If you’re new to the blog or just want to revisit from the beginning, click HERE to read the review for “Tourist Trapped”.
Previously on Gravity Falls:
Dipper and Mabel Pines are sent to Gravity Falls to spend the summer with their Grunkle Stan, who runs a tourist trap called the Mystery Shack. Dipper finds a journal in which the enigmatic Author has chronicled some of the unusual happenings and inhabitants of the town, and he vows to follow in his (or her) footsteps to unravel Gravity Falls’ mysteries while bonding with his wild sister and cranky Grunkle.
Wendy’s made a few appearances in the show so far but hasn’t done anything to write home about. Now we have an episode that involves her and Dipper. Let’s see how she stacks up to the rest of the cast.
It’s a slow day at the Mystery Shack and Dipper is reading Journal 3. He asks Mabel if she believes in ghosts and she jokes that she believes he’s a dork…which doesn’t sound that much like her, but whatever. Stan runs out telling Wendy and Soos to clean the bathroom, but Wendy ditches Soos and takes Dipper and Mabel up to her secret hangout spot on the roof of the Shack. There she’s set up a beach chair and umbrella, a cooler, and a bucket full of pinecones to chuck at targets in the woods. All in all, it’s a pretty cool spot. They have fun tossing pinecones and Dipper even manages to impress Wendy by accidentally setting off a car alarm. He goes in for a high five and I bet you’ll never guess how he feels by the way Wendy’s framed in the next shot.
Wendy’s friends show up in the parking lot and call out to her. She asks them not to tell Stan that she’s cutting work and Dipper promises with the old zip-lock-and-key over the mouth-thing. Wendy jumps down from the roof using the trees like a boss and drives away. Mabel jokes that Dipper’s got a crush which Dipper denies. He doesn’t even stay up at night thinking about her or anything like that.
The next day Mabel starts a dance party for no reason (God I love her) and she and Wendy try to get Dipper to join them. Dipper declines but Mabel brings up one of those embarrassing stories siblings love to mention in front of people that you like, namely his mom used to dress him up in a lamb costume when he was little and make him do the “Lamby-Lamby Dance”. Luckily before Dipper can be humiliated further it’s quitting time and Wendy clocks out to meet her friends. Dipper asks if he and Mabel can join her and lies about being thirteen instead of twelve so she’ll think they’re mature enough to go on her “hardcore” adventures. He asks Mabel to play along so he can fit in with the cool kids.
…We’re going in that direction, huh?
All right, let’s meet the jerks – uh, kids:
Dipper makes a great first impression by accidentally embarrassing Robbie and saying his graffiti art of a nuclear explosion on the town’s water tower looks like a giant muffin. Everyone finds it hilarious except for Robbie and they drive off.
The teens arrive at their destination, an abandoned convenience store called “Dusk 2 Dawn” (great horror movie reference by the way). According to legend, it’s been closed ever since some people died in there and is supposed to be haunted. The thought of running into ghosts worries Dipper but he tries to be cool for Wendy’s sake. Also Mabel beats him over the fence and does a celebratory circle on the ground complete with Curly whoops and it is GLORIOUS.
Anyway, Dipper further shows up Robbie by finding a way to unlock the store from the inside when he fails to pry open the doors. He earns the nickname “Dr. Fun Time” and the teens’ acceptance. Once inside, they turn on all the lights (because all condemned buildings are still hooked up to electricity) and run amok. Mabel also comes across a candy called Smile Dip that was banned in the US sometime after the store closed and gorges on it – and immediately learns why it was recalled.
So everyone’s having a good time and and there’s no sign of anything supernatural – until Dipper opens a freezer and finds this.
Dipper distracts everyone from his sudden panicking with a Dance-Dance-Revolution-type video game and immediately phones Grunkle Stan for help. What he doesn’t know is that this whole time Stan’s been watching the tv, which happens to be stuck on the boring old-lady-movie channel since he can’t find the remote, and now he’s so into the complex story and characters of Sterly Stembleburgiss’ “The Dutchess Approves” that nothing can pull him away. The…whatever that thing was disappears when Dipper checks the fridge again, but now he sees his friends’ reflection in the glass doors as skeletons. He tries to snap Mabel out of her sugar-induced hallucinations but she’s riding higher than Zootopia’s box office returns on a flying four-armed dolphin named Aoshima.
Dipper’s left with an obvious dilemma – tell everyone what he’s seen and have them think he’s a whiny scared little kid, or say nothing and risk exactly what always happens to dumb teenagers in these horror scenarios. He’s going to have to make that decision quick as Robbie discovers two chalk body outlines on the floor behind the cash register, confirming the rumors. Nate goes to lie down in one of them but Dipper stops him and suggests that maybe the place is haunted after all. Robbie turns most of the group against him immediately for being a baby. Even Wendy admits he’s being a bit of a buzzkill. To prove them wrong, Dipper shouts that he’s thirteen, technically a teenager (remember this part), and he lies in the outline.
…And then crap hits the fan.
The outlines glow ominously, the lights go out, and Tambry vanishes, leaving behind her phone. The gang find her status update is an endless scream and discover her trapped in the security monitors. Thompson is then zapped into the DDR game and impaled with falling arrows. Robbie tries to ditch them but the doors lock themselves. Dipper searches the journal, which he conveniently brought with him, and reads that most ghosts usually haunt a place for a reason. If they find out why, maybe the ghosts will free them. Wendy agrees, but seeing how the other three are the dumb men of the bunch, they’d rather flee first and talk about feelings later. Instantly after mocking the most logical notion, Lee gets poofed on to a box of Fruit Loops and judging by the gory sounds and everyone’s reactions, he’s hacked up by the giant spoon of a cannibalistic Toucan Sam-knockoff.
The ghost makes itself known by speaking through a possessed Mabel, complete with rolled-back eyes and spinning head (but thankfully not spewing any Smile Dip). Wendy and Dipper apologize for messing around the store and ask to leave, and the ghost capitulates, even offering them half-price off of hot dogs…but it turns out it was just kidding and locks them back in. Nate flips out and the ghost turns him into a hot dog for his bad attitude.
Finally the ghost enacts its vengeance on Robbie, Wendy and Dipper, literally turning the place upside-down and making everything fly at them. Dipper and Wendy manage to hide in a cabinet while Robbie cowers somewhere offscreen and they try to figure out what they could have done to make the ghost angry. Tambry was on her phone, Thompson was playing a video game, Lee was being sarcastic and Nate was having a cow, all normal things teenagers do. Dipper realizes the connection, faces the ghost, and makes a major confession in front of it and Wendy – he is not really a teenager.
On hearing him, the ghosts un-possess Mabel and reveal themselves: they’re actually a kindly old couple who ran the store but had their customers driven away by rude and rebellious teenagers. They decided to ban teens altogether, but they fought back with some “outrageous” vanilla rap music that caused them both to have simultaneous heart attacks. Dipper pleads for them to let his friends go, but the ghosts ask for him to do something cute for them in return.
Dipper does the Lamby-Lamby dance and his awkwardly adorable getting down with his baaaad self pleases the ghosts. They disappear and release everyone safe and sound. Wendy, having witnessed everything, lies about how Dipper saved the day and tells her friends he beat the ghosts up (and this episode’s crowning moment of heartwarming goes to her). Everyone leaves the store as the sun rises and Wendy tells Dipper she’s up for hanging out with him again anytime, as long as it’s not anywhere haunted, making this night a success in Dipper’s book.
In spite of my nitpickings, “The Inconveniencing’ is a really fun episode, in fact it’s among my top 10. I love how it plays out like your typical horror movie with dumb teenagers getting picked off one by one sans the horrible deaths. The teenagers with the exception of Wendy may be one-dimensional stereotypes of teens, but not only do they act like real teenagers, they’re exaggerated to such a degree that they’re fun to watch, especially when they’re being tortured by the ghosts. Even though I’m not a massive horror fan myself, I’ve dated a horror junkie long enough to find myself enjoying some of the classic horror tropes that are present in this episode as well as a few others that pop up in the series. This one is balanced out with a lot of comedy so it’ll get the kids invested without scaring them too much. It was also at this point that Alex Hirsch wrote a show bible for Gravity Falls dictating how Dipper and Mabel’s relationship should be written since Mabel seems to pick on her brother a lot in this episode. People complained that she was being too mean, and while I don’t think so, I can understand where they’re coming from. Up until this point they may not have seen eye to eye on everything but they seem to have a genuine loving relationship. Refreshing, considering most cartoon siblings are often at each others’ throats. I don’t see Mabel’s joking as being mean since in later episodes she’s proven to be a hardcore shipper of people, though she does push it at points like calling him a dork or bringing up the lamb costume in front of Wendy, even if it’s just a way to set it up for later in the episode. Speaking of Wendy, she may not do a lot here, but we finally get hints of how genuinely cool she is. She’s nonjudgmental, doesn’t talk down to the kids despite the big age gap, and does her own thing, so you can kind of understand why Dipper develops such a big crush on her. Not to mention we start seeing hints of how secretly badass she really is; that pays off spectacularly later. Also, the comedy in this episode is spot-on, from Mabel’s insane candy-colored hallucinations to Stan essentially going through the motions of becoming a fanboy (initially hating it, loving it so much that he sees his own life mirrored in it, then throwing a fit when it doesn’t go where he wanted).
And the Internet Went:
MORE. WE WANT MOOOOOAAAAAARRRR…
End Credits Craziness: Stan wrapping up “The Dutchess Approves”…and having to explain to Dipper and Mabel why he threw the tv out the window after the ending disappoints him.
Callbacks: Kind of a subtle one, but remember how in the previous episode Gideon attacked Dipper with lamb shears? Were they subtly hinting that Dipper would become a lamb in this one? Other than that there’s not any that I can really think of, but now is a good time to mention the goat in the attic from the first episode is something of a recurring background character that likes to hang around the shack; he’s actually the first thing we see in “The Inconveniencing”. He even has a name – Gompers.
Crowning Line of Hilawesomeness: I’m gonna be a bit more general and put just about any moment with Stan watching The Duchess Approves. I’d love to see an entire episode of this, even if Alex Hirsch himself stated that the movie is 80 minutes of credits then only those two scenes we see him enjoying.
Mabel SWatch (Sweater Watch): A musical note over some colorful stripes.
Dear Princess Celestabelleabethabelle: I learned you shouldn’t pretend to be something else in order to impress someone. A real friend (like Wendy!) will think you’re cool no matter what silly things you have to do in order to stop some ghosts.
Where’s that wacky triangle at?
Next up is “Dipper vs. Manliness”. See you then!
8-15-20 4-15-7-19, 8-1-12-6-16-18-9-3-5 8-15-20 4-15-7-19,
23-8-1-20 11-9-14-4-19 15-6 11-9-4-19 5-1-20 8-1-12-6-16-18-9-3-5 8-15-20 4-15-7-19?
19-20-15-14-5-4 11-9-4-19, 7-18-15-21-3-8-25 11-9-4-19, 11-9-4-19 23-8-15 4-18-5-19-19 12-9-11-5 12-1-13-2-19!
3-15-15-12 11-9-4-19, 5-13-15 11-9-4-19, 11-9-4-19 23-8-15 1-3-20 12-9-11-5 2-9-7 6-1-20 8-1-13-19!
8-15-20 4-15-7-19, 8-1-12-6-16-18-9-3-5 8-15-20 4-15-7-19,
20-8-5 4-15-7-19 7-9-22-5 11-9-4-19 1 6-18-9-7-8-20!