“Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons” marks the first in a new era of Gravity Falls. In the previous episode, Dipper and Mabel met their Great Uncle Stanford – Ford for short – the man who wrote the journals that have been at the heart of the mysteries of Gravity Falls since episode one. Great Uncle Ford is now here to stay, and this episode is the first time we really get to see how his character mixes with the core cast.
We open on a lazy Tuesday. Nothing interesting whatsoever is happening. Dipper reads Journal #2, Grunkle Stan reads a newspaper, and Mabel is eating an entire bag of Cheese Boodles without using her hands. Suddenly, Great Uncle Ford burst up from the basement with a Cycloptopus trying to devour his arm. The struggle is over in a matter of seconds, as Ford is able to quickly subdue the creature. Dipper wants to help him, but Ford refuses the offer and retreats once more to the basement.
Dipper is disappointed, but Grunkle Stan tells him he shouldn’t be helping Great Uncle Ford anyway. He says his brother is a dangerous know-it-all, and the stuff he’s messing with is even worse. This does not comfort Dipper at all. He’s waited to meet the author of the journals all summer. Now he’s living in the basement and he can’t even talk to him.
Later that day, Mabel is writing home to her parents when Dipper runs in with a new game, Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons, a fantasy game played with statistics and graph paper. Unsurprisingly, no one wants to play with him and everyone makes fun of it. Even Soos, who is into FCLORP, Foam and Cardboard Legitimate Role Play (arguably far nerdier than Dipper’s game), won’t play.
Dejected, Dipper goes outside to pretend to play with Gompers the goat. In the process he loses his 38-sided die under the house. When he tries to get it back, the ground under the house collapses and he winds up in the basement. Ford is initially angry, until he recognizes the die as being from his favorite game and agrees to play immediately.
In the middle of the game, Dipper works up the courage to ask Ford what he is working on downstairs, and what’s behind a big curtain blocking off most of the basement. Ford tells Dipper it’s best if he doesn’t know the answer, and changes the subject by pulling out a box he brought back with him from another dimension. Inside the box is an infinity-sided die. A die that, when rolled, could cause literally anything to happen.
The next day Mabel invites Grenda over to watch the season finale of Ducktective with her and Grunkle Stan. They go to the living room to watch, where they find that Dipper and Ford moved into the living room to play D, D, & More D, having run out of room in the basement.
The two brothers get into an argument over who gets control of the room, which ultimately ends with Grunkle Stan taking Ford’s bag of dice and chucking them across the room, accidentally rolling the infinity-sided die. The die rolls a Probabilitor, the wizard mascot of D, D, & More D, and the cast of characters on the box spring to life. Probabilitor tells Dipper and Ford that he will eat their brains to gain their intelligence and yells to his minions to seize them. Ford whips out a gun and tries to shoot the wizard, who fires back with a math ray that blasts a hole in the side of the mystery shack. His lackeys grab Dipper and Ford and they fly into the forest.
Grunkle Stan, Mabel, and Grenda, left alone, decide they have no other choice but to go on an epic wizard quest to save Dipper and Ford. They gather up weapons and run into the forest with Mabel vowing to get back Dipper, Great Uncle Ford, and possibly that hot elf.
Aside from a brief encounter with Probabilitor’s Ogre, which Grenda handily dispatches, the trio easily invade the camp. There they find Probabilitor, just about to eat Dipper and Ford’s brains to increase his “Enchantelligence.” He tells them he will give them one chance to save Dipper and Ford; if they can defeat him in a game of Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons: Real Life Edition, he will let everyone go free and go back to his own dimension. But, if he wins, he will eat their brains.
Probabilitor magically conjures up a large game board, shrinks down Dipper and Ford, and adds two new ogres to the board. He controls the ogres while Mabel and Stan control Dipper and Ford. Unsurprisingly, Stan and Mabel have no idea what to do, but Dipper tells them to make the moves up as they go. When Ford explains that the game involves both risk and imagination, two things Stan and Mabel excel at, Mabel tells Grunkle Stan, “Make something up! It’s just like lying!”
With Stan’s expert gambling skills, and literally no limits to Mabel’s imagination, the two easily match everything that Probabilitor throws at them. Even when he casts an Impossibeast, a banned character only defeated by rolling a perfect 38, they still manage to do the impossible and handily defeat it. This sends the Probabilitor back to his own dimension.
That night, after they finish watching the second showing of Ducktective, Great Uncle Ford locks the infinity-sided die in the basement and tells Dipper it will be there if he needs it. Then, he pulls back the curtain to reveal that he completely dismantled the portal. The portal may be gone, but when Stan opened the portal the last time, it left behind an interdimensional rift. Ford contained the rift, but he didn’t want anyone to know about it. He decides to trust Dipper with the secret, but makes him promise not to tell anyone.
This episode was very funny, and probably even more so to fans of tabletop role-playing games. Having never played anything more complicated than Settlers of Catan, I have a feeling that quite a lot of the references were completely lost on me. That does not mean this episode was a dud however, because it was still hilarious.
Mabel really got a chance to shine in this episode with her crazy D, D, & More D strategy, as well as her great letter writing scene (“Now we have two Grunkles for the price of one!”). Not to mention Grenda, who stole her fair share of scenes not the least of which involved beating an ogre over the head with an easy chair.
The always funny Weird Al played the insane Probabilitor, which was a brilliant piece of casting. Weird Al shines when he is allowed to be as weird as possible, and with a character that fights using math spells and ogre-nados, Probabilitor is beautifully weird.
Aside from Probabilitor, the episode was filled with a lot of small, very funny character moments and plenty of great lines like, “I do like unicorns, and that hot elf looks promising!” The meta-humor surrounding Ducktective was also hilarious (“I’ll have you know that Ducktective has a big mystery element, and a lot of humor that goes over kid’s heads!”).
All in all, this was a pretty solid episode. It’s probably not going to make anyone’s Top 10 list, unless you are able to appreciate the multitude of tabletop gaming references, but it was still a great episode with plenty to offer even if you aren’t a big tabletop gamer. It helped us get to know Ford a little better and it gave Dipper and Ford a chance to bond, which they will need in the weeks to come.
What did you think of this episode? Were you able to appreciate the many layers of nerdy humor or were you just there for Mabel’s Death Muffins?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes