We’re going back to the map for this one. This time, the map is called Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie to the Griffon Kingdom and Griffonstone. Twilight, though enthused and has become a griffon buff, is not going because the map is not calling her—and she can barely hide her disappointment. Dash is not as enthused given the events in “Griffon the Brush-Off” where ex-friend Gilda was horrible towards her Ponyville friends—Pinkie in particular—and now has a negative opinion of griffons. Though Pinkie concurs with that sentiment, she is enthused to go.
However, she trusts that Dash and Pinkie can get the job done. However, they are not told what exactly the problem is. All they know is that there was a golden artifact called Idol of Boreas that was responsible to turning Griffonstone into the most majestic kingdom in the land.
Fortunately for this trip, Twilight has written a travel guide for Dash and Pinkie to follow complete with instructions to ask for the King or visit the library. When they get there though, the place is a dump. They also come across Gilda who is not at all pleased to see them and tells them there is no king, but there is Grandpa Gruff who tells the tragic tale of what happened to the Idol (for two bits). It turns out that a creature called Arimaspi invaded and took the Idol, but it and him fell into the Abysmal Abyss and Griffonstone’s pride went with it. With this information, Dash concludes that they need to find the Idol, but Pinkie recalls Twilight’s guide and suggests they go to the library absent a king to visit.
So Dash goes to the Abyss (and having to spend bits for equipment in the process) while Pinkie goes to the library—which is also in tatters. Pinkie is dismayed that there is no singing, no parties, and no cake. However, there are griffon scones and Gilda’s been selling them in order to make enough money to get off the island. They taste even more terrible than the muffins Sugar Belle was baking in “The Cutie Map” while in “Equaltown.” So Pinkie adds baking powder to the scones and they taste better. Pinkie is trying hard to show Gilda that there is a good side to her.
Meanwhile, Dash runs into to trouble and is stuck on a ledge towards the abyss—and is out of bits. Pinkie catches up and turns to Gilda for help. Gilda initially refuses, but comes around after being reminded of the time she and Dash were at Junior Speedsters Flight Camp. In the process of the rescue, amid a couple close calls, they find the Idol. Gilda initially reaches for it, but instead pulls up Dash and Pinkie saying they are more important than “a chunk of gold” that’s now fallen deep into the abyss.
Pinkie concluded that what was missing at Griffonstone wasn’t the Idol, it was Friendship and that all that the griffons need to do is care for each other. It may be daunting for Gilda, but initial progress was enough for Pinkie and Dash to get the signal that they have accomplished their mission. They promise to visit Gilda again and we cut to Gummy “in the process” of making Granny Pie’s marjolaine recipe that Pinkie was baking before being called to the map.
This was another stellar episode and without doubt, Pinkie Pie was the star of the episode. Amid her usual wackiness, she is more of a genius at times than we give her credit for. She remembered Twilight’s instructions and did not jump to the conclusion Rainbow did as to what exactly the problem was and was able to bring out the good in Gilda. She clearly displays that there are no hard feelings after the events of “Griffon the Brush-Off” (94 episodes ago). The library is actually where Pinkie finds the answer and it confirms that the mission to spread friendship across Equestria is not Twilight’s alone.
Fans were looking forward to the day Gilda would return to the series and she did not disappoint. In addition, it was visually appealing to see all the griffons in this episode and the clever alliteration by Amy Keating Rogers with all the names starting with G. Of course, finally visiting the Griffon Kingdom is a plus within itself. The humor was spot on as it has been for Season Five so far, especially when Dash does her impression of Twilight during the train ride.
About the only thing that could be deemed a negative in this one is that almost two-thirds the episode was backstory and exposition. It was very useful for this story, but it does affect the pacing of the episode a bit. Daniel Alvarez of Unleash the Fanboy lamented during his review of “Tanks for the Memory” about how ‘little’ character development Rainbow has received over 4+ seasons, but it is in character for Dash to jump to conclusions about things. There will always be that one aspect of a certain character that will annoy someone whether it’s Fluttershy being a scaredy-pony, Twilight being too focused on a task that she forgets important details, or Rainbow jumping to conclusions. I’m not going to penalize the episode here because no pony’s perfect and it’s not excessively annoying here.
This was the 99th episode of the series and the show is now Hasbro’s longest running animated series in terms of episodes as well as seasons. It’s a bit bittersweet that this is the first of the last four episodes that Amy Keating Rogers wrote for Season Five as she is now working full-time for Disney. However, she is de-facto the go-to writer when Pinkie Pie is a central figure and this is one of Pinkie’s best.
Pluses and Minuses:
- + Pinkie Pie
- + The Griffon Kingdom
- + The return of Gilda
- + Humor
- – Backstories and Exposition, though useful, throws pacing off a bit.
In other news the stream/episodes/whatnot have been delayed since Spazz (the one who creates them) is out of town for a convention. Which one? I’m not sure. So expect them to become available sometime next week. (DS)