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This is the official thread for information and chatting about the seventh episode of season 3 - "Wonderbolts Academy"! It's the first Rainbow Dash episode of season three, and of course the return of the Wonderbolts; does Dash have what it takes to get in? The episode airs at (9:30am Central/10:30am Eastern).

This thread will not be locked and thus commenting is open as soon as you see this; remember though, there are spoilers in the comments section (especially given the episode was leaked two days early) so read at your own risk if you haven't seen the episode! :blah:

Truth is Fluttershy becomes one because he just asked nicely! I am not making that up I swear!

:halo::shifty:

wonderbolt.png

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I personally feel that the creators' and producers' efforts are best respected when leaked material isnt accessed or spread around (take the Fighting is Magic example), and as such I would certainly prefer if individuals who have watched the leaked episode waited until tomorrow to post about it along with the rest of us.

However, if you absolutely must get those dirty-little-secrets out (shame on youuuuuu!), then I would rather it be done in this thread which is well guarded as a known spoiler thread.

Looking forward to watching it tomorrow with everypony. :)

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I swear I thought they tried to emulate Top Gun in this ep, it's good to see the background ponies like Roid Rage and that lavender pegasi which appeared in the later stages of Season 2 (forget what her name was) return to the show upgraded to minor character status they could've used more screen time to improve their characters though.

As for this new character Lightning looks a lot like someone's OC which is suspicious and seems to be an "upgraded" (Read: Mary Sue) version of RD (i.e. huge ego, thinks she's the best of the best, able to catch up with RD at top speed (she even has a electrically-coloured contrail to boot) but reflects a slightly darker version as she seems to do whatever it takes to be the best even screw over her wing-men and putting civilians in harms way just to complete her mission and that's something you should never do if you want to accomplish objectives while flying but she'd probably do better as a Shadowbolt I'd wager she'll be Dash's rival in the near future like what Trixie is to Twilight.

Spitfire's change in personality was...Surprising, to say the least but a welcome change from her previous appearances (i.e Gala, the failed defense of Ponyville against Spike, her appearance in Hurricane Fluttershy) I guess the failures and quite frankly the incompetence of the poorly trained Wonderbolts forced her to toughen up and become more harsher on recruits to make sure their properly trained and ready for active duty because they'll need it if the next Big Bad shows up. From looking at their previous appearances I can say the Wonderbolts needs more combat training because putting it bluntly...They cannot defend Equestria at all, for frak's sake they got pasted with a single attack when Spike attacked Ponyville and who know's where they were when the Changelings attacked. As for Spitfire herself she grown since the last time we saw her and her development from a display team pilot to commander was interesting and I'm eager to see how she develops in time.

As for Dash herself I enjoyed the character development shown and kind of expected her to quit after seeing her "rival", but not surprised when they asked her to come back and she joined back with her. Personally I'd love it if she left and declined the Wonderbolts offer choosing her friends over being in the Wonderbolts and could've made the ending more realistic and down to earth as dreams don't always come true or the price on getting her dreams become too cost or not worth it but I digress and it's really good to see her have her own episode this season and her character develop to the eventual end result.

This episode was alright, animation is solid as always and the story was average and could've been better, but it's still my personal favourite so far (Also why are there no aviation references like Ace Combat or HAWX or other aviation movies or media this would've been a perfect opportunity for it.)

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Since there was a leak, I already gave my commentary in the episode synopsis thread.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they went ahead and made me a Wonderbolt on the first day." Well, if the Sonic Rainboom didn't do it, I don't know what will.

rainbow_dash_shrug_by_dropletx1-d3j6g5i.png

Ah so many new Pegasus characters!

Woah what why does Spitfire sound so weird?

Oh snap Spitfire's Cutie Mark! :o

Ahahaha, they just high-fived with their wings!

'Lightning Dust'? Really Hasbro, are you losing your creativity?

Um, Pinkie Pie... Is the letter going to magically appear in the mailbox, or does somepony have to deliver it? Pegasi aren't Unicorns, you know...

What the hay? Rainbow Dash is no longer the best flyer? :o

Ahahaha they made a tornado and lost control. XD

Wait why isn't Fluttershy flying? Or trying to save somepony?

CerealSpitting.png

RAINBOW DASH QUIT WANTING TO BE A WONDERBOLT?!

Ah man. I hoped Lightning Dust was going to learn some kind of moral lesson.

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tumblr_ma7widSnai1qzwelr.gif

Rainbow Dash was willing to quit the Wonderbolts...this episode was ok, but that moment right there.

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Lightning Dust will probably be an antagonist then I'm assuming?

I liked the episode, the long hug with Pinkie and Dash after finding out Rainbow was accepted was adorably creepy. And Pinkie being obsessed with getting a letter. I would have assumed they'd do Derpy as the mail carrier, but egh.

I'd give the episode 3.8 apples out of 5!

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Lightning Dust should join the Shadowbolts, or start it! :D

Also so much shipping material there for the ship fans; expect a lot of ship pics and fic.

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I can get why Spit Fire had her voiced changed. Since the ponies are pretty much at a military style boot camp, she's the drill instructor and she's gotta look and sound the part. Anyway, great episode is great. I honestly think Fluttershy forgets she's a pegasus.

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Ah, another episode starring everypony's favorite pegasus mare... Cloudchaser! ;)

Well, for me anyway. I was rather delighted to find that she did nothing that went against the way I play her character; actually, most of her lines and actions reinforced my approach. It was great. Very good to see her return, as well as the other returning pegasi. As for Spitfire and her return, I don't think her character has changed as much as some seem to; someone just isn't going to carry themselves the same as a drill instructor tasked with ordering around cadets as there are when hanging around with peers at a social function. To me, this is just a new amusing side to her.

Also we have a new character (who will be a T2 in the RP), Lightning Dust. I thought she was a pretty cute and fun little addition and I'll be eager to see if she returns in some capacity.

As for the episode itself, yeah it wasn't bad. Certainly better than the last time Merriwether Williams tried to write a Rainbow Dash episode, though perhaps that's not saying a lot. I think it might have been missing an element of humor. Pinkie's scenes seemed a little forced to me (though they will undoubtedly make PinkieDash fans happy). There was a lot of flying around and cool cloud stuff; that was pretty exciting. It was all very pretty to look at, which is always a plus to me. I guess I'd say it was a good episode, though I don't feel as strongly about it as the last couple. Kinda feel similarly about it as I did the last episode Williams did, Dragon Quest; great ideas and enough ambition to make things interesting, but somehow maybe just a little flat in the execution.

Yay for more Cloudchaser though! Now she just needs to be in an episode I actually love. :P

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So... what tier would Lightning Dust be?

Most likely Tier 2, if I had to guess.

Anyway I already spoke about this episode..... so to sum my thoughts up; 3.5/5 (up from 3/5 a couple days ago).

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Spitfire's glasses were awesome. Like truly epic, so awesome.

This entire episode was awesome. We get pretty much full confirmation that the Wonderbolts are based off real military air demonstration teams from their shirts, which I think is a pretty cool touch. I'm also a massive fan of said air demonstration teams, so I loved this episode in general, and it almost makes me want to revisit my own stunt flyer idea, if it wasn't for the fact I have too many characters I never play :P

Dash's decision to quit the Wonderbolts at first was...well, interesting. I dunno really how to describe it but I liked it. Gave her a bit of depth, that she'd be willing to give up her dream if she thought it wasn't what she wanted.

Also, I have one major complaint about this episode. No Top Gun reference.

"You can be my wingpony anytime, Rainbow Dash."

"Horsefeathers. You can be mine."

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This was a neat episode. I never imagined anyone could be as competitive as Rainbow Dash, but Lightning Dust really made an impression. Then again, this episode showed just how much Rainbow Dash embodies the loyalty element. I think, had she never have befriended the rest of the Mane Six, she may very well have been no different than Lightning Dust. I think having close friends helped Rainbow Dash realize that being the best doesn't come at the cost of everyone else around you. I was absolutely shocked that she would be willing to quit because of that, but it really shows she's come a long way since episode one.

I must say I'm curious as to what Lightning Dust will do after this, though...

It was also interesting to see a different side of Spitfire in this episode, and actually fit the setting very well. We've all seen her being so mellow and friendly at the Gala, then turning drill sergent here. It's actually not that surprising. I remember reading a similar statement from an actual military drill sergant, saying that at work, he had to be tough and demanding, but when he got home, his family did not need to see "big, tought, and harsh" They needed to see a husband and father. I have a feeling Spitfire acts similarly when she's off-the-clock.

As for this new character Lightning looks a lot like someone's OC which is suspicious and seems to be an "upgraded" (Read: Mary Sue) version of RD (i.e. huge ego, thinks she's the best of the best, able to catch up with RD at top speed (she even has a electrically-coloured contrail to boot) but reflects a slightly darker version as she seems to do whatever it takes to be the best even screw over her wing-men and putting civilians in harms way just to complete her mission and that's something you should never do if you want to accomplish objectives while flying but she'd probably do better as a Shadowbolt I'd wager she'll be Dash's rival in the near future like what Trixie is to Twilight.

At first I was thinking the same thing about Lightning Dust, and worried we'd have an official, "canonized" Rainbow Dash 2.0, but as the episode went on the differences became apparent. You make a really good point about her being a fitting Shadowbolt and rival... This could be ripe for a continuation.

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As for Dash herself I enjoyed the character development shown and kind of expected her to quit after seeing her "rival", but not surprised when they asked her to come back and she joined back with her. Personally I'd love it if she left and declined the Wonderbolts offer choosing her friends over being in the Wonderbolts and could've made the ending more realistic and down to earth as dreams don't always come true or the price on getting her dreams become too cost or not worth it but I digress and it's really good to see her have her own episode this season and her character develop to the eventual end result.

I just absolutely loved it though supprised people are being so skeptical. One of the best episodes ever. Why would Rainbow Dash give up her greatest dream when the misunderstanding is solved ? Should the lesson then be you cannot both have friends and get your dream. Plus once you turned your back there no turning around and then additional to that it would not give the lesson of GOING TO AUTHORETICE IF SOMEHTHING IS NOT THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. This episode is realy in line with One Bad Apple.

When the episode beganI espected for Rainbow Dash to having to choose betwin Wonderbolts and somethign else, to show that there is somethign more importent than reaching your dreams and she did that in saying safety of others comes first. I must say I espected to see Rainbow dash being the reckless pony in this episode.

Again I jsut lvoed this episode. Pinkie Pie was funny for once and Fluttershy adoreble as always.

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I personally feel that the creators' and producers' efforts are best respected when leaked material isnt accessed or spread around

I couldn't agree more. Besides being disrespecting the creators, it is also disrespectful to those waiting patiently to access it legally.

Is it just me, or is the entire season a tribute to bronies? It feels like they read our wish list of episode ideas and are knocking them off the list.

I had a couple ideas of where this episode might have gone, but this was a pleasant surprise.

This was a neat episode. I never imagined anyone could be as competitive as Rainbow Dash, but Lightning Dust really made an impression. Then again, this episode showed just how much Rainbow Dash embodies the loyalty element. I think, had she never have befriended the rest of the Mane Six, she may very well have been no different than Lightning Dust. I think having close friends helped Rainbow Dash realize that being the best doesn't come at the cost of everyone else around you. I was absolutely shocked that she would be willing to quit because of that, but it really shows she's come a long way since episode one.

It is good to see Rainbow Dash exhibit her element so strongly, even when it is pitted against her strongest desires. More than that, it is great to see Rainbow working hard to excel while still caring about the ponies she is outperforming. It's like putting on the training uniform made her acutely aware that she is part of a team rather than just a great solo flier.

That is the biggest surprise of the episode.

I expected her to be a technically excellent flier with little thought to team work. I am happy that with all of her wonderbolt worship, she managed to pick up on the fact that it is only amazing because it is synchronized. Given her previous comments about getting on the team, it is not clear how she got that attitude. Perhaps when she was practicing with the wonderbolts after the best young flier competition, they pointed her in the right direction.

As unity is one of my highest values, this episode is my favorite of season three by a good margin.

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Is it just me, or is the entire season a tribute to bronies?

I wouldn't go that far, but this season is indeed the first one 100% made with the full knowledge of MLP:FiM's unexpected adult audience. Besides, no tribute to bronies would exist without Derpy. :P

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I actually rather liked "Drill Sergeant" Spitfire. She's... somehow more likable that way.

Only part I didn't dig was the Pinkie subplot, but it had a good payoff.

Seriously, this episode (and "Magic Duel") both feel like they could've been part of season one. Coming from me, that's high praise.

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Have to admit, I couldn't resist watching the 'leaked' episode online a few days ago.

Overall, (aside from Pinkie Pie's WAY over the top zaniness) it was a great episode.

In the end, it looks like Spitfire learned just as much as Rainbow Dash did.

Could we see Rainbow Dash the Wonderbolt in the future? It's possible.

It was good to see Roid Rage again too: "YEAH!!!!"

This episode was good, well written, and fun!

:D :D :D

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Only part I didn't dig was the Pinkie subplot, but it had a good payoff.

Yes, it set the stage for putting the other 5 in jeopardy very naturally.

It was good to see Roid Rage again too: "YEAH!!!!"

I like "Flex" as a name better, and yeah, that was fun.

One of the other great parts of this episode is that while Rainbow was incensed that she wasn't chosen as the leader, she submitted to the authority given to Lightning until Lighting proved she was unworthy of that authority. It would have been painful to see her be a bad follower, since you cannot be a good leader, without first understanding how to be led.

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hi hi

Yay! Another enjoyable episode. :) It may not have gone out of its way to be the best episode ever made, but it had a simple charm that I wouldn't have expected coming from Williams. Perhaps they learned their lesson after the disaster that was MMDW? The animators and storyboarders did a phenomenal job with the action sequences. And not just making the cool tricks look cool, but making the action scenes mesh in with the story. I never felt like a scene was dragging on too long or was cut too short.

If this season feels like they're going through a brony checklist, I suspect its because some of the people on the team are simply thinking the same things we are, for the same reasons we are. I've been waiting for an episode where Rainbow Dash gets a chance to shine like this for a while. In season 2, it seemed like every Rainbow Dash episode was kind of reinforcing the notion that athletics means being mean and arrogant, but with the right attitude, competition can help you learn about yourself and what you are capable of. (I don't think Rainbow Dash realized that she would have been capable of quitting the Wonderbolts until after she closed the door behind her.)

I'd agree that Pinkie Pie did seem a little bit over the top at times, although I don't think there was anything inherently wrong with her little arc. The whole assuming Rainbow Dash has forgotten about them thing made me laugh out loud, but they could have mixed it up a little bit and had Pinkie Pie trying lots of different zany things to make sure she got the mail as soon as it came, instead of just opening and closing the door over and over for three days.

I think perhaps the most memorable part of the episode was when Rainbow Dash clipped her wing on the log. There was so much going on and it was done in such a simple and elegant way, showcasing Rainbow Dash's humility, determination, as well as her limits all in one short moment.

I think the funniest moment was definitely at the very beginning, when Rainbow Dash trolls everyone by saying she didn't get in. :D

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