My favorite version of Rainbow Dash is big sister Rainbow Dash. There is something just so charming about how Rainbow Dash has taken Scootaloo under her wing and wants to be the best role model that there is. However, like a similar episode with Rarity and Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash has to come to the realization that her little sister is growing up and can make her own decisions. This is where the theme of the episode comes in, Rainbow Dash is worried that she’s losing Scoots and also worried for her safety while at the same time realizing that she has to let Scoots make her own decisions.
The episode opens with Dash eavesdropping on her fan club however it is soon cut short as Scootaloo reveals that she has a new fan club, The Washouts. And Dash being who she is doesn’t exactly take it well. Dash informs the girls of Scootaloo’s new obsession and worries that her fan/sis doesn’t think she’s cool anymore. And this is one of the most important elements of the episode as Dash clearly loves Scootaloo and is afraid of losing her. This is brought up later in the episode with an exchange between Twilight and Rainbow.
Rainbow Dash: But what if she chooses them over me? She’s gonna get hurt!
Twilight Sparkle: I think I know somepony else who might get hurt if that happens.
Rainbow Dash: Um, maybe you’re right. But this isn’t about me. I’m just worried about Scoot.
Yes, part of this is Dash’s ego. Make no mistake that Dash quite the ego on her but there is a bit more to look into with this relationship as it shows that Dash does care for someone other than herself. She isn’t just concerned about losing someone she cares about deeply and her getting hurt but look at how Twily addresses her line to Dash, she’s afraid that this bond will be severed. So, Scoots does take Dash to the show and this is where we learn that the Washouts are made up of ponies that washed out of the Wonderbolts and is led by Lighting Dust. I was admittedly surprised to see her back and I’m not going to save it but unlike a lot of episodes where antagonists return, Lighting isn’t reformed and she truly doesn’t care about the safety of Scootaloo. There’s an open spot on the team because one of the members broke her wing. Scoots expresses interest in joining even though she isn’t a Wonderbolt. This is where she considers joining the Wonderbolts just to wash out. Yeah, this where Dash goes into upset big sister mode and takes Scootaloo to the Academy so that Spitfire can hear this idea and we get an idea inspired by Chris Farely down by the River.
Here’s just an example of her monologue.
Well, la-dee-doodle-dah! Lemme give you a different scenario. You’re probably saying to yourself, “I’m young. I’m strong. I’m gonna go out there and stunt some tricks with my new friend Lightning Dust!” Well, I’m here to tell ya that if ya play that game, you’re gonna find out it’s pretty hard to “stunt tricks” in a FULL BODY WING-AND-HOOF CAST DRINKIN’ THROUGH A STRAW!
Dash decides that they can back and tear up all of Scootaloo’s Washouts posters. And this is where Dash is in the wrong as Scootaloo has a line that really struck a chord with me.
Just because I look up to you doesn’t mean I have to be you! But based on your definition of what makes somepony great, I have bad news. I’ll never be the best of the best or a Wonderbolt! Because I! Can’t! Fly! Is that what you wanted to hear? But not being able to fly doesn’t mean I can’t do something awesome! Like strapping my scooter to a multi-stage liquid-fueled rocket and jumping twenty-two wagons lined up in front of a roaring crowd!
I’m of two minds with this line, this is something that Dash needed to hear as while she loves Scoots, she was expecting Scoots to become her as best Crusader pointed out but Scootalo’s mindset is well misguided as she is going to end getting hurt because as pointed out Lighting Dust doesn’t care about the safety of the orange filly. I mean for starters, a rational adult wouldn’t let a kid join a stunt team
Scootaloo is understandably excited and tries to tell Lighting that she’s set up a fan club for The Washouts. She then sees that the stunt is actually rather dangerous and considers backing out but Lighting says if she doesn’t do the stunt, she’ll be impeached as the president of the fan club. Yeah, it doesn’t go well and Dash ends up saving Scoots. This is where the two come to an understanding and best sisters make up.
Scootaloo: I’m sorry for joining the Washouts. Lightning Dust wasn’t who I thought she was. She didn’t care about me being scared or putting me in danger. She only wanted a good show, even if it meant I got hurt. That’s not the kind of pony I wanna look up to.
Rainbow Dash: I’m the one who should be apologizing for not acting like somepony who deserves a fan club. I’ve been lucky enough to have somepony who thinks I’m the coolest. But there’s nothing cool about making you feel like you’ll never be as awesome as me. I think we should cancel the Washouts Fan Club. Because I know a fan club that could use some new members.
The moment that comes next is so sweet as Rainbow calls to meeting the Scootaloo Fan Club. This episode is so sweet because it takes me back to Sleepless in Ponyville where Scootaloo asked Dash to take her under her wing and we first saw these sisters hug and now this episode shows that even sisters that aren’t related by blood will still have growing pains to come to an understanding. It hit hard and this being the last Scootaloo and Dash episode in the series hits even harder because it speaks even to how much this sister pairing was loved by the fans. For so many years, Scootadash was the most popular sister pairing and there are so many Scootadash stories on Fimifcition where Dash adopts Scoots as her little sister. This was before we met her parents. You know, I think I need this picture.
There were two new Washouts introduced but they are so minor to the episode that I didn’t even feel the need to bring them up. They’re really just comedic relief. Anyway, let’s look at the characters that matter.
Rainbow Dash voiced by Ashleigh Ball
A big part of this episode is showing that while Dash loves Scootaloo, she sometimes thinks that Scootaloo has to be her. And this is where Dash sees her little sister growing up and is having a hard time as she has to let Scoots make her own decisions, even if they are the wrong decision. It’s part of growing up and not just for Scootaloo but also for Dash as she has to come to terms with Scootaloo being her own pony. It’s hard yes but it makes it all the more rewarding when they make up in the end.
Scootaloo voiced by Madenline Peters
You know how Wonderbolts Academy was an important episode for showing Dash maturing and growing up. This episode is similar in a sense for Scootaloo as she isn’t the filly that was scared to talk to Rainbow Dash back in the early days of the show. She’s becoming her own pony and she is becoming well a teenager. It’s hard to Dash to see as she isn’t used to Scootaloo having interests other than idolizing her. Though, this shows it is important for her to develop other interests and be allowed to make her own decision, even if they are harmful.
Lighting Dust voiced by Brit Irvin
It’s interesting to see a former antagonist return and not be reformed as that is a common tactic of the show. The Holy other two minor antagonists that aren’t reformed are Flim and Flambut they are more recurring. The last time Lighting Dust was seen was back in season three and this episode didn’t come about until season eight. This episode shows that Lighting Dust is still reckless and doesn’t care about the safety of any pony except herself and if the stunts she does look cool or not. She never takes into consideration how dangerous things could be.
My Final Thoughts
I love this episode. It’s one of my favorites from later seasons as it really helps to highlight the great sisterly bond of Scootaloo and Dash. It also shows how much Scootaloo has grown and is becoming a young lady in her own right. While it may be hard for Dash to see, she does come to accept it and that is important for both sisters as it’ll help them to have a stronger relationship in the future. Join me next time as we look at another emotional episode…