Pacifica Northwest is a snobby, arrogant teenage girl who goes around Gravity Falls making fun of the Pines family and showing off her wealth. Well, that’s who she was in the first season, and sort of the second? I’m not sure, and it bugs me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Gravity Falls. It holds the #1 spot in my favorite show ever and it will always have a place in my heart.
Now the strongest part of the show next to the plot, in my opinion, is the characters. Every character is original, lovable, and just overall amazing. They make you laugh, cry, and something in the middle. I don’t have a problem with a single character in the show…except Pacifica.
Pacifica is one of the larger side characters in the show, boasting three episodes revolving around her, two of which show us her vulnerability and a flash of her likable side (Golf War and NWMM). By the end of Northwest Mansion Mystery (one of the BEST episodes of the series), we get a full view of how much of an awesome person she can be, along with what her home life is like. We get a look at how she tries to express herself, how demanding and manipulative her parents are to her, how hurt and confused she is on the inside, we get to see it all.
So, you would guess that this is the turning point episode for her. She recognized how horrible her family is, recognized her flaws, and she then redeemed herself by saving a lot of people. For the first time in her life she disobeys her parents, and we get to see the background behind why she’s the mean person she is. It’s the perfect transition episode for her, but after that episode, she kind of just disappeared.
Now, I just want to pause and say something. The one other character that I want to mention is Robbie Valentino. Just like Pacifica, Robbie is a larger side character with three episodes around him. Just like Pacifica, he started out rude and unlikeable, but over the course of the three episodes, we watch him change, ultimately ending in Love God. It was smooth and perfect. After Love God, we get mentions of Robbie hanging out with Wendy and the gang again, and it fits really well.
This is where Pacifica’s arc went wrong. After Northwest Mansion Mystery, she’s suddenly a small character. The next time we really see her is in Weirdmageddon where she only gets a couple of lines, all of which reflect back on her snobby past self. Not to mention this line:
Pacifica: (shivering cold in the windy weather) “Ugh fine I’ll wear it, [Mabel’s sweater] but I’m not going to like it.” (alright it doesn’t sound that bad written down, but just watch the clip it’s pretty mean: https://youtu.be/rFT65S1bdZg?t=93)
I thought she changed?! It just doesn’t feel right.
But then in the last episode, she changes!
Her last line of the series is at Dipper and Mabel’s birthday party, “Hey you two, when are you going to open your presents already? I broke a nail wrapping them!” Well…uh…that’s really nice of you Pacifica!
She even signs the See You Next Summer card. How heartwarming!
It’s really confusing and sporadic. Her character is kind of forgotten and she’s just treated as background, and that bothers me.
You may say, “Well one episode isn’t going to change her, it still has to happen over time. She grew up like that!”
Ok well, I agree with you, but the problem is, that isn’t how animated shows are supposed to work. Pacifica had so much buildup, and she was DESTINED to be Mabel and Dipper’s friend. She had so much potential, and NWMM was just a peek at who she is inside. Even the fan base has gone crazy with her character because there’s just so much opportunity. The buildup was so good, and Mansion Mystery set it ablaze. Weirdmageddon hid that fire with some almond brittle.
Now, I’m not asking for another Pacifica episode, I’m only suggesting a couple writing tweaks.
First of all, take all the snobbishness out of Weirdmageddon. Get her involved. It’s not funny or fun to see her still being a jerk, because that’s not who she is. She is more than the show’s mean girl. Replace that sweater scene with this:
Pacifica is cold and shivering, Mabel comes over with a sack of sweaters and gives one to her. They both smile at each other, therefore resolving the Mabel-Pacifica feud that never was resolved. This would have been so much better to watch as a fan. I don’t want Pacifica to suffer, and seeing her suffer like that is just painful. Pacifica is someone who needs help. She’s rude to those around her because she can’t stand the demand for her parent’s place on her. She is broken and doesn’t know who to be. Playing her stubbornness off as a joke just kind of sucks. Robbie’s mental struggle for being loved and accepted was resolved, but for Pacifica, not so much.
Throughout the whole Shacktron building montage, the only time she was seen is sitting down, reading a magazine. Scrap this and get her involved. Show her getting her hands dirty, possibly working with McGucket. Show that she genuinely wants to help.
And lastly, my favorite proposition: Pacifica shows up at Dipper and Mabel’s goodbye at the bus stop. Picture this:
Right before the twins get on the bus, a fancy car rolls up with the NW initials on the front. (Pacifica is moving because of the loss of Northwest Manor) Mr. Northwest sternly tells Pacifica she has five minutes, and Pacifica hops out of the car. She runs up to a confused Dipper and Mabel and apologizes for being a jerk all summer, then thanks them for opening her eyes. All three hug, and Dipper and Mabel get on the bus. Then, waving out of the window, Dipper and Pacifica meet eyes, and they both smile at each other. (NOT support for Dipcifica)
This, in my opinion, would make her a much better character to watch and enjoy. There is nothing better than watching a character grow and learn. Pacifica is a good character, and I believe making some tweaks to her writing would make her perfect.
But that’s all just me! If you have an idea, feel free to comment. I really want to hear every body’s ideas for this. Also, let me know if there is anything I missed or skipped over. Stay home and Trust No One!