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:
Gideon has summoned a dangerous mind demon by the name of Bill Cipher to aid him in stealing the Mystery Shack from the Pines family. After traveling into Grunkle Stan’s mind and defeating Bill, Dipper Mabel and Soos wake up to find Gideon has already stolen the deed to the Shack and put his nefarious plans for the Pines and the town into motion.
Dipper wakes up from a terrible nightmare where everything I previously described happened and he, Mabel and Stan were forced to take shelter at Soos’ grandma’s house.
Unable to sleep, Grunkle Stan turns on the TV, which happens to be in the middle of a news story covering Gideon’s sudden ownership of the Mystery Shack and his plans for it. Gideon invites the whole town to hear his big announcement and promises free admission to anyone who wears his special Lil’ Gideon pins. Dipper is determined to set things right as is Mabel, especially if it means finally putting her grappling hook to good use.
Everyone in Gravity Falls comes to the Mystery Shack to marvel over Gideon and how his psychic abilities showed him some of the citizens’ biggest secrets. Soos, Stan, Dipper and Mabel also show up in disguise to hear the news. Gideon announces he’s turning the Mystery Shack into a theme park, Gideonland, and its mascot will be Waddles forced to wear a Gideon costume and wig. That is the last straw for the Pines. They storm the stage and declare that Gideon is a fraud and a thief. Gideon tells them that Stan gave him the deed, which he keeps on his person at all times and didn’t even bother to remove Stan’s signature from, and since the town follows the “finders keepers” rule that most movies and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad seem to have regarding property rights there’s nothing the Pines can do apparently. Gideon sics security and a Lil’ Gideon pin on Stan and boots them out.
Now the Pines are out of a home and Soos and Wendy are out of a job. Since Soos’ grandma can’t afford to keep the Pines under her roof for more than a few days, Dipper and Mabel have to think of something quick. Stan can only BS to their parents about their situation for so long before he has to send them home. Though it’s short, the scene where he lies over the phone in private while worrying about how he can take care of the kids with barely any money to his name is heartbreaking. It’s not much better for Wendy either as she informs a heartbroken Dipper that her father will be sending her to work at her cousin’s logging camp for the rest of the summer if the Shack doesn’t reopen. The upside is that it will get her away from Robbie until he finally gets over their breakup.
At the Shack, Gideon is torturing poor Waddles in between poring over his Journal. When his father asks why he’s so busy reading instead of celebrating over Gideonland, Gideon tells him –
The Author of the Journals chronicled some of Gravity Falls’ greatest secrets but realized it was too much for one man to know. He buried them away where he hoped no one would discover them because he knew if they were brought together, they would reveal how to create an interdimensional gateway to infinite power. Gideon believes the other Journal is hidden somewhere on the Mystery Shack’s property, hence his obsession with owning the Shack. He vows to begin his search for the Journal – and the power held within – in the morning.
That night Grunkle Stan pulls the twins aside for some bad news – since he can’t afford to take care of the kids, he used the last of his money to buy them bus tickets home. The previous scene with Stan was worrying enough, but seeing him so resigned to defeat is heartwrenching. Soos is more concerned with the best summer ever ending so soon than the kids are, as Dipper and Mabel are further resolved to take back their home from Gideon now that Grunkle Stan has given up. Mabel insists her grappling hook will save the day but Dipper is more comfortable with researching the Journal, though none of the creatures seem liable to help them and that one blueprint for part of some kind of giant superweapon is totally useless. They would need an army to take on Gideon and his goons…
…which isn’t as implausible as they thought.
Anyway as I’m sure you figured Dipper and Mabel decide to seek out the gnomes for help. Jeff the leader isn’t keen on the idea after Mabel turned down his proposal to become the gnome queen and for interrupting his bath time, but Mabel promises to give him a new queen, one with big white hair named Gideon, in exchange for helping them reclaim their home from “her”.
In the middle of Gideon’s hunt for the Journal, Dipper and Mabel appear to demand he hand over the deed before they cause trouble. When Gideon refuses, the gnomes knock out the guards, break through the chain-link fence and hold Gideon at hat-point.
Gideon is on the cusp of surrendering when he tries out the same dog whistle he’s been using to torment Waddles. Unfortunately it has the same effect on gnomes and they turn on the Pines twins. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Journal #3 falls out of Dipper’s vest as the gnomes restrain him. Gideon is pleasantly surprised that Dipper had the Journal all along, as it saves him hours of searching and, according to him, is the only reason Dipper ever triumphed over his plans during the summer. He takes it and has the gnomes banish them into the forest. Mabel is ready to try another plan, but Dipper is convinced Gideon is right, that the only great things he’s ever managed to do was because he had the Journal beside him the whole time. Now with no plan, no backup, and no friends to fall back on, everything seems so hopeless. Grunkle Stan puts them on the bus, and before the twins’ eyes Gravity Falls begins to shrink out of sight.
And if I were a troll this is where I’d put a “The End” stinger but thankfully I’m not so let’s continue.
Gideon is thrilled to have what he thinks is the missing Journal in his possession until he places them side-by-side. See, he thought there were only TWO; he was looking for was the first one to complete the second one he possessed. He thinks Dipper must have kept it for himself and vows to track him down before he leaves Gravity Falls. With the help of Old Man McGucket’s engineering skills there’s only one way he can reach him in time –
The terrified twins beg the bus driver to speed it up, and thankfully the driver is none other than Soos on one of his many new temp jobs. Unfortunately his driving skills leave something to be desired (though not many bus drivers have to deal with being chased by a giant Gideon-bot on a daily basis so I give him a pass). They almost escape until they drive off-road and almost off the edge of a cliff. Gideon traps them on a mine railway situated between two mountains and demands Dipper hand over Journal #1. When he realizes Dipper and Mabel don’t know what he’s talking about, Gideon tosses Dipper aside and kidnaps Mabel, determined to make her his queen once he finds the book. What does he have to worry about? Dipper’s not a threat to him.
And Dipper thinks he’s right. He’s got no muscles, no big brains, and no Journal. He sadly walks away…
…only to TAKE A FLYING LEAP OFF THE CLIFF, CRASH INTO THE GIDEON-BOT AND KICK SOME FUCKING ASS!!
Not exaggerating here, the fight scene inside the robot is a ton of fun, especially since it reacts to every move Gideon makes so it looks like it’s beating itself up. Gideon plays dirty but nothing can stop a brother determined to rescue his sister. This is ultimately his downfall (literally) as the robot knocks itself off the bridge and plunges everyone to their apparent doom. It crashes with such a massive explosion that it looks like someone set a mini-nuclear bomb off.
The town gathers at the crash site and the Pines are nowhere to be seen. Nothing short of a miracle could have saved them.
Well, they may not have a miracle, but they do have one other thing…
Gideon crawls out of the robot having somehow managed to survive himself and demands that the Pines be arrested for attacking him and destroying his giant Gideonland statue. No one believes the twins because of their unwavering trust in Gideon, but Grunkle Stan speeds on to the scene with startling news. He kicks down part of the Gideon-bot that’s hiding a secret room full of CTV monitors, each one displaying a town member that Gideon “knew” about via his phony psychic powers. Stan reveals that the Gideon pins are actually mini-cameras given to the townsfolk to spy on them and learn their deepest secrets. He discovered this when his hearing aid kept picking up the feedback from the one Gideon gave him. Betrayed and heartbroken, the townsfolk put Gideon under arrest and he’s sent to the big house. Dipper takes back his Journal, Stan rips the deed to the Mystery Shack right out of Gideon’s grubby fists, and everything is put right.
Once they’re resettled in their old room, Dipper decides to come clean to Grunkle Stan about the Journal. With all that’s happened after Dipper uncovered it, he figured he should let Stan in on the strangeness surrounding it. Stan thanks Dipper for showing him the Journal…and laughs at how it’s been stimulating Dipper’s overactive imagination. To add insult to injury, he “borrows” it for an indefinite amount of time to get ideas for more cheap attractions. Mabel reminds Dipper that he’s a hero with or without the Journal, and they and Soos take their mind off it by having a water gun battle.
After all, what would an old shyster like Stan do with the Journal, anyway?
Wow, what a finale. I know I’m repeating myself but I don’t know what else I can say other than it kicks ass. Seeing our characters at their lowest point having to overcome insurmountable odds makes it emotional and tension-filled to be very end. That’s not to say it’s completely somber; Soos, Stan, the gnomes and ESPECIALLY the introduction of Soos’ Abuelita (played by the always welcome Matt Chapman) get a number of good laughs, but it’s the action, the lingering mysteries of the Author and the Journals, and the drama that stick with me the most. Looking back on my review of the previous episode, I realize I may have been harsher towards Dipper than I intended to be. He’s a character who relies on facts before acting, but can let his negativity when he thinks something is wrong get in the way of his judgement, as opposed to Mabel who implicitly trusts in her family. Both are fine characters on their own but this episode is a prime example of why they work best when they’re together. That’s also why the idea of seeing them separated and being forced to leave behind everyone they care about strikes a chord with both them and the audience. Dipper acknowledges that his choices in the previous episode had a hand in allowing Gideon to seize the Shack and wants to make up for it desperately by setting things right, which certainly counts on my book.
On a different note, that ending! How many of you suspected that Grunkle Stan already knew more than he let on? I wish I could say that I didn’t see it coming, but here’s the thing – this was the very first episode of Gravty Falls that I saw in full. It certainly intrigued me to the point where I marathoned the first season after they announced a second one was being made, but I didn’t fully understand the gravity (excuse the pun) of that reveal until I saw all everything leading up to it. I don’t recommend this be the first episode to start out on since it already gives away so much, but I won’t deny that it got me hooked. It answers a few questions while still leaving some up in the air, and it’s a perfect hook for Season 2. I give it my highest recommendation.
Let me close out on a bit of trivia for you: when Stan goes to the diner after taking Dipper and Mabel to the bus he asks for “the most expired apple cider you’ve got”. The longer apple juice expires, the more it’s alcohol content increases. I think this was a clever way to get drinking past the censors. Alex Hirsch, you magnificent bastard.
And the Internet Went:
End Credits Craziness: Stills of random Journal entries, with attention mostly given to the images of the portal and the pages on Bill Cipher.
Callbacks: We hit the mother lode here – The gnomes and their creepy crush on Mabel return from the very first episode, as does her grappling hook which finally comes in handy. Robbie Renzobbie gets another infomercial shown at Abuelita’s house. Gideon burns a picture of Mabel, Dipper and Stan taken at the end of “Legend of the Gobblewonker”. Bud reclaims the sad clown painting Stan stole from him in “The Hand that Rocks the Mabel”. Blendin Blandin can be seen in the crowd before Stan appears to declare Gideon a fraud. The entries on the Gremloblin and the height-altering crystals can be seen in the Journal. The tattooed bouncer that makes sporadic appearances throughout the series (and has the nickname “Tats”, something that I just learned) is one of Gideon’s bodyguards. Not only does Tyler appear and give a sad version of his “Get ‘im” catchphrase before Gideon’s arrest, but this is the first instance of his name ever being mentioned in the show. Also, does it seem improbable that Dipper was able to make such a perfect dive off the cliff? The answer may surprise you. Cliff jumping was one of the skills he learned in “Dipper v. Manliness”.
Crowning Line of Hilawesomeness: Stan’s stealthy alcohol reference qualifies, but I have to give credit to Abuelita’s running gag of “I go vacuum the walls/floor/my face”.
Mabel SWatch (Sweater Watch): Magenta with a question mark, and purple with a pink thumbs up.
Dear Princess Celestabelleabethabelle: Umm….giant robots are awesome? Except when they’re directed by Michael Bay?
Where’s that wacky triangle at?
Well, that’s all of Season One. I’m thrilled that the Gravity Falls reviews turned out as well as they did. If I encouraged you to check out the show or turned you into a fan, well, I’m glad. Now we’ve got a whole season of new episodes to go through so I’ll be taking about a two month break from Gravity Falls to get them all done. In the meantime I’ll still be doing my movie reviews and possibly a few posts on the shorts made during GF’s year-long hiatus between seasons. Yes, a whole year passed between Season One’s finale and Season Two’s premiere. If you’re upset that you have to wait two months for the next episode, y’all are lightweights.
On the plus side, after weeks of searching, I’ve found a valuable piece of research that I think could help me deal with a certain triangular dream invader. Excuse me while I catch up on some reading. See you in June.