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Were you disappointed about Rainbow Dash's Wonderbolts arc?


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I think what Rainbow Dash has always been talking about in earlier seasons was the Wonderbolts. It's like phase 2 of her character arc, and it's like Twilight becoming a princess. She was supposed to be a Wonderbolt one day, but I think she became less interesting after joining the Wonderbolts, which is a shame because there was so much potential.

Are disappointed at the character arc and what the show did with the character? If so, what were you expecting? Tell me what you think.

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I more or less liked it, or at least didn't dislike it. Definitely flawed in places though. Breaking it down...

We start in Season 1 with her just idolising them from a distance - but then receiving opportunities to get closer to them. (And the first glitch in the plot comes here, with the Gala meeting acknowledging parts of Sonic Rainboom but glossing over others.) They seem like nice, cool ponies.

Season 2 we probably get the least of them, but the bits we get are OK.

Wonderbolts Academy was solid for the most part - Dash got to both learn a lesson and give the complacent system a jolt, and contrasting her with the similar-but-immoral Lightning Dust helped clarify her own more noble nature.

Rainbow Falls is, in my eyes, one of the most unfairly maligned episodes in the whole show. Here RD really got to see her heroes off their pedestal, and she made the right choice and inspired them to do the same. You get the feeling that no, the Wonderbolts might not be quite as awesome as they sell themselves - and why should exellence of physical skill cocur with moral excellence? - but with Rainbow Dash's help, maybe they could be.

Testing 123 isn't so big with the moral growth, but it is a big tangible step in the arc at least - and the Reserves a good way of giving us progress while stretching things out a bit more.

Rarity Investigates lets us actually see her work as a Reserve, and invites us to compare her the other ambitious Mane whose career is also progressing. Unfortunately, it does involve more questionable Wonderbolt behaviour, so one can see why fans might start to wonder if her joining was worthwhile.

The arc culminated in Newbie Dash, which was understandably controversial. Not that the promotion came in the teaser and the rest of the episode was about dealing with it - I loved that. But rather, thaty said "dealing with" centered around the contentious topic of hazing, ensuring that some people were not going to like it. Still, I thought it turned out OK in the end.

That was pretty much it as far as the arc went. Despite long-time fan speculation that Rainbow could never become a Wonderbolt because it would mean leaving Ponyville, it turned out to be a surprisngly part-time job, serving as an occasional backdrop to Rainbow-focused scenes and even entire episodes like Top Bolt. We never quite see her make captain or even vice-captain, but then those probably are full-time jobs so it's understandable she waits until post-show.    

  

 

 

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I was mostly disappointed about Scootaloo's arc, with her being so interested in Rainbow Dash just to drop that, and then later also be "controlled" by her parent's stupidity.

So it is basically a disappoint situation that started with Rainbow Dash and her Wonderbolt situation to being with.

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15 minutes ago, Splashee said:

I was mostly disappointed about Scootaloo's arc, with her being so interested in Rainbow Dash just to drop that, and then later also be "controlled" by her parent's stupidity.

So it is basically a disappoint situation that started with Rainbow Dash and her Wonderbolt situation to being with.

Er, I don't recall her stopping idolising Rainbow. They had a bit of a falling out in The Washouts, but it was fine by the end.

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Eh.  All I wanted to see was her make it on the Wonderbolts.  So there’s not much I could be disappointed about unless she got kicked off. 

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Disappointed. Just as you mention, her becoming a wonderbolt is to twilight becoming a princess. It should have been a thing to happen way farther in the show.

In dash's case, is understandable she has more spare time. At least where I am from, being a reserve in the army or airforce pretty much means you're a civillian unless called by them in a situation that requires of the reserves.

However, it kind of feels off, more so since she does some stuff in behalf of the wonderbolts than what she probably should.

Breaking that distance between dash and the wonderbolts was rushed at best, and once again, it should have been an event for the last season. Letting it happen early on ruins the whole arc (not as bad as with princess twilight). You don't solve the whole character arc mid show. Look at yu gi oh. The pharaoh's past arc was solved until the end. Look at adventure time. Simon's arc was solved until the very end. Look at Avatar the legend of Aang. The 4 elements control arc was solved at the last season.

The biggest goals of a character or its real motivations are better off finished by the end of a show. If you solve things early on, the character becomes filler for the show.

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7 minutes ago, Jesse Terrence said:

 

Breaking that distance between dash and the wonderbolts was rushed at best, and once again, it should have been an event for the last season. Letting it happen early on ruins the whole arc (not as bad as with princess twilight).

It was dragged out for six seasons already - only so slow they could go without it seeming like she was stalled.

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21 minutes ago, Latecomer said:

It was dragged out for six seasons already - only so slow they could go without it seeming like she was stalled.

Guess another problem we had was how ambiguous the wonderbolts are.

Are they part of equestria's army or something? A special branch of the guards? What are their functions, anyway?

We have no clue on what do they do nor how a career relates to them. The show made it look like you just sign up, get on boot camp and congrats, you're a wonderbolt. To be airforce they are far too lax, and to be whole time entertainers the militar motif feels out of place. I know airforces have entertainers and subdivisions dedicated to airshows, but there's a career behind, and Dash' was rushed to complete the thing in 2 or 3 episodes at much. That's what makes it so disappointing.

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16 minutes ago, Jesse Terrence said:

Guess another problem we had was how ambiguous the wonderbolts are.

Are they part of equestria's army or something? A special branch of the guards? What are their functions, anyway?

We have no clue on what do they do nor how a career relates to them. The show made it look like you just sign up, get on boot camp and congrats, you're a wonderbolt. To be airforce they are far too lax, and to be whole time entertainers the militar motif feels out of place. I know airforces have entertainers and subdivisions dedicated to airshows, but there's a career behind, and Dash' was rushed to complete the thing in 2 or 3 episodes at much. That's what makes it so disappointing.

Don't forget the written test and year or two in the reserves.

Show seemed to go for them being military, but I was never that into that - they're basically a stunt team. And RD is good at stunts, so once she had learned to be a team player it was just a matter of waiting for a spot to open up.  

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I was.

Dash's idols were revealed as a bunch of cut throat, scheming, sophomoric bullies. And by the end of it all she's just, okay with it? 

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Very disappointed.

22 minutes ago, Denim&Venöm said:

I was.

Dash's idols were revealed as a bunch of cut throat, scheming, sophomoric bullies. And by the end of it all she's just, okay with it? 

Yup my thoughts exactly

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39 minutes ago, Denim&Venöm said:

I was.

Dash's idols were revealed as a bunch of cut throat, scheming, sophomoric bullies. And by the end of it all she's just, okay with it? 

The Newbie Dash episode is honestly what put me off from RD's Wonderbolts arc. It was just such a poorly written episode with a poorly written lesson that contradicts the episode anyways. The whole episode was over Rainbow Dash trying to stand out because of her embarrassing nickname and trying to suppress her emotions, while most of the story could have been resolved had she acted on her embarrassment and stood out by explaining her issues sooner.

Rainbow Falls was another poorly written episode, too. The intended lesson was that one should be loyal to one's friends, but RD never gets the chance to properly express her problems, and Twilight acts with hostility towards RD and guilt-trips for practicing with the other team rather than try to understand her motives. It's just a very unfair dilemma for RD.

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Very much so. Dash grew up wanting to be a Wonderbolts and becoming part of the team. Instead, these Wonderbolts try their best to not be the likeable idols that Dash hopes they are and more like repulsive figures that we don’t want our kids to grow up becoming.

Rainbow Falls: lying to Soarin’ just so they can dump him from their Cloudesdale team for Dash.

Investigates: presuming guilt against R.D. without any clear evidence. By far the worst flaw of the episode.

Newbie Dash: hazed their newest recruit without ever letting her in the know of their malignant culture.

WA and Testing Testing are the only two episodes directly affecting her arc that are worthwhile in any shape or form. As if RF was their previous worst appearance; the hazing implications and how the episode bullies Dash for being extremely sensitive of their culture makes it worse.

2 hours ago, Anneal said:

Twilight acts with hostility towards RD and guilt-trips for practicing with the other team rather than try to understand her motives.

The big thing that really sours Twilight in RF isn’t even the guilt-tripping, but the sour reasons she gives. Betraying Ponyville, possibly disqualifying Ponyville (who has no guarantee of being in any of the other events) completely out of the Games, coming to practice at all would be pointless, going back on her promise to help Fluttershy and Bulk qualify (a line implicates that SHE joined them), and betraying Scootaloo would be better reasons.

 

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(edited)

Yes.

I don't know who thought making The Wonderbolts jerks was a good idea but Rainbow Dash's continued loyalty to them hurt my opinion of her, TBH.

Edited by Sparklefan1234
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8 hours ago, AppleButt said:

Eh.  All I wanted to see was her make it on the Wonderbolts.  So there’s not much I could be disappointed about unless she got kicked off. 

Same with me. 

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I have a laundry list of what went wrong, but what I probably hate the most is that by S6, the writers made it really obvious that they didn't give a shit about this arc(otherwise they wouldn't have let Newbie Dash). First 5 years of build up were pretty solid despite some hiccups like Rainbow Falls, but episodes like Sonic Rainboom, WBA, Testing, and Rarity Investigates were some of the best of their respective seasons, in some cases the entire show, but there was often something always off with the portrayal of the Wonderbolts they could never recover from with them coming off as assholes not really up to stuff. But ultimately I wasted 5 years of my life for build up that accumulated into one big middle finger of a milestone, with the writers doubling down on everything wrong with the portrayal of the Wonderbolts up to that point, making them outright bullies hazing RD and having the audacity to say they were in the right and justify their bullying, because fuck you for actually expecting something of merit to actually happen. Say what you want about Rainbow Falls, at the very least it felt like that episode was written with good intentions. To this day I'm still waiting for an apology for this damn episode, but at this point I doubt it'll ever happen. Everything points to the writers just wanting to insult the audience, from the leaks showing that the original plans by both Polsky and Rapp actually wanting to make something meaningful, to fucking Hasbro actually calling this shit out, acknowledging the hazing and how unpleasant it is only to fall on deaf ears, to Big Jim publicly bailing Twitter a day before the episode came out which really shows that even he had no faith in the episode, to the absolute silence towards the episode by the staff despite supposedly being a turning point, apart from Josh Haber thinking he's funny trying to joke about Spitfire's stupid nickname(and what's probably worse is that this little rant could apply to just about 90% of her episodes S6 onwards). But I think the biggest insult from this arc, is the fact that after Newbie Dash, is the fact that they never did anything with this status quo change, they never try to actually put effort into the rest of the team to make them stand out, they never actually do anything interesting with RD's status as a WB, only to be used as backdrops for other plots or more interesting episodes and nothing more like Parental Glideance, Top Bolt, and The Washouts(which I still think are great episodes don't get me wrong). Heck, I headcanon that RD never told her parents because the episode was so awful that she doesn't want to tell anyone about it. In comparison we had multiple episodes of the CMC finding out what to do after getting their Cutie Marks, Twilight had entire fucking seasons building up to both her ascension and becoming a princess, Rarity had multiple episodes expanding her business in the same damn season because Haber had a raging hard on for her, Big Mac and Sugar Belle had lots of attention and build up to make sure their arc had all of their undue attention because it was their own fucking idea so of course they're actually gonna put effort into it. Hell Fluttershy's Sanctuary came out of nowhere it still felt like it got more care. But oh, you want Rainbow Dash's WB arc to have effort and heart put into it like everyone else? lol well aren't you fucking stupid! And then they have the audacity to fucking make her Captain in the finale without ever actually letting us see it happen, meanwhile wasting her episode on dumb garbage they knew no one would like or care about and never bringing up the WBs for one more episode. Oh but it's okay, RD became Captain in the end even though we put absolutely no effort into it. Fuck you

And just to show how bad of a job they did, freaking IDW has given her arc more love and care than the main show ever did, they do all of the interesting things people actually wanted to see, them going on adventures and missions, they actually make individual members likeable and give them personality, they actually feel like RD's friends. Given how much shit they gave RD when they first started, it speaks volumes when they do her arc more justice. And you know what? When it came to shitting on her, at least IDW was fucking honest about it, they didn't try to hype episodes they knew full well no one would like, or tell us everyone would get a very emotional and satisfying send off in the final season, and then waste RD's episodes on garbage like buckball, shitting on RD to make the student six look better, or ruining Daring Do further

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I sometimes wish that Rainbow Dash quit the Wonderbolts and brought back the Shadowbolts and became the leader. Not so much like being an evil group that serves Nightmare Moon and being against Celestia, but it seems that somewhat Luna wanted her own flying team.

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7 hours ago, Jesse Terrence said:

Guess another problem we had was how ambiguous the wonderbolts are.

Are they part of equestria's army or something? A special branch of the guards? What are their functions, anyway?

They are circus ponies.

 

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1 hour ago, Sepul-Coloratura said:

I sometimes wish that Rainbow Dash quit the Wonderbolts and brought back the Shadowbolts and became the leader. Not so much like being an evil group that serves Nightmare Moon and being against Celestia, but it seems that somewhat Luna wanted her own flying team.

That would be pretty cool, actually

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Very Disabpointed, They constantly showed the Wonderbolts as jerks and yet RD still wanted to be them! The reason Military Bronies tend to praise them is because it's realistic- yet it shows some of the biggest problems with the military- desensitization to other's feelings. Yes MLP didn't go that far and RD still cares about others but letting others abandon their own without a care- Let me stop I have to many family members in the Army and I hate the army so much with how they run things You know what would have been cool? Her realizing they're jerks and her wanting to join to FIX it! To make it a better place and such but yeah. Never expanded a pond properly. I hate it.

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7 hours ago, Denim&Venöm said:

I was.

Dash's idols were revealed as a bunch of cut throat, scheming, sophomoric bullies. And by the end of it all she's just, okay with it? 

She inspires them to get better. though, and likely intends to keep doing so all the way to captain.

7 hours ago, Anneal said:

The whole episode was over Rainbow Dash trying to stand out because of her embarrassing nickname and trying to suppress her emotions, while most of the story could have been resolved had she acted on her embarrassment and stood out by explaining her issues sooner.

Rainbow Falls was another poorly written episode, too. The intended lesson was that one should be loyal to one's friends, but RD never gets the chance to properly express her problems, and Twilight acts with hostility towards RD and guilt-trips for practicing with the other team rather than try to understand her motives. It's just a very unfair dilemma for RD.

 Yes, characters won't generally take the sensible action that would abort the episode early, partly for obvious reasons but also hopefully for ones which fit their character as well. In this case, I would say that Rainbow Dash would quite reasonablly be uncomfortable rocking the boat with her dream on the line.

And I felt she expressed her problems fine in Rainbow Falls, too.

 

3 hours ago, Sparklefan1234 said:

Yes.

I don't know who thought making The Wonderbolts jerks was a good idea but Rainbow Dash's continued loyalty to them hurt my opinion of her, TBH.

Showing that celebrity athletes aren't necessarily nice people is good. RD holding them to their ideal rather than rejecting them is more debatable, but in line with the show's general idealism.

2 hours ago, CameoShadowness said:

You know what would have been cool? Her realizing they're jerks and her wanting to join to FIX it! To make it a better place and such but yeah. Never expanded a pond properly. I hate it.

I feel that's supposed to be the concept - it could have been shown better, though.

 

 

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