Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 2, Episodes 16 & 17

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_17_readitandweepheartsandhoovesday_header.jpg

Rainbow discovers the magic of reading, and the Crusaders discover the danger of magic.

Season 2, Episode 16: "Read It and Weep"

click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_episodetitle.jpg
Rainbow Dash's dazzling feats of daredevilry have landed her in the hospital, as such things often will. She's less bothered by the injuries than she is by the inconvenience.

click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_01_howlongdoineedtoliehere.jpg
Especially since it's going to be all of a few days!
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_02_afewdaysminimum.jpg
Her friends' attempts to cheer her up fail,and it doesn't help that even in Equestria, hospitals are very gloomy places.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_03_andlookyouhavearoommate.jpg
Seeing a passing book cart, Twilight Sparkle grabs something she's sure Rainbow Dash will like: Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone, the first of the Daring Do novels! In hardcover, even!
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_04_thisisthefirststoryintheseries.jpg
Fiercely proud of her status as world class athlete (and nozzle), Rainbow Dash scoffs at the very idea of reading.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_05_reading_sforeggheadslikeyou.jpg
The fact that all her friends enjoy reading, not just the eggheaded Twilight, doesn't sway Rainbow. But as Twilight and the others are leaving for the day, Twilight plants an irresistible seed: An appeal to Rainbow's own awesomeness.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_06_ithinkyou_dlikedaring.jpg
Minutes tick by, the boredom finally gets to Rainbow Dash, and she realizes there's not a blessed thing to do except to read that dumb stupid book.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_07_givingthebookthehairyeyeball.jpg
She gives in ...

Though Rainbow Dash's CinemaScope vision of the book is clearly modeled after Raiders of the Lost Ark -- and the care taken by the animators to replicate the feel of projected 35mm film, down to the bleedthrough glow at the edges, makes me so very happy -- Daring Do, what with her pith helmet and faint whiff of colonialism, is more of a throwback to H. Rider Haggard's character Allan Quatermain, whose first appearance was in the 1885 (!) book King Solomon's Mines.

Indiana Jones is of course based on Quatermain with some James Bond and especially Doc Savage thrown in -- compare these Raiders pre-production sketches with the original Doc Savage magazine and paperback covers, plus Spielberg has always been open about James Bond's influence on Indiana Jones -- and Daring Do is descended from all of them. The fact that she's a mare is never addressed, because in Equestria, there's no reason why women can't be adventurers. That's only a problem in this world.

Just as the book is getting really good, Rainbow is interrupted by the arrival of Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle on an up-cheering mission. Desperate in equal measures to get back to her reading and not let anyone know that she's reading, Rainbow purposefully (and quickly) loses a round of her favorite board game.

click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_08_andthat_smylastcloud.jpg
A baffled Twilight and Fluttershy leave, and Rainbow happily returns to her reading. Judging from this YouTube compilation, the five cutaway scenes to Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone interspersed throughout the episode comprise a solid third of the running time -- and they tell a full, standalone story, too.

Back in the real world, Rainbow tries to do away with obstacles to her reading, like the aforementioned visit from Fluttershy and Twilight, and a later, similarly well-meaning intrusion by Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Applejack. Worst of all, Rainbow gets forcibly discharged from the hospital without getting to finish the book and/or smuggle it out.

click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_09_howwillieverfindoutwhathappenedtodaringdo.jpg
Sure, Twilight Sparkle has a copy of the book, but Rainbow's already burned that bridge.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_10_butican_taskheraftericalledheranegghead.jpg
Trying to get readmitted doesn't work, either.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_11_rainbowdashwhatareyoudoinghere.jpg
There's only one option left: A nighttime raid on the hospital, worthy of Daring Do herself ...
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_12_hospitalraid.jpg
... which leads to a nighttime chase even more worthy of Daring Do (and one which is far more organic to the theme and plot than, say, the climactic chase in "The Last Roundup").
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_13_rainbowswings.jpg
Caught, Rainbow confesses to both her nerdiness and her criminality.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_14_rainbowconfesses.jpg
Twilight chalks it up as a win.
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_15_iknewthebookwasgood.jpg
In the not-heard Shoehorn, Rainbow acknowledges that she shouldn't have been so judgmental about readers, and about reading in general ...
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_16_yeahigetit.jpg
... but she's not going to write the letter, not when there's a book to be finished (and when she can farm out the actual writing to a baby dragon).
click to enlarge sc_74_mlpfim_s02e16_17_youwritetheletteri_vegottafinishthisbook.jpg
At least Rainbow finally has her priorities straight -- I'd always rather read than write. (Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta write the next recap!)

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"