The long awaited return of Bill Cipher is finally here! Almost. Gravity Falls' next episode, The Last Mabelcorn, is going to feature Bill in a big way. If the ending of The Stanchurian Candidate wasn't intriguing enough, we've had 2 previews with tantalising hints, as well as a boatload of foreshadowing and Easter eggs from previous episodes. So what's the deal with Ford's secret room? Will he betray the Pines to Bill or protect them? And is Dipper still possessed?
So grab those journals kids, cos we're gonna break down everything you need to know before you watch Gravity Falls S02E15 this evening, but beware: spoilers abound!
Plot Hints & Revelations
Ok, so let's break down what we know so far. After taking a back seat from season 2's last episode, The Stanchurian Candidate, Ford is a major player in The Last Mabelcorn. The previews showed Ford finally inviting Dipper into his secret sanctum study, filled with all kinds of mysterious artifacts. One of these objects is clearly the memory erase gun from The Society Of The Blind Eye, which will definitely be used later in the episode, as we see here...
Who is Dipper shooting the gun at? He seems to be inside at this point: is this the study, and could he be trying to erase something from Ford's memory? We'll come back to this later.
So Ford and Dipper are working together, which is what Dipper has wanted for a long time but will no doubt be dangerous. They are working specifically to stop Bill Cipher, which is likely prompted by his return to Gravity Falls. Gideon was conspicuously absent from the preview, so whether the Pines family know Gideon is the one behind Bill's return has yet to be determined.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the preview was the glimpse we got of Ford confronting Bill. His words to the triangle trickster hint that Ford knows much much more about what Bill is, and where he comes from, than is revealed in the journals. Could Ford have discovered Bill's origins when he was in the worlds beyond the portal? And what exactly is the nature of their relationship? After so many episodes of foreshadowing, it looks like we're finally going to get some answers to these questions.
And let's not forget, Mabel and her friends encounter a unicorn. Thanks to the title of the episode, we know the unicorn will have some kind of plot significance. But is this connected to Ford and Dipper's struggle with Bill? Well, let's try and figure all this out!
It's Theory Time!
Most fans are speculating that in S02E15 Ford will use a mind reading machine to translate Dipper's thoughts into text. In the preview, we saw Dipper wearing the machine's helmets, and some of his thoughts flashed on screen, including "try out the President's key" (yep, they still have that!) and "I miss Tyrone" (Dipper's clone from early in season 1). Dipper's also reading The Cipher File when hooked up to the machine. Perhaps Ford is trying to access Dipper's memories from when Bill possessed him, as these might give some answers to what Bill is planning.
This is when the memory erase gun comes in. Dipper certainly seems angry when he uses it, so what could this mean? Here are some possibilities...
- Ford saw a thought that Dipper didn't want him to know, so Dipper's using the gun to erase it.
- Ford originally wanted to use the gun on Dipper to erase his memories of Bill (probably to try and protect him), but Dipper managed to grab the gun and is now turning it on Ford instead.
- Dipper is still possessed by Bill (there are already STRONG HINTS of this), and is trying to erase Ford's knowledge of this after Ford discovers the possession via the thought reading machine.
This is definitely going to be a point of contention in the episode, and we can't wait to see how it'll play out.
But what about Mabel's unicorn? Some fans have speculated that Mabel was initially hooked up to the machine, and it managed to bring the unicorn from her imagination into life. Her unicorn toy does glow in the preview, which implies that she has some hand in bringing it into reality. Or maybe the unicorn is a ploy from Bill to lure the Pines twins into a trap. This would be part of Gideon's plan to exact revenge on the Pines family, but specifically on Mabel herself.
Or is the unicorn is just a fun sideplot for Mabel and her friends while Dipper and Ford deal with Bill? And why are the gnomes back? Will they also seek revenge on Mabel for turning down their marriage/queen/kidnapping proposal?
This episode is shaping up to be a real game changer, so be sure to check back here for our recap and evaluation of how The Last Mabelcorn's revelations play into the Gravity Falls' season 2 plot.
Roll on today's episode: we can't wait to see Bill Cipher's return in The Last Mabelcorn!