After Gideon Gleeful swindles the Mystery Shack away from Stan, everything in Gravity Falls appears to be even more west of weird- Dipper, Mabel and Grunkle Stan are forced to move in with Soos and his grandmother, while the town remains enamored with Gideon's charm. Meanwhile, Grunkle Stan isn't certain he can take care of the twins and is considering sending them back home. With their summer in Gravity Falls threatening to come to an end, Mabel and Dipper decide to take on Gideon and win back their home.
The episode starts off with a bird's eye view of Gravity Falls as the town is engulfed in a mysterious shadow. The scene then shows the Mystery Shack being covered by this mysterious shadow, followed with a wrecking ball hitting the top and breaking off part of the sign, recreating the ending of the previous episode. Dipper wakes up screaming and announces that he had a horrible dream, that Gideon had stolen the deed to the Mystery Shack, and he and his family had to move in with Soos and his grandmother. Soos then appears by Dipper, correcting him in that it was not a dream.
Mabel then remarks on how Soos' grandma is "old lady soft," and she starts rubbing her cheeks while squealing happily. Stan tells Mabel to stop "being creepy," because the news is finally on. Shandra Jimenez is seen on the TV talking about how Gideon had surprisingly taken over the Mystery Shack. She asks Gideon what he plans to do with the building. Gideon responds that he wants everyone in Gravity Falls to visit the grand closing of the Shack so he can show everybody his plan for something special. Gideon also offers free admission to anyone wearing a pin with his face on it. (Overhead, Old Man McGucket is busy working on the Gideon-bot).
Dipper, discouraged by losing to Gideon, mentions that he usually fixes everything before it goes wrong, and it's his fault that Gideon now owns the shack. Mabel tells him to cheer up and says that she'll have to be the hero of the family now, while pulling out her grappling hook. Dipper disagrees, arguing that the grappling hook has never helped them the whole time they've spent in Gravity Falls. Mabel disagrees and tries to grab a jar of jelly with it, but this just causes the jar to break and leaves a huge mess. Stan, annoyed and depressed by their situation, states that they need to get the shack back.
The next day, all the residents of Gravity Falls are waiting outside of the Mystery Shack, excited for what Gideon has in store for them and the shack. In the background, the camera zooms in on Mabel, Dipper, Soos, and Grunkle Stan in disguise, thinking of a way to get the deed back.
Gideon comes out of the shack, greeting the huge crowd in front of him. After a short speech, he reveals his plans to build a brand new Gideon-themed amusement park, dubbed "Gideonland." The Pines family and Soos gasp upon hearing the announcement. Gideon then shows Waddles dressed up as Gideon, making Waddles a new attraction and "Gideonland's" mascot. Mabel then screams and calls Gideon a monster.
The group then charges onto the stage, trying to convince everyone that Gideon is a fraud and that he stole the deed to the shack and should be arrested. Gideon walks up to them and tells everyone that he has proof that Stan gave him the deed, and pulls it out of his suit. Sheriff Blubs believes Gideon.
Dipper, Mabel, and Stan are kicked off the stage and the property of the shack by two guards, much to Gideon's delight.
After getting kicked out, Soos and the Pines family are stranded outside of the fence, glumly watching as Gideon speaks more about his plot for "Gideonland." Wendy walks up to them, surprising Dipper. Depressed, Wendy states that now since she now has no job, she has to leave town and work at her cousins' lumbermill. Dipper freaks out and says that she can't leave and that they need her. Soos then almost reveals Dipper's huge crush on her by stating: "Dipper has a huge crush on...you... -calyptus trees!" She soon leaves when Robbie arrives with his boom box and pleads for her to take him back.
Back at Soos' house, Mabel is worried on where they would stay, with Soos reminding her that Stan always has something figured out. Stan calls Dipper and Mabel's parents, saying where there are, lying by saying that they are in a "Four-star hotel," despite the ruined state the house is in.
Meanwhile at the Mystery Shack, Gideon is seen looking through the contents of Journal 2. Waddles tries to escape through the window, but cowers in a corner due to Gideon's pig whistle and looks on, trembling in fear. Gideon's father arrives and tells him that he should be celebrating Gideonland instead on looking at the book. Gideon then tells his father the true nature of this book, saying it was written many years ago by a brilliant unknown author who learned secrets too powerful for one man, and hid the journals where no one could find them, because he knew that when the journals are brought together, it would lead to a gateway of "unimaginable power." Gideon says that codes and maps from the journal have led him to believe that the other book is hidden somewhere on the Shack's property and is determined to find it.
While Dipper, Mabel, and Soos are playing with toy cars, Stan arrives and tells the kids that he can't take care of them anymore and that they'll be going back home, handing them their bus tickets. Dipper pleads to Stan that he can't give up, but Stan says that they've lost and heads out the door with Soos soon following him, telling him to reconsider. Dipper soon has had enough and tells Mabel that if Stan won't get the shack back from Gideon then they will have to do it themselves. Mabel also reminds Dipper that while Gideon may have the upper hand, they have one thing he doesn't have; Journal 3 (though Mabel first states that her grappling hook is their advantage).
Dipper and Mabel then attempt to break into the Shack with the help of the gnomes, but Gideon turns the gnomes against them with his pig whistle. As the gnomes grab a hold of both Dipper and Mabel, Dipper drops the third journal, causing Gideon to take the journal from him. Dipper tells Gideon to give the book back, but Gideon tells him that Dipper has no muscle, no brain, and is nothing without his book. He then waves them good-bye as the gnomes carry the twins away. After being dropped off in the forest Dipper realizes that it's over. A shocked Mabel tells him that he can't give up, as he always has a plan. Dipper dismisses it; the journal has the plan, and that the only courageous and cool thing he had ever done was because of the journal, without it he can't help anyone. With no option left, Dipper and Mabel head to the bus station and head out of town.
Back at the Mystery Shack, Gideon is overjoyed to have Dipper's journal and runs inside with it, but is stunned to find that it's Journal #3, as he thought there were only two journals. Thinking that Dipper dropped the third one to leave Gravity Falls with the first, he runs out the shack and asks Old Man McGucket if the giant Gideon-bot is ready, to which he suggests that Gideon might as well test it. Gideon gets into the bot and tries to get to Mabel and Dipper. Meanwhile at Soos' House, Stan has hit "rock bottom," having no friends, family, and being stuck on infomercials. He then looks at the Gideon pin, wondering how he was always one step ahead, eventually, his hearing aid acts up and wonders what's causing it to happen. Stan soon realizes Gideon's weakness and leaves the house (stopping to kiss Soos' grandmother).
As the bus continues its drive, Dipper sees the bot and tells Mabel, and they run to the bus driver, soon realizing that Soos is the driver. Gideon chases them, and Soos, Dipper, and Mabel get cornered at the edge of a cliff. Mabel and Dipper escape and Gideon tells them he wants Journal 1. After Dipper tells him that 3 was the only journal he ever had, Gideon grabs Mabel and throws Dipper aside, claiming that he will rule Gravity Falls with Mabel as his queen. As Dipper steps back and remembers Gideon insulting him he sadly walks away, only to turn back, and he jumps off the cliff into the Gideon-bot. He and Gideon start to fight. Dipper eventually catches a punch, then starts to punch Gideon with Gideon's own fist.
Suddenly, the bot falls off the bridge and Mabel and Dipper are saved by Mabel's grappling hook. Gideon then lies to the crowd drawn to the sound of the crashing robot, saying that Mabel and Dipper tried to kill him by blowing up his bot using dynamite, and orders the cops to arrest them. As the cops get ready to arrest the twins, Stan shows up, revealing that the Gideon pins given to everyone at the Grand Closing were actually hidden video cameras, which Stan had deduced by realizing that his hearing aid had been picking up the feedback. The crowd shocked by this turn against Gideon and he is arrested. Stan takes the deed and secretly journal 2, and he and the others return to the Mystery Shack. When they settle their things back in their room, Stan checks on the kids. Dipper and Mabel tell Stan that they were talking, and they wanted to show Stan journal 3, exclaiming that they finally trust him.
Stan laughs, crediting everything the twins told him to be a result of reading the book, and borrows it. Dipper starts to run after Stan to get the journal back, but Mabel stops him. Dipper and Mabel then agree to each other that Dipper does not need the book because he had defeated a giant robot with his bare hands. Afterwards, they go hang out with Soos.
Later that night, Stan takes the book and later opens the door behind the vending machine. He walks into a hidden laboratory and goes down an elevator to level 3. Revealing that he has Journal 1, he places the three books together with each opened at a specific page revealing the blueprint for a machine. He uses instructions from the pages to activate the machine and pulls the lever to turn it on, he then says "Here we go" before the screen cuts out.
- Written by:
- Directed by:
- Storyboards by:
- With the Voice Talents of:
- Kristen Schaal as Mabel Pines
- Jason Ritter as Dipper Pines
- Alex Hirsch as Stan Pines and Soos Ramirez
- Thurop Van Orman as Gideon Gleeful
- T.J. Miller as Robbie Valentino
- Jennifer Coolidge as Lazy Susan
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Sheriff Blubs
- Linda Cardellini as Wendy Corduroy
- Keith Ferguson as Deputy Durland
- Stephen Root as Bud Gleeful
- Justin Roiland as Bobby Renzobbi
- Will Forte as Tyler Cutebiker
- Alex Hirsch as Old Man McGucket and Jeff the Gnome
- Kari Wahlgren as Shandra Jimenez
- Gregg Turkington as Toby Determined
- Additional Voices:
- Casting by:
- Soos lives with his grandmother.
- Since Soos' grandmother is called Abuelita and because she said "Por Favor," it means that Soos is Hispanic.
- Soos took karate as a child.
- The Cute Biker's name is Tyler.
- Stan wears a hearing aid.
- Wendy has a cousin upstate who owns a logging camp.
- Stan is in possession of Journal 1 and has been searching for 2 and 3 for many years.
- Soos knows about Dipper's crush on Wendy, as evidenced by his attempt to hide it when Wendy is present.
- Mabel has a favorite moldy spot in her room which she has nicknamed "Darrell."
- Pacifica has a dartboard with a picture of Mabel posted on it.
- Dipper, Mabel and Stan are living in Soos' house due to Gideon having taken the Mystery Shack at the end of "Dreamscaperers."
- Dipper has a nightmare about the previous events of "Dreamscaperers."
- Mabel's grappling hook from "Tourist Trapped" makes a reappearance, and becomes a key element to the plot.
- Robbie is seen trying to get Wendy to take him back after their break up in "Boyz Crazy."
- Gideon throws a picture taken at the lake with Stan, Mabel, and Dipper in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" into a fire.
- The clown painting that Stan stole from Bud Gleeful in "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel" makes an appearance, as Bud finds it in the shack.
- A drawing of the tree from "Tourist Trapped" where Dipper found the device that revealed 3 is shown on a page from Journal 2 titled "Possible Hiding Places."
- Pages showing the Gremloblin from "Boss Mabel" and the height-altering crystals from "Little Dipper" appear in journal 3.
- Jeff and the gnomes from "Tourist Trapped" make a reappearance, as well as implying Jeff's possible interest in Mabel still lingering from that episode.
- Tats makes a brief appearance as Gideon's personal body guard.
- The Explosion muffin Robbie spray-painted on the water tower makes another appearance.
- Blendin Blandin from "The Time Traveler's Pig" can be seen right before Stan comes out from his car to prove to the townsfolk that Gideon is a fraud.
- At the end of the episode, Dipper, Mabel, Wendy, and Soos are rebuilding the top of the Mystery Shack from its damage in "Dreamscaperers."
- When the gang finishes rebuilding the top of the shack, the S in "Shack" falls down like it does in "Headhunters."
- Stan's secret behind the vending machine is finally unveiled since its appearance in "Tourist Trapped."
- The passcode to enter Stan's lab is the same as the symbols on the first page of book 3, first shown in "Tourist Trapped."
- Viewership: This episode was watched by 3.2 million viewers on its premiere night.
- This episode reveals new cryptograms, one that is all the previous ones combined and a symbol substitution cipher, which is found in Journal 3's maze page.
- When the credits roll in the initial airing, Stan voices over "Gravity Falls will return." In subsequent airings, the line is removed.
- On one of Gideon's surveillance monitors, Pacifica Northwest is seen throwing darts at a picture of Mabel.
- This is the first episode to actually show real blood (in this case Dipper's nosebleed). Fake or suspected blood has previously been shown twice: first on "Norman" in "Tourist Trapped" (though it is actually jam) and several times in "Summerween."
- When Stan goes to the diner, he asks for "the most expired apple cider [they]'ve got." As apple juice expires, its alcohol level rises, so Stan is implying that he wants a glass of alcohol to drown his worries.
- This is the third episode to end in a cliffhanger after "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel" and the previous episode.
- This is also the first and only season to end in a cliffhanger.
- This episode is the first appearance of Soos' grandmother, Abuelita.
- As part of the McGucket Hoax, Alex leaked an image of Gideon from the episode alongside the infamous fake image of McGucket writing the journals on to 4Chan, as a means to make the leak more legitimate. The idea was that if fans realized that the image of Gideon was real, than the McGucket image had to be too. Of course Alex would eventually go on to reveal the whole ploy and that the McGucket image was indeed fake.
- The page for the Squash with a Human Face and Emotions in Journal 3 contains a cryptogram that reads, "'" Once decoded, it reads, "DON'T EAT HIM!"
- Right after Dipper, Mabel, and Soos run out of the room, "ELOO LV ZDWFKLAJ" is seen carved into a pipe under the floorboards, once decoded it says, "BILL IS WATCHING."
- The left hand corner of Journal 3's page says ".." Once decoded it says, "THE PORTAL WHEN COMPLETED WILL OPEN A GATEWAY TO INFINITE NEW WORLDS AND HERALD A NEW ERA IN MANKIND’S UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE. PLUS, IT WILL PROBABLY GET GIRLS TO START TALKING TO ME FINALLY."
- Also, during the end credits of the pages, the "Possible Hiding Places" page reads "18-5-22-5-18-19 20-8-5 3-9-16-8-5-18-19." Once decoded it reads "REVERSE THE CIPHERS."
- During the end credits of this episode, there is a cryptogram that reads "5-19-23-6-21-16 18-9-6 4-16-19 22-12-15-10-20-19-25-19." Once decoded, it reads, "SEARCH FOR THE BLINDEYE."
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