Archive for April, 2014

EW_teaser_of_Testing,_Testing,_1,_2,_3

So… there’s rap?

Rainbow Dash is in a pickle, for some reason her course to get into the ‘Wonderbolts reserves’ involves a written test. Why? I don’t know! Plot contrivances and nonsense like this really take you out of a lot of immersion. At first I thought “hey, well there’s a written exam for a drivers license too!” Except that’s to learn the rules of the road, we aren’t aware of any rules within Pegasus flying… it’s about… history? So they explain this by saying she needs to know the history to represent the wonderbolts, instead of some crazy interesting and unique flying test, she needs to know the history…

Again, this is an ongoing gripe I have with this episode, which makes the first act pretty incomprehensibly dull. However, thankfully it picks up within the second act to make for some entertaining scenes involving the rest of the cast trying to teach RD their ways to study. It’s pretty obvious that this will lead up to her finding her “way” to study and acing the test, but I suppose the path to success is what makes this episode fairly solid.

Each character has their own unique way of studying, for example, Rarity thinks that learning through the way they dress is the easiest, and Pinkie thinks… rapping is the best way? I don’t know, that scene was pretty out of the blue and out of place. But it was quite funny, so i can let it slide.

There’s an understandable balance within these scenes that makes for entertaining dialogue. I’ll say it again, RD is perhaps the one consistently well written character in this show now, as she has developed the most “natural” personality within the show. She is no longer OVERLY cocky, and her tone is more lackadaisical and relaxed most of the time. What i mean is that out of all the characters, she’s the most… human?

She no longer has this niche that makes her “oh look, that’s who SHE is,” and while many may not like this, I find it much better. She’s not extremely loud and mostly abrasive like Pinkie, she isn’t switching between princess and nerd like Twilight, and just like the other character that has been getting positive changes (Applejack), she has a more human tone to her actions.

While she still has her ego, it’s much more tame and realistic, rather than “80’s school bully” bullshit that we sometimes saw within the previous seasons. It’s really great seeing her interact and change as the episodes progress, since this show, although more continues than SOME other animated programs, still tends to hit the ‘reset’ button at the end of every episodes with only brief callbacks to previous adventures and lessons. What i’m trying to say is that RD is the one character that has remained constantly changing.

The episode itself was saved by RD, since if it surrounded one of the other characters, it’d (in my opinion) be much too static and predictable. For example, Fluttershy would be shy, Rarity would be over dramatic, and Twilight would be far too into books. If this episodes conflict surrounded anyone BUT Rainbow Dash, i’m afraid it would have made the other characters be even less three dimensional and instead riff on their most notable traits.

Overall, although not perfect, the third act wrapped it up well, showing RD’s own style of studying, and having her ace the exam (as predicted). We are rounding out this season with fairly solid episodes, here’s hoping the finale won’t disappoint.

Grade: B

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