Amphibia Season 2, Episode 5A/5B Review
No ifs, ands, or buts about it: Disney animation was on absolute fire this weekend! First, we had Adam McArthur guest-starring on Big City Greens (complete with Marco’s hairstyle and mole.) We ended the night with an enchanting Grom Night with massive shipping fuel. But in between then was the main attraction, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the Amphibia+Gravity Falls crossover episode! And it was everything fans of Gravity Falls could have wanted, and then some.
Swamp and Sensibility
While the focus is on “Wax Musuem” this week, the first segment had some noteworthy merits of its own. When the reins to Bessie suddenly snap, the Plantar family has to make repairs in Ribbitvale, the richest town in Amphibia. There they run into the last person they’d expect to see there: One-Eyed Wally!
It turns out that Wartwood’s resident kook’s been living a double life. In truth, he’s actually the heir to one of the richest families in Amphibia. Minds are blown, both in the show and real life. The reason why Wally never told anyone is because he hates how constricting being a societal elite can be, so he hides the truth from everyone, including his dad.
I won’t lie, Wally may be one of my favorite side-characters in the show. He’s like the show’s Old Man McGucket, lovable quirks and all. So seeing this side of him as he confronts his dad is pretty entertaining to watch.
Speaking of entertaining, the resulting family challenge between father and son is overseen by Crumpet the Frog, AKA Kermit the Frog himself. Crumpet’s an ink-suit version of his famous Muppet VA right down to his appearance and mannerisms. As a fan of the Muppets, it’s nice to see Kermit getting a cameo in a show that he would fit right in with.
Now, on to Gravity Falls
Wax Museum (Gravity Falls)
While stopping in a town called Stony Gulch, Anne and the Plantars visit the Curiosity Hut, this universe’s equivalent to the Mystery Shack. It’s run by Amphibia’s counterpart to Grunkle Stan, the Curator, voiced by the man himself, Alex Hirsch. Why do I say counterpart? Because Frog Soos gave us this one line:
It is now my headcanon that Gravity Falls and Amphibia take place in the same multiverse. And this was only part of what made this episode so amazing: it’s just filled with all sorts of easter eggs and references to Gravity Falls. They even have little cryptograms that the show was so famous for!
However, this episode wasn’t just a tribute to the show where Matt Braly got his start on: it actually advances the plot of the show forward in a big way. In the hut, Anne comes across an old disc-player from her world. The Curator subsequently reveals that he got it in Newtopia, and that there are far more artifacts to be found in the city. In other words, the Calamity Box bringing Anne and her friends to Amphibia wasn’t a one-time thing; it’s happened before.
While we won’t get to Newtopia for another week, my current theory is that the residents of Newtopia found a way to bring objects from Earth to Amphibia and vice-versa. That explains how the Calamity Box wound up on Earth, and the disc player in Amphibia. Considering how one of the biggest mysteries of the show revolves around the connection between the two worlds, this is a major clue to it. It also happens to be the kind of thing that Gravity Falls was known for doing.
Gravity Falls is Alive and Well
While I’m a fan of Gravity Falls, I was never as hardcore as some fans are; I was more of a casual fan during its run on TV. However, since it’s ended, my respect/appreciation for it has increased significantly. This episode had a lot of hype built up for it, and in the end, it delivered on all that it promised.
Alas, it would seem that our road trip across Amphibia is almost over. Next week is the other big event we’ve been waiting for: the arrival in Newtopia and the debut of Marcy. Still, if this is the last episode of the road trip arc, I’m glad it ended with a tribute to Gravity Falls.
I Give “Swamp And Sensibility” and “Wax Musuem” a 3.5/5 and a 5/5
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