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This episode made me both like and dislike Ford. He's such a great role model for Dipper and he really cares about him but at the same time he doesn't care much about Mable. I know he loves her but he's been playing favourites a bit too much.
Yes, the thing with Ford kind of plays into the parallels between Ford and Stan and Dipper and Mable. Ford, who sees the similarities between himself and dipper, in regards to being a smart nerdy mystery investigating type of person. He likely thinks of Dipper and Mable's dynamic as being similar to his and Stan's. This coloring of his perspective has likely lead to think that Mable is like Stan and would end up holding Dipper back.
Though interestingly this helps lead to a kind of parallel scenario with Dipper and Mable's end of summer and the events that lead to the feud between Ford and Stan. Near the end of high school Ford was offered the opportunity to get into on of the best colleges in the country, and go on to a very successful career. Though this would mean dividing from Stan and giving up their shared childhood dream. Stan, who as already seeing the prospects of his future being shattered, didn't want to let go of their dream or lose connection with his brother. In anger he accidently broke Ford's project, and created the dispute that divided them. Dipper is offered the opportunity to become fords apprentice and go on to be the new guardian of gravity falls. While Mable is seeing her dreams for high school and the prospects for the party harmed, and is fearful about the future. Faced with the prospect that she would be divided from her brother, she runs off, and ends up unwittingly handing over the rift, and allows bill to create the apocalypse. The question is whether Dipper and Mable can change the trend by reconciling.