This DUCKTALES review contains spoilers.
The juxtaposition of the fountain of youth with a spring break hotel is sheer elegance in its simplicity. It’s a perfect spin on a story that’s been told thousands of times but done in a way that fits right at home with the new DuckTales. It takes an old concept and breathes new life into it… which is fitting for the plot of this episode.
I love the bait and switch of making you think Scrooge and Goldie are doing to the fountain of youth only for Louie to casually discover what’s really going on back at the hotel. It feels out of nowhere but when you go back you see how well it was set up earlier. It’s the perfect mystery twist and this wasn’t even a mystery-centered episode! I thought it was just going to be another adventure with Goldie and Scrooge but nope! The episode faked me out! Instead we got an exploration of the two’s past and how there’s a lot of genuine regret about lost opportunities between them.
Scrooge and Goldie have a huge competitive streak and they’ve let it get the better of them their whole lives. Returning to their youth, both wonder if they can change the past. Let that competitive streak fall away and simply give in to their passion without the greed getting in the way. Erase the bad choices they made… but you can’t do that. You aren’t going back in time, that isn’t what the fountain of youth is. You still made those mistakes and no amount of youth is going to fix them. The two instead reject the fountain and seemingly break the cycle of their old mistakes. They own up to them and choose to take a new path.
In past Goldie episodes she had a soft spot for Scrooge but you’d be forgiven for thinking that might be an act or simply her “code” getting the way of leaving him to die. Here though I 100% believe Goldie has feelings for Scrooge and wants to make amends. This isn’t another scheme; her brief return to youth has shown her she wants to make a change. I’m sure she’ll still have a rivalry with him in the future but here we see what should be the seeds for a giant step forward in their relationship.
While the script for this episode is excellent (another winner by Madison Bateman) and lends it a lot of layers there’s of course the superb performances of David Tennant and Allison Janney that take it to another level. These are two actors at the absolute top of their game and they sell every moment between the two characters. You can hear the history in their voices, the hundreds of times they’ve crossed paths, and the hidden heartache. The casting for DuckTales has always been spot on and these two are perfect together.
Webby being along for the ride and slowly morph into a crotchety version of herself was a lot of extra fun. Sometimes the simple jokes are the best and watching Webby have to get around with Scrooge’s cane was delightful. That and Kate Micucci’s delivery of “Uncle Scrooge! And Goldie too, I guess.” Flawless.
The boys’ subplot was also hilarious and really played up the sibling rivalry between Huey and Dewey. I love how much mileage this show can get from all the different combinations of the triplets but the Huey Dewey one might be my favorite. The two aren’t as different as they might think but it’s those similarities that make their conflicts so rich.
Also of course Huey would be mad that Dewey is taller, Huey’s dream is to be the tallest with oddly proportioned legs. I’m never going to forget about that scene from last season. Why, Huey? Why?
The only element that didn’t quite work was Rockerduck. I can only assume they wanted to bring him into the current rogues line-up but he felt tacked on. I’m hoping he gets another shot because there’s a lot of potential in the character, we just didn’t see it here.
This is another win for DuckTales. An episode that revolves around the revelation that Ponce de León is ensnaring “simple minded teens” (IN FLORIDA!) would be great on its own but the work it puts in to develop Scrooge and Goldie makes it all the better. Scrooge realizes that simply going back isn’t going to fix the bad choices they made but what they can do is face the future together and be better. That’s a solid message for anyone watching.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “What? No! Your cane is part of your mystique.”
– “He’s stealing youth, Goldie. I earned each wrinkle square. It’s not fair to pawn them off on someone else. Not even a teenager.”