This DuckTales review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Season 3 Episode 12
This episode is the biggest love letter to not only Darkwing Duck but DuckTales as a franchise. It’s filled with reference after reference, big and small. For many fans those alone will make “Let’s Get Dangerous” a favorite. Crucially though, while this episode delights in its references it never leans on them. Yes it’s a Darkwing Duck love fest but it never forgets that it needs tell a really good Darkwing Duck story.
It manages this in something that could have easily been lost in all the nostalgia; it builds on the story DuckTales has been telling for three seasons. This isn’t just a sudden episode of a new Darkwing Duck show out of nowhere; DuckTales has been carefully sowing the seeds of this episode since the first season. It makes the Darkwing elements of this episode feel at home in the 2017 DuckTales universe.
The best example of this is when Gosalyn reveals why she’s so set on breaking into Bulba’s headquarters. She wants to get her grandfather back. Dewey instantly connects with her over this; he gets what it’s like to be looking for a missing family member. It’s a small moment but it’s a powerful one, drawing connections between the new Darkwing Duck status quo and what’s come before in the new DuckTales.
We also get a lot of reasons to love Drake/Darkwing. Instead of leaning on “hey, it’s that character adults remember from the ’90s!” this episode gives him a fantastic arc of becoming the Darkwing fans remember from the original series. Previously an actor, Drake is having a hard time living up to Launchpad, Dewey, and even his own inflated expectations of what Darkwing Duck should be. He tries to be a hero but fails miserably. Bulba gives him the respect he so desperately wants and he almost falls into the trap of having STATUS. The appearance of being a good hero makes Drake nearly dismiss Bulba’s more suspicious activities but Gosalyn helps him see the truth. He realizes helping her is the truly heroic thing to do; helping Bulba would just be pretending at being a hero.
Watching Drake grow more attached to Gosalyn, staying up all night for days trying to find a way to save her grandfather, was heart warming and instantly made me love the new Darkwing family. Gosalyn tries to be cool but she can’t help but appreciate everything Drake is doing for her, even if he was suspicious of her at first. Launchpad is just pure Launchpad, his simplistic view of heroes helping both Drake and Gosalyn. The advice he gives her is perfect.
“Anyone can do the right thing when it’s easy. But it’s what you do when things are hard that makes you a hero.”
It also brilliantly sets up the impossible dilemma she has to face at the end when she chooses between the small chance of saving her grandfather and saving the world. In the end she goes with saving the world but that doesn’t mean it was easy. Gosalyn has a lot more to work through but at least she won’t be alone.
DuckTales, as it’s done so often across its run, shows us that “family” isn’t just one thing. It can be a bumbling superhero, a terrible pilot, and a take no prisoners young duck of action. They’re a weird family but they’re a family united in love, even with all the weirdness around them. This was a glorious story to bring Darkwing Duck fully into the DuckTales universe, Gosalyn and all.
And if all that wasn’t enough, this episode also has some big plot moves for DuckTales’ ongoing arc! Bradford is revealed as a member of F.O.W.L. which sets up a huge status quo shift for the series. Will F.O.W.L. now operate more in the open? What will Scrooge do since his board can’t be trusted?
So yes, the story is great. It’s DuckTales, of course it is. But the references, oh the references. This show is no stranger to a good well-placed reference to older Disney cartoons but this episode took it to a whole other level. Is there a single scene that goes by without some kind of reference? There are big ones, like Michael Bell returning to voice Quackerjack, the memetastic “a sea monster ate my ice cream!”, Bonkers, the not so subtle acknowledgement of the great “square v. round heads” debate, but those all pale in comparison to the deepest of deep cuts.
Fluppy Dogs. Yes, that’s right. Fluppy Dogs. The deepest deep cut I think could ever be done in a Disney cartoon. The Sliders before Sliders. The interdimensional dogs of Fluppy Dogs. Someone at Disney knew they were doing an episode with alternate realities and took their shot. Bless them for it. It’s a quick reference but I love it. If you didn’t believe the people behind DuckTales love these older shows, now there’s no denying it.
There’s just so much good to talk about with this episode. Even if you aren’t a massive Darkwing Duck fan it still holds up as a top quality DuckTales episode and gives us new characters to love. I’ve said this about many DuckTales characters but more of Gosalyn, please! The world needs her!
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “This is like every dream I’ve ever had, except my hands aren’t made of waffles.”
– “What’s your favorite food?”
-“Tastes like socks and bitter regret!”
“That’s how you know it’s Haggis!”
-“Lets… Gos for it?”
“She’s Dewey-ing it!”
– “Let’s. Get. Dangerous. In. The. Safest. Way. Possible.”