Monday, 19 October 2015

Episode review: S5E19: "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows"

Pinkie literally breaks
There: proof that ponies really are marshmallows
After last week's episode brought one of the longest arcs in the history of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to a close, we were all expecting something a bit more straightforward this time round. Well, as straightforward as you can get when Pinkie Pie is at its centre! This was the first episode to be written by G. M. Berrow (credited as Gillian M. Berrow, but I'm using the old tag for convenience). While her Pinkie chapter book isn't one of my favourites in that series, I was eager to see what she could do with a cartoon script.

For the most part, I think Berrow did a good job. This episode could have been a very humdrum filler instalment, but in fact it was a bit more than that. The big announcement – that Cadance and Shining Armor will become parents – had been so widely hinted/spoiled that it wasn't really much of a surprise any more. That being so, I think the decision to make it explicit very early on was a good one. A shame for Pinkie that she couldn't do the same!

Whenever there's a new writer on FiM, you wonder whether they'll take a little while to get into the swing of things. I do think there are a couple of rough edges here, with some slightly clunky dialogue on occasion (mind you, the last episode had that, too) and I wish Mr Cake had referred to his wife as "Cup", or at least "Cup Cake", which would have sounded a bit more natural. Still, things do settle down fairly quickly, and I didn't keep thinking, "Ooh, new writer".

Pinkie's friends (as balloons) harangue her
Who was it said that Discord had to be behind this somewhere?
The focus was on Pinkie Pie being weird, and – as Rainbow Dash lampshaded – she took that aspect up to 11. I tend to be leery when that happens, as we all know how badly Pinkie can be flanderised into "Ms Crazy Pony" from time to time. There are many other aspects to her character! We do at least see some of those here, such as the pride she takes in her baking early on, as well as her quick-wittedness during the slightly rushed scavenger hunt.

Talking of which, we really need an episode in which Twilight and Shining Armor go all-out on the adorkability front. Anyone who's read the "Neigh Anything" comic arc will recognise the nerd Shiny we see in this ep, and it's greatly amusing. Even the horse noises! Mind you, I am a little disappointed that Spike's only significant contribution to the episode is destroying a mint copy of what looks awfully like Action Comics #1: he's another character who has had a bit of a raw deal in recent times.

Shining Armor sees his destroyed comic
Any comic fans out there who can identify the cover on the bottom?
There are a considerable number of nice touches around the edges of this episode. Whether it's Derpy appearing with Dinky (it's been a while!) or Fluttershy's inevitable friendship with at least one albino squirrel, they mostly hit the mark, though Mayor Mare seems to have been affected nearly as badly as Pinkie by having to keep the big secret. I would have liked to have seen the Royal Crystal Train again, though, as it had such an impressive design. I hope it hasn't been consigned to history!

Twilight's reaction about becoming an ant aunt is also very nice, although the "Applejack's birth certificate" scene seems rather odd. Nothing wrong with it in itself, but why specifically AJ? After the little reference to her parents last time, is something being set up regarding her family? Odd as it sounds to say this, I really hope they're not going to turn out to be alive later in the series. I think that would be a disappointment given the sure handling of their (presumed) death.

Pinkie presents Scootaloo with... a balloon baby's bottle
Scootaloo probably carries off the new cutie mark best of the CMC
That aside, this is an enjoyable episode, if not a particularly earth-shaking one. Even "Princess Skyla", assuming she does get that name, has been trailed in toy terms for several years. (Although I don't much care for "Baby Cakes", it might be nice to have an episode in which Twilight turns the tables on her sister-in-law by foal-sitting Cadance's child.) Anyway, I think Ms Berrow did a solid job in her show debut, certainly enough to make me hope she'll handle another one (or more?) in season six.

Best quote: Pinkie Pie: "Albino squirrel!" Fluttershy: "Where? Is it Albert?"

  • Rarity turning the tables on Pinkie's "FOREVER" routine
  • Shining Armor being a nerd (and with Twily)
  • Pinkie Pinball – someone make this!
  • Rainbow lampshading Pinkie's extreme weirdness
  • Pinkie's Donald Rumsfeld homage
  • Derpy and Dinky together in the background
  • Fluttershy knows at least one albino squirrel. Of course she does
  • Featherweight speaks!
  • The "going to pieces" joke was a tad OTT even for Pinkie
  • One or two bits of slightly awkward dialogue
  • Why would Mr Cake call his wife "Mrs Cake"? She has a name!
  • Aw, I wanted to see the Crystal Train again
  • Mayor Mare's scene was just odd
  • That bloody massive Back to the Future graphic


  1. A half decent episode that was always going to pail compared to last weeks massive bombshell. The comic cover is a nod to the Archie comics, the pony on the right is wearing a crown similar to what Jughead wears.

    1. Yeah, about four people have now told me it was Archie. I feel even more clueless than ever! ;)

  2. Episode sounds good, though I dunno what it is people dislike about "Baby Cakes"; that episode looks good to me.

    I think I know why that BTTF thing is on the bottom, it is near the time when Marty himself arrived in this year (and we've already got self-lacing shoes and hoverboards already made, believe it or not!)...

    1. "Baby Cakes" is a very visual episode, even for a cartoon. You just can't get the full effect from the transcript. This is a polite way of saying: for Celestia's sake, watch these episodes, don't just read them! :P

      Yeah, I know why the movie is being shown now. It's just that the graphic was ridiculously big and obtrusive.

    2. I see, sorry :(

      I understand the thing about the graphic thing too.

      On another note, how was UK Ponycon? I've seen photos of what it was like and it looked interesting.

    3. You don't have to apologise! There's no requirement on you to watch the episodes. It just seems really weird to consume such a visual medium through text. It would be like only ever watching cartoons of fanfics and never actually reading them!

      On another note, how was UK Ponycon?

      *Grins* You might want to look back a little in this very blog, where I have two long reports on... UK PonyCon. :P