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Lifelong Nerd. Lifelong practical Catholic and firm believer that an egg is an egg. Amateur fanfiction auteur elsewhere and maker of YouTube videos.

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SPOILERS? Mariusioannesp Reviews: "Newbie Dash" · 5:14am May 9th, 2016

WARNING!!! The following contains SPOILERS for the latest MLP episode “Newbie Dash”.

Now, without further a-Rainbow-Crash-do, here is my review of “Newbie Dash”.

Rainbow Dash is now officially a Wonderbolt! Hooray, her dreams have finally come true! However, Rainbow Dash finds herself saddled with a rather embarrassing nickname after an incident in her first day of official Wonderbolt training. Rainbow then desperately seeks out how to stand out in a positive way to shake off this nickname. Will Rainbow learn what it really means to be part of a team?

So, what’s the verdict?

It’s quite a thrill to finally see Rainbow Dash’s dreams of becoming a Wonderbolt come true.

So yeah, I liked it.

We begin with Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash talking about the upcoming Wonderbolts show in Ponyville. Since Rainbow is a reservist, she won’t be flying in the show herself but assisting in other ways. Then, Spitfire decides to drop by with some very exciting news.

It turns out that that Rainbow Dash will be flying in the Ponyville show because she’s just become a full-fledged Wonderbolt!

Rainbow Dash is of course very excited about this.

I’m happy for you Dashie, but that’s kind of creepy.

So, Rainbow is back at home packing up to head back to the Wonderbolts Academy. The story is that a Wonderbolt named Fire Streak is retiring to teach at the Cloudsdale Flight School full time, and so Rainbow will be taking his place in the Wonderbolts’ tour. Naturally, she was at the top of the Wonderbolts Reserves list. She has to return to the Wonderbolts Academy to learn their routine in the two days before the tour starts. It’s a daunting task, but Rainbow is confident as always. Twilight though warns Rainbow that things could turn out to be more difficult than she anticipates.

So, Rainbow arrives back at the Wonderbolts Academy where Spitfire gives her a bit of an orientation. And here we see that clearly Rainbow remembers a lot of the stuff she learned way back in Season 4’s “Testing Testing 1, 2, 3”. Their morning briefings are at 7:20 because there were 20 ponies in the E.U.P. Guard who eventually became the Wonderbolts. Y’all remember the E.U.P. right. There’s the official Wonderbolts barracks which was constructed by Admiral Fairweather himself. They also have General Flash’s cap on display. See, continuity! General Flash’s cap is emblazoned with the Wonderbolts motto, “Altius Volantis”, which means “Soaring higher”. In case you’re wondering, that is actual Latin (at least according to Google). They got Latin in Equestria. Spitfire also informs Rainbow Dash of the Wonderbolts’ cardinal rule: always look both ways before you cross the runway. Rainbow doesn’t seem to fully grasp the gravity of this rule since there’s currently no pony around, but soon enough there will be since many of the Wonderbolts tend to do flashy entrances. Soon enough, Rainbow Dash is suited up and ready to take her first flight as a Wonderbolt.

However, she forgets the cardinal rule and forgets to look both ways before crossing the runway. She almost gets hit by Soarin and Fleetfoot. She jumps out of the way through a bush, over a stream, and then Rainbow crashes into a trash can.

A Wonderbolt called Misty Fly calls this the most awesome entrance by a newbie ever, and Fleetfoot then christens Rainbow “Rainbow Crash”. This then leads to a flashback to Rainbow’s first day of Flight School, where she also ended up falling into a trash can.

She also gets the nickname “Rainbow Crash” from the bully Hoops, you know the one from “Sonic Rainboom” that we saw as a foal in “The Cutie Mark Chronicles”.

What you doing laughing at a child’s misfortune Flight School instructor?!

Back in the present, Rainbow tries to play off the incident by saying that they buzzed her on purpose. Spitfire however reminds Rainbow that she forgot the cardinal rule, which all her fellow Wonderbolts recite by heart: always look both ways before crossing the runway. Rainbow says she knew that, she was just testing them. Right. Anyway, they start their practice, and Rainbow finds that she is lagging a bit behind her fellow Wonderbolts. She also finds that unfortunately the nickname “Rainbow Crash” has stuck. After a particularly hard first day of training, Rainbow learns another of the Wonderbolts’ rules, though an unofficial rule. The worst flyer has to clean the entire compound.

Rainbow arrives home and finds that Pinkie, her other friends, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders are throwing her a party to celebrate her ascension to Wonderbolt status.

Rainbow’s friends though notice pretty quickly that something’s up with Rainbow. Rainbow admits that the other Wonderbolts have taken to calling her “Rainbow Crash”, which Fluttershy recognizes as the nickname Rainbow got in flight school. Rainbow explains how she crashed by accident into a trashcan. Pinkie chooses to look on the bright side that they at least didn’t nickname her “Rainbow Trash”.


Rarity suggests that Rainbow has to find a way to stand out in a positive way, and that’ll make her fellow Wonderbolts forget all about her unfortunate nickname. Twilight Sparkle further suggests that she should see the Wonderbolts as like them. They’re a team, and they all stand out in different ways. This gives Rainbow an idea! She’s going to stand out in a different way like each of her friends do. Soon, Rainbow will no longer be Rainbow Crash, but instead Captain Awesome! (Wait, wasn’t Chuck’s brother-in-law on the show Chuck also called Captain Awesome? Y’all remember Chuck.)

Turns out, Rainbow takes the advice to stand out like each of her friends do literally. Like, really literally. She basically tries acting like each of her friends in an attempt to get a better nickname. She can even morph the top part of her mane to resemble that of the friend she’s impersonating. First, she tries acting like Pinkie Pie and throws her fellow Wonderbolts a surprise party in the morning. She tries angling for the nickname “Dynamic Dash”.

Her fellow Wonderbolts don’t take to this because Wonderbolts aren’t supposed to be excitable; they’re cool under pressure to fly like they do.

Then, Rainbow tries acting like Applejack in an almost insulting manner and angles for the nickname “Forthright Filly”.

You know the funny thing though is that Ashleigh Ball is the voice behind Rainbow Dash and Applejack. So here you have Ashleigh Ball as Rainbow Dash impersonating Applejack.


The whole Applejack stereotype thing doesn’t take either.

Later, she tries impersonating Twilight (again) talking about learning new things from books and making checklists.

She tries angling for the nickname “Reading Rainboom”.

Get it?! It’s like Reading Rainbow! Y’all remember Reading Rainbow?

In this case though, she just puts on glasses, and Twilight doesn’t even wear glasses. (At least not in this universe.) We all know she can do better. Remember “The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone” last season.

This doesn’t take either. So, Rainbow tries being like Fluttershy and angles for the nickname “Care Mare”.

She’s like a Care Bear, except a pony. They both got their own Stares too!

Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t take either. So, finally Rainbow tries to be like Rarity and admire the Wonderbolts uniforms. She tries angling for the nickname “Rainbow Fash”. The “Fash” is short for “fashion”.

You know, interestingly enough, the G3 version of Rainbow Dash was more like Rarity than FIM’s Rainbow Dash.

It’s official. Rainbow Dash has finally gone insane.

Anywho, Spitfire shows up and tells Rainbow to stop being insane. Rainbow tries to play this off, explaining that she’s just trying to show all the different ways she can contribute to the Wonderbolts. Spitfire appreciates Rainbow’s enthusiasm to find her own place on the team, but she prefers Rainbow just focus on the routine. To help motivate her in this regard, Spitfire presents Rainbow with an official Wonderbolts jacket! However, it has the name “Rainbow Crash” on it. Apparently, all the Wonderbolts jackets have their nicknames on it instead of their actual names. All the Wonderbolts have nicknames, like Soarin. His nickname is “Clipper” apparently. This turn of events leaves Rainbow with only one course of action. She’s going to have to do something completely unforgettable at the Wonderbolts’ show tomorrow, or she’ll be Rainbow Crash for the rest of her life.

What’s all this then? It looks like the opening of a Wonderbolts-themed clopfic.

So the next day at the Wonderbolts show in Ponyville, Rainbow’s friends and the CMC are very excited for Rainbow’s first official flight with the Wonderbolts, along with the rest of Ponyville.

Hey look! It’s Derpy again.

Pinkie goes off with Spike to get some cotton candy. Rainbow also drops by because she needs to borrow Scootaloo.

Rainbow’s got a special job for Scootaloo to make her performance even more awesome. Rainbow takes Scootaloo to a nearby hill where she has a scooter track and a thundercloud set up. Rainbow’s going to hang back at the end of the routine so Scootaloo can roll down the track and kick the storm cloud into Rainbow’s path. The kick will cause lightning bolt to shoot off right behind her, making Rainbow look totally awesome. Rainbow’s certain no one will ever call her Rainbow Crash again after this. Scootaloo is not too sure about all this, but sure enough, Rainbow flies off to start the show. During the show, we that Rainbow is flying in formation and keeping up with her fellow Wonderbolts phenomenally well. That other day of practice served her well. That is until Rainbow breaks rank to pull off her thundercloud trick. Scootaloo rides down the track and kicks the cloud. The other Wonderbolts land, and Soarin indicates to Spitfire that Rainbow’s gone rogue. Rainbow seems to have miscalculated where the cloud would be, and suddenly pulls out before she could crash into it. Rainbow crashes into a tree, gets chased by birds, and flies into a streamer of pennants that slingshots her back into the tree. The tree subsequently slingshots her back into the air where she slides along curved cloud. She finally stabilizes, but then she inadvertently flies into the thundercloud and gets zapped by it.

As Rainbow plummets to the ground, Pinkie and Spike arrive with Pinkie’s cotton candy. I wonder why it took so long.

Rainbow crashes into Pinkie’s cotton candy and into the ground. Pinkie thinks it was amazing.

After Rainbow gets some medical attention, Spitfire chews her out for changing the routine without consulting her and putting other ponies at risk. She’s let go of flyers for less. Rainbow is penitent over all of this. She’s ready to accept whatever punishment she deems appropriate. They were right to call her “Rainbow Crash”, she says since despite standing out as a flyer all her life, all she’d stood out for as a Wonderbolt is making mistakes. Perhaps Rainbow’s not even cut out to be a Wonderbolt after all. Spitfire though insists Rainbow is the best flyer they’ve ever had. Fleetfoot reminds her that she’s saved Equestria like a dozen times over. Soarin also adds that of course Rainbow was meant to be a Wonderbolt; they’ve been waiting for a spot to open up since she joined the Reserves. Rainbow doesn’t understand because they all kept calling her Rainbow Crash. It turns out all the Wonderbolts have embarrassing nicknames. Soarin is called “Clipper” because he clipped his wing on a flagpole while landing his first day. Fleetfoot is called “Flatfoot” because she accidentally landed on Spitfire’s foot her first day. Other Wonderbolts are nicknamed “Dizzy”, “Slowpoke”, and “Hoof-in-Mouth”. (Hoof-in-Mouth?! That’s a serious disease for horses!) Spitfire’s nickname is so offensive she can’t even say it aloud in polite society. She whispers it in Rainbow’s ear.

My guess it has something to do with how the “Spit” in Spitfire’s name rhymes with sh-t. I say her nickname is “Sh-t Flyer” because of an embarrassing case of aerial diarrhea on her first day as a Wonderbolt.

That is my headcanon now, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Anywho, Rainbow promises her fellow Wonderbolts that she will no longer try to constantly showboat. Even though she’s been a standout flyer her whole life, she’s going to have learn to be okay with fitting in. That’s a lesson I can stand behind. Spitfire looks forward to being able to tease Rainbow over this epic crash for the next couple of years. She also put Rainbow on probation for a month, which Rainbow accepts. Spitfire knows when to be serious and when not to be. Later on, Rainbow is cleaning up the mess she made when her friends and the CMC pay her a visit. She turns down Scootaloo’s offer for help because she was responsible for the mess. Spitfire also has Rainbow cleaning the whole Wonderbolts compound for the next month. Twilight wonders why Rainbow seems so chipper about all this. That’s because Rainbow is a Wonderbolt, and she’s finally happy about it.

This episode was written by a new writer this season, one Dave Rapp. He’s previously written for Without A Trace. That’s kind of a leap between Without A Trace to MLP. Anyway, Mr. Rapp has clearly done his homework, with various references to previous MLP episodes like “Sonic Rainboom”, “The Cutie Mark Chronicles”, and “Testing Testing 1, 2, 3”. It remains too early to tell what sets Rapp’s writing apart from the other writers. Still, I thought having Rainbow impersonate each of her friends was the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that a new writer might bring. I look forward to seeing what else Mr. Rapp brings to the table.

To a certain extent, this episode feels almost like an Anti-“Tanks For the Memories”. One of the criticisms “Tanks For the Memories” received was that Rainbow did not face any consequences for her actions. Many said that her attempt to sabotage the Weather Factory amounted to an act of terrorism. In this episode though, we see Rainbow face consequences for her actions, receive the proper punishment, and accept it humbly. The result is a very mature and realistic portrayal of such a situation. It's also example to follow for those who find themselves in this situation. In a way, this is another advantage of having a new writer; they lack the bad habits of the established writers

Now, I’ve said many times before how I’ve suspected that this might be FIM’s final season. Certainly, having Rainbow Dash finally become a Wonderbolt lends some credence to these suspicions. I’ve said before that Lauren Faust herself did once say that her vision for Rainbow Dash’s ultimate destiny was for her to become a Wonderbolt. Now, she’s finally done it. Along with Rarity opening a store in Canterlot and Twilight becoming a princess, it seems all the destinies Lauren Faust envisioned have been fulfilled. (Though her vision for Twilight’s destiny was her full-on succeeding Celestia, which hasn’t quite happened yet. Does she really need to though given all the princesses there are in Equestria?) I admit that I’ve been doubting this possibility recently. It doesn’t look like we’re getting a mid-season break this time around. Next week, we’re apparently getting a Christmas-y Hearth’s Warming episode… in May. I figured if they were going to take a break, they’d save the Hearth’s Warming episode for that part of the season, which would presumably be closer to December. The point is, if this was the last season, I’m sure we’d know by now. There’s no way after all the success FIM has had that they’d end it unceremoniously. Remember all the fanfare around Twilight’s princess coronation.

As for what I didn’t like, I think Rainbow Dash should have been more honest about the bad history she had with the nickname “Rainbow Crash”. I hope this would have lead to more due consideration from the Wonderbolts concerning Rainbow’s nickname. Still though, I do see what they were going for with this. Rainbow’s unfortunate nickname from her past has sort of become this badge of honor as a Wonderbolt.

Overall, “Newbie Dash” was great because we finally got to see Rainbow Dash fulfill her destiny of becoming a Wonderbolt. I hope this means there are still even greater things in Rainbow Dash’s future. It was also a great start to Dave Rapp’s career writing for MLP.

What did you all think about “Newbie Dash”?

God bless you all. God bless America. And God bless Equestria.

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Comments ( 5 )

You forgot to mention the big Surprise:

¡Miss Surprise!

I think this is going to be one of those episodes that I may end up liking more with a few re-watches. I may have a more positive outlook on it by the time I do my mid-season overview.

What you doing laughing at a child’s misfortune Flight School instructor?!

I know, right? I haven't seen a teacher so horrid since the live action Grinch movie.

You know, interestingly enough, the G3 version of Rainbow Dash was more like Rarity than FIM’s Rainbow Dash.

I hadn't actually thought about that, but shit, that's a kinda scary nod with dash.

i will admit, on the whole, i can see why some people didn't like this episode too much, those the reasons are... kinda minor, so my overall enjoyment of the episode wasn't lost.

i will admit though, when dash was acting like the rest of the mane 6, namely applejack, :fluttershyouch: oh, i was cringing so badly.

on the whole though, i great episode. and when dash said Reading Rainboom, i honestly felt that was a shoutout to the bronies, because there's a person who does fic readings, whose username is Reading Rainboom and when i heard that, i laughed so hard


...when dash said Reading Rainboom, i honestly felt that was a shoutout to the bronies, because there's a person who does fic readings, whose username is Reading Rainboom and when i heard that, i laughed so hard

I did not know that. That could very well be so. :rainbowdetermined2:

Comment posted by MariusIoannesP deleted May 15th, 2016
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