Introducing Grunkle Ford wasn’t just a move to shock the audience and blackmail them with emotion into being faithful to the show. This move will highlight faults in family dynamics.
Grunkle Stan wakes up to find that his day will not go very smoothly – but he still stood up as the provider of his family and went to work to get that light bulb! Then, here comes Ford who not only saved the day, but he saved all days with his never-ending light bulb. He out provided, although he’s not really even part of the family yet by his own will. Ford still lives in the basement. It makes you wonder, why was he even upstairs in the first place? Every time Dipper has a problem, he’ll go down there for help, not the other way around.
What is important to Stan is proving that he is the leader of his family. He goes to all the trouble to raise these kids over the summer, all while getting his brother back from some strange dimension. He’s acting like the glue, and no one is giving him credit he craves.
But that’s no matter, just run for mayor! If you can lead a crazy little city with people who are a tad strange except for Mr. Tad Strange, (who in my opinion is a tad strange). Stan figures that compared to his brother, his life means nothing. He’s been wasting it trying to get him back – so he can have a complete family. If he can become mayor, then his life will have been important to someone – the whole town and his niece and nephew, a makeshift family.
Being the good niece and nephew they are, Dipper and Mabel realize that running for mayor is important to Stan, even if they don’t quite know why. All they see is that there’s a challenge – make Stan mayor, that comes along with a problem. Stan cannot become mayor. He’s a terrible leader and no one likes him. Logically, Dipper goes to Ford to gain some advice that’s “ethically ambiguous”. Here, although unapparent to Dipper, Ford is letting the family down. He’s not willing to totally engage with Dipper’s problem. He hides behind his inventions, which are used to solve every one of his dilemmas. Ford cannot give advise because he values his inventions as answers to questions more then his position as a helpful and caring parent figure. This however, is an area where Stan can deliver.
Stan however, has no ability to get people to like him. His natural talent is to repel people. Good thing his niece and nephew love him! But, bad thing that they went about fixing the election with Ford’s mind control tie. When Stan discovered that Dipper and Mabel didn’t believe in his ability to be a good mayor, it widened the hole that already existed in his heart.
Stan takes his role as their father figure quite seriously even if he doesn’t act like it. When they undermined him and out right admit that they know better then him, it shows Stan that they don’t view him in the light he wants to be seen in.
Even through all this hurt, Stan still knows his duty to Dipper and Mabel. He is the head of the house (even thought it’s not technically his house…) and he will do anything to protect the family. No amount of hurt can stifle his instincts. Although, I’m a little worried that punching eagles in the face was instinctive to him… possibly more then all the “Pug trafficking”.
The best way to prove oneself in a cartoon is to fight for the ones you love. Everyone loves a good fistfight. Stan is an old man, it means a lot for him to physically exert himself like that. Stan is the brawn, Stanford is the brain, and both get them into trouble as father figures. Here however, Stan’s emotional and physical strength saved the day.