Gravity Falls S02E17 was one of the most hyped and anticipated episodes in season 2, and boy did it deliver! Balancing a poignant story about growing up with the oncoming apocalypse, Dipper & Mabel vs The Future saw a conflict between the twins have world ending consequences.
There's so much to dissect about this episode, from the emotional impact to the cleverly concealed Easter Eggs. And of course, it ended on a hold-your-breath cliffhanger that left fans eager to find out what happens next! But did you spot all these secrets from S02E17?
Thanks to Alex Hirsch's excellent hints and foreshadowing, fans managed to predict a lot of what happened in Dipper & Mabel vs The Future, right down to the UFO reveal.
Of course this just created even more questions, especially the whole chicken/egg debate regarding the weirdness in Gravity Falls: did the UFO create the Rift between dimensions, or did that attract the UFO? In a recent interview, Alex Hirsch definitely seems to lean towards the former explanation...
"The idea of Gravity Falls being a prehistoric UFO crash site seemed like a perfect explanation for the town’s geography, as well as an interesting way to suggest the origins of certain aspects of the town’s strangeness. We had this concept from the very beginning of the series, and it’s very cool to finally get a chance to reveal it in the show."
So there's our answer! The UFO created a whole bunch of odd stuff in the history of Gravity Falls, and thanks to this cleverly concealed Easter Egg, we already know some of the direct effects of the alien crash...
So remember this guy from Into The Bunker?
This creature is a shapeshifter who could transform into anything you could possibly imagine (and probably a lot of things you really really DON'T want to imagine). It's one of the most powerful and frightening characters in Gravity Falls, and now we have its origin story!
Thanks to those fantastic code-cracking fans, we know that the brown writing says something very interesting about the shapeshifter...
"Specimen has... escaped... is changing... forms!"
So there you have it folks. The shapeshifter is officially of alien origins. But is it related to the aliens who piloted the craft, or from another world entirely? Also, considering how long ago this spaceship crashed, it's likely that the "specimen" they mention is actually the ancestor of the shapeshifter we saw in Into The Bunker. Could this mean that there are many many more shapeshifters infesting Earth, appearing as anything or... anyone?!
Of course, that's not the only codes in the episode. The final title card cryptogram reveals this ominous message...
THE PROPHECY SEEMED FAR AWAY
GIVE UP THE PAST. EMBRACE THE STRANGE.
EVERYTHING YOU CARE ABOUT WILL CHANGE.
It's official, Weirdmaggedon is here and no-one is safe. Never one to shy away from the extremes of strangeness, Gravity Falls S02E18 will be explosive and game changing, as we finally dive into the end of the world that's been foreshadowed from the beginning of the show!
Alex Hirsch has promised big things for next episode, titled Xpcveaoqfoxso - code for Wierdmaggedon. But if you're worried that S02E18 might be the finale, fear not! It seems it's just the beginning of a much larger, much more exciting adventure than Gravity Falls has ever seen!
"The end of the world is only the beginning of a huge showdown adventure that will be crazier than anything we’ve ever seen in the series to date. Our characters will be tested in ways they never have been before, and I expect there are some moments that will genuinely shock our audience. So be sure to watch the upcoming episodes with something huggable nearby – you’ll need it."
Oh gosh. Ok. This is gonna be big, folks, and I am equal parts excited and worried. With Mabel in peril and the entire world falling prey Bill Cipher's terrifying and insane universe, there's no way the next episode will be light and fluffy. The preview confirms as much!
So it looks like it's up to Ford and Dipper to save the world, with some help from Wendy (totally rocking that post-apocalypse look) and Soos (who's still adorable in the face of armaggedon). Oh, and Bill seems to have captured Mabel, which hints that the very concerning prophecy will be fulfilled...
"A shooting star will fall."
Teased by the Gravity Falls panel in SDCC, this prediction definitely refers to Mabel thanks to her recognisable shooting star sweater that becomes her icon in many of the show's symbology (including the Cipher wheel). Whether this prophecy refers to Mabel's role in triggering the apocalypse, or whether she has another, darker fate ahead of her remains to be seen. But I sure don't like the look of this screenshot from the preview...
Just what has Bill got planned for Mabel? Can Dipper and the others save her? And what role will Gideon play in Weirdmaggedon?
Well, we'll just have to wait until October 26th to find out. Until then: bring on the fan theories, code cracking, and speculation!