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DrakeyC


Writer, reviewer, creator of Filly Fantasy VI, occasional PMV maker, and uploader of mildly amusing image macros to Derpibooru. https://www.patreon.com/drakeyc

E

Contains spoilers for Episode 20 - "The Washouts"


A redo of the ending to "The Washouts" where Scootaloo's trick, and the reactions and behaviors of the ponies involved, go a little differently.

Unashamed fixfic to help the awful ending to an otherwise great episode.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 39 )
zzzzzz #1 · Sep 8th, 2018 · · 6 ·

That was 220 % better than the horrible actual ending.
There is absolutely no reason why Dashie and Dusty cannot have a FRIENDLY rivalry.
Hopefully the third time will be the charm and they finally do it right in another appearance.

Instant favorite.

Episodes tripping at the finish line can always be problematic. And there's certainly no shortage of Pony episodes that do just that (Princess Spike is a commonly cited one, I gather). Now, episodes that trip due to a character being written arguably OOC to get a point across, again, it's a thing. I cannot deny that Lightning, after having been written with solid depth for most of the episode, did regress for those last three minutes. However, to call it an episode-ruining problem... can't nearly go that far. Softens it, sure.
I suppose a lot of that is due to what extent we take these characters 100% seriously all the time. I mean, I can't imagine such an ending that did to her what The Washouts did would have stuck out nearly as much in the early seasons. Especially the first two, back when the involvement of Faust and other cartoon industry veterans meant the show trafficked more in silly cartooning then it has since. Long story short, it bothered me, but not nearly as much as it seemed to for you.

But, I'll spot you that writing a fixfic that keeps her actions less you-deserve-to-be-arrested level reckless, while not exactly redeeming her (which would be even worse; a redeemed Lightning Dust would just be another Rainbow Dash, after all) is a good angle. That and actually leaving a level of begrudging respect between her and Rainbow, albeit maybe one only dwelled on for the bare minimum of time; this is still more about Scootaloo, after all. So, the fic. First time reviewing one of these fixfics, so bear with me.

There are quite a few reasons why this wouldn't actually work on the episode, but I'll skip past the obvious ones (too much incident here for the remaining episode time without seriously truncating earlier parts more then the episode could probably handle). However, I did feel you generally used much more lines of dialogue to get the point of each part of a scene across then not only would have been strictly necessary, but would have actually been wise. It's more nuanced then a simple "less is more" thing going on.
I think such a matter came across because of this: you were so eager to fix the episode's ending, that the resulting fic doesn't quite breathe, so eager is it to do just that. Maybe that's not a problem - the description does say that in unashamedly its goal. So if its transparentness in that regard is something you actively wanted from the story, hey, that's fine.
I do persist in saying that less dialogue and such to get points across might have worked better. And I don't just mean in terms of being able to believe this could be the episode's ending. No matter how much a fanfiction tries, it can't get all the way there written. A single line, maybe two, from Rainbow when she arrived prior to Scootaloo's takeoff would probably have been best, and the last chunk after her stunt while the three are talking could definitely have been trimmed, with the business of the trimmed dialogue indicated through visual gestures and all that.

All of that grousing for a story I still really enjoyed! The direction you took with all the characters' thoughts and actions were well-made ones, and you did a solid job of balancing Lightning's motives to not make her so transparently reckless. Even Rainbow herself, who I expected to be a big casualty, didn't suffer too much at all. Basically, as a fixfic, I think you got 90% of the way there, and the changes required to finish that are easy ones, mostly at the margins, along with some minor adjusted dialogue to better fit the first 17 mins of the episode. It was just that that missing 10% was quite apparent. But hey, still an achievement and a half, DrakeyC. So, well done.

9159558
Yeah, it's way too dialogue heavy. In particular the stuff about the Wonderbolt Academy could be cited as not relevant to the episode, but the two needed the closure in some way imho.

Thanks for the review. :twilightsmile:

9159573
Actually, that raises an interesting point that's occurred to me. I wouldn't go as far as to say it applies to all of your stories, but when I compare my favourite of yours - Twilight Falls, Sunset Dawns - as well as some other older ones, to some more recent stories of yours, like the two Duel Monsters EqG stories as well as this and some other one-shots... well a lot of those more recent stories are often more dialogue-heavy, or have a lot less description that isn't just of the "this physically happens in front of the character" type. Now, this direction works really well for some of those - I'm Listening's Frasier parallels benefit immensely from the, for instance - but for others... I'm not so sure. Again, not an absolute statement, but it does apply to quite a few.

Of course, this was probably a story you still wrote quite quickly without worrying too much about, for what is untimely a simple alternate ending to a episode that comes in at under 2,000 words. So, small thing, as these things go.

And since this is a fanfiction, nothing wrong with having that closure to Wonderbolt Academy if you felt that closure was totally necessary. Even if that too needed trimming. But again, a small thing.

9159590
Yeah, that's not inapt, I find dialogue comes more easily to me than setting a visual scene or describing physicality. But I'll gently defend not all my fics do that. Yugioh in particular, the focus is usually on the dueling and not on what the duelists are physically doing as they play their cards.

Rainbow shook her head. “That’s why the Wonderbolts have all those safety rules you think are a waste of time, and it’s why you got kicked out the Academy; because you think caution is fear and recklessness is courage.”

Eeyup:eeyup:.

Lightning and Rainbow probably couldn't sustain an actual friendship. But they don't have to be enemies, and they can at least respect each other's skills and choices.

True:ajsmug:.

Unashamed fixfic

That's pretty bad, because you should be ashamed. You shouldn't presume to rewrite an episode by a writer of the show or that you are better than said writer just because you weren't happy with a certain episode.
It's disrespectful and a horrible and arrogant attitude to do that.
Once more I have to call for a ban of fix fics here on FIMFiction.net. This is clearly getting out of hoof lately.

9160154
Thank you for your comment, because quite literally every single line of it makes me laugh.

Dan

I'm rather annoyed that that episode implied Scootaloo doesn't have any legal guardians. Dash should have ran and gotten Scootaloo's aunties to intervene.

Thank you for this.

I try not to get frustrated about anyone acting "out of character." We can get more interesting stories if we allow these ponies to have a wide range of behaviours. But that's exactly why Lightning Dust in that ending was a problem for me. Making it so she's indifferent to the idea that other ponies could get hurt makes her a less interesting, shallower character. If anything, I think this relatively amicable ending better suits the episode's themes.

I also appreciated that you had Rainbow Dash tell Scootaloo she'd provide assistance beforehand, because I found her unceremonious rescue frustrating as well. That was her once again making a decision for Scootaloo instead of letting the kid make her own. (I actually didn't like this episode as much as you... Rainbow's jealousy just got annoying to me.)

Well written, enjoyable enough, but I gotta disagree with the core reason of writing this. I'm certainly fine with fics of Lightning out of character, but I disagree that the show had her out of character. I think she acted consistently in The Washouts with how she did in Wonderbolts Academy. If anything she's doing even better considering she turned her recklessness to something good with the stunt troupe. Anyway I'll get to the point, I think that the ending of the episode was good and enjoyable as far as Lightning goes, aside from the cheesy "Rivals for life" line. If anything I disliked Rainbow through the whole episode never thinking once to explain to Scootaloo her reasoning and just consistently acting jealous of her liking the Washouts, and the fact that Scootaloo suddenly forgot who Lightning Dust is after talking about her in the episode with Rainbow's parents. Lightning Dust felt like the only consistent character, aside from the other Mane 6 who just didn't have enough screen time to do anything obviously.

tl;dr Good story but I disagree with your view of Lightning's character and personality.

One of t biggest problems with this is that Lightning claims that she would have swooped in to save her by herself, and yet holds Rainbow Dash back from doing the same thing.

See the problem there?

Not to mention the fact that bringing an untrained child into their ranks was a very bad move on their part, and it was pretty clear Lighting was only doing it to spite Rainbow Dash.

The problem is the fact that you're treating Lightning as if she was out of character at the end of the episode, when in reality that's pretty much in character for her.

The fact that she showed no empathy for anyone she put in danger showed that she was too much of a loose cannon to actually be put on a military force like that. keep in mind that when Rainbow Dash tried to dissuade her from making the tornado and then called her out on it she brushed it off as if it wasn’t a big deal, despite the fact that several ponies could have died.

Here’s the clip for reference:

Not only did Rainbow Dash try to convince her not to make the tornado, but after Lightning pressured her into doing it and nearly got the main five killed, you’ll notice that she wasn’t among the group that actually try to help them, instead she hung back and when all was said and done she acted like it wasn’t a big deal and even expected to be praised for her actions.

A lack of empathy for civilians or the well-being of your respective comrades in general are not the ideal qualities for members of a military organization.

And back to Lightning Dust herself, even long after she was kicked out she clearly shows no regrets for what she did or seems to understand the ramifications in general.
derpicdn.net/img/2018/8/21/1812296/medium.png
The fact that she put Scootaloo in grave danger proves that even further.

In this instance, Lightning Dust is one of the Prime examples of letting your ego and apathetic nature eclipse your actual good judgement and empathy for those around you. Especially when others can get hurt because of your actions, and even more so when you acknowledge what could have happened and act like it isn’t a big deal as long as it doesn’t affect you personally.

Here’s the difference between the characters who were reformed and characters like Lightning:

Empathy.

At the end of the day those characters not only expressed regret for their actions, but understood the ramifications and at the very least made attempts to better themselves in the long run.

Say what you want about Starlight’s quick redemption, at least she worked to earn it through various episodes, earned it in the end, and actually showed empathy for others and genuine guilt when she realized just how badly her actions would screw over Equestria.

Lightning was told to her face exactly how badly her actions could have affected others and still didn’t care.

derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/11/29/1032466__safe_screencap_starlight+glimmer_the+cutie+re-dash-mark_adventure+in+the+comments_alternate+timeline_animated_ashlands+timeline_barren_eye+shi.gif
Starlight: "THIS is the future Equestria will face because of me!? Oh Lord, what have I done?!"

derpicdn.net/img/2018/4/8/1702162/medium.png
Lightning: "So a couple of civilians almost got killed because of my tornado? Meh, no biggie."

As for the characters who stayed exactly the same way they were despite being given chances to change their ways? That’s nobody’s fault but their own.

9160680

One of t biggest problems with this is that Lightning claims that she would have swooped in to save her by herself, and yet holds Rainbow Dash back from doing the same thing.

I’d have swooped in myself to snag her if I thought she wouldn’t have made it.

She refused to let Dash help because she was confident Scootaloo would be fine, and she was. If something had done wrong, Lightning would have stepped in, but nothing did.

9160905
Still feels a little egotistical of her to assume she could save her faster than Rainbow (you know, the character who could pull up a Sonic Rainboom from take off point) could. Also it kind of comes off as shilling her when you remember that Lightning disregards safety regulations while Rainbow Dash has been in the Wonderbolts longer and knows better.

And you seem to be ignoring the rest of the statement I made, complete with the fact that she put an untrained child into her ranks with little regard for her safety.

9160966

Still feels a little egotistical of her to assume she could save her faster than Rainbow (you know, the character who could pull up a Sonic Rainboom from take off point) could. Also it kind of comes off as shilling her when you remember that Lightning disregards safety regulations while Rainbow Dash has been in the Wonderbolts longer and knows better.

Because Lightning Dust doesn't have an ego at all with her arrogantly presuming Scootaloo will be fine and completely rejecting any idea that she might not be.

And you seem to be ignoring the rest of the statement I made, complete with the fact that she put an untrained child into her ranks with little regard for her safety.

I didn't ignore it, I read it, and had nothing to say about it at the time. You seem to be under the impression that this was supposed to be a fixfic that show's Lightning Dust's redemption of her negative character traits, and thus have judged it based on its success in doing so. But that was not my intent.

Yes, Lightning Dust does have an ego, she does let her pride and arrogance cloud her judgment, and she did allow a filly to perform a dangerous stunt. This was not a redemption fic, nor was it supposed to be, and I didn't even necessarily want the episode to redeem Lightning Dust anyway - I explain that in the author's note at the end. Lightning is a deeply flawed pony with a personality incompatible with Rainbow Dash's beyond a superficial level, but she has her own standards and sense of morality.

Where my issues with the episode came in were Lightning Dust emotionally manipulating Scootaloo into doing the trick and then forcing her to do it anyway when she directly stated she did not want to. And, judging from her "rivals for life!" Team Rocket send-off, she did this just to stick it to Rainbow Dash, suggesting she's still sore over the events at the Wonderbolt Academy. Except that was years ago, she's moved on, she's older and she's got her own thing with the Washouts, and she enjoys it.

So for me, the episode's climax wasn't merely that Lightning Dust would endanger Scootaloo for the sake of a stunt because she has no empathy for others, I don't disagree with that assertion, I don't agree with it necessarily, but I won't tell you you're wrong. Where my problems come in is that Lightning Dust showed throughout the rest of the episode that she's moved on with her life and has no hard feelings towards Rainbow for what happened, but then suddenly she's putting Scootaloo's life in danger just to settle a grudge she's apparently been nursing for years.

Lightning Dust: Your "friend" got me kicked out of the Wonderbolts.
Scootaloo: Oh. That's, uh, less cool.
Lightning Dust: And it was the best thing that ever happened to me! Great to see you, wingpony! I heard you're a full-fledged Bolt now.
Rainbow Dash: Yeah, well, I'm still—
Lightning Dust: Mad at me? Look, was it wrong of me to endanger the lives of your friends? Yeah. But, hey, now I only endanger these knuckleheads.

The only way her characterization in the end of the episode lines up with displays like this is if you presume her to be lying at this time. But if Lightning Dust is lying at this point, it doesn't gel with her brash, direct personality, because if she was still nursing that old Academy grudge after all this time, she absolutely would have had it out with Rainbow right here. Or you could try to say she was already planning to get Scootaloo to join the Washouts in revenge against Dash... except it was Scootaloo who asked to join when Lightning offered the spot to Rainbow and was rejected, and Lightning Dust initially refused to let her join, so if that was her plan all along she sure didn't go about it very well.

No matter how you look at it, Lightning Dust's actions in her final scene do not work with the rest of the episode, even ignoring the morality of what she did with Scootaloo.

9161019

Because Lightning Dust doesn't have an ego at all with her arrogantly presuming Scootaloo will be fine and completely rejecting any idea that she might not be.

My point exactly. Supposedly did go wrong and she wasn't fast enough-oh wait, that's exactly what happened in the actual episode.

And, judging from her "rivals for life!" Team Rocket send-off, she did this just to stick it to Rainbow Dash, suggesting she's still sore over the events at the Wonderbolt Academy. Except that was years ago, she's moved on, she's older and she's got her own thing with the Washouts, and she enjoys it.

Considering the fact that one of her comments towards Scootaloo was that Rainbow Dash got her kicked out of the Wonderbolts, I think it's pretty clear that she still held somewhat of a grudge against her, even if it was her own fault. Pretty obvious that being happier with the Washouts was more of a front. Otherwise she would have been smart enough not to let Scootaloo join or at least stayed that she was too young and unskilled to be part of their group.

Where my problems come in is that Lightning Dust showed throughout the rest of the episode that she's moved on with her life and has no hard feelings towards Rainbow for what happened, but then suddenly she's putting Scootaloo's life in danger just to settle a grudge she's apparently been nursing for years.

No matter how you look at it, Lightning Dust's actions in her final scene do not work with the rest of the episode, even ignoring the morality of what she did with Scootaloo.

Some People are capable of making it look like they don't hold a grudge behind a personal mask, keeping their emotions hidden. LD just happened to hide hers better until the later part of the episode where she convinced Scootaloo to join them, by then it was obvious that she just wanted to get under Rainbow Dash's skin.

Like I said before, if that weren't the case she wouldn't have let Scootaloo join period.

Considering the fact that Scootaloo pretty upfront with how big of a fan she was and Rainbow Dash was more blatant about how she didn't want her hanging out with them since they be a bad influence, lightning simply saw an opportunity and went for it, she was just more subtle about it this time, after Scootaloo had already joined and was about to pull this stunt, all that settled he went out the window.

So in a way it does line up, just not in the way you expect it to.

Would have preferred this than what we got in the show

9161051
9161019

So basically you each see the episode like this?

DrakeyC’s viewpoint:
Lightning Dust: “I’m a better pony now and don’t hold a grudge. Actually I just suddenly changed my mind for no reason and want revenge on Rainbow Dash!”

Alphamon’s viewpoint:
Lightning Dust: “I’m a better pony now and don’t hold a grudge. Ha, I was lying through my teeth this whole time and now that I think I’ve won I’m going to reveal that I haven’t changed at all!

Am I about right?

9162068
I won't speak for him but yup, sums it up for me.

9162088

Then guess only the episode writers could answer which is right then by saying which version is what they were going for?

This fic adds quite a bit of dialogue to the final scene. After rewatching the episode, Lightning Dust's antics did seem a bit abrupt. I'm wondering if that was due in part to time constraints.

JWR
JWR #22 · Sep 10th, 2018 · · 1 ·

I'm sorry but, I didn't care for this story. I personally think you missed the point of the ending.

JWR

9163048
I just don't understand how the ending "ruined" the message of the episode.

It was beyond reckless of Lightning Dust to have Scootaloo do the stunt, but it was less an act of malice and more an example of Lightning Dust not seeing that other ponies have limits that and can't go to the extremes that she does.

Her view is: "You wanted to join, you do the stunt." It's reckless and thoughtless, but it's perfectly in character for her.

Though I'm sure you'll disagree.

9163067

I just don't understand how the ending "ruined" the message of the episode.

The rest of the episode framed Lightning Dust as having gotten over the Wonderbolt Academy, but her final line to Rainbow instead reaffirms them as rivals, suggesting her actions with Scootaloo were her way to get back at Rainbow, and that doesn't gel for reasons discussed in other comments below.

It was beyond reckless of Lightning Dust to have Scootaloo do the stunt, but it was less an act of malice and more an example of Lightning Dust not seeing that other ponies have limits that and can't go to the extremes that she does.

I agree it is beyond reckless, but it is an act of malice - Scootaloo makes it pretty clear she doesn't want to do the stunt, and Lightning Dust emotionally manipulates her into doing it. I would have agreed with you if Lightning Dust had indeed framed her insistence as "if you wanna be one of us you have to do it", but that's not what she said, she brings up the fan club and threatens to "impeach" Scootaloo if she backs out, specially saying "my fanclub" and "dishonoring my wishes". For Lightnng Dust this isn't about Scootaloo proving herself worthy of the team - it's about Scootaloo putting her life on the line to prove her devotion to her.

Though I'm sure you'll disagree.

I am perfectly willing to discuss the episode reasonably if others are willing to do the same, as the comments of this story will show. Please do not assume bad faith of me.

JWR

9163079
I still don't see it as malice. I see it as her character flaw. Unlike Rainbow Dash, she doesn't know how or when to pull back or take the edge off.

Lightning Dust is dedicated to her talents to the point where she'll risk her safety and others as well. It's part of why she's the perfect foil for Rainbow Dash.

Personally, I think Lightning Dust should have been arrested for endangering a child. I don't care if it's a kids show, children should not be allowed to perform in dangerous stunt shows and the message of "You can make your own choices and the adults in your life have no right to stop you"? That was horrible! I don't want that kind of message given to children!

9163079
lightning dust was FAKING if you pay attention there are hints of this the way she says some lines her faction expressions

she was not over things she wanted payback on RD through out the entire episode she showed she had no concern for safety of any kind through out the episode was saw this the fact she was ever going to let scoots a minor attempt the stunt is proof of this

not every one can be redeemed some people are just jerks

9163079
Lighting Dust has been and always will be like that, she's essentially more Rainbow Dash, but in all the bad ways.

The scene you mention with her getting over the Wonderbolt's issue does happen, but it doesn't cover what happens only moments later, both Rainbow Dash and Lighting Dust trying to one up each other from the Dizzatron times.

Her reasoning isn't to get back at her for getting her kicked out of the Wonderbolts anymore, it's to be better than Rainbow(and Rainbow already does it bad enough, especially in this episode, so something like this happening isn't going too far for her character)

[On the topic of what she did, the only time she's been jailed for what she's done was in the comic arc for Sombra's return, and she essentially committed treason in her appearance just to get back at Rainbow, this episode is nothing compared to that]

Hey Drake! Just wanna say that I absolutley loved this story. Also, I found you on the Final Fantasy Wiki. You helped me finally 100% FFVI, so thanks for that too. Looking forward to your other stories.

9159534
IF there is a third time. I agree, the ending of the original episode shows Lightning horribly out of character.

“Yeah? What, did you think I was gonna risk her life for a stunt? None of the Washouts do anything we aren’t comfortable with, and I’m not gonna strap a filly to a rocket scooter if I don’t know for sure she’ll make the jump. That’s not reckless, Dash, that’s just stupid.”

In comparison, this story shows her attitude very well.
I, however, suspect that Hasbro want us to quietly forget about her.

9273857
IF they want us to forget abot her it is not going to work.
Especially since she is no longer alone but has such amazing teammates as Rolling Thunder and Short Fuse.

Dusty more or less announced her return so I am hopeful that she will return next season and finally get the respect she deserves.

9276646
Hell yeah man.

RIVALS FOR LIFE!

Not a bad alternative ending for the episode. To be honest, prior to "The Washouts" I was willing to play devil's advocate for Lightning Dust considering her behavior in "Wonderbolts Academy". She struck me as oblivious to the idea that her actions could endanger others, but more in a "They could've been hurt but they weren't" kind of way.

However, there is one problem I think most people are ignoring about Lightning Dust's decision to include Scootaloo in the Washouts at all. She wouldn't accept Scootaloo right out of the gate because she hadn't washed out of the Wonderbolts yet, and clearly delighted in driving a wedge between Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash. Not to mention the fact that Scootaloo is a minor with no formal stunt training. Lightning Dust is clearly aware of all of these things, and makes it no secret she doesn't care about safety like the Wonderbolts do.

If she's doing it to herself and other adult ponies then that's fine, they're old enough to make their own decisions good or bad. If anything, Scootaloo seemed almost oblivious to the warning signs when she should've been asking the tough questions a lot sooner.

But to imply the ending came out of nowhere, at least to me, doesn't seem true. Lightning Dust made it no secret how she felt, she wasn't trying to hide her intentions. But I do think this could've been an interesting alternative ending all the same.

9463998
Kind of a late replay, apologies. Anyhow, yes, you bring up a good point with the Washouts' identity being, literally, washed out Wonderbolts, because it shows how little Lightning Dust is over what happened: She claims she founded them because she believes everyone can be the best of the best, but she'll only accept Ex-Wonderbolts. She's willing to stretch that definition, but in the end, it's about thumbing her nose at the group who kicked her out.

It may be a bit late and I only decided to do it after Iread this story for the second time, but still. Welcome to my favorites. :twilightsmile:

9163461
Yeah and your friends shouldn't try to convince not to something dumb and dangerous just because you have issues that for some reason you aren't looking for answers to.

9160342
Yeah I bet if rainbow had spoken with the aunts they would have put a stop to it and there would be no close call. And to think she joined the show because of her flight issues that nobody ever looked at to see if there was a solution to.

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