Gravity Falls Review: Season 1, Episode 12: Summerween

Airdate: October 5th, 2012

Synopsis (Spoilers): It’s Summerween, which is a variant of Halloween celebrated during the Summer in Gravity Falls. Mabel intends to go out with Dipper, Candy, and Grenda for trick or treating. However, Dipper wants to go to a party with Wendy and Robbie. Soos warns the group about the Summerween Trickster, who eats the children if they do not enjoy their candy. Dipper tries to fake being sick so he can not go Trick-or-treating. The Trickster comes by the shack, and warns Dipper that, if the kids do not deliver 500 pieces of candy by the time all the jack-o-melons go out, the kids will be eaten by the Trickster.

The kids go on a mass candy spree, Dipper being dragged along. They manage to get 499 pieces of candy. However, two things prevent them from getting 500. First off, Dipper meets Wendy and Robbie, and talks to them about the party… with Mabel overhearing, creating a row between the twins. Second, Dipper managed to accidentally destroy the candy by pushing the wheelbarrow down a cliff in trying to hide it from Wendy and Robbie. The Jack-O-Melons then go out, bring the Trickster to their footsteps. Soos rescues them, and drives them to the Summerween Store. While fighting off the trickster, Mabel reveals that she was cold at Dipper earlier because she was afraid that their Halloween together was done. Soos winds up eating the Trickster from the inside out, with the Trickster’s goal of trying to get people to enjoy the candy that makes him up (most of it candy that nobody wants to eat) being realized. Back at the Shack, Dipper confesses to Wendy about the fact that he was trick-or-treating. In a stroke of luck, the party is also canceled, so Dipper, Wendy, and Mabel, alongside Candy and Grenda, celebrate the true meaning of Summerween… pure evil.

Meanwhile, Stan goes through his own experience with Summerween Trick-O-Treaters, in which he tries to scare them… but winds up more scared of them.

Review: I’ll admit this right now; I am not a Halloween person at all. I am not one for jump scares. I get freaked out easily. So, this episode did manage to give me some chills.

There is a bit of a cliche in episodes that revolve around Dipper wanting to get to first base with Wendy or try and give himself some space with Mabel: do something stupid/callous/selfish, get himself, Mabel, maybe Wendy, and any innocent bystanders in peril, and do something to make up, or in the case of Mabel, realise her side of the story. Both sides manage to get squished together in this episode. Yay?

Well, I do believe that yes, this provides a detriment to the episode. However, it is less of a detriment than it was to “Time Travelers Pig”. At least Mabel does not come off AS selfish as she did in that episode. Dipper gets a bit of a ride on the self-concerned train here. This seems to try and hammer in the point that, yes, he is as immature as he claims he is mature. Kinda repetitive, but still. But this episode does provide Dipper with a conflict: does he try and stay young as long as he can, or does he take a plunge into adulthood? This conflict will continue with him for the rest of the season (and may continue into the next season).

This episode also uses another cliche that manages to drive me insane: the Liar Revealed cliche. God, this cliche drives me crazy. It’s my least favorite cliche of all time.

Also, the credits with Waddles? Not really funny. Then again, I am not a fan of Waddles in the first place.

The humor and the creativity in the designs of the episode and it’s central theme, Summerween, save the episode. Stan manages to bring some of this episodes best laughs ever with the ending of his subplot. The idea of the Summerween trickster makes him one of the best villains in the show, and he gets a lot of character development. The episode also managed to give me some chills (as stated above), with the dimmer-than-normal colors in the episode. The small details given to Summerween (jack-o-melons) are brilliant. Old Man McGucket is funny, as always.

It’s also worth noting that Robbie breaks the “cold war pact” made in the last episode when he insults Dipper. Then again, this could be a reference to the cold war, where the US and USSR, even when trying to avoid direct conflict, still were not on good terms with each other, and in fact, still openly criticized each other.

Overall, a good episode, but hampered down with a semi-cliche plot.

Favorite Scene: The Summerween Trickster himself.

Least Favourite Scene: The end credits.

Score: 7.5

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