I kind of figured that was coming, what with the McCarthy tweets, heh. But it was still great to see, and she was so cute! I especially liked how when Twilight comments they probably won't win now, and says "no offense", Derpy smiles and shrugs. She knows she's not a great flier, especially when compared to Dash, but takes it in stride and wants to help anyway.
Bulk Biceps... well, I much prefer Snowflake, and it is pretty weird that they just kind of forgot
that he can fly just fine according to his previous appearances. But eh, he was still amusing (loved
the part where he just slipped through the ring during the actual race), and it's not the kind of continuity error that will stick with me and make it harder to enjoy the episode. I really liked the character development for Dashie in this one.
To Gep's point: It didn't feel to me like a repeat of Wonderbolts Academy, because that was entirely about her relationship to the Wonderbolts as an organization, and how that relationship was brought into question by the seeming reward to the pony who was advancing her own status at the expense of those around her. Dash's loyalty to her friends was not in any way a part of that episode's story. Whereas it was at the core
of the story in Rainbow Falls. The Wonderbolts weren't being examined organizationally, or in terms of how they reward ponies for what kinds of actions, but in terms of what happens to the personalities of these ponies who join them and basically become celebrities. And Dash had to make a more direct choice between loyalty to her friends and her dream. I also really like the fact that they didn't have Twilight just tell Dash "Hey, this is wrong, you need to fly for Ponyville!" Instead, she says, I can't help you or decide this for you, only you can do that, forcing Dash to face what she had done and come to terms with it. The "choice" in WA wasn't really a choice at all. Her friends showed up out of nowhere, which she wasn't expecting, and were falling to their death
; of course she was going to save them, and it was that incident that really brought into much sharper focus her misgivings about what was going on with Lightning. And, one could still take that action (saving those you consider friends from peril), but in the larger sense, choose the dream over the loyalty - she could have thrown herself into the Wonderbolts 100%, moved back to Cloudsdale, etc. Basically removed herself as an everyday part of their life. Whereas in RF, no one is in any danger, and she has to make a conscious, reasoned choice between the two, and we see she DOES choose her friends, and during her journal entry at the end, she states - with no ambiguity and no reservations - that winning plays second fiddle to her friends. Would she have been able to just come out and admit that so openly and easily in season 1? I don't think so, personally.
10 out of 10 for me. This season is awesome so far!