Pride and Prejudice and Pegasi
It's the sports movie My Little Pony episode you've all been waiting for! The Mane Six anxiously await the arrival of Derpy with the day’s mail. They expect word on Dashie’s admittance to the Wonderbolts Academy! I hope it’s like Hogwarts for pegasi. Also, Derpy is not actually the mailpony here and I am disappointed. After an aggravating display of Dashie’s hubris and a lame joke on her friends, we learn she was accepted! I hope she knows that in this economy she’ll need at least three more degrees to find a job, albeit if she's putting all her eggs in the “becoming a famous and beloved sports figure” basket I guess she only needs to learn how to sell cars. Or whatever the pony equivalent is.
Dashie arrives at that big university in the sky (not a euphemism for the Doc’s afterlife) and, sure enough, there are some quidditch hoops. The rigorous discipline of the pegasi of Wonderbolts Academy is evident. To drive this point home, we’re treated to a PG-rated Full Metal Jacket scene led by Spitfire, which leads to the newcomers showing off their skills. Dashie and another recruit, Lightning Dust, are by far and away the best n00bz, and don't they know it. Dashie finally found someone with a bigger ego than her!
Back in Ponyville, Pinkie is distressed, as they have not heard from RD, even though she’s been gone for less than twenty-four hours and is only leaving for a week anyway. How efficient is their mail service? I guess ODL wouldn’t permit anything but the most punctual mailponies. AJ tries to talk her away from the mail, but she has a mental breakdown instead.
As an aside, what kind of academy only takes a week to train the most elite fliers in Equestria? Also, the Res thought there were only three Wonderbolts? This must be a sort of recruiting thing, like basic training, but for sports. Maybe Dashie can make it in the minors if she washes out. The Doc doesn’t know enough about how sports work to even begin to analyse this, but assumes that a world run by ODL has a precise and efficient method for producing the most efficient of warriors.
Spitfire has the recruits play a more pegasus- (and kid-) friendly version of dizzy bat. Dashie tries her
hands hooves at it and is pretty impressive, beating the then-established school record. Lightning Dust does nearly as well as she did, although she was flying with a significant handicap. I went to Catholic school, where I learned that Pride is the root of all the seven deadly sins (I think; I was usually reading books about magic or science), and thus the deadliest. As they lord it over the other recruits, I can’t help but feel these ponies are in for a rude awakening.
The recruits are paired off, and Dashie is- GASP!- a wingpony. I’m pretty sure this means she’s just not the star of the show, not that they’re going to be picking up some fine young stallions (or mares, we do not discriminate) at the bars together. The Res wishes that's what it DID mean, especially when the two get to go to the mess hall earlier than the rest. The Doc worries that the Res has embarrassing fanfics hiding on the internet somewhere.
RD goes to the instructor and demands her rightful (?) place as a lead pony. Spitfire explains that she chose Dashie as second because Lightning Dust pushes herself harder. That’s right RD, you’re lucky you’re the best at what you do, but you have to keep striving to achieve more, never settling. Well, at least until you’re an adult. Then you can, and will, settle.
The pairs set out in a competition in which they must stay together and retrieve flags. Dashie gets hurt in the process, but sucks it up for Lightning Dust and Spitfire. The duo are naturally triumphant, but we're already starting to see that Lightning Dust is willing to sacrifice the well-being of others for her own gain. The Res thinks there's a hidden subtext here about the economic downturn of 2008.
Ponyville update: Pinkie still distraught over lack of word from Dashie. The Res is worried about the message this show send about mental illness: even when it's distressing, you should not seek psychiatric help. Instead, a good friend will play into your delusion instead of prescribing Paxil. (Oh, Res, Pinkie needs more than Paxil; she needs a straightjacket.) The Mane Six decide to send RD a care package after Pinkie suggests it would be better than a letter, because there's a chance that Dashie has forgotten them already. Pinkie may be many things, but forgettable is not one of them. Rather than trust Equestria's shoddy postal service, they decide to take the package to Dashie themselves.
Back at the academy, Spitfire sends the recruits through a precision flying obstacle course in which the goal is, obviously, precision instead of speed. (So, you’re saying no quidditch?) Dashie and LD get stuck behind a slow team, much to LD’s irritation. They reach a point in the course where they can get around them, and manage to knock everyone else out of the sky as a result. Though they “win” and break another school record, I spy with my little eye some guilt in Rainbow Dash! This is good – her magical power of loyalty is temporizing her hubris. The Doc wonders how personality traits can really count as magical powers.
Next up is sky clearing, which we all know is kind of Dashie’s thing. LD hatches a plan to obliterate the other teams, even though they’re barely competition for them anyway. They create a tornado, which careens out of control (obviously) and heads straight for Twilight’s flying balloon, filled with all of Dashie’s best friends, and destroys it. As they go hurtling towards their doom (Fluttershy, you have wings, get your shit together) Dashie makes a cloud mattress for them to land on. She then launches them back up, where the rest of the recruits catch them.
Once we’ve established that the Mane Six are okay (and that Dashie hasn’t forgotten who Pinkie Pie is), Lightning Dust is smugly and psychotically excited about the tornado they caused. She offers a hoofbump (the term is now cannon, though I prefer brohoof) to Dashie, who calls her out on nearly killing everyone and generally being a soulless, remorseless psychopath.
Dashie goes to Spitfire’s office and waxes philosophical about the difference between pushing yourself and being reckless, culminating in her turning in her badge and walking out of the academy. Spitfire is shocked, and Dashie is sad because being in the Wonderbolts was her dream. Before she can leave, Spitfire returns to yell at her for storming off, informing her that all of her reasoning is correct. She also embarrassingly dismisses LD from the academy, and the psychopath is escorted out. Dashie is made first pony, and we once again learn that if you fuck with any of the Mane Six, simply learning your lesson is not enough- you must be humiliatingly destroyed down to your very core.