My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Daring Don’t”

[Note from the editor: This is the first in a series of what will hopefully be weekly recaps of new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episodes by our own resident bronette Sofie Liv. Also, special thanks goes out to Elliot Hedgott for pre-editing this article!]

Who says that Indiana Jones is just something for boys? Not that this episode says that, that’s just me.

“Daring Don’t”, the fourth episode of the fourth season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is basically an indirect sequel to the season three episode “Read it and Weep”, in which Rainbow Dash, the tomboy of the group, learns the joy of reading by getting caught up in the book series Daring Do, which is basically an Indiana Jones rip-off, but then again, Indiana Jones is just a rip-off of even older adventure serials from the 1930s, so who really cares about that?

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Daring Don't"

The episode starts off by stating something quite controversial: Just because you’re a tomboy, and the cool kid who’s good at every sport, it doesn’t mean you can’t also be a giant nerd, as Rainbow Dash is acting like a Star Wars fan before anyone figured out that the prequel trilogy was kind of bad.

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The reason she’s acting like this is that it’s been announced that the new Daring Do book is coming out in just a few short months. However, as anyone who reads the Game of Thrones series has already figured out, writers don’t always keep to their deadlines. This is no exception, as the book’s release has been delayed.

Rainbow Dash, being Rainbow Dash and thus having zero patience in her body, won’t stand for this, and she figures that maybe she could lend the author “A.K. Yearling” a hand in finishing the book so she can get it done faster. Because as we all know, if you’re a famous author pressed to meet a deadline, having crazy fans knock on your door is just what you need!

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Daring Don't"

Sure enough, A.K. Yearling is less than pleased to find six strangers in her house. But that becomes less important when a bunch of stock pony villains (including the pony version of René Belloq) attack Yearling, and she throws off her frumpy clothes to reveal that she is Daring Do!

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Daring Don't"

You could call this a stupid twist, but then again, I always suspected that J.K. Rowling was really Harry Potter, that Christopher Nolan enjoys a nice retreat to his Batcave every now and then, and that George Lucas has no idea what he’s doing anymore.

Daring Do is trying to protect a golden ring thingy, but our main ponies get in the way, and the stock pony villains get away with the golden ring thingy.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Daring Don't"

The Mane 6 ask if they can help Daring Do in getting the ring back, what with them being legendary heroes themselves, having saved all of Equestria dozens of times and getting several glass windows in Princess Celestia’s castle made in their honor. Naturally, Daring Do refuses, since we must get some kind of lesson out of this, after all. But not the “leave people alone and respect their privacy” lesson. That lesson is stupid and boring anyway, so we get a totally different one.

Later on, Rainbow Dash tracks down Daring Do and flies to her rescue, in spite of Daring Do saying she only works alone. And then Rainbow Dash ends up constantly getting in the way. Nice going, Rainbow Dash. But it’s okay, because in the end, they all save the day, making Daring realize that perhaps working with others could be a good thing.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Daring Don't"

The story ends with the latest Daring Do book coming out, and it describes the adventure they just had, and Rainbow Dash is even on the cover.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Daring Don't"

Season four has thus far had a slow start. None of the episodes are bad, but none of them have stood out as anything more than average (or below average) for this show, and “Daring Don’t” is no exception. It’s fun seeing the ponies in Indiana Jones-type situations, fighting monsters together. But this episode’s message has already been done on this show on multiple occasions, and done much better too, particularly in the very first episode where Twilight learns that doing things alone isn’t always the best way, and having friends will see her through.

It also seems a little odd that Rainbow Dash ends up being rewarded for imposing on Daring Do so much. There are real life situations out there where celebrities are driven crazy by their fans, and acting a lot like Rainbow Dash does here, so Daring Do was perfectly within her rights to send them away. So it seems odd that she was the one who had to learn a lesson and not Rainbow Dash, who was clearly the one in the wrong, even if her behavior was understandable and quite cute.

Hey, if I didn’t have any sense of decency, I would probably be camping out on Guillermo del Toro’s front door (who wouldn’t?). But I do have decency and respect, both of which probably should have been at the heart of this episode’s lesson, and directed towards Rainbow Dash. But alas, the episode is what it is, and for what it is, it’s pretty fun. I give it two out of five ponies, a below average rating. Let’s hope the show picks up soon.

TV Show: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Tag: My Little Pony Episode Recaps

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  • freddy

    Great write-up Sophie. I figure this is also as good a place as any to say that, as a long time Booth reader, it’s good to see more written material showing up.

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you Freddy, I am glad you both approve of my first try to write for the site, and just the direction is taking as a whole! :)

  • danbreunig

    Hey, congrats on your very first written Agony Booth review (or I should say, recap), Sofie! The whole Booth itself is seemingly having a resurgence of the written recaps of long ago (early 2000s)–so I guess this means you’ve come full circle as a Boother, hm? This is a fun read, just as fun as getting to see your face ;) I’ll be sure to keep checking these out as they come.

    So far I’ve seen only a few episodes myself, and usually through other reviews. I think I’ve seen and learned more MLP: FIM through the mass numbers of parodies alone, particularly the most famous fanfic “Cupcakes”.

    I can easily see in the fifth screencap up there Mendo and Renegado as the two stock villain ponies putting the boots to the Sofie pony in the middle. Warped fan imagination…much like Rainbow Dash.

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you, and yeah I guess so, I wanted ti try it, and I am glad you enjoyed it and thought it was funny.

      … you’ve actually read cupcakes? Dude, that’s sick.. I don’t want to read cupcakes.. :/

      .. and now you are imagining Mendo and Renegado as villain ponies keeping me down?
      *slowly backs away*

      (this is all good humour and fun, I am glad you liked the article! ^^)

      • danbreunig

        “and now you are imagining Mendo and Renegado as villain ponies keeping me down?”

        Only because those ponies had the right props:
        brunette with shades = Mendo,
        Fedora with red tie (for a red bandana) = Renegado,
        by process of elimination, remaining yellow pony (kind of stretch for “blonde”) = Sofie

        A coincidence that huge? I have to point it out.

        No harm, though–what’s comedy and clowning without at least one display of slapstick?

        “you’ve actually read cupcakes? [Yep I did–my first exposure to FIM.] Dude, that’s sick.. I don’t want to read cupcakes.. :/”

        I think if it weren’t for Cupcakes there would really be fewer fans (other than intended little girls, Bronies or Bronettes). Just look up any MLP spoof on YouTube and you’ll see worse. The “Smile” video bloodbath comes to mind… Interesting thing: I mentioned that story to Mendo himself a while back and it sounds like even he wouldn’t want to touch it.

        All the same, I enjoyed this piece and I’ll be glad to read more. Cheers, Sofie!

        • I take it you mean the HD videos by MisterDavie. I have to say that those videos are so awesome! Cupcakes was a pretty gruesome and depressing fanfic so Davie decided to just make it as ridiculous and over the top as possible with the Ren and Stimpy-esque visuals and Andrew WK’s ‘Ready to Die’ as the soundtrack. It was the best thing he could have done with such dire source material, at least to me. Smile HD is OK and I do like the Dragonball references but Cupcakes HD is so deliriously gruesome you can’t help but like it. Davie’s animation is close to show quality in it’s own way, not as close as JanAnimations (my favourite MLP fan animator), but still pretty damn good, with rumours that he’s worked for top animation companies in the past!

  • I tell you what, that editor sure did a bang-up job! :P Nah of course it’s going to be about the content in the end and this was a nice little re-cap, although I probably would have given it more than a 2 out of 5, even for this show, because even though there are things that don’t make sense that many other brony reviewers have pointed out, the enjoyment level is on max and some of the writing is just great. Dave Polsky is a divisive writer and this episode was no different. He was the one who wrote ‘Over A Barrel’ which has been covered on here before.
    Also, regarding the whole ‘imposing fan’ thing, at first I could agree since she went to essentially invade AK’s personal space, but then it turns out she IS Daring Do! I think you’d be fangirling out of your skin if it turned out that Sherlock was real and Martin Freeman WAS Watson! Nevertheless, nice write-up and glad to help out.
    P.S. The E and O in Hodgett are backwards, no wonder you needed an editor! hehe

  • JD

    Oh Bronette’s is the term for female bronies?

    • MichaelANovelli

      Seems unnecessary.

      • Sofie Liv

        actually there is a term, and it’s “Pegasister.” I think it was Albert whom ended up writing “Bronette”

        • MichaelANovelli

          So…we’ve actually reached a point where we need a term for the distaff counterpart of a man who likes things that are made for women? Lewis Carroll would have a field day…

          • The_Stig

            Actually female MLP fans are called “My Little Pony’s Actual Target Audience”

          • Sofie Liv

            No, that’s ten year old female MLP fan.. I am technically 14 years to old for this show..

            Oh well.. I really don’t give a damn or a care what any-one calls me right here, I enjoy the show for what it is, I am not obsessed about it, I just enjoy it.
            Call it what-ever you like!

          • The_Stig

            It does have appeal for kids, but the new MLP was for the most part a nostalgia bomb aimed at the mothers of those 10 year old girls that grew up with the original line, while it has enough quality in its humor and wit for just about everyone. In fact, it’s way too good for what it’s supposed to be at its core. It’s just that for some reason, creepy adult dudes took over the fanbase.

          • Sofie Liv

            You know what?
            People can enjoy what-ever the hell they like, regardless of their gender or age.

            If guys like this show, and wants to promote it, Power to them! it’s great seeing a show like this, that presents females in a fresh and new way, getting the popularity boost, who the hell cares where it comes from. And who the hell cares about what forty year old Adam from down the street chooses to use HIS spare-time with?
            It’s his to spend as he like.

            How-ever, those whom starts to claim ownership on the show, as if it just belongs to them, and they have a right to decide and own the entire thing.
            Those are the extremist preachers I can’t stand… but then again, I don’t like any extremist preachers, taking ownership of some-thing that doesn’t belong to them, but shocks, belong to any-one who wishes to enjoy it.

            Mlp, belongs to any-one who wish to enjoy it, like most other things, so well yeah, go ahead and enjoy. Just don’t be an annoying douch and take ownership, and most people don’t.
            It’s just the very very few that does, whom spoils it for others -_-;

        • JD

          Iv always heard them called Gronies =Girl Bronies.

  • Mamba

    Great Review Sofie and glad you liked this episode too. was curious though, why did you think the message of the show was “work with others is better than alone?” because Rainbow said it herself at the end…the message was “Don’t get so starstruck when you meet someone famous that you forget what YOU are capable of too”?

    the “leave me alone” message they should have pushed…yeah, definately one they glossed over, though it was nice that “Daring Do”, who surely has at least HEARD of the “Savours of Equestria and their new princess” doesn’t seem to care at all. She’s in the presence of literal royalty and heros of the land and her only reaction is “Get out of my way, I have things to do”…priceless!

    Looking forward to more from the show and your series!

    • Sofie Liv

      Context in the episode.
      Rainbow Dash gets to be justiefied in her intruding behaviour, and saves the day, even gets rewarded for it.
      She goes through any nerds biggest nerd fantasy, I mean holy smoke, if I came as a ragin lunatic fan and knocked on Matt Smiths door, and it turns out that he actually IS the doctor, and because I came like that, I get to travel around with him in the Tardis.
      That’s…. a kind of fanfic story that is written quite often, but that’s what it is, a fanfic wish story.. real life, doesn’t work like that, I shouldn’t go knock on Matt Smiths door, because I should respect his privacy.

      Glad you liked the article regardless though, and yeah, I did quite enjoy the episode myself regardless, I rank after the quality if the show, and the quality of the show is pretty high.

      See ya around :)

  • Bob

    While I found your first written review to be very enjoyable and pretty even handed, I have to say that I’m also disappointed Sofie. I mean PT and Lucas jokes in 2013? Seriously? I would have thought you to have better jokes than those that stopped be amusing around 2005. But my personal disappointment aside, keep up the good work.

    • Sofie Liv

      … Yeah I am kind of out of the loop, I admit it!

      But when it comes to a person continuesly shitting on raving fanboys, George Lucas is your man, there is no one even coming close matching his skill.
      Though we must give Michael Bay credit for trying.. though.. he sucked to begin with, so that’s a bit different..
      Define “PT.” what kind of joke did I make there I don’t even know what is???

      Glad you liked the article regardless :)

      • Bob

        PT = Prequel Trilogy. And given how vocal and obnoxious those raving fanboys still are some good ten plus years later, I can’t say I blame Mr. Lucas in the slightest for treating them the way he has (But then again I’ve always preferred the flawed tragedy of the Prequels to the more competent but simplistic morality Originals myself so take my criticisms with a grain of salt). As for Mr. Bay, eh have to be honest I’m pretty indifferent towards his work.

        Liked the first Transformers movie well enough, liked the old robot and the giant robot getting attacked by a rail-gun onto of one of the pyramids, and that’s about all of TF2 I remember, and I never saw the third one, so I can’t say I have any strong feelings either way on Bay. I’d also argue that depending on one’s point of view that George RR Martin of the Fire and Ice series does a pretty good job of shitting on fans, but I digress.

        But like I said before, keep up the good work with both your written reviews and your videos. ^^

    • danbreunig

      I get what you mean, I just want to point out that being current (topical / this-year humor) won’t always work either. That can make something such as an article like this even more dated when you read it in 2015, 2021, etc. I got the joke simply because it’s a perpetual fanboy/girl argument that may never die, since big nerd properties are a haven for partisanship. It’s still relevant because of that, so it works here (as for me, many things I enjoy *because* they’re dated). I still like your point, I’m just giving another angle. And yes, this article’s enjoyable in any case.

  • jbwarner86

    I’m still split on how I feel about Daring Do turning out to be real. On the one hand, I guess it’s sort of like the Indiana Jones movies, in that Indy is a seemingly normal archaeological professor who goes on these huge epic adventures in his spare time. On the other hand, though, it is kind of an unbelievable plot twist that comes right the fuck out of nowhere. Somebody on Equestria Daily said that they thought the episode would have been perfect if the final scene had revealed that the entire story was just Rainbow Dash’s self-insert fanfiction, and I’m inclined to agree – that would have been hilarious.

    Still, the episode does have its moments of brilliance. I love the parody of the Indiana Jones “traveling across the map” trope, with the reveal that Pinkie Pie is physically painting the line on the ground as they go. And the scene where Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash have an extended Daring Do geek-out session while the rest of the girls just stand there and watch awkwardly without anything to contribute to the conversation – I imagine so many friends of bronies have been in that exact same position so many times.

    • Sofie Liv

      That would make sense if it was Rainbow Dash’s self insert fanfiction.
      Because this is indeed, a very fanfic like plot! There are a lot of fanfics about “An ordinary girl, is thrown into x-world, and meets up with x, and they start a adventure/romance/special friendship together.”
      Yep, plenty of those exists out there.

      But it is admittedly nice to see the popular sports girl, geek compleately out over, you know.. geeky stuff.
      Right then and there, this show is all-ready more controversial than the big bang theory, where apparently.. only unattractive, male, in their thirties, looser types can be nerds.
      According to that show, if you are female or good looking, or popular, or like sports, or have another carrier than a geeky one, if you maybe are.. a mechanic? and have a healthy home life.. YOU CAN’T BE A NERD!

      .. and I went complete off topic there, but it’s just some-thing that occured to me after having written the article, that just made me go. “HEY!?”

      The episode is absolutely a lot of fun, if you can look past the weird message and the fanficy side of it, so well.. it’s innocent entertainment i guess. Little girls should love the episode as it stands, but it fails to reach any higher ground, so that is basically it.

  • Guest

    I absolutely loved this episode, the fact that the twists weren’t only for the other ponies, but also for the fans, in a true “wow I didn’t see that coming!-Indiana Jones-esque” type way, such as learning out that Daring is real. It changed my own perceptions of a long standing character in really cool and exciting way. I also wanted to comment to say that while randomly browsing this site looking for something else, it really made me happy to see ponies on the sidebar :D

  • Arturo Garza Flores

    -I honestly feel this is my new favorite Rainbow Dash episode.
    -Some people analyzing this episode can’t wrap their heads around the idea of Daring Do being a real character, but I think it’s a very good twist (it wasn’t spoiled before release, so that’s a big deal). It’s kind of silly in and of itself for a series of fantasy books to be as popular as we’re told they are in a world og magic, so having DD be real makes a lot of sense to me. It’s also cool how now we know that the Mane6 aren’t the only ones going around fighting evil creatures and saving Equestria.
    -RD and Twilight’s nerd-off is already one of my favorite MLP moments ever.
    -This feels like one of the very few times in the show so far when we get to explore a new area of Equestria (Tenochtitlan gets name-dropped like 3 times during the nerd-off, which makes me think that we were visiting the pony version of the ancient Aztec empire).
    -Rainbow Dash being a total dork is fantastic.
    -Even though it’s a bit off how the episode makes it so DD has to learn about working with others, I think the episode makes up for that with the lesson RD must learn. It’s very effective how RD, who’s always so confident and bold, suddenly feeling like she’s not good enough compared to someone else, and that she shouldn’t let that happen. If it was another character who had to learn this lesson, I don’t think it would’ve been as effective.

  • MichaelANovelli