Episode: 220 "The Golden Armory of Cornelius Coot!" 9/6/19
Starring: Webby Vanderquack, Della Duck, Huey Duck, Dewey Duck, Louie Duck, Launchpad McQuack, Big Time Beagle, and Ma Beagle
Costarring: Emily Quackfaster, Bouncer Beagle, and Burger Beagle
Setting: Duckburg (Fort Duckburg and Launchpad's Hangar)
We’ve spent a lot of energy discussing the triplets’ similarities, expectations, and tensions in bonding with their mom, Della Duck. But it’s Webby who best embodies Della’s Type-A, “don’t-think-let’s-go!” spirit. This is why cracking the lone, unsolved mystery from Della’s old journal is such an enticing challenge and measuring stick for Webby. Where is the Golden Armory of Cornelius Coot and what “untold treasure, undiscovered history, and unparalleled adventure” awaits her?
During his defense of Fort Duckburg, “Coot was like a ghost. He was everywhere and nowhere.” His musket fire came from all directions” in warding off the militia of over sixty Beagles. Like Coot, Della’s legend precedes her. Webby isn’t so much interested in Coot and his treasure as she is in following in her footsteps and, better yet, besting her. With Della’s journal in tow, Webby leads the Duck boys on a subterranean Goonies-esque treasure hunt, complete with a bumbling crime family hot on their tails.
Once reaching Coot’s armory, the gang discovers that his treasure is nothing more than a stockpile of corn. They also figure out that this corn, once popped, supplied the phantom musket shots that scared off the Beagles. Despite solving the mystery of Coot’s Armory as well as warding off the Beagle Boys, Webby sees this mission as a failure since there is no real “top secret family treasure.” Webby laments that she “could never stack up to the legend” of Della because of all that she accomplished by the time she was her age. Della’s not having it though and stresses to Webby that “you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone” and that she “just has to be Webby” and continue to “have her own way of doing things that are unique and special.”
This is a relationship that has a lot of potential. While Webby has always idolized the entire McDuck family, the notion of having a female kindred spirit of Della’s caliber could be especially meaningful. Of course she has her granny who’s lived an entire lifetime of daring and adventure as a spy but Della can provide a more generationally conducive mentorship outside the constraints of guardianship.
As tour guide and historian of Fort Duckburg, Mrs. Quackfaster adds a third job (Scrooge’s archivist and Duckburg Public Library librarian) to her resume.
The plaque on Coot’s statue reads:
“Here Stands Cornelius Coot. Great hero who vanquished the brutes and founded our Duckburg fair. To him we dedicate this square.”
Cornelius Coot first appears in Carl Barks’ Donald Duck comic “Statuesque Spendthrifts” (1952) but is established as Donald Duck’s great-great grandfather in Don Rosa’s Uncle Scrooge’s Adventures comic “His Majesty, McDuck” (1989). Like Webby says here, he is from the boys’ non-McDuck side.
Della’s old journal has that pointy “S” on the cover that all middle school kids from all generations inexplicably doodle.
Her journal’s contents include a list of solved mysteries that may be in reference to Scrooge tales of yore:
It’s a bummer that it’s been established and reconfirmed here by Della that Launchpad is a “bad pilot” and doesn’t know what he’s doing at all. In DT 87, LP still crashed every flight but he was also proven to be an amazing pilot and an accomplished mechanic.
LP mentions that him and the Sunchaser have been through “hundreds… thousands of crashes together.” That’s A LOT since LP has only been Scrooge’s pilot for a little over a year.
Because of his failures as a criminal, beagle, and son, Big Time Beagle has been excommunicated from the gang by Ma Beagle.
“Treasure (Louie)! Adventure (Dewey)! Historical accuracy (Huey)!” This exchange of exclamations accurately and succinctly describes each triplet.
Nibbles is introduced as LP’s pet hamster who provides a turbo boost to the Sunchaser by running in a hamster wheel.
Launchpad saving the day by intentionally crashing his way out of the cave mirrors the climax in “Beware the B.U.D.D.Y. System” (S1, E11) when he deliberately t-bones the car being driven by B.U.D.D.Y.
While it’s not the romance most fans have been clamoring for, it’s nice to see Della and LP bond as she learns to appreciate his unique approach to flying only after shredding his piloting skills to pieces earlier in the episode.
I don’t know why it just dawned on me (although, maybe I’m just forgetting) but this Launchpad is essentially Andy from Parks and Recreation - lovable idiot with a heart of gold while adding consistent, scene-stealing hilarity.