“Ah, summer break. A time for leisure, relaxation, and taking ‘er easy… unless you’re me.”
It was the evening of July 13th, 2012 – Friday the 13th, as luck would have it. The time was approaching 9:30. Being the most boring man in existence, I was turning in for bed. (Yes, even during the summer, I go to bed relatively early. You know the quote from Ben Franklin.) However, my brother wanted to watch this new episode of this show on Disney Channel. I was convinced it would be moronic, but I let him have the benefit of the doubt.
At 9:30, “The Inconveniencing”, the fifth episode of Gravity Falls, aired. Little did I know that my world had forever been changed.
Gravity Falls, over the past three-and-a-half years, made its mark as one of the most beloved cartoons on TV. It’s mystical plot, it’s combination of highbrow and lowbrow comedy, it’s mixture of scathing comedy with deep drama, all of it combined to make one of the biggest cult hits on TV.
Now, it’s over, and it will be missed.
(Yes, I am aware that it’s been over for a flipping month. Schoolwork happened. Sorry about that.)
I do intend to write one final requiem for the show before leaving it for (at least) a while, one where I lay out why I loved Gravity Falls so much. Before I do so, I have decided to do a personal ranking of every… single… episode. I did it for Season 1, and I did it for the first half of Season 2.
Now, begins my largest-ever list. Note that this ranking represents my current thoughts on the episode – my reviews from before might be outdated. (Also, the name is to keep it within the “Top X” title.)
(Some of these images were from other posts, others, from the Gravity Falls Wiki.)Ladies and Gentlemen:
(Note – the ranking of every episode will be out next post, but given that I did a wrap-up for Season 1, I may as well do one for Season 2. This is going to be brief, since I’m going to touch on more posts in a full requiem of Gravity Falls.)
Thirty long years, and it’s led up to this! My greatest achievement… probably should have worn pants. – Grunkle Stan, in his boxers, “Scary-oke”.
The first line of “Scary-oke” set the tone for Season 2 of Disney’s Gravity Falls – it was going to be more ambitious, more plot-driven, than the act of brilliance that was Season 1. The question is, did it meet my expectations?
Synopsis: After going through the sugar-coated hell that was Mabeland, Dipper, Mabel, Soos, and Wendy team up with a group of refugees taking shelter in the Mystery Shack alongside Stan. There, they devise a plan to rescue Ford and bring down Bill. Thing is, Stan is remiss over rescuing somebody he feels screwed up purely on impulse. He begrudgingly goes along, but his feud with Ford almost brings the Pines family – and, on a larger scale, the entire town of Gravity Falls, Oregon – to the brink of death.
Review: First off, a personal note. I can’t believe that this is the last one of these new episode reviews that I’ll do for this show. Sure, I’ll re-review the show in the not-too-distant future, maybe set up a “tribute” site, but it won’t really feel the same. The waiting for every Gravity Falls episode will never be experienced again.
With that said…
“Ah, summer break. A time for leisure, recreation, and taking her easy… unless you’re me. My name is Dipper – the girl about to puke is my sister, Mabel. You may be wondering what we’re doing in a golf cart, fleeing from a creature of unimaginable horror.
Rest assured – there’s a perfectly logical explanation…“
On June 15th, 2012, with those words, we were introduced to the world of Gravity Falls, thanks to the Disney Channel. Initially coming off as merely a quirky Disney cartoon, within 22 minutes, the show unveiled itself as something more complex and brilliant. What was Grunkle Stan doing at the end of that last episode? Who did write that journal? As it turns out, we were about to go on a beautiful journey.
Forty-four months later (to the day, no less), the long, long, long summer ended. So, how did this last episode close it all out?
Warning before we go further… spoilers are legion. Watch the episode before you go any further. I am dead. Serious.
Today marks the Series Finale of Gravity Falls. It airs at 7PM ET on DisneyXD. I anticipate that it will be an incredible end. Speculation is already running rampant that one of the characters will die, and chances are… that will happen. Not going to go further, but I could see Gravity Falls going out with a bit of a tragic aura.
And, hey, if this is the end, consider this quote, said by Rimmer at the end of the Red Dwarf episode “Only The Good”.
“Remember, only the good die young.”
Oh, speaking of which…
Today marks the 28th Anniversary of the premiere of Red Dwarf – which is about to premiere its 11th series later this year. So, Gravity Falls fans, take solace in the fact that a show that premiered in 1988 got brought out of dormancy three times.
And besides, almost any ending to Gravity Falls will be far better than “Only The Good”.
So, one last time, let’s go north of normal, and west of weird.
Synopsis: Dipper, Wendy, and Soos venture into Mabel’s bubble prison… the happy land of Mabeland. Pop music fills the air, 80s cartoon characters thrive, lawlessness rules, and waffles guard Mabel’s office. Thankfully… waffles guard Mabel’s office, so the trio are able to get in. There, Mabel all but bribes Soos and Wendy with their desires, leaving Dipper to try and avoid any sort of temptations brought on by the bubble.
Review (SPOILER-TASTIC): The announcement on the Friday before “Escape From Reality” aired that Gravity Falls was to reach it’s denouement after two seasons was, let’s face it, not that shocking. There had been speculation from the moment Season 2 was announced that the show wasn’t long for this world (DisneyXD’s scheduling made it seem longer than it was), and Alex Hirsch’s Tumblr post this past Friday simply served to put whatever speculation there was to rest. In fact, it’s actually a good thing at the end, because we don’t get to watch the show rot into a charade of guest stars and recurring “marriage trouble” episodes, nor do we get to see it smash a mirror, screaming “How’s Annie” with no word on what the hell is going on.
Kudos to Hirsch.
Anyway, before we go out, we get a second (and last) penultimate episode of the season that delves into the mentality of one of the central characters. Last season, it was Stan. This time, it’s Mabel. Continue reading →
Alex made the decision to bring the show to the end itself. This was planned from the start of season 2.
This was done to make sure the show didn’t fall into Lost Syndrome, that it wouldn’t drive it’s viewers away with a more and more complicated and pointless plot.
Disney didn’t want to mess with the ratings by announcing that season 2 was the end… until now.
Two more episodes left – the next one (“Weirdmageddon II”) and an hour-long event (“Weirdmageddon III”). After that… adios.
Sad as this may seem, I am honestly not surprised. It definitely felt like the show was going to wrap up sooner rather than later. Hell, I was glad that it got a season 2 in the first place – it just seemed so out of place on the Disney lineup, that I thought Disney was going to punt it. But hearing the news that it is coming to an end is certainly a bit sobering.
I’ll have a fuller eulogy out after the whole wrap-up, but to put it simply, this was one of the first “new” shows I really loved in a good while. I still love this show, and always will.
And fans, take solace in this fact – Twin Peaks got 30 episodes. Gravity Falls beat it’s spiritual predecessor by 10 episodes. Also, the show’s quality never imploded, a-la Lost or Heroes. Take solace in that, as well.
Besides, this show has practically guaranteed that Alex Hirsch will likely create another show. While time will tell if he does so (he might need a rest), I am confident that he isn’t out of ideas or talent yet. As for what he might develop… again, don’t be antsy.
So, we’ll watch the end of the journey, and hopefully, Gravity Falls goes out with a bang so large, it shakes the fandom to it’s core.
(Before we begin, I sincerely apologize for this review coming out so late. This accompanies a quick announcement about my Star Trek film reviews.)
500 Miles North of Normal, 500 Miles West of Weird.
Airdate: October 26th, 2015
Synopsis: At the end of the last episode, well, to quote Vyvyan from The Young Ones…
“This is the end! Armageddon! No future!“
Yep – all hell broke loose. Bill is practically unstoppable – he turns Ford into a backscratcher, steals Deputy Durland away from Sheriff Blubs, unleashes his friends, and screws up Preston Northwest’s face. (You don’t want to see the end result of that.) Most damningly, he kidnaps Mabel, and locks her in a bubble. Alone, Dipper is left looking for any sort of help. Fortunately, it turns out Wendy is an excellent survivalist, and the two plan to go through the bubble to rescue Mabel. Unfortunately, old enemies come back to settle a score.
Review (STUFFED WITH SPOILERS): If I might borrow a philosophical statement from Pauly Fuemana, “how bizarre!” If madness in Gravity Falls was quantified, this would break the scale on a level that the Jockey Elves would be jealous over. Granted, this is a genuinely good episode we’re talking about here.
This episode is sci-fi horror at it’s finest, thriving on the macabre and the concept of a world gone mad. Bizarrely, though, the ending makes it one of Gravity Falls’s more optimistic episodes, even in the face of the apocalyptic setting.. The question is, does that bit of optimism work?
The truth is… surprisingly, not that far out there. (Small note, but building that bridge must’ve required some awesome engineering.)
Airdate: October 12th, 2015
Synopsis: Mabel is ecstatic – the end of August marks her and Dipper’s 13th birthday, and she’s planning a celebration to mark both the occasion and put a massive cap on the summer. Excited for everything, her happiness is slowly quashed as the world she once knew begins to fall apart. Wendy pops her bubble about high school, there can’t be a party at the shack itself, and her best friends can’t come to the party.
Meanwhile, Dipper and Ford go looking for a super-adhesive glue to try and seal a crack in the globe that holds the rift between the universes. To do this, they wind up going under Gravity Falls… a town founded over a UFO. (Arnold Rimmer has been vindicated.) After a series of strange events, Ford offers Dipper a proposal – stay in Gravity Falls after the summer ends, and become his apprentice in mystery solving.
When the two plots intersect… the end results are not good, to say the very least. Review (WARNING, LONG REVIEW. ALSO, SPOILERS FOR VARIOUS PIECES OF MEDIA): Shortly before the premiere of “Roadside Attraction”, Alex Hirsch tweeted something to the effect that “RA” was a “breather episode” before the epic episode afterward. Reading that, I thought that this episode would change the show’s status quo on a scale unseen since “Not What He Seems.”
Well, it turns out, I was wrong.
For “Dipper and Mabel vs the Future” has less changed the status quo… and more curled the status quo in a ball, flung said ball out the window, and sent it barreling towards the sun at speeds so fast, the MillenniumFalcon wouldn’t be able to catch up.
I’m not even sure how else to put it, other than this episode is undeniably the most stunning in the history of the show. Continue reading →