Watch Gilda discover her rescue skills while rediscovering the magic of friendship.
The cutie map unexpectedly summons just Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash on a mission to solve a friendship problem in the griffon kingdom of Griffonstone. Rainbow Dash isn’t so thrilled visiting a place full of Gildas, but acquiesces because of Twilight’s enthusiasm about a glorious place she was not invited to visit. When they arrive, Griffonstone proves to be a “dump.” No griffon seems willing to help any other if not paid. When they find Gilda, she proves to be no exception. But when Rainbow Dash decides they were sent by the map to save the fabled Idol of Boreas to restore griffon-kind to it’s former glory, she heads off to explore the dark depths of the Abysmal Abyss. Will she ever return?
The episode is interesting on many fronts, but primarily in that it builds a better picture as to where the griffons fit in the world of Equestria. We learn their history and see their home. We also learn what happened to Gilda from season one and about her sorry life as a bakery cart proprietor. Perhaps as a sign as to how poor griffon life has become, the scones she bakes are horrible until Pinkie Pie relates a secret Gilda should have know. The main tension in the episode derives from the conflict between Pinkie Pie’s focus on relationships—specifically Gilda’s disrupted friendship with Rainbow Dash—and Rainbow Dash’s focus on adventure. Ironically, it is Rainbow Dash going off exploring a deep geologic rift and getting herself stranded that eventually reminds Gilda of the importance friendship had and has in her life. The Idol of Boreas is not the lost treasure of Griffonstone; it’s Gilda.
This is a story that should have been great. It starts grandly with Pinkie Pie’s sloppy baking and her using Gummy as a straight-man. It continues with Twilight talking excitedly about visiting Griffonstone, but comedically annoyed that the cutie map didn’t invite her along for the adventure. But from then on, it plays as little more than an outline of a story, sadly with our favorite jock mare-of-action Rainbow Dash getting herself in trouble, again. Compare it to the break-neck cornucopia of comedy, information, and action that filled Bloom and Gloom to see how effectively almost too much good stuff can be packed into 22 minutes of run time. I do hope that this isn’t the last of Gilda, however. The action in the story saved her; it did not save her people. [I wrote a FiM-Fiction episode follow-on, Community Service, where Rainbow Dash is as right as Pinkie.]
What to watch for (and comment upon):
- Did Gummy move at all after Pinkie gave him a beater?
- Admire Twilight staring longingly at the cutie map’s out-of-date rendition of Griffonstone.
- What was the Idol of Boreas made of?
- Watch RD’s hair when she imitates Twilight.
- Does Twilight draw well? (Look at the cover of her tour guide.)
- Arimaspi and the griffons are associated together in mythology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arimaspi
- What animal has the same type of eye as Arminaspi?
- What is Pinkie Pie’s baking secret?