I think I had about two hundred five thousand seventy one different ways to start this review, but I think I will go with this one. So there I was at the start of Season 2, writing my review of episode 3 half way through the week, before Seth decided to make episode follow-ups, when all of a sudden I go: "Huh, I know what I will do! I will make weekly episode reviews that I will then post them in the comments! This will not make me regret my decision at all!". Six months later, AKA, right now, I need a break from so much pony. I know some of you just gasped. The one-week-without-episode break wasn't enough. I need a whole summer without me looking at the weekend and going "Oh dear God, what am I going to write about now?" It's funny because I get no revenue from this and nobody forces me to do it (if we don't count that murderous-looking six feet tall rabbit in the corner of my ceiling). I do it because I want to. I like sharing my opinion without hammering it into people's minds like other Internet critics. It's fun, just like this show. Even if this week it was rather different. Let's see why.
You find yourself in a darkly lit room. There is no sound but the beating of your heart. You are likely going to be approached by a TL; DR. In fact, a TL; DR comes at you. If you decide to read it, you might as well skip to the bottom of the page. This TL; DR tells you that, even though this episode is really good in Friendship is Magic standards, it's not the best of the season. However, this TL; DR offers you to keep reading the review to find out why.
So this episode about dragons, with the word "dragon" in the title and focused around the most popular dragon character in the show starts with Applejack and Pinkie Pie digging a trench, and Rainbow Dash and Twilight trying to pull Fluttershy out of her house. Yeah, I too was thinking where are the damn dragons. Kind of a weird start up since Spike is nowhere to be seen until minute five, but it does set up the whole event. Apparently there is something called "The Big Dragon Migration" going on and thousands of dragons traverse through Equestria to somewhere else that is never explained or described. The Mane Six dig up a trench to observe this migration from a safe position, but fail to convince Fluttershy into coming along with them. We see that she is still terrified of dragons (she didn't really dealt with that phobia as we saw in "Secret of my Excess"), and we also see that some of that assertive Fluttershy is left in her. I was happy to see she was still able to put her hoof down. After trampling over Rainbow Dash like a bulldozer she jumps out of the back window and runs away. Some complain about why doesn't she fly away instead of running. First, there is a swarm of dragons incoming so flying might not be the most intelligent choice; and second, this is Fluttershy we are talking about.
After the commercial break we see that the Mane Six minus Fluttershy are witnessing the migration and I have to admit there are some really cool designs on those dragons just by the shades alone. The reactions of the characters remain fairly okay. Rainbow Dash complains that they are not badass enough only to get a flamethrower to the face, followed by a snarky remark by Applejack. Rarity acts like the diva she is. Twilight observes them in silence. And Pinkie Pie seems genuinely terrified by them. It's then that Spike shows up wearing a pink apron and offering cupcakes as he boasts about how fierce dragons are. This of course causes the Mane six to kind of poke fun at him, something he doesn't take too well as it makes him question many things. Who is he? Where does he come from? What is he going to be? These are questions that are bigger than his tiny dragon baby form. I had no idea pink aprons could provoke so many deep enquiries. They keep Spike awake at night and, by default, they also keep Twilight awake. Spike gets out of bed moping about how every time he looks into the mirror he feels like looking at a complete stranger, followed by the most clever use of symbolism I've seen in a while.
|When you see it...|
|Your book fortress is brütal.|
|That and the fact that they also forgot the coffee thermos.|
|Of course she is.|
So that was "Dragon Quest". What do I think of it? Well, I have mixed feelings towards it.
I will start with the things I didn't like first so you guys get your sticks and stones ready. The first thing I didn't like was the group of teenage dragons. I have to admit, the dragons in this group look pretty cool. Their attitudes and personalities though not so much. It kind of ruins it because I really loved how much work was put into making each dragon look distinct and unique, with different shapes, sizes, colours, animation, flames, and even expressions. But when they talk, I have to be honest, they all sounded exactly the same to me. They were all rude, obnoxious, angry, jerky and overall insufferable, to the point that I wanted to mute the episode and just watch them go. They have so little personality they don't even have names! How bad is that!? There is a moment where one of the dragons seems to warm up to Spike and I was like "Oh hey, he actually has depth, he doesn't have the charisma of a piece of paper" but then he returns to be a jerk and all I wanted to do was to call Matthew McConaughey to shove an explosive arrow down his throat. I wouldn't call this missed opportunity, because the designs are still pretty cool, but I will call it misleading. This shouldn't be a problem for the writer. I know she can write awesome characters (look at Iron Will, look at Commander Hurricane or Chancellor Pudding Head). So I really don't know what went wrong in that process. Another thing I didn't like was how little we are told of the dragons. Yeah, kind of ironic when you think about it but this episode only tells us what we already know about dragons. They hoard gems to eat them, they are rude, they are posessive, and they don't like ponies. I guess they also like to stomp Phoenix's nests, but I won't take it as only imbecile teenagers seem to do it. There was a lot of potential to know about dragon society, but I guess we will have to allow the fanon to cover the blank spaces, and that kind of sucks if you ask me.
|I really don't know what will be worse. The fanon of these three, or the Rule 34.|
On the other hand, there are many things that I did like. Okay I will start with the first thing I liked of this episode, just so I can shut the doubts of the people who follows my reviews. Spike. I'm not a fan, but I did like Spike in this episode, and the more I think about it the more I realise I really liked him here. Spike has always walked the fine line between jerk and nice (he is a jerk to Twilight but nice to Rarity) but this is the first time I see him being humble and taking a stance for himself. I really liked to see him groan for his unintentional girliness with the pink apron, or when he stops to drink tea during his quest. It was enjoyable to see him climb the pile of gems only to get knocked down from it seconds later, and if that wasn't director Jayson Thiessen taking a metaphor too literally then I don't know what could it be. I felt really happy for him when he finally got accepted and I connected with him when he decided to keep the egg and protect it. Some people wondered why they didn't return the egg to the parents. It happens in nature that eggs and offspring often get lost and the parents don't care for them. Who knows, maybe that's what happened to Spike. So trust me, Woodstock Phoenix is safe with him. Speaking of Woodstock, the music for this episode was amazing. I don't usually notice it, but you can perfectly make an album out of all the background music this episode has and I promise people will set up raves just so we can rock at it. It was really good. It was great to see Rainbow Dash getting called out early on: "I've done many nutty things." - "We know." I really liked Rarity's random outbursts of "Bear Mom" with Spike, how she launches to defend him or how she worries when he leaves. That poor deformed dragon, Crackle I think is the name of it, was okay yet I can't fathom the fascination people have with it. It was a very funny joke that kind of got ruined because they put it in the preview clip. It would've been funnier if they had saved it for the audience to see with the complete episode. But then again, what other part to show?
|Besides the glaring continuity error?|
|Besides, this cartoon has already surpased Pixar and 50% of the world's soap operas in crying scenes, Jesus...|
- Moral: Is not what you are what defines who you are. There should be posters and PSA's with this message in every TV Channel and in every Bus stop in the World. There's not enough of it.