There's a storm coming for Gravity Falls! In The Last Mabelcorn we finally got a glimpse of what Bill Cipher is planning for the town, and it ain't pretty! Bill is definitely going to feature heavily in the season 2 finale: the latest episodes have made it clear that it's his plans for Gravity Falls that the Pines family will have to thwart, or risk their entire world being taken over by a horrendous nightmare dimension.
Gravity Falls is a very complex show, and Alex Hirsch is a master of subtle foreshadowing and Easter egg hints of what's to come. If you're anything like me, you find it a little tricky to keep track of all the little snippets we've had, so here's a guide to everything we know about Bill Cipher, and everything we don't!
Oh and fyi, we do know Bill and Time Baby are friends so the next episode, Dipper & Mabel vs The Future, will probably set up the final battle in a big way... but more about that later!
All We Know
Bill Cipher has been set up as Gravity Falls' main antagonist since the first episode: appearing in a flash at the end of the opening sequence, the triangular symbol was scattered throughout the first few episode, most notably in Dipper's Journal. Each symbol on Bill's summoning wheel represents a character in the show, as this gif by fluffyflan on Tumblr illustrates...
Ford found this wheel painted on a cave wall, which implies Bill's been around Gravity Falls before. But if this wheel is old, why does it relate so closely to these particular characters, who weren't even born when the wheel was drawn? And we KNOW the characters are connected to the symbols: when Bill first meets Dipper, Mabel, and Soos, he refers to them as "Pine Tree, Shooting Star, and Question Mark" ie - the symbols on the wheel.
Bill was officially introduced in the episode Dreamscaperers. He was summoned by Gideon Gleeful to seize the deed to the Mystery Shack, and does this through the mindscape, which we later learn is his only way of accessing our dimension without being summoned. Stan's mind proves a very interesting place with plenty of hints about his twin brother, and after battling with Dipper, Mabel, and Soos, Bill Cipher is impressed with their defiance and decides to let them go.
He leaves them with this message:
"A darkness approaches! A day will come in the future when everything you care about will change..."
Of course, now we know that he was referring to his plan to bring our dimensions crashing together, which was hinted at yet again in the code at the end of the season 2 episode Sock Opera.
SO PATIENTLY I WATCH THIS TOWN
ABNORMAL SOON WILL BE THE NORM
ENJOY THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Bill's next appearance was in the nightmare sequence of The Last Mabelcorn which of course revealed the details of Ford's deal with Bill. ( You can read more about that here.) The episode ended with Bill trying to decide which person he would possess next...
What's interesting is that there are notable characters from the future along with the townsfolk, implying Bill will have a big role in the next episode which, as we know, will feature some sort of time travel shenanigans. And that leads me neatly on to...
All We Don't Know
So much!! But let's make a list of the most notable unanswered questions about Bill Cipher...
- Why does he want to bring the dimensions together? Is there something wrong with his homeworld?
- Why is he so closely mimicking Stan Pines?
- If Bill is "older than the galaxy", why are the symbols on his summoning wheel related to the main characters of the show?
- Who are the "old friends" that he mentioned in The Last Mabelcorn, and have we met any of them already?
Actually, we might have an answer to that last questions. Remember Time Baby, the tyrannical overlord of the future?
Thanks to the canon book Dipper & Mabel's Guide To Non-Stop Fun, we know that Time Baby and Bill Cipher not only know each other, they're on pretty good terms. The book contains multiple codes, one of which states...
"Time baby is worried about Bill."
Why would Time Baby, the terrifying being that he is, be worried about Bill? Is Bill heading for disaster? And crucially, does Bill's plan succeed and manage to CREATE the horrifying future that Dipper and Mabel travel to?
It looks like we might just find out in S02E17 which, according to Alex Hirsch, will be a big'un.
Oh boy! Hold on to your journals folks, cos Gravity Falls is careening towards a pretty epic final few episodes!