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Synopsis:

Before they have a chance to leave on their “day of fun”, Rainbow Dash and Rarity are brought into one of Twilight Sparkle’s lectures at the School of Friendship to demonstrate how two very different ponies can still be friends. Unfortunately, questioning from the students as to how the two of them can be friends causes them both to realize they have no common interests. It gets worse when Twilight, intent on proving her point, drags the class along on their day of fun to have them demonstrate their friendship, only for both to get frustrated at each other’s demeanor toward their activities and get into a fight that threatens to break their friendship up. Starlight Glimmer tries to intervene by scheduling a book club meeting in which either pony reads a book the other one likes, but both ignore their respective assignments and only use it as an excuse to insult the other’s preferences in literature. While blowing up into another argument, however, Twilight calls them both back to the School of Friendship and reveals the Amulet of Aurora has been stolen. While she and Starlight try to make a spell to locate it, the two of them are left to try and track it down. As a result, both end up having to put their respective talents to use, surprising the other at their own skill set, as well as demonstrate how much they learned from their respective choices in literature. As they continue the search, they finally reconcile on learning to appreciate each other better just as they track down the amulet…only to discover themselves right back in the School of Friendship. It turns out Twilight organized the entire theft as a way to get the two to work together on something and, as a result, learn to appreciate each other. As the students learn to embrace differences in friends, Rainbow Dash and Rarity head out to cap off their “day of fun” together.

Review:

This was a nice little episode, and, in many ways, a major throwback to the spirit of the “Pre-Alicorn Twilight” era; back when the Mane Six regularly got into fights and arguments with each other over petty things. Of course, that’s what some people no doubt preferred about the episode, as this late in the series there is a lot of nostalgia for any time an episode follows a vein of the originals. It does indeed have the feel of a lesson that could have been learned in Season Two, yet is set up in such a way that only the School of Friendship motif could have worked for it, so that’s rather nice.

Season One’s “Look Before You Sleep” has a similar theme to this episode, only with Rarity needing to learn to appreciate Applejack. Unlike that one, however, things keep moving in this episode rather than confining the girls to one area and relying on slow-paced dialogue to keep things going. Better yet is that the girls actually spend some time slowly reconciling rather than waiting for the climax to get it all out at once.

We also see a bit of the “old Starlight”‘s genius at work. The reason the fake theft was so suited to Rainbow Dash and Rarity was because she read both of their books and therefore knew what would be an appropriate gimmick for either pony. That said, it was pretty obvious from the get-go that Twilight and Starlight had set up the whole thing, especially with Twilight’s exaggerated “gone”, but the point of the episode wasn’t Rarity and Dash falling for the ruse but reuniting. Hence, it goes to show Twilight also still has the brains about this whole friendship thing. πŸ˜›

If I had one complaint about this episode, it would be that the balance between the two helping each other out at the end seems a bit biased in Rarity’s favor. (Rarity uses her skills to build a fully functional pontoon boat and Rainbow Dash uses her skills to…dip a cattail in a swamp.) Overall, though, that’s a small nitpick.

So although it showed up a little late in the series, a nice episode that shows how you don’t have to like everything someone else likes to appreciate them.

Fun Facts:

The only other episodes which featured Rainbow Dash and Rarity as the prominent characters than this one was Season One’s “Sonic Rainboom” and Season Five’s “Rarity Investigates!”, both of which are alluded to in this episode.

Rainbow Dash is using Braeburn as the earth pony for her team. Guess he got over the Appleloosan defeat by Ponyville. πŸ˜›

The title “The Cult in Crimson” is likely a knockoff of the first Sherlock Holmes mystery: “A Study in Scarlet”.

“I learned it at Scootaloo’s Filly Guide’s camp.” A brief nod to the Filly Guides from “28 Pranks Later”, and shows Rainbow Dash takes an interest in her activities. Maybe that’s how she learned to use your own wings as a horizontal propeller. πŸ˜›

A “bufogren” is one of the more obscure fantasy creatures to ever appear on the show, used to denote frog-like people. The name is a fusion of the French words for “toad” and “frog”.

When Rainbow Dash suggests she’d like Rarity’s help shopping, she gives an excited whinny.

A bit of a plot hole. At the end of the episode, Rarity and Rainbow Dash say they still have some time left in their “day of fun”, but that’s assuming they both were expected to read their respective books and come for the book club meeting with Starlight Glimmer the same day. Of course…my theory that Equestrian days are longer than Earth days might have held sway. πŸ˜›

Rating:

3.5 Stars out of 5