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Synopsis:

Rainbow Dash does a series of heroic deeds around town using her natural talents, earning her the admiration and acclaim of the citizens. Seeing that she’s become so popular, she begins to milk it for all its worth, beginning to brag and boast as her ego inflates bigger and bigger…eventually getting the ire of the rest of the Mane Six. However, during one of her fan photo signings, a new pony “hero” appears and beats her to the punch in saving someone from disaster: a pony with a purple costume, cape, hat, and mask. After saving the day and running off, she’s named “Mare Do Well” by the public and becomes a new celebrity…stealing Rainbow Dash’s spotlight. Over the next few days, the mysterious pony not only frequently beats Rainbow Dash to saving ponies, but outdoes her with greater strength, an uncanny sixth sense for danger, incredible magic, and even the ability to fly. Rainbow Dash grows progressively more jealous, even when the pony actually rescues her, especially when her former fandom evaporates and she finds herself unable to find any way to be heroic. When a parade is held in Mare Do Well’s honor to celebrate her, Rainbow can’t take it anymore and attempts to unmask her. After an intense chase, she discovers that Mare Do Well is actually Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy, who all “took turns” being her persona in identical costumes that Rarity designed. They reveal the whole thing wasn’t to keep Rainbow from being heroic, but to teach her a lesson about rubbing her talents in everyone’s faces. Rainbow Dash admits she learned her lesson about that as well as how to “gracefully” handle dealing with someone with more talent than her, and dismisses Spike (who had become her personal writer) to write the letter to Celestia herself.

Review:

Sheesh, ragging on Rainbow Dash two weeks in a row? You’re making her look bad! 😛

A lot of the episodes so far in Season Two, with the exception of “Lesson Zero”, had more a dramatic or “after-school special” feel to them. This was another one that attempted to get more in the spirit of being “goofy” on the show as well as teaching a lesson. Humor-wise, it gets most of its laughs from nostalgic value. Again, this shows that the writers are catering to the older viewers as the frequent references to “Batman” and “Spider-Man” would only be understood by them.

I recall thinking this episode was a bit weak the first time, but on reviewing…I like it a bit more. It seems a bit drawn out at points and it starts becoming clear early on that the girls are behind the whole thing, not to mention that this is the second episode in a row in which Rainbow Dash’s shallowness has gotten the better of her, which I think is rather awkward. But it’s still decent fun. It’s not as humorous as other episodes, but it’s not bad either.

I do think the lesson at the end was a tiny bit “muddled” again. If the girls were trying to teach Rainbow Dash to not be so full of herself, it would seem that Mare Do Well should have been bragging and boasting to everyone instead of running off every time she saved the day. Then again, it’s fairly clear on the second view that Rainbow Dash couldn’t stand someone outdoing her at every turn. Even if they didn’t boast a word it made her feel bad to see herself outshone…so that when she would think back to how she boasted and bragged about how much better she was than everyone, she realized just how annoying that was.

But possibly the worst part about this message is that it’s a recap of Season One’s “Boast Busters”. It may not have been done in the same light, but Rainbow Dash knows full well what it’s like to have a braggart waving their talent in her face…and here she is doing it herself. Overall, I think “Boast Busters” did a much better job of teaching the lesson. This was alright and had some superhero innovation…but I don’t feel it was as good.

Still, not a bad episode.

Fun Facts:

This episode helped cement the idea of Scootaloo having “hero worship” of Rainbow Dash. She also seems to use the CMCs clubhouse for her club devoted to her. The poster on the wall when the team adopts its new descriptive term for her is an allusion to “Nyan Cat”, a popular Internet Meme that had just started at the time.

I know Ponyville is no stranger to disaster…but it seems to suffer from an inordinate amount this episode. Rainbow Dash even mentions that one hill always has baby carriages and wagons going out of control down it.

“Your Friendly Neighborhood (Whatever)” is clearly a nod to Spider-Man’s famous “Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” tagline, and fits well in this episode.

Another famous Appledash meme came from here, as when Rainbow Dash pulls Applejack close for the photo, for a frame or two it looks like she’s pulling her in to kiss her.

The Mysterious Mare Do Well is a combination of various superheroes, but…I think she looks the most like Darkwing Duck from Disney. 😛 Anyone else think it’s kind of funny that Ponyville almost immediately proclaims her the new hero? Maybe the Mayor was in on the “joke”…

This is the first appearance of “Pinkie Sense” since Season One…and the fact that Rainbow Dash points out that Mare Do Well somehow knows what is going to happen hints at her identity early on. The purple aura is also a tip-off. The biggest tip-off that she’s not one person, however, is when she shows she has both a horn and wings. A bit surprising that Fluttershy is able to be so “bold” while flying about, though.

This episode proves, yes, ponies use electricity, as evidenced by the hydroelectric dam.

The girls none-too-subtly brag about their own achievements under the persona of Mare Do Well while in Sugarcube Corner. I know the main point was that they were giving Rainbow Dash a taste of her own medicine…but I don’t think Superman ever did anything like that as Clark Kent. 😛 The fact that Twilight says she must have “studied” a lot and that Rarity complements the costume should have tipped off Rainbow Dash, though.

“I hate being all alone” sums up Rainbow Dash’s “negative” side pretty well: she has to constantly get external praise in order to feel good about herself.

The posters of Mare Do Well in the crowd resemble the picture of Batman from “Batman: The Animated Series”.

Twilight Sparkle and Applejack are in the crowd gasping when Rainbow Dash confronts Mare Do Well. Guess they had to change costumes quick, eh?

The ending of the episode was similar to the end of “Three Amigos”, with multiple Mare Do Wells. Guess Pinkie Pie’s Pinkie Sense doesn’t have a reaction for “attacking Rainbow Dashes”, huh? 😛

Applejack has named her legs “Bucky McGillacuddy” and “Kicks McGee”. This may be an allusion to Ron Burgandy naming his ‘guns’ “Jack Johnson” and “Tom O’Leary” in “Anchorman”.

The letter to Celestia doesn’t actually get “written” this episode, although the moral is clear.

Rating:

2.5 Stars out of 5

 

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