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Synopsis:

Since weather is “pony-made” in Equestria, every year pegasi must generate a massive tornado to draw from a water source into Cloudsdale to produce rain. This year, the duty has fallen to Ponyville to generate a tornado of at least “800 wingpower”, but Rainbow Dash wants to go even higher and smash the record held by Fillydelphia, and soon is rallying every pegasi in town to train as hard as possible with the intent of getting each individual up to at least 10.0 wingpower and guarantee the record will be broken. This includes Fluttershy, who is scared witless of doing so because she was mocked when she was younger for being such a weak flier. Even though Rainbow Dash coaxes her into coming to the training field, her pitiful 0.5 wingpower makes her run off in tears. She’s again encouraged by Angel and her animal friends to train harder and, as a result, manages to get herself all the way up to 2.3 wingpower…but as this is still pathetic compared to every other pegasi, she insists that she won’t make a difference and only embarrass herself and refuses to fly. On the day to make the tornado, however, eight of the best pegasi are sick and now it’s debatable whether or not the pegasi can even reach the 800 mark. Everyone jumps in and gives it their best, but only gets to 790 before collapsing. In spite of the danger of the already-tired pegasi hurting themselves with another failure, Rainbow Dash rallies them and they manage to get to 795…but hold there. Although she fears her 2.3 will still not be enough, Fluttershy, encouraged by Twilight, joins in and pushes herself even harder to 3.0 then, finally conquering her inner demons, manages to go up to 5.0 and be enough to make the tornado successful. The pegasi of Ponyville praise Fluttershy, and she writes a letter to Celestia about the importance of never thinking your own contribution is “too small”.

Review:

This episode was a bit better than I remember it.

Don’t get me wrong…it’s got plenty of reasons to be “meh” about it. It’s more “drama based” with less jokes than a lot of other episodes, which on its own makes the episode a bit more subpar. The fact that’s it’s mostly just retelling the moral of “Dragonshy” with less jokes and fewer members of the Mane Six is also evident.

Yet the drama seems to work pretty well in this one. The pacing is good, the bits of humor, while not “laugh out loud”, are entertaining, and it shows a lot of interesting variation in pegasi. Fans who hated “Putting Your Hoof Down” are probably happier to see the Fluttershy we all know and love in this one.

The best part of this episode, however, is that it’s probably “Rainbow Dash at her best”, even if Fluttershy is the focus. A particularly good part is where Rainbow Dash is starting to get mad and yell at Fluttershy for not wanting to participate…but then she calms down and realizes who she’s talking to. She continuously tries to encourage and support Fluttershy even if she acts rough at points. And you really feel in scenes where in spite of her “winner’s determination” to have them break records, you can tell she would want Fluttershy to help even if she couldn’t contribute at all, because she wants her to feel “valued”. It’s very sweet. I only regret that Fluttershy isn’t as “receptive” to it as she could be, or even to her animal friends (even Angel is rather caring and gentle in this one)…that it takes Twilight to give her the “push” she needs to help her friend. And, in truth, for all of her brash attitude and belligerence…it’s episodes like this that show you just why Rainbow Dash embodies Loyalty.

That alone is worth a bit extra.

Fun Facts:

The episode title is kind of a hard one to get a “feel” for the episode from, but it’s most likely an allusion to the boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The title has a dual meaning, one from Fluttershy using her power to help generate a powerful storm, and also referring to the personal training and discipline she does to try and increase her ability, which is a nod to “training montages”.

The “mule” joke is used again that was in an earlier episode.

Although the idea was presented in “Winter Wrap Up”, this episode sort of drives the idea home that Rainbow Dash is the “boss” of the pegasi living in Ponyville, in that they seem to generally follow her lead in pegasi-related matters.

Fluttershy may be assertive, but she’s far from not timid. 😛 Anyway…the fact that Fluttershy is hiding in a tree costume has been considered by some fans to be a nod to the “train discussion joke” way back in Season One’s “Over A Barrel”, where she said: “I’d like to be a tree!”

This episode shows how far the show has come since the pilot. Ponies are apparently “technologically advanced” enough to have movie projectors. (In Season Three, it would further be confirmed that the movie theaters exist in Equestria.) At any rate, the video being watched is clearly a nod to 1950s informational film reels.

Again, Spitfire appears in this episode and suffers from “Mr. Burns” syndrome. 😛

This episode introduced a hulking “Arnold Schwarzenegger” pegasi with tiny wings (which itself may be an adult-orientated joke…taking steroids might make certain other body parts shrink…). While he would appear as a background character for a couple episodes in Season Three, it wouldn’t be all the way until Season Four’s “Rainbow Falls” that he was finally given a name: Bulk Biceps. Until then, the fans had a lot of fun naming him. My personal favorite that I wish the creators would have gone with is “Big McLargeHooves”, which would have been an allusion to MST3K. Ah well…a man can dream.

Did Fluttershy borrow Rarity’s robe?

This episode lends more to the idea that Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash have known each other for a long time. Back in “The Cutie Mark Chronicles”, it looks as if Rainbow was just sticking up for a pegasi who was being bullied, and that may have very well been how they met, but they seemed to know each other well after that. Further note that both filly Rainbow Dash and filly Fluttershy have their Cutie Marks in the flashback, indicating this was after the events of the Season One episode. It seems Fluttershy went back to Cloudsdale at least for a while after first reaching the “ground”.

Watching this episode a second time, you can really watch how the disease “progresses”…first with Thunderlane coughing at the meeting in the beginning, then having another pegasi mare cough after talking with him.

At one point, a squirrel speaks to Twilight Sparkle. Spike asks what it’s saying, and Twilight says: “Do I look like I speak squirrel?” This may be a “hidden joke”. Twilight Sparkle is voiced by Tara Strong, who did the voice of Bubbles on “The Powerpuff Girls”, who could speak to squirrels. 🙂 (A similar joke may be in Season Four’s finale. Tirek’s new form resembles Trigon from “Teen Titans”, who was Raven’s father/arch-nemesis. Raven was voiced by Tara Strong.)

Spike is playing a pan flute at the end…for some reason…

The “cloud producer” in Cloudsdale resembles a giant meat grinder.

Rating:

3 Stars out of 5

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