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 spending the summer in the little town of Gravity Falls with their Grunkle Stan, who runs a tourist trap called the Mystery Shack. Thanks to the mysterious Journal Dipper discovered on his first day there, he and Mabel have fought off monsters, been haunted by convenience store ghosts, and uncovered a major conspiracy in the town’s past. Mabel’s made several friends and started a rivalry with rich bitch Pacifica Northwest, and Dipper develops a major crush on Wendy, the coolest teenage girl in town, and is slowly working past his shyness to win her over.
It seems Grunkle Stan has been learning a thing or two from Mr. Krabs when he decides to hold the cheapest fair money can rent so he can draw in more customers. Rather than playing the part of Cheapy McCheapskate the Clown, he’s daring everyone who passes by to knock him into the dunk tank. Of course, being Stan, the dunk target is rigged so tightly that nothing short of a futuristic laser cannon can get him in the water. After Dipper learns the hard way that the sky buckets are broken, he and Mabel are sent out to put fake grades on the rides for the safety inspector while Stan looks for a missing screwdriver. None of them are aware that someone already took it.
Dipper and Wendy enjoy each others’ company as the fair is in full swing. In the time since the dance in “Double Dipper”, he’s grown more confident about himself and talking to her. The moment is spoiled when Robbie shows up on the scene rocking some skinny jeans, his usual bad attitude and enough body spray to make the air around him unbreathable. Dipper is determined to keep him away from Wendy at all costs and tries to win a stuffed panda-duck-mutant thing for her at one of the ball-toss games. Unfortunately for him, the ball bounces off the bottles and straight into her eye. Dipper grabs some ice but bumps into the man from earlier and spills everything. He returns to find Robbie giving her his snowcone and she agreeing to go out with him.
Mabel is having a much better time than him, having fallen in love with a pig that’s apparently oinking her name. After successfully guessing “Ol’ Fifteen-Poundy’s” weight, she wins him and christens him Waddles.
Mabel shows Waddles to Dipper and learns about her brother’s broken heart. His sadness continues for the rest of the day despite her and Waddles’ attempts to cheer him up. Dipper wishes he could go back and fix everything, blaming it all on the guy he bumped into when he happens to notice him close by. He recognizes him as someone he keeps seeing around the Mystery Shack and asks if he’s been following them. The stranger, realizing he is compromised, attempts to go into stealth mode by making his suit turn into camouflage but results in making it change into different patterns and places. When his “memory wipe” fails, the man comes clean – his name is Blendin Blandin, and he is a time traveler from the future sent to clean up some anomalies predicted to occur at the fair. He hasn’t found any yet, however, which makes him worried that he’s fallen into a paradox where he’s the one that’s going to cause them.
Dipper and Mabel are still skeptical despite the fact that they’ve already witnessed clones, monsters, ghosts and other things around Gravity Falls, so Blendin demonstrates how he travels back with a special tape measure. Eager to get his hands on the time-tape and fix his mistakes, Dipper convinces Blendin to take a break and go on some rides. He swipes it from his toolbelt after he takes it off and vows to make the shot that cost him Wendy. Mabel wants to join him so she can relive winning Waddles. Dipper pulls the tape back and they vanish in a flash while we see the rest of the world going backwards – and I’ll spare you the image of Soos eating a sandwich in reverse.
The twins exit the Mystery Shack to find themselves at the beginning of the fair. Mabel wins Waddles without having to even guess, leading to the old man at the stand to assume she’s a witch and start a mob.
Dipper finds Wendy, tries to knock over the bottles and succeeds – only for the ball to bounce back and hit her in the eye again with Robbie coming to the rescue. Dipper takes a moment to wonder if time itself is conspiring against him to make sure that he fails, but dismisses it and goes back with Mabel one more time. We get a montage of him attempting to win the game in different ways but always with the same outcome. Meanwhile Mabel is having the time of her life with Waddles. Dipper is forced to use the one tool no one should ever be forced to reckon with in order to win his dream girl.
Calculating the laws of time and physics and such (at age twelve, how is this kid not in college?!) Dipper concludes that there’s one variable missing from the equation that allows him to win without hurting Wendy. He recruits Mabel to help him despite her wanting to go back and win Waddles one more time, saying it’ll take less than a few minutes. Doing some careful pitching and thanks to some Rube Goldberg-esque chain reactions in part from Mabel, Dipper knocks down the bottles, gets Wendy her stuffed toy and one-ups Robbie. Pleased with a job well done, Mabel goes after Waddles…but Pacifica has gotten to him first.
After a solid ten seconds of screaming, Mabel catches up to Dipper and asks that they go back one last time so she can win her beloved pig for good. Dipper is sorry but refuses because in every other timeline he loses Wendy. The two get into a scuffle over the time-tape and it gets caught on a ride vehicle, stretching itself out and sending the twins into the days of the pioneers. They’re chased by a herd of buffalo off a cliff into a covered wagon. Mabel messes around with the pioneers onboard by spoiling big things that happen in the future like women’s rights and calculators. With his hands back on the tape, Dipper tries to get them home but they’re both nearly eaten by a T-Rex instead. Then they end up in an apocalyptic future with an evil giant flying baby on the loose before appearing by the lake the day they chased the Gobblewonker, at the unveiling of the Shack’s wax museum, right behind the giant gnome monster, and a wintry day outside the Mystery Shack.
As they fight over the tape again, it malfunctions and envelopes them in an electrical flash. They appear in a black void where nothing but their eyes are visible (I love when they do that in cartoons). Both panic when they think they were transported to the end of time itself…until they realize that the tape just took them inside a porta-potty back at the fair in the timeline they came from. Wendy still has her creature, Robbie is humiliated, and Pacifica is abusing Waddles. Mabel chases Dipper around one last time but he is adamant in his decision. He’s worked too hard to give Wendy up and points out that Mabel’s fallen for other things before so Waddles isn’t any different.
Mabel finally gives up and bangs her head on the totem pole to lament the loss of her porcine soulmate. Dipper calls her out for trying to guilt trip him and travels ahead by one day to prove that she’ll be over Waddles soon enough.
To his surprise, she’s still there.
So he travels ahead by one week.
Mabel is still there, sad as ever.
One whole month later, her sweater rotted by time and weather, vines and bugs crawling through her hair, Mabel has not only not moved on, but she’s been made part of the tour at the Mystery Shack.
Dipper has a choice to make. It’s not a matter of Wendy or Waddles. It’s Wendy or his sister. As much as it hurts him, he knows what he has to do.
At the fair, Dipper tells Wendy that people who make mistakes should be forgiven (and only Puerto Ricans can pull off skinny jeans well) and throws the ball and loses. Robbie gets Wendy, but Mabel gets Waddles, and Pacifica gets a cock in her face.
Blendin finds the twins and is pissed beyond all belief that the twins have broken countless time travel laws when two officers of the Time Enforcement Police, Lolph and Dundgren, appear to arrest him for all the anomalies throughout time that they believe he caused. He swears revenge on the kids as they drag him away. Since nothing happens immediately after, Dipper and Mabel shrug it off and try not to think about the possibility that they caused the anomalies Blendin was sent there for in the first place. Grunkle Stan gets some sweet karmic justice however as he insults the officers and they manage to dunk him with their laser cannons.
For all that he went through, Dipper tries not to be too sad at the thought of losing Wendy to Robbie, because the thought of hurting his sister was something he couldn’t bear. Mabel gets some revenge for him by having Waddles go after Robbie’s candy apple and managing to get his jeans shrunk in scalding hot water while he’s still wearing them (which hurts as much as you think it would. Don’t ask how I know this).
“The Time Traveler’s Pig” is a polarizing episode for most fans, myself included, and it all stems down to the actions of one character – Mabel. Dipper is willing to sacrifice his happiness for her but she’s not willing to do the same, and it’s going to take a while before we reach the point in the series where she realizes that. I tend to cut her more slack than other fans because you have to remember she’s a twelve year-old girl and that’s the age when most adolescents start seeing themselves as the center of the universe. I’m willing begrudge her occasional selfish tendencies because, well, you’ve seen how I’ve raved about her in the last review; when she’s not acting the way, she’s that enjoyable to watch. Speaking of, Dipper and Mabel are more than happy to let Blendin take all the blame for the havoc they’ve wreaked through the timelines, so Mabel’s not the only one acting out of self-interest here (and yes, that is definitely going to come back to haunt them later). The ending of this episode marks the first time things don’t wrap up completely happily for everyone, and I admire the writers for doing that even if I don’t really care for it. Also, why couldn’t they have simply gotten Waddles first and then go through with Dipper’s plan? Maybe it’s a case of the obvious answer staring you in the face without you realizing it, but it kind of bugs me. The time-travel rules are a little all over the place too with some characters remembering alternate timelines and others not, but hey, we can’t all be Back to the Future. Other than that the moments with Waddles are adorable (seriously, I want a pig like him), the Edgar Wright-esque sight gags and lines (the heart shaped balloon behind Dipper popping when Robbie asks out Wendy, the vendor at the ball game telling Dipper he only gets one chance, etc.) are cleverly interwoven throughout the episode, and we get a fun new recurring character in the pathetic time-traveler Blendin. If his voice sounds familiar to you, then I find it UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!
…But seriously, Justin Roiland is a lot of fun.
And the Internet Went:
I’ve read other people’s reviews trying to get a grasp on the general consensus of this episode and it’s very mixed. Some love it, some hate it, so I’m just gonna put it somewhere in the middle.
End Credits Craziness: Time Baby calls Blendin to the stand in Time Court and forces him to absolve for his time crimes by fixing the anomalies made by the Pines twins going back in time…time to all the instances we’ve seen him pop up in before. Man they overuse that word in that distant future.
Callbacks: A subtle one, but one of the pioneers cries out “By Trembley!” Also one of the documents in the previous episode alludes to a gigantic evil time-guzzling baby. Not to mention we finally get a closer look at all the moments Blendin appeared in prior to this episode.”
Crowning Line of Hilawesomeness: Say it with me – “Everything is different now.” Something about that line has so much weight attached to it.
Mabel SWatch (Sweater Watch): Turquoise with blue and purple wavy stripes
Dear Princess Celestabelleabethabelle: I’ve learned that a true sibling will put everything aside to make the other one happy…just don’t expect them to immediately return the favor.
Where’s that wacky triangle at?
Next time be prepared to –
It’s “Fight Fighters”. See you then!
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