This DUCKTALES review contains spoilers.
It’s hard not to tie your work to your self worth. You spend countless hours pouring your talent and love into something and when someone rejects it, it can be so much more than them simply not liking what you made. It can feel like they’re rejecting you. It makes you not want to show your work to anyone, to keep it hidden. The more you do it, the more you also want to hide yourself. If people don’t like (or understand) your work, they won’t like or understand you… right?
It’s no wonder Gandra Dee retreated from the world in today’s DuckTales. She had big ideas but because they weren’t understood she just wanted to go it alone… but that also explains why she ended up with Fenton. While he’s never been quite as closed off as Gandra, you can still feel that reluctance. He has so many ideas and even his fellow scientists give him grief for it. It’d be easy for him to retreat into himself like Gandra and to hide his work from the world… but Fenton can’t.
He knows what he’s making with Gandra can help the world. Fenton is such a loveable character because despite the reluctance and knowledge people don’t quite understand him; he still wants to make the world a better place. It helps he has people like his mother and Huey and his life, people who encourage him in their own ways.
Gandra doesn’t have that. We don’t know a lot about her backstory but it’s telling that when she could only get support from F.O.W.L. she drew more inward. She didn’t have love, she had maliciousness all around her. Gandra and Fenton are two sides of the same coin, what happens when you have love and support and what happens when you don’t.
Crucically though, and this makes me adore Fenton somehow even more than I already did, he can see this is the case. He sees through Gandra working for F.O.W.L. and loves her despite her past. Just because you’ve done something wrong doesn’t make you a bad person. People’s stories are far more complicated than a one line, “SHE WORKS FOR AN EVIL ORGANIZATION!” When we look deeper we can see so much more. With love and encouragement we can help pull others out of their darkness, from the judgment of others… and the judgment of themselves.
That’s what was truly going on with Gandra. Yes she was afraid of what others thought but deep down she let their words become her own voice. Critical, judgmental, afraid… of herself. The episode glosses over her experiments on herself but what could be a better representation of that kind of negative self-talk? I won’t go so far as to say she was hurting herself but those experiments DID put her in harm’s way… although after everything she dealt with in life it’s easy to understand why.
It’d be easy to say it’s all thanks to Fenton loving her that got her to break out of this but that’s only part of it. We need the support of others to get that critical voice to not be quite as loud but Gandra made the decision on her own to start working against that. To get herself out of the situation she was in… and to start trusting others. It also took Mark Beaks taking over a virtual reality space and trying to steal someone else’s ideas once again but hey, sometimes we need an outside push.
‘Beaks in the Shell’ really brought DuckTales back to our screens in top form. The use of Huey balanced out the more dramatic elements with his hilariously inept attempts at lying. Bringing Louie in to try and lie for him was unexpected yet perfect (Gyro referring to the triplets by color is fantastic.) The girl with the ‘Horse Enthusiast’ shirt made me laugh way harder than I expected. The always fantastic Mark Beaks made an excellent villain and I’m continually amazed how DuckTales can take comedic villains and still keep them so threatening.
The other big winner of the episode was Officer Cabrera. This is a mom you don’t mess with. Her dynamic with Fenton is so good because while she’s a very overprotective mother her actions never come off as anything but coming from a place of love. She also can understand Manny and seems to talk to him regularly? Give me their story DuckTales, please!
And of course when Huey realized he could make ANYTHING in the GizmoCloud he made himself a superhero… with super long legs. Thank you for that brilliant callback, DuckTales. Never let the dream die, Huey. Never.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
-“I’m your mother. I don’t sleep until you do.”
-“My hot new software update is guaranteed to reduce the chance of your Waddlephone catching fire by a jaw dropping seven percent, bringing it down to a solid 50/50.”
– “Curses, I’m totally relaxed now.”
-“Are you some kind of interrogation expert?”
“Worse. I’m a mother.”
-“SOME CANADIANS ARE FRENCH!”