Episode: 210 "The 87 Cent Solution!" 5/9/19
Starring: Scrooge McDuck, Flintheart Glomgold
Costarring: Huey Duck, Webbigail Vanderquack, Zan Owlson, Manny the Headless Man Horse, Gyro Gearloose, Louie Duck, Dewey Duck, Fenton Crackshell (as Gizmoduck), Launchpad McQuack, Donald Duck, Bentina Beakley, and Roxanne Featherly
Appearances by: L’il Bulb, Bentley Buzzard, Bradford Buzzard, and Quackfaster
Plot: When 87 cents goes missing from Scrooge’s Money Bin, his descent into madness brings on concerns that he’s suffering from Gold Fever.
So, what separates Scrooge McDuck from Flintheart Glomgold? We delved into a little bit of that in “The Ballad of Duke Baloney!” (S2, E3). But it’s never been as clear as when Scrooge simply states to a dejected Glomgold, “you can never beat me because I have my family to keep me grounded.” Who cares though, right? Scrooge can smugly flaunt his family in Glomgold’s face all he wants. An unhinged, spinning off his axis Flinty is all we ever wanted and all we ever needed.
Incidentally, in an episode where the plot is retroactively manipulated through time travel, you can bypass the first three-quarters of the story and just fast forward to the funeral scene where Glomgold has his big reveal. Not that nothing of note happens during Scrooge’s descent into madness but Flinty does it soooo much better. A momentary bout with Gold Fever* (fake, real, or otherwise) is quaint compared to the burning, churning furnace of insanity fueling every essence of Glomgold’s combustible existence.
That’s the great irony of this episode. Where Scrooge strikes a mighty blow across Glomgold’s bow in their multi-episode-wager for the title of Richest Duck in the World, Flinty thoroughly outshines our hero. From the moment when Glomgold bursts through the doors of Scrooge’s faux funeral with a boombox blaring** from his shoulder, he becomes the spiritual winner of the story. I mean, Scrooge literally almost kills Launchpad and Dewey in one fell swoop and we barely remember because that “cockamany cockamaniac” tries to dance on Scrooge’s casket and loses a one-year staring contest to a baby! This is without even mentioning the devil suit unitard Flinty slips into during his time teasing*** shenanigans. Why is he wearing it and where did it come from??? Who cares? Glomgold wins!!!!
Sure, “poised, calm, and respectable” is what you build a show around. Scrooge is an amazing and wonderful character that will undoubtedly steward DuckTales through multiple seasons chock full of adventure, intrigue, and whimsy but you need a little bit of deranged lunacy sprinkled in there every once in a while. Flintheart Glomgold isn’t a new character by any stretch but the depth given to him through the disclosures in “The Ballad of Duke Baloney!” coupled with all the nonsense here have breathed new life into the ol’ plaid windbag and the show writ large.
(*) Gold Fever was first introduced in DuckTales 87’s five-part-pilot, “Treasure of the Golden Sun.” There, both Scrooge and a dusty old dog named El Capitan, display similar symptoms when the prospect of acquiring large sums of gold overwhelm their collective sanity.
(**) The song is a real world diddy called “All I Do is Win” by DK Khaled and his friends Snoop Dog, T-Pain, Ludacris, and Rick Ross.
(***) The time teaser makes its first appearance in an episode of DuckTales ‘87 aptly called “Time Teasers” where the Beagle Boys get a hold of Gyro’s invention and chaos ensues.
Maybe even more insane than everything we’ve just seen is the idea that Scrooge and Glomgold are still running the Dimes for Ducklings charity together.
Where are the rest of Duckburg’s Rogue’s Gallery of Villains? Mark Beaks is live-tweeting at Crowchella, the Beagle Boys have their own booth at Con-Con aka the Convicts Convention, while there is still no sign of Magica DeSpell… dun, dun DUNNNN!!!!
Despite being thoroughly overshadowed, Scrooge may have still delivered the line of the episode: “I took my own advice and listened to my family.”
We need an episode dedicated to exploring the origins and exploits of Chester the Interdimensional Imp.
Zan Owlson pacifies Flinty with a lollipop because he’s a SUCKER!
Speaking of Owlson, what’s her deal? She misspeaks at one point, lending credence to the idea that she’s really a wolf in sheep’s clothing and may be looking to out-scheme Glomgold in some sort of corporate takeover of Glomgold Industries. Afterall, owls are predators…
All this talk of Richest Duck in the World begs the question: is there a Richest Dog or Pig and are they richer than Scrooge???
“Rest in Profit” is a fitting epitaph for Scrooge.
If you’re keeping track of the status of Donald’s oft-destroyed boat/home, it looks to be repaired and docked in the McDuck Manor pool.
Episode: 209 "The Outlaw Scrooge McDuck!" 5/8/19
Starring: Scrooge McDuck, Louie Duck, and Goldie O’Glit
Costarring: Gyro Gearloose
Appearances by: Johnny Ottoman
Featuring: Sheriff Marshal “Deputy” Cabrera, John D. Rockerduck, and Jeeves
Setting: Gumption and Duckburg
Plot: Spurred by Louie’s bout with laziness, Scrooge regales the lad with a tale of grit and determination from his time as a prospector in the old west.
While the action takes place firmly in the past, the needle of this episode points straight to Louie and toward his future. No one works harder than Scrooge and he has been doing his darnedest to guide Louie’s ever burgeoning, yet concerning, entrepreneurial streak. Ever since he first hatched the idea of Louie Incorporated, Scrooge has taken a particular interest in his most mercurial nephew.
It seems that Scrooge and Louie were always meant to be at odds. No one is grittier or relishes the work that wroughts success more than Scrooge. Meanwhile, Louie famously bemoans his Uncle’s verve while espousing for “more treasure and less hunting” in "The Most Dangerous Game… Night!" (S2, E1).* What brings on this episode’s trip down memory lane is Louie’s failure to overcome the insurmountable obstacle of a five-person-deep line at the patent office. Despite all the encouragement and resources offered by Scrooge, Louie is determined to give up and squander the skills and opportunities that are right at his feather-tips.
Our trip to early 1900s Gumption isn’t just a rollicking good time in the Old West.** It also provides subtext and lays out a three-pronged fork-in-the-road of possibilities for Louie Duck. What will he glean from his Uncle’s yarn? Will he follow Scrooge’s path of… gumption while methodically and arduously pickaxing his way to success? Or, will he con prosperity right out from under the unsuspecting hoi polloi like robber baron, John D. Rockerduck? Mid-episode, I’d have put my money here since Louie already exhibited his natural gift for deception while manipulating his entire family in the aforementioned "The Most Dangerous Game… Night!"
Yes, this is all derivative of the “Storkulese in Duckburg!” (S2, E5)*** write-up. We keep circling the same questions: Is Louie a young Scrooge in training, is he a con-man, a super villain… blah, blah, blah… or something else? Well, I think we finally stumbled upon that “something else” with the proverbial, yet-to-be-discussed, third-prong. Louie is a Goldie. After hearing the tale of Gumption, his first move is to contact the duck who most inspires him and who he’d most like to follow in their webbed-foot steps.
So, what is a “Goldie?” You can say she’s a con-woman just like Rockerduck but it’s not that simple. Rockerduck isn’t into the art of the con as much as he’s into accumulating wealth off the backs of others - he bludgeons communities to death and moves onto the next. As Scrooge puts it, Goldie is a "shifty operator." Much like Scrooge appreciates the hunt, Goldie O’ Glit loves the game. She truly values her relationship with Scrooge and has some real feelings for him but she also sees him as a bottomless resource of wealth and affection. Goldie’s greatest skill is her charm while her greatest asset is Scrooge’s acquiescence to almost gleefuly play along with her. She’s a challenge, one that he knows he’s going to lose, but Scrooge doesn’t care because he loves her and it’s fun.
It’s easy to see why Goldie resonates so much with Louie. Just like with Harp-B-Gone (a subsidiary of Louie Inc.), he draws more pleasure from gaming the system than beating it. Scrooge noted that his best attribute is “seeing all the angles” and there are just too many for Louie to merely take the straight line. In short, he needs run things "more shiftily." But most importantly, like Goldie, he loves Scrooge and sees becoming a lifelong pain in his Uncle’s pinfeathers as the most meaningful and enjoyable way of having a relationship. And, Scrooge will be all too willing to accept that challenge.
(*) We’ve been wondering what this season’s arc would be and it was there all along since the very first episode: it’s Louie Duck’s Origin Story. Sure, it’s probably more the Della/Mars thing but, like Season 1 belonged to Dewey, Season 2 is alll Louie.
(**) Seriously, enough can’t be said about how awesome and well done the whole Gumption story is. The narrative method of Scrooge telling an "old timey story" will never get... old. This is also a perfect example of how an episode can serve both character and story without sacrificing either.
(***) Just read that one again. It was so much better. Like most trilogies, the third is always the weakest (not the actual episodes but my reviews).
John and Randy of Ottoman Empire fame have had a falling out. Hence, Johnny is hosting alone. Who cares? -or- something deeper at play?
Some of the businesses/buildings in Gumption are The Mad Haberdashery (a play on The Mad Hatter), Tooth Puller,, Gumption Junction, Murray’s Mercantile, Nest Western, Wells Fargoose, and the Jail.
Sheriff Marshal Cabrera is a distant relative of Gyro’s intern, Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera.
As a further allusion to Fenton, Marshall utters “blathering blatherskite” and fashions himself a makeshift Gizmosuit made from parts of Gyro’s wooden rocket horses.
John D. Rockerduck is a parody of John D. Rockefeller. Although, it’s in name only. Unlike robber baron, Rockerduck, Rockefeller made his fortune in oil while also establishing modern philanthropy and countless foundations focusing on education, science, and the arts.
Jeeves, Rockerduck’s muscle, is an amalgamation of James Bond henchmen, Oddjob and Jaws.
Gyro time travels through his invention, the time tub. This is a callback to DuckTales ‘87 episodes “Time Teasers” and “Sir Gyro de Gearloose” where the time tub features prominently.
Among some of Louie’s half-baked ideas for Louie Inc. are a baby mop, a chopstick fan, a nap ‘n’ go (the previously mentioned bed-on-wheels), funnel glasses, and chapstick butter.
Episode: 208 "Treasure of the Found Lamp!" 5/7/19
Starring: Scrooge McDuck, Webbigail Vanderquack, Louie Duck, Dewey Duck, and Huey Duck
Costarring: Ma Beagle, Duckworth, Selene, Charybdis, Gladstone Gander, Doofus Drake, Bentina Beakley, Mr. Drake, Mrs. Drake, Big Time, Burger, and Bouncer
Appearances by: Johnny Ottoman and Randy Ottoman
Setting: Duckburg and Ithaquack
Plot: When a mysterious figure comes calling for his lost lamp, Scrooge and Webby must distract him while the nephews attempt to track it down.
Value is subjective. What may be a priceless family heirloom to some is just a “cheap bauble” to others. Value can also meander between the material and the abstract. It’s a fluid concept that plays out through the contrasting worth Djinn and Scrooge place on the (found… lost… and then found again) Lamp of the First Genie.
Djinn doesn’t value the lamp itself for monetary or magical reasons. For Djinn, it’s purely sentimental. He cherishes his family’s history and believes that “treasure’s greatest value lies in the stories it can tell us.” The lamp symbolizes the love between his great (x7!) grandmother who found the lamp at a bazaar (how bizarre...), fell in love with its genie, and wished for his freedom so they could live a life together. For Djinn, this is the story that gives the lamp meaning.
We know Scrooge places value on items; be they monetary (money… duh) or sentimental/magical (his #1 Dime). This is why it’s curious that Scrooge has discarded so many of the treasures he’s collected through his various adventures to his Wing of Secrets (aka the McDuck Manor garage). I’d venture to guess it has something to do with the ten-year funk he fell into following the disappearance of Della. It’s such a waste to let so many cool items just collect dust in the dark - without a story, without a care.
In a bit of a throwback to the original series, Scrooge actually gleans a lesson from his experience and acts on it in a productive and meaningful way. Inspired by Djinn’s quest, Scrooge opens the Adventures Wing of the Duckburg museum which will house many of his treasures otherwise collecting dust in the aforementioned Wing of Secrets. Now, artifacts such as the famed Candy Striped Ruby** or the giant disc from the Valley of the Golden Sun*** will be on display in the aptly titled Relics from a Forgotten Time exhibit. Just like the Lamp of the First Genie, Scrooge’s treasures can now be given proper value through the sharing of their stories.
(*) In fact, we first see the Lamp of the First Genie in the Wing of Secrets all the way back in “Woo-oo,” the series’ pilot episode.
(**) A gift from the King of Rippan Taro Island. This treasure first appeared in the story “Many Happy Returns” from the series of DuckTales (2011) comic books.
(***) Of which we first saw all the way back in the pilot, “Woo-oo!” But, more famously, it’s from the epic, five-part pilot of DuckTales ‘87, “Treasure of the Golden Sun.”
The lamp gains its powers on the “eve of the Ifrit’s dawn.” An Ifrit is a supernatural creature from Arabic lore and legend.
Here’s a list of the many references to DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1980):
Djinn mistakes the television show, Ottoman Empire, for the real life Ottoman Empire of which ruled parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa for over six centuries from 1299 through 1924… while also trying to destroy his ancestors and steal the lamp.
At Louie’s Emporium, you can see red, green, and tangerine coloured shirts hanging in the background. While red and green have always been Huey and Louie’s respective colours, Dewey would often wear a tangerine coloured shirt in the classic shorts.
Duckworth’s demonic dragon friend is named “Francis.”
Duckworth’s vacation shirt has the same colour and pattern as Lilo’s mumu from Lilo and Stitch.
Louie, true to character, snatches a diamond from Gladstone’s ice bucket while simultaneously denying the offer and lamenting that “there’s no time for that.”
Gladstone’s new home (the blimp he received in return for trading the lamp to Doofus) features a large painting of what looks like a robed male and female duck enrapt in a passionate hug and kiss. The significance, if any, eludes me.
Doofus is such a weirdo. He forces his parents to dance to him playing the theremin for over an hour all whilst he’s wearing roller skates. Then, he reveals he’s been using the lamp as a syrup boat for his one-man-flapjack-jamboree.
In the junkyard, Djinn refers to himself as “Faris Djinn.” In Arabic, Faris translates to knight or horseman.
The only discernible beagles to make an appearance, other than Ma, are Big Time, Burger, and Bouncer.
Scrooge and Ma Beagle, scurrying up the column of garbage in a race to procure the lamp is an homage to the famous clip of Scrooge and Flintheart Glomgold making a similar climb from the DuckTales ‘87 title sequence. That scene, though, is from the episode, “Master of the Dijinni.”
Episode: 207 "Whatever Happened to Della Duck!" 3/10/19
Starring: Della Duck
Featuring: Lieutenant Penumbra and General Lunaris
Setting: The Moon
Plot: After a crash landing on the Moon, Della must learn to survive the elements of the moon.
The show does a smart thing here. Integrating Della Duck in with her family and into the story in general could prove to be difficult and awkward.* That’s why introducing Della with her own bottle episode, of sorts, where she spends the vast majority of the episode all by her lonesome doing her best version of Castaway or The Martian provides her the room to spread her wings and give her character a chance to breathe on its own.
Even smarter, the story steers away from the inevitability of reuniting with her family and, instead, launches into a Della-on-the-moon storyline where she starts the process of integrating with the mysterious, not-to-be-trusted civilization of moon people. Perhaps, this could even serve as our yet-to-be-determined story arc of season two.**
So, who is Della Duck? We already know she’s a bit reckless and impulsive. Afterall, she did commandeer a not-yet-ready rocketship to space all while her unhatched eggs are left at home, incubating without her. Though, by her preoccupation with and dedication to returning home to the sons she’s never met, it’s safe to say that she’s not beyond regretting that fateful decision. Della’s also a bit of a composite of her family, exhibiting traits of everyone:
(*) I’ve mentioned this multiple times already but I don’t think we’re putting enough consideration into how much Della’s presence (as the boys’ mother) really changes the very fabric of the show. At its core, Ducktales is about the relationship between Scrooge and his young nephews - Della’s reemergence really undermines Scrooge’s role as their chief parental figure.
(**) Which will ultimately lead to Della returning home where she will accidentally let slip that there’s a Moon city made of gold which will then lead to Scrooge leading an expedition to extract said gold from the city resulting in an intergalactic war between the McDucks and the Moon people.
Due to it being trapped under her ship, Della cuts off her leg (off screen) and fashions a new one made of scrap metal.
The oft-mentioned Moon Theme from the 8-bit DuckTales video game features prominently but, most notably, when we learn she added words to the tune to create a lullaby that she used to sing to the unhatched boys.
I don’t think we will or should ever get a “who’s-the-boys’- father?” storyline. I have no evidence for this but I feel like, in this world, that female ducks just lay eggs independently of “male companionship” and that the father is just whoever the mother happens to be in a relationship with (if at all) during the hatching.
Della celebrates the boys’ birthday one year after the crash. Were they actually born the day of the crash??? Or, is she just nuts at this point?
This episode closes a few loopholes too:
“A mother would do anything for the sake of her kids!”… except, of course, forego a dangerous mission to space in an unready rocketship within months of their hatching *shrugs*