GRAVITY FALLS Season 2, Episode 7 Review: Society of the Blind Eye

At this point, the Gravity Falls episode progression is pretty easy to guess. Either the new episode will be heavily mythology based, either delving into the ongoing story arc of the season or expanding the overall series mythology, or a highly entertaining one-off episode. “Little Gift Shop of Horrors” was the latter, while “Society of the Blind Eye” is definitely the former.

Come to think of it, this is probably the deepest Alex Hirsch & co. have delved into the mythos yet. A whole new layer of mystery is unearthed and quickly uncovered, some major character revelations are made, and callback after callback is given in an episode that, if not the funniest the show has been, then certainly the most exciting.

The Plot

Lazy Susan (Jennifer Coolidge) locks up her diner late at night and is walking home alone. Suddenly, she sees Jeff (Alex Hirsch) and 3 other gnomes preparing to steal a pie she left outside to cool. Understandably, she freaks out and calls 911 from a payphone. Suddenly, she’s grabbed and bagged by two mysterious figures in red robes.

The next day, Dipper is busy with his standard “Conspiracy Theory board” concerning the author of the journal. Mabel bursts in excitedly because she’s just received another message in a bottle from her merman crush, Mermando, from last season’s hilariously great “The Deep End.” Dipper warns Mabel not to get her hopes up but, of course, she ignores him. Thus, she gets crushed by Mermando’s news that, in order to prevent an undersea civil war, he’s to be married off to the Queen of the Manatees (the accompanying picture is tragically hilarious). Despondent, Mabel agonised over how every boy she’s crushed on the whole summer turns out to either be nutso or moves on.

Dipper tries to cheer her up by explaining that he’s nowhere close to figuring out the identity of the author. He points to the smashed laptop from “Sock Opera” as his biggest failure. Mabel looks at it through the bottle she received and discovers a small plaque stating the laptop belongs to McGucket Labs. Dipper, frantic, strings a bunch of clues and string together and discovers that apparently (in a theory that the show’s fan base already postulated on), Old Man McGucket wrote the journals.

The twins, Soos and Wendy meet up with McGucket (Hirsch) and eventually conclude that his memory was altered somehow. Sneaking into the Gravity Falls natural History Museum, where McGucket was found wandering and disoriented in 1982, they discover the mysterious Society of the Blind Eye, led by Blind Ivan (Peter Serafinowicz), who actually do mess with people’s minds. But why? And can the twins, Soos and Wendy get out of there in time and find out what happened to McGucket?

The Execution

I’ve noticed that I tend to be overly positive while writing these reviews due to my overwhelming love of Gravity Falls in general. In hindsight, I’ve noticed that some episodes of this season aren’t as good as I thought. In particular, I think I might have overpraised “Sock Opera,” which, in hindsight, maybe doesn’t deserve its 5-star rating.

This episode doesn’t either, mostly because it’s all straightforward myth building at the expense of the jokes. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of humor here. It’s just there’s nothing insanely funny here. Still, this episode is very well accomplished and very gripping.

Mabel’s introspective subplot is genuinely heartbreaking. The poor girl just can’t catch a break. But her conversation with Wendy, and the older girl’s genuinely helpful advice, is heartwarming and affecting. This is really a character pairing the show needs to do more often, if only because it allows Hirsch & his co-writers to nail emotional beats.

McGucket is a hilarious character and the focus of many gags, but there’s always been a tragic core to him. As Dipper points out, he lives in a hut (in a junkyard) and talks to animals. That’s really sad, especially considering what we eventually learn about his lost past. This sort of introspection with him and Mabel isn’t something children’s TV hasn’t done so much outside of Adventure Time and the Ice King, and that’s something kids’ TV could stand to explore more.

Speaking of Adventure Time, Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy, Shaun of the Dead, Spaced) had a cameo on there this summer as Lumpy Space Prince, the gender-swapped AU counterpart to Lumpy Space Princess. In that role, he basically used his proper bearing and accent (as John Oliver pointed out, all British accents sound posh to Americans, even if they’re lower-class ones) to act like a spoiled, jerky teenager. Here, he’s far more menacing–I honestly thought it was Jason Issacs at first–and sells the sheer creepiness of what Ivan and the other Blind Eye members do.

Hirsch still brings the funny as Soos, and he makes McGucket a pitiable figure. Kristen Schaal and Linda Cardellini are, as I said, very sweet together and definitely need to play off of each other more often. Jennifer Coolidge is, as in everything else she does, a delight as Susan. The great Kevin Michael Richardson finally shows up again this episode–as a bouncer glimpsed in Season One and as a rapper behind a stupid song that’s used as a running gag–and he nails it. T.J. Miller even comes back as Robbie, something I didn’t think we’d see for a while.

While it’s not as funny as other episodes, this is still a gripping piece of television. It gives us our biggest dose of mythology yet, although the ultimate question of “Who wrote the journals?” still doesn’t get answered. With that and some heartrending character revelations and interactions, it’s another gem of an episode. Also, the show still continues the tradition of, at least once per episode, making me wonder out loud, “How does Disney allow this?” Terrific stuff.

4 out of 5 stars

4 out of 5 stars 

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Categories: TV

Author:Tom Speelman

A lifetime of reading comics and watching television has left Tom with an inexhaustible supply of pop culture knowledge from the obvious to the obscure. Rather than keep it all in his brain for use at parties, Tom turned to writing a few years ago to help him share that knowledge with as many people as are remotely interested. Tom writes for several websites including The Mary Sue, Strange Horizons, Loser City and others. For even further rambling, follow him on Twitter @tomtificate.

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2 Comments on “GRAVITY FALLS Season 2, Episode 7 Review: Society of the Blind Eye”

  1. 10/30/2014 at 3:11 PM #

    Reblogged this on tomtificate and commented:
    And of course this show is still good. When isn’t it?

  2. Kim Newsome
    07/20/2016 at 8:03 PM #

    This was the code after I cracked it My grandson wants me to crack this help!!!!

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