• Member Since 16th Feb, 2012
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More Blog Posts689

  • 56 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Molt Down

    This week is a Spike episode? What a re-”molt”-ing development this is!

    Let's look at “Molt Down,” the episode that will surely be perfectly normal and have no long-lasting repercussions on a character's appearance.

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  • 57 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Break Up Break Down

    I dread going into this week's episode. For today, we discuss matters of the heart. Romance, love, heartbreak, and all that rot. Which means we run right into the most loathsome of all fandom constructs, the kind of thing that destroys friendships and leaves the most brilliant of minds curled up helplessly in a corner, foaming from the mouth:

    SHIPPING.

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    6 comments · 527 views
  • 58 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Non-Compete Clause

    We've had a string of good episodes the last few weeks. Whether it be shapeshifting seaponies, an actual Celestia episode, or discovering Starlight's dark phase, we've had lots of fun and plenty of laughs.

    Today's episode is about Applejack and Rainbow Dash competing.

    The good times are over.

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    7 comments · 554 views
  • 59 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: The Parent Map

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone who cares about that! What better way to spend the day than watching a cartoon about horses dealing with their mommy/daddy issues? Well, tough, because that's what we're doing. This is “The Parent Map.”

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    4 comments · 386 views
  • 60 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Horse Play

    So hey, it's a new episode. Surely nothing to be excited about. Just another standard episode of a cartoon pony show.

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    5 comments · 455 views
May
12th
2018

Season Eight Episode Reviews: Non-Compete Clause · 4:35pm May 12th, 2018

We've had a string of good episodes the last few weeks. Whether it be shapeshifting seaponies, an actual Celestia episode, or discovering Starlight's dark phase, we've had lots of fun and plenty of laughs.

Today's episode is about Applejack and Rainbow Dash competing.

The good times are over.


TECHNICAL SPECS:

Season: 8
Episode: 9
Written By: Kim Beyer-Johnson
First Aired: May 12, 2018


SUMMARY:

After Fluttershy wins the “Teacher of the Month” award once again, Applejack and Rainbow Dash take the kids on a field trip to prove that they deserve the award. Said field trip is supposed to teach the students about teamwork...which is why the two spend the entire time competing. Can the students survive?


REVIEW:

Some episode concepts have an expiration date. We can buy Applejack and Rainbow Dash going overboard competing against each other back in Season One, when the show was new and the characters were mostly established as new friends. Now we are eight seasons in. These two have saved Equestria multiple times, and have both learned plenty of lessons about not letting their stubbornness and need to compete get in the way of friendship. So what better episode than the two once again trying to outdo each other for a meaningless award? Just saying, unless the “Teacher of the Month” award comes with a cash bonus or gift card, it's just bragging rights.

I just answered my own question.

And of course Fluttershy is the one who keeps winning. We all know the reason. It's because she grades on a curve. It's a crappy system designed to not hurt people's feelings when they really need the F to kick them in the ass to work harder, but it sounds easier to the kids so they like it more. Oh, and she's adorable, caring, and compassionate in everything she does, but that's neither here nor there.

The Student 6 finally return to some speaking roles, and they end up being the episode's only highlight. There is a genuine camaraderie between the six at this point, and their snark/frustration with their teachers' blistering incompetence helps make the annoyance go by faster. The only weak link in the group is Sandbar, who continues to be little more than the token pony for the group. Everyone else gets a little bit to shine, particularly Ocellus and Yona, and the climax shows that they probably already had a good grasp on teamwork – at least well enough to realize how little of it AJ and Rainbow Dash were demonstrating.

What makes the whole competition thing worse is that the episode feels like it's slamming the characters into extremes in order to facilitate the stupid plot. Applejack is careful and disciplined, but she's not obsessed with doing things as slowly and methodically as she does here. Dash, likewise, is impatient and hyperactive, but she's also not quite as pigheaded as this episode presents her. This isn't helped by Twilight, who is dumb enough to give them a second chance after she saw how badly the first one failed. The episode is full of cringe-worthy moments, but that takes the cake.

The moment I realized this episode was doomed was when the gang crash their boat. Not only did AJ and Rainbow Dash miss that Yona can't swim because they were too busy arguing, but while floating by her lifejacket is torn off and she almost drowns. I repeat, these two competing with each other almost killed a child. Even when they were fighting over horseshoes and wings back in “Fall Weather Friends,” they didn't almost kill an innocent to make their point.

No, neither of these ponies deserves the title of “Teacher of the Month.” Neither does Fluttershy, because she came up with the dumb plan. There in only one teacher truly deserving of that award, and that..is the flower pot. Pleasing to look at, wonderful aroma, and always there when you need someone to talk to. Plus it has five degrees from Canterlot University and three more from Trottingham Academy, making it more educated that the princess obsessed with friendship.


CONCLUSION:

This episode was a chore to sit through. The premise feels stale, the jokes mostly fall flat, and oh yes, they almost kill a child. (And yes, I knew from the beginning she would be fine. It still almost happened because of their negligence, so it still counts.) Were it not for the Student 6, there would be almost nothing enjoyable about this episode for me. I don't see myself coming back here anytime soon.


Next time: We untangle the mess that is true love.

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Comments ( 7 )

Yeah this one I happened to watch at a Brony potluck when it was a leak and I feel no need to watch it again

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Could it be? An episode that I didn't like and no one else did either? :O

Haven't we been here before...? :facehoof:

I. Hate. This. Episode! :twilightangry2:

I hate it with the rage of a thousand suns! Okay, maybe that's hyperbole, but I still really, really hate this episode. It's like everything it could have done wrong, it did. Not even the long overdue return of the Student-Six could save it, in fact they sorta made it worst. The point of introducing new characters, especially with the whole "school" pretense, should be for those NEW characters to be the ones screwing up and needing to learn lessons in friendship from now on, while the M6 take on the roles of guiding mentors.

Instead, this episode pretty much gets the entire conceit BACKWARDS, with the students being the voices of reason while the supposed teachers squabble and bicker like two spoiled little brats. Rainbow Dash and Applejack didn't just regress, as I'm pretty darn sure not even their Season-1 selves would have been this painfully stubborn and arrogant. They don't even feel like people, just flanderized caricatures.

Seriously, MLP has had some stinker episodes, but this one straight pissed me off. This might have been the first time to my memory I've ever had to force my self to finish an episode, hoping and praying that by some miracle it could come back around with some redeeming merit. In the end, however, I spent so long flipping everything off that my fingers hurt.

I didn't hate this episode, but it's definitely not making my top 10 for the season. I think the best thing out of this episode was seapony Ocellus. Gallus's snark takes a close second. But overall, definitely the weakest episode of the season so far.

I didn't watch it, but it sounds like the episode's writers should get fired and blacklisted, like they should with the people who wrote "Putting Your Hoof Down" and "Newbie Dash", and the people who forced Larson to write "Fame and Misfortune" should be blacklisted as well.

4858942
No, I wouldn't even accept this in Season 1. People are talking about how regressive this seemed for both characters, but holy hell AJ deserves some credit. She gave her students hard hats and goggles while Dash was destroying the construction site. AJ wanted to keep everyone safe and happy, Dash wanted to send everyone through a pack of barracuda, and didn't even check if the students could swim. AJ was using her class to get an award, but you shouldn't leave your kid near Dash. She was more petty and indifferent than in Double Rainboom.

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