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Season 9, Episode 15 - 2, 4, 6, Greaaat

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Bridle Timeout, 9 August 2019.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

    3 March 2013
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    Air Date: 10th August 2019

    Written by: Kaita Mpambara

    Synopsis: The School of Friendship starts their own buckball team, and much to Rainbow Dash's chagrin, she is asked to coach the team's cheerleaders.

    Here we go with another episode about the somewhat unusual sport that the ponies like to participate in. :p

    Please remember to use spoiler tags as appropriate until 24 hours after this episode has aired on Discovery Family. Thank you.
    Danishbrony2011 and Loganberry like this.
  2. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

    16 May 2012
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    I'm Loganberry, and I approve of this header. :D

    I know this is one that's been out already in China, but I've managed to avoid spoilers. So... interesting that we're getting a second buckball-related episode this year, after "Common Ground". Hard to tell much from the synopsis, but it could go anywhere. Just slightly reminds me of "Games Ponies Play" back in S3, which wasn't a favourite, so hopefully this will do a good job. Kaita Mpambara wrote "Horse Play" (which I really like) and "A Rockhoof and a Hard Place" (which I'm mixed on) so the omens are reasonably good.
  3. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

    17 March 2014
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    Very interesting
    Snips and Snails in a big role again
  4. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

    23 September 2014
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    I saw this early as I’m away this weekend.

    A complete switch around from last episode for me. This was pretty awful. Worst of the season. I really hope this isn’t Rainbow’s last ever focus episode, but I have a horrible feeling it will be. :(

    Positives? Ocellus is still cute as always. Smoulder wasn’t taking any nonsense. And I liked the crowd’s hoof-stomping during the final performance.

    Otherwise.. no. [/spoilers]
  5. Streamline

    Streamline Honorary Pony

    19 March 2017
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    Different day, same old Dash.

    If I had made this decision, I would have sent both Rainbow Dash and Rarity to coach the Cheer Squad.

    Rare would have provided the strategic thinking (using each squad member and their attributes to the advantage of the performance) and the design element of this, whilst would have tied in nicely for Dash to take on the motivational and athletic side of it. To me it felt she was able to assist with the motivational side at the end of this episode but they were on their own for the actual 'coming up with' the routine, RD enhanced it with the whistle to keep them in situ.

    Celestia's roaring shout out in the stands was clearly enough for her team to crank it up a gear and win the game :D

    Snips there is more to this than making money for yourself!

    Starlight gets a brief appearance in the stands but no words in the script this week. It's like the 'changing of the guard' in that stand with the three of them there passing on their respective responsibilities to each other during the season.

    All in all good episode.
  6. sten whik

    sten whik Space

    25 March 2013
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    Rainbow Dash was completely out of character.
    This is one of the most popular scenes in FIM...

    Why would you try to retcon it?
    Also why are they treating cheerleading like an ostracised sport when it's super popular in the US? Is that a Canada issue?

    It seems like the whole buckball team idea was just Celestia and Twilight scheming to teach Dash a lesson, thus why they ignored Pinkie, Fluttershy and their students' efforts. But that means, by ignoring them because they are focused on treating Dash a lesson, Celestia and Twilight are doing the exact same thing Dash was doing.
    It felt like Last Jedi level subvert expectations to get a reaction instead of well thought out writing.
    Same thing with the Zecora bit. It's a funny subversion but why wouldn't Zecora be able to help?

    Still despite all that mess there were some positives for me, them being the Snips and Snails scenes, the writing for Smolder, and the Celestia Canterlot voice cheer.
    #6 sten whik, 10 August 2019
    Last edited: 10 August 2019
    Danishbrony2011 and CuldeeFell like this.
  7. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

    6 January 2017
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    Yeah, I enjoyed it.

    I think it had the potential to be even better, though. I had been hoping that maybe Rainbow would come to enjoy coaching the cheer squad much sooner, and coming to realise that she could like something "girly". That would've been similar to Read It and Weep, but I still think it would've been an improvement. I found it slightly irritating that she spent so much of the episode acting like she did. I get that she was more invested in the buckball team, but she did come off as really not caring. I wouldn't say it upset me or ruined the episode, but I could understand if other people felt that way. At least it wasn't her ego this time, though.

    I liked the students in this one, and not just the student six. I really liked the dancer ponies, and I did think early on that they weren't bad. I couldn't help notice that Smolder is apparently feeling better about doing "girly" things in front of others. I hadn't thought that she'd make a good smoke machine, and that she could provide pyrotechnics. I saw quite early on that Yona needed to time her stomps, effectively becoming a metronome, and it didn't seem to take Dashie long to realise that once she actually started paying attention. I kinda expected Ocellus to make use of her shape shifting, but I get that she didn't want to be defined by it. I almost expected Smolder to coach her on cheering LOUDER! :p

    I enjoyed Smolder most of all in this. I like that they have the kind of working relationship where they can call out their professors for acting like an idiot. I also liked the kind of friendly rivalry between Twilight and Celestia. She clearly doesn't have her on quite such a pedestal anymore. It crossed my mind that Twilight's old friends might be involved, but they'd be too old by now. I hadn't even considered that all over her players would have to be unicorns. Apparently, magic cancelling ring horns are canon now...
    Blissful690 likes this.
  8. Zero Motion

    Zero Motion Active Pony

    11 June 2018
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    Finally watched it, I swear Dailymotion hates me, it didn't work on any of my browsers so I had to wait until it was uploaded elsewhere.
    So with this episode I went in knowing some things, sadly the spoiler system on Equestria Daily is much quicker and lenient compared to here.
    I knew it involved Buckball, that this was a major Dashie episode and that Smolder wore a dress.

    I had no clue how those would fit together but cheerleading makes a lot of sense, it is rather weird how both of Dashie's episodes this season have involved Buckball...I pray this doesn't continue.

    First and foremost I wanna address the new characters in Shimmy Shake and Light Hoof, decent names and appealing designs, more so for Shimmy, Lights is ok but a bit too plain, I feel like Shimmy's works well with the uniform.
    Speaking of, I'm curious how fast they put together their uniforms.
    Since Dashie was only recently appointed as the coach so... it must have been rather quick for them to hear about that announcement and then create the uniforms for it.
    Since otherwise, the school wouldn't have had a need for cheerleaders prior to this episode.

    It was a tad bit annoying they used Yona for the typical "yaks break everything around them" trope but I did enjoy that they adapted it into the final routine and even made it a crowd-pleaser, reminded me of Queen's "We will rock you", oh and of course the pyramid, casual Cheerleader trope needs to be attained.
    This does feel like a good lesson for Ocellus to learn, granted she should of by now but then again, even Dashie is still learning so no judgement to either, in any case, I'm happy the shy little changeling was able to cheer loud and proud.

    And then we get to Smolder, easily the best part of this episode.
    From her fun dialogue to her heartwrenching speech to her adorable expressions, she killed it.
    Well done Smolder, I adored her in this episode.
    I think this is easily one of her best episodes, she starts off joining for her friends but remains due to her genuine interest and even goes as far as to overcome her embarrassment of showcasing her feminine side.
    All it took was standing up to someone she admires, and she did so in such a beautiful manner.
    I like that they showed Silverstream, Sandbar and Gallus watching the game as well, reinforcing the friendship of the Student Six.

    I enjoyed the smart detail about the wings and magic dampening ring, nice callback to the fact that Celestia's school only welcomes Unicorns.
    Another smaller detail in Lyra and Bon Bon watching the game since iirc they showed them earlier as big fans, same goes for Berry Punch, Roseluck and Carrot Top.
    Love how Twi's slowly becoming so much more like Celestia, that bro-hoof between them at the end, so sweet.

    Overall I think this episode was slightly less enjoyable than our previous buckball episode, sure Smolder was fantastic and it's easily one of her best episodes, even so, the episode just overall was kinda ok.
    The ending 100% saves it but I think Dashie's representation is what hurts it, she's a jock, there's no denying that.
    She's without a doubt one of the most athletic ponies in all of Equestria, so going on that logic she would have seen multiple athletic games in stadiums or just overall, some good and some bad.
    I just felt the way she disregarded Cheerleading outright was a bit out of character since no one was saying it was more important than buckball just that is was important.
    So I felt she should have given it a chance to persuade her thinking but oh well, she's gotta learn the lesson.

    I don't know how to feel if this is Dashie's last episode since as with the previous 2 of the mane six in Applejack and Pinkie, they've both had what seems to be their last episodes and both touched on a key component of their elements. (AJ being honest with herself and Pinkie staying true to her unique laughter)
    This follows a very similar pattern cause Dashie had to choose her loyalty over her wants, so is this a satisfying ending for Dashie?
    I think it's alright, similar to how I felt AJs was, I think it's ok but I felt they could have done a better job with it, granted it could have been a lot worse.
    Candy Yunagi likes this.
  9. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

    3 March 2013
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    Ehhh, I dunno...

    I don't want to say it was terrible, because it wasn't. But it wasn't great either. I mostly enjoyed the cheer squad itself, other than their coach. :p

    It was nice to see Smolder more comfortable with "girly" things, and Occellus was adorable, as usual.

    I liked Snails' zen-like attitude towards the game. "Beeee the ball." :p

    Celestia's shout. :eek:

    Hmm, Twilight asked Rainbow to do something she wasn't particularly enthusiastic about at first, and she learned a lesson from it. Sounds kind of familiar...

    Hopefully Rainbow gets another chance to shine before the series is over, because I'm sorry to say, this wasn't it.
  10. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

    23 September 2014
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    I’ll aim to give this one another watch on Monday at least, to give it another go. I’ll know what to expect next time, so my view might improve. It’s never going to be one of my favourites though.
  11. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

    16 May 2012
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    Only seen it once and will watch again before firming up my opinion. But right now...
    I'm afraid I think that was Rainbow's worst characterisation since "Non-Compete Clause". It reminded me of some of her less appealing behaviour in S2, but she had the excuse of being younger and less mature then. Plus claiming (early in the episode) not to know what cheerleaders do? I simply don't believe that, given what we saw "Rainbow Falls", "Cart Before the Ponies", etc. Not to mention that extremely well known opening scene to "Sonic Rainboom" with Dash and Fluttershy.

    As with "Non-Compete Clause", some of the Young Six stuff was cute, and there were a few nice lines from the buckball squad. But after one watch, this is a contender for my least favourite episode of S9. Far and away my least favourite of the three episodes Kaita Mpambara has written.
  12. Steamworks

    Steamworks Honorary Pony

    7 March 2017
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    Heard things about this episode. Let's see if they hold true.

    Two weeks is plenty of time to crash course a team, especially if they're already players.

    I don't think it's too unexpected for Dash to be disappointed in being asked to coach the cheer team rather than the main team.

    While I want to agree that Dash would be a great cheer squad leader since she's such a great motivator, I don't think that's her style. She's more of a direct motivator than something on the sidelines. The rousing speech to pull ponies up after a defeat than cheerleader stuff.

    I think Dash's lack of knowledge of cheering is because I'm betting she's usually performing solo rather than team stuff. I also think she checked out mentally after finding out she wasn't directly involved with the team.

    I mean, Pinkie would be a good choice for advisor on cheer stuff.

    And the abysmal cheer performance.

    Smolder dropping all that on Dash. Also nice seeing the students feel free to roast the profs.

    I suppose it is nice they haven't rehashed the louder yay scene. Along those lines, I recently got around to Ash vs Evil Dead and was kind of annoyed they redid the tiny Ash scene from Army of Darkness.

    Are we counting that cheer as a song?

    Though, I'm left wondering if the whole thing was an elaborate setup just for Dash or if it was only putting her in charge of cheer that was the plan.
  13. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

    9 February 2014
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    I've only seen this once so far.

    And after that one viewing I thought it was all right. Certainly I wasn't expecting the level of disappointment some people seem to feel about it. I could buy Rainbow Dash not being committed to helping the cheering squad when she'd thought she was going to be helping the team and the cheer squad was essentially dumped on her. I can see her feeling it was being fobbed off on her. The lesson she really had to learn here was to swallow her pride and engage with something she thought was beneath her, and I can see that being something that Season 9 Dash still struggles with.

    That said, while watching I completely forgot about this scene:
    which is famous enough that you really can't ignore it. Especially when they make an explicit reference to the exact same episode (in the form of the unicorn with temporary wings) later on. It really doesn't make sense for Rainbow Dash to say she knows nothing about cheerleading when she's coached a cheering squad (of one pony) on screen before now.

    That said there were still lots of little things to enjoy: Celestia's cheer, the use of magic dampers and wings on Celestia's team, Smolder's attitude and Ocellus being cute. I'll stick with what I said at the start; this one was all right.
  14. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

    24 August 2013
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    Finally managed to watch this last night. I must say it was a good one! I've spoilered my review as it is a bit of a text wall. :oops:

    I felt this had a lot of funny and amusing moments, such as Pinkie and Rarity's suggestions to Dash for the cheer squad (trust Rarity to have cheerleader outfits all ready at a moments notice); Smolder's unenthusiastic cheer during their practice performance followed by Ocellus frantically looking for a rhyme with "rar!" I'm sure Rarity would approve of hitting the spa after the game. ;)

    Not to mention Celestia's royal Canterlot cheer which roused her magic school to bounce back and take the game! Despite how loud she was, I didn't catch what she said at the start of her cheer though.

    We also had Smolder taking no nonsense from Rainbow Dash and growing more fond of the cheer squad throughout the episode. She also had a lot of cute facial expressions too, and it was fun to see her in a cheerleader dress.

    The two new cheerleader ponies looked good too. A shame they didn't have much of an impact in the episode. I do have to wonder if Snips timed his whistle to them on purpose though just so he got a nice eyeful of them in a rather revealing pose. :rolleyes:

    The only real fault in this episode was Rainbow Dash claiming she knew nothing about cheering. Clearly the writer of this ep never watched Sonic Rainboom! At least the next gen of ponies won't have this problem of new writers being unaware of what's happened previously in the show.

    It would be funny to see someone do a version of the louder yay scene with Ocellus and Smolder. ;)

    Rainbow Dash was a bit of a jerk though. For a pony who represents the element of loyalty she was quick to abandon her students. :confused: I can see how she might feel coaching the cheer squad was beneath her though and getting fed up quickly.

    I did laugh out loud at Dash making her dramatic entrance and the cheer squad just groaning and walking away.

    All in all, I feel the flaw with Dash didn't not hamper my enjoyment of the episode. It was full of laughs for me and ended up being a really strong episode in my eyes. I'm surprised it's being reviewed so harshly by many of you. It doesn't deserve the bottom spot in the season rankings surely!? :eek:

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