When Gumball learns that his real name is Zach, he begins to behave differently as he struggles with his new-found identity.
I found this to be an amusing episode of Gumball. While it’s not the first time Gumball has struggled with being controlled by something, it was executed very well and had some very solidly paced jokes. I believe there were only a few moments in the episode that I didn’t find funny. I also liked how the episode was continuity heavy, with moments from both season one and season two being referenced. We even got to see the evil turtle again and he was only introduced a couple of episodes ago. Zach proved to be an interesting villain and it was nice to see how some episodes would have played out had Gumball been, to borrow a term from “The Sweaters”, hardcore. I know some fans have never liked how Gumball is such a failure, but I’ve always found his failure to be endearing provided they didn’t push it too far. If Gumball had won more throughout the series, even to a much lesser extent than what was shown in this episode, I’m not sure if the previous two seasons would have been as memorable. It’s Gumball’s optimism that shines in light of his misfortune that makes him such a cute kid.
I will say that while I did really enjoy this episode, I’m not sure if it was the wisest move to say that Gumball’s real name was Zach. Even with him legally changing his name to Gumball at the end of the episode, many fans are already editing wiki entries across the web to refer to him as Zach. It feels as if the show is trying to explain things that don’t really need to be explained. There would have been nothing wrong if “Gumball” was simply his name from birth. I can only hope that the show avoids feeling obligated to continue doing this sort of thing going forward. I know there is an upcoming episode about Penny that will focus on what she looks like underneath her shell, but couldn’t she just be a peanut with antlers? I’ve always favored character development and continuity, but I care more about personalities and how the characters interact with one another. I never needed – or wanted – to know Gumball’s real name. Ultimately, as long as the episodes are funny then I have little to complain about, but I hope they don’t try to focus too much on these little details.