This DuckTales review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Episode 17
There’s a very quick moment in the middle of this episode that seems like another of DuckTales’ wacky gags. In a flashback Scrooge takes out one of a pair of robots and then in present day it attacks him again. It’s another bit of that dark humor DuckTales excels at but it actually underscores a strong theme of the episode, that being the consequences of your selfish actions.
Much of the series has seen Scrooge slowly reevaluating his lifestyle that got him to where he is today. He became a billionaire (perhaps beyond that?) but he picked up enemies along the way. Before that was all right, he could take care of them on his own. Even if he was put in danger it was only his life on the line.
He dismisses the fleeing robot in the flashback, that it’ll never be a problem again… And it not only attacks him but Webby as well.
Scrooge doesn’t have the luxury of jauntily strutting through every problem in his life, he has to face them or they might come back to hurt the people he’s slowly starting to care about. He also has to face his old mistakes head on, in this episode coming up against Black Heron.
One could argue that Scrooge was doing just fine on his own but in both the flashback and present day he only survives thanks to others. Both Beakley and Webby save his ass and help him to be a better person in the process. Facing up against your past mistakes is hard (and in Scrooge’s case deadly) but you’ll be better for it in the end, especially if you’re willing to rely on others. You can’t do it all alone.
Now that was a lot of reading into a plot that seems mostly concerned with establishing some version of Disney’s Gummi Bears in the DuckTales universe. While I’m always a fan of a series opening up its mythology this one felt a little forced. It just didn’t feel quite as organic as the Darkwing Duck tribute from earlier in the season.
There it established something about Launchpad’s character and would have really only worked with him. Here the Gummi Bear juice makes for a fun action scene but it seems like it could have been swapped out with any other magical artifact and the plot would have been just fine. The suggestion it creates for the future of DuckTales is more compelling than it’s actual use.
Co-producer Frank Angones has mentioned that this episode is key to “a lot of what we’re doing and how we approach the world of our show.” It makes the mind spin what that could mean. We already know other Disney shows have or will be incorporated into DuckTales in some way. So far Gummi Bears and Darkwing Duck have both had relevance to the past of the characters.
Will further Disney characters and references make up the back-story of the series? We know one of the Tailspin villains will fight what looks like Dewey in a future episode so maybe that theory doesn’t hold any water but we’ll have to see.
It would be a great way to keep the series from feeling too much like an MCU style team-up where we just keep bringing in old characters and references. It helps build up the world of DuckTales without pushing our characters to the sidelines. This episode may have missed the mark a bit when it comes to its reference but it still makes me excited for what’s coming up next.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “Yay overpriced artisanal furniture!”
– “Don’t worry, it’s the same tea bag we’ve been using all month!”
“Mmm, taste the savings.”
– “Now we can steal from her for free!”
– “They’ll be bouncing here and there and everywhere. Mass destruction that’s beyond compare!”
– “I’m like a super mega ball of death!!!!”
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter!