A classic haunted house mystery, with the twist that the house is an abandoned convenience store. the location is used to its fullest potential as fodder for jokes. Though I have to wonder why the place was filled with still-frozen ice and non-expired hot dogs from about twenty years ago. There's a fan theory that the place was frozen in time, and I'll buy that.
Today's subtle lesson: Just because all the cool kids are going off and doing something, it might not actually be a good idea. You know, the old "if all of your friends jumped off a bridge" lesson. Except if all of my friends jumped off a bridge, I'd join them. Because the bridge is probably on fire. So actually, this episode serves of a better example of why you shouldn't give in to peer pressure. Looking at you, Thompson.
They're all memorable in their own way, some more than others. Lee and Nate are pretty much interchangeable, Tambry has one character trait, but the others are fleshed out well enough. I definitely have to give kudos to TJ Miller as Robbie. I mean, the guy knows how to deliver his lines. Robbie is the jerk you love to hate, but it takes talent to make such a character funny and not annoying. Kudos.
Wendy is a frat boy. But a girl frat boy. She'll do dumb stuff, slack off at work, chant things, et cetera. And I think that's what really makes the character work. She breaks the mold by having all these stereotypical "boy" traits, but isn't necessarily a tomboy. There's certainly very few people like her, so it makes sense that Dipper would end up smitten with such a unique person.
Unfortunately, you could argue that this is a step back for the character. Suddenly, she's a "love interest." As such, her very reason for being is defined by a male character. But that doesn't mean all is lost with the character, it just means that the writers will have to take care in making her in interesting character in her own right.
The question is this: When you take away her status as the "love interest," does she still have a reason to be in the show? For now, the answer is "yes."
Ma & Pa (Ken Jenkins & April Winchell)
Seeing the horrifying spirits haunting the Dusk 2 Dawn being sweet old people with a hate-on for teenagers was a pretty good twist, and the actors' performances go a long way towards elevating what is honestly a very small appearance.
Dipper not only develops his crush on Wendy, but he also develops his rivalry with Robbie. Both of these plot points will be expanded upon in later episodes.
I have to compliment how Dipper's crush on Wendy was treated. First crushes are always a bit weird, and Dipper's lack of knowledge regarding how to act around her as well as other teenagers rang true. Especially his moments where he's clearly trying way too hard to be cool. I think a lot of people can identify with that.
Though this was definitely not the intent, this episode lends credence to the theory that Mabel tends to literally get high on sugar. I mean, you saw what that Smile Dip did to her, right?
|Sound has a color now.|
On an unrelated note, Smile Dip won the 2014 Wikia Fantasy Food contest and was sold at Comic Con. No information yet on any mass Lisa Frank-inspired hallucinations, though.
Good as ever, with a few nice touches in the designs, effects, and background details.
|Look at the box. The answer is "no."|
The best episode of the season? No, but only because this show is really good. While I feel like this show has many better episodes to offer, it's a fun haunted house/ghost story that sets the stage for numerous character interactions and subplots for the rest of the series. So while it's not perfect, it's quite enjoyable and surprisingly memetic. I mean, you saw all those gifs I found, right?
Anyway, next time, Dipper goes through puberty. Well, he tries, anyway. See you then!