Good afternoon everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! I'm sure you're all wondering why I'm posting my review of this latest episode so early. Well, while I normally always wait to write a review until after an episode has officially aired on Saturdays, I felt I had to make an exception this week since my girlfriend is briefly visiting me today and Saturday. If I waited, that'd leave me only Saturday evening and Sunday to catch up on this new episode and write my review on it, which is just more work and stress than I need. So without further ado, let's dive into "Daring Done?"!
So, how did this episode leave me feeling? Welllllllllllllllllll, something like this...
Very, very, very, very, VERY disappointed...
That moment you need both Peyton Manning and a dog that looks just like him to sum up how disappointed you are
Now do not mistake me, this episode is nowhere NEAR one of my least favorite ever in the entire show. Compared to a dumpster fire like "Hard to Say Anything," it's a bucking masterpiece. On its own this is just a very 'meh' episode, not that good, but not that bad either. HOWEVER, I still found myself disliking it more than most 'meh' episodes in this show, about as much as I would dislike an actually bad episode of the show. Why? Because like I said, it's an incredibly disappointing showing all the same. There was real potential here and some great ideas for what should have been at least a good, if not great, episode. It's nowhere near as infuriating in its disappointment as "Hard to Say Anything" was for blowing such a massive change in show canon with Big Mac getting into a relationship and all, but it is disappointing in these respects, which I will go through in detail.
DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!!
BTW, most of the pics in this review will probably be from the Somnambula segment, simply because that's really the only part of this episode I loved through and through
Disappointing Factor #1: We Don't Get Many Daring Do Episodes
One of the most charming aspects about MLP at this point in its run is that there is a wide bevvy of beloved supporting characters in it. These come in two varieties: (1) supporting characters who we see with a pretty steady degree of regularity, such as Cheerilee, Big Mac, the Cakes, the Princesses, etc., and (2) supporting characters who only appear on special occasions, even less so if they have celebrity VAs. A.K. Yearling/Daring Do is definitely the latter, but she shows up far more than beloved supporting characters like Cheese Sandwich or Countess Coloratura because her voice actress, Chiara Zanni, isn't a celebrity voice actor like those VAs are. This means she's become what I'd like to refer as a "special staple" on the show; she's not a regular main or supporting character, but she is a well-enough established element of the world that gets referenced so often, or flat out shows up enough, that she can be considered in her own way to be a staple of the show. While her appearances are still special occasions, you'd like for them to leave something of an impact on the show as well, even if they don't leave the biggest of impacts.
Normally this has been the case, to varying extents. Here, however, everything was handled so poorly that not really anyone came out looking better for it, including Daring Do. Plot points were forced and contrived to the point that I couldn't help but think that Daring Do could have probably figured out most of the problems she was facing on her own, especially considering what solutions she chose to come up with at the end. The idea of Daring's exploits having unintended consequences that make life harder for others is not a bad one, in fact it's a fairly well-explored theme in the superhero genre in general, but it was handled badly here for a number of reasons that I will get into later, including the fact that Daring simply couldn't figure out for most of the episode how to fix things (like I said, given what she figured out she should do, this shouldn't have been that hard to figure out). She created an existential crisis for herself when she really didn't have to, and her lack of resolute behavior made it come off as though she didn't have a handle on anything that was going on. Anytime the incredibly EASILY swayed crowd in Somnambula turned against her, she got sad, anytime they said something nice about her, she got happy; it's like the entire direction of her life, whether or not she retired, was hinging moment-by-moment on whether or not these ponies were in a good mood around her or when talking about her, it was ridiculous. Perhaps worst of all, however, was that absolutely NONE of the exploits Daring Do got up to here, even rescuing Rainbow Dash from a bucking pyramid, came off as epic or adventurous. It all felt watered down somehow, like a wilted flower, and for a character who has always excellently channeled the spirit of Indiana Jones, who in just her last appearance embarked on this amazingly fun and exciting adventure with Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants that involved puzzles, temple traps, and a giant bucking crocodile monster, for any of her adventures to come off as lame and empty of adventure is the biggest sin of all. By far this was the worst Daring Do episode to date, and seeing as this is a supporting character who only appears on special occasions, it is all the more disappointing because of that.
Disappointing Factor #2: Wasting a Cool Setting with a Great Background
So @Jeric and I were at first convinced that this ENTIRE setting was being ambiguously referred to as "southern Equestria" which really doesn't make sense for one bucking town to be called that, but when I consulted the MLP Wiki entry on this episode, I realized the town is called Somnambula. However, while that name makes sense, I'm not sure they actually said the name once in the episode (although I could be wrong); the only time I recall them even suggesting it was called that was when the one villager said that Somnambula was the town's namesake, but again, I may be wrong and may have to rewatch it again. Either way, at least it's not called southern Equestria, that name is bucking generic as hell, though I have no idea what Somnambula itself is supposed to refer to considering it is drawn from the word "somnambulism" which is just the scientific term for sleepwalking, and there wasn't one bucking thing in this whole episode even close to that.
Back to the issue at hand, this actually is a pretty cool setting, both visually and in its background. The idea of an Egyptian pony society (while a bit confusing considering all of these ponies in Equestria share the same country) is not a bad one in the slightest - though I will point out this was a missed opportunity to return to Saddle Arabia instead, I REALLY wanna see the Saddle Arabians again - and their looks, while a bit confusing given that they are clearly modern ponies in their garb but for some reason had ancient Egyptian eye paint, were pretty cool. Jeric even pointed out to me that one of the Somnambulans was wearing specifically an Egyptian hijab, not just a generic one, meaning somebody did their research in coming up with that look, and I give props for that attention to detail.
Say what I will about this episode, the Egyptian hijab is a very cool detail all in all!
I mean look at this, look at the bucking colors and gorgeous visuals in this one shot alone! AND ALL OF THIS GOT WASTED ON A THOROUGHLY MEH EPISODE?! For shame!!!
Even cooler is the town's background, which is easily the best part of this whole episode. Somnambula has a really great story around her (with some cool alternative animation at parts), and a unique personality to boot from what we saw; she seemed to have this very kind, hopeful demeanor, even resonating what I would call a natural nobility even though it seemed she wasn't an actual noble herself, or at least not part of the royal family. She was smart but also clearly brave, and didn't seem to rely too much on her brains or her brawn, but a healthy balance of all sorts of commendable qualities. The Sphinx itself was a bucking cool villain in its design, and my only gripe with both of them is that, for some reason, the show makers didn't bother to get either of them voice actors, and I think that's quite the missed opportunity; both of these characters could have sounded very unique, but instead all we got was the random village pony reading their lines, it was kind of annoying and distracting. But like I said, her whole backstory about rescuing Prince Hisan and saving her land from the Sphinx was awesome and honestly I wouldn't have complained if it was longer, and Somnambula is another great addition to the growing members of the Legends of Magic.
D'awwwwwwwwwww, who's a cute ancient Egyptian pony??? YOU ARE! YES, YOU ARE!!!
The problem is that, ultimately, this cool setting and background all came to nothing. The city itself felt minuscule, largely because it seemed they didn't utilize nearly as much of it as they could have, and considering this thing was right next to multiple pyramids, that's a bucking shame. We're talking about the first time ever we've gotten to see MLP's version of Indiana Jones in an EGYPTIAN-type setting... guys... in case you forgot, Raiders of the Lost Ark is still easily the best and most beloved Indiana Jones movie ever, and most of that takes place in Egypt!!! There are so many great Indiana Jones callbacks they could have done here, but instead most of the episode was spent with the main crew dawdling about listening to ponies waffle between praising Daring Do or bitching about her, hearing an awesome story that had no impact on the present events, and then embarking on a really stupid and underwhelming adventure inside a, if I'm being honest, really boring pyramid, and that's saying something considering it was a perfectly awesome setting in Somnambula's own backstory! Hell, even the stakes are lame! What do Daring Do, Rainbow, and Pinkie ultimately stop Dr. Caballeron from doing? Stealing a bunch of glowing topaz! Like, I know it has huge meaning to the townsponies, but c'mon, all they did was stop them from carrying a giant ass sack out of town, that's it! We didn't even get any kind of epic chase, they just confronted them like Scooby Doo and the gang would confront a monster about to get unmasked. While this setting had great potential, especially considering it does have a pretty awesome background, overall everything about how it was actually used was simply underwhelming and not particularly fun or exhilarating.
Disappointing Factor #3: Bad Editing and Bad Pacing
Wowwwwwwwwwww, was this episode ever a hot mess in the editing and pacing department! The biggest problem probably stems from the fact that we wasted five minutes of the episode opening up in Ponyville and then at A.K. Yearling's house (speaking of which, where the buck is it exactly that they got to it so quickly AND apparently A.K. Yearling for some reason gave this exclusive interview to, of all papers, the bucking Ponyville Chronicle? I thought she was a recluse living somewhere in northern Equestria, what the buck is she giving an exclusive interview to the town paper of one of Equestria's most podunk little towns when she should be telling this to, oh IDK, a paper in like Manehattan or something?!); I'll expand on this point about the opening later in the review, but from there it was all downhill. We didn't seem to get nearly enough exposure to the town of Somnambula itself, most likely as a result of those wasted opening five minutes, which in turn made the setting feel too small and confined; some scenes lasted too long or seemed to drag, others didn't seem to develop enough; and finally, as a result of the bad editing and pacing, laughably stupid things would occur, like Dr. Caballeron kidnapping Rainbow Dash when Pinkie Pie and Daring Do were LITERALLY 20 FEET AWAY!!! Oh yeah, we're gonna tear that bit of stupidity apart later.
Point is, everything about the pacing and editing in this episode (except, oddly enough, for Somnambula's story) felt off somehow, like it just wasn't right. It's not the worst I've ever seen in the show, but it is plenty of testament to how something seemingly as small or simple as getting the editing and pacing wrong in an episode can screw the whole pooch.
Disappointing Factor #4: Plot Contrivances and Poor Continuity
Good gravy, are there a shitload of plot contrivances and poor continuity in this episode! This is one of those cases where the plot contrivances and bad continuity honestly just get worse the longer the episode goes on, so I'm just going to list them off down below one by one. *deep breath* Let's begin!
(1) The aforementioned "where the buck does A.K. Yearling live" plot point. We see Pinkie and RD read about her retiring in the paper, and then cut to them running to her house, with no sense of how far they just traveled! Not only is this a poor transition, but it, compounded with the fact that A.K. spoke to the Ponyville Chronicle, makes it impossible to determine just how far she does live from Ponyville, or even where exactly in Equestria she lives.
(2) A.K. Yearling's inability to confront a very solvable problem. The fact that her actions as Daring Do are disrupting others lives in harmful ways is not a bad plot point, nor is her feeling bad about it bad; however, A.K. suffers an existential crisis from this fact that almost leads her to retire as Daring Do for good, when there are far better options available to her for confronting it which aren't all that hard to figure out, namely, using her considerable resources accrued from her Daring Do novel sales and royalties to pay for damages and costs she incurs in her adventuring! Given that this is exactly what she does at the end, the fact that she couldn't figure out she should do it before on her own is even more infuriating and stupid for it.
(3) The "A.K. Yearling is Daring Do and vice versa" plot point is finally falling apart as a result of some really shitty continuity in this episode. It was always an awkward situation, but I was able to believe that most ponies didn't know Daring Do was real because I always figured her adventures took her to far away lands outside of Equestria. I still thought it would make more sense if she acted like she was just reporting on the REAL adventures of Daring Do, not pretending to be a novelist, but that theory held up well enough. Well that all went out the window because of this episode, because Somnambula is a town in Equestria itself, meaning Daring Do does indeed adventure in Equestria. Even worse is the fact that A.K. Yearling tells Rainbow and Pinkie that southern Equestrian (and we have no idea how much of Equestria that's supposed to cover) don't know about her books since they're not sold there, so they don't know who A.K. Yearling is and that Daring Do is a popular fictional character. What this essentially means is that while ponies in "southern Equestria" know that Daring Do is real but don't know about the books about her written by A.K. Yearling, vice versa, in "northern Equestria" (again, no idea how much of Equestria that is supposed to cover) ponies don't know that Daring Do is real and think she's just a fictional character because of A.K. Yearling's books. This is a terribly stupid plot point resulting from really bad continuity more than anything else, and it makes every pony in Equestria look like idiots. I know they don't have the Internet, but this country is probably the most developed nation in its setting and is pretty well-interconnected by this point, so communication isn't that primitive. So you're telling me that in all these years, no northern Equestrians have ever told southern Equestrians about the Daring Do novels and, vice versa, no southern Equestrians have ever told northern Equestrians that Daring Do is real? Nope, can't buy that, it's too big of a leap in logic.
(4) The ponies of Somnambula are far too ridiculously easy to sway. Every single time both Rainbow Dash and Caballeron bring up a point for and against Daring Do, they agree with whoever's speaking, it's bucking annoying. I know it might be a joke about mob behavior, but if it is it isn't particularly executed that well or cleverly. On top of that, you're telling me that absolutely NONE of these ponies could recall seeing Ahuizotl on Daring's previous adventure there? The biggest reason I find that hard to believe is because he and Daring were responsible for the destruction of Somnambula's statue, which sits right in the middle of the whole bucking town, and not a single pony saw him at any point when that happened? That's a HUGE stretch right there.
(5) Nopony recognizes Caballeron when he's hiding under nothing but a cloak. I know that A.K. Yearling's disguise when she's not Daring Do is fairly simple, but it at least has multiple pieces of clothing (hat, cloak, very big glasses) and is convincing enough considering how much of her it conceals. Caballeron, however, wears nothing but a cloak and his INCREDIBLY distinct five-o'-clock shadow is still visible even when he has it on. You're telling me that RD, Pinkie, and bucking Daring Do, his archnemesis, didn't at any point recognize him under that?
(6) Rainbow Dash gets captured in the absolutely stupidest way possible... BECAUSE SHE FORGETS THAT SHE CAN FLY!!! It doesn't help that the abduction wasn't even particularly well handled considering (1) his henchmen just pop up out of nowhere and (2) THEY'RE STANDING 20 BUCKING FEET AWAY FROM DARING DO AND PINKIE PIE WHEN THEY ABDUCT RAINBOW, but for obvious reasons, the most egregious bit of forced plot in all of this stupidity is Rainbow forgetting that not only she can just fly away from them, but she just so happens to be a little thing called, oh, THE FASTEST FLYER IN ALL OF EQUESTRIA!!!!!!! There's really no getting around or justifying this one, it was just stupidity for the sake of moving the plot forward.
Rainbow Dash: She... just didn't feel like trying that day
(7) The pyramid rescue is a bucking joke and completely undermines the message of "having hope." Having hope does, admittedly, sometimes mean you have to take a leap of faith in certain things, BUT that's not all that it means. Hope is so much more than just about taking a leap of faith, and holding onto it does much more for someone than convince them to take chances. On top of that, this show has done the "you have to take a leap of faith" lesson before all the way back in Season 1's "Feeling Pinkie Keen," and frankly it was much better handled there. Here, they jumped down into a slime pit to their doom without any plan or reason to think this would work whatsoever and got BUCKING LUCKY!!! What did they find at the bottom, you may ask? Oh, just these bizarre contraptions that, for some unknown reason, blow puffs of air that are strong enough to float them across the gap! What? Don't you know those are super common in ancient deathtrap temples?! This plot device is one of the worst, most forced deus ex machinas I have seen in some time, and in fact it's so bad that it even ruins the Somnambula story to a certain extent. For starters, why would they even make these? What purpose were they actually supposed to serve? As far as I could tell, the bridge was supposed to be the only way across the pit, but because they have these in there, there's essentially no threat if one fell off the bridge or it wasn't there. Why would someone build a deathtrap slime pit if it wasn't supposed to be, ya know, an actual deathtrap??? Second, they shouldn't have needed to take a leap of faith at all if those were down there. I don't know how they could have possibly missed those devices considering they were clearly poking out of the slime below, so Pinkie and Daring should have been able to determine that they could just use those. Finally, while this doesn't have to do with the devices themselves, why was that "no flight" spell still in the pyramid? It really shouldn't have been after all of those years considering I was under the impression that the Sphinx just put that spell on Somnambula alone in that particular moment. To make matters worse, why did Dr. Caballeron tell Daring Do that the spell was there at all? He could have let her try to fly to save Rainbow and fall to her doom instead, problem solved! Overall, this whole climax was just one giant clusterbuck of stupidity and some of the biggest plot contrivances I've ever seen in this show.
Disappointing Factor #5: Bad Character Writing and Utilization
This point applies largely to the main characters. I've already detailed how A.K. Yearling/Daring Do clearly shouldn't have been so troubled by the unintended consequences of her actions that she simply decided the best thing would be for her to retire; she's been doing this for years, and she's a very different character than Rainbow Dash is. Whereas Rainbow Dash has always been impulsive, Daring seems like she's a healthier balance of adventurous, but also thoughtful and considerate. The very fact that these reports bothered her so much are proof of that. She's a successful novelist at that, and her adventuring requires a great amount of intelligence (not that Rainbow Dash isn't smart, but Daring Do seems like she's about as book smart as she is street smart), so she should have been able to conclude on her own that a sound way to fix the trouble she'd caused would have been simply paying for the damages and costs she'd incurred. Beyond that, she just wasn't particularly engaging to watch in general; she spent most of the episode moping, and the little actual adventuring she did wasn't really exciting at all. Always a shame to see such a good supporting character wasted here like Daring was.
Pinkie Pie was fine for what she contributed, heck, she seemed to be acting of sounder mind here than Rainbow Dash was and offered some solid advice to Daring Do. Her presence was a tad confusing but I'll get into that later. Dr. Caballeron did unnecessarily stupid things like tell Daring Do that she couldn't fly inside the pyramid, or kidnap Rainbow Dash when Daring Do was standing 20 feet away; he may be traditionally an over-the-top villain, but he's still been competent enough in the past.
However, by far the absolutely worst character here was none other than Rainbow Dash, both in her writing and very utilization. Rainbow may be impulsive, but she also loves solving a mystery, ESPECIALLY if Daring Do is involved. A dilemma like the one Daring faced required talking to ponies face-to-face and figuring out what their problems were, and what they needed to fix in order for them to be cool with Daring again. What does she spend most of the episode doing? Ignoring what the ponies of Somnambula are mad about and just loudly insisting that they should love Daring Do because she's "so awesome and cool!" It gets so bad that she straight up insults their own culture and belittles the statue of Somnambula as being crummy when she doesn't even know anything about why it means so much to them! I forgive this point only a little bit since she does seem to understand why they care about it so much after they've explained the story of Somnambula to her, but still, as a historian myself I know what a culturally insensitive thing it is to simply belittle another person's culture, especially when you don't know thing one about it. Rainbow Dash was acting like an idiotic Daring Do fangirl here, doing nothing but cheerleading for Daring Do for most of the episode in the most superficial of ways, which really isn't the kind of support Daring Do needed. She needed real friends who were ready to support her but also give her good advice and figure out how to address some truly genuine concerns. But instead she got Fangirl Dash, and considering just a few episodes ago we got an entire episode in "Fame and Misfortune" where the writers specifically called out and condemned the worst type of fanboy behavior in all kinds of nerdy fandoms, RD's behavior here feels hypocritical and in many ways makes "Fame and Misfortune" worse. Another point that makes "Fame and Misfortune" worse is simply the fact that RD's outing Daring Do as being A.K. Yearling in their journal wasn't what caused A.K. Yearling to retire; @Jeric and I both agreed that if that'd been the case it would have been a cool bit of continuity from that episode, but instead it's now clear that the show is simply ignoring that ever even happened, which makes "Fame and Misfortune" even less consequential to the show's continuity and canon than it already was.
The worst part about RD, besides her poor writing in general (let's not forget while we're at it her forgetting how to fly, I mean, seriously) was that she didn't even have to be in this episode. She didn't really help Daring figure out to never stop having hope even if she made mistakes, that was mostly Pinkie and the story of Somnambula, and Somnambula wasn't even her Legends of Magic analogue, we already got that in Flash Magnus just a couple of episodes ago. So why did they include Rainbow Dash here? Simple, because it was a Daring Do episode and for some reason the writers feel like Rainbow is the only one of the Mane 6 who absolutely MUST be involved in any Daring Do episode. Frankly, that's a policy that I disagree with and I'll go into more details about that in the next section. But Daring Do is not some mirror image of Rainbow Dash, there's a ton more to her than that, so I don't see why other members of the Mane 6 can't just as easily adventure with her as well. Unfortunately, DHX clearly doesn't see it that way, and as a result RD just felt out of place in this story the whole time; she didn't really contribute anything, she only made matters worse for Daring, and the writers were forced to make her behave very stupidly in order to set up a very forced climax. Overall, this episode simply would have been far better if Rainbow Dash wasn't here at all, and if the show insisted she had to be, then she should have at least been acting far smarter and more considerate than she was here.
OK, at first glance she may look like a terrifying, tyrannical pony Sphinx, BUT...
...I bet in reality she's just a cute widdle giant bird-cat pony who wants some belly rubs!
What the Episode Could Have and Should Have Been
As you can see, while the overall product we got in this episode was simply 'meh,' all of the meh elements in this episode make for a very unlikable product, far more unlikable than it should be. The worst part of this entire episode, as I said earlier, is that this could have at the very least been a good, if not great episode; the pieces were all there, they just simply didn't come together. A few changes, some minor, some major, would have given us something far better than we got, and so below I'm going to detail what direction I truly believe this episode should have taken instead.
First of all, Rainbow Dash simply shouldn't have been the main character here. In fact, you don't even need to start it in Ponyville. The whole episode should have started in Somnambula so that we didn't waste five minutes outside of this setting itself, allowing the characters more time to explore this setting. Pinkie Pie could possibly still be there, but other candidates for supporting Mane 6 character could include Rarity (who would be well equipped to help with this dilemma) or Twilight (who really should be able to go on an adventure of her own with Daring Do, especially considering she's been a fan of hers far longer than Rainbow Dash has been).
That said, the only pony who absolutely should have been there of the Mane 6, whether another Mane 6 member was accompanying her or not, is Fluttershy. For starters, it seems like she'd be better equipped to deal with this sort of problem; she's kind, considerate, and very much capable of listening to others but still offering helpful advice after she has heard their concerns. She could have been traveling to Somnambula for her own personal reasons, possibly to see some type of exotic creature, and while there she could overhear how much the locals didn't like Daring Do. After running into A.K. Yearling, she could explain to Fluttershy why the locals don't like her; Fluttershy would listen, be very supportive since she knows how to be kind and considerate to those struggling with some kind of personal dilemma, but also be in a prime position to help Daring confront this. They'd start going around, with Fluttershy asking others to explain why exactly they don't like Daring Do; she wouldn't impulsively shout them down any time they raised a concern, but patiently and quietly listen, possibly offering some gentle counterpoints now and then. She'd probably even be able to advise Daring on how to fix this situation after hearing their concerns.
Secondly, Fluttershy just seems to be a far closer analogue to Somnambula than Pinkie Pie or Rainbow Dash are. After carefully thinking about it I'm pretty sure that Somnambula is supposed to be Pinkie's analogue from the Legends of Magic as opposed to Rainbow's, considering Flash Magnus is clearly hers, but frankly it's hard to see the connection in Pinkie's case too. I think it's supposed to stem from Somnambula spreading hope to others being comparable to how Pinkie, when she puts smiles on the faces of others, spreads hope to them, but to be honest that's not enough of a connection for me. While it's obvious that Mage Meadowbrook, a healer, will probably be Fluttershy's analogue, I think she clearly has far more in common with Somnambula than Pinkie Pie does. Somnambula may have been good at spreading hope to others in ways similar to how Pinkie does, but she also seemed somewhat quiet, reserved, thoughtful, and had this very natural nobility and grace to her demeanor and how she carried herself; watching her story play out, I was far more reminded about Fluttershy's character arc than I was Pinkie's. Fluttershy gives hope to others too in her kind, considerate behavior, and is usually very thoughtful in her actions. Hell, she has a very similar natural grace to how she carries herself just as Somnambula does, which ponies like Rarity and Photo Finish have pointed out in the past. Overall, it just felt like, after watching this, that Fluttershy would have been far more comparable to Somnambula than Pinkie Pie is supposed to be.
Finally, having Fluttershy here would have gotten extra brownie points from me for simply being unique. As I said earlier, why should we have this rule that Rainbow Dash MUST show up in any Daring Do episode? Daring Do is beloved by ponies all over Equestria, whether or not they know she's real, and this includes multiple members of the Mane 6, all of whom have technically adventured with her at least once and are thus friends of hers just like Rainbow Dash is. RD contributed virtually nothing to the plot here and was downright unbearable at times, but having Daring go on an adventure with another member of the Mane 6 (or even a couple, like Fluttershy and Rarity or Fluttershy and Twilight) would have mixed things up a bit, giving this episode a distinct, unique element distinguishing it from all other Daring Do episodes. It's a shame the writers didn't consider this and instead went with the easier, lazier, more predictable route of giving Rainbow Dash the spotlight in another Daring Do episode, even though she really didn't deserve it here and only distracted from both the main problem as well as Pinkie Pie, who did far more to help Daring Do solve her personal dilemma than RD did at all.
Other elements that could have been different as a result of these changes are (1) the town of Somnambula could have been more thoroughly explored if the episode had started there from the very beginning, (2) more adventurous elements could have and should have been added, including actual callbacks to Indiana Jones, particularly Raiders of the Lost Ark, (3) plot points wouldn't have necessarily felt so forced or contrived if characters had simply been approaching them more smartly and subtly, (4) with more time in Somnambula, Somnambula's own story could have been expanded upon to a certain extent, and (5) both Daring and the townsponies should have been gradually convinced that things weren't as bad as they thought and that there were good ways they could both resolve the problems they were facing and come to appreciate each other more. All of these new elements would have most likely resulted in a far better episode, one which was at the very least good, if not great, in its premise and execution.
Unfortunately, that's not what we got. While most meh episodes in this show are simply forgettable, this one left a particularly bad taste in my mouth simply because of how much of its potential it failed to realize. It's hardly one of my least favorite episodes of the show ever, but it is one of the biggest disappointments the show's ever had, at least for me. With so much unrealized potential, this is a real shame, but it thankfully doesn't take away from the great things that this season has already done and will continue to do I'm sure. That's all I've got for you today, everypony, until next time this is Batbrony signing off! I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit*
Huh... apparently the word of today for this episode is 'kinky'