M.L.P Review- S3ep7- Wonderbolts Academy

Posted: November 14, 2013 in My Little Pony- Reviews

1000px-Rainbow_competing_with_Lightning_S3E07

 

There’s no doubt about it! This show is definitely on a streak right now! This is yet another episode that I felt to be fantastically put and developed. Credit goes to Merriwether Williams, who ironically wrote some of the worst episodes this show has produced. But… she seems to have redeemed herself with that slam-dunk of an episode.

So Arnbow Dish (I mean… Rainbow Dash) is going (FINALLY) to the prestigious Wonderbolts Academy! This is a major leap for this character and it involves some of the final steps of progression for this rapidly developed Pony. Firstly, this episode avoids the major clichés of an episode like this, where I expect a character to succeed in a very common and expected way. However, the writer threw that out the window and instead proceeded to craft an interesting story, more about the character herself, instead of the actual academy.

Anyway, so we have Pinkie missing the crap out of Dash (which is both scary and adorable), which is the small B-story of this episode. It is no doubt the weaker, less rewarding one, however, it still provides its fair share of laughs and is a nice relief from the more dramatic and action-ridden parts of the episode.

While Pinkie is rapidly opening and closing her mailbox, Dash goes to the Academy and we meet “Cliché drill sergeant character”. In this case, it’s actually a slightly recurring role of spitfire, the well-named firecracker of a Pony who provides the well needed dramatic voice of the episode, with well delivered lines that automatically made her one of my favorite guest stars.

However, this isn’t as much a story about Rainbow Dash surviving bootcamp, but more of a story about her growing as a pony. Que Lightning! Dust…

Dash meets a rival, sort of. Her name is Lightning Dust and it is as if the writers were poking fun at how rude and self-righteous Dash was in the first season, because Lightning Dust was almost a spit-image of Dash back in the beginning of the show. However, instead of going into a cliché “petty rivalry” route, to dish out some entertaining pieces of the show. Instead, we get the characters teamed up and here is where it gets interesting.

Instead of showing Lightning Dust as a straight up villain (although she may be perceived that way), I saw her as someone who was SO focused on getting a position in the wonderbolts, the whole aspect of coordination and team-play escaped from her mind. This caused her to be a reckless endangerment.

Thankfully, after Dash gets somewhat bested by her (due to her reckless ways), Dash understandably gets frustrated. However, instead of becoming even pettier, we see the character development kick in, and we get a wallop of maturity from Dash.

Dash ends up giving up her position in the wonderbolts… THIS. IS. BIG. She pretty much gave up her position for both loyalty, honesty, and morality. This signified a full circle (of development) for the character. After this episode, I felt that Dash could have had her entire story end there. Because not only does she do the mature, and understandable thing, she does it for her friends (who almost died trying to fly up to greet her).

This episode is not without its faults, however. It has an abrupt ending that sort of left a sour taste in my mouth. What ended up happening is that to our knowledge Lightning Dust’s entire dream of being a wonderbolt was crushed, and she was kicked out of the bootcamp. This is a dark place to go for a character that I thought wasn’t being as much of a villain, but instead, a sort of iconic reflection piece for Dash who saw how she was back in season 1, and how much she changed.

I would have loved to have Dash try and help Lightning Dust out, and maybe even get another friend. Instead, we get a fun reunion with Pinkie, who thinks that Dash forgot all about her (even her name), and then credits. We don’t even know if Dash gets taken back into the wonderbolts!

But at the end of the episode, I was nothing but happy. Because this is yet another episode that developed a character fantastically, causing them to become seemingly complete. The fact of the matter is, it’s a gorgeously created, unique, and interesting episode that I love rewatching, maybe just for the sheer joy of hearing Snowflake yell “YEAH” just one more time.

 

Pros:

-Fantastic character development

-Rainbow Dash being awesome

-Well paced

-Spitfire!

-Snowflake makes a welcome re-appearance

-Season 1 and Season 3 Dash/Lightning Dust comparison done well

-Pinkie totally thought Dash forgot her name!

 

Cons:

-A sour ending that made me feel sort of bummed out for Lightning Dust

-Pinkies B-story, although pretty funny, ultimately felt useless.

 

Grade: A-

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Comments
  1. Hodelino says:

    Hey I just want to say I LOVE this Website with your Great Reviews xD! Also this is One of my Favorite Episodes ever. This Episode made Rainbow Dash to my Favorite Pony (Along with Pinkie and Lyra). I just love to see the Progress RD made since S1 and that she became a fleshed out character who isn’t just all about “I’m Awesome”! She started to care for others and would give up her dream since it’s against Moral! And this is was makes RD truly awesome xD

  2. tvmovieguy says:

    I have a few problems with the episode. The B story could’ve been cut. It felt like filler and I didn’t find it very funny. All that was really needed was for Twilight to say to Pinkie something along the lines of “great idea of yours to send a care package to Rainbow Dash” when they go up in the balloon.

    I would’ve liked some proper closure as well. What happened in the ending? Is she still in training? Because of the format of the show, it’ll be a long time before it’s addressed again, which I don’t like. Also, the way Lightning Dust was treated at the end bothered me. She was a great character, and wasn’t enough of an antagonist to warrant the reaction she got at the end. I hope she makes a reappearance in the show, but I doubt she will, sadly. I much prefer the original ending of the episode, which was cut for time reasons from my understanding, which is such a shame, because it’s SO much better, and if they removed the B story or at least trimmed some of it to make room, the episode would’ve benefited greatly: http://www.roundstable.com/2012/12/26/meghan-mccarthy-posts-alternate-ending-to-wonderbolt-academy/ I personally think it would’ve been much more powerful if the episode just ended when Rainbow gave up her position, but this ending still beats what we got.

    Another qualm I have is with Spitfire. I didn’t like her characterization. In previous episodes, she’s been shown to be a calm, cool celebrity pony, and in this one she’s a real hardass. I get that she’s meant to be a drill instructor, but they could’ve conveyed that better by maybe having a scene where she’s off duty and acts more in line with her prior characterization by saying something like “Whew, drill instructing is hard work”. I also find it strange that she doesn’t recognize Rainbow Dash.

    The last problem I have is a nitpick, but I’m big on continuity, so this kind of thing really bothers me. Rainbow saves her friends by bouncing them off a cloud. But only pegasus ponies can walk on clouds! I thought about it and came to the conclusion that Twilight performed the ‘walk on clouds spell’ on her friends like she did in Sonic Rainboom, but the Wonderbolt Academy wasn’t on a cloud. It was on a strangely shaped plateau, so it doesn’t make sense! I understand that this kind of show doesn’t necessarily need tight continuity, which makes me appreciate it all the more when they go the extra mile and have good continuity.

    All of that said, I LOVE the relationship between Rainbow and Lightning and how Lightning represents S1 Rainbow Dash, The obstacle courses were pretty cool, and we got some real character development from Rainbow. The look on her face when she gives up her dream of being a Wonderbolt and closes the door is very powerful. And Snowflake is amazing, like always. It’s hard to describe, but it felt a little empty when all was said and done. I think another script polish/rewrite would’ve done some good, but as it stands, decent episode that I’ll probably watch again. Overall, I’d give this episode a C+.

    • I see. Well i do like that link that you sent, i had no idea of an alternate ending so that really shocked me,especially how much better it was.

      • Leapingriver says:

        I for some reason couldn’t reply to your reply.
        I have to ask, when would say the third act starts; before or after they do the obstacle course? I’m glad you didn’t let a few small things drag down the episode. I find it a bit unfair when double standards are used in regard to Merriwether Williams’ episodes which is why I liked your reactions and reviews, you didn’t really judge an episode by who the writer was.

        no problemo, nice to know you didn’t think it was annoying.
        (kinda random but, at the time of watching did you know who wrote Putting Your Hoof Down?)

        • I don’t care who the writer is/was. This is because noticing things like this before the episode will automatically give me either high or low hopes, this causes an unbalanced review. I rather watch the episode, then gain information about it. That’s why i’m keeping my hair clear of any s4 spoilers.

          I believe the third act starts after the obstacle course.

    • Leapingriver says:

      While I agree with you that the extended ending would’ve been better I don’t think Pinkie story should have been cut. It was pretty good showing a different side to her character, as someone who depends on her friends emotionally it does take a heavy strain on you when they go away. Think of it as a form of homesickness, she misses that Dash is gone and while others weren’t too affected, we have to remember that Pinkie is the most “childish” of the mane6 and is very emotionally connected to her friends. Also, as someone who also depends on their friends emotionally, I can give credence to Pinkie’s anxiety. When your friend promises to write back, you really take that to heart and you expect them to follow through with it, so when Dash didn’t write anything she took it as a form of rejection, and yes that is the way it feels. Even though you know they wouldn’t, that’s what it feels like. We have seen how hard it is for Pinkie to take rejection, I mean look at “A Friend in Deed” (an episode that’s almost universally loved by all): Pinkie is driven to tears when Cranky (some guy she barely knows) rejects her offer of friendship. So if rejection from someone she barely knows makes her tear-stricken can you imagine the emotional toll it’s taking on her when Dash hasn’t written back? Look at how heart broken she is in her second mailbox scene, and look how much it means to her when she learns that Dash did in fact remember her. For Pinkie to worry this much about how her relationship with Dash is affected and fast she believes it is for her friends to forget about her really shows us how insecure and how low her self-esteem is. Add in the fact that she’s Pinkie Pie, it’s been 3 full days, she’s probably very sleep deprived and not in her right mind, her insane jumps in logic are excusable.

      While your suggestion would have been a decent solution to the time issues doing that would make the situation seem like and a**pull and come off as contrived since we wouldn’t have seen why the Mane6 decided to deliver it instead of, oh I don’t know, sending it by mail. Considering how much flak writers of this show are given for doing that, and considering how much scrutiny Merriwether is put under, building up to the Mane6 bringing the care package was the best choice. Maybe if M.A. Larson did that no one would bat an eye, but Merriwether has to tread very carefully when she’s writing for this fandom.

      Ok, this episode gets A LOT of criticism for this. and to be honest, while it was kind of sad to see that, Lightning Dust brought it on herself. I felt like she deserved it. Take into consideration that Lightning Dust endangered the lives of civilians and had no qualms over it and found no fault in her actions! Also, the Wonderbolts are organized in a very military like style; people have been sent to the brig (basically ‘jail’ in military camps) for less, much much less. Lightning Dust got off very easy. Had the Mane6 died she would have been guilty of 2nd degree manslaughter, reckless endangerment of *insert the number pf ponies at that Academy*, and a slew of other things. (Dash too, but she’d get off lighter since she did something to try and help). Lightning Dust wants to join an organization that has been shown to be a acrobatic stunt team, a rescue squad of some sort (just because they’ve failed the times we’ve seen them try doesn’t change the fact that it’s what they are), and a type of military disciplined order. So Lightning Dust, a character who is shown to not care about the safety of others, race to their aid like the other cadets, or even take responsibility for her actions wants to join a team meant to help others in emergency situations….. yeah I’m getting the feeling that wouldn’t work out. She doesn’t have the right mind set to be a Wonderbolt, oh she has the talent, but she wants to be one of them for all the wrong reasons.
      Dust is a decent character, but she did more than enough damage to be considered an antagonist. Lets compare her to say Trixie from “Boast Busters”. ¿What did Trixie do?: she claimed to be more powerful than she really was and she embarrassed a few of the Mane6 after they walked up onto her stage. These are the only “bad” things she did, which are justifiable. Yet Trixie is considered an antagonist**, even by the people who like her. She’s a magician and magician’s always beef up their feats of amazingness to make them more appealing and cool (notice how no one else was bothered by this), and as soon as you walk onto a magicians stage by your own free will you’re fair game and guaranteed to be embarrassed. (Keep in mind that I’m not a Trixie fangirl. I am very neutral to her and completely unbiased).

      Keep in mind that original ending was written by Merriwether, so she wanted to redeem Lightning Dust, but was unfortunately unable to show this due to time constraints. But since we know that this was the ending Merriwether wanted, its safe to assume that Dust getting her pin ripped off didn’t mean she was kicked out. I don’t know why people jumped to that conclusion, when I first saw this episode I assumed she was just demoted and being sent to Spitfire’s office to get lectured and to hear her half of the story. Sure this is just speculation, but the likelihood of it is the same as the likelihood of Dust being kicked out. Having the ending be ambiguous was actually a really smart move, think about all the fans. and I mean ALL of them. There is a wide variety of opinion and we all know how hard it is to please everybody. Imagine the people who hated Lightning Dust’s guts and thought she had no redeeming qualities, now imagine how they would feel if she was redeemed like the original called for: they would be pissed. With the ending we got it’s easy for the people who hated her to go with the idea that she was expelled, while the ones who thought she could be redeemed could be optimistic and go with the idea that she as simply punished and demoted to wingpony status. You can believe whatever you want, you are choosing to only look at the negative outcome that situation presented just to add another point against it, when the scene is ambiguous enough to allow a positive outcome.

      You wanna talk about Spitfire, ok we’ll talk about Spitfire. This is another nitpick people love to use just to give this episode a lower grade, and I think it’s just absurd. Have you not watched any military/war themed movies? Drill Sergeants are supposed to be hardass, they are not supposed to be pleasant, they are supposed to be negative, aggressive, severe, and mean. http://derpiboo.ru/188956?scope=scpeca8cdc42620c2fa98146b2cebc890518f47621bd . In fact Spitfire was said to “be nothing” and “not intimidating enough” and “too soft” by many military bronies. Drill Sergeants wear a persona when they are on the job, and it does not come off until they are completely off duty, as in not even in the camp anymore. While on the job, even when they are simply talking they still wear that persona; it’s not who they really are, it’s just a facade. Their job is not to make their cadets feel secure and welcome, their job is to push them beyond their limits and rule out the weak ones. I ask you to recall when were the last times we saw Spitfire: a public competition where she was thanking someone for saving her life, at a public high society party where she was most likely trying to pick up sponsors, and lastly, at another public event where she is supervising the tornado to get the water up to Cloudsdale. None of these appearances does it call for her to be a brusque and negative pony, she is trying to look like a warm and welcoming person.

      “they could’ve conveyed that better by maybe having a scene where she’s off duty and acts more in line with her prior characterization by saying something like “Whew, drill instructing is hard work”.”
      Wow, so Pinkie’s scenes can be cut out even though they’re relevant to the story, but wasting a scene to tell us a character, who we should be smart enough to realize is just doing her job, is actually just doing her job is perfectly ok and is enough reason to deduct a point from the episode’s overall grade since it wasn’t included. Honestly, I don’t see how it could have been conveyed better, the story doesn’t depend on us knowing that this is just Spitfire putting up an act so there’s no reason to waste episode time showing us. Seriously, you actually think Spitfire forgot who Rainbow Dash was? Okay ignoring the fact that the possibility of that happening are actually pretty high, Spitfire didn’t forget who Rainbow Dash was. What did you expect Rainbow Dash to get special treatment from Spitfire just because she knew her beforehand? No, in fact Spitfire having past interactions with Rainbow Dash would mean that she’d have to be especially harsh on her. You cannot play favorites in the military, she has to treat everyone the same way, and Spitfire was amazing at doing her job correctly when she didn’t let her history with Dash make her bias in her decisions. Does it seem like Dash had a problem with Spitfire “forgetting” who she was? No. Dash would want to be treated fairly and the same as everybody else, she wouldn’t want to get special treatment. Note how when she goes to complain to Spitfire for making her a Wingpony, she backs up her argument with her accomplishments done in the Academy, not past achievements ie. her Sonic Rainboom (unlike what the fans do). She wants to be judged by what she does then and there, not what she has already done, and that is something I can respect Rainbow Dash for. This is the episode that made me gain a little respect for Dash. I hated/found her annoying since Season 1, but her showing this amount of maturity (even though her complaining about it at first wasn’t) when she didn’t get what she wanted was amazing, and a huge step from what she previously was. This epsiode even shows that she took a past lesson to heart, “to act with humility and grace when others outshine her”. She didn’t whine and bitch about it, she confronted the issue in a controlled manner and took the punch with humility and grace.

      As if all the other points you brought up weren’t nitpicks…. “saves her friends by bouncing them off a cloud. but only pegasus ponies can walk on clouds” You do realize you contradicted yourself in those 2 sentences right?: her friends didn’t walk on the clouds, they just landed on them. ok, that’s not my main defense against that little incident. But before we delve into that, if you are so big on continuity, why is it no one had a problem with Dash offering to give everyone a cloud ride in “Too Many Pinkie Pie’s”? just putting it out there. Lastly, quoting the great and powerful BronyCurious wont make your argument any more valid. Instead it makes it seem like you can’t come up with your own argument and didn’t even notice this so called “continuity error” until you watched his review! As for Twilight not casting the walk on clouds spell: how the hell would she know the Wonderbolts Academy was on a plateau? It’s in the god damn sky,for all she knew it was on a cloud. Something that BronyCurious seemed to have failed to notice was that half the time the cadets were on clouds. The plateau was there for mostly ground exercises (push-ups, pull ups, marching). A lot of the Academy was in the clouds. Okay, so want to know why Dash corralling all those clouds to catch her friends doesn’t break continuity, read this: http://derpiboo.ru/183734?scope=scpeca8cdc42620c2fa98146b2cebc890518f47621bd . For people who say they notice a lot of little things the animators do, they sure have a hard time noticing stuff the animators do that actually has relevance to the plot! Maybe people were just too distracted by the animation error in that scene to notice the work put into not breaking continuity. Something not mentioned in that explanation is the fact that the cloud was utterly obliterated after the cloud shot them back into the air, so it did sustain damage but Dash’s fast thinking made it possible for the cloud to withstand the weight of her friends long enough to get them into the air.

      While I agree that the show does not need super tight continuity, little itty bitty things mentioned in an episode in Season 1 should not be counted against an episode in Season 3, if they were written by the same writer than fine I’d understand people being a bit miffed by it, but honestly, leave poor Merriwether alone. I honestly think she tries her hardest when giving us these episodes, and for the gem this episode is I don’t think it’s fair that people nitpick nitpicks just because it’s a Merriwether Williams episode. Many other writers of this show have left us without closure, the that comes to mind of the top of my head is Secret of My Excess. M.A. Larson brought to the forefront a lot uncomfortable implication, not to mention leaving a lot of questions unanswered. Yet, both him and the episode are still well liked. I could, if I wanted to, break that episode to smithereens and make it seem as bad as the worst episode in MLP (whichever one you think that is). “If you hit something hard enough with a hammer, it will break” and that’s just what everyone does to Merriwether Williams episodes.

      Personally I don’t think this is just the best Rainbow Dash episode, I think this is the best episode in the show! Nearly everything was done amazingly in this episode, Dash and Dust’s interactions were great and was very realistic, the obstacle courses looked amazing, the music was stellar, and we got some great character development for Rainbow Dash and another interesting insight to Pinkie Pie and how she views her relationships with everybody. The expressions in this episode were very powerful, from Dash’s regretful look when she gave up her dream to Pinkie’s tears of joy when Dash remembers her to Spitfire’s look of horror when Dash walks out of her office. While I loved the ambiguous ending, to an extent, and Pinkie’s funny last line, for some reason I don’t like how they just fly away. It’s probably just because the camera panned with them for too long, very nitpicky and subjective, but it doesn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of this episode. I love this episode, I would watch this episode over and over again in the summer and it wouldn’t get old. The heart and humor in it don’t die with repetition, to me it’s a real gem, I’d give it a good solid A. I know some people didn’t enjoy the episode as much, and that’s ok. Just don’t go around finding little nitpicks and making them into reasons the episode shouldn’t be enjoyed by others. Believe me, I do have qualms with this episode, it’s not perfect no episode is, but I can look past those flaws and see a wonderful episode that develops a character and gets her one step closer to her dream.

      **Antagonist does not necessarily mean they’re the ‘bad guy’; they are just someone who is in conflict with the protagonist, who isn’t always the ‘good guy’. These words’ original meaning has become lost just like the word discrimination. The protagonist is the main character, the person who you’re following in the story. If there was a movie that followed a serial murder and told his story than that serial killer would be the protagonist while the cop trying to stop him, the ‘good guy’, would be the antagonist.

      • I loved the read, although of course my opinions do differ somewhat, i do respect how much effort you put into your own review of the episode. Although i generally didn’t enjoy the third act too much of this episode, as you saw from my review, i wasn’t too hard on the entire episode as a whole.

        Thanks for the long post 🙂

      • tvmovieguy says:

        You seem very confrontational, but you do bring up some interesting points. Most of what you said about Pinkie Pie and her anxiety are true, but they aren’t at the forefront. I don’t think Pinkie opening and closing the mailbox expecting a letter to magically show up is in character for her, but yes, like you said, she is sleep deprived, but that’s more of an excuse than anything. In addition to that, the scene is played for laughs, and it isn’t funny, in my opinion, and it goes on for far too long, in my opinion, which is why I called it filler.

        >”While your suggestion would have been a decent solution to the time issues doing that would make the situation seem like and a**pull and come off as contrived since we wouldn’t have seen why the Mane6 decided to deliver it instead of, oh I don’t know, sending it by mail.”
        -Well, from the opening scene, and the rest of the show, for that matter, it’s made clear how strong the Mane 6’s friendship for each other is, and it’s evident that they, and especially Pinkie, are going to miss her. My suggestion could work. Maybe if they trimmed the scene a little to keep the pace going, I wouldn’t mind as much. That’s just me, though.

        >”Maybe if M.A. Larson did that no one would bat an eye, but Merriwether has to tread very carefully when she’s writing for this fandom.”
        -No, she doesn’t have to “tread carefully”. That’s just silly. All she has to do is write good episodes, something I personally don’t think she succeeds at, and many other people would agree with me. I think her best episode is Hearth’s Warming Eve, which works because the Mane 6 are playing characters, so any characterization issues can be forgiven. Every single one of her episodes, with that one exception, I hate. If she’s trying to “tread carefully”, she’s not doing a very good job at it.

        I personally think Lightning’s rough edges and attitude could have been worked on, and I’d like to see her return. I like your headcanon about her getting a talking to in Spitfire’s office. The reason most people jumped to the conclusion she got kicked out is because, generally, when someone rips someone’s badge off and has them escorted away hanging their head in shame, “she got kicked out” is what comes to most normal people’s minds.

        >” Having the ending be ambiguous was actually a really smart move, think about all the fans. and I mean ALL of them. There is a wide variety of opinion and we all know how hard it is to please everybody.”
        -Sometimes trying to please everyone isn’t a good idea. Sometimes it’s best to pick the direction you want to go in and just stick with it.

        >”None of these appearances does it call for her to be a brusque and negative pony, she is trying to look like a warm and welcoming person”
        -I thought she WAS a warm and welcoming person, not just trying to look like one. And you didn’t have to go on a long tirade about what a drill instructor is. I’m well aware. I just hope that in at least one of her future appearances, she’s the same chilled out celebrity pony I liked from her prior appearances.

        Riddle me this: How does quoting the “great and powerful Bronycurious” make my argument any LESS valid?

        >Okay, so want to know why Dash corralling all those clouds to catch her friends doesn’t break continuity, read this: http://derpiboo.ru/183734?scope=scpeca8cdc42620c2fa98146b2cebc890518f47621bd.
        -Assuming the science behind this is real, and not just headcanon, the average viewer isn’t going to notice, much less even know about all of that. As a viewer, I take what I’m given. Anyone can justify any flaw in any form of media through theory, interpretation, headcanon, all three, etc…

        >”While I agree that the show does not need super tight continuity, little itty bitty things mentioned in an episode in Season 1 should not be counted against an episode in Season 3″
        -That wasn’t a “little itty bitty thing”. That was a firm establishment of an aspect of the show’s lore! It’s perfectly worthy of being counted against an episode in season 3!

        >” if they were written by the same writer than fine I’d understand people being a bit miffed by it, but honestly, leave poor Merriwether alone. I honestly think she tries her hardest when giving us these episodes, and for the gem this episode is I don’t think it’s fair that people nitpick nitpicks just because it’s a Merriwether Williams episode.”
        -Okay… *sigh*… let me make one thing PERFECTLY clear. I am NOT judging this based on it being a Merriwether Williams episode. I am judging this as an episode of the show, the same way I judge EVERY episode. And just because someone is trying their hardest, that does NOT make their work good/exempt from criticism! That’s a terrible attitude to have! How else will they improve, or even know they have to improve if everyone puts on a smile and says, “Yeah, that’s good work. No problems whatsoever.” This applies to any field of work. Please explain to me your thought process behind this nonsensical attitude. I personally don’t like Double Rainboom, and when I tried to voice my negative opinions of it, as well as positively encourage what it did right, I got bombarded with comments by people who can’t handle criticism saying “Shut up! This isn’t an episode of the show, this is a fan project”, most of them with improper spelling and grammar, to which I’d reply that its creator, Zachary Rich, was aiming to become a professional in the animation industry, and criticism is exactly what he needs to improve. From what I’ve heard, he’s taken criticism into consideration, and is doing well for himself. Good for him.

        >”Many other writers of this show have left us without closure, the that comes to mind of the top of my head is Secret of My Excess. M.A. Larson brought to the forefront a lot uncomfortable implication, not to mention leaving a lot of questions unanswered. Yet, both him and the episode are still well liked. I could, if I wanted to, break that episode to smithereens and make it seem as bad as the worst episode in MLP (whichever one you think that is). “If you hit something hard enough with a hammer, it will break” and that’s just what everyone does to Merriwether Williams episodes.”
        -Have you seen the Nostalgia Critic’s video about Nitpicking? He brought up a lot of good points that I’ve never thought about before, but make perfect sense. And no, just because this came from him doesn’t mean that my argument isn’t valid or that I can’t think for myself, as you seem to think. But anyway, to summarize, all film and TV is an illusion. If it engages you with good writing, characters, etc, you are less likely to notice its flaws than you are if you aren’t engaged, in which case the flaws are far more noticeable. A bad movie fails to distract us with good writing, characters, environment, etc. This is also why, when someone knows a movie inside and out through repeated viewings, they focus on other things that they didn’t before, including the mistakes and inconsistencies, which still usually don’t bother them because everything else is so good. Again, film & TV is an illusion. In other words, don’t complain in a puppet show that you can see the puppeteer. Complain instead that you focused more on him than you did the puppet.

        This is why I and many other people like Secret of My Excess more than ANY of Merriwether Williams episodes, and the reason that episode is generally well-liked. You could, if you wanted, break that episode to smithereens and make it seem as bad as the worst episode in MLP, because nothing is perfect, and you can hit ANYTHING hard enough that it’ll break. All I can say to you is this: if you like something that other people don’t, try to understand where they’re coming from instead of just assuming that they’re doing it just because it’s a Merriwether Williams episode, for instance. If the flaws don’t detract from your experience, that’s fine. They do for some people, and that’s also fine. I’ll bring this back to a previous point you made: “Maybe people were just too distracted by the animation error in that scene to notice the work put into not breaking continuity”. And it’s the audience’s fault for being too distracted by that, huh? Wrong.

        > “Just don’t go around finding little nitpicks and making them into reasons the episode shouldn’t be enjoyed by others.”
        -The only nitpick I had was the Mane 6 landing on the clouds, and that’s a pretty hypocritical thing to say, as you tried to make your ‘refutals’ of my ‘nitpicks’ into reasons the episode should be enjoyed by others, which doesn’t make you any better, by your line of reasoning. I have as much of a right to express any negative opinions I have of any form of media as the people who express positive opinions have. I said at the start of my post “I have a few problems”, and near the end I explained what I liked. What do you mean “finding nitpicks and making them into reasons the ep. shouldn’t be enjoyed.” How can nitpicks be made into reasons the episode shouldn’t be enjoyed? That doesn’t make sense. People aren’t so easily swayed. Do you think, say, CinemaSins ruins movies for people by nitpicking them? Many people who nitpick don’t have any inherent malicious intent.

        So yeah, that’s all I’ve got to say. Please correct me if I’ve made any mistakes or there are any flaws in my reasoning.

  3. Dietz says:

    This episodes is a mix of so much good and bad ideas that it’s kinda hurt me.
    First off, the academy is awesome, Spitfire is awesome, SnowFlake is awesome, the chemistry between Lightning Dust and RD is awesome, the ending was awesome, and it was awesome to see all those pegasus from Hurricane Fluttershy again.
    But the Pinkie B-story really bugs. I wanted this episode to be a 100% Dash episodes, beeing completly in the academy for the entire episode. Even if Pinkie depression was funny as hell, it seems out of place in my opinion, and it’s really just a long and fun build-up for a reason for the Mane 6 to come see Dash at the end.
    And also, while the differents exercices of the academy are cool and varied, they’re all saying the same thing every time : pushing yourself hard is bad, Lightning Dust is in the wrong.
    And that’s the third time Dash learn that because somepony is cool doesn’t mean you should hang out with her.
    At the end Lightning will never be a Wonderbolt because she was pushing herself too hard ? That’s horrible, I feel so sorry for her. And RD finally goes to Wonderbolt-cadet-wing-pony to… Wonderbolt-cadet leader ? …Well that’s something
    Anyway, besides those points, it’s still a good episode, I’d say Wonderbolts Academy is a good time no alcohol required

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