Stranger than Fan Fiction
SPOILER ALERT! Those of you who have not seen the show, be warned. This review is going to contain spoilers about the episode. If you have not seen it yet, watch it right now and read my review in 20 minutes, or prepare to have some of the critical plot mentioned before you view it. I am assuming many of you are bronies, or fans of the show, and you are reading this review for an interesting insight on an episode you have seen countless times already (as have I), in which case, continue reading, and enjoy!
Season six is back in action! And this episode was added to the Netflix repertoire immediately, so I did not need to search through sketchy links to find one for the full episode. I was able to watch it on my TV rather than my small laptop screen, which was a whole new experience. Kind of. (When I first started watching, I saw many episodes on the TV, but not the day of release…)
For the return of the season, we see an action-packed scene with Daring Do. Twilight was reading to Rainbow Dash as she packs for the Daring Do convention. Twilight is disappointed because she can’t attend the convention, but Rainbow assures her that she will not be missing much since they know Daring Do in person. Of course, as soon as Rainbow Dash gets to the convention, she is in paradise.
I have only been to one convention in my life: Tora-Con at RIT. It is an anime convention, and I had a great time there. The vendor station looked like the area pictured above and there was just so much to see! I hope to go to some pony cons at some point. Or a Harry Potter convention. Or a RuneScape convention. I can only imagine how amazing that would be, and I am sure I would have the same look of joy that Rainbow Dash has at the Daring Do convention.
At the convention, Rainbow Dash comes across somepony advertising a Daring Do Experience adventu-cation. The convention also boasts a realistic puzzle from one of Daring Do’s adventures. It is here that she meets Quibble Pants. Quibble is a fan of the Daring Do books as well, and it seems he and Rainbow Dash are both on the same wavelength. The two of them know every detail of the books, and can quote it. They even had spot-on cosplays where they determined the exact number of arrow holes to include (twenty)!
The two of them do many activities together and have a great time doing so. While taking a break to eat, Rainbow Dash suggests that she and Quibble do some activities that are not from the first three books. This is when Quibble states that there are no other books. He refuses to acknowledge them and thinks they are terrible and implausible.
Rainbow Dash, who knows that author A.K. Yearling is Daring Do, insists that everything in the books is possible and true. Quibble asks for proof, but since Rainbow Dash can’t reveal the secret, her argument is not convincing. Quibble seems to praise the old books and thinks the new ones are sell outs comprised of unrealistic action sequences. Rainbow Dash tells this to A.K. and learns that there are bigger issues that a pony who only likes the first trilogy.
The arch enemy of Daring Do, Dr. Caballeron wants an amulet that is a key to a secret hidden treasure. A.K. thinks the convention is the safest place because of all the security, and she wan blend in with the cosplayers if needed. Rainbow Dash searches for Caballeron at the convention and runs into Quibble. The two of them continue to argue about the books. When Rainbow sees the real Caballeron, Quibble points out all of the cosplayers and insists that the books aren’t real or even possible.
The two of them get kidnapped and Quibble simply thinks that Rainbow bought a Daring Do Experience adventu-cation to prove that the books are realistic. He criticizes Caballeron’s accent, the situation, and the over-complicated plan. When locked with the Griffon’s Lock, Caballeron takes Rainbow Dash’s knowledge of it as proof that she is an agent of Daring Do. Quibble dully states that it is because she is an avid reader and continues to believe it is part of a fake adventure.
Quibble tricks Caballeron’s henchponies into thinking Daring Do is there to save them and they leave him and Rainbow Dash unattended to go find her. He then manages to solve the Griffon’s Lock in a matter of seconds. Even though he is a pain in the rear, Quibble is pretty brilliant.
Throughout the episode, Rainbow Dash and Quibble come across several obstacles, including an unstable rope bridge, which Quibble falls through. Rainbow Dash rescues him and the two are almost careened over a waterfall. These are both cliché and I saw the same tropes in The Emperor’s New Groove earlier today. It would seem fitting to include such things in an adventu-cation, and Quibble is amazed that the business would put ponies in that kind of peril.
In escaping the danger, Quibble and Rainbow Dash manage to lead Caballeron directly to the temple where the treasure is hidden. He captures them again, certain that Daring Do will come to the rescue and enable him to get the key.
Quibble finally realizes this is not the adventu-cation… Instead, he is convinced that it is a cheaper and more dangerous knock-off version. Honestly, I am not sure if all of the risk would make it the best adventu-cation ever, or some cheap knock-off like Quibble suspects. In Quibble’s mind, the “Daring Do Experience” does nothing other than prove how lame the more recent Daring Do adventures are. He points out all of the cliché tropes that we see in the episode and even calls them “Bargain Basement Adventures”, doubting their ability to pull off a monster. Such monster is standing right behind him (trope spotted) and I feel hurt that he would say such mean things. Even if it was a cheap adventure experience, he should have had a more positive attitude and tried to enjoy it.
I would love to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. However, if my parents paid for me to go to Harry’s Wizard Town at a local carnival or something, I would still appreciate all of the work that went into it. It might not be realistic or as good as the original, but it still took effort to put together, and they paid hard earned money so I could experience something. Even though Quibble was not a fan of the later books, he should not be so insulting to the people who obviously worked hard to orchestrate such a thing. Yes, it was actually reality, but had Quibble been right about it being a program for fans, he was acting extremely rude.
Anyway, when he finally realizes it is real, Quibble runs away from the monster. He and Rainbow Dash are saved by Daring Do and they go off to find the treasure before the monster reaches them.
The treasure room contains seven doors. Each one is locked but only one leads to the treasure.Rainbow Dash says to trust Quibble, as he is usually right. This is odd, seeing as he has been wrong about everything being unreal until a giant monster was directly behind him! Although Daring Do nearly opens doors that probably lead to painful deaths, Quibble does manage to use deductive reasoning to correctly identify the proper door. At least he is right when it matters the most.
The three ponies must immediately flee after finding the treasure, because the monster is still chasing them. Since Quibble can’t fly, they need to find a way to all get out safely. The pegasi pull him through the air on vines. When they encounter the monster, Quibble says to go around, but the pegasi hear him say to go over him. They manage the dangerous feat and escape the creature.
Caballeron hears them talking once they have the treasure. Quibble suggests creating a fake treasure, but Daring Do just breaks the temple wall, releasing the monster on Caballeron and his gang. Quibble finally admits the later books may be more realistic than he originally believed, but he still doesn’t like them.
He explains that it is okay for them to love the different sides of Daring Do. In the first trilogy, there is more puzzle-solving and intellectual challenges. In the other books, there is more heroism and bravery. They both find Daring Do cool for different reasons, but can still agree on one another being cool. They brohoof, declare themselves friends, and walk back home. Quibble talks, even through the credits, about his Fan Fiction and ideas for the next book. Having the conversation carry into the credits was clever and funny, and I enjoyed it greatly.
Despite not showing many of the Mane 6 (It is only Rainbow Dash except for the bit with Twilight in the opening), this episode was amazing. Rainbow Dash is not one of my favorites, but her portrayal in the episode was good and I am sure many of us in the fandom can relate to arguing with other fans over something. In the end, all that matters is two people enjoying something awesome, and it is okay to have differing opinions, so long as they do not interfere with a great connection over a common shared interest.
Quibble was well-portrayed, and seeing Daring Do/ A.K. Yearling again was nice. The entire episode should go over well with bronies. I personally really enjoyed it. It was a great way to bring back the season. This episode was certainly worthy of some MLP Snapchat hype.