The Legend of the Gobblewonker is not one of my favorite episodes. It doesn’t have as strong an impact as the first episode, and hasn’t introduced the expanded cast of yet. It is also one of those episodes that I’ll rewatch and be pleasantly surprised by. Even this early on the writing was top notch. Gravity Falls is a show that knew from the beginning what it wanted to be and worked towards that. Not every episode is a winner, but none are bad either.
While out fishing with Gruncle Stan, the kids hear about the mysterious Gobblewonker, a monster living in the lake. When everyone else dismisses it as the ravings of the local kook, the kids decide to track down the monster. leaving Stan short two fishing buddies.
This is not one of the more memorable episodes. It suffers from lacking the expanded cast that make later episodes so fantastic, though it does make great strides towards introducing a good chunk of the background characters. But coming back to it every time I’m reminded that I do actually enjoy it. Being the second episode it of course has not developed into what the show later becomes, and fans may find themselves less likely to re-watch it because it feels sparse compared to later episodes. But the smart writing and once again good plot twist–though not quite as excellent as the plot twist in the first episode–make it a solid episode that pulls its weight even compared to the rest of the series.
Soos plays a major role for the first time in the series, and he is fantastic. From the start he’s a fan favorite and he’ll only get better from here. He also has some of the best lines in the series, developing into something of an audience voice as well as a heroic character in his own right later on. At the moment he’s the oaf, but he’s an Oaf’s Oaf.
Gruncle Stan’s criminal background is firmly cemented as a part of the show, while at the same time Legend of the Gobblewonker establishes him as a family man above anything else. He’s terrible at it, but he tries, to hilarious results. I’d say he’s my favorite character, but that will get trite real quick as I’m going to be say it about every character. Gravity Falls is made of great characters, all funny in their own ways.
Spoiler Section (Do Not Read Unless You’re Caught Up)
McGukket, the local loon, turns out to be a technical genius. The monster being fake is a predictable plot twist, but the extent to which Gravity Falls takes it works. Sure the monster being robotic is a bit Scooby Doo, but the real treat is seeing that the crazed old man is a robotics genius. Why? Well, we’ll find that out later. But for now it’s a bizarre joke that will find it’s payoff later on in the series.
Also, keep a close eye open for a certain someone in the background. You’ll see what I mean. Gravity Falls has made rewatching a necessity to get everything out of it, and I find that amazing. If the writing were any lesser than it is I’d call it a cheap ploy to force us to watch it more often than it deserves. But Gravity Falls has incredible writing, and so it just adds needed depth to what is all ready a delightful product.
Spoiler Section Ended
Legend of the Gobblewonker may not be the greatest episode of Gravity Falls, but it is a very good episode even if it falls into the “not the best” tier. It’s so high above anything else on TV that it’s almost unfair to compare. Once I get through Gravity Falls and go on to review other cartoons, I’m going to have to try my very best not to just copy and paste “It’s not Gravity Falls” in every single review. Then again, how often do you think I can do that before any of you catch on?