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 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.
The episode starts with Dipper and Mabel playing mini-golf on a homemade course in their room, which looks awesome. I had my own creative ways of having fun when I was a kid, but I wish I thought of utilizing everything in my room to play the game like they did. Unfortunately, their fun is interrupted by the arrival of Candy and Grenda for their extra-glittery extra-girly sleepover with Mabel. Dipper is forced to spend the night outside to keep his sanity in tact.
The next morning Dipper tells her that her constant sleepovers and messes are becoming impossible to live with. Seeing their golf course wrecked by the party the previous night is the last straw. He and Mabel try to lay down some rules about what they can and can’t do, which escalates into them complaining about the others’ habits and then deciding not to share the room anymore. They both go to Grunkle Stan demanding they each have a separate room, since he’s clearly a fair guy who can’t stand any fighting.
Stan tells them to shut their yaps since the only way they’d get different sleeping quarters would be if some secret hidden room appeared in the Shack. Coincidentally, Soos happens to stumble upon a secret hidden room at that very moment. It’s full of cobwebs and dust and one very large shag carpet. Dipper decides to move in there, but Mabel likes it too, and there’s only one key. Grunkle Stan decides to give it to whoever sucks up to him the most, and, well, let the games begin.
After hours of chores, Dipper takes a break and removes his shoes on the shag carpet. Mabel comes in to brag how she’s got Stan’s approval in the bag. Dipper paces around her claiming otherwise, the static electricity building around him like he’s Pikachu ready to unleash a thundershock. He slaps Mabel’s hand away and they are both blasted to opposite ends of the room by the static. When Dipper wakes up, he finds himself wearing Mabel’s clothes and with extra long hair while Mabel is in Dipper’s outfit and feeling the onset of puberty. Yes, the worst has happened.
Both are horrified to find they have switched bodies until they realize that they can sabotage the other’s chances at getting a new room. They quickly get to work insulting Grunkle Stan and acting crazy enough to put him on edge. The switching shenanigans don’t stop there as Soos and Waddles enter the room wind up in each others’ bodies. Soos enjoys all the cliche things pigs do that humans can’t until he’s chased by a hungry Old Man McGucket, and humanoid Waddles weirds out Stan even more before wandering off on his own journey for love and more food.
Dipper’s attempts to out-Mabel Mabel are put on hold when Candy and Grenda appear, ready for another sleepover. They drag him upstairs despite his claims that he’s in no mood to party due to “one of my irrational girl mood swings, you know? Right? Don’t we have those?” (Careful, Dipper. Keep talking like that and you’ll get elected President.) Mabel tries to spy on her friends through the keyhole but gets caught by Grunkle Stan, who thinks his peeping tomfoolery means it’s time for a little man-to-man talk about the birds and bees.
Grunkle Stan admits that he’s leaning more towards handing the room to Dipper since he’s been growing pretty fond of him that day. Mabel insists that he give it to her sister and calls him a dumb fat old man…which pushes Stan to DEFINITELY give the room to Dipper because he thinks he’s finally standing up to him.
Dipper escapes the girls in the middle of a game of Dream Boy Phone Tag and meets up with Mabel, who tells her he won the new room. Dipper is ready to switch back until Mabel realizes that she’s the one who’s got the key. Mabel locks herself in, but she underestimated the one great power that Dipper has while in her body – girl power.
Candy and Grenda trick Mabel into letting them in and hold her down as they give “her brother” an embarrassing makeover. Dipper delivers the “finishing touch” and zaps each other back into their own bodies. Dipper’s happy to be back to normal, but Mabel tells the girls what’s been going on and Candy decides to try it out for herself. Next thing you know, she and Dipper have switched, then he switches with Mabel and Grenda as they start fighting with him, then Soos and Old Man McGucket barge in and get zapped, and then Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Derland enter the scene and…well, to say things get hectic is putting it mildly. The only reason Stan doesn’t join them is because he seems oddly preoccupied with an old pair of glasses he found in the other room.
Somehow amidst the chaos everyone switches back to their old bodies, even Soos, though Dipper and Mabel chase each other around the Shack for ownership of the room key. It comes to a head in their old room where Mabel demands why Dipper wants the key so bad since she never wanted to move in the first place. Dipper shouts that he feels the same, which gives Mabel time to pause. He confesses that he’s been having a lot of fun spending time with his sister this summer, but feels awkward and a tad bit lonely now that she has her friends around every day. Mabel, having learned quite a lot from her bonding time with Stan, tells him she knows exactly how he feels, and gives him the key of her own free will.
That evening Dipper moves into the new room and has Stan throw out the rug. It’s not long before the loneliness creeps in, however. As Mabel is also beginning to miss him, Dipper knocks and asks if he can sleep over.
“Carpet Diem” is your average Freaky Friday episode, but it’s more fun than I remembered. There’s a frenzied pace to this chapter that few others in the series have with lots of running and shouting; I’m surprised I didn’t feel exhausted by the end. Once again we have a story that centers around the twins facing another hurdle in growing up and how it could split their relationship, and it’s handled well. It’s funny when it has to be (and I thank the Lord Almighty that neither of them questioned the possibility of having to use the bathroom while trapped in a different gender, not that Disney would probably let them do it anyway) but it’s serious when it needs to be. Their heart-to-heart at the end with Mabel allowing him to have the key is perfectly timed, acted, and animated, allowing for all the feels by the episode’s resolution. Don’t get me wrong, though, the comedy is spot-on, taking full advantage of the jokes that come from the numerous body swapping scenarios and Stan’s eagerness for conflict among others. The scene with all the different characters suddenly appearing and switching with random others is one that a simple description can do no justice, not to mention Soos’, shall we say, “arc” where he learns the simple life of a pig isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I didn’t have time to go into detail, but the scenes of Waddles snorting around in his body are delightfully awkward, and he somehow ends up with a fiancee by the end of it…sort of. Actually, the more I think about it, this episode does something a lot of body switching episodes do that never quite makes sense. I know, trying to making sense in a scenario where two characters’ souls are moved around like a shell game makes me sound like I’m taking it too seriously, but hear me out. When Dipper, Mabel, and all the other characters switch, they keep their voices, so we hear Jason Ritter coming out of Mabel and Kristen Schaal from Dipper. I understand that this is to keep track of who’s who, but would vocal chords really change to sound like the people being swapped? I understand it would be a challenge to have the voice actors try to do a pitch perfect impersonation of whose bodies’ they’re in, but it’s not impossible. I know this sounds like I’m nitpicking, so let me just say I like the little differences in animation that they add to signify that this character is different. Anytime someone becomes Waddles, the pig’s eyes have white around the pupils. Anyone Dipper enters has some slight bags under their eyes. Candy’s slightly slouched posture moves along with anyone she’s inhabiting, Old Man McGucket is no longer wall-eyed when he’s switched out with Grenda and he somehow gets Blubs’ mustache later. It’s little things like that you don’t entirely catch until repeated viewings. On a final note, we get a few more hints that the Author of the Journals might have a deeper connection to the Mystery Shack with the rug being labeled as another experiment and a few other mystery items strewn around the room. What could this mean? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
And the Internet Went:
A solid episode that delivered the laughs as well as some emotional growth for both Dipper and Mabel.
End Credits Craziness: While the twins work on their golf, Soos receives a visit from a mystery girl he “met” while Waddles was in his body. She tearfully tells him he’s not the man she fell in love with. When he asks if they can try kissing again, we cut to the Disney logo as she breaks out the pepper spray.
Callbacks: There’s more call forwards than callbacks, and to say them would to give away a fair amount of spoilers. A few callbacks I can mention are a brief appearance of the cloning machine and Robbie’s explosion muffin graffiti on the water tower.
Crowning Line of Hilawesomeness: There were a surprising amount of good lines for an episode I tend to overlook. I’m gonna hand it to Old Man McGucket after Soos changes back for both creep factor and how much it made me laugh: “I’ll still eat you…”
Mabel SWatch (Sweater Watch): Magenta with hearts
Dear Princess Celestabelleabethabelle: Fighting will get you nowhere in a conflict, least of all one with your own family. Sometimes you need to take a walk in the other person’s shoes to understand where they’re coming from.
Where’s that wacky triangle at?
Next time on Gravity Falls, Mabel goes “Boyz Crazy”. See you then!
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