This DuckTales review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Season 2 Episode 3
Glomgold has always been DuckTales‘ best villain. He’s over the top. He’s outlandish. He’ll cackle over a golf game. Very few series could handle a villain this over the top and not make him a total joke but DuckTales somehow managed it in its first season. He was never exactly a credible threat but he was hilarious and that’s all that was needed.
Here though we’re given an episode that not only makes him a real threat to the family but keeps his comedic side intact. That’s a very fine line to walk. There was a danger in fleshing Glomgold out so much it would make his previous appearances seem incongruous. Here though what we learn about Glomgold keeps his wacky over the top behavior still funny but gives it an incredibly rich emotional depth.
You see, for as much as Scrooge was a self made man? He also made his greatest nemesis. When Glomgold was just a boy he shined Scrooge’s shoes, regaling him with tales on how he’d be the richest duck in the world. Scrooge, impressed by his gumption, gave Glomgold a dime just like he’d gotten so long ago. Instead of being inspired, Glomgold throws it back at him. The shoe shining cost a dollar! Scrooge refuses to pay and that sets Glomgold down his dark path.
While Glomgold didn’t have to turn into a power hungry duck obsessed with wealth you can still see where he came from. Scrooge denied him what he was worth. His anger all stemmed from there. The rejection he wasn’t even worth a basic wage.
It’s no wonder the trippy dream sequence featured so many dark, shadowy spaces. There’s a lot to read into that dream (which I’m sure the season will return to) but on the surface it seems to be about Glomgold and Scrooge’s relationship. How Scrooge’s one selfish action made Glomgold into who he is. A shadow of Srooge, doing everything he can to become the man Scrooge is but better. All because Scrooge wouldn’t pay him. He wants what was denied to him so long ago.
This brings up some socioeconomic commentary the series needed to address at some point. As wonderful as having a wealthy main character in your main cast is, it would be irresponsible for DuckTales to not engage with the idea of what money does to a person. How greed can bring out the worst in you.
For Scrooge, it brought an ego that created his mortal enemy. An ego so large that when confronted by Glomgold at the end of th eepisode he doesn’t just walk away. He agrees to Glomgold’s ridiculous contest. He doesn’t think of all the people who’d be effected if he loses, he’s only thinking of himself.
Under the radar DuckTales is setting up a shockingly nuanced portrayal of how wealth corrupts. How those who have wealth can become increasingly shortsighted to the needs of others around them. How wealth can, in many ways, destroy your basic morals.
Glomgold was on the verge of happiness with his memory loss but his anger at Scrooge kept him from it. The anger driven by the need to be better. The need for wealth. The need to destroy anyone and anything to be wealthy and keep your wealth.
While the first two episodes of this season felt a little like treading water (even if the first episode did set up an emotional arc for the season), here we have a spectacular plot arc to follow. One that also contains some heavy commentary that I’m honestly shocked was allowed to be included in a show that’s made by such a mega corporation like Disney.
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My hat goes off to Colleen Evanson for an incredible script. The one-liners in this episode were DuckTales perfection. Jason Zurek’s direction along with storyboards by Mike Morris, Sebastian Duclos, and Sam King were truly a stand out. The Glomgold dream sequence alone was stunning. The final confrontation between Scrooge and Glomgold crackled with energy and tension.
With Glomgold positioned as the second season’s biggest antagonist we are in for some incredible episodes ahead. Bring ‘em on!
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “Get your fish hands off me you filthy fisherman.”“Whoa whoa whoa. Fisherperson.”“I mean your name is Mann, man.”
– “The company was spending A LOT on sharks.”
– “Currrseeee you rope!”
– “His life is like a haiku.”“Yeah, it’s fake garbage that structurally makes no sense!”
– “Nationality, the most Scottish???”