• "Flight to the Finish": Episode Followup

    Header image vectors courtesy of Silentmatten

    This week's episode brought with it a lot of firsts.  The first CMC-centric episode of Season 4, for instance.  Or the first episode written by new show writer Ed Valentine.  It also happens to be the first followup written by me, Pegasus Rescue Brigade.  Imagine that.

    For years, pony fans have been asking the question, "Will Scootaloo ever fly?"  And now, after ages of wondering, we finally, definitively say... we still have no idea.

    That aside, we still got a really cute episode out of the deal, packed with a lot of great moments!  Let's talk about those now, shall we?

    Get some followup after the break!

    This episode didn't waste any time getting started.  Twelve seconds in and we've already revived the Equestria Games plot line from season three, and brought back Ms. Harshwhinny to carry it along.  Judging by her expression, she hasn't changed a bit.

    Oh shoot, did I leave the oven on?

    Leave your windows open during the summer and all kinds of things can get in.  Pollen, insects, the occasional daredevil pony...

    And so, Dash explodes onto the scene and causes order in the classroom to dissolve.  As expected, Ms. Harshwhinny does not approve.

    Look as those stern eyebrows she's got going there.  If she glares any harder she's gonna make a unibrow out of those things.

    I thought this was impressive, at least.  Not the stunt, the fact that Snails is balancing on only two legs, and the closer one is balanced on Snips' further one, and vice versa.  It's like one of those cubes that defy geometry. 

    Moving on...

    In all honesty though, this whole opening scene was really entertaining.  Dash's excitement and Ms. Harshwhinny's austere personality were in such contrast that both of them were funny.

    Miss Harshwhinny's made almost exclusively awesome faces, too.  I've never seen anypony use her whole face to pronounce words before.

    It's amazing what you can find if you manage to screencap things that only happen for a frame or two.

    Oh right, we can't forget this is a CMC episode!  As usual, Dash's enthusiasm translates into an equal amount of it in Scootaloo.  Maybe a little too much, but more on that later. 

    I really had to stretch to think of a caption for this one.  It was a real pain in the neck.

    And then Dash showed off her professionalism skills.  If there isn't already a fanfic in which Rainbow's full name is "Rainbow Professionalism Dash" by the time this post goes up, you have all failed.

    And then this happened.  Move over scrunchy face, pursed lips are the style this season!

    And then Ms. Harshwhinny found herself in a situation some bronies would kill for.  I'll leave it at that.
    Harshwhinny still does not approve.

    Looks like Dash has been taking some gravity-ignoring lessons from Pinkie Pie.

    Okay, enough about Rainbow Dash and Miss Harshwhinny.  Time to focus on the stars of the show.

    Introducing the HoverScoot, the latest in hover-based pony transit.

    Even though Scootaloo can't fly, her hovering continues to impress me.  You can hardly call those wings "flapping".  It's more like they're buzzing.  Do you have any idea how much energy animals that flap that quickly consume?

    A lot, that's how much.  Trust me, I'm a biologist.

    The Jets and the Sharks got nothin' on these three.

    There's that "Season four shading" again.

    Then we got "Hearts as Strong as Horses," the first song of Season four.  We got both an upbeat song, and a montage of entertaining visuals while it went on.

    I don't think any of us expected to see Snowflake in this episode.  We always knew his wings were small, but here we can see they are literally about the same size as Scootaloo's.

    Poor Scoots.  I'm surprised being in Snowflake's vicinity doesn't depress her.

    So... Applebloom + Sweetie Belle + Scootaloo = Dr. Whooves?

    There were a lot of somewhat more abstract backgrounds during this song.  Kinda reminds me of the backgrounds during Babs Seed's song last season.  Maybe these music video style songs are becoming a trend with the CMC?

    Also, loving the new goggles, Scoots.

    I was not expecting this.  Guess we've found Snowflake's Achilles heel.  Er... Achilles hoof.  Whatever.

    Does this mean he's scared of Fluttershy, too?

    Man, Pinkie Pie must have had a heck of a discount on those gravity-defying lessons during this episode.

    Or not.  Sorry girls, you won't be pros at this until you refuse to acknowledge physics.

    I'll get you my pretties, and your little dog, too!

    Another little callback: Scootaloo still can't sing, apparently.

    You gotta admire Applebloom's and Sweetie Belle's tolerance here.  I winced harder than they did at this part, and I wasn't standing right next to Scootaloo.

    Blank-flanks!  Blank-flanks!  Blank-flanks!

    Yeah, because we totally haven't heard that one before...

    I don't know about you guys, but I loved how a more exciting, competitive version of the CMC's little jingle played here.

    The reason I included this screenshot is because of the group of cameos we got on the left side there.  Both Rumble and Featherweight, neither of whom we've seen since Season 2.  At least I think.  It's all starting to blend together.

    For background pony enthusiasts, we've also got Dinky and Pinchy over there.

    The backdrops aren't hideous this time.  Maybe they had Applebloom paint them instead of Sweetie Belle.

    I need to point out here that Scootaloo is supporting two ponies about equal to her own body weight while standing with a posture that's difficult for most ponies to maintain.

    Jeez Scootaloo, is every part of your body exceptional except your wings?

    Ugh, I hate it when the sneeze won't come out!

    The last thing you see before the trunk closes.

    And then, finally, we got to the scene that was previewed at comic-con all those months ago.  It was great finally seeing the full animation.

    Look at those droopy ears on Scootaloo.  I just wanna hug her.

    In an episode with Rainbow Dash and Miss Harshwhinny, competition for best face is pretty stiff.  Scootaloo's giving it her all, though.

    Hey, wait a second.  Now the ugly stage scenery from Season 1 is in the background.  The Crusaders don't seem too concerned, though.

    Yep.  That's a concussion.

    You too, Sweetie Belle?  You picked the wrong episode to enter the best face competition.

    (Also, now the stage's scenery's back to normal.  Just in case anyone's keeping track.)

    This gif brought to you by ShippingWatch®

    If you're one of those people who pays attention to any and all background ponies, you may have noticed Carrot-top back there with that grey and purple stallion we've seen her with before.  Looks like we have more evidence of a confirmed couple.  Let the shipping wave begin!

    +10 Friendship points for Sweetie Belle

    It's taken four seasons.  A full 70 episodes.  But it looks like we can finally sweep the "Scootaloo is homeless" idea off the theory table for good.  She does, in fact, have a bedroom.

    Need more proof?  I have more proof.

    There's your proof.

    I know I promised to teach you first, squirt, but Twilight actually can fly.

    Joking aside, this is where we finally, got a little of something most of us wanted out of this episode: More of Rainbow Dash being a good role model/source of advice to Scootaloo.  This was one of the best deliveries of the moral we've seen in a good while, in my opinion.  Hopefully we get some more of Dash being sisterly to Scoots as the season goes on.

    Now everypony's rockin' those new goggles.  Was there a sale or something?

    Maybe they were safety goggles, free with Pinkie Pie's gravity-ignoring lessons.  New headcanon right there.

    Our submit box has been flooded with this one.  Seeing Dr. Whooves and Roseluck hanging out together might be a reference to the actual Doctor and Rose.  Gotta love those little references!

    She can't keep herself off the ground for more than a few seconds, but she can pull herself and two friends along all the way to the Crystal Empire at the northern border of Equestria.

    Physics isn't my strong suit, but there may be something wrong here...

    Same trick as before, except this time she's standing on the scooter.  This pony must be some kind of god in terms of strength and balance.  Everywhere but her wings, of course.

    Don't pretend these moments weren't completely adorable.

    And the professionalism joke comes full circle.  Maybe Ms. Harshwhinny isn't quite as uptight as she makes herself out to be.  Dash calling her out on it was the icing on the cake.

    And that about wraps it up!  This episode had a little something for everyone: A bit of story-forwarding in the form of the Equestrian Games plotline, a new song to feed our endless hunger for pony music, a whole host of amusing and sweet moments and great animation gags, and a strong moral to bring it home.  I know I'm looking forward to more of Ed Valentine's episodes this season!

    That's it for this followup!  Hopefully I'll be back with more for you later in the season.