• "Non-Compete Clause" - Episode Followup: Literal AppleDash Shipping

    WeAreBorg here once again for this week's episode followup for "Non-Compete Clause". This episode goes back to the show's roots and not only teaches us about friendship but about teamwork as well. It's a lighthearted Applejack vs. Rainbow Dash 22 minute adventure.

    Please join me below for the Student 6, Boss-Mare Twilight, problems earth ponies can't solve, and literal AppleDash shipping.

    As usual, I'll point out the moral of the story: There is no "I" in "Team". In addition, teamwork is a pretty integral part of friendship. This episode is straightforward about what it's trying to teach. Also, the theme of this episode is very similar to the Season 1 episode of "Fall Weather Friends". In that episode RD and AJ spend so much effort trying to screw the other one over that they both lose, while in this episode they don't spend any effort trying to help each other that they, again, both lose (Teacher of the Month).

    Let us begin!

    Have a shot of the Friendship School! Do you think they have co-ed dorms? I don't know if that football pony in the bottom right is referencing anyone so let me know in the comments if you figure it out.

    Let's have another shot with more background ponies...

    Hmm, that one mare is a blank flank...

    Anyway, these shots have all been following Rainbow Dash as she's in a hurry to get to the faculty meeting.

    While a funny little gag of knocking Yona's papers on the ground, twice, this foreshadows Rainbow Dash's self-first attitude this whole episode. While Dashie is arguably 90% giant flying ego most of the time, she's also sort of supposed to be the embodiment of loyalty. I think we'll see her at odds with her element if you pay close attention.

    One more background pony shot...

    I love the design for this school! I can't get over it. The lighting, shadows, perspective. I know we've seen it all before but have you really taken in the globe by the window with the 5 or so orbiting bodies? Anyway, have some background ponies, I think the one climbing the stairs is new at least and the window pony is pretty cute.

    Anyway, on to the faculty meeting...

    I still find it hard to believe that only the Mane 7 and Spike work at this school. Speaking of the 7th, I suppose this is just a teacher meeting and counselor Starlight has no reason to attend. Guess she can't be Teacher of the Month if she's not a teacher.

    You know who also can't be Teacher of the Month? These two...

    If anyone is wondering why Fluttershy keeps winning it's because of puppies. Yep, puppies. You know Fluttershy rigs it by bringing puppies and other cute baby animals to class. Everypony loves cute baby animals. We are hardwired for it. Fluttershy is just playing the game.

    And she's been playing since day 1...

    So does this mean the school has been open 9 months? I'd make another co-ed joke but the equine gestation period is 11 months.

    This looks almost as thick as that bound print of a few hundred Wikipedia articles. Spike's got some dragon strength here in those short arms of his.

    I like how we're 9 months in and Twilight is just now getting around to field trips. I feel like local outings to AJ's farm or Fluttershy's sanctuary would be common occurrences.

    Anyway, Dashie and Applejack feel up to the task and as Teacher of the Month material, they think they can work together. What does Pinkie think?

    "This flower pot" definitely has what it take to teach the fundamentals of teamwork. It takes more than one root to grow after all! Sorry, I'll try not to get sappy on you...

    Your writer everyone: Kim Beyer-Johnson. Now, this is Kim's first ever episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic but she's had an interesting writing career starting off with live action shows such as Nash Bridges, Doc, and Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye. She doesn't have a lot of other animation credits but she does a good job on this episode. Now her Linkedin makes it look like she's not currently writing for Hasbro Studios at the moment, but it's likely she may have written more than this one episode.

    Also, I love Gallus's all too real quip about field trips just being about getting out of the classroom. So true.

    Field "tripping"...

    Oh yeah. This is gonna be a horse apple show. Let's watch one of the most loyal ponies and one of the most responsible adults screw this up together. Oh, does that count as teamwork?

    Yaks being potent is canon.

    I figure paint in Equestria has to be super non-toxic if its 6 inches from their noses when they're painting. Also, I see the animators conveniently have a creature with digits using the saw. I see what you're up to.

    Also, is it an Apple shed, like a name brand or something, or is it just an apple shed? We won't know for sure, I believe. I don't think that's much of an apple storage unit though. Fruit storage looks more like this:

    Did you know they suck out all the oxygen in facilities like this so the fruit can't ripen? Like most fruits, apples are only harvested once a year. How do you think you can eat them all year round? Not nearly as shudder-inducing as what they do to orange juice.

    Hmm well, maybe its Apple storage for like MacBook Pros, iPhones, or siblings or something.

    Anyway, I digress...

    The most disappointing aspect of Rainbow's flash baked apple shed is the lack of personal protective equipment. Like where is her hard hat? When she was destroying AJ's barn in "Lesson Zero" she at least has safety glasses.

    I love Gallus's smart-aleck responses to everything. Reminds me of me.

    Also, Ocellus's cute little wings are out.

    "Just 'cause it's fast don't mean it's good."

    Hey Applejack, Rainbow, didn't that Equestria Education Association pony shut down the school in the premiere for endangering students or some such?

    Let's get onto Rainbow Dash's activity...

    After playing some God of War I'm getting some Viking vibes off of that boat. It's way too big to just be a canoe. This eight creature floating purple pony floater is practically the size of a ship.

    But let's get some canoe oars so this canoeing speed record can get underway.

    Earth ponies have magnet hooves. Also, Rainbow is getting savage with her competition with AJ saying no one will like the farm mare's "pounding nails."

    So throughout this episode, there are little moments like this when the Student 6 demonstrate teamwork. I wish the episode would make them a little more obvious but hopefully, you all caught it.

    Going nowhere fast. Also there you go AppleDash fans, the shipping you all crave. Is it all your hopes and dreams?

    Also, with that scale pattern is this boat styled as a unicorn seapony?

    George Washington crossing the Delaware River (1776).

    The biteacuda everypony. I think 90% of the Equestrian fauna is out to kill you. If I saw a giant toothed fish with bat wings I would nope the other way. Sorry Sethisto, bat-fish are the closest you'll get to bat-ponies.

    Alright, that's it. They all drown. I hope you enjoyed my followup and leave your comments below. What? They didn't drown? Oh well...

    Too bad RD and AJ are still arguing. They didn't swallow enough water I suppose. Oh hey, that looks like a life jacket...

    Another demonstration of teamwork! Silverstream's handy-dandy necklace of fish transformation is pretty convenient. I would love to see an episode where she has to part with it temporarily or loans it to another student. Also, Ocellus is an adorable seapony. She might even look better as a seapony than Silverstream. Let me know in the comments.

    Also, I was reminded of this...

    You're welcome for that. Also, a special shout-out to my good friend PonyToast who loves seaponies.
    Anyway, guess who's waiting for them downstream...

    Pissed purple smart is pissed. Those students are snitches. Anyway, it's interesting to see we get the moral lesson delivered halfway through the episode, and what makes this episode really unique is that despite having the lesson handed out, and AJ and RD admitting they were trying for their personal goals of getting the Teacher of the Month award, they still don't learn! Blue and Orange here are super stubborn and needing to have it drilled into their heads is very much in character.

    So after being given a second chance, Twi sends them on a nature walk. Surely they can agree during this hiking montage...

    Oh, look at their pride and dignity getting shot out of that tree. Also, another mild teamwork demonstration from the Student 6 as Gallus gives Yona the idea for this. Someone coming up with ideas and plans is a valid part of a team. 

    Scooby Doo pones...

    "Do you want to keep going in a circle Applejack?" I know Kettle Corn does. She wants to draw those sweet ensō paintings. If she was on this nature walk she could make it rounder.

    Props to the dragon for taking the initiative on this one. They have five fliers with them. They should work as a team and get the three non-fliers across. Sounds like a completely rational idea Gallus...

    If they had each built using their proposed materials would their bridges have been better made? We may never know. Also, notice the bored students who are supposed to be learning teamwork who ain't building the bridge? Stubborn ponies are stubborn.

    What will it take for these Ashleigh Ball voiced ponies to learn their lesson?

    Ah a little Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest sort of fun. Too bad they aren't near the side of one of the cliffs so AJ can use her earth pony magnet hooves to climb the side.  

    Whoa to the student who tries to date Ocellus then breaks her heart. They'd be doomed. 

    Up until this point I was really concerned they wouldn't have Sandbar help with anything. It's all been fliers and swimmers pretty much so far. I was almost about to go on a rant about not showing the usefulness of mud earth ponies. 

    Anyway, everyone learns teamwork is awesome! Hurray!

    This is a wonderful sunset shot of the School. Thought I'd share it. Needs more than the 1.5 seconds it gets on the screen to be appreciated.

    Well here's the important part, the students learned the value of teamwork. I loved their interpretation of the lesson as "crazy genius". For a minute there, you think Orange and Blue get away with it all with all the students singing their praises but...

    Twilight will not be fooled. She's Purple Smart after all. So much for their Teacher of the Month award. Not quite the same ending as "Fall Weather Friends" is it?

    If you're not yet familiar with the Student 6 voice actors and actresses, here they are.

    Alright every creature, I hope you enjoyed the episode and the followup. Let me know what you did or didn't like about either in the comments. I read all of them. Oh and go call your mother!

    Yell at me on Twitter: @WeAreBorgPony