I think we have here an episode that changes the whole status quo of Gravity Falls in a major way…
I mean, it starts off innocently enough with the Pines setting off illegal fireworks from the Mystery Shack roof and then getting into a water balloon fight. Sure, Stan used the mystery machine in the basement to do…something on a countdown, and he’s about to fess up to something when those feds show up to arrest him for stealing nuclear waste. Dipper and Mabel naturally don’t believe it, but the machine is causing gravity to temporarily short out here and there.
But then the kids escape and go back to the Shack and find out…Stan really did steal the waste. And he has a box full of fake IDs. And there’s something about the death of Stan Pines in an old newspaper. And even as Stan has escaped, and Soos proves not to be too much of a barrier to the vending machine that Dipper’s journal had a password for…well…
Dipper (and Soos) feel betrayed. Stan had the journals and the machine all along, but he just wants the kids to trust him as he tries to explain everything. When gravity shorts out again, it falls to Mabel to decide whether she trusts Stan enough to keep the machine on when the countdown hits zero or listen to Dipper and shut it off before it destroys the universe.
Mabel chooses Stan.
It’s sweet. It’s really sweet.
And then we learn why. Stan left the machine on because it was a dimensional portal to bring back someone: his brother, a man with six fingers on each hand just like the handprints on the journals.
And the episode ends right there…
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)