Today we take on a controversial episode!
"Feeling Pinkie Keen" is, hands down, the most controversial episode of the first season. This doesn't necessarily come from the majority of the episode-it's arguably one of the season's most entertaining-but from the message and the ending. Now, I'm not one that really cares about the morals in this show, but I must admit that this is an exception.
Before that, though, let's talk about the rest of the episode. This episode makes heavy use of slapstick, with the vast majority of the episode's jokes involving someone (usually Twilight) being injured. It's surprisingly effective, and this episode is one of the season's funniest. It's Twilight's consistent determination and her increasing aggravation at Pinkie's aloofness that makes this work so well, as those two characters drive the episode forward through every single blow Twilight takes.
This all culminates in a gripping action scene where Twilight, Pinkie & co. have to escape from a hydra, consisting of an exciting chase with considerable tension. This is a great scene, and though it moves away from the slapstick it's just as effective. Twilight flipping the hydra through a silly decision is particularly amusing.
This episode confirms for certain that FiM now has a form of internal logic, and in this episode it's solely violated by Pinkie for the sake of comedy. Pinkie's antics are a consistent source of comedy through the series, and would only get better as the show goes on. Pinkie's violation of the laws of the universe are great comedy, but trying to work them into a moral is where the episode missteps.
Now we have to talk about the ending of the episode. Running through the episode there's the idea that Twilight just needs to "believe", which I find infuriating in itself. Eventually, Twilight does believe, though it doesn't make any sense why. Again, that's annoying enough, but the real kicker is that Twilight is giving up her pursuit to explain things in exchange for just accepting something as making sense without bothering to explain it. So either there's a "faith over reason" idea that is at best infuriating and at worst dangerous, or a moral which has no application outside of a cartoon.
But in-universe this doesn't really work either. Why would Twilight just accept it, especially so quickly? Why, when confronted with the one thing about the Pinkie Sense that doesn't add up, does she just give up trying to explain it? Wouldn't Twilight at least continue to try to explain the correlation? Why would she, of all ponies, say it makes sense even though she can't explain it?
It's unfortunate that this odd turn of events happened, to the point that even S1's showrunner, Lauren Faust, regrets it. It's particularly a shame that this particular episode was effected, because otherwise it's possibly one of the season's best. Slapstick comedy and a great character dynamic make this one of the funniest episodes of the season. Just a shame about the controversial message.