Wow! Was that worth the wait! Stan's past finally revealed, and have we solved the mystery of Gravity Falls or did the town just get stranger?? Fan theories have been debunked and confirmed, and the future ofGravity Falls will never be the same. Everything changes indeed. Just in case you missed something, here's a complete breakdown of the episode including all the hints and Easter eggs AND revelations about what's coming next!
Questions, Hints, and Riddles!
The most important clue is probably the riddle that McGucket delivered after catching a glimpse of the terrifying parallel dimension that swallowed him up...
When gravity falls, and earth becomes sky
Fear the beast with just one eye
Is this a prophecy? The beast with one eye is presumably Bill Cipher, the all powerful one-eyed triangle... thing. Could this herald Bill's return? "Earth becomes sky" might refer to the gravity anomalies caused by the interdimensional portal, or perhaps some phenomena we haven't encountered yet. This is definitely going to be a key piece of information for future episodes!
Speaking of key information, perhaps the most important thing we learned last episode was that everything strange in Gravity Falls is leaking in from a parallel dimension!! Remember in Society Of The Blind Eye, when Grunkle Stan lost his pen, notebook, and coffee mug to the interdimensional portal? Well, they popped up again in a completely different show: Rick and Morty.
This lead many fans to theorise that Gravity Falls exists in a kind of shared universe, and Grunkle Stan's strange machine was a portal to other dimensions. This fan theory certainly paid off! Could we see crossovers in the future?
There were plenty of other hints and loose ends tied up (like Stanford's glasses, and Grunkle Stan's strange tattoo, which you can read more about here). But onto the recap!
Here's what you missed!
Stan's brother, along with Stan, recount their shared history to the twins (and Soos) while the government agents lurk outside. The two boys grew up together, and shared a close relationship, but tragedy struck when they grew up. Stanford, a six-fingered genius, was offered a place at a prestigious university. Upset at being left behind, young Grunkle Stan accidentally sabotaged Stanford's perpetual motion device. Ah, the classic schism between brothers! Such tragedy! *wipes away a manly tear*
Ahem. The following years are a sad tale. Stanford winds up in Gravity Falls chasing supernatural phenomenon. Meanwhile, Grunkle Stan, now disowned, leads a grifter's life, scamming his way across the USA. This, sadly, puts to rest the fan theories that imagined a Mystery Trio: Stan, Stan, and McGucket having adventures in Gravity Falls...
Oh well. So much for the fanfic! (Soos must be disappointed.) Stanford's investigations lead him to a world changing discovery: that all the weird phenomena in Gravity Falls is due to a weak point between dimensions. And, as a logical response to this discovery, Stanford decides to build a trans-dimensional portal (what else can you do?). But after McGucket gets sucked in and, after a brief glimpse at the other world, becomes traumatised, Stanford decides this is just too dangerous and his research must be hidden.
Cue Grunkle Stan's reappearance in Stanford's life. When Grunkle Stan arrives at the shack, Stanford is haggard and terrified, saying "I had to make sure you weren't..." Some time seems to have passed since McGucket left: this is not the same idealistic Stanford who was excited to solve mysteries. Remember that underground bunker in Into The Bunker? Stanford was definitely afraid of someone he referred to only as "He". What happened in the years between McGucket's departure and Grunkle Stan's arrival? Could this mysterious "He" be Bill Cipher?
After inviting him to Gravity Falls, Stanford pleads with Grunkle Stan to take the final journal and hide it. (Did I mention that Dipper is adorably geeking out whenever Stanford mentions the journals? He is, and it's awesome.) This leads to another heartwrenching fight between the brothers, which ends in Stanford getting sucked into the portal. And now we discover just why Grunkle Stan assumed Stanford's identity. The people of Gravity Falls, intrigued by the strange man living in the woods, assumed Grunkle Stan was Stanford. Needing to pay his way while trying to rescue his brother, Grunkle Stan used the townsfolk's curiosity to his advantage, and thus the Mystery Shack was born.
That, as they say, is that! The episode ends with the gang using the memory erasing gun from Society Of The Blind Eye to get rid of the government agents. And for those of you who were hoping for a tender reunion between brothers, unfortunately this was not to be. With grudges still held, Stanford warns Grunkle Stan that at the end of the summer he will continue his research, and the Mystery Shack will close its doors. Oh, and Grunkle Stan is outta there.
(Me writing this recap tbh)
There are still plenty of unanswered questions. Like, how did Stanford survive for so long in a dimension that terrified McGucket into insanity? Just who was Stanford so afraid of when he built the underground bunker in the woods? And why are the barriers between dimensions so weak in Gravity Falls?
Well, we'll just have to stay tuned to find out! The next episode, Dungeons, Dungeons, and more Dungeons airs on the 3rd of August.
Until then, tell us your fan theories! Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.