Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 6 (Stranger Than Fan Fiction)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro.

Episode directed by Denny Lu and Tim Stuby

We’re FINALLY back with another episode of The Daring Doo Chronicles!  After a month long hiatus that felt like it would go on forever (I should know; I have the view counts to prove it!), we’ve got more pony goodness to keep us all entertained in between Steven Universe, Adventure Time, and the recently concluded Wander Over Yonder!  Does the series come back in full form; rejuvenated from the break it took, or did ALL that free time make them sloppy and dispassionate about returning to the show?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins as a dramatization of the latest Daring Doo novel, though the franchise seems to be running out of steam considering how lackluster the situation is.  How is she afraid of falling off a collapsing bridge when she can FLY?  Oh well.  The fans will eat this latest book up just like the other hundred bajillion books in this series, and we get confirmation of that as the dramatization turns out to be Twilight reading about the latest adventure to Rainbow Dash; the latter packing up for Saddle Diego PonyCon while the former is lamenting the fact that she can’t go.  Even a princess can’t get a ticket to that!  Well, not really.  I’m sure she’s already received an engraved invitation begging her to lend her star power to the convention, but she’s got work to do at some friendship summit in Griffonstone which, if I were to guess, is about five percent about actual friendship problems and ninety-five percent about stimulating their failing economy.  The worst part though is that AK Yearling who they met in Daring Don’t and is the author of Daring Doo who’s apparently ALSO the real life Daring Doo (so which one is her real name!?) is going to be there and she never goes to conventions to Twilight’s chagrin.  Basically AK Yearling is Alan Moore if the guy learned what razors are and merely let the hatred of their own work simmer inside them rather than broadcasting it to the world.  Rainbow Dash does her best to try and undersell how awesome the convention is going to be, but is doing (or should I say… DARING DOOING!?  Hee hee hee) a poor job of it, especially when we smash cut to her surrounded by all the nerds of Equestria and loving it!

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Hope they have a strong harassment policy!

I must say that I told a lie earlier as this actually isn’t a multi-genre entertainment convention but rather one based entirely off of Daring Doo.  Can you imagine a huge convention centered on a single intellectual property?  That would NEVER happen outside the land of magic horses!  Still, the convention has everything you’d expect!  Overpriced knick-knacks, scam artists (some dude is trying to sell crappy adventure time shares or something) and very elaborately designed games that will probably break after five uses!  At one such game she meets another Daring Doo fanatic (Doo-bots?  Dare-a-holics?) named Quibble Pants voiced by none other than PATTON OSWALT!!  YES!!  Take THAT Adventure Time!  You may have gotten Weird Al too, but did you get Awesome Oswalt!?  This guy is so awesome that even Rainbow Dash immediately falls for the guy once he starts spouting off Daring Doo knowledge in his sexy voice!

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“Does my theory on Daring Doo existing in parallel universes do everything for you?”     “Take me now!  To the food court.  I’ll buy you a muffin!”

And thus the two begin their whirlwind adventures through the convention center as they take pictures, buy Figmas, and laugh at the skeevy merchandise.  Well… at least one of them is laughing.  Seriously, how the hell did DHX get this scene past Hasbro?

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“What the f-”     “If you think THAT’S bad, then you probably shouldn’t flip it over.”     “Why?  What’s on the other side!?”

Sadly their friendship comes to a screeching halt as Quibble Pants turns out live up to his name and becomes a totally obnoxious fanboy once Rainbow Dash brings up the books after the third, because as we all know… THERE ARE NO BOOKS AFTER THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY!  This is such a perfect role for Patton Oswalt whose entire career has been riding that line between appealing to those who can be described as obsessive fans of something (his George Lucas Rock Salt stand up bit he does is brilliant) and using that comedy to also shine a light on the worst aspects of fandom.  Quibble Pants is extremely well written in this as he comes off as genuinely nice and fun to be with, but then flips the switch ENTIRELY once he hears something he doesn’t like and probably considers her a Fake Fan Girl now.  My only real nit-pick about this (my QUIBBLE if you will; hee hee hee) is the reason he seems to not like the later books which is because they’re unrealistic.  Um… he’s is a land of magic that’s ruled by two monarch’s who’ve lived for millennia without aging.  Is it THAT hard to believe that in a world with Griffons, Changelings, and Bugbears, that a Pegasus can find buried treasure and artifacts of ancient civilization?  Not to mention the fact that he’s looking for realism in a series HE HIMSELF describes as a great homage to the old school serialized adventure books of… whatever the Equestrian equivalent of the thirties and forties were.  It’s not really of consequence WHAT he feels is awful about the new books considering this is more about his sense of entitlement (he wants to get up in AK Yaerling’s face to express his disappointment) so I won’t harp on it too much, but it is something that I find odd.

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“Next you’ll tell me that Sonic Rainbooms and The Elements of Harmony are real!”     “So because you DON’T read the news, you think you’re smarter than everyone else?”     “The news?  Puh-LEASE!  The Foal Free Press sold out A LONG time ago!”

What was once a beautiful friendship forged through mutual love of cosplay and trivia has now been shattered by both not liking exactly the same thing!  Rainbow Dash though isn’t entirely off the hook here as she not only got as pissed as Quibble did (not so much about him BEING pissed but for hating the other books) but is now determined to hunt down AK Yearling and have her tell Grumpy Pants over here to shut the fuck up.  Fortunately the episode doesn’t actually go down that route as I was expecting her to reveal AK Yearling’s secret about being the REAL Daring Doo to him (and probably the rest of the convention) but instead the episode turns into a rip roaring Daring Doo adventure!   When Rainbow Dash does find Yearling, it turns that she’s here on a mission to stop Dr. Caballeron (the EVIL adventurer who’s only in it for the money) from… doing something with a mystical thingy at some sacred place, and that the convention is the best place to find him as she can blend in with cosplayers.  She’ll also be putting the congoers in direct danger if a fight breaks out… but whatever.  I’m sure the fans will love it and it’ll be on HorseTube within an hour.

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“Would you like to buy our fan fiction?”     “If you don’t get out of my face right now, I will destroy everything you’ve ever held dear and cause you unspeakable pain before dumping your body in a river.  You see this guy right here?  I pay him JUST to stab people in the eyes.”     “And I’m really good at it too!”     “No one likes a show-off Rosco.”

Rainbow Dash is back in the main conventional hall to search for Caballeron but is unfortunately being followed by Creepy Pants who wants her to engage with his bullshit which she’s trying DESPERATELY to ignore.  They are REALLY nailing the con experience here!

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“And that’s reason forty SEVEN why you’re wrong about book six.  Reason forty EIGHT-”     “PLEASE STOP TALKING!”     “Wow.  Rude much!?”

Eventually Rainbow Dash and Annoying Pants get caught by Caballeron when the former steps outside for a moment and the latter won’t stop drawing attention to them.  The bad guys either drag them to a suspiciously nearby jungle (it may be near the Forest of Death, but the location kept the con’s ticket prices low!) or they went to all the trouble of boarding them onto a plane and flying them to the middle of nowhere.  Skeptic Pants by the way thinks this is all a trick by Rainbow Dash to convince him that the later books are realistic which first of all shows what a MASSIVE ego the guy must have, but also shows what an idiot he is he can’t sense danger when its looking him right in the face.

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“You hired actors to kidnap us?  You must REALLY like me!”     “Is this guy for real!?”

Now in his defense, this IS a Daring Doo Adventure so he knows exactly what’s going to happen (he even figures out how to escape the from the dopey henchmen), but it still takes a while for him to realize that he is in some serious shit and he might end up being the Alfred Molina of this Raiders knock off.

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“AUGHHH!!”     “What was that?  Did you just say I was right?”     “AUUUGHHHHHH!!”     “And that your sorry for being just a tool?”     “AUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!”     “That’s what I like to hear!”

Unfortunately the duo get captured a SECOND time by Caballeron and now that Stubborn Pants is no longer in direct danger (just implied danger) he goes back to stubbornly refusing that any of this is real and that it’s all some elaborate prank on him.  By now the bad guys have managed to locate the Pyramid of Plot Convenience and are dragging them inside which is not the best place for a nerd to have a tantrum as he ends up setting off a whole bunch of traps that leaves Rainbow Dash and Clumsy Pants to die in a slowly filling sand room (complete with shark monster) while Caballeron and his henchmen… escape I guess?  HOW WILL OUR HEROES ESCAPE FROM THEIR UNTIMELY DEATH!?  Oh look!  It’s Daring Doo!  Just in the nick of time!

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“Sink it in Quibble.  Just sit there… and sink it in.”     “Can we get moving now?”     “Five more minutes…”

So now that they are momentarily out of danger, Daring Doo has to do what she came here to do which is to find whatever treasure it is that Caballeron wants.  Sassy Pants, EVEN AFTER FINDING OUT THAT HIS HERO IS REAL, still feels the need to insert himself when no one asked him to as they come to one of the puzzles and he’s certain he’s figured it out WAY before Daring Doo did.  Rainbow Dash, acknowledging what a douche he’s being about it, still tells Daring to give him a shot considering how well he knows Daring Doo style puzzles (hey, if your life is a cartoon then you can’t complain when people have figured out the formula) so they give him a shot and manages to pick the right door and they find the treasure behind it!  Unfortunately, the sand trap they just left running in the previous room is starting to spill over into this one and they need to find a convenient and perfectly placed escape route!  Oh look!  A hole in the roof!  WHAT ARE THE ODDS!?  Of course, it’s not as easy as it USUALLY is because SOMEONE here isn’t a Pegasus!

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“What!?  Okay, this is getting close to racist.”

Eh, it’s not too much trouble considering we have two badass fliers who can just drag his ass out of there, and it gives them a chance to do a cute Raiders reference in the process.  Once they escape, they find that Caballeron and his men have also escaped from the Pyramid of Plot Convenience as well and are about to escape to plan their next evil deed.  Not if Daring Doo has a say in it!  She throws a rock, it breaks open one of the walls, and out comes the alligator monster to the surprise of the not so good doctor.

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“Alright Rosco!  Time to do what you do best!  Rosco?  ROSCO?  WHERE THE HELL IS ROSCO!?”

Now that her work is done (and Caballeron is presumably dead), Daring Doo flies off to bring the treasure to a museum and leaves the other two to somehow find their way back home.  Okay… well before they begin their long journey home (or back to the convention), they manage to hash out their differences as Conciliatory Pants finally admits that while he still doesn’t like the later books, that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends.  Rainbow Dash agrees and the episode ends as Patton Oswalt starts rambling over the credits, as it should!

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“Now if they adapt the first three books into movies, I’d want Peter Jack-saddle to direct the first one, Sam Neigh-mi to do the second one, and then let’s see what that up and comer Lexi Alex-prancer can do!”

This was a really great episode and a damn fine way to come back after the hiatus!  Of course, I might be a bit biased here because Patton Oswalt is one of my favorite comedians, but it does manages to strike a really solid balance between being a message episode while also having fun.  It would have been very easy for this episode to portray Rainbow Dash as just a big of a jerk as Know It All Pants and made this a “somewhere in the middle story” which would have been misrepresentative of the real issue (there is no two sides to harassing other fans for liking something you don’t) and thankfully they move to a completely separate story for the second half that gives these two a chance to eventually become friends again without having Rainbow Dash do something stupid and hurtful to AK Yearling.  My only real complain here (other than Continuity Pants’s odd reason for hating the later books and the incongruity between what is considered realism in a world with MAGIC) is that I didn’t find the adventure story all that compelling and have seen this kind of material done better in the series.  True they only had about ten minutes to barrel through it, but they could have done more with Caballeron’s character and could have gotten Daring Doo into the fray sooner.  Other than that, it’s a fantastic outing from the show and another solid entry for season six which could use a bit more direction, but is turning out quite well overall.  Will Oswalt be back?  Probably not.  I don’t think that Guest Star Pants has enough going for him to warrant another episode (especially when Cheese Sandwich hasn’t even gotten that honor) but considering how well he was casted for this character, I think that’s it’ll ultimately be worth it that he only came in for one episode and absolutely nailed it.

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4 thoughts on “Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 6 (Stranger Than Fan Fiction)

  1. ArthurCrane

    Short Version: Fanboy Food For Thought feat. Patton Oswalt

    Long Version:
    -With the exception of “Trade Ya!”, I’ve noticed that whenever Daring Do is brought up in this show, it’s used as a vehicle to talk about the experience of consuming media and being a fan of something. “Read It And Weep” was about not being afraid to try something new or fearing the judgment of others for it. “Daring Don’t” was about the do’s and dont’s about the relationship between the fan and the artist. Now, with this one, we take a dive into how one’s perception of media can be widely different to others who also enjoy it, and how there’s more than one reason for liking something, even if both opinions can seem to be contradictory. This is the kind of “new” lesson that I’m glad a show like this is willing to teach to children, as we are at a point where it’s easier than ever to get into anything as deep as we want, and likely to get into fanboy arguments as soon as possible.

    -The character of Quibble Pants feels at first like the kind of role that could’ve been handed to any of the show’s reliable stable of recurring voice actors. However, we were lucky to get Patton Oswalt. It’s always fun when someone from outside the usual spectrum of special guests show up here, especially when they’re part of the broader entertainment spectrum (see also: the VA announcements for the MLP movie). Much like Discord and Cheese Sandwich before him, his role feels tailored-made for the actor’s better-known sensibilities. He’s had plenty to say about problems in geek/nerd culture, so playing the role of a self-centered, butthurt Daring Do fan who worships “the original trilogy” and hates everything that came after is right up his alley. It’s very on-the-nose, but he really goes for broke with this, and the character ends up being far more compelling (and entertaining) than he has the right to be. I especially like how he doesn’t change his attitude (entirely) after being around the real Daring Do, how he never gets a moment where he has to apologize for his point of view, and actually gets to make some kind of valid point about why he likes the series without being told that’s the wrong way to enjoy it, which is pretty much the bulk of his argument with Rainbow Dash beforehand. It would’ve been so easy to go down that path, and while he’s certainly in an antagonistic role against Dash, his only real crimes are being difficult and testing both her patience and that of Daring Do. Also, bonus points for letting him be the one who comes to the episode’s main realization.

    -Rainbow Dash is the optimist to Quibble’s cynic. This is clearly not her story to steal, but she settles into the role quite nicely. This kind of adventure is not only similar to her previous run-in with DD, it’s exactly the kind of thing she’s not only good at, but enjoys. Her turnaround with Quibble doesn’t really come until the very end, and while it doesn’t really hurt the episode, it’s still worth poiting out.

    -I was on the floor with the Daring Do body pillow.

    -I’m told the sequence featuring the return of Fluttershy’s Ranma Pony is some kind of Wes Anderson reference.

    -I don’t really have much else to say, but I feel like that’s a good thing. It’s just a fun, satisfying episode that’ll likely be one of the most important (if not best) of the season.

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  2. Pingback: Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 6 (28 Pranks Later) | The Reviewers Unite!

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