Now here’s where the show really takes off. If I actually have any complaints about this episode, it would be that it is almost too joke heavy. That can become an issue with a series if it continues like that on a regular basis (ie Family Guy). Here though, it really just fits this episode in the larger scheme of things.
Here we get a further look at people we already saw in the pilot. Dipper is a lot better established as a well-rounded character in this episode than his blank template was in the pilot. In this episode, he comes off as a bit of a paranoid control freak while still managing to retain childish innocence and clumsiness. The rest of the main characters involved follow the traits set out in the pilot but really settle into some well-written personalities.
One thing that does feature a lot more prominently in this episode are background/punch line characters. Some repeating Gravity Falls citizens are introduced while some are just played out as hilarious gags.
What happens is that our hero siblings, Dipper and Mabel, discover that a picture of a legendary monster known as the Gobblewonker is worth a lot of money. At the same time, their Grunkle Stan wants to spend more time with the kids. So far, he has only ever spent time doing…less illustrious things with them.
He tries to take them fishing at the same lake where the creature is located. When they arrive at the lake, the kids have to decide whether or not to ditch their uncle to hunt down the monster with Soos.
Prior to this though, they receive a mysterious warning from old Old Man McGucket.
Oh well, I’m sure it won’t amount to anything.
Both sides of the story really compliment each other here (which is pretty regular for this show) and don’t fall into the trap of being two separate stories that never tie together.
Dipper, Mabel and Soos go out on an almost Scooby Doo like mission to find this monster, all while having extreme difficulty holding onto the extra cameras Dipper got to ensure a picture of the thing.
I’d be fucking pissed. Do you know how hard it is to find disposable cameras nowadays?
Meanwhile, Stan tries to make up for his family leaving by trying to cozy up to other people at the lake and by tormenting others.
I seriously can’t get enough of Stan on this show and he is just firing on all cylinders in this episode.
On the other side of the lake, our heroes have finally reached Scuttlebutt Island.
This has resulted in the discovery of the creature despite constantly running into some cute beavers.
What? You don’t ever take the time to state that you’re still human?
Following a dramatic chase, Dipper, Mabel and Soos finally manage to pin down the Gobblewonker in a cave. Turns out that the creature is a sham and Old Man Mcgucket is, somehow, a robotics genius that has invented monsters to accomplish simple things.
Well with our moral being conveniently handed to us, it’s about time the kids learned the error of their ways and spent some quality time with Stan.
And that’s the second episode of Gravity Falls. Trust me when I say that I am leaving out a lot when it comes to the jokes in this episode. Often you might find yourself still thinking about the last laugh while the next one slips over your head.
Definitely worth multiple watches based on how funny it is and how much it actually develops the town and characters. Some of the background characters become consistently recurring characters (the group of ginger men seen above turn out to be Wendy’s family), while Old Man Mcgucket seems like a one time joke in this episode, his genius actually becomes an important bit of continuity for the show.
Secrets and continuity
-The Gnomes from the previous episode are alluded to while an advertisement appears in this episode that foreshadows the debut of major character Gideon Gleeful a couple episodes from now
-Stan says that Mabel’s rendition of Ben Franklin looks like a woman which connects to a later episode’s discovery that he was a woman
-As shown above, Blendin Blandin makes another background appearance
-Final credits cryptogram reveals “NEXT WEEK: RETURN TO BUTT ISLAND”. It also features a puppeteered pelican that I will leave you with. Enjoy.