The Wonderbolts will be flying in the Royal Garden Opening in Canterlot and featuring legendary Wonderbolt Wind Rider. Rainbow Dash has been selected as the Wonderbolts Reserve member to fill in for any member who might be disabled due to injury and is ecstatic at the possibility of flying alongside Wind Rider, but even if she doesn’t get to fly still gets to attend the associated festivities. She brings along Rarity (still in Canterlot following the last episode) to the events as well, including the dinner and the practice the next day. At the practice, it’s revealed Spitfire has taken off after getting a letter that her mother Stormy Flare was sick, meaning Rainbow Dash gets to fill in. Unfortunately, Stormy Flare soon shows up, revealing that the letter was fake and causing Rainbow Dash to get blamed for getting her out of the way. With Rainbow Dash facing getting expelled from the Wonderbolts for life, Rarity announces she’s taking it on herself to play detective and find the real culprit. However, her investigation soon infuriates Rainbow Dash as she seems to be fooling around and using the opportunity to try out her Shadow-Spade-inspired Femme Mystique Chic collection. When she gets to the point of accusing Rarity of wasting time, though, Rarity reveals all of her seemingly irrelevant questions actually gathered clues that point out Wind Rider himself is the culprit. He admits he wanted to preserve his records by getting Rainbow Dash out of the way, and Rainbow Dash herself takes off to bring Spitfire back even though it means missing out on her chance to fly. On managing to bring her back just in time, however, she immediately expels Wind Rider from the Wonderbolts for backstabbing his teammates and has Rainbow Dash take his place in the show. Rainbow Dash apologizes for doubting Rarity, and Rarity enjoys the show…but needs to learn how to do internal monologue “to herself”.
There had been one other “mystery” episode in the series, “MMMystery on the Friendship Express”. That one was more for laughs and younger audiences, with lots of clues not being revealed until the finale. This one was played more as a true mystery that the audience could look at as well. It’s not the hardest mystery in the world to solve. I pretty much knew it was Wind Rider as soon as the description was given by the baker, even with the red herring that she insisted it was a mare who bought the cake.
As I’ve said before, Spitfire is not my favorite Wonderbolt, and even though she supposedly learned her lesson about loyalty, the fact she had to learn it twice makes me snicker a bit to hear her giving a lecture about it. Not only that, but I still find it kind of amusing that she was “cursed” with a rather childish voice ever since her first appearance had her given that tone; setting it in stone, so to speak. Also, while it’s not as bad as forgetting about her abilities in every new appearance, the rest of the Wonderbolts being so quick to blame Rainbow Dash is still a tad cringe-worthy.
But that said, I still like this episode. I think the fact it had a genuine mystery was a nice plus even if it wasn’t a huge challenge. Even though it’s kind of a rehash of the moral from “A Dog and Pony Show” without as much humor, Rarity shows off that she can do more with her high manners and love of fashion than just look pretty. It’s not quite as outrageous as one would expect from Rainbow Dash and Rarity being together to highlight an episode, but that’s ok because we get that from episodes where Applejack and Rarity are together…(looks at next episode)…most of the time. Again, it’s plagued by being more mature-orientated so it probably won’t appeal as much to the younger demographic, but it’s still nice and, with a genuine mystery, I’ll rate it a little higher.
At a grand total of five, this episode currently holds the record for most writers involved, beating out “Power Ponies” in Season Four.
After four and a half seasons, we finally get an episode in which the focus is Rainbow Dash and Rarity. 🙂
This episode features an oddly large number of “three-hooved walks”, the kind of walking that non-unicorns have to do if they’re holding onto something. It’s not the first time it’s happened in the show, of course, but it’s the first time it’s really stood out.
Sassy Saddles, and Canterlot Boutique, make a second appearance immediately after their first. It’s a tad unusual, but it cements the position of both as “regulars”.
Shadow Spade’s wide-brimmed hat and coat somewhat resembles Carmen Sandiego.
Jan Rabson does the voice of Wind Rider. He’s most renown for doing the voice of Leisure Suit Larry.
I wonder how many times the Wonderbolts have gotten Spitfire confused with the other Wonderbolt with a yellow coat and an orange mane. 😛
Naturally, a lot of this episode is told in “Film Noir” style that old detective movies were famous for using.
I snicker at the line in which Rainbow Dash asks what Rarity is doing and she answers: “Just thinking thoughts!” As…opposed to…?
The Canterlot guards react as if they’ve suddenly been teleported into the Film Noir. 😛
There’s a Wilhelm Scream mixed in when the Wonderbolts gasp at the scarf reveal.
Another episode that ends without the closing credits song. Instead, there’s a muted-trumped, Noir version of the normal song.
3.5 Stars out of 5