If you've been a longtime reader of my reviews, you should know by now that I am not particularly fond of Rainbow Dash based episodes. Whether it's another episode where she has to choose who to be loyal to (Even though we should be past this thing already) like in Rainbow Falls. Having a major drinking problem with cider as shown in Bats! or in Castle Sweet Castle. Or being flat out stupid and thoughtless like in Trade Ya!. Regardless of how the MLP writers think Spike is hard to write, Rainbow is easily the most inconsistent character in the show. At times she is written beautifully like in Wonderbolt Academy, Sonic Rainboom, and Sleepless in Ponyville for a few examples. But she's been written so poorly and is all over the place.
So with another Rainbow Dash episode, I wasn't that thrilled. But this time, they are having Rainbow do something with a pet that hasn't had much screen time since season 3, Tank. I think it's actually good Rainbow is actually doing something with Tank instead of him being on the sidelines again. Our writer this time is a returning veteran who wasn't part of the team in season 4, Cindy Morrow. I am not that fond of her, particularly because of how she writes Spike episodes, and has stated she doesn't like him. But it's a Rainbow Dash episode, and Morrow did a good job with Read It and Weep. So how does our first Rainbow episode hold up? Well let's dig in and find out.
We open to the open skies of Ponyville, where Rainbow is flying with Tank. She sees Cloudsdale is approaching Ponyville (I didn't think that it could move at all) and tells Tank about all the fun they're going to have this winter. Tank responds with a yawn, much to Rainbow's concern and somewhat irritation. When she asks Twilight, she thinks nothing of it, but Rainbow isn't so sure.
We cut to Fluttershy's cottage, where she does a diagnoses on Tank. She tells Rainbow nothing is wrong, but says Tank is going to hibernate for the winter. Rainbow doesn't believe it, but Fluttershy show Rainbow a book about animals that hibernate. In denial, and some anger, Rainbow tells Fluttershy off that she's wrong. You know you got to feel bad for Fluttershy. Once again she's ignored, despite having a lot of animal knowledge. First in Bats! and now this. Is everypony going to just ignore Fluttershy about her amazing animal knowledge?
So Rainbow takes Tank to a "real reptile expert". Who is it? Why it's Spike! Rainbow asks him if Tank needs to hibernate, but Spike says that what Fluttershy said was true. She points out that he and Tank are like twins, but Spike disagrees with it, and tells her that Tank will have to hibernate. Rainbow then angrily leaves the room. Two things I will say I liked about this scene. One, Morrow didn't make Spike to some big butt monkey. Two, we see he actually has a room!derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/4/2…
I got to say it suits him well.
So Rainbow goes back outside, and pretends like everything is fine. However, Pinkie notices Tank is sleeping on the ground. Pinkie mentions that Tank is getting ready to hibernate, but Rainbow comes in and yells at her. Twilight and the others notice, and try to calm Rainbow down, but she doesn't have any of it. She yells at them that everything is fine, with the most convincing face in the world.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/4/2…
Yeah, that doesn't scream anger.
Rainbow goes home with Tank, and notices he's getting sleepier. She thinks that because it's winter, Tank will hibernate. So she vows to stop winter from coming at all. Rainbow, I don't like winter a lot either, but I have to say one thing.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/4/2…
I couldn't resist that.
So Rainbow takes Tank with her to stop winter from coming. We get ourselves a clever joke here that's a take on the whole "Who's on first" thing. It's very clever, and actually did make me laugh, Also, It's here we get Rainbow's first solo song. I do admit, despite Rainbow being the weakest of the singers in terms of the main characters, this is actually some of her strongest singing. It doesn't sound off key, or flat like in Castle Sweet Castle. I will say that the song is mostly about how much she loves Tank, but it makes it sounds like she likes him a little too much. It's hard for me to explain, but that's what I'm getting. Still, it's a cute song, and some of Rainbow's best singing. All throughout the song, we see Rainbow messing things up for winter from leading geese back north, to destroying clouds.
Unfortunately for Rainbow, all her work was for nothing as things are still going on schedule. She then sees Cloudsdale floating nearby, and decides to stop winter at the source by sabotaging the weather factory. So Rainbow is now doing what could be acts of terrorism. Smooth. Her and Tank sneak in, and I got to say that I do like seeing more of Cloudsdale around, especially the weather factory. We haven't seen this place since Sonic Rainboom. While Tank is tied up to a lamp, Rainbow flies around to find a way to stop winter from coming. She finds a large water container and decides to dump it.
Tank flies off while asleep though and breaks several things. Rainbow tries to stop this, but ends up getting getting hurt. She crashes into a snow barrel and turns into a snowpony. She crashes into a closet of lightning bolts that all go off and zap her. She gets sucked into the cloud machine. Even Tank's leash gets caught in a fan. Eventually, the place goes haywire and begins to collapse. Rainbow grabs Tank and tries to get away, but gets sucked into a the fan and are sent into a giant snowball. The rest of the factory explodes. So Rainbow not only destroyed a factory, but damaged a good portion of her own home town. Again, smooth job. Back in Ponyville, Twilight notices what's going on and makes a Game of Thrones reference.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/4/2…
The snowball launches out of the funnel. Twilight tells everypony to run for it, but it's too late. The snowball hits the ground and causes an explosion.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/4/2…
So after causing a nuclear winter, Rainbow goes home with Tank, and is depressed. Her friends decide to come by and help cheer her up. It's here we also learn something interesting about Rainbow's house.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/4/2…
Apparently, you can walk through the walls. Or maybe Pinkie is taking lessons from Nightcrawler. I don't know. Does that mean Rainbow's roof and walls don't protect her from hail, rain, and snow?
Rainbow shrugs her friends off, but Fluttershy, in a rather ballsy move, goes over and flat out tells her friend that her winter will be petless. This leads to Rainbow breaking down and crying (I believe this is the first time we've ever seen Rainbow actually cry) about her missing Tank. Fluttershy, Pinkie, and Rarity join in to share Rainbow's sorrow. When Twilight asks why Applejack doesn't join in, Pinkie remarks that she cries on the inside.
Now I know this is supposed to be an emotional scene and all, but I feel this scene didn't hit it right. They tried to make this a touching scene, which I appreciate, but I felt they tried too hard here. I think this could've worked out better had they had Rainbow Dash crying quietly. With her crying loudly, it makes it more awkward than touching.
After finishing crying, Rainbow thanks her friends for all their help. We cut back to the ground, and see that Spike has a new skill.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/4/2…
Spike: future figure skating champion.
Rainbow comes back down with Tank, and says her goodbye to him, along with all her friends. Tank goes to a pile of dirt, and buries himself in it. While the girls go back to doing winter fun, Rainbow decides to stay with Tank a little longer. And so our episode ends with Rainbow reading Tank a bed time story since he always needs one it seems.
So how did this episode stack up? Well I will give this episode credit that it's not another Rainbow must chose who to be loyal to. It does actually have some pretty good character development on Rainbow. It's nice to see she cares a lot about Tank, and how much she loves him.
The jokes were also pretty good. I loved the take on "Who's on first?" gag. You don't see that too often. The literal nuclear winter was hilarious. Rainbow's faces were just priceless. The reference to Game of Thrones was also pretty good. There were a lot of laughs here.
The story is decent at best. It does a pretty nice job of showing the 5 stages of grief with Rainbow dealing with Tank. However, I feel Rainbow was being kind of a jerk through most of the episode. I guess you can argue Rainbow was going through those 5 stages, so that's why. I argue though that Rainbow was going a little too far on this. She KNOWS what she's doing is wrong, but goes with it anyway. I know Rainbow can be reckless, but not to this extent. She basically destroyed the source of weather in Equestria for her pet. Who knows how long it could take to fix it? Hell, we don't even see if she was punished for what she did. I think it's implied that she had to bring winter to every town to make up for it, but it's not entirely known. And again, this is Rainbow's HOME TOWN. Home of the Wonderbolts and the primary weather factory, and she pretty much blows it up. Rainbow's kids' kids will need to pay for the damages she caused.
Another thing I didn't like was that, as some pointed out, that this episode should've taken place earlier. What I mean is that this should've happened shortly after Rainbow got Tank. We've seen the ponies in winter before, and after Rainbow got Tank. I feel this episode should've been done either in season 2, or season 3. Not wait until season 5. It's out of place if you ask me.
The song was some of Rainbow's best singing, but I wouldn't call it one of my all time favorites. It's cute and all, but Rainbow is not exactly my favorite singer, and it makes it sound like Rainbow loves Tank a little too much.
But compared to other Rainbow episodes like Trade Ya!, Daring Don't, and other roles in other episodes, this is a decent Rainbow Dash episode. It has some good character development for Rainbow. The jokes were good. And the story, despite it being really weird in a lot of places, was fine.
Join me next time as we go back to Appleoosa, where the CMC try to catch a wanted pony.
FINAL SCORE: 7.5 out of 10
Your thoughts on today's episode?