The last [Gravity Falls](tag:1085907) episode was a real doozy, huh! We finally got some of Ford's backstory, Bill's plans for the town were revealed, and Mabel punched a unicorn right in the face. The last few episodes of season 2 are shaping up nicely, and Gravity Falls is definitely building to an epic finish. But what role will Stan play in the events that are about to unfold? And could he be the one that Bill Cipher will possess?
There's Something Funny About Stan...
...or rather, about Stan and Bill. Have you noticed how he and Bill Cipher have never encountered one another? Sure, Bill knows of Stan's existence (he did drag the gang right into Stan's mind in Dreamscaperers), but they've never so much as exchanged pleasantries. In fact, Stan may not even know Bill exists! Plus there's Stan's garbled memories, and all that foreshadowing...
Stan Pines has been a mystery since the show began. Right from the first episode creator Alex Hirsch has been dropping hints that good old Grunkle Stan may not be the lovable rogue he seems to be.
This was all a fantastic lead in to the episodes Not What He Seems and A Tale Of Two Stans, which revealed Stan's grifter past and long lost twin brother Ford.
So far so good, and it seems like the enigma of Stan Pines has been solved. Except it hasn't. There's still plenty of his past we don't know about, and lots of unanswered questions. But all in all, it seems like Stan is ultimately a well meaning guy caught in a web of weird happenings and determined to capitalise on the strangeness of Gravity Falls. While attempting to rescue his brother (check!) and keep his niece and nephew out of trouble (uh... check?).
But how much of Gravity Falls' weirdness does Stan really know about? Is Stan just ignoring what he doesn't understand? It's possible he just doesn't have the fierce curiosity that drives Dipper and Ford to try and discover all of Gravity Falls' secrets: like Mabel he's content to just get as much out of life as he can. While this seems innocuous, it's this disinterest in the supernatural that may just spell Stan's undoing...
Stan & Bill: Two Of A Kind?
Parallels between Stan and Bill Cipher have been stacking up since Bill was introduced. Once again we have those beady eyed fans to thank for spotting all these hints! The theories and speculations are rampant when it comes to the connection between Bill and Stan, so I'll break it all down for you.
The idea is that Bill is mimicking Stan in a big way. They have similar ways of speaking, wheeler-dealer ways, and the same sense of humour. Bill even goes as far as to repeat phrases that Stan has said, such as...
"Eenie, meenie, miny... YOU!" - Stan, in Tourist Trapped, choosing Dipper to put up signs. Also Bill, in Sock Opera, choosing Dipper as his literal puppet.
"Sixer!" - Stan's fond nickname for Ford in A Tale Of Two Stans. Also, Bill's nickname for Ford in The Last Mabelcorn.
What could be the reason for all of this? It's possible that Bill is trying to bias the Pines family against Stan, by associating all Stan's behaviour with Bill and bad happenings. But many fans think there's something larger afoot, that Stan has been a huge part of Bill's plans from the very beginning.
According to this theory, Bill deliberately sabotaged Ford's science project to drive the brothers apart, so that he could manipulate Ford into creating the portal. It's possible that Bill only took on Stan's persona so that Ford would trust him, using Ford's memories as a template. But isn't it just a bit convenient how similar the two are, when Bill is actively searching for a person to possess? What's better than to hide in a person who already acts kinda like him?
This doesn't bode well, folks. Remember the code from The Last Mabelcorn?
A SIMPLE MAN WITH EAGER EARS MAY TRUST THE WHISPERS THAT HE HEARS
(Thanks to invera for pointing this out and making the gifs.)
So it looks like all of these hints and parallels may be leading up to Bill possessing Stan, or using him as a pawn in some way. Are you worried? We are! Especially as Stan and the kids are taking a road trip away from the Bill-proofed Shack next episode...
Again, all these hints are building up to something big. And with Alex Hirsch promising a big character death by the end of season 2, we're just hoping all the Pines will make it through whatever Bill has planned!
S02E16 Roadside Attraction airs next week on September 21st. Check back here before then for all your Gravity Falls speculation needs. And until then remember: trust no-one!