Holy Christmas and Easter! Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future was a game changer! One shocking surprise after another! Literally nothing will be the same again!
The episode opens with Dipper in bed, when he is suddenly awoken by Mr. Upsidedownington, a face that Mabel drew on her chin. She’s there to remind him that they are exactly one week away from their 13th birthday!
The two of them excitedly list off all the things they will be able to do once they are finally teenagers. Suddenly they are interrupted by Grunkle Stan and Soos who are also looking forward to things next week; Grunkle Stan will get his senior citizen ponytail kit, and Soos’s grandma will finally let him eat crackers in his bed! The future is coming for them all!
Later that day the twins and Soos excitedly plan Dipper and Mabel’s birthday party when Grunkle Stan interrupts to tell them they can’t have their party in the Mystery Shack. He’s still finding bits of the undead in the couch cushions after the last party incident.
Soos suggests renting out the high school gym for the party, as it is empty all summer. Mabel loves the idea. As she’s leading the charge, an explosion rocks the house, and Great Uncle Ford starts screaming for Dipper. He tells Mabel he’ll be right back and runs to see what’s wrong with Ford.
Turns out that Ford was just faking an emergency to get Dipper away from everyone else so he could tell him something. The dimensional rift is cracking. He tells Dipper that, if it breaks, reality itself would completely unravel, causing an event he calls, “Weirdmageddon.” He says Bill Cipher will stop at nothing to make this catastrophe happen and they need to repair the rift as soon as possible to keep it from happening.
Dipper wants to help, but he was just in the middle of planning the party with Mabel and he doesn’t want to let her down. It’s fine with her, though. Mabel tells him there will be plenty of time to do stuff together later in the week and he should go with Ford. She even packed him a bag with a walkie-talkie in it, so they can be connected as she plans the party and Dipper saves the world.
Soos takes Mabel to the high school to see about renting the gym, but when they get there they find it packed with student in the middle of registering for classes. They find Wendy and Mabel excitedly asks her questions about her high school experience, eager to find out what is in store for her. To her surprise, Wendy tells her that high school is the worst. She likens it to a teen horror film, and gives Mabel a multitude of reasons that high school is awful. Mabel was under the impression high school was like one of the many teen musicals, or rom-coms, she watched and is extremely crushed to have this awful bombshell dropped on her.
Mabel leaves the school dejectedly, and takes out her walkie to talk to Dipper. She tells him that they can have the party at the gym, but they need to talk about high school. She’s starting to think the school in her imagination isn’t the school awaiting them in reality. Dipper isn’t able to talk right then though, he’s going through a bad area, and the signal is too weak for a conversation. Soos tries to cheer Mabel up and suggests delivering invitations to her friends.
Out in the woods, Ford tells Dipper that in order to repair the rift, they need to use an adhesive stronger than anything found on earth. Something extraterrestrial. Ford points to the cliffs on the outskirts of town and asks him if the shape of the hole reminds him of anything. It does in fact. It looks a lot like classic depictions of a flying saucer! Ford tells Dipper he discovered that the entire valley of Gravity Falls formed when an alien spacecraft crash landed there, millions of years ago. In fact, they’re standing on it right now!
Ford pulls out a magnet gun and uses it to open up the craft. He tells Dipper he raided the craft for parts for years and this was where he got the parts to build the portal! He gives Dipper another gun and tells him to follow him down inside. Once inside he tells him they are looking for the adhesive used to keep the hull of the spacecraft together. Just one dollop of the adhesive should be enough to fix the rift.
Mabel makes her way to Candy and Grenda to invite them to her party. There she receives the awful news that both of them will be out of town on that day! Grenda was invited to Marius’s (the prince she met in Northwest Mansion Mystery) castle and Candy will be at music camp, a choice made by her parents and one she cannot get out of. Mabel is crushed to realize this means that not only will they miss her birthday, they will not be able to say goodbye either. The twins’ birthday happens on the last day of summer and they will be headed back to California. She tries to contact Dipper again, but she gets nothing.
Inside the spaceship Ford asks Dipper if he’s thought about his future. Dipper has, he’s actually planned out his exact scholastic trajectory, but Ford asks him: If he’s so sure, why wait? Why put up with the drudgery of school? He tells Dipper that he’s getting old and he’s thought about taking on an apprentice, someone to help him investigate Gravity Falls and fight monsters, and someone who can eventually take over for him. He wants Dipper to be that someone. Ford tells Dipper he wants him to come live with him in Gravity Falls permanently. He’ll give him all the education he needs.
Dipper loves this idea, but is worried about Mabel. They’ve never been apart for long before and this would mean that they would be apart permanently. Ford reassures him that he knows Mabel will be just fine on her own. Mabel is an outgoing social butterfly who will thrive in a public school environment. Besides, isn’t it suffocating being with someone all the time? Hasn’t he ever felt like he was destined for something more?
Dipper tells him that he’s not so sure he has what it takes to be as great as Ford. He hasn’t even been able to get his magnet gun to work right. Just then it fires up and attracts a chunk of the spaceship. A chunk that just so happens to be covered in the very adhesive they’re looking for! Suddenly, far off in the ship, they hear something. Ford realizes they must have somehow reactivated the security system and, as if to prove his point, two massive security droids appear behind them. Ford tells Dipper that the droids detect adrenaline and, if they’re not afraid, the droids will leave.
Obviously this is impossible for someone as young as Dipper. He panics and the droids come after them. One shoots Ford at the same time he shoots it and they both go down. The other droid races out and grabs Ford, dragging him inside its transparent shell. As he’s taken away he yells that Dipper must go on without him. He tosses him the rift and tells him that he must fix it. Dipper gives chase, but catches up to the droid just in time to see it disappear into a small craft. Ford yells that it’s an automated prison droid and – wherever it’s going – he’s not coming back.
As the craft takes off, Dipper pulls out his magnet gun and latches onto it. As it flies into the sky, Dipper begins pounding on it, causing it to swerve violently, swoop down over the town, be seen by everyone, and smash through the water tower. During this frenzied flight, Ford is tossed around inside the ship like a rag doll and is knocked unconscious. In a panic, Dipper starts using the gun to send magnetic pulses through the ship, which causes it to crash deep in the forest. As Dipper drags the unconscious Ford free from the wreckage, the security droid that Ford shot down in the ship reappears behind them and fixes its sights on Dipper. Dipper stands his ground and the droid, seemingly unable to get a fear reading from him, drops lifeless to the ground.
When Ford comes to, he tells Dipper that it was his fearlessness that saved them. The droid couldn’t detect any fear and must have self-disassembled. He tells Dipper this is what he was talking about. How many other twelve-year-olds could do what he just did?
Back at the Mystery Shack Grunkle Stan Finds Mabel sadly flipping through her scrapbook. She tells him that now she knows how awful high school will be, she’s no longer in any hurry to go. Grunkle Stan tries to reassure her that, even if she grows up, she doesn’t have to grow up. Besides, no matter what happens, she will always have her brother by her side, through thick and thin. And not everyone can say that.
Mabel is somewhat cheered by this, but when Stan leaves her walkie comes to life. It transmits Dipper’s conversation with Ford. Ford tells Dipper the town is a magnet for everything special. It brought Dipper to him, and he shouldn’t let anyone hold him back. Dipper is convinced. He tells Ford that he will do it. He’s going to stay.
When Dipper gets back home, he excitedly runs to tell Mabel everything that happened that day, but he finds he curled up on her bed in tears. He tries to explain, but she won’t listen. She tells him that she just had the worst day of her life. When they turn 13, summer ends and she’ll be forced to leave everyone behind. She thought she would always have Dipper with her, but now it turns out he’s leaving her too. He tries to give her suggestions on how they can make things work, but Mabel won’t have it. She doesn’t want it to work, she wants summer to last forever. Dipper tells her that it can’t work that way. Things change and summer ends.
Mabel has had enough. She pulls away from Dipper, grabs her backpack, and runs out of the Mystery Shack into the woods. After running for a long time she stops under a tree to get some chocolate out of her bag. When she opens it, she realizes she must have grabbed Dipper’s bag by mistake. All that’s in it are nerd books and chewed up pens. She tosses it down and pulls her sweater’s collar up over her head. It’s not fair. All she wants is for summer to last forever.
Suddenly from out of the forest she hears a voice say, “That might possible!” She pulls her head out of her sweater and sees Blendin Blandin, the time traveller from 207̃012. He tells her that because she once helped him out, he thought he could return the favor. He has something called a time bubble. If he were to give it to her, summer in Gravity Falls could last as long as she wants it to.
All he needs from her is a little gizmo from her uncle’s workshop. He pulls up a hologram of the dimensional rift. Having never seen the rift before, Mabel has no idea what it is and wonders if Dipper might have one in his bag.
Back at the Mystery Shack, Dipper goes back to Ford in low spirits. With Mabel taking his news so hard he wonders if he might be making the wrong decision. Ford tells him he shouldn’t worry about that right now. The most pressing matter at the moment is fixing the rift. Dipper opens his bag to get the rift back, but is shocked to find only Mabel’s party supplies.
In the forest, Mabel pulls the rift out of her bag and wonders if this is what Blendin is looking for. He tells her yes; this is it! All she needs to do is hand it over and he’ll do his thing! Mabel gives it to him, but as soon as he has it in his hands he drops it and stomps on it, smashing it to pieces. Blendin begins laughing maniacally and takes off his goggles to reveal that his pupils are slits, exactly like Dipper’s were when he was possessed by Bill Cipher!
He snaps his fingers and Mabel falls unconscious. Then he begins levitating and convulsing. He glows brightly as Bill leaves his body, which drops to the forest floor. As Bill leaves Blendin’s unconscious body he screams in maniacal delight. “At last! At long long last! The gate between worlds has opened! The event one billion years prophesied has come to pass! The day has come! The world is finally mine!” The sky turns blood red as Bill ascends up, out of the forest and the broken rift shoots into the air, tearing a massive X-shaped hole in the sky visible by everyone in Gravity Falls.
Dipper and Ford run outside to see what is going on, as the hole rips even wider and takes up most of the sky. As Bill appears above them, Ford tells Dipper that they’re too late. It’s the end of the world.
As the credits roll, the camera holds on one of Mabel’s crumpled invitations. It blows away and in the distance we can hear the horrified screams of the citizens of Gravity Falls as the town is ravaged.
Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future was intense. I was in shock from the moment the spaceship was revealed until the end. And that end! What an end! What other cartoon ends with the fates of all its main characters unknown as an entire town literally screams in terror and agony? None. No other cartoon is going to do something like that. This episode was amazing, and horrifying, and I loved every second of it.
Lets go back to the spaceship for a second. I have been waiting since the show began for aliens to show up. I had no idea that they were there the whole time! Granted that spaceship shaped hole was a pretty big clue, but I was never sure if that was just an artistic choice, a coincidence, or if it was something more. It most certainly was something more. I wish we could go back in time and see what happened when the aliens landed! I want to know what they looked like! This may be just me, but did anyone else think those skeletons looked a bit reptilian? Even if we don’t go back in time, if Gravity Falls gets a third season, I hope they will somehow meet real, living aliens. While it was so awesome to find out everything we learned in this episode, I still want to see some actual aliens.
As much as I loved this episode, and I have enjoyed getting to know Ford, I definitely have a bone to pick with him after this one. Why on earth would he try to tear Dipper and Mabel apart? Just because he had a falling out with his brother, doesn’t mean he needs to make the same thing happen to Dipper and Mabel. I see nothing wrong with letting Mabel stay with him too. She is frequently a huge asset in their adventures and she is an integral part of who Dipper is. Ford may not have been around long, but I think he’s been around plenty long enough to have figured that out. Why, without her, they would not have gotten any unicorn hair and the shack would not have been protected!
And speaking of Ford, he shot that first security droid down, but it still followed them as it tried to get a read on Dipper. Ford said that it self-disassembled because it couldn’t detect any fear in Dipper, but what it was primarily looking for was adrenaline. There is no way it would not have gotten a huge adrenaline reading from him after that harrowing flight. Adrenaline would have been coursing through his veins! I think the thing just collapsed because it was already damaged. If you look at it, it’s obviously damaged; it was smoking like crazy the whole time. I have a feeling Ford was just using this as a way to get Dipper to agree to stay with him.
Another thing I noticed in the episode: when Dipper was chasing after Ford in the security drone a whole bunch of symbols appeared, symbols that kind of looked like a star map. At one point those symbols looked suspiciously like the Big Dipper.
As everyone should know by now, this is the same pattern that Dipper has on his forehead. I’ve always wondered about that birthmark. It seems a little too precise to be just a birthmark. Is there any chance that the markings on Dipper’s forehead have anything to do with these aliens? It’s a bit of a stretch, but – if you flip one around – it’s pretty close!
Normally this is the part of the review where I would talk about how funny this episode was and how many great lines there were. But not this time. There were a few great lines in the first half, but on the whole this was a pretty serious episode and it didn’t have room for much levity. There were a few things that made me laugh though, so I have made note of them.
Dipper (to Mabel, laughing): “There is something wrong with you.”
Mabel (also laughing): “There is something wrong with both of us.”
Robbie: “My hormones are like a sweaty cage!”
Farmer Sprott (to his cow): “Clara, did you eat my farm?”
This episode was one of my favorite episodes in a long time. It was intense, it had a massive revelation about the town, and it changed everything about the show forever. Episodes like this are what make Gravity Falls one of the best animated series of all time.
What did you think of this episode of Gravity Falls? What did you think about the cliffhanger?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes