Gravity Falls Review, Season 1, Episode 9: The Time Traveler’s Pig.

Airdate: August 24th, 2012.


Synopsis (Spoilers): During a funfair, Dipper tries to win a stuffed animal-thing for Wendy. Dipper, however, can’t throw, causing Wendy to have a black eye. A series of events manages to have Wendy go out with Robbie. Meanwhile, Mabel wins a pet pig. Also, a time traveler called Blendin Bladin leaves his time machine (tape measure) laying down. Dipper and Mabel use it to try and get the stuffed animal for Wendy. After many failures, Dipper manages to get the stuffed animal… at the expense of Waddles.

Mabel and Dipper get into a fight, and begin to mess around with time. They wind up in the present, where Mabel is in a severe funk over losing a pig. Dipper resets things back to the way they were before, Wendy goes out with Robbie, Mabel gets a pet pig, and Blendin goes to jail.

Review: Be warned. This is going to be long, and may cause all 2 of my readers to chuck tomatoes at me. Because…

God. I. Hate. This. Stupid. Episode.

Never expected somebody who likes science-fiction to say that he hates an episode that revolves around science-fiction and time travel, huh? Well, not in this case.

This episode is like the antithesis of “The City on the Edge of Forever” from Star Trek The Original Series. The thing is, in “City on the Edge”, time travel was used to try and save the common good, yet there was also a selfish motive for Kirk, his love for well-meaning peace activist Janice Keller. Yet, the other option is quite clearly positive, making it possible to see why he would give up the love of Keller. In this episode, Mabel is JUST as, if not more, selfish than Dipper. Is she really flipping out… over a smegging pig? WHY WOULD YOU FLIP OUT OVER A SMEGGING PIG?

The worst part? She does not learn! She does not learn about the meaning of sacrifice the way Dipper had to learn. This episode makes her out to be an annoying, immature brat!

Oh, and Dipper’s not a whole lot better. Changing time and altering the past just to get a girlfriend? Holly from Red Dwarf put the idea of changing time best:

“What about causality, then? What about determinism? You just can’t go messing about with history!” -“Timeslides”

Congratulations, Dipper. A computer with an IQ that’s only the same as 12000 car park attendants knows more about causality than you. That’s incredible.

Granted, this does help kick-start a series of episodes where Dipper’s self-serving behavior manages to slowly overtake him and control his actions. Still, how come a boy that book-smart did not question the idea of causality once in this episode?

Strangely enough, Dipper’s selfish behavior in this episode is more justified. Not 100%, as he does come off as a bit of a smeghead, just more justified. To explain why, we have to compare to Star Trek again. Kirk’s selfishness from “City on the Edge” worked because he went into time travel with a purpose: to try and save the future and rescue Doctor McCoy. However, he falls in love with Edith Keeler, and has to decide on what seems to be his true love or the needs of the many in the future. Unlike with Dipper (who had to choose between impressing Wendy and Mabel getting a pig), Kirk’s stakes were much higher, and ultimately, when he sacrifices his selfish behavior, he does a good for the world (even though it initially provides a lot of bad for self).

Dipper’s stakes were much, much lower. Therefore, his selfishness could be justified. Mabel could have learned that you can’t always get what you want. But she does not. She almost is the villain in the episode, and if that is so, then the villain wins, hands down. The solution would be to have Mabel get Waddles before Dipper tried to impress Wendy. It’s a rather simplistic solution, but considering that the other option is for Mabel to have a pet smegging PIG while Dipper has to sacrifice a chance at love, it makes some sense.

The worst aspect of the entire series is the triangle that is forming between Mabel, Dipper, and Wendy. We see this more in “Summerween”, although that episode executes it better. When Mabel and Dipper’s friendship is pitted against Dipper’s desire for Wendy, it makes the episode that much worse. Oh, and the twins manage to ruin Blendin’s life. No comeuppance for that. Their actions screwed up a poor guy’s life.

And I will be blunt as can be here… I detest Robbie. Partially it’s because of the shipper deep in me, but Robbie is just a prick, put in to try and give Dipper some motivation to try and go out with Wendy. That is his raison d’être. Oh, I also hate Waddles. The pig contributes nothing to the plot. He is just there to screw Dipper over. Nice character, Alex! (Prepares for Waddles fans attacking me.)

This episode does not get a score lower than what it gets mainly because it contains some funny moments. The Oregon Trail reference was creative, and there are some callbacks to prior episodes, as well as some funny foreshadowing. Also, the method of Science-fiction is pretty damn creative, and quirky. And I personally love Blendin as a character. He is just so sympathetic and still a bit funny.

Still, outside of the humor, the episode barely passes. Barely.

Favorite Scene: The Oregon Trail scene was pretty funny.

Score: 5

Note: If I got anything wrong in this review about causality, or if you disagree with me, please comment. I would just like to wonder if I got anything wrong, or if you have a different opinion as to who was in the wrong.

Edit as of 16/2/14: You might notice that I have changed the score of this episode. When I first reviewed it, I gave it a 4, which indicates a failure. Upon rewatching, I appreciate what the writers were going for in the Dipper-Mabel conflict, and now feel that I was too hard on the episode. I have decided to bump it up a point, and give it a pass.


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