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.
Stan shows off one of the Mystery Shack’s greatest wonders to Dipper, Mabel and Soos – the Bottomless Pit. Anything that goes in apparently doesn’t come out, nor can you hear it reach the bottom. It’s the perfect place to get rid of suggestion cards, unwanted love letters, and for Mabel, a chained-up box of secrets that certainly isn’t worth dwelling on. A storm blows in and while the three want to head back to the Shack, Stan wants to finish dumping the cards. They blow back into his face and he accidentally pulls everyone down into the pit.
They fall deeper and deeper….
And they continue to fall…
Ok, you get the idea. They’re trapped in an empty black void with no idea when or where they’ll land. Soos suggests they take turns telling stories to pass the time. I’m going to go through each of the stories and who tells them instead of wasting time talking about the in-betweens.
Dipper: Voice Over
The gang at the Mystery Shack are fooling around when Dipper runs out screaming that he may have gotten bit by a snake. Everyone laughs at his constantly cracking puberty voice and how funny it sounds. It’s hard to take him seriously, but Mabel insists it’s nothing to be ashamed of. She and Soos even made a techno remix of it. Dipper storms off and bumps into Old Man McGucket in town. He tells him he has a way to alter his voice for good, and Dipper sees no harm in following a strange old man alone into an alleyway and drinking whatever he gives him.
The next morning, Dipper wakes up with the voice of an authoritative announcer/voiceover artist (A. Smith Harrison). Mabel and Soos are horrified by the change in his voice, barely recognizing him. Dipper tries to prove the new him is better by prank calling a random stranger, only to bump into that same stranger – the bouncer at the local tough guy hangout – on the street and be chased by him and an angry mob.
Dipper finds McGucket and tells him his invention was a disaster. McGucket quickly identifies the problem – he gave him a potion for professional voiceovers, morever, one that would have expired and left him with his old voice at sundown. He does have another potion that’s sure to work permanently. Dipper listens to the remix again and learns there’s a dedication to him and his one-of-a-kind voice at the end.
That evening Dipper returns home as his old self, which Mabel and Soos are happy to hear. Dipper decided to dump the potion into Grunkle Stan’s coffee, giving him the voice of a sassy black lady.
Soos: Soos’ Really Great Pinball Story (Is That a Good Title? Do They Have to Be Puns or Whatever?)
Soos is playing Stan’s old Western-themed Tumbleweed Terror pinball machine while Dipper and Mabel cheer him on. He’s determined to beat the high score and go down in pinball history. When he loses yet again, they suggest tilting the machine, even though that would be cheating. The machine itself taunts him through a talking desperado skull, which makes Soos decide to play dirty. Dipper and Mabel shake the machine despite the skull’s warnings and he gets the high score he’s always dreamed of.
The machine is not happy, however, and it zaps them into the game complete with Western clothing. What should be awesome turns deadly as the machine announces its intentions – it plans on killing them as revenge for cheating. It sics multiball mode on them and they hide in a saloon. Luckily Soos knows everything there is to know about this pinball machine, including where the manual switch is to turn it off. Dipper and Mabel distract the skull while Soos locates the switch. He discovers the cost of turning it off, however, is erasing all data from the game, including his high score. The skull is ready to suck Dipper and Mabel into oblivion, leaving Soos with the difficult choice. Eventually Dipper’s protests and his feelings for the kids win out and he shuts off the game.
They wake up safe and sound at home. Soos isn’t too sore over losing his life’s greatest accomplishment because he got a new one – saving his friends.
Grunkle Stan: Grunkle Stan Wins the Football Bowl
Against all odds Grunkle Stan wins the football bowl with the help of Foot-Bot and wins the respect of his fellow teammates as well as a huge trophy presented by a hot woman and Mabel, Dipper and Soos gets sick of this one pretty quickly so we move on to Mabel’s story.
Mabel gets fed up with Grunkle Stan’s constant lying to everyone, including the police, because she sees lying as always wrong. She seeks a solution in the Journal and finds an entry on truth-telling teeth, which force the wearer to be honest. After finding them out in the woods, she places them in Grunkle Stan’s mouth like a pair of false teeth, and they work…a little too well unfortunately, as he tells the truth about everything, including what he thinks of his customers, what he does in the bathroom, and his massive tax evasion. It all comes to a head when Sheriff Blubs and Derland show up at his door; earlier they caught Grunkle Stan teaching a bear to drive and he passed if off as a “seeing-eye bear” assigned by “Dr. Medicine”. It took them a while but they discovered there is no Dr. Medicine in Gravity Falls, and Stan is on the verge of telling them the truth and going to jail. Mabel has to lie in order to save Grunkle Stan from the big house and passes off his truths as part of a novel he’s writing about a crime-solving grandpa (also Blubs lost a lot of weight and definitely did not gain a few pounds. Yeah). The moment the cops leave, Mabel rips out the teeth, puts them in a trunk and dumps it down a hole where they’ll never be found again.
A white light appears beneath them and Dipper realizes that the end is near. They hand on tight as they fall through…and up and out of the Bottomless Pit back where they started. Everyone decides it’s best not to dwell on how they wound up back at the beginning and agree to not speak of this incident again.
Then the sign Stan is leaning on breaks and he falls back in.
It’s interesting but not improbable that Gravity Falls decided to try an anthology episode. It’s a way the writers can create fun segments and have the characters do crazier things that deviate from the series’ norm with the added bonus of it possibly being written off as non-canon for the sake of the fans and continuity. Parallels to The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror or Futurama’s Anthology of Interest spring to mind. Admittedly what ties the stories together here isn’t all that interesting (though Mabel and Grunkle Stan have their moments), but the individual segments are all right. I feel like “Voice Over” is a meta commentary for anyone who complained about Jason Ritter’s voice being inappropriate for a twelve year-old boy. Funny how by this point most people got used to Dipper’s voice, so hearing something different come out of him sounds extra strange. Soos’ pinball story is my favorite; we get more insight to Soos’ character and his interaction with the kids are so much fun to watch. It also has the best lines (see below), not to mention too many funny moments to mention. “Trooth Ache” is another example of Mabel’s die-hard childishness that either tick fans off or they can’t get enough of. If Mabel’s arc for the series is eventually learning to grow up, this is one more milestone for her; she has to learn that lying isn’t always black and white, and she does so humorously. Some might say locking up the teeth and throwing them away negates that lesson, but I see it as her extreme way of making sure no one uses those teeth again. Overall, it’s a decent episode, but it’s not the last time we’ll see an anthology on this show, and it’ll be worth the wait.
And the Internet Went:
Not bad for an anthology episode, though the second time around holds even more promise.
End Credits Craziness: Grunkle Stan patiently waiting for his fall to end.
Callbacks: Presuming Gompers the Goat ate his fez during the end credits of the last episode, Stan has a brand new fez on that he’ll keep for the rest of the series. Dipper brings up almost being eaten by Old Man McGucket’s Gobblewonker robot in his story. Also it’s revealed that Deputy Derland can’t actually read, which Mabel guessed in “Irrational Treasure”.
Crowning Line of Hilawesomeness: “What is life, anyway, compared to the immortality of a high score?” ponders Soos as he debates between saving the twins or keeping his high score.
Mabel SWatch (Sweater Watch): Dark blue with a wolf howling at the moon, yellow with a watermelon slice, blue with a mouse arrow, a blue Native American-style dress to match the Western pinball theme, and turquoise with a ball of yarn.
Dear Princess Celestabelleabethabelle: I learned a lot of things about friendship and truth and stuff…that I don’t feel like sharing. It’s been a long week.
Where’s that wacky triangle at?
Next time, things go off “The Deep End”. See you then!
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