M.L.P:FIM-Review-S4ep5 – Flight to the Finish

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

1000px-Rainbow_Dash_talking_to_the_CMC_S4E05

 

Welcome to the Equestria gaaaaames!

 

So I’ve heard rumors about this episode, how it is supposed to be controversial or whatever… and I just don’t see it. The big flaw in this episode can of course be scrutinized to no end, as it’s not just a writing error, it’s a full blown moral and ethical disgrace. I do plan to address it, however, to a lesser extent than what I originally wanted.

This episode revolved around the lovable cutie mark crusaders, who are just as adorable as always. However, when compared to the previous fantastic installments of the show, this episode falls flat. However, it did have sparks of ingenuity and hilarity sprinkled throughout.

This episode was fairly high on the humor, so that is what it excelled at, however, it did have a small not-so-impactful emotional moment at the very end. We got to see the return of a small character from the previous seasons “Games Ponies Play” episode, Ms.Harshwhinney, which was… alright? I mean, she is not a memorable character by any stretch of the imagination, and has just as small of a role as her debut, so I really don’t have much to say about her.

We did have some great gags involving Rainbow Dash, with her trying to be calm. However, the entire episode was very predictable, almost as if it was hilariously meant to be predictable. This show was pretty adept at surprising me, it usually has a few non-cliché tricks up its sleeve. But this episode seemed to ditch those in favor of… nothing in particular.

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, arguably the most frustratingly terribly written characters in the show, make another appearance just to bully a child whom seems to be disabled. And to top off the cherry on this crap-cake, they didn’t even get punished! It’s arguable that the CMC just didn’t tell any adults of the bullying… but this is a cartoon show, it’s supposed to teach action and consequence, and this was a god-awful way of teaching children not too bully.

But… thankfully the rest of the episode was very enjoyable, it had me laughing and “aww”-ing at the adorable CMC doing their adorable things.

In general, the pacing was pretty good in this episode, it was consistently moving forward, never stalling for too long. However, the final five minutes seemed to be totally rushed, as if the show runners needed to cut it just to fit the timeframe this series needs to have (twenty two minutes about).

Overall, this was seemingly a filler episode. Which was slightly disappointing because it could have been so much more, because Scootaloo is my favorite CMC and they could have taken her to new heights with the character development they SHOULD have added. Apart from that flawed bullying aspect, this episode was majorly entertaining, providing many laughs. Next week we have “Power Ponies”… uh oh, I sense something special!

P.S- So… IS Scootaloo disabled? They really should have addressed this…

-ALSO, can’t they just get their cutie marks already?!

 

Grade: B-

 

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Comments
  1. Dietz says:

    I had a lot of expectations for this episode, especially for Scootaloo and Rainbow, but it was not really the main focus. It was a basic CMC episode, with a great moral, cute moments, and of course, Diamond Tiara being even more dilsikable than ever. She’s not even annoying now, she’s cruel and mean, that’s going way too far with the character.
    The song was great, nothing too outstanding. We have a Snowflake cameo, that’s always a good point. Too bad that the CMC’s episodes are a little too similar, because of this, this episode has nothing too memorable.
    Normally, I would say that this episode is a good time, no alcohol required, but since we are now into the fourth season, I’d say this episode is alright, but you’re not going to remember it until T-minus 1 day.

    • Dietz says:

      Hum, on second thought, I’d say this episode is still a good time. Some parts were memorables, and you really felt for the characters. So yeah, still a good episode.

  2. msgempire says:

    Perhaps the controversy is due to the fact that since the animatics everyone has been theorising that this is the episode where Scootaloo will eight learn to fly or we’ll get a definite she never will, which we didn’t get.

    I liked that Rainbow Dash reassured Scootaloo at the end the, saying that whether she flies or not she’s still awsome 😀

    You may have realise now, but this is in regards to your blond commentary because silly YouTube won’t let me comment on my phone, this wasn’t the games themselves but merely the competition yo find the flag carriers for the opening ceremony.

    I guess you could argue that losing to the CMC was Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon’s punishment, but even better if RD or to be more un-biased Harshwhiney had overheard DT and SS taunting Scoots about her inability to fly and therefore disqualified then on the grounds of going against what Ponyville, Equestria and the Equestrian Games stands for. The only thing that can be said about the snooty duo is that they’re growing in their skills, if only that didn’t happen to be bullying grrr

    The song was ok, my theory of Snowflake being afraid if butterflies, he got on the wrong side of Fluttershy on a bad day….jk 😀

    On a final note, is it just me or are the CMC looking a little bit older. Not like totally obvious, but enough to show that they are growing up over time?

    I’m glad you’ve started these written reviews along with your blond commentaries, it’s nice to have your extended view on episodes 🙂

    • msgempire says:

      Oh dear me, I should have waited until tomorrow to go on my laptop, that’s riddled with errors.
      *either not eight
      *there not the
      *blind not blond
      *to not yo
      *them not then
      *blind not blond (silly touch screen lol)

      Well anyway, that will teach me to post without proofreading first

    • Well the voice actors in the CMC are growing older, meaning that they may have to age the ponies… thats an interesting move though, i wouldn’t mind seeing that.

      • msgempire says:

        I hope it is the case and not me just imagining things because even if it’s been only a year since S01E01 then the CMC need to age a little. Especially if we go by how much the Cake twins grew in one month. Especially since they’re acknowledging that time is passing which doesn’t happen in many animations.

    • narrator007 says:

      “The only thing that can be said about the snooty duo is that they’re growing in their skills, if only that didn’t happen to be bullying grrr”

      Actually, I think just the opposite is happening. DT and SS had to try something new because their bullying is bullying is becoming less effective. I think that those two will start seeing less and less screen time unless they develop something else besides being total asses to add to the show.

      • I think they should have been developing this back in s3 in “one bad apple”, as i’ve said in my review.

      • msgempire says:

        Having thought more about it, I think perhaps it didn’t show DT and SS developing their skills, but reaffirming how the dynamic between them works. We always knew DT was the main force behind the duo, but in this we saw just how much more of a schemer she is than SS.

        “But we already called them blank flanks…” SS can’t see beyond their usual routine but DT can.

        What needs to happen, if the writers want to keep them in the show, is to have SS question DT, especially if she descends into more cruel means of bullying. Picking on someone for being a ‘blank flank’ is basic school yard stuff that could be applied to more ponies than just the CMC but to start making more personal attacks, after all how many other pegasi are there who can’t fly? Even when DT was bullying Apple Bloom over ‘Kooky-Granny Smith’ it could have easily been applied to other young ponies with grandparents who appear to be showing the first signs of dementia. (Although I guess that’s the first indication that DT isn’t beyond taking such low and questionable blows and she obviously didn’t learn her lesson when Filthy Rich made her join in the singing to the water)

        I think something else could be taken from “Family Appreciation Day”, this is the only instance that I can think of where SS is shown acting on her own volition and in direct contrast to DT. After Granny Smith tells the story of the zap apples and the founding of Ponyville, SS is the first to clap and even agrees with AB when she says “If it weren’t for my Granny Smith your daddy wouldn’t even have Barnyard Bargains.” I guess that’s more evidence that SS is one of nature’s sidekicks but it would be interesting if they developed her initial act of acting through her own opinion and have her start to question DT more when she wants to pick on the CMC, like why they even bother her. It could be a good story arc for them, even if it’s played out gradually in the back of CMC episodes and have them realize that it isn’t right to bully and maybe even become friends with the CMC or at least leave them alone.

        Sorry for rambling, it’s been in the back of my mind today and this is the best way I can explain it. I’m not so good at condensing my points.

  3. Hermione Granger says:

    1) RD was at the games, but the games weren’t in Canterlot.
    2) They did address her disability pretty head on: Her wings are retarded. They haven’t kept up with the rest of her, maybe they never will grow: “What if I will never fly?”
    3) I really don’t get the reasons for your cons in this episode:

    SS and DR actually had a good motive for bullying this time, they didn’t just do it out of boredom.

    In the real world people WILL bully you for your skin colour/disability/mental disease/whatever and they will NOT always get punished. You have to work past that and I think this is where the episode really handled it well: “You will always be you”.

    This episode’s moral focuses on disability and that’s a pretty awesome move if you ask me. The two being punished seems to me like it would be out of place.

  4. Zen says:

    I think Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon acted as I would expect them to act. Like the little bitches that they are, so I think the way they were written actually makes sense. I would think that if they curtailed their bullying, that would be out of character.

    I do agree with you that the lack of consequences for their actions is a problem here. Although, I think this is an issue with the overall show, as we have seen many times characters do wrong, and not be held to account on this show.

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  6. tvmovieguy says:

    I thought the episode was great. It reminded me of why I love the show in the first place; something the previous season 4 episodes haven’t been doing for me. I’ve never been a big fan of the adventure acts. This is a very good example of the slice of life the show excels at, in my opinion.

    I know that you and many other people watch the show for the humor, but I don’t really understand that. I don’t find the show particularly funny, to be honest. I watch it for the good writing, characters and animation, and this episode definitely delivered in that aspect. It’s especially impressive considering it’s Ed Valentine’s first episode.

    He really understands how to write these characters. I thought the song was… serviceable. It’s not something I’d listen to over and over, but it isn’t bad. I too would’ve liked to see DT and SS face some punishment for their actions – that did annoy me, and I would’ve liked some closure on Scootaloo’s disability. A part of me knew it would never be confirmed that she would be permanently disabled, but… *sigh* it would’ve been nice. Overall, this episode had fewer flaws that took me out of it than the others. I just hope the rest of the season follows suit.

    My grade: A-

  7. narrator007 says:

    Nice job editing this review! I couldn’t find a single grammatical or spelling error.

    I also felt like you did that this episode, while it was good, could have been so much better. I think they could have trimmed down the length of the song to leave more time for emotional moments or showing the performances at the end (and hopefully showing DT and SS fall flat on their plots).

    I don’t think kids watching the show need to be shown the bullies getting punished to learn not to bully though. Just by being written as lame characters with no redeeming qualities ensures that no sane person watching would want to become a bully. Seriously, who watches any episode with Diamond Tiara in it and says to him/herself “now THAT is who is I want to be like!” In a way, this is a more clever way of convincing kids to be better behaved, by making the bad guy/gal as undesirable of a role model as possible.

    • I understand, however, when a child (around 6-11) is in a really bad way, they will turn to anything to make themselves feel better, i know because I’ve seen first hand. The fact that this show didn’t address (directly) that bullying a handicapped child is WRONG… and the reason i say that it should have been DIRECTLY, is because the show usually approaches it’s lessons in a VERY hamfisted and direct way, making them literally impossible to miss… so they should have punished DT and SS, i think they losing a competition wasn’t enough karma.

      Again, just my two cents, although it did bring the episode down for me, not by too much.

  8. JM Reviews says:

    I actually found the bullying aspect from the victim (Scootaloo)’s side of things to hit rather close to home. I didn’t experience a voice break until I was 16 and every other guy had a deep voice before me. Naturally it lead to bullying and despite me telling people on numerous occasions, it did almost nothing to help the situation. I reckon that indirectly, and perhaps unknowingly, this episode has shown kids that sometimes other people can help you through a tough time, not just punishing the bullies themselves.
    Although I hardly believe this to be plausible, considering it IS a show for younger viewers, and I’d definitely agree that due to that demographic, they should’ve taken a lot more care into that major aspect of bullying. I think they addressed it once or twice before and done pretty well, so I am also a little annoyed to have seen such a wasted opportunity. We’ll have to wait and see next time, as I’m sure there’ll be another DT and SS appearance this season (unfortunately).

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