Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: Gravity Falls "Double Dipper"

I would like to begin the Review of this episode by pointing out that Mabel's wearing a Black Adam sweater.

Mabel is awesome.
For the sedond time in the show, Dipper and Mabel go off and have separate adventures as opposed to sticking together through the same events. And both stories, in the end, amount to fluff.

The only things that were accomplished today were setting up Robbie as a romantic rival for Wendy's affections and giving Mabel some new characters to interact with. So while this episode sets up more of the status quo for things to come, it does so in a way that isn't exactly must-see viewing.

You could easily skip this episode and continue watching the series, unaware that you missed anything. But you would have missed a rather enjoyable episode.

The thread between both stories is that of self-doubt. Dipper's is magnified ten times by the creation of more of himself, while Mabel manages to feel it for the first time when she thinks she's let her new friends down. In the end, one of these stories has a happy ending.

Dipper Pines
Dipper's big lesson goes beyond relationship advice, and can be summed up very simply.

Go for it.

Dipper's absolutely right. Any one of a million things could have gone wrong. But you know what? That's life.

No matter what you want to do, whether it be asking someone out, taking a new job, or whatever, you can still look at it the same way.

If you choose to not go ahead with it, then you won't fail. But you won't succeed, either.

If you go ahead and do it, you might fail. But that's still better than the guarantee of failure that not trying brings.

Wendy might have said "no." But because Dipper never went ahead and asked, she never could have said "yes."

The Legion of Dippers
So many questions, the first of which is exactly how Grunkle Stan managed to create a copier that copies people. Well... let's chalk this up to "Things That Will be Answered in Season 2."

Now, you might say that the cavalier treatment of the clones' lives is pretty dark. You'd be right. And personally, I find that to be hilarious. I mean, they're paper people. The questions of sentience and their possible right to exist is undercut by killing them with water. There's no possible way they could have survived in the world. (Which probably explains the eventual fate of Dippers 3 and 4 after they steal Robbie's bike.) It's darkly hilarious.

Still, I find it interesting how badly Dipper treats himself. Fighting dirty, shoving, arguing, ganging up.... Forget "Hell is other people." Hell is being stuck with yourself.

Also, rest in peace, Paper Jam Dipper. You were too pure for this sinful Earth.
Mabel Pines
Finally, she finds some friends to interact with. Let's face it, Mabel doesn't care about the weird happenings in Gravity Falls, like Dipper does. Some new friends are perfect to occupy her time and give her a reason to exist.

Grenda (Carl Faruolo)
 The joke is that she's a manly little girl. Not much to the character, but she does get some good lines.

Candy Chiu (Niki Yang)
 She's weird, cute, and kind of scary. I mean, she taped forks to her fingers to eat popcorn. I get the feeling like she'd cut you if she had a reason to. Cut you up good!

Wendy Corduroy
Here's the thing about Wendy as a love interest: she's just kid of there. She doesn't really do anything, she's just a prize for Dipper to try and find the willingness to obtain. It's a shame, because Wendy is a pretty awesome character when she does stuff other than "Be Dipper's secret crush."

Case in point.
Robbie Valentino 
This episode marks Robbie's transformation from plain ol' jerk into Dipper's romantic rival. Not because of anything he does, really. It has more to do with the fact that Dipper sees him as an obstacle at this point. As such, he really does nothing other than talk to Wendy. Not much to analyze there.

Pacifica Northwest (Jackie Buscarino)
Oddly enough, Pacifica managed to become a bit of a breakout character between this episode and the next one. Which is really surprising, considering that she's a shallow Valley Girl stereotype. Character development will come along in Season 2, but for now, she's just a thinly-characterized "popular" kid.

Can I take this moment to say that I hate it when characters like this are referred to as the "popular" kids? I don't know if it's like this everywhere, but when I was in school, we called kids like her the "cool" kids. With audible quotation marks.

Kids like Pacifica are never actually popular in real life. Generally speaking, in my experiences, the clique of stuck up "popular kids" is usually the most hated group in school. On the other hand, the band geeks, math geeks, quiz bowl team, and theatre geeks all tend to get along pretty well and create a sizable group of so-called "outcasts." And in the end, it's the "outcasts" who form a larger group of generally well-liked people.

And you know what? That's basically what happened between Mabel, Grenda, and Candy.

So, yeah. I doubt very much that Pacifica is in any way "popular" to anyone but those two girls who follow her around.

And for all we know, she pays them to hang out with her.
Good as ever. Few mistakes, if any. But special mention goes to the multi-Dipper scenes. they were just begging for an animator to draw the wrong Dipper talking at any given point. But each Dipper is animated properly, which I think deserves a kudos.

Final Thoughts
This was definitely a fun episode with a pretty creative premise. While it might not do much to further the show's main story arc, it's definitely worth watching. Certainly one of the better episodes of the first season.

Next time, Gravity Falls spoofs National Treasure for a little while before the plot takes a left turn into crazy. See you then!


  1. I think the only show that has ever done any decent "cool kids" characters would be Steven Universe. They're not just a simple trope or lame cliche, they're three dimensional characters with fully developed personalities. And Lars, the guy whos way too desperate for people to like him, gets treated as you described how Pacifica would be in real life.

    1. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Pacifica was quickly retooled before Season 2.