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Synopsis:

Rainbow Dash is excited to spend her first winter with her pet Tank, but notices that he’s continuously acting lethargic and yawning. On taking him to Fluttershy, she finds out that tortoises hibernate during the winter and that her pet will sleep the whole season. Refusing to give up her pet for the winter, Rainbow Dash eventually decides to sabotage the winter season so that Tank can’t go to sleep. On finding herself hopelessly outnumbered in stopping the townsfolk from setting up winter, she instead intends to sabotage Cloudsdale itself to keep from producing snow. Instead, she accidentally causes a major accident that covers Ponyville with snow in one huge blast. Sinking into depression, Rainbow retires to her house until the girls visit her and make her realize she has to accept Tank is going to hibernate no matter how much she doesn’t want him to. Although it makes her miserable for a bit, she finally accepts this fact and is able to set him down to dig into the ground. As the girls ask her to come along on them having winter activities, she says she’ll catch up; wanting to read to Tank before leaving his side.

Review:

Question: Ever wonder how a show that’s rated Y covers the topic of death of loved ones? Well, now you know.

It only takes a little bit of thought to realize that this episode has nothing to do with hibernation. It has to do with the topic of accepting death. That’s one of the themes the show hasn’t touched on yet but, naturally, is also the one pretty much every kid’s cartoon shies away from as being too mature. That, unfortunately, is both naive and stupid. The fact is death doesn’t really care what age you are. It doesn’t “censor itself” for content. It can happen to anyone. And the fact of the matter is our society isn’t really ready to accept death at any age level, because more and more we are encouraged to not accept death. Between new medical technology, better diet, healthy living, and exercise, we’re thinking more and more about how death can be postponed or negotiated. Hence why some people are kept in misery alive in ICU units, unconscious, feeding tube shoved up their nose, covered with bed sores, and constantly riddled with infections…because their family members refuse to accept it’s their time to go. That there is a time to try and fight for life but also a time to accept death as gracefully and with as much dignity as possible, because it is, to be bluntly honest, inevitable.

I appreciate this episode trying to tackle it, even if via using a rather extended metaphor. Rainbow Dash goes through all five stages of acceptance in this episode: denial (refusing to believe tortoises hibernate in the first place), anger (lashing out against the girls for bringing up hibernating), bargaining (if winter never comes, Tank will never hibernate), depression (sitting around the house lamenting Tank’s incoming hibernation), and acceptance (finally letting Tank hibernate and moving on with winter herself). In a sense, this is one of the episodes in a “mature-leaning” season that actually did something rather smart. To the kids, it’s a fun episode with good music and lots of cartoonish antics. To the adults, they can see hibernation as a metaphor for death and winter as a metaphor for life going on.

Rainbow Dash centered episodes usually have an inherent “fun” element to them simply because of Rainbow’s energetic character, and that’s no exception here. And with the numerous references and parody of “The Grinch”, not to mention hitting the serious theme, it provided an enjoyable experience.

Fun Facts:

The highest rated episode of Season Five, even more than “Slice of Life”.

This episode is partially a parody of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

This is only the third episode in the entire series to feature the winter season, and the second to feature the autumn season.

Yay! Spike gets his own room in the castle! …It’d be kind of mean if he didn’t. 😛

Rainbow Dash had many memeable faces in this episode, including her “Do I look like I’m angry?” face and the “Grinch” face.

Apparently the pegasi are all from Manehattan… 😛 Anyway, the whole bit they do about the clouds and sky is a knockoff of the famous Abbott and Costello routine: “Who’s on First?”

When Rainbow Dash breaks into Cloudsdale, the background music is similar to “Mission: Impossible”.

Twilight Sparkle’s line: “Prepare yourselves, everypony! Winter is coming!” is a parody of the infamous tagline from “Game of Thrones”.

Another Wilhelm Scream when a pegasi gets blown away.

Rating:

3.5 Stars out of 5

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