We've only got one more week to go until Dipper And Mabel Vs The Future airs, and the hype's really building up to the next episode of [Gravity Falls](tag:1085907)! After a cooling down episode with Roadside Attraction, with Bill's plans and growing tensions in the Pines family the show is certainly building up to something big. Alex Hirsch has only been fueling this hype with his twitter, where he promised a major game changer in S02E17.
"Everything changes", eh...
Just what might happen in Dipper & Mabel vs The Future has fans buzzing, with many assuming we'll finally see the twins return to the post-apocalyptic future ruled over by the tyrannical and terrifying Time Baby. This could give us plenty of hints about whether Bill's plans for Gravity Falls succeed or not (could this be a future he created by bringing his nightmare dimension into ours?). But there's also another way the episode could play out, in a much more grounded but no less concerning way...
Theory 1: Dystopian Future
Before we get to the second and in my opinion, the more likely theory of how the episode will play out, let's have a quick glance over the idea that Gravity Falls S02E17 will feature Dipper and Mabel traveling to the future once again.
I've already talked about what the twins time traveling to the future might reveal about Bill's plans succeeding, and his crucial connection with Time Baby (and you can read about that here!) but there's still plenty to consider about this plotline. Especially when we remember that when Bill was considering who to possess in The Last Mabelcorn, three characters from the post-apocalyptic future appeared...
Some fans are also theorising that the episode will feature Mabel getting stuck in the future, with Dipper unable to rescue her. This is mostly due to a hint from SDCC, which was...
"A shooting star will fall."
What does this have to do with Mabel? I hear you cry. Remember Bill Cipher's summoning wheel? The symbols on it directly relate to main characters from this show, as illustrated on this gif by FluffyFlan on tumblr.
This has actually been confirmed on the show as early as Bill's first appearance in Dreamscaperers, where he referred to Dipper, Mabel, and Soos by their symbols on the wheel: "Pine Tree, Shooting Star, and Question Mark". So, back to the hint at SDCC - this clearly means that something bad is going to happen to Mabel soon, and some fans are taking this as a hint for her being lost in the future.
As fun a story as this may be, the theory doesn't seem to be connected to a lot of evidence besides that throwaway line which, honestly, could mean anything. But there is actually a lot of foreshadowing building up to a major conflict between Dipper and Mabel, which may well form the main plot for the episode.
Theory 2: End Of The Summer
This theory states that the episode will actually be set in modern day Gravity Falls, and focus on the growing tension between Dipper and Mabel, and maybe even the end of their summer holidays. The "future" mentioned in the title would therefore be their own future: the idea of growing up and returning to their home.
A major theme in season 2 has been the fact that while Dipper wants to grow up, Mabel doesn't. Alex Hirsch explained the importance of this to season 2's plot in this interview.
"Dipper is a kid who wants to grow up really fast, and Mabel is a character who feels very comfortable wherever she is. She’s ageless. These trajectories do have a tension, an issue there."
Mabel's quest to enjoy the summer and make friends has been in contrast to Dipper's insatiable curiosity about the mysteries of Gravity Falls. While in season 1 the two adventured together, since Ford's arrival in season 2 Dipper and Mabel have had separate stories, with Dipper learning more from his idolised author. In fact, Mabel doesn't even know about the major plot points that lead up to the finale, most notably the existence of the Rift and what Bill Cipher has planned.
So what does this have to do with Dipper & Mabel vs The Future? Well, it all comes down to their birthday, which Alex Hirsch confirmed is "on the last day of summer". If the future the episode title refers to really is the twins' own future, this would be the perfect point to use the twins' birthday to create friction as they realise the summer is almost over. And let's not forget this preview picture revealed in the SDCC reel...
Mabel rarely gets angry enough to yell at her brother, and what sweater is she wearing? A birthday cake sweater.
Again, there's not a huge amount of proof to link this to the episode, other than the fact that there's a divide building up between Mabel and Dipper, with their birthday/end of summer coming very soon. But the S02E17 preview picture Alex Hirsch revealed on his Twitter looks like Dipper and Ford exploring a modern day Gravity Falls, so it seems probable this episode won't be set in the dystopian future after all. And if it's still the twins vs the future... well, to me that certainly hints that they'll be considering the end of the summer and what that might mean, especially considering their parents aren't likely to allow Waddles to come home with them. And this could lead to a rift between them.
All in all, we're very concerned for the Pines twins! But which theory do you think is most plausible? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!