by ~empty-10
S2E8 – The Mysterious Mare Do Well
Written by: Merriwether Williams
Fan Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Well it seems this episode isn’t exactly a favorite with fans, as so far its fetching about a 3.5 out of 5 on DHN’s fan rating poll (which is still open).  There is only one other episode this season which has fetched such a low rating (and currently 3.5 has been the lowest).  From my understanding this episode is the first we’ve seen from writer Merriwether Williams, so some people are giving her a little slack.

Here’s the wikipedia about Ms. Merriwether Williams.  She was a junior executive at Nickelodeon Cartoons who issued Network notes to the shows’ creators.  After leaving the executive ranks, she wrote one episode of The Angry Beavers and was responsible for writing three paragraph outlines for SpongeBob SquarePants.  She performed the same work for Camp Lazlo at Cartoon Network.  She has also written two or three films with actor James Franco, and most recently has written episodes for Adventure Time.


Now on with the episode.  Many people have placed this episode in the not so great tier of episodes, but its hard to say.  Compared to other episodes it does have some bumps in it, but in general I’d call it a different style of episode than what we’re use to seeing with FiM.  Gauge wise I would place this at the “alright” tier.  The episode is fun to watch, it wasn’t an epic adventure like Dragonshy but wasn’t fully a slice of life style that some episodes can be.

Sadly Rainbow Dash is catching a lot of flack for her attitude during this episode, but that’s one of the points. Her ego is inflated from the hero worship, and when someone else appears on the horizon and starts to take her down a peg or two, she of course goes into the panic to reclaim her fame.  The breakdown.

The cold opening establishes that RD has one of the more famous ponies in Ponyville, enough that she has a fan club ran by Scootaloo and many followers.  Suddenly Ponyville becomes a voilent and dangerous place where multiple rescues are required of Rainbow, making her a hero, and of course causing her ego to go into overdrive.  We have a total of 7 accidents in this episode, but it only takes three for her skull to bloat up beyond capacity.

Accident 1:  Filly in the well:  Simple enough, RD hears someone calling out for help, happens to becoming from the old abandoned well, she rescues the filly.  A small crowd gathers, she blushes and flies away, proud of herself.

Accident 2:  Run Away Baby Carriage on the Hill of Death:  A carriage is out of control flying down a hill where there is the classic cartoon cliff waiting for its certain doom.  RD saves the baby, and her ego begins to take over.  Photographer ponies start taking pictures, and she starts posing.

Accident 3:  Old Folks Home:  A bunch of old ponies are enjoying the afternoon on a second story deck that ends up breaking off.  RD catches the porch and rescues them.  Ego fully inflated now, as she is greeted by a large crowd, and moments later is recounting her tales at Sugarcube Corner.  After just these three accidents she already has Spike writing her autobiography.  This is also the turning point in which her friends take notice of her ever growing ego, and apparently formulate a plan to take her down a peg or two.

Accident 4:  RD is signing autographs in the middle of Ponyville, and someone cries for help as a hot air balloon falls towards the ground.  RD is not worried, even signs a few more autographs before flying to the rescue.  Mare Do Well shows up, does a Batman across the roofs of Ponyville and catches the Ballooon Pony just in time, while RD fails.  Crowd goes wild, Mayor names her, and RD starts the decent of being forgotten and of course, becomes mad.

Accident 5:  Runaway Carraige on the Hill of Death:  This time its a wagon full of adult ponies, RD tries to rescue them but fails to stop the carriage.  Mare Do Well uses her super strength to stop it, RD descends even more into madness and jealousy.

Accident 6:  Ponyville High Rise:  Kind of cool though very out of place for Ponyville, as a tall building is being built.  The crane malfunctions, RD jumps in to save everyone though is almost killed by a flying beam coming off the crane, that hits the building and causes it to come down.  Mare do Well shows up, saves four workers, RD manages to barely save one, and attempts to take credit.  Of course credit is given to the Mare do Well.

Accident 7:  Personally this one is less of an accident and more caused by Rainbow herself.  As she passes a large dam near Ponyville, she takes notice to a leak.  More or less half nuts now, she uses her hoof to clog the leak and declares victory, only to have the dam rupture.  She is caught in the wall of water, rescued by Mare do Well.  The dam is fixed by magic via Mare Do Well.

At this point Ponyville goes to celebrate Mare Do Well, and RD plans on unmasking the hero.  She fails to do so in front of the crowd, and ends up on a chase through Ponyville.  Mare Do Well runs circles around her as if she has super speed, RD finally catches up to her and unmasks her to reveal its Pinkie Pie.  The rest of her friends show up to reveal they are all Mare Do well, RD now sees the folly of her ways, write a letter and roll the credits.

I’ve seen many complaints about certain aspects of this episode.  The cliff that we’ve never seen before, the tall building being built.  But keep in mind this is a cartoon, one made for young kids.  I’ve actually rewritten this part due to a comment left this morning and felt it was more proper to point this stuff out.  Of course not everything has to make sense.  The cliff we’ll probably never see again, but its not like we have a engineered map of Ponyville.  The High Rise building was there just for the fact, personally I liked the fact we saw actual heavy equipment being used, interesting the crane itself is made of wood rather than steel.

In the end this episode is catching about the same love that “Look Before You Sleep” or “Ticket Master” had caught during Season 1, and in the end those episodes have gained popularity as time moved on.  Its not catching the unanimous love many episodes gained, but more in the realm of love it or hate it.  And always remember folks, it is a cartoon, and many have the habit of over analyzing things.  But then again, many of us find that to be fun, in a not so serious way.

Side Note:  I’d personally like to find someone who can write episode reviews, as I tend to either let too much time pass before writing one, or just don’t find the time.  If interested, hit us up through the submission system.

  • Present Perfect

    My problem with this episode, other than the fact that it was just kind of 'eh' overall, is that the moral of the story is something the mane cast go COMPLETELY against during the course of the episode. What do they tell Rainbow Dash? "Don't rub your accomplishments in other ponies' faces." So what do they do in Sugarcube Corner? Brag about Mare Do Well's accomplishments, and thus their own. Rainbow Dash doesn't know it yet, but to the audience it should be painfully obvious by this point who Mare Do Well is. And then they laugh at her. What a bunch of dicks. :V

  • Anonymous

    Nice review!

    BTW The TrollHD raw of May The Best Pet Win is finally up!

  • Anonymous

    I thought this episode was kinda fun, but then I never liked Rainbow Dash that much.

  • Buttercream

    I think you gave a nice summary and gave some good background about the writer.

    But I think a lot more could be added regarding what went well and what didn't go well with the episode.

    My thoughts:
    What went well?
    The episode was hero themed and it was very well pulled off. Mare-do-well was very much a Batpony mixes with the shadow charcter. She did reflect all the qualties of who dawned her costume. When the reveal did occur it made logical sense with how Mare-do-well did all she could.
    The action sequences were great! Like daring dashes/rescues, running on rooftops, and amazing abilities which left Rainbow Dash and the audience a bit puzzled.
    The background music was great, it did sound like a superhero cartoon.

    A good lesson was learned and the interactions with spike added some good levity and humor.

    What did go well?
    It was a little too heavy handed on poking Rainbow Dash's ego and making her feel bad and frustrated.
    Although we all know what an ego Rainbow Dash
    has, having a fan club wasn't needed to show that, it was a little awkward. And with Rainbow Dash getting her ego battered, which she did need to learn how boasting feels, made you feel really sorry for her; and made everyone else seem a bit mean.

    Also the mane 6 had little interaction.
    Although most episodes usually focuses on one of the mane 6 learning a lesson, everyone loves the interplay of the mane 6. In this episode they were almost used purely as a plot device and we didn't get to see all of their wonderful traits.

    But the most important thing was that overall it was a fun episode with an interesting theme, so the writer did a good job with that as well as the rest of the team getting all the components to tie together so nicely.
    So a good fun episode overall in my opinion.

  • Patrick

    Personally I just felt like the ending wasn't… much of an ending. It didn't have as much of a resolution feel to it, I guess? Rainbow Dash didn't really feel redeemed or anything… it more just felt like the others made her completely miserable for the simple fault of having a large ego. Her big ego wasn't stopping her from helping others, just making her a bit tough to be around.

    In fact, the Mane Cast was the only ones who HAD a problem with the big ego. Her fans didn't mind it at all…

  • IbeforeEexceptafterC

    I can't believe the rating is so low for this episode!! I loved it so much. Honestly aside from the two part opener and lesson Zero,(because crazy pony is always the best kind of pony)this was my favorite episode of the season, thus far. It was so fun and light hearted and silly. I loved the road that just randomly ran off a cliff. And RD's line, (paraphrasing)"carriages and baby strollers are always run out of control on this road." I mean, come on, golden.

  • Anonymous

    Actualy the rating is about 50% disliked it and 50% liked it.
    This episode sure split the fandom.

  • InfinityDash

    @IbeforeEexceptafterC
    I agree about Dash's line "Busses and baby carriages are ALWAYS careening down this hill!" I thought that was hilarious! It called out just how ridiculous it was, which was great.

    I was honestly quite surprised when I saw how low some of the votes were. And oh god, reading the comments on the EqD article was a major downer – I can't believe how many people *hated* this episode!

    Yeah it wasn't a "normal" episode, and it had some flaws, but it was an interesting, nice change of pace for one episode I though. And it was just a really fun, lighthearted, and enjoyable.

    Oh and I gotta say the animation was FANTASTIC. The animators really outdid themselves with this one. All sorts of awesome perspective and camera motion effects too.

  • MaKS

    I think we can all agree thet whatever the writing flaws there are, people on the animation studio end have effectively saved the whole thing. The designs are amazing, pacing of scenes is impeccable, music, basic animation, voice acting, they've done great job in every department. Somehow I feel a little better for S3 now. If they could make a reasonably watchable episode out of this one, there's still hope.

  • DerpySquad

    I don't think it was overly the writing that has caused such a rating with this episode, and do keep in mind that 3.5 out of 5 isn't that bad, it just happens to be the lowest any episode in Season 2 has gotten, and we didn't do fan ratings during season 1, so I got nothing to compare it with outside the one other episode that got 3.5.

    Personally I think its fetching this kind of rating and feelings behind it because it was a different style of writing and episode. Its not an adventure episode, nor was it a slice of life. So it being different from the others, people are caught off guard. And that isn't a bad thing.

    One thing I'll say is I hope no one is taking this too serious, heh. I say that as we had one comment earlier today that got removed, mainly because it was about how a problem in the fandom was people nit picking apart episodes. (Comment was removed cause clicking the name brought me to dogs.com rather than a profile). This person more or less said that I was probably the type of person that would pick apart old warner brothers cartoons if it was several decades ago, calling things like the hang time the Wile E Coyote did when walking off a cliff. My answer would be no, different style of cartoon. But again it goes with what I was saying, what some people are calling flaws are more traditional cartoon tropes (as the commentor said).