Episode: 19 "The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck!" 7/21/18
Starring: Lena, Webby Vanderquack, Scrooge McDuck, Louie Duck, Magica De Spell, Huey Duck, and Dewey Duck
Costarring: Bentina Beakley
Introducing: the Sword Horse
Setting: Duckburg (McDuck Manor)
Plot: Lena and Magica are, once again trying to steal Scrooge’s Number One Dime while Louie and a bigfoot attempt to out-con one another.
Yay!!! Lena finally turns on Magica, putting her allegiance firmly in league with Webby and the McDuck camp! But, wait… it doesn’t matter because Magica’s shadow somehow commandeers her body before Lena could warn Scrooge??? So, WE know that Lena is now 100% good but no one else does except for Magica. Therefore, we get to deal with the frustrating plot device of a Magica-as-Lena/Freaky Friday scenario for AT LEAST one more episode. Boooo!!! Much like Lena, I’m also starting to feel a bit like a puppet, subject to the whims and frustrating fancies of drawn out storytelling.
Lena’s character and story arc are built entirely upon Magica and her revenge plot against Scrooge. Throughout her four-episode-run, we’ve seen Lena have moments where her loyalties could be questioned. But all the broad strokes, beginning with befriending Webby in the first place, have been under the guise of helping Magica abscond with Scrooge’s Number One Dime and carry out her “ancient blood feud” against the McDucks. As unpalatable as it as and as much as she wants to deny it, Lena is her aunt’s puppet.
In contrast with the story’s overall pacing, the proceedings are infused with a bit of urgency at the episode’s onset with the lunar eclipse* and the revelation that it provides Magica with a magical power-up. Hence, opening on the bonkers visual of Lena crouched over a sleeping Scrooge McDuck, frantically attempting to cut his Number One Dime from around his neck. The powers from the eclipse are such that it’s forcing their hand to strike-while-the-iron’s-hot. However, this air of desperation also breeds sloppiness. While he doesn’t suspect Lena, Scrooge’s suspicions are immediately roused and precipitate the moving of the Dime from around his neck and into the “other bin.”
The turning point in realizing she’s Magica’s puppet occurs when Lena stumbles into Scrooge’s Worry Room* and gets enchanted by the dreamcatcher, revealing her worst nightmare. It isn’t her aunt that she fears most, nor is it the forfeiture of her freedom (whatever that means) but it’s the shame from betraying a friend that cuts Lena the deepest – especially the notion that she has been using Webby*** as her own puppet much in the same way Magica has been manipulating her. Lena finally sees herself as the monster Magica is and it breaks her.
Lena is a character who was built for change. Sure, it’s obvious and we all saw it coming a mile away but it’s still satisfying when done in such a thoughtful and meaningful way. Now, with the intrigue of “will she or won’t she” taken off the table, it’s time to resolve the “centuries old blood feud” between the McDucks and De Spells. While I’m sure that Webby and Lena will factor in heavily, I anxiously await Scrooge and Magica going bill-to-bill, web-to-web.
(*) I posited a few reviews ago that the Della and the Spear of Selene and Magica’s storyline may be connected. My theory is even more resolute with the inclusion and importance of the lunar eclipse. Because, if you remember, Selene is the Moon Goddess while Della was an astronaut back in the comics. It’s all connected… and the moon is the spear that intersects these threads.
(**) Scrooge’s Worry Room was an invention of Carl Barks’ while also appearing in DuckTales '87. It’s charm lies in the dirt worn path resulting from Scrooge’s circular pacing.
(***) It's fitting that Webby turns into her Quackypatch doll because it's come to symbolize everything that made Webby such a lame character in '87 while highlighting what a delight she's become.
We learn from Webby’s reading of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck (a real life serialized collection of comics by Don Rosa) that Scrooge was hatched in Scotland in 1867. Without factoring in Scrooge’s time spent in alternate dimensions or literally frozen in time (while also assuming that the show takes place in 2018), this would make his age 151-years-young.
There is a poster of Darkwing Duck in the nephews’ room.
The Bigfoot subplot is truly zany. So, Huey finds a bigfoot in the forest with an injured foot and then brings him home to live at McDuck Manor. It turns out this “Bigfoot” is merely some bro named Gavin who is conning Huey just to get access to McDuck Manor so he could throw a rager. This begs the questions: if Duckburg is home to a species of civilized Bigfeet, how does Huey not know this and why is there a naked one just hanging out in the forest???
"Louie’s Kids" is a fake charity that Louie has tricked Donald into donating to for the past three years while pocketing the money for himself. This is a play on Jerry Lewis’ “Jerry’s Kids” which was a charity that helped kids affected by Muscular Dystrophy.
The painting of Scrooge fighting a Minotaur evokes the episode Raiders of the Lost Harp where a giant Minotaur statue crosses the ocean to wreak havoc on Duckburg.
Huey slapping Tenderfeet and telling him to “go back from whence he came” is a reference to the 1987 bigfoot comedy Harry and the Hendersons. Much like here, it’s about a family that brings an injured Sasquatch named Harry home to live with them until the situation becomes untenable (but not before much hilarity ensues). Anyway, while encouraging Harry to go back home to the forest, the patriarch of the family slaps him and yells at him to “GOOOOOOOO!!!”