Jul 19, 2015
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?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.