Gravity Falls Review: Season 1, Episode 11: "Little Dipper"

Airdate: September 28, 2012

Hamster V. Q-Tip! The Battle of the Decade!

Synopsis (SPOILERS AHEAD): Mabel finally gets to one-up Dipper in terms of their height (Mabel is slightly taller), and gloats about it. Dipper manages to find a crystal and a torch that, when shined on objects, either increases or decreases their size. Dipper uses it to make himself taller, to the frustration of Mabel. Meanwhile, Gideon is seeking the Mystery Shack to get hold of a secret in said shack. Gideon manages to get the torch and make Dipper and Mabel tiny, capturing them in his room.

A hamster-sized Dipper and Mabel manage to escape Gideon’s room and manage to arrive at the Shack… just in time to get captured alongside a now-shrunk Soos. Mabel finally confesses to Dipper the reason why she was gloating about her height: Dipper gloated about being one above Mabel in terms of everything. Their size also provides an advantage in taking Gideon down… thanks to some tickling.

Review: This episode is often selected for “least favorite” by fans, many complaining that is was a boring episode. Granted, I will give the fans the fact that this episode was light on the humor, although it had some funny moments, like Mabel wanting to go to the Shack… via Cheekums.

Yet, I can’t fathom why people dislike this episode. In my opinion, this episode manages to give some of the best character development to Dipper and Mabel. Unlike “Time Travellers Pig” (Yes, I am still livid over that episode), this episode produces a wonderful analysis of the Dipper/Mabel sibling relationship. We get to see tensions that exist between Dipper and Mabel, without it going as far as it did in “Time Travellers”. In the end, neither twin suffers painfully as a result of the other’s actions. In fact, they gain off of each other.

The strange part is that, with this episode, Mabel (y’know, the girl who wanted to ride a hamster from a house to a shack) is more sensible than Dipper. In fact, I have to resort back to my comparison between Dipper and Arnold J. Rimmer. Despite presenting himself as more mature and sensible, Dipper is actually less mature and more self-serving than his loopy sister. Again, Dipper ultimately does the right thing in the end, and is actually smart, so the comparison I make between Dipper and Arnie J. may be a bit strained, but still.

What made this episode even better is that, with this episode, we get to see Gideon go truly insane. I mean it. His sanity goes down to levels that are frightening. Likewise, Mrs. Gleeful’s insanity is also pronounced, but on a different level. While Gideon is insane in the “evil villain” sense, Mrs. Gleeful is insane in the “completely broken by the world gone mad” sense. On the contrary, Bud seems like a guy you could really be a good friend with and is my favorite of the three. He sorta reminds me of J.R. Ewing from Dallas, but with less oil and Texan-ism. (Gideon is more like Nevel Papperman from iCarly… except with a less nerdy exterior.) And Gideon’s line about the shack… pretty chilling.

If there is anything bad about this episode, it’s that the ending seemed rushed. That’s it. Also, it’s not too memorable, and Soos did not have a brilliant role. Otherwise, this is a great episode with great characterisation and decent humor.

Favorite Scene: The cold opener. The entire cold opener.

Least Favorite Scene: Soos’s role in this episode seemed to be merely “get captured and mess up”. Not a bad scene, but still. Slightly limiting for a funny character.

Score: 8

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