This DUCKTALES review contains spoilers.
I had a grin on my face from the start of this DuckTales episode to the end. The premise of this outing was a winner from the jump; the family all-splitting up to find three different pieces of the titular split sword of swanstantine. It’s a simple “find the macguffin” story that could have been routine but DuckTales has its characters to fall back on. The team behind the show have done so much work developing these characters over the last three seasons that simply watching them in these “mini-ventures” was a pure delight.
Webby and Dewey was a likely pairing which the show has used time and again but the added element of action out of a video game let us see different sides of them. The added complication of the two being functionally blind lead to some fantastic interplay, with Webby unsure how to proceed without sizing up the situation and Dewey wildly leaping into everything. It also gave us the best quotes of the episode which you’ll find in the quote section below. To the DuckTales writers, having Dewey add his name to everything is one of your best jokes and it never fails. Please keep using it.
Louie and Violet was an unexpected pairing to be sure but one that produced fantastic results. The layers of story and character in this mini-venture were rich, with the implication that Louie’s lying has somehow reached across the world. That’s perfect for him but then seeing it called out and finally having to live up to those boasts? That challenged him and it’s in that kind of challenge that the three of the plots in this episode had depth despite their short length.
Like Webby earlier with her usual action hero strategy, when Louie’s in his comfort zone (lying) no one can touch him. Here though he’s backed into a corner and, though Violet saves him, realizes that eventually all these lies can come back to hurt him. Of course Louie pushes it to the back of his mind for now but Violet makes it clear, there’s power in truth and actually being able to do the things you boast about. Louie is going to have to find a new go-to strategy if he doesn’t want to be downing more deadly foods in the future.
Pairing up Lena with Huey was an unexpected break from the usual Webby/Lena/Violet team and it produced fantastic results. When the two are confronted by Steelbeak, Lena manages to stop time (a great display of her magical powers) and Huey’s first thought is to run infinite simulations on how to get out of the situation. It’s the perfect Huey plan that his brothers would just roll their eyes at, but Lena, being a relative outsider, can see deeper than that with the help of her powers.
We learn that Huey keeps his pure emotions locked up inside his mind, terrified they’ll get in the way of his thinking. This is a huge revelation for the character that makes me love him even more. As much as Huey likes to portray himself as the wiser and sensible one of the group, he does have wild emotions like his brothers. He’s just ashamed of them. There’s a lot I could read into here but the thing that stands out most is he takes an enormous amount pride in his more analytical side. He looks down on his more emotional brothers and is afraid that, if his wild side comes out, he’d have no leg to stand on. He’d be the type of person he always complains about… and secretly fears.
It’s a rich bit of characterization made all the better by Lena imparting lessons she’s picked up over the course of the show. That you can’t ignore the parts of yourself you don’t like or are afraid of. You have to embrace them because they’re who you are. Locking them away will come back to hurt you later on… or at least cause weird dreams of having looooooooong legs. Is every bit of Huey characterization going to revolve around that joke in my eyes? Yes, yes it will.
Watching Huey attack Steelbeak was intense but it underscored an important point. You don’t just give yourself up to the sides of your personality you don’t like. Turning into a raging monster is not a good thing. Instead, you blend it into yourself. You adapt the parts of yourself you may not like for good. In Huey’s case it was defeating Steelbeak with a calm determination. It was still Huey, just with a little more take charge to him. Hopefully we see more of this in the future.
What a joy of an episode. Just a solid outing all around. Even Rockerduck, who I haven’t been the biggest fan of, was fine here. As usual there were many great details, like the Glomgold poster warning, “DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS FROM THIS MAN.” Violet and Lena still being in their pajamas because Scrooge dragged the kids out on the adventure was a genius reveal after his opening exposition. The “cheetahs or cheaters” line shows how much fun the team behind this show has in even the smallest of moments.
This was one of DuckTales’ breeziest episodes yet, the three mini-venture” plots the perfect way to show off a large group of characters at once. I hope the show uses this kind of structure again, especially so more of DuckTales‘ large ensemble cast can be seen again. DuckTales is great television and I hope it runs a long time so we can get more episodes like this.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
-“Consider your treasure hunt officially F.O.W.L.ed up.”
-“Prepare to get Ctrl Alt Dew-leted!”
-“Try something!” (This one is all in Violet’s delivery, which was awe-inspiring.)