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Oct
12th
2019

Episode Discussion » S9E21 - Daring Doubt · 2:50pm Oct 12th, 2019

Synopsis

When another author releases his own version of the events in AK Yearling’s Daring Do books, Rainbow Dash is furious, while Fluttershy is curious to know the truth.

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Report knighty · 2,142 views · #season 9 #s9e21 #Daring Doubt
Comments ( 38 )

FIRST!!1!1111

This episode was very good, almost as good as nachos with lots of sour cream !

"I'm going to curse this land with eight hundred years of unrelenting heat!" ~ Ahuizotl, Season 4

"I was just trying to protect these treasures from thieves." ~Ahuizotl, Season 9

I swear, if it wasn't for that one detail, this episode would've been brilliant. I'm just saying. :applejackunsure:

I mean it; everything else about this episode was gold. The moral, the characterization, the humor. It's nice to see MLP go all-in with the reformation business, and Fluttershy bringing out the good in Caballeron was expertly handled. I just wish the staff paid better attention to what was established in previous seasons. :unsuresweetie:

This episode technically has a good moral, but the episode was just bad!

While I admit that the episode did have a few issues going in, it all centers on one thing more than just making closure: This episode was about the search for truth. On one hand, it was a struggle to know if this was a Rainbow Dash or Fluttershy episode when for all intent and purposes they could've easily made the episode where both were involved at the same time (Not having them split for the middle of the episode, till the end). But throughout the whole series, it was always pretty black and white: Daring Do would secure the artifacts for safety and defeat either Caballeron or Ahuizotl (Sometimes both) because they are the run of the mill bad guys. And along comes this scheme, which obviously had Caballeron written all over it making up all these facts that not only is Daring Do guilty of doing some questionable deeds... But he also tries to ruin the sanctity of the character by revealing that all her escapades are 'real'. It's no wonder why Rainbow Dash would be just as upset as A.K. Yearling, any person who's private life is revealed in someone's book would be rightfully upset... Fluttershy, on the other hoof, is a different case.

From the beginning, Fluttershy wanted to know what was really going on with this whole Caballeron debate. True the previous encounters with the guy would prove that he seems 'bad for the sake of being bad' (Even PINKIE PIE would vouch on that) and some would accuse Fluttershy of being gullible and naïve. While all this is rightfully true, actually this is the kind of Fluttershy we'd expect to see. Even when standing face-to-face with ferocious looking monsters who under normal conditions would eat a living being in seconds, she made the effort to reach out to them, offering a hoof in kindness, and when she soon realizes just what was really going on she would do her best to appeal to her better nature. While it's true that Caballeron was going for the treasure for a quick money making scheme, we do get to see some character in the hench-ponies who'd mostly be in the background (Like that one guy who'd rather quit to pursue his dream of being an opera singer). True fans are tired of the whole redemption shtick, that eventually there's going to be a chance to uncover two sides of a story only to realize that one half is truly that bad. But clearly this was not going to happen for this episode.

Now while the episode was by no means perfect under any circumstances, the episode did had it's laughs, it's subtle references, some nice bit of action, and for me I still consider it a fun episode. Now I won't deny there was some questionable deals the episode seemed to overlook, again with Ahuizotl having once threatened the world with blistering heat only to suddenly make him out to be this 'loser' among the Guardians because he couldn't secure all the treasures (A 'Venom' reference). In the end, it all ties back to Daring Do and Caballeron finally getting to work together which in the beginning Daring Do didn't want to on account of the 'I Work Alone' shtick she had seasons ago so relating to that one forgotten note... I'm actually glad to see that rivals 'can' collaborate.

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i have to agree, The twist at the end with Ahuizotl REALLY put things into prospective; I was not expecting him to say he was the protector of those treasures and that his job was on the line if another was taken out of the jungle. I actually found myself felling bad for him and his situation and looked at Daring Do a in a less-then-favorable light. I'm glad she and Caballeron saw the error in what they were doing and, funny enough, seeing Ahuizotl becoming a published author and telling his stories to the little kids in the bookstore at his first book signing.:raritywink:

5135880 It's Nicole Dubac. Sadly, this sort of thing is what she tends to do if left to her own devices.

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Full seriousness, he was trying to change the weather, but the Equestrians do that all the time. Maybe he's trying to change the climate back? The one time we see any natives in that valley, they are all on his side. That could be an interesting premise... Although if the rings they were fighting over actually held power over the sun, then it raises the question of whether it interfered with Celestia's powers or not. It was one of the weird issues with Daring Don't.

Daring Don't was enjoyable, but there was a lot of issues on paper. One is the inherent value of stories- and myths-within-stories. Suddenly making them "real life" and canon takes away that charm. But having the implication that Ahuizotl was a threat to Equestria as a whole makes the whole premise even more untennable. Because if Daring was fighting serious world threats, and not just isolated heists, then it would make NO sense why Celestia and the Elements wouldn't be involved. It makes them seem unreasonably cut off or stupid. Or makes Daring look like a dangerously selfish glory hog for not telling anyone how close they've come to doom.

Assuming that setting everything on fire really is the correct way we were suppose to interpret the Rings of Scorchero... I'm actually totally on board with contradicting canon. Or maybe instead, un-DO-ing it? :trollestia:

I can understand why people say this episode contradicted canon, if they treat the Rings of Scorchero as a death ray. I agree, and say it made things better. I've been hesitant to mention this point I enjoyed about the episode, because dedicated fandoms usually despise the idea of retcons.

Comment posted by Dragon Turtle deleted Oct 12th, 2019

The ending was pretty confusing. Ahuizotl's backstory was within the realm of possibility, but it makes me question why he wanted to sink an entire town of ponies back in "Daring Done." Was he filling in for the Sphinx? :applejackunsure:

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Well, SOME of the treasures she gave to museums, and I think she does have legit archaeological skills, plus a desire to share that knowledge and joy through her books. So I put her somewhere closer to Indiana Jones than Nathan Drake (I’m sure there’s also a comparison to be made with Laura Croft, but I’m not really familiar with her franchise enough).

The whole things was funny and well-paced. But I think the biggest accomplishment of the episode is the moral victory they achieved. Even if the nature of Daring Do herself has changed drastically since Read it and Weep, it's always been a sendup and tribute to the adventure stories their generation grew up with, including my parents, and probably the writers for Friendship is Magic. Now the final outing with Daring is commentary on how older serialized entertainment didn't go beyond black and white.

I'm really happy with how Ahuizotl gets to be a real character, and I also found his conflict pretty touching. I grew up with Indiana Jones, and while I can enjoy classic treasure-hunting, pith helmet adventure stories, I can admit that there can be unfortunate connotations to it. Even in the most fantastical franchises that I'm a huge fan of.

The entire "exotic treasure hunter" sub-genre grew from the centuries-old view of "archaeological adventure" as defiling holy sites and literal graves, pocketing the artifacts, and shipping them off for display in OTHER countries. And because those sites were made 'holy' by 'wrong' people. Daring Do isn't a colonialist, and Ahuizotl isn't one of the Na'vi, but by making a story about these two factions having a dialogue about how to best treat the artifacts, I feel like they're owning up to the complicated real-world history involved.

I really do buy the idea of Ahuizotl being misjudged as flatly evil by Daring and other ponies. Partly for his appearance, which we know that ponies aren't above doing to other species, and his design is definitely one the strangest in the show. But then again, Daring and Cabbellaron had a perfectly reasonable response to what could be seen as homicidal rage. Then again, AGAIN, homicidal rage is sort of an understandable reaction to someone coming in from another country to steal your expensive shit. He's not a 'good guy,' but there's still a motivation there. He's Shrek mixed with the Hovitos.

BTW, none of Daring Do's fans seemed to have a problem when she was kicking a kitten!

It's another Daring Do episode!

Yup. It's Caballeron and his goons again. O3O

I like Caballeron and Cozy Glow because they're the only villains that aren't unicorns.

Fluttershy being gullible. Again.

OMG, it's that guy! Aristotle! Ahuizotl!

Frank Ladesh? Oh boy… O3O

[Insert Chase Sequence]

Thou Shalt Not Evade Me, Daring Do!

Thou Shalt Not Evade Me, Ponies!

I knew this day would come. When Daring Do and her enemies would put their differences aside and work together.

I liek dis episode. ^3^

Now this was... Interesting. At first, Caballeron seemed to once again be trying to ruin Daring Do's reputation, and tricking Fluttershy into helping him. But then, Fluttershy's kindness started to have an effect on him and his henchponies (not unlike a certain draconequus I could mention).

Ahuizotl turning out to be good all along was a surprise. But in a way, it kind of makes sense. Now we know why he was never on Celestia and Luna's radar.

5136002

That was Daring's account of events. Maybe she just assumed he was planning to destroy the town?

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It takes a bit of wriggling, but I do think that there's a decent way of integrating this episode with the Rings of Scorchero thing:

So, we know that Ahuizotl is the protector of his jungle, right? That implies that he watches over a specific area rather than all sites associated with whoever built those temples -- so he probably stays in one general location to do so.

We also know that the temple the Rings were going to be used at is a few minutes' walk from Daring Do's house -- and we know for a fact that Daring Do lives in the north of Equestria. She's closer to the Crystal Empire than to Ponyville, and yet she has a jungle right next door. This is something people have puzzled about for some time.

Secondarily, we now know flyders live around Ahuizotl's stomping grounds, and flyders supposedly live in the Luna Bay area. This, according to the official map, is fairly close to where Daring Do lives, so that gives some further support to this episode's setting being up in northwestern Equestria and Ahuizotl limiting his activities to a specific place.

We're also never told exactly why Ahuizotl is trying to bring about eight hundred years of heat -- we're told what he's trying to do, but anything beyond the ritual's immediate results is left unstated.

Finally, it's also a very well-established part of canon that Equestrian weather and nature are artificially managed to such a degree that ponies find the naturally-occurring kinds unnatural and frightening -- wind, precipitation, cloud cover, vegetation and so on all need to be directly controlled.

Now, in order to keep a thriving jungle going in the northern end of the temperate latitudes you're going to need some way to generate a lot of heat, so perhaps that was the reason the Rings were created in the first place. That however leaves the question of why Ahuizotl was only performing the ritual then, and I see two possible answers:

  • Firstly, since the effects only last so long (eight hundred years, so it seems), it probably needs to be repeated every now and again.
  • Secondly, since the jungle evidently hasn't frozen to death since Daring made off with the rings (unless another ritual has been performed since, but we have no direct proof of that), I've seen speculation that Ahuizotl was trying to make the area more inhospitable in response to repeated intrusions and thefts -- perhaps, he thinks, if I make this place even more swelteringly hot and boost the jungle's growth in the process, outsiders will have a more difficult time getting in and will leave me alone?

Other than that, I agree with you -- this was an excellent episode. I quite liked the resolution and moral -- Daring was certainly better than Caballeron in that she was altruistically motivated whereas he just wanted to get rich, but she still shouldn't have been taking those things without permission.

Fluttershy was far too naive, but at least the episode worked out. Metool Bard was right about that plothole.

5136227
An impressive justification! I can appreciate it even if I never thought Daring Do should have been real in the first place and find the double redemption extremely questionable. Sometimes finding out the other side's position should make it clear there can be no compromise.

Comment posted by PonyJosiah13 deleted Oct 12th, 2019

The most implausible thing about this episode is.... how easy it must be to get published.

We could all submit our fanfics and become real novelists there.

and this is how FlashTruth got his power !

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Now I want to go there !

Comment posted by A Man Undercover deleted Oct 13th, 2019

I thought that the episode was enjoyable, but, Ahuizotl’s reformation and what he revealed at the end entirely contradicted with his previous portrayals and intentions. It made me question how it would be canon to the series, which is why I made a fanfic to help in filling that plot hole.

I'm not that hard to please, heck if I can casually rewatch an episode, I'll give it a 5/10 at least, but this was one I wouldn't rewatch even casually, and I'd even put it on my 'worst episodes of the show' list. It ruins Daring Do by dragging her down and painting her as the "real" villain all along and tries to frame the two villains as being misunderstood despite their past actions saying otherwise. While the moral itself isn't bad, I really don't think it was applied well in the episode considering what they had to do to "teach" it. Not to mention, while Ahuizotl and Caballeron got happy endings, AK/Daring's reputations as a hero and author are now completely ruined thanks to her adventuring being demonized. But hey, screw her right? What's worse, since this is the last Daring Do episode, we'll never see if her reputation gets fixed or not.

My favorite episode of season 9 despite the continuity issue. It makes me wonder if there are a lot of powerful being running around, competing for guardian jobs, sending resumes to jungle tribes....

Despite another bullshit redemption change that has two villains be changed into being good guys, this episode was alright.

Based on this episode I can only theorized that ponies have a hard time remembering anything that happened more than five minutes ago.

Again we see fanfic writers do better then staff

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Any of you guys want to check out this story I made?

EA Moment of Truth
At the end of "Daring Doubt", Ahuizotl revealed after touching the Truth Talisman that he was a Jungle Guardian who was tasked with protecting the artifacts of the River Basin. However, was that really the truth he was spilling? Or somehow...a lie?
A Man Undercover · 5.4k words  ·  82  36 · 2k views

5282248
Cool, thanks.

5282248
I’ve read it.

5282381
What’d you think of it?

5136002
Tell me about it. And something tells me he likely wasn’t filling in for anybody.

5282469
Not bad, and it definitely gives a darker feel to Ahuizotl's "redemption".

5282706
Was it likable enough for you to give it a Fav? Maybe even a Like or comment in the story’s commenting section?

5282711
I don't think it was bad. But... Dark/Sad stories aren't really my thing. I didn't really have anything to say after I read the story. Sorry.

5282727
It’s alright.

I was just curious.

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