EqD post on The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well:http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/10/3466-days-of-pony-mysterious-mare-do.html
Well, this is it: the episode widely regarded as being the worst in the entire series. Unlike Owl's Well That Ends Well, though, I never liked this episode, though while I didn't like it when I first watched it, I didn't really understand why until I read all the discussions about it, and it all became clear to me. And really, this episode's been discussed so much, I honestly don't know what I could add. I might as well post CR!'s reviews of the episode and call it a day.
Though I will address on common rebuttal to why people don't like it. Some people think that Twilight and friends actions were justified, because Rainbow Dash is a tough, strong-headed girl, and this way would be the best way to get it through to her to act more proper. Thing is, the method Twilight and friends use, IT DOESN'T WORK! Like CR! said, Rainbow Dash has to be outright TOLD the moral at the end, because she didn't get it at all. And even THEN, they could have just helped out other ponies themselves and set a good example instead of using the "Mare-Do-Well" idea, like CR! said. After all, being friends, Rainbow Dash would be more open to the idea of being humble through her friends, rather then a random stranger who she can immediately jump to conclusions about.
And really, is Rainbow Dash bragging so bad that Twilight and friends have to resort to this? She brags before, and try, her ego DOES almost get some ponies seriously hurt, but was it really enough that Twilight and friends had to resort to this? Surprisingly enough, while writing this, I'm reminded of Boast Busters, and how the mane 6 save Twilight were all massively annoyed with Trixie's boasting, when really they shouldn't be. This show is acting like being annoying is something that warrants a reaction or pay-back, when any REASONABLE person should either just ignore or walk away, unless someone gets seriously hurt or is ganged up on... But ironically enough, it's the supposed boaster/bragger that gets ganged up on for daring to even say another good about themselves!
Thing is, I don't think this was intentional it's just a result of sloppy writing. The is the first episode written by Merriweather Williams, who previous was either a story editor or a collaborative writer who wrote TV shows with other people involved. It's tempting just to say this was just a first-time thing, that she would just need some time to get used to the characters and setting and such, but as we'll see later this season and in season 3, she'll prove to be one of the worst writers in the series. 3 major things you can tell from this first episode are present in all the episodes she's written.
1.) Exaggerating characters negative traits and flaws. While other writers (i.e. Meghan McCarthy and Amy Keating Rogers) are guilty of this on occasion, Merriweather Williams is probably the biggest offender. Rainbow Dash is at her very worst in this episode, and the rest of the mane 6 don't act much better, particularly Pinkie Pie, who just comes off as... ugh...
2.) Everyone's a jerk. Now, I haven't seen or read any interviews with her, so I don't know what she's thinking when she writes episode, but something present in a lot of her stories is that, for whatever reason, ponies (and dragons in one episode) tend to act like the most asshole-ish creatures ever. It's bad enough that the mane 6 were okay with basically psychologically tormenting Rainbow Dash and making her feel like crap, but having Fluttershy in on this?! No WAY she's participate in something so under-handed!
3.) Two words: contrived convenience
. EVERY SINGLE ONE of Merriweather Williams episodes have scenarios that play out in such a way that serve the plot more then actually being probable or make any kind of logical sense in the setting of the show. For example, in this episode, there's a life-or-death accident happening every other minute, not to mention there appears to be a road leading to a very dangerous cliff in the middle of Ponville, and even a freaking hydro-eletric dam! All for the sake of setting up scenarios where Rainbow Dash's ego gets in the way and "Mare-Do-Well" has to save the day instead. Now, usually, this sort of thing wouldn't bother me
And then there's the superhero thing... While some would think it's cool, there's really no point to it in this episode other then that it's cool. As stated before, there's literally no reason why the mane 6 can't just do good deeds and set a good example themselves, as opposed to creating a superhero just to teach Rainbow Dash a lesson that she doesn't learn and has to be flat-out told, making the whole thing pointless. Also tying into the whole "contrived convenience" thing, some people try to justify it by saying this is meant to be a parody of superhero tropes, though really, the way this episode plays out, it feels less like a parody and more like someone trying to play everything straight and claiming to be ironic about it.
And winking at the camera? I'm with CR! (and PaleoSteno for that matter) in that it's a pet peeve of mine, though in this case, it's more that the whole episode freaking annoys me that seeing Rainbow Dash wink at the end just really angers me for no real reason other then it's stupid and the episode is getting on my nerves.
I suppose there are other, minor things to go about this that I could complain about, but this is long enough as it is, so I'll end here. I know there are people who like this episode, and if you honestly think that the characters actions are justified, the superhero shout-outs outweigh the not-so-good stuff, or whatever, then fine. As for me, and a lot of other people, I think this is one episode we'd all rather forget.