The scene begins ominous and dark as to ready the audience for the level of seriousness and drama the producers promised us this episode. This is a different approach from most Gravity Falls teasers. They usually start on an upbeat note with a joke or awkward situation to suck the audience in. Even if the setting is dark physically or in tone, there is usually some comedy relief to remind us that “this is a kid’s show”. However, when preparing for this episode, the producers did not shy from telling us that the audience was going to receive some big news. Here we see the “child-ness” of this show slowly slipping away….After the teaser, we’re drawn back into the familiar comedic world of Mabel, a safe recovery for the audience from the profound events in the teaser. However, this world the twins live in is only a façade that the audience uncovers this episode alongside Dipper and Mable.
The fireworks and popsicles remind us of the classic perfect summer. The lighting is warm and soft like a sun set… like summer might be over soon and this is just one last hurrah. But, there’s “plenty of summer left to drive each other crazy!” as Mable says in response to Grunkle Stan’s remark on how they get on so well. Grunkle Stan frowns at this. He knows the summer they’re know so far will not last much longer. Soon, they will see their time spend together through completely different eyes. He even tries to tell them, gives up the chance in fear. Mabel and Dipper have to find out the truth themselves, and Grunkle Stan allows this.
In this scene, Mabel wears her sweater around her waist. The only other time we’ve seen her wear a normal t-shirt was in Irrational Treasure because Mable became self-conscious when Pasifica made fun of her sweaters. Sure, Mabel probably took her sweater off because she was hot from running around and shooting fireworks, but I think that sweater symbolizes change. Mable’s sweaters are what define her and it makes the scene seam off. This is the perfect subliminal message to escort more change and tension.
The Secret Agents at first glance appear as the “bad guys”. But take a second look, their role in this work is comedy relief because of their overdramatic seriousness. What is their goal in this scene? They haven’t shown to have anything personal against the Pines, or want any want to defeat them like lil’ Gideon. Their purpose as opposition to the Pines’ goal is to move the story along the story in a dramatic way, so Dipper and Mabel can uncover the secrets the Producers promised us.
When Dipper and Mabel are being taken away to child services, Agent Trigger puts on “some mindless reality TV designed to pacify you and make you stop asking question.” The show is Kerpranked, with Justin Kerprank, but why this new show and not any of the other hilarious TV shows we’ve seen the Pines watching in the past? It’s because, this show is the set up for a joke about to be made in the near future. It ends up being Mabel who makes the refrence when she cannot except the situation where she learns that Stan isn’t Stan. This show serves two purposes, one, to make a joke, and two a way for Mabel to justify the situation, showing who Mabel truly is. She doesn’t believe the evidence right away like Dipper does. Instead, she uses a joke to explain it to herself. Here’s a precursor showing how trusting Mabel really is. She makes a great contrast to Dipper in this scene to show the audience that her decision to trust Stan over Dipper, makes sense and isn’t so much a surprise. Can a simple joke really mean that much?
Back in the government vehicle, Dipper and Mabel quickly come up with an escape plan and a way to clear Stan’s name. The Agent, who seams to live in the logical world, the same one you and I live in, cannot compete with Mabel in her illogical world, Gravity Falls. Mabel has fully acclimated into the strangeness of Gravity Falls. She knows the town’s people are on the same level of weirdness as she, and she uses that to her advantage. Seeing how much Mabel belongs to this world I called a “façade” makes finding out the truth about Stan more painful. Their lives in Gravity Falls may be a façade, but the social laws of the town haven’t changed. Thank Goodness, because the twins wouldn’t have been able to beat the agents is they didn’t know how to work the town to their advantage.
Behind the table where Stan’s handcuffed to is a bulletin board with papers connected together with red string, the classic Sherlock Holmes “whodunit” strategy. This makes the agents look just as curious about catching Stan as Dipper is about catching the author. The agents may be Dipper’s character foil. Dipper has the Journals to guide him, the Agents have the government and it’s (unlimited) power. But who will win is this battle of power? Who has the most power? The answer is Stan, the man harboring all the secrets. But that doesn’t make him powerful. What makes him powerful is his ability to get Mabel to trust him, and that proves to be the most vital element in completing Stan’s plan.
We then make it back to the Shack. Mabel comes up with a totally kick butt ninja idea on how to take out the agents. But Dipper reminds Mabel of a simpler solution- Grappling hook! This is less a reminder to Mabel as it is to the audience. The grappling hook from the first episode finally gets it’s glory time. However, the grappling hook also symbolizes things ending. As Mabel finally gets to use her grappling hook, the twins finally get to uncover the greatest secret! Also note how the sun goes down during this episode. There are many signs the producers place giving us the sense of things ending.
The two secret agents are preoccupies looking at a rock/face while Dipper and Mabel make their get away.
“Is it a rock or a face?”
“I think it’s a metaphor.”
They completely miss the twins passing by. Again, the Government cannot compete with the oddity of this town, a large element in helping Mabel and Dipper reach success. The government representing the “real world” cannot operate in the hero’s world, the same way Mabel is probably a social outcast in the real world.
The twins find their destination.
The classic privet detective lamp flashes on giving the scene an ominous eerie green light- the foreboding tone of what is about the happen. They find out that Stan is a lot better at making fake IDs then Mabel. Mabel’s fake IDs may pass in Gravity Falls, but not in the real world. Stan has to make top grade fake ID’s showing that he as a character can compete in Gravity Falls as well as the real world. Stan is the only character who can compete on both playing fields.
“STAN PINES DEAD.” Reads the news paper
“Why would the call him unnamed?”
“Unless, Stan isn’t Stan?” Mabel and Dipper gasp
The camera zooms out to a portrait of Stan looking right at the audience to wrap the scene’s intensity in a nice little bow. He’s eyes are wide. His smile is creepy. The shadows on his face represent his hidden identity. Who is really behind that face?
As I said before, in this scene Mabel gives a precursor to the audience of how trusting she is. She finds the courage to hope that they’re actually on Kerpranked and that Justin will jump right out of that plant! But Dipper has already lost hope. His angry comes from his hurt. Up until this point, Dipper didn’t seam to question Stan’s innocence, at least externally. Once Dipper finds out the truth, he feels like he’s lost the game, Stan has beaten him. Now, his mission is to stop the game- stopping the machine.
Why is the town surprised when gravity fails? The town is called, “Gravity Falls”. Gravity literally Falls. Now we know what happens when gravity falls you British hipster lama’s who introduce the show. Good thing that brain told us we were “over thinking it” or it would have given the scene away!’
Stan knew that to get the agents off his trail, he needed to hire a cab to drive away looking like he had gotten in the cab. He’s obviously been in many similar situations before. “You’ve been running your whole life….”. And like everyone else in Gravity Falls, the Cab guy just goes with it. Stan knows the real world, represented by the agents, and his own world, represented by the cab driver.
Soos just believes he’s protecting snacks. But he loves Stan so much, he’s willing to do anything for him. Even grapple with his niece and nephew. At this moment, Dipper gets angry with Soos, forgetting their friendship. His mission has overcome his friendship with Soos.
“It’s like something from a video game.” Soos gazes around the strange stairwell
“Or a dream.” Mabel replied
“Or a nightmare.” Dipper says under his breath
These remakes represent where each person is emotionally. Soos isn’t really aware of the seriousness of the situation. He did think he was just protecting snacks and he didn’t even question Stan’s strange request.
Mabel lives in a surreal world. She’s still interpreting her situation as if it were a surprise reality TV show.
But, Dipper is the opposite of Mabel. Out of all the ways this mystery could have unfolded, this is the worst possible outcome for him. It really is a nightmare.
“It’s just like that bunker in the woods…” But remember folks, the words “…just like…” were used. This means that Stanley built the bunker in the woods, and Stan built the one under the Shack mirroring his brother’s. Drawing the audience’s attention to the bunker in the woods is important, or the producers wouldn’t have put that line in there. We should find out more later.
When Dipper finds the two other journals, he completely gives into his 12 year old rage. Soos says maybe Stan is the author. But that’s not good enough for Dipper. To Dipper, the author is his mysterious mentor. It’s can’t possible be the man who betrayed him. This also keeps the audience form suspecting Stan as the author so as to not satisfy the audience’s curiosity, so we’re still surprised for the big reveal at the end.
“It must not fall into the wrong hands….” The journals say about the machine. Mable trusts that the machine has not. But Dipper sides with the Agents, making it his mission to shut it down. Mabel goes along with this momentarily as she usually goes along with what her brother does. When Gravity goes haywire and time is of the essence Dipper tells Mabel, the closest one to the machine, to shut down it down, and she crawls towards it without a second through. Soos tries to stop Stan along with Dipper. He feels betrayed in his own Soos way. He has a new mission. Protecting the kids.
Mabel’s faced with a choice. To pick Dipper or Stan’s. As the boys are wrestling as boys do, Mable is holding on tight to the bar and crying real tears for the first time in the show. She wants to believe Stan, and she admits is to him. Stan puts on his loving eyes for her even thought two boys have him tied down. Stan knows what Mabel needs to hear in order for him to get her to believe him, because…he loves her.
Stan admits that he has done wrong, but everything he’s done is for their family. (His family… one that’s getting a new member.)
Dipper pleads with her to listen to her head, but Stan knows she’s going to listen to her heart.
“Do you really think I’m a bad guy?” He’s not asking if Dipper or Soos believes this, he’s asking Mabel specifically because he trusts her to make the right decision. He learned his lesson when he put waddles out and a Pterosaur abducted him. Mabel stopped talking to him then, and that really hurt Stan even though he didn’t show it as much as he could. But Mabel forgives Stan quickly and completely. He’ll never forget that act, and it’s this act that saves the day. Stan knows Mabel has the ability to love and forgive that Dipper doesn’t.
“Grunkle Stan… I trust you.”
The fandom will never forget those words. Dipper right away yells at Mabel calling her crazy. As the room explodes, Dipper is the only one to scream a word… “Nooo!”
The world stops spinning and a man walks through the portal, puts his hand on the journal. He has six fingers. Stan finalized the scene. “The author of the Journals… my brother.”
“Is this the part where someone faints?” Mabel asks addressing the cliché of the level of drama that has just been created.
Then Soos reminds us that this is not a drama, it’s a kid’s show! “Oh dude, I’m so on it!”