Monday, 11 September 2017

Episode review: S7E18: "Daring Done?"

Daring Do and Pinkie by the slime pit
One of the few teams Friends Forever never got round to
I do have one or two thoughts about Hascon to bring up, but they can wait a little bit. The week's episode was accidentally released early by Hasbro, but in the event I waited until its due date to watch it. "Daring Done?" was written by G. M. Berrow* and its synopsis was one I found moderately interesting but no more than that. And now I've seen it, I find it...

...well, actually, "moderately interesting" summed it up quite well. The story itself was reasonable enough, with a nice new section of Equestria to look at – past and present – and some good animation for Somnambula's legend, recalling temple wall friezes and the like. I enjoyed the Sphinx, though he/it did fall for Somnambula's ruse rather easily after she'd answered the satisfying riddle.

Talking of unconvincing tricks, Caballeron's identity was really obvious right from the start; he didn't even bother to disguise his voice. As Aldersgate pointed out on UK of Equestria, though, this sort of thing is a staple of old-fashioned adventure serials, so I can probably let it go. It was nice to see him again, though, as he's one of my favourite semi-incompetent antagonists.

The Sphinx shown in stylised animation
Okay, it's not Greek, but it's nice to see some more mythology
On the goodies' side of the ledger, Berrow wrote Pinkie pretty nicely, as she usually does. It was great to see her calm down Rainbow Dash on a number of occasions when Dash was going over the top. Rainbow herself was less convincingly written, for example when she apparently forgot how to fly as Caballeron's henchponies approached to capture her.

Daring Do/A. K. Yearling was... all right. I quite liked the motivation behind her retirement decision, and also that she had caused problems – it wasn't just tittle-tattle got up to discredit her. ("It's our flaws that make us work...") The actual adventuring was a bit by-the-numbers, though, and the victory method relied on some way-too-convenient steam vents.

A reasonably entertaining episode once again, and perhaps I'd have found it more impressive had it gone out last year, during a season with fewer real highlights. I don't know whether we'll ever see that part of the world again, but I wouldn't mind – though I think I might prefer it not to be a Daring Do adventure next time round. Enjoyable filler again? Yup.

Caballeron, in disguise, addresses the locals
"And Daring Do didn't even put me on the cover"
Best quote: Pinkie: "I changed my mind. Tell me!"

  • Some fun world-building in a new location
  • The "Sphinx and Somnambula" legend was nice
  • Pinkie was written satisfyingly well
  • Rainbow's characterisation felt off at times
  • Solution out of nowhere to save Dash at the end
  • Caballeron's disguise was useless


  1. Wow, you hardly EVER seem to be positive near Season 7... :(

    1. Star ratings from me in S7 so far: 3, 3, 3, 4, 3, 2, 4, 2, 3, 5, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 3. That's an average star rating of 3.12 -- which is pretty good, I think. :)

      I've never been the sort of reviewer who dishes out very high ratings for episodes that are good but not great, and I'm not starting now.

    2. If you say so, but I have mine and I'm pretty positive most of the times: 5, 2.5, 4, 3.5, 4 (revised rating), 4.5, 3, 4.5, 3.5, 4.5, 0, 5, 5, 1.5, 3, 4.5, 4, 5.

      So other whilst some ARE better than others, other than that atrocious Party Pooped sequel that is Not Asking for Trouble, and the fandom-insulting Fame and Misfortune, I've had no other problems with this season at all if you ask me.

    3. Bear in mind that I deliberately use a skewed rating scale. Three stars is a good episode, not an average one. I use two for just plain average. The reason I do this is that I believe this show is worth watching nearly all the time, so I want to distinguish between episodes that I rate as simply good (eg this), great (eg "Rock Solid Friendship") and amazing (eg "A Royal Problem"). In other words, an average of 3.12 is well above average. :)

      Also, I've deliberately made my ratings tougher in the last couple of years. It takes a lot for an episode to get a five now. I don't use half stars, so 4.5 would get rounded down to four; that's what happened with "The Perfect Pear", for example. Only a very few episodes, such as "Amending Fences", are instant fives to me.

      Besides, we all have different opinions, and that's good. For example, I agree with you about "Not Asking for Trouble" being a poor episode, but I really enjoyed "Fame and Misfortune" and I love the "Flawless" song. It's rare for very nearly everyone to love an episode -- again, "Amending Fences" is one that comes to mind. Actually, for pure writing quality, that may get my vote for the best episode of MLP:FiM ever made.

  2. All of your 'Neighs' in this ep are reasons i strongly disliked this ep. Whatever i think about this ep, i think about how it has been better if the writer put more thoughts into that.
    G.M Berrow is so bad this season, i cant stand her episode, so bland, so contrived, and stupid. I wonder why story-editors let these episodes out unchecked, should i blame Josh Haber or two lady writers?

    1. I don't really care who you blame, since (as my full review makes very clear) I quite liked this episode in spite of its flaws. No, I'm not going to agree with you that this episode is "so bad". You're entitled to, of course, but don't expect me to agree. I don't.

  3. Cballeron's disguise working makes more sense when you remember that Daring once infiltrated his camp wearing nothing but a beard made of leaves, as someone pointed out.

    1. Hmm, not a bad point. Though that may just show that Caballeron is stupid. :P

  4. Maybe it's because I enjoy seeing new locations, cultures, and monsters, but I really liked this episode. Only the Leap of faith at the end was a strong negative for me.

    1. The world-building is definitely very welcome, and if I had to choose one thing I liked most about this one, tat would probably be it.

      This episode seems to have been quite divisive, as Daring Do eps tend to be; I've been writing up Text Review Roundup for Thursday and there's a notably wide spread of opinions.