Rainbow Dash takes the focus and finally gets a pet of her own, managing to be both awesome and kind of a jerk in the process.
Rainbow Dash zooms through the sky, as she is wont to do, performing many aerial tricks before being joined by Owloysius (last seen in episode 24). To her surprise, the owl is able to keep up with her, and to her even bigger surprise, he suddenly sprouts Winona's head and barks at her. To her further surprise, Owloysius adds Angel and Gummy to the mix, and Opalescense pops out, xenomorph-like, fully freaking Rainbow Dash out and causing her to fall from the sky and back into waking life. That's right, she was just dreaming, with her dream influenced by the noises of the other ponies' pets, who are all hanging around the tree she was napping in. Speaking of, the others are not far behind, and Rarity apologizes for the pets.
It seems that the rest of the mane casts have a weekly playdate for the pets, which Rainbow Dash wasn't privy to seeing as 1. she doesn't have a pet and 2. she usually takes a nap around that time anyway. Which Rainbow totally understands. So the others get back to playing with their pets and Dash gets back to her nap. However, she then gets offended that they all assumed she would never have a pet, and tells them so. This sends Fluttershy into a rhapsody, literally, as she drags Dash back to her treehouse and tells her, in song, all about the many potential pets she has. And Dash replies, in song, that it has to be a pet that is cool, fast, and can fly. After a few false starts, in song, Fluttershy finally brings in the animals that fit the bill, but there's too many choices, so Rainbow Dash decides, in song, to hold a contest to see which animal is worthy of being her pet.
Once everything is set up, Rainbow Dash gives the prospective pets a rousing speech about what is expected of them, causing to the other ponies to wonder if Dash really "gets" what having a pet is about. But her contest, her rules. Fluttershy, despite knowing Dash's prerequisites quite well, brings in one more competitor: a tortoise. Dash flat out refuses to let him even try, but Fluttershy's continual wheedling gets her to give in. But she lets the tortoise know that this isn't going to be a walk in the park. With the line-up settled on, Dash describes the various tests: Speed, Agility, Guts, Style, Coolness, Awesomeness, and Radicalness. Twilight objects that the last three are all the same thing, which just proves she would never make a good pet for Rainbow Dash.
The falcon is the clear winner of the Speed test, and the hummingbird takes the Agility test, though it loses points for being unable to high-five without falling. As for Guts, only the monarch butterfly is brave enough to get Opal's toy away from her, with bonus points for essentially hypnotizing her to do it. The Style test involves posing for photos, and Coolness is judged solely on their calls, with the Eagle winning for an inaccurate call. Awesomeness is a test of natural talents, with the owl's head-turn trumping the rest, and the Radicalness test is all about performance, which the bat wins, though with points off for being awesome rather than radical. And the tortoise is pathetic at each test, which Rainbow Dash is quick to point out.
When the points are tallied, it's the tie between the falcon, the owl, the eagle, and the bat. Since there can only be one, Rainbow Dash declares the final test will be a race against herself through Ghastly Gorge. She also declares that the winner will have to cross the finish line with her in order to win. Despite not making the cut, the tortoise joins in anyway, but is left woefully in the dust. Rainbow Dash takes off like a flash, flying through the many obstacles in the gorge, (including Quarray Eels) and the potential pets following behind the best they can.
Getting cocky, Rainbow Dash flies backwards and smacks right into the gorge wall, getting caught in a rockslide that leaves her wing pinned. The potential pets, unaware of her plight, fly right on by. Worrying that she'll be stuck in the gorge forever, Rainbow Dash starts to panic, and begins to succumb to despair, when she suddenly hears the sound of (hopefully) a rescuer. She rejoices at her good fortune, until she sees her would-be savior: the tortoise. Despite her lamentations, the tortoise manages to lift the rock.
falcon crosses first. However, it soon becomes clear that all is not right, as the potential pets are all there, but there's no sign of Rainbow Dash. Twilight pulls out her binoculars, which are commandeered first by Fluttershy and then Applejack, who spots the fallen rocks. As the others discuss what to do, Pinkie Pie catches sight of Rainbow Dash riding on the tortoise's back. Accommodating the tortoise's slow speed, the others bring the finish line to him and celebrate. Rainbow Dash thanks to the tortoise for rescuing her, and Fluttershy introduces her new pet, the falcon. Rainbow Dash, however, is not so sure any more. The others point out that it's just what she wanted in a pet, and Rarity commemorates the event with a photo. The camera's flash sends the tortoise back into his shell, and Rainbow Dash tries to coax him out. She has a conundrum, as she has the pet she thought she wanted, but finds that she now wants a different one. But she remembers that her exact words were that the pet who crossed the finish line with her would be the winner, and only the tortoise did that. The falcon, though disappointed, takes his loss like a gentleman.
With things settled, Rainbow Dash calls for Spike to take a letter to the princess, and as she dictates what she's learned (there are more important traits in a pet or friend than just being cool), the tortoise manages to get Opal's toy away from the cat, passing the Guts test. Dash praises the tortoise for his tenacity, which gives her the perfect name for him: Tank. Fluttershy, however, points out that one of the reasons Rainbow Dash turned down the tortoise in the first place was that it couldn't fly, but in a magical land, anything is possible, even magic-powered tortoise-copters, which Tank debuts at his first pony-pet playdate.
put on the sunglasses during the song. All the tests were interesting to watch, and it was great having Flight of the Valkyries as BGM (and Rainbow Dash whistling it? Priceless!). The Find a Pet song, while nice, doesn't feel worthy of being the first song of season two. And see these faces:
Applejack and Winona