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View Poll Results: What is your grade for "Wonderbolts Academy"?
A 8 72.73%
B 2 18.18%
C 0 0%
D 1 9.09%
F 0 0%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 15 2012, 08:15 PM   #1
Peach Wookiee
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MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

What, Chem hasn't posted a thread and poll yet?

Guess I'll do it, then...

From Wikipedia: Rainbow Dash is accepted into Wonderbolts Academy, led by Spitfire, and quickly becomes friends with Lightning Dust (Britt Irvin), another pegasus who is as fast and skilled as her but more rambunctious. Rainbow Dash is surprised to find she is assigned as "wingpony" to Lightning Dust and becomes concerned when her aggressive approach endangers the other cadets.
So what are your thoughts about this episode?
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Old December 15 2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

That's my fault. Chemy and I usually go back and forth setting up each new thread, but I was babysitting last night and didn't have time to set it up.

Anyway, I like that they addressed Dashie's occasional recklessness by seeing how she would respond with another pony who was like her in almost every way. She's definitely Wonderbolt material in my book. Also, Spitfire is ho-, er, respectable when she's authoritarian.

Add in wonderful moments from the background ponies, and a worry wart Pinkie Pie, and I have no choice but to give it a solid A.
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Old December 15 2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

Everything with RD was great. She has certainly grown as a character and become far more mature while still possessing the same cocky attitude that made love her in the first place. However, as much as I enjoyed the scene with RD saving her friends I really wish they had no involvement beyond the opening. The rescue scene could have worked just as well with the other recruits. This was supposed to be RD's story and the rest of the mane 6 seemed to be just interfering. Everytime they cut away I just groaned because the story wasn't about them it was about RD.

Secondly Spitfires voice/personality, taking a character who's personality has been well established and turning her into a complete ***** is just plain lazy. Spitfire's is the captain of the Wonderbolts, not a drill sergeant. So now's she playing double duty as a trainer and captain? Would it have killed them to create a different character to play the drill sergeant?
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Old December 15 2012, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

Yay, a grading thread. I watched the episode when it leaked on Wednesday so I slept in and I'm glad didn't miss the discussion this morning.

I quite liked it. I think I need to see it a second time to decide if it's an A or a B, but it was quite good and much more in line with what I expect from the show than the sometimes bizarre antics of episodes like Too Many Pinkie Pies and Magic Duel, or the focus on the CMC we've got this year (not that I don't like the CMC, but even with only two episodes, it's surprising that they got the lion's share of normal, slice-of-life-style episodes so far this season). The biggest problem with this week's episode was the abrupt ending. The story just kinda...stops. Felt like it needed another scene to wrap things up properly, but Meghan tweeted on Thursday that it originally had a different ending – I don't know what it was, but I suspect that Dash resigning from training was the original conclusion and that they replaced the original epilogue with Spitfire changing her mind and firing Lightning Dust. Still, I liked the ending they went with. One of the strengths of the show has always been its reluctance to push the reset button on character development or worldbuilding, and it's nice that RD is in training on an ongoing basis. I imagine we can expect to see this revisited down the line.

brian577 wrote: View Post
However, as much as I enjoyed the scene with RD saving her friends I really wish they had no involvement beyond the opening. The rescue scene could have worked just as well with the other recruits. This was supposed to be RD's story and the rest of the mane 6 seemed to be just interfering. Everytime they cut away I just groaned because the story wasn't about them it was about RD.
I liked it. One of the things I hated about season 2 was how it ignored the group for the purposes of most episodes. I'm glad to see the stories are back to including all the mane 6 whenever possible.

Plus Pinkie was great this week.


brian577 wrote: View Post
Secondly Spitfires voice/personality, taking a character who's personality has been well established and turning her into a complete ***** is just plain lazy. Spitfire's is the captain of the Wonderbolts, not a drill sergeant. So now's she playing double duty as a trainer and captain? Would it have killed them to create a different character to play the drill sergeant?
Her personality hasn't exactly been "well-established," at least not in a professional capacity. We've seen her hanging out at a party and showing up to keep records at an event. And between those, she had, what, four lines of dialog? If she's also the team's drill sergeant, of course she's going to be a hardass when on-duty. It's part of the job. (I imagine that guy who hosts Modern Warfare on the History Channel doesn't yell like that when he's at home eating dinner.)

The Wonderbolts seem to be quasi-military anyway, judging by their attempted intervention in Secret of My Excess. I have no problem with her being a military hardass when screening candidates.

I do wonder if she wasn't scripted as Spitfire, though. Since the voice actress is different this season, it's possible she was written and recorded as a new character and changed during animation.

Santa Hooves wrote: View Post
Anyway, I like that they addressed Dashie's occasional recklessness by seeing how she would respond with another pony who was like her in almost every way.
I thought they were going somewhere completely different with that – I expected Dash and Lighting Dust to become really good friends and that when the choice came down to the two of them in the finals (or some such thing), Dash would give up her spot for her new friend because she knows how much Wonderbolt training means. Given that I can often predict how episodes will turn out, I was surprised and pleased they went in a totally different direction with things.
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Old December 16 2012, 01:20 AM   #5
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

I loved the episode, and the character growth for Rainbow Dash. We've been waiting for this story since the pilot and it went roughly how I expected it too.

The conclusion was short and could have been given a little longer to really do it properly but then 22 minutes leaves little room as we've seen plenty of times before.

Pinkie's abandonment issues from Party of One resurface but luckily not enough for her to go full Pinkamena but it was nice to see them tackle that again.

Spitfire has always been the Captain of the Wonderbolts, who as Gep pointed out are a semi-military squadron for Canterlot. We know next to nothing about her and always off-duty. She wasn't all that hard to believe this week, and the ending showed us the Spitfire we know when she loosened up a bit, so it's still her.

Nice way for them to include the mane6, very similar to their arrival in Sonic Rainboom and for essentially the same reason again. And just like that episode Rarity needs saving...

I loved the moment when Fluttershy, having been rescued, starts flying off and cue a very pissed off Flitter with her "why didn't you do that in the first place" expression.

But Lightening Dust...wow, borderline homicide of 5 other ponies, doesn't care in the slightest? we've had some real asshole antagonists in this show but a normal pony with that level of sociopathy? that's cold.

For now we know RD is a team captain, not officially accepted as a Wonderbolt so it leaves the door open for resolving that later.

But it does leave a serious question for the series as a whole. The promo's, and the production staff, go on about "a pony discovering her true destiny.".

Well, we have the leaked image showing a return to the Crystal Empire that has not happened yet that could still revisit the "Crystal Princess" line about Cadance, Rainbow Dash still not technically becoming a Wonderbolt and all the fore shadowing of something important in Twilight's future, but which one is it?
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Old December 16 2012, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
brian577 wrote: View Post
However, as much as I enjoyed the scene with RD saving her friends I really wish they had no involvement beyond the opening. The rescue scene could have worked just as well with the other recruits. This was supposed to be RD's story and the rest of the mane 6 seemed to be just interfering. Everytime they cut away I just groaned because the story wasn't about them it was about RD.
I liked it. One of the things I hated about season 2 was how it ignored the group for the purposes of most episodes. I'm glad to see the stories are back to including all the mane 6 whenever possible.

Plus Pinkie was great this week.
But what exactly did they contribute to the story aside from being a something for RD to save? They didn't provide her with guidance or have any impact on the story. They were just things to be used to fill up screen time and serve as plot devices. There is no reason the cadets couldn't have filled the same role , proving Rainbow Dash with a great moment to bond with her teammates by standing by them over LD. The time wasted on Pinkie could have been used to show her return to Ponyville and give us a clue on what the future holds for her.

Pinkie's abandonment issues were overdone, she became extremely annoying and she's one of my favorites. Why is this first time we've seen this borderline obsessive behavior? She never acted like this when Applejack and Rarity went on a trip, hell she didn't give a shit when Spike ran off, twice. You can't even say Pinkie likes RD more or something because she didn't stay at her bedside 24/7 when RD was in the hospital. I love Pinkie Pie but this was her at her most irritating.
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Old December 16 2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

^I thought it was the writers messing with us regarding ships, myself. There are lots of... is the proper term PinkieDash or RainbowPie?... stories out there.
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Old December 17 2012, 06:21 AM   #8
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
I think I need to see it a second time to decide if it's an A or a B
And it was even better the second time, an easy "A" from me. None of the small things that bothered me the first time through were an issue upon rewatching it. The moral was one of my favorite kinds, too, e.g. the multifaceted sort that are not obvious for a kid's show to do and have a bit of grey area in them. Like the moral for Green Isn't Your Color (another of my favorite episodes), it's all about finding the middle way between extremes. I like that.
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Old December 17 2012, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

Before I go into more discussion, I realized that I had forgot to thank Peach Wookiee, in my first post, for making this thread in lieu of my forgetfulness! Thanks, Peach!

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
Santa Hooves wrote: View Post
Anyway, I like that they addressed Dashie's occasional recklessness by seeing how she would respond with another pony who was like her in almost every way.
I thought they were going somewhere completely different with that – I expected Dash and Lighting Dust to become really good friends and that when the choice came down to the two of them in the finals (or some such thing), Dash would give up her spot for her new friend because she knows how much Wonderbolt training means. Given that I can often predict how episodes will turn out, I was surprised and pleased they went in a totally different direction with things.
Indeed, it was nice to see a change in resolution.
When Dash chose to leave on ethical grounds, I was happy to see it. See, I do believe Dash is a true Element of Loyalty, and while she can be brash, fickle, and boastful, she will still defend her friends in the end, and she did so here in such a great and meaningful way.

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
I loved the episode, and the character growth for Rainbow Dash. We've been waiting for this story since the pilot and it went roughly how I expected it too.

The conclusion was short and could have been given a little longer to really do it properly but then 22 minutes leaves little room as we've seen plenty of times before.

Pinkie's abandonment issues from Party of One resurface but luckily not enough for her to go full Pinkamena but it was nice to see them tackle that again.

Spitfire has always been the Captain of the Wonderbolts, who as Gep pointed out are a semi-military squadron for Canterlot. We know next to nothing about her and always off-duty. She wasn't all that hard to believe this week, and the ending showed us the Spitfire we know when she loosened up a bit, so it's still her.

Nice way for them to include the mane6, very similar to their arrival in Sonic Rainboom and for essentially the same reason again. And just like that episode Rarity needs saving...

I loved the moment when Fluttershy, having been rescued, starts flying off and cue a very pissed off Flitter with her "why didn't you do that in the first place" expression.

But Lightening Dust...wow, borderline homicide of 5 other ponies, doesn't care in the slightest? we've had some real asshole antagonists in this show but a normal pony with that level of sociopathy? that's cold.

For now we know RD is a team captain, not officially accepted as a Wonderbolt so it leaves the door open for resolving that later.

But it does leave a serious question for the series as a whole. The promo's, and the production staff, go on about "a pony discovering her true destiny.".

Well, we have the leaked image showing a return to the Crystal Empire that has not happened yet that could still revisit the "Crystal Princess" line about Cadance, Rainbow Dash still not technically becoming a Wonderbolt and all the fore shadowing of something important in Twilight's future, but which one is it?
I'm excited to see what comes next. That said, I also agree with you about Lightning Dust. As I mentioned on EqD, she nearly kills 5 innocent ponies, and all she can muster is a "so what?" and harping on how awesome her record would have been? That's stone cold psycho pony material, right there.

Lightning Dust has major problems, and if that happened in a military organization, she would get kicked out, because that's a major red flag. No one would trust such a pony, and in an emergency, you have to trust the person that has your back. So to me, kicking her out was very reasonable. It was almost a slap on the wrist, all things considered!
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Old December 17 2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

Really enjoyed it - felt the Pinkie Pie bits got a little tiresome after the opening bit, though. All the Academy stuff was great, and good to see RD recognising that there is a limit to how brash and risky you can be. I have sometimes found that Dash doesn't quite see how reckless she is, and this was good character development in that way.

Had to miss seeing it live, as I was watching The Hobbit at the time, but people did a good job in getting the iTunes version out fairly quickly afterwards!

Are the episodes carrying on right through Christmas? I've been hesitant to look for details in case of spoilers.
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Old December 17 2012, 09:57 PM   #11
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

DarkHorizon wrote: View Post
Are the episodes carrying on right through Christmas? I've been hesitant to look for details in case of spoilers.
They are.
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Old December 18 2012, 01:31 AM   #12
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

J and Chem, you're welcome.

And does anyone else see Rainbow Dash eventually buzzing Spitfire's office a la Maverick in Top Gun?
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Old December 18 2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

Peach Wookiee wrote: View Post
J and Chem, you're welcome.

And does anyone else see Rainbow Dash eventually buzzing Spitfire's office a la Maverick in Top Gun?
http://altrform.deviantart.com/art/B...ower-343101724

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Old December 19 2012, 08:04 PM   #14
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Re: MLP:FiM S3 Episode 7 "Wonderbolts Academy": Grading and Discussion

That brony read my mind.
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