• "The End in Friend" - Episode Followup: No Ships Here

    (Note: Friendship University followup is still in the works! Expect it tomorrow at 12 blog time!)

    Ahoy there matey. If'n ye be lookin' for the mythical ship the RariDash it may behoove yea to stop yer quest. Ye'll find none of that in this here episode. Nuttin but friendly hugs here. But if'n ye wish'n to hear a tale about contrived adventure, switchblade stilettos, Cane Toads from Hell, Sonic Rainbooms, 8 seasons worth of glitter in one episode, an' the learnin' of friendship, join me, We Are Borg, below the break!

    But if ye still seek the Raridash ye may be able to find her inside the classic tail "Third Times a Charm".

    I'll drop the scurvy dripping diction at the break. So the moral lessons were stated at the end of the episode: "Good friends always work through their differences", "Even if it takes a little help." Friendship isn't always about pairs of ponies so when one pair of friends is having trouble staying friends it's up to their other friends to help them make up. I've had to play that role before with some of my friends. It's not easy but it's worth it. That, I feel, is the most important part of this episode: mutual friends stepping in to help a pair of friends.

    Lettuce begin.

    How often do unicorns break their glasses on their horns when they levitate them off wrong?

    If Twilight is so good at planning it makes more sense that Rarity and Rainbow Dash would already know they were supposed to be here as examples in this lesson. Unless Twilight wanted Starlight to feel useful. Or Twi just wanted to see more of Glim Glim because they ship together, hard. That obviously is what has happened and not a contrived way of introducing Starlight into the episode.

    Also, notice how Rarity and RD backhand each other while describing why it was so hard to get together for a day.

    It's fun seeing the egg head in Silverstream always wanting to know more. What I want to know is if they have to call the purple spirals they are taking notes in, "Friendship Journals".

    All I heard in this exchange was "racist butt shopping" and "guy shopping." Given the state of Equestria, I can safely say they won't have much success with either of those.

    Anyway Gallus sets up the premise of the episode for us: How can they be friends if they have nothing in common.

    I can tell by the comments that this episode has mixed reviews. The main reason for this is this episode feels like more of a season 1 or 2 episode where two of the Mane 6 having friendship problems feels more natural. Despite a wonderful delivery from G. M. Berrow, the plot just feels misplaced in this season.

    Speaking of the previous seasons, the pair reference RD saving Rarity in "Sonic Rainboom" and when Rarity proves RD's innocence in "Rarity Investigates!" And here the show is sort of making fun of itself. Really, these are the most notable instances that highlight the bonds of friendship between the two. I guess there was the time when RD and Fluttershy saved Rarity and Spike from falling in "Secret of My Excess".

    Anyway, enough reminiscing. Back to the friendship lesson at hand...

    ...which involves spying on Rarity and Dash most of the episode. Remember Buckball from "Buckball Season"? This multiracial sport features earth ponies on offense, pegasi on defense and unicorns assisting on offense as goal-catchers. Given Dashie's nature, however, she turns every successful save into an offensive goal attempt. Joining White Marshmallow and Blue Fast on their team is Braeburn who I thought was supposed to be good at this game but kept missing the ball.

    "Athleisure wear"

    Wonderbolt training must be doing wonders for Rainbow Dash because that is one intense burst of acceleration to break the sound barrier. Also, everypony's eardrums are currently burst. Additionally, I'm pretty sure Rainbow Dash isn't that high up and the shockwave should have met the ground before being able to expand into a full circle of that diameter. Animation error I say!

    "Comprimise!" Twilight maybe should have ended the field trip at this point. It can only get worse.

    Boop! I love RD's line of "Heels on a horse are pretty useless." As we've seen with Saddle Arabians horses are a cutie mark-less breed unto their own so "horse" is an interesting choice of words likely chosen for some mild alliteration. More importantly, Rarity's horse noise was adorable.

     Also, heels are only good for formal functions and various servings of tea.

    Haha! Glitter got on Dashie's face when she touched it.

    Twilight's air quotes are very distracting. I had to rewind and watch them a bunch. Also, anyone who is my friend, knows I myself enjoy a bit of "banter". Like when I remind my roommate that he once had an online handle of "Night Watcher". I hope you're reading this Night Watcher...

    On to the next activity...

    These two have their PPPE: Pony Personal Protective Equipment. Anyway, let's see if Dashie the two of them can screw this up...

    So, I thought they were going gem hunting and not Swarovski glass hunting. It's no wonder these caves are still intact with most of its gems if they are that easy to break. Not much worth to them. I will say that emeralds are notably more fragile than diamonds, or even sapphires and rubies, and can indeed break or shatter with enough force, but dang.

    Both of them are being pretty selfish at this point; each arguing the point of the spelunking as their individual goals.

    I love Twilight's role in this episode as a teacher of friendship and also her ability to BS through an explanation of her friends' behavior. What might be a stretch for me is how quickly Rarity and RD are ready to say they aren't friends. I know that's a salty point for some of you but to counter even myself, you can only do so much in a 22.5-minute episode.

    This seems like a weaker friendship than Dashie's and Pinky's in "Secrets and Pies" where Rainbow Dash ultimately was trying to not hurt Pinkie's feelings but this episode seems better at first third tenth watch than "Non-Compete Clause" where the antics of Rainbow Dash and Applejack were considerably more selfish as they were working with the Student 6 directly.

    Anyway, I digress. I might write a full editorial ranking the Mane 6's friendships later or how Twilight is the glue for the Mane 6.

    Now this feels like a natural moment for Starlight. She's the school's guidance counselor. Could any of Rainbow Dash and Rarity's friends have helped? No doubt, but Starlight seems like a natural choice if classes should continue.

    I did enjoy the story about Rarity's proposed Cloudsdale boutique. She really is a busines pony.

    Also, did you know that Starlight Glimmer likes kites?

    What is with it unicorns just picking up ponies without asking? How is this not taboo? I've always felt Rarity was rather powerful for a unicorn to be able to lift full grown ponies with ease.

    "Rainbow Dash never stops talking about Daring Do..." Everyone reading here should, of course, recognize Daring Do while Shadow Spade, if you don't recall, is the mane character in Rarity's favorite line of books, another reference to "Rarity Investigates!"

    Lyra and Bon Bon. Lyra is doing all the talking here. Does this fit into your headcanon for these good friends?

    Daring Do and the Razor of Dreams, by the way, is one of the many "Other books by A. K. Yearling" you can find listed inside the cover of the Daring Do books actually written by none other than G. M. Berrow. It's also a fanfic apparently.

    Also, Rainbow Dash is a jerk to books and has no qualms tossing them into the dirt.

    How does it feel Rarity? I half expected Starlight to then slam them together repeatedly telling them to kiss and make up. Also, this image captioned with "your drama can wait" should be the number one reaction image for this fandom.

    We've seen Twilight act in "Hearth's Warming Eve". So successfully, in fact, official media can't come to an agreement on if Clover the Clever is male or female, but I guess improv isn't her thing.

    I saw some people get upset that they could easily tell that this theft situation is contrived. Well, its supposed to be. The show is telling a story here and its telling you the Starlight and Twilight are up to something.

    A reminder that the Amulet of Aurora "can reverse the tides and summon tsunamis." I wonder if these artifacts play some sort of importance later on. Also, I think it's cool that they are using the skills of their favorite characters to solve this mystery.

    Ha! This epiode is full of great faces like Rainbow's here. "Mine are magenta, not blue. See?" Unrelated, but I'd love to see Tabitha St. Germain in a production of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    Rarity makes a quip later about her boots not being made for trotting as advertised. An obvious play on the song "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra.

    "Oopsie?" Rarity's guilty face. Didn't know about that Azurantium; didn't read the book.

    While Rainbow dash learned how to measure the depth of water by flying over it from a filly who can't fly, Rarity is apparently a shipwright with a mysterious past.

    Also, maybe Rainbow Dash should try flying slow and not over geysers...

    Shout out to all those 80's and 90's kids who grew up with The Rescuers. Rainbow Dash is best Evinrude.

    This, fillies and gentlecolts is a Bufogren voiced by Jason Simpson who acording to IMDB plays a role or voice in everything ever made. Look him up, he's got a decent beard. The Bufogren (Bufo is a large genus of toads in the family Bufonidae) is a swamp creature with 6 eyes, sensitive ears, and swamp breath. I assume this swamp is in the Everfree Forest with its deadly looking environs and proximity to the school so it's rather odd that Rarity has no idea about this looks-like-it'll-eat-her sized toad. Good thing it doesn't eat ponies on sight.

    Rainbow Dash is no longer concerned about singing her wing feathers on a gyser.

    The observant among you might complain that if the ponies could just use a scarf and twig to let them close enough to the Bufogren to have enough conversation to offer up Rarity's toothpaste that they could have the same length of conversation asking where the amulet went. And honestly, you'd be right. Breath through your mouths ponies. To play devil's advocate though, when she's not thinking of fashion, Rarity is quite generous and this toad needed a mint.

    Ponies have trouble looking up above 30 degrees.

    How does it feel Rarity being grabbed without consent and being flown around? To be fair pegasi are used to being off the ground while unicorns are very much a ground-loving creature and greatly dislike the idea of being held up in the air. It's just not safe. I don't see any fall protection. I'm a unicorn and I don't like it...

    See that? That's real terror. She could drop me! Unicorns don't do heights.

    Moving on...

    Now, where have we seen that symbol before? I know Dashie can be oblivious but Rarity, who has an eye of the details should have noticed this.

    Rarity is packing and ready to shank a horse.

    I imagine the builders of the school were sealed inside a wall so that only Twilight would know the secret tunnels.

    Hey! Surprise! It was all a ruse to get you to work together. If anyone thought this solution couldn't be concocted in the seconds in which Starlight was away, let me remind you that Spike would have had barely a head start and all he did was make a loop out and in the school. If you think that this was a crazy plan to get them to be friends again let me further remind you that this is a cartoon and if you are complaining about cartoon antics to solve friendship problems rather than just talking through it. Congratulations you have caught on to the whole point of the show and graduated from Friendship U. Also, this is nowhere close to being as ridiculous as what happened in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well".

    Rarity makes an adorable horse noise here at the end. She sure loves shopping.

    Anyway, I thought this was a cute episode. Let me know what you thought of the episode and the followup in the comments, harass me on Twitter, and follow EQD on Instagram.