytime soon.

Dash breaks the ice 20 percent cooler than anyone else.

Not sure how she's thought hiding the skis underneath the ground would work.

Rainbow Dash, you're dessssssspicable!

And with this, Dash inspired hundreds of fan art of her in her summer attire.

The pegasi have the power to siphon water out of a lake by creating a water devil. If you question this, then you haven't been paying attention to Equestrian physics on the show.

Dash is Superman. Tank is Lois Lane. If you don't get the reference, you don't watch many movies.

And with this song segment completed, we see the third stage of grief: Bargaining. Dash is trying, and failing, to prevent Tank from hibernating by trying, and failing, to stop winter.

Now that I think about it, does the Cloudsdale weather factory remind anyone of the winter factory from the Jack Frost Rankin Bass special, especially with this winter episode?

Snake may have his cardboard boxes, but can he sneak around in a cloud like Dash?

Does that pony in the picture remind anyone else of Clarence from the titular Cartoon Network show? Does the pony version of his mom work in the weather factory? Someone has to support him and her deadbeat boyfriend.

Does anyone else feel what Dash is doing here by trying to sabotage winter is eco-terrorism. I mean, it's literally eco-terrorism. Remember, kids: if things don't go your way, just sneak into the nearest factory and destroy everything, you won't face any repercussions for your actions because, apparently, it's perfectly legal!

Looks like Tank almost became turtle soup--er, more like salad.

It's Dashie the Snowmare!

Looks like you can capture lightning in a bottle. brain!

And before they could go any further, they were stopped by Augustus Gloop blocking the pipe. Wait! Wrong factory.

"Prepare yourself, every pony: winter is coming." Gee, and. I thought my Game of Thrones references in my fanfic were forced.

Wilhelm scream.

It's Christmas at ground zero, the button has been pressed. The radio has let us know that this is not a...wait, they don't celebrate Christmas in Equestria. It's Hearth's Warming Eve!

And to think Dash nearly killed Tank (and her) by trying to prevent him from hibernating. To her, death is sleep is worse than near death.

Pinkie Pie is actually the sane one by realizing that they can walk through cloud walls.

Stage four: Depression. With nothing else to do, Rainbow Dash breaks down, mopes, and then cries.

"Rainbow Dash, your winter is going to be petless." Wow, never thought sensitive Fluttershy would be the blunt and forward one of the group.

Man, if she gets this worked up about her pet hibernating, I'd hate to see how she reacts in my fanfic when her almost coltfriend...well, I won't give any spoilers to anyone who hasn't read it yet.

"Apple Jack cries on the inside?" Oh horse manure. We see Rainbow Dash let loose and cry. Are you telling me that the other masculine mare of the group is too manly to show emotion? I call major BS!

"Rainbow Dash, are you okay?" You just saw your best friend, who rarely shows emotion, break down over her pet metaphorically dying. Do you seriously think she is okay?

Christmas time is here, happiness and...wait! I forgot. It's not Christmas; it's Hearths Warming Eve!

Rainbow Dash is literally burying her pet. If that doesn't reveal that this episode is a metaphor for dealing with a death, then I don't know what does. And with that, we see the fifth and final stage of grief: Acceptance.

Of course, she reads to him a Daring Do novel as a bedtime story.