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Before I give my thoughts on this week's episode I want to take a moment and share part 4 of the Core of the Apple Comic Dub by
(It gets loud at one point too, so beware headphone users.)
She always does a good job of getting me misty-eyed. (Or sobbing like a baby, take your pick )
Now onto the episode...
Today we have episode 4 "Daring Don't" written by Dave Polsky.
Dave's episodes... well for a lot of people it's a love or hate relationship. He usually comes up with some great gags and memorable moments, but characterization is... hit or miss. In episodes like "Over a Barrel" his narrative relies on several of the mane 6 acting OOC, contributing to the conflict rather than helping resolve it. (Applejack and Rainbow Dash fighting about who had rights to the area and escalating the conflict when Braeburn and that- young-buffalo-I-don't-remember-the-name-of would've otherwise talked it out. Then Pinkie at the end throwing fuel on the fire and causing the attack on the town. BTW, I liked that episode, but characterization was poor at times.) This episode is no different.
It unfortunately has many large plotholes, pacing issues, and missed opportunities. I can overlook some of the previous issues if the characters and dialog are well written, but sadly there's many moments when characters regress and/or make everything worse. Daring Do says she has secrets and doesn't trust anyone, yet she writes all of her adventures down in a bestselling book series? ...What? Daring Do is being attacked 3 on 1, but not one of the mane 6 lifts a hoof to help through the long and drawn out fight? They were willing to get their hooves dirty at the end of the episode... This happens again when Daring is fighting off a pack of hostile felines. Doesn't Rainbow Dash have a black-belt? Isn't this the same girl who didn't give a moments hesitation to kick a dragon in the face in "Dragonshy" or charge into battle with a manticore?
"But Nate! Dash was all nervous because she was fan-girling over being with her hero!"
True, but even then the Dash I know would be the first one to fly in and show her hero what she's made of. She didn't have any problems keeping her cool in front of Spitfire.
The lack of character consistency is prevalent throughout this entire episode. Dash distracts Daring-Do not once, but twice during fights and ends up getting her caught and dragged off- over what? Her hat? Really Dash? Really?
Then Dash sulks off (why didn't the bad guy tie her up too?) and doesn't even ATTEMPT to rescue her hero until she receives a quick pep-talk from Twilight who tells her nothing she doesn't already know. (Seriously, if you took the rest of the mane 6 out of this episode nothing would really change. They don't add anything to the narrative.) At this point, Rainbow Dash has obviously been replaced with a changling or discorded. No Dash isn't perfect, but there's NO way she would EVER walk away from a friend IN MORTAL DANGER no matter how badly she might think she screwed things up. Loyalty my flank...
So lets talk about the good things about this episode.
Regardless of logic, there are plenty of great Dash expressions in this episode. Daring Do is actually a fun character. She plays the loner archetype well and delivers some great lines. (That one about the proposal was pretty good. ) Daring also kicks flank, reminding me of PPG for some reason... This episode is filled with fun little moments. (I got a kick out of the ponies eating hay around the campfire. xD )
The narrative is nonsensical and filled with OOC moments... but at the same time, if you're willing to shut off your brain you can have a good time with this episode. It's a Dave Polsky episode. It's stupid, but filled with fun little moments.
Oh, and Twilight being a princess alicorn added nothing to this episode. Still there' like, 22 episodes left so we still have to wait and see what happens.
Now I just have to finish part 2 of a comic I'm working on before episode five comes out! (Hint: It's not Core of the Apple related. xD )