An episode focusing on Rainbow Dash? Woo, an excuse to put a FlutterDash header image!
Anyway, I don’t have a lot of time to write up this blog post, and while I would love to go into detail about obtaining decks for the My Little Pony Collectable Card Game as well as my excitement for this coming Tuesday’s Super Smash Bros focused Nintendo Direct I shall refrain from doing so. I shall also refrain from commenting on current fanfiction progress as it is all SSB focused currently. So without further waiting, here are other episode reviews followed by my review of the latest Friendship is Magic episode.
Other Episode Reviews of Pinkie Pride
Other Episode Reviews of Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3
Episode Review of Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3
Long time followers of my blog and my reviews will probably know this but I don’t really like the Wonderbolts. Not simply in terms of the individuals that make up the Wonderbolts (that said I do like Soain, he’s awesome) but I just overall find the group and matters revolving around the group uninteresting. I also find Rainbow Dash’s dream of becoming a Wonderbolt and her focus on them one of the least interesting aspects of her character (though thankfully don’t find it quite as annoying as her Daring Do fangirling). So when an episode focuses on Rainbow Dash and the Wonderbolts, it becomes an uphill battle to grab my attention. As to whether it did will be made clear through this review.
The plot of the episode concerns Rainbow Dash trying to join the newly formed Wonderbolts Reserves. A written history test is required to be accepted into the reserves, though Rainbow Dash is not worried about. Twilight though, knowing how Rainbow Dash has not studied and is unknowledgeable in terms of the Wonderbolt’s history, insists that Rainbow Dash studies. When Twilight’s methods prove ineffective, the rest of Rainbow’s friends all pitch in with their own study methods to try and help Rainbow Dash learn.
Positives for the episode can be split into three parts, one of which I sadly cannot delve into much without spoiling the episode, and to which I will not for reasons I’ll explain later. The first good point I will note is that we do learn a lot about the Wonderbolts history. The majority is explained via Twilight, with most of the other friends expanding on what had already been mentioned through their own methods of study. That said, Rarity does expand on an area that was only briefly mentioned by Twilight, and thankfully prevents too much of the same history being repeated. Its history that interests me in the matter of Equestria world building, though as it is focused on the Wonderbolts group mostly it doesn’t make me all too enthusiastic. Still, it’s a nice touch whom I’m sure many will enjoy.
The next good point I found to this episode is how there are many entertaining small moments throughout. The episode takes a while to get going as it were, to pull you in and entertain you, but alongside its history lessons there are small moments of humour ranging from a joke about Twilight’s increased height since becoming an alicorn and Fluttershy’s study methods. My favourite humour moment is all of Rarity’s study method, with Applejack’s hilarious honest remark at the end, though the best humour moment would probably be Pinkie Pie’s rap. Now I’m not a fan of rap, can rarely understand it when it’s sung, but after Pinkie Pie sings a rap song she ends up slipping into rap from time to time in this episode along with her rap background music. She even argues with Twilight with rapping lines, it’s absurd but not overly absurd, fits well with Pinkie and is built up as a joke as the episode progresses.
Now the third good thing is the one thing I don’t intend on spoiling. It is affectively the 3rd act, and part of what makes it so good is the surprise. It is a surprise you could see coming, it makes sense given the character, but was still unexpected and when it does happen you realise how clever it is. Along with the clever revelation in the 3rd act, there is also a good moment of emotion, not a heart-breaking scene but one you can understand feel the sadness for.
Now though we move onto the negatives, and the first thing I should mention is how there are a lot of questionable moments and plot details within this episode. First off, one of Twilight’s studying methods she uses to try and help Rainbow Dash is the highlighting method. This strikes me as ill-suited for Twilight, in fact, given she is a book lover, I was sure she’d condemn such methods. In the episode she gives Rainbow Dash a book on the history of the Wonderbolts and allows her to highlight in it, and as someone who would rather write out every single line to avoid messing up the book, I find this rather blasphemous.
That said it is a minor gripe, a bigger one would be a detail that Rainbow Dash points out. When Twilight begins telling Rainbow Dash about the ‘history of the Wonderbolts’, Rainbow Dash asks if they can’t just watch the movie on the ‘history of the Wonderbolts’ instead. This implies Rainbow Dash has already watched the movie and if so… why didn’t she already know at least something regarding the history of the Wonderbolts? I can understand not knowing fully or truly understanding it if it weren’t suited to her method of learning but she should have at least retained some knowledge of it.
My other con concerning the plot would be how Rainbow Dash is rather disinterested in reading up on the Wonderbolts… despite her being a huge Wonderbolt’s fan. It’s not like she’s opposed to reading, she is an avid reader of the Daring Do books, and surely she’d also take to reading about a subject she likes just as well.
That all said, the one real negative that exists within this episode is how through the majority of it, it’s all rather boring. As noted, there are interesting moments and several funny moments that pop up, but they are not constant and only offer a light chuckle. There is humour, but it’s not strong humour, at least not at first. The humour does progressively get better but so does the whole episode, and the majority of the first half is unfortunately quite dull.
Overall, Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 is by no means a bad episode. At first I was considering it a dull episode though sprinkled with moments of entertainment however then the 3rd act happened and its burst of cleverness helped raise my opinion on this episode. Certainly not enough to dismiss what I have to go through to get to the good, but at least I now know that the end half is all quite entertaining and fascinating. I consider Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 an Average episode, but shall note that it is a higher rated Average episode and that perhaps those who are more interested in the Wonderbolts group and role within the MLP universe will find it more pleasing than I did.