Episode Review: Gravity Falls (Season 2, Episode 19) – Weirdmageddon, Part 2
*WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
Throughout the series Gravity Falls, the main focus has often been on Dipper and Mabel Pines, the 12-year-old twins who are sent to the small Oregon town, to visit their Great Uncle (aka “Grunkle”) Stan Pines.
What they thought was going to be a boring Summer in the Pacific Northwest, soon turned into a strange and wondrous journey, as they met new friends, encountered strange creatures, and uncovered a mystery that would have serious ramifications on our whole world!
Following the events of Weirdmageddon Part 1, Dipper, Wendy, and Soos have made it to the edge of Gravity Falls, and find a suspended sphere, with Mabel’s ‘shooting star’ sweater image on it! Obtaining a key from Gideon Gleeful, the three make their way inside, and find a perfect world (seemingly) created by Mabel, and like the good-hearted girl she is, she’s eager for them to partake in what Mabel Land has to offer!
Meanwhile, Bill Cypher has grown upset that though he has managed to bring Weirdmageddon to Gravity Falls, he and his minions are for some reason, unable to escape, or spread their chaos beyond the borders of the town!
With Mabel being relatively absent from the first part of Weirdmageddon, getting to see the alternate world that Bill Cypher created inside her bubble, is definitely a contrast to the fire and chaos on the outside.
Speaking of Bill, he and his henchmaniacs only have a few minutes worth of screen-time this episode, as the majority of the plot takes place inside Mabel’s bubble. Though one hoped that maybe there could be more information about Bill’s plans, it feels like we’ll have to wait until Part 3 to see more about them.
The world that Mabel has created inside her bubble, seems like a combination of the world of Toontown from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, as well as The Other World from Coraline.
That concept of Mabel Land is played up in quite a big way, as Mabel tells Dipper, Wendy, and Soos, “Mabel Land knows just what you want, and always provides!”
One fun little bit, is seeing that Mabel has also created ‘a back-up Dipper,’ to inhabit Mabel Land, who is almost on the same level of over-the-top positivity as her animated dreamboys, Xyler and Craz (who also inhabit the world!). The few moments that “Dippy Fresh” is onscreen, are great for an old-school 90’s laugh (and Dipper’s reactions to his colorfully-positive doppleganger, are the highlight of the episode).
While Dipper does play the role of ‘splash of cold water’ in this episode, it is also feels like the story focuses on a turning point for Mabel.
As we saw in the episode Dipper and Mabel vs The Future, Mabel is afraid to turn 13, and has come to the realization that growing up and going into high school one day, may not be as happy and joyous as movies and television have led her to believe (in some respects, I could relate to this so much).
She also grew even more downtrodden in that episode, hearing that Dipper might stay in Gravity Falls, and become Stanford Pines’ apprentice, in investigating more of the town’s weirdness.
That feeling of being separated from her twin, is a little reminiscent of the relationship shown between Stanley and Stanford Pines, in the episode A Tale of Two Stans, in which Stanley grew downtrodden that his smarter twin brother would leave, and go off to study far away.
That fear of growing up, and life maybe not turning how you wish it could be, is the underlying theme of the episode. It definitely bubbles to the surface during the final third of the episode, when Dipper has to appeal to Mabel, and convince her to break free from Bill’s illusive world.
We do get a few bits leading into moments of the twin’s past, that show how each of the twins saw certain moments in their lives, and the results may remind a few of a scene or two, from PIXAR’s Inside Out.
The biggest feeling in regards to the episode, is that it’s almost like the last chance to get a 300% dose of Mabel’s crazy personality in a bright and sparkly world, to offput us to the dark and horrific machinations outside of the bubble. So much of what we see, feels like a curtain call of cameos and easter eggs, for the sharp-eyed Gravity Falls fans.
Much like part 1 of Weirdmageddon, the episode doesn’t feel super-emotional, but there’s enough going on in it, that it still manages to stand out as entertaining, as well as being informative.
Also, stay for the credits, to show probably one of the ‘deepest’ reflections in the show’s history.
Final episode grade: B+ (Final Thoughts: Much like “The Empire Strikes Back,” Part 2 of Weirdmageddon focuses on some of the deeper storytelling of the trilogy of stories being told. The episode gives Mabel the chance to have a happy world the likes of which she could probably only dream of, but gives Dipper the chance to finally have a heart-to-heart with his sister, that it feels the series desperately needed before its big finale. The episode acts as a fun overly-bright contrast to the nightmarish colorations of the outside world, and helps to also act as a way to try and convince the audience that sometimes, you may need to move on, even if you have no idea what the future may bring )