One night while closing up Greasy's, Lazy Susan spots a group of gnomes. Before she can report this discovery, she is taken away by a group of mysterious, hooded men, who pronounce, "It is unseen."
The next day, the Pines Twins are in a slump; Mabel has learned that her merman crush Mermando is arranged to be married to a sea manatee queen, another reminder that all of her attempts at a summer romance have failed. Dipper, meanwhile, feels that his search for the Author of Journal 3 has hit a standstill, what with the destruction of the laptop at Bill Cipher's hands. However, Mabel notices a manufacture's label on one of the chips- McGucket Labs?! It couldn't be! But, after adding up multiple subtle clues, Dipper realizes that Old Man McGucket must have written the Journals!
Taking Soos and Wendy along for the ride, the gang confronts the local kook. McGucket, however, can't remember anything beyond thirty years ago. Trying to jog his memories, Dipper shows him Journal 3, and an entry on hooded men called Blind Eye spurs a Freak Out from McGucket. Concluding that this "Blind Eye" must have tampered with McGucket's memories, the gang takes him to the place of his earliest memory- the Gravity Falls history museum. There, they discover a series of hidden chambers, and witness the hooded men erase Lazy Susan's memories of the gnomes with a ray gun, sending the encapsulated recollections through a pneumatic tube. Dipper, Soos, and McGucket follow the tube while the girls stand guard. There, Mabel considers using the ray to forget her failed romances. The men find a chamber full of memory capsules coming from people in town, but removingMcGucket's triggers an alarm. The hooded men capture the kids, while McGucket slips away in the confusion.
The hooded ones reveal themselves to be townspeople, such as Toby Determined, Bud Gleeful, and that guy who married a woodpecker last Pioneer Day. Led by the enigmatic Blind Ivan, they are the Society of the Blind Eye, an order dedicated to removing all memories of Gravity Falls' supernatural weirdness so the rest of the town can live in blissful ignorance. And now, they plan to remove the gang's memories of everything they've seen this summer. But before Ivan can fire the ray, Old Man McGucket leaps in to the rescue, having raided the miner's exhibit for weapons. A battle for McGucket's memories ensues, and when Blind Ivan tries to fire the ray again, McGucket takes the shot, showing no ill effects as his mind is too warped to be damaged. "Take your best shot, baldie! But my mind's been gone for thirty-odd years! You can't break what's already broken!" The Society is defeated, and Dipper uses the memory ray to erase the members' own memories of being part of it. After sending them off (And giving Blind Ivan a new identity), the gang examines McGucket's memories.
"My name is Fiddleford Hadron McGucket, and I wish to unsee what I have seen."
McGucket once helped a visiting researcher document Gravity Falls' weirdness, culminating in the creation of a machine that would benefit mankind. But something went wrong, and so McGucket abandoned the project, going as far as to invent the memory ray to make him forget what he had seen. He then formed the Society of the Blind Eye to help others with troubled memories, but overuse of the ray on his own problems caused him to degenerate into the local kook he is today.
Although the revelation is stunning, McGucket is happy to know who he used to be. Now, he can move on and recover. Mabel, for her part, decides that she should learn from her failed romances than tyring to deny they happened. Dipper asks if McGucket remembers who the Author was, but the Old Man will need to time remember fully.
Underneath the Mystery Shack, the Universe Portal has increased in strength—it's now starting to pull things in. But in spite of the dangers, Stan refuses to give up on his plans. "I don't care if it's dangerous. I don't care how long it takes. I'm gonna pull this off, and no one's gonna get in my way!"
Tropes in this episode:
- Actually Pretty Funny:
- Nate and Lee spray-paint "Mc Suck It" over McGucket's home in the dump. McGucket sadly admits they "got him good".
- After defeating the members of the Blind Eye and tying them up, Mabel crosses out the "Knowledge" tattoo on Blind Ivan's forehead and writes "Butts" in sharpie. The whole gang laughs as Ivan proclaims it's not funny.
- A Day In The Lime Light: This episode puts a lot more focus onto Old Man McGucket and the climax reveals his backstory.
- Advice Backfire: Wendy and Mabel talk about Mabel's trouble with summer romances. After hearing her flirting and telling Mabel to Be Herself, Wendy says, "Forget about guys." Mabel decides to take this advice literally and attempt to use the amnesia ray on herself.
- Aesop Amnesia: Self-invoked:Dipper: Don't you see? This is ruining lives! What about Old Man McGucket? He lives in a hut and talks to animals thanks to you. Don't you feel bad about that?
Blind Ivan: (hesitantly) Maybe a little. (uses the memory ray) But not anymore!
- An Aesop: Everyone has things they would rather forget, but instead of going deep into denial, people should learn from them.
- Affably Evil: Some of the Society of the Blind Eye members. One even has a casual conversation with Soos about his marriage to a woodpecker.
- Anonymous Benefactor: The members of the Society of the Blind Eye had used the memory eraser ray on themselves so much, they forgot who their founder was. McGucket's memories then reveal that he was the one who started the society after inventing the ray to make himself forget the project he worked with the Author on.
- Arranged Marriage: Mermando ends up in one of these with the Manatee Princess. Based on his expression, he is not happy at all.
- Arc Symbol: In one of McGucket's later memories, he is ranting and raving. Right before the video cuts out he holds the thumbs and forefingers of each hand in a triangular shape over one of his eyes. Who in the show could be said to resemble a triangle with an eye?
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- Mabel laments her bad luck with boys while going over a list of failed summer romances:Mabel: (points to a picture of Norman) Turned out to be gnomes... (points to a picture of Gideon) Child psycho... (points to a picture of Gabe) Made out with his own hands...
- Dipper, Mabel and Wendy ask some questions about the Blind Eye Society.Wendy: Who are you bathrobe-wearing freaks?
Dipper: Why are you doing this?
Mabel: What's with your creepy British accent?
- Mabel laments her bad luck with boys while going over a list of failed summer romances:
- Awful Wedded Life: The woodpecker guy reveals to Soos that their marriage is not going well.
- Badass Boast: "YOU CAN'T BREAK WHAT'S ALREADY BROKEN!"
- Bait-and-Switch: Old Man McGucket's not the man who wrote the journals, but he did work for the actual writer. The bandages don't hide a sixth finger but are rather left there from a car crash and he forgot to remove them.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Upon seeing the picture of the Queen of the Manatees, Mabel comments that 'she's so beautiful'. Mermando's expression in the picture indicates he feels otherwise.
- Big Damn Heroes: McGucket rescuing the others from having their memories erased.
- Black Comedy Cannibalism: Jeff is so hungry that he threatens to eat Steve if they can't have pie.
- Blank Slate: Blind Ivan literally has no idea of who he is after losing his memories of the Society of the Blind Eye. Mabel gives him a new identity and he promptly believes it. Averted with the society's other members because each one of them already had a life outside it and still remembers it.
- Blatant Lies: In the video of Robbie's memories, Robbie tries to claim that he kicked the butt of the weird guy attacking him and shooting balls of fire. When called out on this, he grudgingly admits that a twelve-year old saved him.
- Brain Bleach: Played for Laughs when Mabel derobes Sprott only to find out he's wearing nothing but his underwear underneath; Soos nearly wipes his memory of the scene, but Blind Ivan intervenes before he can. Also, the Blind Eye members are squicked out by a janitor that makes out with the pioneer women display.
- Dipper mentions the destruction of the laptop they found in the secret bunker. It turns out, it has McGucket's name on it.
- Mabel tries to get over her failed summer romances.
- Call-Forward: In one of McGucket's video logs he freaks out about a monster he saw in the lake, hinting back to the Gobblewonker.
- Cerebus Retcon:
- Old Man McGucket's sanity was lost as a result of overusing a memory wiper due to the horrific things he has seen working with the author.
- Bud Gleeful's cheery demeanor in the face of Gideon's tantrums takes a darker tone after finding he willingly erased his memories of them.
- The general stupidity and extreme quirkiness of the residents of Gravity Falls are implied to be caused by constant memory wipes.
- Wendy confesses that her laid back demeanor is a façade she puts on to hide the stress from dealing with her family.
- Chekhov's Armory: McGucket raids the pioneer family display to provide Improvised Weapons to Dipper and the crew, which includes a stuffed raccoon, a display on dysentery, and a banjo.
- Connected All Along:
- The man who married a woodpecker in "Irrational Treasure", Toby Determined, Bud Gleeful, Sprott the farmer from "The Time Traveler's Pig" and the bouncer from "Headhunters" all turn out to know each other, as they are part of the Blind Eye society.
- McGucket and the author are revealed to have collaborated on the journals 30 years ago. It was increasing denial of his entries that led him to create the Society of the Blind Eye and subsequently go insane from trying to erase his mind.
- Continuity Nod:
- The Society of the Blind Eye has been previously referenced in the cryptograms at the ends of Gideon Rises and the Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained shorts. Its symbol, a crossed-out eye, also appears in graffiti in The Golf War and Soos And The Real Girl.
- Numerous mentions of Mabel's previous love interests are made, including Norman, Gideon, Mermando, Sev'ral Times, and Gabe Bensen.
- Before Robbie is mind-wiped, he mentions the events of Fight Fighters.
- One of the pages in Journal 3 has an entry on a "Giant Head Monster", likely referring to the one Mabel and Dipper found in the "Tooth" short in "Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained".
- Dipper's photo collection of suspicious people includes a picture of Lefty from the "Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained" short of the same name. The picture has the word "exploded" written over it, referencing how the aliens controlling it destroyed themselves after being found out.
- Crossover Punchline: The pencil, mug, and notepad that get sucked through Stan's portal in The Stinger show up in the Rick and Morty episode "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind".
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: McGucket, instead of testing the amnesia ray on himself, could have developed it more to assist traumatized patients or war veterans with PTSD and do more research into the side effects. Even the Society of the Blind Eye could charge people to forget their memories instead of forcibly erasing them.
- Disability Immunity: McGucket has been going so long without any memories that the ray doesn't have anything it can do against him.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The video logs of McGucket's repeated use of the memory ray has disturbing parallels to drug abuse. From him taking it to try and forget trauma, getting others involved through the Blind Eye Society, him using it on increasingly minor things (like the Gnomes), his impairment from overuse causing him to do more bad things that leads to him using the ray again in a vicious cycle, until he's out of a job and living in the dump.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The Society has a lot of minor and background characters as members, though the literal mastermind specifically tells the group that they've never met him before. Furthermore, the founder of the Society is actually Old Man McGucket himself - although he completely forgot about it.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, Soos makes fun of Lazy Susan's mascara, which Mabel and Wendy find offensive. Although the "She's doing the best she can!" line implies they took it as an indirect insult about her lazy eye.
- Ear Worm: In-universe, Wendy complains that she can't get the "Blanching" song out of her head. Soos admits it's one of those summer songs designed to be catchy. By the end she gets very annoyed when it comes on the radio just after proclaiming that the adventure had made her forget it.
- Evil Brit: Blind Ivan has a British accent for no particular reason. Mabel lampshades this.
- Extreme Omnivore: One of the newspaper clips about Old Man McGucket show him eating a live racoon.
- Faux Horrific: The Gnomes are treated by Lazy Susan and Not-So-Old-Man McGucket as horrifying monstrosities when they're some of the less intimidating creatures in Gravity Falls (though can still be a threat).
- Flanderization: In-Universe. McGucket's accent became more and more exaggerated the more his mind was wiped.
- Foreshadowing: Two instances that are actually related: The fact that removing the tube with Old Man McGucket's memories was what set off the alarm and Blind Ivan not remembering who the founder of the Society of the Blind Eye was.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- He Knows Too Much:
- Dipper speculates this is the reason that McGucket has lost his memory, that the Society of the Blind Eye erased it. The real reason ends up being more complicated given McGucket founded the Society of the Blind Eye.
- The Society tries to erase the gang's memories for this reason, since the latter discovered the meeting place and the memory-erasing ray. Blind Ivan states the trope almost word-for-word.
- HeelFace Brainwashing: After Blind Ivan's identity is erased, Mabel gives him a new one as a happy minstrel.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard:
- The society members get their memories erased by their own ray.
- As well as McGucket himself, who used the memory eraser so constantly that it ended up effectively breaking his mind.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Jeff commented that if he didn't get to eat pie soon, he'd resort to cannibalism.
- Ignorance Is Bliss: The Society of the Blind Eye subscribes to this philosophy.Credits cryptogram: Ignorance is bliss, but bliss is boring.
- Ignored Epiphany: When Dipper points out the Society's actions have driven Old Man McGucket to insanity, Blind Ivan admits he feels bad, then immediately uses the gun to wipe that feeling from his mind.
- Immediate Self-Contradiction: After Mabel calls herself 'mature' after deciding to learn from her failed summer romances, she asks everyone to help her doodle on a poster of Gabe.
- Improvised Weapon: See Chekhov's Armory above. Apparently a display on dysentery is an effective weapon.
- Insanity Immunity: Due to having his memories erased so often, McGucket is now immune to the memory-erasure ray.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: A very subtle one occurs at the end of the episode, forming a Brick Joke with Rick and Morty. The pen, notepad and coffee mug that get sucked into Stan's portal end up coming out of a portal Rick made in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind".
- Irony: The secret society whose goal is to wipe people's memories of significant events? Meets in a history museum.
- Just Between You and Me: The Society decides to exposit about themselves to the gang after capturing them, because they won't remember it afterwards.
- Keep Away: With McGucket's memories.
- Lampshading: Besides the example in Evil Brit above, McGucket notices that he has a useless bandage on his beard, and wonders why no one ever pointed it out. It's later revealed to be a leftover from a chin injury early in his downward spiral. It was never removed and it stuck onto his increasingly bushy beard as time passed.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Society of the Blind Eye has a ray that allows them to extract memories, though it has side effects. The "laser-guided" aspect seems to be the problem, as it seems to take some related memories as collateral damage: using it to erase "little men" from Lazy Susan's memories made her forget about the gnomes, but also whether she was a man or woman. Because Blind Ivan associates himself with the society so much, removing his memories of it made him forget who he was.
- Laser-Guided Karma: In the end, the society members have their memory of the organization itself erased by their own ray. In the case of Blind Ivan, this seemed to have erased almost everything.
- The Masquerade: The Society keep the happenings in Gravity Falls secret.
- Memory Wipe Exploitation: The titular society's leader, Blind Ivan, reveals both his identity and the society's mission to the twins, Wendy and Soos as he is about to wipe their memories anyways.
- Memory-Wiping Crew: The Society of the Blind Eye.
- Mundane Utility: Along with erasing the citizen's memories of the supernatural, the Society members have also been using the memory extracting device on themselves to erase minor things. Mabel plans to use it to forget her failed romances, while Wendy considers using it to forget a bad song.
- My God, What Have I Done?: The failure of the author's device produced the reaction in McGucket, enough to cause the Laser-Guided Amnesia that slowly wrecked his mind.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It turns out that Old Man McGucket's the founder of the Society and the inventor of the memory-erasing ray.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues: To hide from a couple of Society members, Dipper, Soos, and McGucket pretend to be a display of a prospector family. When one of the members tries to fix McGucket's crazy eyes but fails, he says he's 'poorly made'.
- Noodle Incident: An old issue of the Gravity Falls Gossiper reports that Old Man McGucket was once caught eating a racoon.
- Not Hyperbole:Soos: Rappers are visionaries, Wendy. If they told me to eat my own pants, I would do it.
Song: Eat your own pants. Eat your own pants, yeah!
Soos: I guess I have no choice.
- Not So Different: Blind Ivan points out that everyone has bad memories that they would like to forget, and Mabel was going to use the ray on herself.Dipper: Mabel? Seriously?!
Mabel: Ehehehe... maybe?
- Not-So-Final Confession: Everyone but McGucket has one.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: After going on the adventure against the Society of the Blind Eye, Wendy comments that it helped her forget the 'blanchin' rap song, only for it to come on the radio as they're leaving.
- Ominous Latin Chanting:"Into the Hall of the Forgotten!"
"Into the Hall of the Forgotten!"
"Good chanting, boys! Have you been practicing?"
- OOC Is Serious Business: Wendy knows something is wrong when Mabel walks by a cat without petting it.
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: Averted, despite what Wendy may think. "Blanching" is a real word, though how Little Big Dawg managed to make a coherent rap song about whitening is anyone's guess.
- Poor Communication Kills: Old Man McGucket is actually the founder of the Society of the Blind Eye, but neither him, nor its current members realize this because they've used the memory wiper on themselves so many times they've completely forgotten.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Wendy gets a good one in before whacking Blind Eye members with a banjo:"Get this song out of your heads!"
- Professor Guinea Pig: McGucket used himself as the initial test subject for the memory ray. Unfortunately with his now impaired mental functions he was unable to recognize side-effects until it was too late.
- Punny Name: Blind Ivan—or is it Blind Eye-van?
- Reality Ensues: As it turns out, it's actually really hard for society to function when it's thrown into a Fantasy Kitchen Sink with dangerous monsters and everything that goes bump in the night running amuck. As such, the Society of the Blind eye was created in order for the citizens of Gravity Falls to act normally (or at least... close to normal) in the face of this.
- Red Herring: Old Man McGucket is not the author.
- Running Gag: Wendy's increasing irritation at the "Blanchin'" rap song.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: Because Gravity Falls wouldn't be a full-fledged Conspiracy Kitchen Sink without a secretive and sinister quasi-Masonic cult of guys in funny robes dedicated to keeping secrets.
- Sequel Hook: McGucket starts to regain his memories at the end of the episode and The Stinger shows Stan saying that the portal is growing. As Stan rants that he won't let anyone stop him the camera ominously focuses on the photo of the twins.
- Shout-Out: Old Man McGucket's descent into madness is eerily similar to the transformation of a certain princess kidnapping king.
- Sigil Spam: The secret entrance is in a room with jars full of eyeballs, all of which are pointing toward the button that opens it.
- The Smurfette Principle: One of the Blind Eye members is female, and she gets no lines; you only see her in the Freeze-Frame Bonus. After the Society loses their memories, she's seen walking out and rubbing her forehead.
- Stranger Behind the Mask: While the Society of the Blind Eye contains a couple of minor characters, their current leader Blind Ivan was never seen before. Lampshaded by Ivan himself, who tells his captives that if they did see him before he would have made them forget.
- String Theory: Dipper has a bulletin board of clues to the identity of the author of the journals. At first he had dismissed Old Man McGucket as a candidate, but after finding his name in the author's laptop, he found that all the clues lead to him.
- Stunned Silence: After the group watch McGucket's past memories.
- Taking the Bullet: McGucket jumping in front of the main characters to shield them from the ray blast. Of course, it turns out his memory's been wiped so many times that he's immune to it by now.
- Title Drop: Several times.
- Vocal Evolution: McGucket's voice is slightly lower and less scratchy in this episode.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Society was meant to help the people of Gravity Falls cope with the supernatural happenings by making them forget so they could live their lives without worry, but they Jumped Off The Slippery Slope and started erasing memories without concern for the side effects or whether or not a person wanted to forget.
- Wham Episode: McGucket didn't write the journals but he worked for the person who did! Additionally, The Stinger shows Stan revealing that the portal created by the machine in his basement is growing stronger with each passing day.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Wendy and Mabel both get offended when Soos makes fun of Lazy Susan's make-up.Mabel: I think she looks beautiful, Soos!
Wendy: She's doing the best she can, Soos!
- Dipper gives this to Mabel after learning she was going to use the memory eraser ray on herself.
- Wendy and Mabel both get offended when Soos makes fun of Lazy Susan's make-up.