Hello, Spongey here.
I like to think I try to be a patient person. At least when it comes to doing certain blog projects. There’s a lot that I REALLY can’t wait to do but I try to be patient and wait to finish other things, or for the right time.
Usually I can wait since I have other things to do, especially when it comes to my more recent lists. Even I did kind of want to get them I tried to wait until it was time. With the Phineas and Ferb list, I was fine with waiting until I felt it was time, even though I did want to properly say goodbye to a show that close to my heart.
….But with this one, I just simply could not wait any longer. I’ve been wanting to do it since at least Part 1 of the finale because I had so much to say about some episodes I loved, but of course I had to wait.
Now, since it will likely be like March 1st or so when it put this up, you think that’s a reasonable enough time and isn’t too fast. I’m writing this on February 17, two days after the final episode aired.
I will be Re-watching Season 2 starting Friday and writing the section on each episode as I get to it. Yeah. I actually did that for the MLP Season 5 List but that was a while after the season ended, and I just did that to get it out of the way in the rushed way.
This one I want to get out of the way because I’m so excited to share my thoughts. Now don’t worry, by the time I get to the finale again enough time will have passed, and I’ve already thought about it plenty these past 2 days.
I know none of you care about my sad pathetic life but I thought it was important as it shows how excited I am. But yeah…Gravity Falls,. A lot happened since I did that Season 1 list back in 2014.
I’m thankfully happy with that list. One or two could have been switched and like I said, Summeween would be number 8 now, but that’s about it. Oh, and if you don’t know about the show, just back to that post, it explains everything.
After a long wait, we finally got the 2nd season of Gravity Falls, and it did disappoint. Not only did it keep everything I loved about Season 1, but it only got better. We got more complex development, mysterious were finally solved, and we FINALLY got not one, but TWO Soos Episodes!
Things got bigger and better like any show should. This Season was impressive in pretty much every way, and it even managed to get deeper and darker. But it also kept the humor that always kept me coming back before.
The first Season had an “Adventure of the Week” vibe, but this Season started diver deeper into the mystery. We have a bigger story arc that went from episode to episode, as a major cast change halfway through the Season.
It’s impressive how good this Season was. Sure, it had The Love God, the only episode people seem to dislike and while I do agree that it’s the weakest, I still like It for the humor and at least having good reasons for the flaws. That’s right, this is one of the few shows with no real duds, as even the weakest ones are still decent or watchable.
That’s a pretty impressive feat. The show itself isn’t perfect but it doesn’t make any horrible mistakes and is consistently great throughout. Speaking of problems, I suppose the only nitpick I have with this Season is that it isn’t quite as funny as before.
I mean there are less jokes, and since I mostly loved the show for the humor that is a bit weird. However, that is fine since this Season is more serious and there are tons of amazing jokes to make up for it, even the weaker episodes.
(Waddles X Goat OTP)
Aside from that, and maybe not developing certain side characters enough, this Season is exactly what it should have been. It did pretty much everything right.
…Oh, and this was the last Season.
Yeah…can’t get around discuss this. Yep, after only 2 Seasons and 40 Seasons, Gravirty Falls has met it’s end. With all the Disney shows ending lately, and especially after what they did to Randy Cunninghum, you think this would just be another mindless canclation.
…But no. Take it away, Alex.
“it’s being finished. This is 100% my choice, and its something I decided on a very long time ago. I always designed Gravity Falls to be a finite series about one epic summer- a series with a beginning, middle, and end. There are so many shows that go on endlessly until they lose their original spark, or mysteries that are canceled before they ever get a chance to payoff.”
That’s right, he ended the show on his own terms. That’s…insane. Phineas and Ferb got to do it too but it was in Season 4, it was gonna end anyway. I was sure it would either have 3 season, or be mindlessly canned before it could get truly amazing.
But instead, it got amazing and had a true ending that the creator wanted. Disney even wanted him to change his mind, hence the long gaps between episodes. But Alex took the high road.
Could have there have been a 3rd Season with plenty more to offer? Sure, but I think they pulled off the story excellently with the two seasons they had. There’s a clear beginning, middle and ending with all the important character arcs concluding well.
As sad as it is to see the show go, the run was so great that I don’t mind too much. I’m just glad everything was pulled so well in only 2 seasons. It’s crazy how good the show ended up being in the end.
Once again, I’ll leave the ending speech for later. For now, we have to look back at the previous season and see what the highlights were. This season really cemented this show as the one of the best, and let’s see why.
Oh, and like last time it’s Top 8 due to there being only 20 episodes.
This, is the Top 8 Gravity Falls Season 2 Episodes
(Return of the title cards!)
- Soos and the Real Girl
Writers: Mark Rizzo & Alex Hirsch
Ever since I first got into in the show, I wanted a Soos episode. We had a subplot here and there but no full episode. Then in Season 2 we finally got some, and his first outing not only met expectations but exceeded them due to being beyond excellent.
Soos has trouble finding a date, so he tries out a Japanese Dating Sim and hits it off with the virtual girl Giffany (“Or is pronounced Jiffany?”) but in true Gravity Falls fashion she turns out to be a heap of real trouble.
Before we get into the real meat here, we gotta discuss Soos himself. Like most of the characters, he’s a lot more than he seems. He could have easily been the stupid character, but he’s actually not.
He’s certainly a bit slow but nothing he does really comes across as really stupid. He manages to be funny without just spouting dumb lines for no reason. He’s also really likable and not a jerk like some dumb characters can often be.
They even managed to do the screw up plot line with them perfectly, the only media to ever do so. When they gave him an episode, they could have just made is super silly or something like that, but instead it’s actually one of the most…real episodes.
There’s a surprise for you and it really fits his characters. They really capture what it;s like to be out in the dating field when you’re not really prepared. They do play it for laughs (“Your face is nice. I’m a Soos!”) but it just seems real instead of just lame and awkward.
Speaking of laughs, this does have good humor, not only with Soos’ but also a subplot where Stan tries to steal an Animatronic Badger. Don’t ask. It’s clearly filler but it’s actually well done and highly memorable unlike other filler subplots in shows.
But of course it’s the actual writing that makes it work, the humor just helps. They go even deeper by discuss Dating Sims and why some people use them. They use it for smart messages on how dangerous they can be and how they can’t replace real flesh and blood.
It’s really smart because it does explain why some people use them instead of saying anyone who uses them is a basement dweller, while still explaining why they can be kind of bad. But it does it’s own GF spin on with Giffany.
Oh boy, Giffany. She might be the creepiest villain show, outdoing Bill Cyhper honestly. Mostly because they are rather clingy girls like her and they make her as disturbing as possible just with how she talks and acts. This whole episode might be the creepiest when it comes to the combination of atmosphere and subject matter as it comes from a real palce while also being fanatical.
They even fit some discount Showbiz Pizza Animatronic to make it creepier than 5 Nights at Freddy’s will ever be. Still not as scary as some of it’s fanbase.
Then we have the icing on the cake with Melody, a girl Soos eventually takes a liking to. They are pretty cute together and while having her kind of leave is just kind of a lazy way to write her out, it still works to make a sort of bittersweet ending.
It’s really impressive how they took a fan request and made into one of the shows most real and at the same time creepiest episodes. It captures what dating is like, really dives into Soos’ character, has good satire on dating sims and is incredibly disturbing with it’s villain.
It’s another episode that’s just the full package. I don’t really have any complaints with this one. I mean it’s slightly cliché maybe they do it in such a real and awesome way that it’s not a big deal.
You know this liist was hard when this is at the bottom. Heck, 8-5 in general are pretty much tied in a way and they changed in my head a lot. That says a lot about how amazing they are.
Overall, this episode is creepy, real, and sweet. It’s Soos, what more could you want?
- Society of the Blind Eye
Writers: Matt Chapman & Alex Hirsch
After the first two episodes of the Season, there was a break where they focused more on the slice of life stuff and character development than the big mystery. But they eventually went back to it with this episode, and it did not disappoint.
Dipper, Mabel, Wendy, Soos, and McGucker find out about a society that erases people’s erases memories. This section might be a bit short as there isn’t a lot to say about this one, oddly enough.
The reason I love is that it’s really wounded. Plenty of episodes combined all of the shows elements, but this one does it more seamlessly than usual. The character development, moral and humor all come through the big story that progresses the mystery instead of being separate like in some other episodes.
Everything just works so well to create a really engaging and cool episode. We have some amusing jokes, my favorite bits being McGucket “swearing” and Wendy being annoyed by a song she can’t get out of her head.
Although Straight Blanchin’ can’t compete with Musical Doodle.
I really like the moral here, which Mabel learns in a minor subplot where she tries to use the memory gun to forget about her failed summer romances. This is started when she finds out Mermando from The Deep End is getting married to prevent a undersea Civil War….I’m not the only who wants to see that ordeal, right?
From this she learns that while we all have bad memories, it’s best to learn from this instead of trying to forget about them. I agree with Wendy, it’s pretty mature and something people do need to learn.
It is important to move on from bad things instead of trying to prevent them or go crazy forgetting about them. This whole mess with the society started when someone didn’t want to move on from something and just wanted to forget about it.
They mix in the moral with the big story well, and the story does other things in case you don’t care about the moral. Again, it’s very well written that way. The Society itself is pretty cool as it explains why no one really questions the crazy stuff going on most of the time.
And Blind Ivan become a banjo player in the end is amazing.
But then the real meat of the episode. We find out McCucket doesn’t remember anything from before 1982 and he might have some connection with The Author of the Journals. McGucket being the author was a popular theory, and this episode jossed it but confirmed he at least worked with him.
It’s a nice step forward, and it gives him a pretty tragic backstory as we see how he become crazy. It’s a decent tear jeker, seeing this happen to him, especially with we know regarding his son
Speaking of that scene, may as well address the elpehant in the room: Yes, that scene is similar to a certain one from Adventure Time, where it turns out a character was a genuis who went crazy.
It’s even revealed through a recording they watch! Of course, this is a huge coincidence but it is strange how similar they are. It being done before does take the shock out of it, but I think it does serve the story really well and is tragic, albeit not to the extent of Simon.
Even with another show doing it, it still works great in this context. This episode just fires on all cylinders and answers questions while opening up new ones in a solid way. It does what most of the show does, and does it all really well.
It’s not quite as daring or epic as others, but it’s really good with the story, moral and character insight. It combines all of the shows elements in a seamless way that is very engaging and fun to watch.
It’s safe to say I never want to forget this episode.
- Northwest Mansion Mystery
Writers: Mark Rizzo, Jeff Rowe & Alex Hirsch
This is one of those episodes that might be higher on most people’s list. Since it’s on the list, you know I think it’s great and see why others love it more. However, it has a couple minor issues and I just prefer others more.
Let’s go ahead and get the problems out of the way. Remember how I said this Season had slightly less humor and that was one small hang up I had? This episode kind of represents that, as the main plot doesn’t really have as much humor as other episodes.
That in itself is main but considering that Not What He Seems has a lot of jokes despite being the biggest regular episode of the series, there really is no excuse for this one to go slightly lighter.
With that said, the jokes we do get are good humor. My main problem is the subplot. Since the main plot is dramatic, they needed a lighter subplot to offset it. Okay, so it’s gotta invole Mabel.
Let’s see…we’ll do a plot where they learn to accept Grenda’s plot. There, that’ll be easy to write and we can do something with this character without actual developing her so she can stay goofy!
In other words….they kind of took the easy way out. They went out of their way to avoid this in Land Before Swine, and never do this in general yet here they….kind of did. I found that to be pretty disappointing.
To be fair, they still handle it okay with some decent humor, but it’s the only time I feel they did it easy instead of their own way. Thankfully, it’s not enough to weigh down the episode, but it’s enough for it to not crack the top 5.
Everything else is great. This has the best atmosphere of any Gravity Falls episode Seriously we have a creepy mansion on a rainy night, being attacked by a ghost voiced by Kevin Micheal Richardson
This episode is just dripping in creepy atmosphere all the way through. Speaking of creepy, man this might be the creepiest episode ever. The ghost starts turning people into wooden statues and it’s so damn creepy because of how it happens.
Especially when it happens to freaking everyone, including Dipper! Christ almighty, even by this show’s standards this is intense! That stuff really makes this one fun and memorable. And while there aren’t a ton of jokes, the jokes we do get a solid, especially “Used to be About History Channel”.
But I think you know the main reason this episode is loved: Pacfica’s redemption. I haven’t done into her too much before so I can do so here. I like her for the same reason I like most characters her: I find her Alpha Bitch stuff amusing.
I like her a little more than some others, since they play it up more and make better jokes with her. I didn’t really care about her being redeemed either way but I’m glad it happened since it fits well due to how they did it.
And now it’s time to keep a promise I made in my last MLP list. Yep, I am going to contrast this with Diamond Tiara’s redemption. I said this show did it better, and it certainly did. The main reason is that it wasn’t just rushed into the 2nd half of one episode. They dedicated TWO episodes to it.
They previously started this with The Golf War, where Pacifica starts to grow on her own. We do get the idea her parents are the cause of it, but she did team up with Mabel and accept her offer for a ride on her own, making it more natural.
That nicely sets the stage for this episode, where we learn the Northwests screwed up over the townsfolk years ago and caused a curse to haunt them. Then they tricked Dipper into getting rid of the ghost instead of just fixing their mistake.
Of course are pretty much told Pacifca is like this because she felt she had due to how her parents acted. But they go slightly deeper….by having Dad control her with a Bell. He rings and she shuts up.
…Just that bit kind of tells us everything. Whatever the backstory for this is, he clearly found a way to make his own child SCARED to disobey him. That alone is more realstic and engaging than the small stuff Crusaders of the lost mark gave us.
We got some deep stuff there, but it was shown in a more rushed way. We see Diamond Tiara talk to her Mom then after a quick song, we are meant to feel bad for her and want her to be good. And if you pay attention, her actually turning good happens a bit too quickly.
While it kind of happens quick too, they spin it in a more interesting direction. That bell thing pretty much gains your sympathy, as anyone who is scared of their father is worth feeling sorry.
I know that typically the guy reaction to seeing a bitch like this be hurt is to laugh, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right reaction and while the MLP one did this in a more generic way, this show makes it way more real and engaging.
Not to mention emotional. Pacifa truly seeing how awful her family is is really heartbreaking. They just a better job at trying to make us like her than in that other one. Plus, she fixes the big problem herself in a more interesting way.
I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking the MLP episode at all. Despite those flaws, that episode still comes across as amazing to me, but this one is just written better. The big reason is works is that it spins it into a creepy story of how a family screwed over a poor lumberjack with tons of atmosphere.
So even if you don’t total buy everything, the story is still fascinating enough to be engaging. Oh, and while Pacfica is bad she never mocked a disabled kid. That’s also important.
Now, I will admit to having slight doubts about her changing at all, and it’s not my favorite kind of story which is another reason It’s not in my top 5 of another. But it’s still an awesome episode, simply due to how interesting and creepy it is.
And they have a cliffhanger with McGucket as the icing on the cake. Overall, despite a weak subplot this episode has great development for Pacfica, a fascinating story, and some amazing atmosphere that makes it really creepy and engaging.
It’s just another really great episode, and it proves you can have a great episode without Stan! What’s not to like?
- Into the Bunker
Writers: Matt Chapman & Alex Hirsch
One of the more divisive aspects of Season 1 was the whole shtick with Dippper’s crush on Wendy. Mostly because it was kind of cliché and drove a few too many episodes. I’ve said that I didn’t mind it since it was handled and done differently in each episode.
But I was beyond glad they pretty much wrapped it up right away in Season 2, and in the perfect way. The actual plot of the episode is that they find the Author’s Bunker…along with a Shapeshifter.
Before we get into the real meat here, let’s discuss the rest. I like how this is the 2nd episode of the Season and they were already pushing the story forward. Other shows might do filer right after the premiere, but they go even further.
It seems like not a ton really happened until the very end where they find that laptop that becomes the next important arc. This episode does what a lot of the best episodes do and combines the intriguing mystery with really good character development and humor.
It perfectly mixes in the bunker plot line with the Wendy stuff, and there are some solid jokes, most notably Mabel’s “Skeptical”s. My favorite joke is about the movies on TV at the end.
Although I will say that my only problem with the episode is that Mabel and Soos are slightly annoying in some parts, and Mabel is slightly dickish when trying to get him to confess to Wendy.
It’s not a big deal but it did bug me slightly. I can forgive it since they are still funny. Another awesome thing is the Shapeshifter himself. His design is cool and he leads to some creative moments. And he’s voiced by Mark Hamil!
But the real highlight is how they handle the Wendy thing. In this episode it feels a lot more real than in other episodes, as Dipper deals with his feelings. He’s sure he’s over here due to him thinking it through, but he just can’t help still having some feelings but of course he’s too nervous to really confess.
It’s more releatable than in the other episodes that deal with this as plenty of people have been in this position and it’s done really well. Speaking of Wendy, she’s pretty much a badass here. She gets some nice moments and is even more likable than usual.
She then she becomes useless in the rest of the Season but she’s still cool. It does end in the way you’d expect, with her letting him down but agreeing to be friends since Dipper stopped being weird about it.
It’s kind of bittersweet note, as Dipper knows he won’t really have her but they are still good enough friends.
“How can things be so amazing and terrible at the same time?”
That sum it all pretty well. It’s kind of happy ending but not quite really. It’s just…real. That’s the kind of writing that makes this show so special. I just really appreciate how they handled this and that they took care of it quickly.
Other shows might wait longer or just handled it badly. Others might drop it than have her hook up with him in the future even though they set up a different and better romance arc for her.
I’m not bitter.
This episode does pretty much a lot of what makes this great, with the combination of mystery, story, humor and real and releatable moments. It’s kind of like Irrational Treasure in the way, albeit not quite as funny.
As a whole, it’s great episode that just handles things perfectly. It moves the story well, has good jokes and finally resolve an arc in the best way they could. It has a little for something for everyone, and all that is why it works.
…And yeah, that’s about it. Shorter than I expected, but that’s about it. It’s another great episode that made Wendy even better and handled some tough stuff extremely well. It’s pretty awesome.
But oh man, my top 4 is where we get what is my current top 4 of the whole show. Everything else kind of competes for eachother, but these Top 4 are my favorites of the show, no question.
Let’s get started on those!
- Not What He Seems/A Tale of Two Stans
“I hope all this aligns exactly with my fanfic, Stan. If not, I will be very disappointed”
Writers: Shion Takeuchi (NWHS only), Josh Weinstein, Jeff Rowe (NWHS only), Matt Chapman & Alex Hirsch
- won’t make any friends by putting the former this low, much less just tying it with another episode. But I couldn’t really decide which one I like more so I put them both, and I wanted to leave room with Soos and the real girl.
But I guess that’s good because I’m sure how I could fill one full section of Not what He Seems with stuff that hasn’t been said already. First, I’ll discuss the “problems” that led to it not being in the top 3. See, it’s purpose to build up tension to the next episode where everything about Stan is answered.
It’s mostly a build up episode, and that’s it. Usually in that case, that episode becomes kind of skipable once all the answers are given. That’s not the case here but it does mean that the awesome-ness factor has gone down slightly after know the reason behind everything here, and we fully know Stan isn’t doing anything wrong here.
I prefer episodes that hold up better on their own, you know? With that said….if it wasn’t truly amazing, it wouldn’t be this high to begin with. Because it’s amazing. They do such a good job that it’s worth coming back to even after we have the answer.
I thought it would be weaker watching it after the latter has aired, but it’s still just as good. The best word to sum it up is intense. This episode is amazingly intense as we slowly realize Stan has a sketchy history and the twins become unsure of his intentions.
It just gets more epic as it goes along, especially the anomiles and emotional moments. But even in all of this, they don’t forget the humor. There’s still a few great jokes such as Kerprank’d, which is amazing. My favorite joke is Stan “swearing for real”. Disney show, everyone.
This show has always been good at mixing humor and drama, and even in it’s most epic normal episode, it can give us good humor that isn’t distracting. Now that’s impressive.
But back to the intensity they do a great job at making things as intense as possible. Even the animation gets a bit darker with some fantastic lighting. I don’t usually notice lighting but this show uses it really well in some episodes, with the highlights in this one being Stan getting away from the government guys and the climax.
Speaking of the climax, holy shit is it good. It has so much intensity and emotion with Stan telling Mabel not to push the button. It still gets me after all this time. Then there’s that ending.
That has to be one of the biggest “HOLY SHIT” moments in all of Western Animation. Even after all this time, that moment where the author is revealed is just epic as hell. Especially for reasons I’ll get into in a moment.
This episode may not quite as subversive as other episodes, but it’s one of the most intense and engaging. The animation is even more amazing, the jokes are mixed in well, and it’s amazingly intense all the way through and of course, it really makes Stan even more fascinating.
The fact that I can still it great despite it being just build up shows just how much effort they put it into. And 3 months later, that cliffhanger got resolved in A Tale of Two Stans, which is equally as amazing.
We finally find out that the author is Stan’s twin brother, Ford, voiced by JK Simmons. And here they tell the full story behind Stan, the mystery shack and the journals. It’s one big flashback episode, so much so that it’s actually 29 minutes long without commercials instead of the usual 22. Hell, it actually had no commercials when it originally aired.
I’ve said before that I have a soft spot for Flashback Episodes and this is one of the best. First off, as everyone has talked about, this one of the few mystery shows where they actually answer all the big questions.
We find out who the author is and why most of this stuff is going on. No stone is left unturned, except for minor things that don’t matter. We all know that a lot of mystery shows either won’t deliver on the answers or make the answers very unsatisfying.
They could have closed that portal and kept the mystery going until the show was canned, leaving no mystery solved. But instead Alex made the decision to have it be a 2 season story where the mystery is fully solved.
This is pretty awesome and the answers are completely satisfying. Also, Ford is awesome. Of course JK Simmons does a good job, but Ford himself is a good character who is very enjoyable to watch in both this and the rest of the series.
But onto the actually story. I can’t really go into all of it because there’s a lot to it but in a good way. My biggest compliment is that the pacing is near perfect. The extra time lets them flesh out the story more and answer all the questions in a natural while also telling a enganging story of two brothers who had a rather tragic falling out.
I never felt like it was going too slow, or two fast. Heck, when I saw that there was still like 4 minutes left after the story was done, I was surprised, especially it stats like 3 or so minutes into the episode, counting the intro.
Speaking of, why does this episode have the full intro while NWHS gets the lame short one? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Anyway, the pacing is so good, I have no idea how they pulled this off. The actual they story is a really good one, while both characters are likable but neither is really in the wrong. It was an accident, but Stan was still being a bit whiny. But he also was angry because of his connection with Ford, and this was a great opportunity for him.
It’s another one of those stories while no one is really the bad guy here, making it real and incredibly engaging. I do love that it was an accident, it just makes it more interesting. But Stan did cause said accident, so he did still have a hand in it.
Their connection is great too. I immediately liked these two, making their fall out even more tragic. Even part of this episode is interesting, from their bond to fall their out, to Stan running away and etc.
It’s one of those episodes where I really didn’t want it to end and that’s a pretty big compliment. The emotions and conflicts are just perfect, and this really makes Stan a great tragic figure.
I’m just being given more reasons to call Stan my favorite character.
My only real complaint with this one is that the ending bit with the agents is a bit rushed. All the build up with them they are defeated pretty easily. However, I can forgive that since they were getting tight on time as it is, and it’s not a big deal.
Other than that, this one is near perfect. Oh, and it has good humor, including that quote, but for once I didn’t really care about the humor. Mostly because it’s nicely mixed in through minor jokes with Stan, but also because the story is that well written.
So with all of that, I think I like it just a bit more than Not What He Seems. As good as that one was, this one kind of tells a better stand alone story and is so amazing with what it does. But I tied with because are equally amazing with their impact on the show, and I know you would all have my head if I put that one even lower.
These episodes really show how different this show is. It can write better conflicts than most, and actually deliver with a great ending to it’s mystery, while still leaving a few things open to explore.
It’s one of the few big events in TV that completely met my expectations, and then some. These two episodes are honestly great achievements in animation, at least one of the biggest of the 2010’s so far.
The former is intense and finally tells us who the author is, while the other gives us all the answers and gives us a fantastic and perfectly paced backstory for these great characters. They are nothing short of amazing.
And we’re only at number 4. Yeah, the next 3 are really close to my heart. Anyway, amazing episodes, but you all already knew that.
- Dipper and Mabel Vs The Future
Writers: Matt Chapman, Josh Weinstein & Alex Hirsch
That’s right, I put this build up episode a bit higher. Now I will say it was a close call, so I can see someone not really agreeing with me on this one.
This is the big build up to the three part finale thing as the stage is set for some awesome-ness to come. Again, it’s a build up episode like Not What He Seems, except this one deals with deeper stuff and has an even more of a HOLY SHIT ending.
Dipper and Mabel’s 13th Birthday is coming up, as well as the end of Summer. Dipper starts to think of his future with Ford, while Mabel learns she might not have the best time when Summer ends.
This episode is a lot of things, but obvious all else, it’s just plain depressing. Mabel starts to see how bad the future can be, with the horrors of High school (“TV taught me high school was going to be some sort of musical!”) and her friends not being able to attend her birthday party, and so forth.
In all of this, she needs her brother but he’s thinking of leaving her to go on crazy adventures with Ford. Then in her depressing, she makes a deal with a guy who turns out to be an evil being that causes the apocalypse.
…Dang. The last few minutes some of the most emotional things we’ve seen in the show. The future is always a scary thought, especially with all that high school stuff Wendy rambles on about.
I’ve discussed things that go into this kind of theme before and this one really shines with how Mabel goes through it. It gets really tear jerking, especially when she finds out what Dipper might be doing.
Now, you could say this is yet another example of Dipper having to sacrifice something for Mabel, and while that’s one minor issue, it does work here in it’s own way. Yeah, it’s a great oprountity and we are given good reasons he should do it, but it’s a bit dumb to ditch Mabel in this time, and it may not be what is best for him.
But he didn’t know when he thought about it, and Mabel is being a bit foolish, worrying so much about the future and such. See, it’s a bit less black and white as it seems, and they treat it as such.
And here it’s done for tragedy rather than really saying anything. And man does it give us some depressing stuff. On top of that, we finally get alien stuff in the show, with a really cool ship filled with nicely designed tech.
We get cool action here and awesome moments for Dipper. We also have a few amusing jokes like that line I quoted. This is another case where lack of humor isn’t a problem because it’s so engaging.
The ending really is awesome. It’s one of those moments where I do start a bit teary eyed, even if nothing really comes out. It just gets so sad in the best way possible. Then the actual ending is just epic.
It’s one of the most HOLY SHIT endings ever. Bill comes to reality and brings upon Weirdmangeddon, all because Mabel was gullible and wanted Summer to last forever, because she was burned by his her brother.
Ouch. This ending even works on a story level due to that. Everything about it is great. Now the reason this is higher than Not What He Seems, is because it works better as a stand alone.
That one works too, but it’s mostly just teasing that Stan is off and such. This tells a more self contained story with interesting themes, while also being build up for the finale. It’s a bit more on the emotionally rich side, you know?
With that said, I can why the qualities of other episodes would not make it as amazing for others. My Top 4 are honestly tied in a way, as all are equally amazing in one way or another, so you can be happy with that information.
This episode also works in a meta way, as this is the first time we realize the show is only set over one summer, and summer is only so long. We figured it might go on longer, but this says summer is almost over.
It was our first hint the series might end, so we’re in the same position as Mabel. Man this one just works on a lot of levels. That’s why it’s so amazing. It’s intense, it’s fun but also has interesting themes and is incredibly depressing with one hell of an ending.
It’s one of the most emotional episodes with one of the most insane endings. Everything about it just works, and even after the finale it’s still a great and emotional episode to come back to.
I see why most like NWHS more, but I think this works better as its’ own episode. We can all agree both episodes are fantastic though, right?
Either way, this has a ton to offer, is very emotional and set the stage for more awesome-ness to come, even if it only came 3 more times.
It’s good, and my top 2 is even better.
- Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls
Writers: Shion Takeuchi, Mark Rizzo, Jeff Rowe, Josh Weinstein & Alex Hirsch
“Curse my dumb heart for making me feel things!”
…Yeah. The big grand finale did not top my list. If you know me, you would assume it’s because I think it is “The best” I just personally prefer another. …And to an extent, you are right but I think even objectively, my number one is the best.
I mean, it’s easy for the finale to be amazing, but my number one goes above and beyond. ..But weith that said, holy shit this finale is just….uh…wow. It doesn’t technically have a bunch of mind blowing things, but the last 10 minutes is just…damn.Next you’re gonna tell me Sombra will come back and become a fully complex villain!
But before we get to that, let’s go over the other parts of this trilogy first. Part is basicaully the build up when things go wrong meaning there isn’t exactly much in terms of story, meaning it’s not as amazing as everyone says it is, but it’s still a blast due to the apcolpose theme, some good jokes, and THE best visuals in the show.
Not to mention the new opening, which is amazing.
Part 2 is the middle chapter, and let’s face is usually the 2nd part in any trlogy is the weakest since it’s the filler part, meant to pack in little moments and have a cliffhanger ending. Some go the Empire Strikes Back Approach but most go The Two Towers way…and I like two Towers so this episode is still very good.
It has great visuals, along with good jokes and a great moral and sweet ending. The comes the finale, which combines everything great from the other parts, but tells a more complete story, being the end.
The visuals are still great, being very creative with great lighting. Even with the more dramatic tone, we have plenty of good jokes, like with McCucket discovering Anime. Because he wasn’t crazy enough. Not to mention all the callbacks.
Bill is more terrifying then ever before. He’s always been creepy since he you feel how powerful he is despite being very goofy. He showed a bit of it before, but that was before he was real and now that he is, he’s full on insanely creepy, especially in this one.
There’s also great action with the big mystery shack battle, set to the theme song. Amazing. But two things really put this one over the edge. One is Stan. His arc comes to a head as he really talks to Ford about how he feels.
On top of that, he actually sacrifices himself in the end, as he’s willingly to have his mind erased to stop Bill. It really completes his arc perfectly, making him even more complex than ever before.
Once again, it shows more of why he is the best character. Also ,I love that the circle doesn’t save the day, and the way they do is pretty clever.
Before I move on to the other big thing, I must address the problems. Yes, no one dies, Stam gets his memory back, and nothing too shocking happensPlus, they don’t explain what happen to Blendin and Mabel isnt’ really called out for starting all this.
But honestly, all that is forgiven because the things that work are great. Alex said he didn’t want to kill anyone (plus they killed a baby, so whatever) or do anything too shocking.
“Some people could say, “I’d like something that’s super dramatic and miserable and made me cry and made me sad forever” [Laughs.] but that’s not my taste. The most important thing that I wanted to see in this finale was the family getting a proper goodbye.
I wanted to see Grunkle Stan as himself—fully intact, not a damaged version of himself, not a lost version of himself…..That to me is more important than being shocking for the sake of being shocking.”
I agree. It’s a more traditional finale compared to the Phineas and Ferb one, which is fine. Sometimes giving us exactly what we need is better than being amazingly daring. Even is Stan gets his memory back, his sacrifice is still amazing.
And it is still damn emotional. I agree with Rob, Kristen Schaal deserves some kind of award for that little moment of her going “Stan!” and such. Although I will say that Pacfica being back to being a bitch did bug me a little.
Speaking of emotion, the other big thing is of course the ending. Yeah, it’s fairly predictable but damn does it work. It’s like a Disney movie in the best possible way. Actually, this whole thing is like a movie, and that’s a good thing.
We get a lot of little moments that work such as Soos getting the shack (with Melody as the new Soos, which is amazing), which give each character a proper send off. It’s a bit overlong, as a lot of finales tend to do, but it works for the same reason it worked in Return of the King, despite the fake outs.
The emotion is so damn strong. Everything wraps up perfectly, and it does everything you wanted. I’m not sure how to describe it without just summarizing all of it, because every little moments just works.
I honestly won’t get rid of any of it, as even bits like McGucket getting the mansion work in their own way. But of course the real kicker is the actual.
It’s near perfect as we really see how the characters have changed, and we have a great speech playing over clips of the characters just going on with their lives. All capped off with credits done like a movie that just pretty much kills you.
…With emotion, I mean. Infact, I’ll just say that while I only got teary eyed on my first viewing, I did cry on my 2nd viewing because I have been hold back tears when watching sad stuff lately, and I decided to just let myself cry because this really deserves it.
While Dipper and Mabel Vs The Future may be the most emotional subject matter wise (well besides my number one..), this has the most emotion in general. It’s easy to do that in a finale but screw it, it just works so damn level.
Even on a writing level, it works because of how strong the characters are and how they are given the perfect ending. This entire episode is just one epic, fun and emotional ride. This episode really sums up what the whole show has been like.
Starts of just kind of silly, then get more mysterious, then gets outrageous and epic, then ends on an emotional yet satisfying note. It has minor issues along the way but it doesn’t overshadow just how amazing it is.
As I said, it’s a traditional finale in a lot of ways but it’s still great because it gives us what we need, even if’s not all we wanted. I kind of wish this was number one, because it’s the perfect way to sum up the show and say bye to it.
But I gotta go with my gut. Either way, this is still an amazing finale. It’s funny, intense, and ends the series on a very high note, being incredibly emotional. Thank you guys, for one hell of a finale.
Now a top 8 list like this usually wouldn’t have honorable mentions due to it’s nature, but I do have at least two. The 8 slot was hard at first until I re-watched Soos and the Real Girl, so I had two possible ones for the slot, and here they are:
The Last Mablecorn (Alex Hirsch): This is where things started to come together as we find out about Bill’s nature and Ford’s connection with him and get an awesome subplot as a result. But we also get great jokes and a unicorn voiced by Muscleman. What’s not to love?
Sock Opera (Shion Takeuchi & Alex Hirsch): Not only is this episode one of the funniest, but it finally address something that had been bugging me: Dipper is always sacrificing himself for Mabel but she rarely seems to return the favor. This episode addressed this very well, leading to some great moments. It’s just another awesome episode.
And my favorite episode of Gravity Falls Season 2 is..
- Blendin’s Game
Writers: Jeff Rowe & Alex Hirsch
If Irrational Treasure, sums up what I loved about Season 1, this sums up what I loved about Season 2. This episode is not only almost flawless, but has some amazing high notes while still keeping to what I have always loved about this series.
Blendin Blandin returns, this time to challenge the twins to a future gladiator battle called Globnar, as revenge for getting him arrested. At the same time, Dipper and Mabel try to figure out why Soos hates his birthday so much.
Let’s focus on the small stuff first. Of course this episode is very funny, mostly due to Blendin. But we have other good gags such as Small Robbie and anything with Time Baby. Anyone else think he’s the father of the Giant Floating Baby Head?
Speaking of Blendin, it’s great to see him back. I love that they poke fun at his annoying voice a bit, and they even manage to fix one of the flaws with his first episode. It seemed a bit harsh for him to be arrested, since he didn’t really do anything wrong
Here, they address that and have the kids make up for it in the end. I love it when a show makes up for it’s mistakes. Globar itself is really cool and Blendn gets enough good bits in the screen time he has to make this one great on it’s own.
But then we get the Soos stuff. Now I will say that the only possible flaw with this episode, is that some may be disappointed that Blendin’s big return is slightly upstaged by Soos. But I think it works because we get enough Blendin action to sastfying most, and the rest is so good it doesn’t even matter.
We find out that Soos doesn’t celebrate his birthday and the kids understand when they figure out why. Also, his real name is “Jesus” SOOS IS JESUS CONFIRMED, I KNEW IT.
It is revealed that Soos’ father left him many years ago and has not visited him since. Yet as a kid he sent postcards every year saying he would come next year for sure. Eventually Soos stopped getting his hopes up, and since this is connected to this birthday, he now hates his birthday.
…Yeah, even for this show is some heavy stuff. We aren’t told the full details, but we just need to know that his father is gone and has not visited him in a long time. That’s all we need, to know that Soos has every reason to hate his father. They really treat like seriously and that whole scene is really emotional. Not just because Soos is sad, but because his Grandmother really shows her hatred for Soos’ Father.
You really see how they feel about this situation, and you get the sense that his father was kind of a horrible person, especially with the ending. This is all very emotional and well handled on it’s own, giving Soos even more complexity that makes,.
But it’s the ending that makes this my favorite. Basically, the winner of Globnar gets a paradox free time wish and Dipper and Mabel try to win it to let Soos meet his father. They win and bring the wish to Soos, and tell him about their adventure.
Now Soos has the ability to see his father for the first time, maybe ever. Now, this kind of story has certainly been done for kids, and usually they will either just not to care to look into the matter because they have better family now, or we shall meet the parent and they will have the chance of being redeemed in some way or another.
What does this episode say you do if you have a parent who has left you and doesn’t really try to visit you at all?
|“Well, birthdays are supposed to be spent with the people who care about you. But you know what, that dude didn’t care about me enough to visit me once, let alone fight monsters through time and space like you dudes. I mean, you had a gladiator fight, just to make me happy. I’ve been being ridiculous this whole time. Whoever my dad was, he can take a hike.”|
…Yeah. If this was for adults, it would still be rather balls-y, but remember, this is for kids. And it’s pretty much saying…well, like I said, screw them. It’s a really harsh thing to say…but it’s also ture.
In real life, some parents who leave you just simply don’t care, and they won’t even try to make time of out of their day to visit you. In this case, they say Soos has not seen his father in at least 18 years!
And he kept making promises for at least 8 years to see him. If you do all of that, then you really don’t give a fuck and aren’t worth anyone’s time. It’s harsh but that happens and some people need to hear that.
And for a Disney cartoon to say that is pretty impressive. Even on it’s own, it’s a great moment for Soos that is mature and makes his character a lot more impressive. It’s interesting how they made him deeper with two episodes in a way that makes sense.
This episode just happened to be even better than his first outing. That moment is what makes this one my favorite, but the entire package really helps be amazing too.
It’s cool to see Blendin again, we get plenty of action and comedy, and one of the most mature moment in recent animation history is just the icing on the cake. This episode truly everthing that was great about this story.
It had interesting story stuff, memorable character great jokes, but most of all was way more more mature than most shows, and would sometimes do things not many shows. This episode just has everything, and unlike Irrational Treasure, has a daring deep moment to top it all off.
It has the deep stuff that everyone else loves about the show, while also having the humor that I love. It’s near perfect all the way through and is incredibly emotional and satisfying to boot. This pretty much IS Gravity Falls in it’s purest form, for the most part.
I think I’ve made my case. With it’s humor, awesome supporting character, and amazingly mature ending, it’s clear why this is my favorite episode of Gravity Falls, both Season 2 and the whole show.
And those were my favorite Gravity Falls Season 2 Episodes. This season really cemented the show as one of Disney’s best. Man, was this show a strange ride. Disney has made great shows before, but not one like this.
The last one I recall being this daring was Gargoyles. Infact, this is to the Disney Channel era what that was to Disney Afternoon era. A darker show that takes a lot more chances, although this show is way lighter for the most part.
This really focused on a strong mystery element with lots of attention payed to the small details. It’s strange for Disney to do this, but man did it pay off. It managed to be daring, creepy, engaging, and most of all funny.
And the fact that it only lasted two Seasons, yet told a complete story on it’s own terms is even more impressive. It’s interesting how I got just as much into it as others despite my heart belonging to Phineas and Ferb at the time.
I can’t help but love it, mostly due to how damn hilarious it is. The other stuff is just icing on the cake. I do think this will stand the test of time, and be known as not only one of the best Disney Cartoons, but also one of the best of the Modern era. Maybe not all time, but who knows?
It does represent how far cartoons have come. This show was an example of how Cartoons are pretty good right now, and it’s a good thing it has other great shows to sit alongside it now. This show may be over, but you’ve still got Steven Universe, We Bare Bears, and even Nick has Harvey Beaks.
And Disney won’t be getting worse thanks to Star Vs the Forces of Evil, Wander Over Yonder and Penn Zero. Don’t be too heartbroken the show is over, just be glad it ended on a great note.
It doesn’t feel as weird as when P&F ended but is odd to see it ends here, but it was still a great ride. I hope you enjoyed this list, I certainly loved doing it, and I’m go glad I got it all out of my system.
What do we do now? Well, TV seems to be going down my list of favorite shows and canning them. So…better get ready for the Steven Universe finale!