This DUCKTALES review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Season 3 Episode 13
There are two central pillars at the heart of this DuckTales episode. The first is Scrooge questioning, “what if being Scrooge isn’t enough this time?” The second is “we won’t get stronger by attacking the people we love.” Both of these lessons seem separated and they are, at least in terms of being the A and B stories. However, the closer you look the more you realize how they effectively dovetail together.
They’re both framed by the families attempt to prepare for F.O.W.L. After the last Darkwing Duck special episode I’m glad we’re keeping this threat firmly in the foreground of the story and that it drives so much of the action here. Both Scrooge and Beakley are terrified of what this means for the family and they both try to prepare for F.O.W.L. in their own ways.
Scrooge attempts to bolster their defenses, preparing the Bin for a possible infiltration by having Louie and Della run through its defenses. He’s sure they’ll never make it through but soon realizes that all his preparation has been for naught. Not only do they make it past the defenses but the final robot (done in Scrooge’s own image) is hijacked by Bradford. Scrooge wasn’t prepared for this and it knocks him cold. Without being prepared for everything, without having a plan… what is he?
We’ve seen Scrooge, even when faced with possibly losing his fortune, simply pick back up and try again. He’s in his element when he has a plan and Scrooge seemingly always has a plan. Here though he doesn’t and his usual rock solid confidence is swept out from under him. Not even being the richest duck in the world, paying people MILLIONS to make this system, works. His wealth and planning meant nothing. He wonders, “what if being Scrooge isn’t enough this time?
On the other side of the story we have Beakley’s attempts to get the boys ready for an attack at any time and she uses Webby to do it. Watching her attack them in weirder and weirder ways was funny but then the episode twists it. Webby realizes with intense horror what’s going on. She’s hurting her family all in the name of keeping them safe… and she doesn’t like it.
I can understand why Beakley was pushing to make the family stronger. They are about to face their worst enemy yet and need to be prepared… but it’s rightfully pointed out, “we won’t get stronger by attacking the people we love.”
Both of these plots deal with the idea the family can’t give into fear when it comes to F.O.W.L. They can’t hole up with their defenses nor should they turn on each other, even in the face of preparing themselves. It’s a starkly relevant message in the times we’re living in, where fear from evil forces makes us want to hole up or turn on each other. Instead, DuckTales proposes a way to deal with this fear and it’s beautifully simple.
Face it head on. Do something about it. Don’t let it consume you, take action. That’s what the family does. They stop fighting each other and resolve to work together. Scrooge realizes that yes, maybe being Scrooge wasn’t enough this time but he’s got the whole family with him. If they go on the offensive they can hopefully all put a stop to F.O.W.L. Plus this gives Scrooge a new plan and he’s back in his element! Fear doesn’t have to rob you of your confidence, just find a new way to channel it into fighting back!
This was a fantastic way for DuckTales to deal with the immediate fallout of the Bradford reveal. The characters take stock, deal with their fears, and then leap forward into what I assume is the plot rest of the season. The whole thing echoed some very real world emotions which gave the episode a great deal of extra weight but it also found time to weave in some fun. By doing this, it made it’s big emotional turn land all the better.
The gags were great and the pairings of the characters were specially spot on. I love seeing this show play with all the character combos and I’ve got a soft spot for Della and Louie, especially after all they got to do together at the end of season two. Della herself is just great and I adored her stopping the saw blade with her leg but also getting flustered and angry like Donald.
I’d also be remiss to say that the first shot of Louie getting his Pep can split open was one of the funniest pieces of animation DuckTales has ever done. That look of sheer terror and then him just going for another Pep was absolute perfection. Bless this show.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
-“Is it weird that the most demented dangerous minds are all friends of ours?”
-“I am Webby, bringer of death.”
-“You’re the oldest man on Earth, why is your password not 1234???”
– “You spent my future inheritance on a robot of yourself?!”