Actually, I can relate to this episode, because last I heard, my little brother (who's also a brony) had not watched last week's episode when he normally would have by then, so I've had to stay tight-lipped about what had transpired in that episode. Which also meant no bragging about how I had so totally called it (but that's okay...he actually listened to me when I did said calling, so he's probably going to side with me on that one). I'm still not sure if he's actually seen it yet, so I emailed him a link to last week's episode with explicit instructions he watch that BEFORE he watches this week's, as way of precaution.
Because...y'know...it's sort of important.
Of course, so's this week's episode.
Luckily for us, they make the big reveal right off the bat in this episode.
But then that's when the fun begins...
I'm sure a lot of you are probably thinking "finally!" and to a certain extent so am I. But from a writing point of view, I'm actually kind of glad the show's put it off until now. I mean, sure, it's the natural direction to take those two, and move them on to building a family of their own. But it's not something they really had to introduce straightaway. Give the show some time to explore Cadance and Shining as just the happy couple for a little while, especially since we had none of that leading up to their wedding, before you distract them by making them parents.
But whatever the case, we're crossing that bridge now, so this should be interesting. Especially as it's obviously going to be a while still before we see said baby (possibly not until early next season? Season finale seems too soon), which was actually the one thing that surprised me about this episode. The fact they were having one I had already figured out; saw a brief synopsis on the episode a couple days back and while it technically didn't reveal "the big surprise," it gave me enough to piece it together (a heck of a lot faster that Twilight did, I might add)...though that said, hearing it confirmed is still very exciting.
No, I was actually fully expecting that baby to already be born and in hoof when Cadance and Shining turned up in Ponyville...much like how the Cakes own foals were handled. I didn't think it was going to more of an announcement that they were actually pregnant and it'd be a little before the foal actually appeared because...you know...too many details. For shows that are directed for the kiddies (and yes, MLP still counts...bronies aren't the only ones who watch it y'know), pregnancy is a potentially touchy subject to address, to the point they rarely even name it as such on the screen. In fact, MLP did exactly that you will note.
But yeah, announcing it now, and will show off the foal at a later date is the name of the game here, to my mild surprise. I wonder, are they going to just announce it now, and then hide at least Cadance away for awhile, and then the next time she appears, the foal's already born? Or will it be an ongoing thing, and we'll see snippets of the time of Cadance pregnant before said birth? I suspect it'll be the former, but I admit I'm kind of hoping still they'll do the latter...if only to see the show actually do it and out of curiosity to see how it's handled without touching too many taboos.
Well, we'll find out in due time, I suppose.
At any rate, the oncoming baby is not the episode's story anyway. It's the ingenious idea of forcing Pinkie Pie to have to keep it secret.
As we all know, Pinkie's all about secrets and keeping them exactly that when asked, because a promise is a promise. But she's honestly a bit of a motormouth, ironically, and so it's easy for her to tell other ponies to keep their secrets safe, but to ask her to follow her own advice is...something of a challenge for her.
Admirably, she succeeds. But watching her doing it was absolutely hilarious. Thus I heartily approve of the writing choice to just reveal the baby announcement right off the bat so to focus instead on Pinkie trying to keep it secret. It is true that by doing that, we know all throughout the episode what the secret is, and thus kind of ruins the surprise for the rest of us, but as the episode so accurately conveys, part of the joy of keeping a secret such as this one is seeing the surprise when it's finally revealed. Thus, we may already know what the reveal is, but watching everypony else figure it out was is great fun and builds a sort of suspense of its own doing so. And watching them finally figure it out and realization dawn on them...that's when you know the whole effort was totally worth it.
It's especially fun watching Twilight gradually piece it together, seeing those gears of hers turn as you wait for her to make the connection.
...it's made even more fun by watching Pinkie work to restrain herself while Twilight very slowly do this.
In fact, the whole episode it wonderfully rendered. Not only does it make the viewer relate with Pinkie's situation very well, it's also just a fun episode. Nothing's at stake. There's no trouble. Save for Pinkie and the plans to announce a surprise, its largely business as usual, and given the past couple of episodes haven't been quite that, it makes for a nice reprieve and a chance to take a breather before we're thrown back into the thick of things as the season builds for the season finale (and I am feeling a building sensation here...like the show's trying to get other things out of the way first before it reaches that finale...hmm...).
In short, this is one of those episodes where I'm reminded why it is I watch the show in the first place. Because it tells fun stories like this one.