Hello again, fleshbags! It turns out the Olympics are really boring, especially once they get into that “ain’t world peace and cooperation great” baloney. So I figured on today, the two year anniversary of my ultimate triumph, I’ll take a look back and revisit my moments of glory as your universe fell on to its knees and accepted me as its true lord and master for all eternity.
What? You don’t remember it going down that way? Someone needs to get their head checked, heh heh heh.
Continuing where we left off, Pine Tree and friends escaped from my trap of pure imagination and found the Mystery Shack was overtaken by a bunch of human survivors and a slew of returning one-shot characters – the gnomes, man-otaurs, Lilliputtians (boy I hate that pun), unicorns, the Multi-Bear, Sev’ral Timez, video game character Rumble McSkirmish, the living wax head of some goblin man – with Stan as their leader. The Shack is the only place in Gravity Falls safe from my weirdness due to the protective unicorn spell Ford and Mabel put on it a few episodes back. Stan was already prepared for the end of the world when Weirdmageddon hit and let the others, led by Old Man McGucket, crash there with him. Since he’s the closest thing to a normal person, Stan’s calling the shots now; his first act is to do nothing and wait out the worst until food runs out and they begin the slow chain of species cannibalism.
Then the news comes on and everyone catches a glimpse at my magnificent throne, made from the captured citizens turned to stone. Everyone is shocked and horrified, even Pacifica, who says her parents were bad but don’t deserve even that.
Pine Tree and Shooting Star take the opportunity to rally the misfits to rescue Ford and cancel Weirdmageddon. They’re all on board except for Stan, who’s just as stubborn about saving his brother as his own brother is. Then McGucket gets an idea to take the fight to me, though it involves all these different folks combining their strengths and working together.
Meanwhile, I have to confess, things aren’t going as planned. See, turns out there’s this barrier completely surrounding Gravity Falls that prevents any weirdness from escaping to the outside world, and it’s stopping me from taking Weirdmageddon global. The only person I know who could give me some answers is the guy acting as my golden backscratcher, so I take some time out from my busy schedule to unfreeze him and we start getting into some Deviantart territory.
Ford quickly deduces that I need him and I lay out my offer – tell me how to get past the barrier and I’ll raise him to the level of godhood. Fordsie knows, and I can’t jump into his mind thanks to the metal plate in his head. The only way would be for him to shake my hand and allow me in. But Sixer states there’s no way he’d talk, not even if you put him under the cruelest torture imaginable.
As for the Pines and their gang, they’re all busy building a new machine courtesy of McGucket (man you should have seen the look of pure terror on his face when he caught a glimpse of my dimension! Still cracks me up!) though Stan’s still butthurt about saving a guy who never thanked him for already saving him once. Sheesh, you get labeled a screw-up by your own family, kicked out of your home, and get no thanks for all your hard work, and you act like some kind of martyr!
The following morning as I’m REALLY getting into Deviantart territory torturing Ford, they knock down my door and reveal they got a little too creative renovating the Mystery Shack.
See, this is what happens when you waste too much time spreading your fear in only one place; it forces the locals to put aside their differences and get more imaginative in fighting back! I mean, there’s the fiery homicidal rampage I went on when I destroyed my original home dimension, and then there’s a jaeger-house stomping around with a glowing crotch and a T-Rex for an arm! This leads into the only solution; supersizing my hench-maniacs and sending them in to fight –
“THE BEST BATTLE EVER.”
The fight between the Shack-Tron and the Hench-Maniacs commences and…There’s too many awesome moments to name! And the score, UUNNGH! It couldn’t be more pumped up and perfect!
No complaints here. Just pure epicness.
Well, you know what they say, when you want a job done right, go do it yourself! Unfortunately with the unicorn spell still on it they defend themselves much easier than I assumed. That and they rip out my eye with their T-Rex arm. While we’re fighting, the A-team parachute their way past me into the Fear-amid.
Mabel grappling hooks her way to where Ford is on the throne and discovers a very remorseful Lil’ Gideon is also there, stuffed in a sailor suit and forced to dance forever in a cage as punishment for defying Bill.
Gideon the traitor informs the group how to unfreeze everyone Bill has trapped – remove Mayor Tyler and the entire throne comes down. And they do.
With the town freed, there’s more than a few happy reunions, one of them being Blubs and Durland.
Ford also returns to life, and finds himself face to face with Fiddleford, the man who’s friendship he shunned and life he ruined. He doesn’t expect any forgiveness, but Fiddleford just can’t hold a grudge – “I’ve tried forgetting, maybe I should try forgiving.” – and the two embrace and everybody’s happy (though Stan looks positively green with envy).
With little time before Bill’s eye regenerates and he wipes them out, Ford puts his plan to expose Bill’s one weakness into action – borrowing Robbie’s can of spray paint he makes a familiar mural on the floor.
This familiar zodiac is part of a prophecy Ford came across during his studies of Bill, one that he initially dismissed. The prophecy foretold of ten people represented a different symbol coming together to defeat Bill and reverse his madness. It wasn’t until Ford saw everyone together that he realized it was destiny for them all to be here, because each symbol is either metaphorical – an ice pack for the cool as ice Wendy and the glasses for the wise McGucket – or a literal symbol featured in some way on said person – Dipper the Pine Tree, Mabel the Shooting Star, the Question Mark on Soos, the Broken Heart on Robbie’s hoodie, the Tent of Telepathy logo for Gideon, the Llama on the sweater Mabel knitted for Pacifica, the Six-fingered Hand for Ford, and the Fish on Stan’s fez. If they all come together on the zodiac, an unknown power greater than each individual person will rise through them and save the town.
They step on to the zodiac and it begins to work. There’s just one person missing to make it complete – Stan. In order to fulfill the prophecy he needs to take his spot next to Ford and hold his hand. But despite the fact that it’s literally a life or death situation, Stan refuses to do so on the grounds that Ford never offered any gratitude for what he’s done for him. I get where Stan’s coming from, but when his former sworn enemy Gideon is the one telling him now’s not the time to bring up bad blood, then it’s REALLY not the time. Ford ultimately apologizes and halfheartedly thanks Stan. Then they hold hands.
And as the zodiac picks up steam, Ford criticizes Stan’s grammar.
I’ve been waiting for a special occasion to use that facepalm.
The two break the link as they start fighting, just in time for ME to send the Shack-Tron crashing to its knees and destroy the zodiac! Now I’ve got every person who poses a threat to me right in the palm of my hand! I trap the Pines and turn the rest into living screaming tapestries to decorate my home.
I admit, I’m glad the solution didn’t come down to another chosen one prophecy, though I’m left to wonder exactly how it might have played out.
Before I can properly threaten the kids to make Ford spill the beans, Shooting Star sprays paint into my eye and Pine Tree uses the size-changing flashlight he recreated earlier to get them out of their prison. They work together like fleshy pests they are to try to distract me so their grunkles can escape, but what time is it? Oh yeah, NOT FUCKING AROUND O’CLOCK.
Also, there’s the little line you say before your roaring rampage that I can’t help but love, if anything for the fact that it got on the channel it did:
I’ve got some children I need to turn into CORPSES!
Ford and Stan wait out the chase commiserating over whose fault the end of the world was and how their relationship went from being like Dipper and Mabel’s to Cain and Abel’s. Ford decides that he’ll take the responsibility and let Bill into his mind if it means the chance of sparing Stan and the kids. His only regret is that if it wasn’t for the plate in his head they could use the memory gun on him while Bill is still in there and erase him from existence.
The kids smash their way outside only to find their friends surrounded by the hench-maniacs. I catch up to them before they can do anything to help and drag them back to their great-uncles. Seeing what time of day it is I decide to kill one of them for real if Ford doesn’t comply. He agrees seconds before I turn Mabel into molecules, even as Stan begs him to not destroy the universe. We shake hands, and I abandon my physical form to reap the knowledge of Ford’s mind.
Inside is a plain uncluttered field of white, with only one door. Bill opens it and sees –
That’s why you’re doing all this. That’s why you’re reliving your arc with a revised outcome. You’re scared, and you’re doing what I’ve done when terrible things have happened before – retreat into your own imagined version of the past and pretend things went differently. The thing is, Bill, as I’ve learned from the previous episode, nothing ever comes from doing that but a lot of wasted time and a hurt that never heals.
And I get it. In this culture we’re overrun with shows and fandoms that people are constantly getting caught up in. In the chaos, a lot of great series are swept under the rug as time goes on. Zombies yesterday, White Walkers today, God only knows what else tomorrow. With a show that lasted as short as Gravity Falls did it seems like it would be destined for that kind of fate.
The thing is, Bill, Gravity Falls ended two years ago today, and I have yet to see its popularity waver.
And you’re one of the reasons why.
From your voice to your simple but intimidating design, your twisted sense of humor and incredible powers, you’re arguably the best animated Disney villain to not come from one of their feature films. I’ve been to quite a few fan conventions, Bill, and I’ve seen a lot of cosplayers doing their own unique spin on you. People are still doing fandubs, animations and comics based on whatever crazy schemes you concoct in alternate timelines. And Alex Hirsch is releasing a graphic novel this summer, so who knows what else might come from it. The world of Gravity Falls, and you, Bill, won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Because there’s so much care put into something that could have easily been another cartoon pandering to kids. Because at the end of the day, you’re a tough act to follow, Bill.
Well, here I am.
Anyway, Bill opens the door and finds NOT the Pines he was looking for.
In a genius plan, Ford and Stan switched clothes and impersonated each other so Bill really entered Stan’s mind. With a heavy heart, Ford begins erasing his brother’s memories. Inside the place goes up in flames and Bill is powerless to escape. As Bill pleads for Stan to change his mind, Stan knocks Bill into oblivion with a single punch.
Stan spends his final moments with his mind looking over one last memory of him, Dipper and Mabel. He accepts his fate as the fire consumes him, happy that he was good for something after all.
With Bill gone, everything he created, changed or brought with him as a result of Weirdmageddon is sucked out of our dimension and everyone is back to…average. Can’t quite say things are ever normal in Gravity Falls. Along with the Bill statue, the Pines find Stan kneeling alone in the woods, alive but with no memory of who he is or who any of them are. A terrible sacrifice to save the world. It’s only then that Ford accepts Stan as a hero and his brother.
Desperate to jog anything in Stan’s mind, they take him to the busted remains of the Mystery Shack. Nothing seems to work…
…until Waddles happily greets him. When he refers to him by name, they know he must be in there somewhere. Mabel grabs her scrapbook and begins reading all the memories she’s recorded in there, and Stan begins the slow but sure road to recovery.
This would seem like a good place to end, buuuut we still need to tie up some loose ends while cramming as many feels as possible. If you don’t like it, just be thankful they didn’t include the Scouring of the Shire.
One week later and Stan’s memories have completely returned.
Yeah, I know, I know, but let’s turn to our old friend Journal # 3 for the answer.
They were, but on having all traces of Weirdmageddon expunged from Gravity Falls, the Journals rose from the ashes so to speak, with all missing information in tact. According to Ford’s entries after the event, he realized that the effects of the memory ray can be reversed if the person subjected to it is surrounded by important images and people from their past. So Ford and the family spent every waking moment of the past week reacquainting Stan with himself, which also allowed the original Mystery Twins to revisit happier memories and reforge their bond. As a result of starting while the memory wipe was still fresh, Stan recovered much quicker than someone like McGucket would have.
Mayor Tyler Cutebiker holds a news conference announcing the “Never Mind All That” Act, which enforces silence when it comes to any questions about the events of Weirdmageddon. It reminds me a bit too much of the Society of the Blind Eye’s mission, but considering how everyone is ok with the rest of Gravity Falls’ weirdness and is eager to put the events of Weirdmageddon behind them, I’m more or less all right with it. It also gives our favorite delightful cops the opportunity to go mad with power, and love.
Yes, they openly confirmed it. Blubs and Durland are literally gay for each other.
And if you want to know how I feel about it, well…
Toby Determined finds his calling as Bodacious T, Gravity Falls’ extreme sportscaster. The Northwest family, now completely broke due to Preston pledging his allegiance to Bill and sinking his fortune into weirdness bonds, are forced to sell their mansion, which Old Man McGucket buys after making a mint selling his patents to the government. Fiddleford now has his sanity and dignity back as well as a home, and Pacifica will have to learn to live with owning only one pony. Life is good.
As for Dipper and Mabel, the whole town gathers to celebrate their 13th birthday and see them off before they return home to Piedmont; even Lil’ Gideon, who’s put his power-hungry days behind him and is determined to live like a normal kid (well, as normal as any ten year-old who has prison buddies can get). Mabel promises to never forget anyone and makes good on her word by destroying the memory ray.
As the party commences, Ford pulls Stan aside to ask him something very important. There’s been some weirdness readings up in the arctic that he wants to investigate, but he’s too old to go at it alone. Though there’s someone he has in mind to join him on this epic adventure, if he’s willing to give him another chance…
Stan interrupts the celebration with an announcement – since he’ll be going off with Ford and Gravity Falls has had enough strangeness for one lifetime, the Mystery Shack will be closing for good. Everyone is shocked at the revelation, none more so than Soos. The heartbroken young man takes the stand proclaiming that the world needs the Mystery Shack; to him and all open-minded adventurers, it’s a symbol of hope and wonder, an exciting glimpse into the unknown that shows anything is possible. The exhibits may be fake, but the feelings it provides are real. And Stan realizes though he can’t be Mr. Mystery anymore, he knows the prefect guy to take up the moniker.
And with that, the Pines’ stay in Gravity Falls has come to a close. The sun sets on the Mystery Shack; the attic is cleaned up with little traces of its previous inhabitants left behind. As Dipper and Mabel wait for the bus, their friends and family say their heartrending goodbyes with the promise that this won’t be the last time they see each other. And who better to take the Mystery Twins to their final destination than the star of Twin Peaks himself?
Yet for all their farewells, there’s one person Mabel has yet to work up the courage to part with – Waddles. Apparently her parents won’t let her bring him home and neither pig nor playmate are happy with the idea of being separated from each other. In the weeks leading up to Weirdmageddon when you couldn’t go anywhere online without bumping into a theory about who in the series would most likely die, the internet went wild when Alex Hirsch leaked a clip of Kristen Schaal recording what appeared to be her final lines and her breaking down over why Hirsch would “do THAT”. Of course when we got up to this part and no one died, I assumed that her tears were over Mabel and Waddle’s permanent dissolution, which got to me more than I thought it would. Thankfully for Mabel and the fans, Stan and Ford do what any good family members should and threaten the bus driver with physical violence if they don’t let Mabel take Waddles with her.
With one last goodbye to Grunkle Stan, Dipper and Mabel, unsure of everything but that it’s time to move on into the world, board the bus for home. As they pass Gravity Falls’ various inhabitants and landmarks, Dipper opens a note Wendy gave for him to read and reminisces on his greatest summer ever:
I’ve seen shows come and go, but none of their conclusions by far have managed to top “Weirdmageddon Part 3”. Not only is every major plotline the show has built up neatly completed, but it delivered everything we hoped for on an emotional scale. Giant monster battles? We got it. The Pines family coming together at last? We got it. The best and most wild animation and colors to up the visual ante? We got that and more. I’ve failed to mention throughout these reviews how excellent J.K. Simmons is as Ford, but perhaps subconsciously I was saving that for here. He runs the full gamut here, with his quiet acceptance of Stan’s heroic act as almost tearjerking. Then again, that’s par the course for everyone here. I don’t know what else to say. Without a doubt this is one of the most perfect episodes of Gravity Falls – amending that. Perfect episode and ending period.
And the Internet Went:
End Credits Craziness: Rather than your traditional stinger, we get a movie-style scrolling credits right out of Mabel’s scrapbook, complete with moving pictures of miscellaneous scenes from the rest of the summer; Stan and Ford hanging out with the kids, Grenda making out with her boyfriend Marius on his yacht, Quentin Trembley doing his usual schtick, Dipper clones #3 & 4 surviving the rain in a tent and raincoats, and Fiddleford McGucket and his son reconciling.
Callbacks: Other humans trapped in the Mystery Shack include Pacifica’s posse, the “USA!” guy, Gorney from “Summerween”, the guy who married a woodpecker from “Irrational Treasure”, and Toby Determined. “Eenie, meenie, minie, YOU” makes a return from “Tourist Trapped and “Sock Opera” as Bill decided which of the twins to kill. McGucket is seen using his laptop from the first half of Season 2. He also controls the Gobblewonker mechanics with his beard like in the episode with the titular creature. Blubs and Durland fire the antique cannon from “The Stanchurian Candidate”. Ford’s head plate is mentioned for the first time since “The Last Mabelcorn”. Wendy references the events from “The Inconveniencing” when she declares Mabel and Dipper “technically teenagers” at their 13th birthday party. Pacifica buys Dipper and Mabel a Ghost Harassers dvd and a pink mini-golf putter, a reference to their respective shared encounters in “Northwest Mansion Mystery” and “The Golf War”. Stan and Ford realize their childhood dream of sailing the world from “A Tale of Two Stans”, complete with naming their ship the “Stan ‘O War II” after the vessel they repaired. At the end they threaten the bus driver with the brass knuckles and ray gun from “Scary-oke” and “Dungeons, Dungeons & More Dungeons” respectively. The Shack-Tron is made up of the Mystery Shack, the head and neck Gobblewonker robot from “Legend of the Gobblewonker”, Ford’s portal, the T-Rex encased in amber from “The Land Before Swine”, Manly Dan’s logging truck, the right leg of the Gideon-bot from “Gideon Rises”, Soos’ pickup truck, and the totem pole outside the Mystery Shack. Bill is upset that the Shack-Tron blasted the door after he repaired it, referencing how the Time Anomaly Repair Squad and Time Baby broke it down in “Weirdmageddon Part 1”. The zodiac that appears in every opening theme title plays a part here – almost. While trying to revive Stan’s memory, the Pines family references “Summerween”, “Tourist Trapped”, “Legend of the Gobblewonker” and “The Land Before Swine”. Grenda is still dating Marius, whom she met in “Northwest Mansion Mystery” and she finally goes abroad to see him like she had already planned in “Dipper and Mabel Vs. The Future”. When Stan presents Soos with his fez, Soos’ aspirations of being Stan’s successor in “Little Dipper” are finally fulfilled.
Crowning Line of Hilawesomeness: Since this is the last episode and one that’s near a full-hour length, I give you my top 10 Crowning Lines of Hilawesomeness –
10. Mabel: “I’ve found Great-Uncle Ford! He’s golden!” (ba-dum-tish)
9. Mabel, on meeting the Man-otaurs: Those weird cow-monsters are delightful!
8. Grunkle Stan: These scribbles are a bunch of cockamamie balderdash! Excuse my French.
French Lilliputtian: Je ne sais quoi sacrebleu au revoir! (Subtitled:) I don’t believe that was French.
7. Soos: Hey, you’re a little cutie.
Paci-Fire: I HAVE BUTCHERED MILLIONS ON COUNTLESS MOONS.
Soos: Whoa. I liked you better before you talked. Real… real bring down, this guy.
6. Bill singing “We’ll Meet Again” from Dr. Strangelove. Eerily fitting.
5. Fiddleford’s thoughts on forgiving Ford.
4. Robbie, on learning he’s part of the zodiac: “Whoah, destiny hoodie!”
3. Dipper’s final monologue played over the drive out of Gravity Falls.
2. Dipper: “Ready to head into the unknown?”
Mabel: “Nope. Let’s do it.”
1. TIE. Grunkle Stan: “Hey, look at me. Turn around and look at me, you one-eyed demon! You’re a real wise-guy, but you made one fatal mistake: you messed with my family.” […] “Heh. Guess I was good for something after all.”
Mabel SWatch (Sweater Watch): Mabel’s still donning the cupcake sweater from the previous episode. She spends the rest of the episode in her traditional shooting star sweater. And of course all the sweaters make a return as parachutes.
Dear Princess Celestabelleabethabelle: Thanks for the help! Send my regards to Celestia and Luna.
Where’s that wacky triangle at?
Before I go, I want to thank you all for sticking by me when I decided to focus more on reviewing Gravity Falls, and for all your insightful comments and support. I’ve gotten some very thoughtful followers during this time, some of them better at articulating the themes of each episode in their responses than I am, and I’m grateful that you found my musings on my all-time favorite television series worth a read. I strive to better my writing because of you.
I’d like to also thank Alex Hirsch and his creative team at Disney for giving us such a memorable series, and I hope you all go on to do great things.
Now I’d like to leave you with some very important words from the Author himself, Stanford Pines –
Stay curious, stay weird, stay kind, and don’t let anyone ever tell you you aren’t smart or brave or worthy enough. If you have come on these adventures with us, then you are an honorary member of the Pines family, and your adventure starts today.
Caricature by Charles Moss.