Episode: 314 "Escape from the ImpossiBin!” 10/26/20
Starring: Scrooge McDuck, Della Duck, Louie Duck, Mrs. Beakley, Webby Vanderquack, Huey Duck, Dewey Duck, Donald Duck, and Bradford Buzzard
Costarring: Lil Bulb, Gandra Dee, Goldie O’Gilt, Vero, Aletheia, Darkwing Duck, Gene the Genie, and the Phantom Blot
Setting: Duckburg (McDuck Manor and The Money Bin)
After last week’s much ballyhooed sojourn into St. Canard, this episode is a much needed palate cleanser that recalibrates us, and the McDuck family, for the second half of the season. Since Bradford Buzzard has been exposed as the proverbial fox in the henhouse, F.O.W.L. has also managed to vulture all of the Missing Mysteries that the McDucks had previously found. But before “the greatest family of adventurers and treasure hunters of all time” can return the relics to their rightful place and foil F.O.W.L. once and for all, they must get on the same page for the fight ahead.
Scrooge is feeling vulnerable and betrayed… and for good reason. Bradford “knows everything about (him), (his) business, and (his) weaknesses.” But he’s “smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies” so Scrooge’s immediate response is to outwork his new rival by testing out the Money Bin’s vaunted security system. To do so, he’s enlisted the help of “the two most cunning individuals (he) knows” - Della and Louie to try to find any weaknesses in its defense. He truly runs them through the gamut too. The two must contend with a room full of ultraviolet saw blades, anti-gravitational runes, a time loop room, a tentacle monster, and even a robot made in the image of “the greatest warrior of the past century,” Scrooge himself.
But it’s Scrooge’s boner of forgetting the password to the security system that proves to be the biggest threat to the trio. I’ve mentioned this before but you have to wonder if Scrooge’s age is starting to get the best of him. But, when Bradford manages to commandeer the Scrooge-bot with the help of Gandra Dee, the family is able to rally back by using their experience and knack for adventuring to ward off the attack.
Meanwhile, at McDuck Manor, Mrs. Beakley and Webby have begun training Huey, Dewey, and Donald to become “the best prepared defense team of all time.” Like Scrooge, Webby and Mrs. B are pushing things to the limit. Poor Huey and Dewey are a bit soft and ill-prepared compared to the hard-boiled intensity of Webby. In fact, after Huey becomes overwhelmed and is reduced to tears due to Webby’s psychological and physical warfare, she starts to question the methods of her granny. However, Beakley doesn’t back down, continuing to stress the seriousness of the threat that F.O.W.L poses.
This results in the two engaging in prolonged physical combat that is, as Dewey puts it, both “exciting and horrifying.” While emotional (she even wipes away a few tears), Beakley is steely in her resolve that this is the best method in which to prepare the children for what lies ahead. Even Donald objects to her no-holds-barred approach. But it’s not until Webby parries one of her kicks, resulting in Mrs. Beakley nearly falling off the roof of McDuck Manor, that she comes to her senses.
The biggest takeaway from all of this is, despite their typical brand of cocksure bluster, that Beakley is scared and so is Scrooge. They know more about the diabolical nature of F.O.W.L. than anyone else and they were both willing to put their family in harm’s way to prepare them. But it’s the kids who set them right. Webby correctly states that “we won’t get stronger by attacking the people we love.” Going forward, they will depend on the strength of their bond as a family and their like experience in adventuring. The McDuck family is “done playing defensively.” No more hunkering down in the Money Bin and/or McDuck Manor... they’re “ready to fight.”
Beakley declares that F.O.W.L. was long thought to have been eliminated by agents of S.H.U.S.H. Lest we forget, Beakley, known as Agent 22, was once a member of S.H.U.S.H and in “The Secret Case Files of Agent #22!” (S1, E17) we were taken back in time to when Scrooge, as a freelancer, teamed up with 22 to work a case.
Appearing on Beakley’s and Webby’s dry erase board of “Potential Traitors” are Lil Bulb, “Uncle” Donald, Fenton, Bluescreen Beagle, and “Louie.” Most intriguing is the character of Bluescreen of whom we’ve never heard mentioned, nor have we met. Even more curious is his role as a traitor since that would mean that he would have to be in league with Scrooge and not his assumed association with the Beagle Boys. I’d also guess that he’s some sort of computer hacker because, you know… like the dreaded Blue Screen of Death that Windows users are all too familiar with.
While not appearing this episode, the presence of both Gyro Gearlosse and Mrs. Quackfaster loom large since their “dementedly dangerous” minds are what’s responsible for the ImpossiBin’s many traps.
The Ancient Rosa Runes are in homage to Don Rosa who took up the mantle of scribing and illustrating the Uncle Scrooge comics after Don Barks retired.
Della’s ire for Gyro is so pointed and, dare I say, passionate you would almost guess they had some kind of history… but then Della mentions her resentment over the liquorice flavoured gum that KEPT HER ALIVE for a decade (seriously, she should be grateful).
Among the books that Louie pulls in Quackfaster’s Archive are the following:
During Webby and Beakley’s battle, you can see a Ziggy Starduck poster on the wall… an obvious reference to David Bowie.
One small detail that can’t be overlooked is that Louie successfully made the dive into Scrooge’s money! All the way back in “The Great Dime Chase!” (S1, E3), we learned that performing the iconic plunge is no small feat that takes “muscles and dexterity” lest you’d risk “cracking your skull!” Louie truly has learned a thing or two from his uncle.
While the McDucks were distracted with the Bin and training, the Eggheads stole the Harp of Mervana, Steelbeak pilfered the Solego Circuit, and the Phantom Blot took Gene the Genie.
This version of Darkwing Duck has his first encounter with Steelbeak who was one of his main villains from DW ‘91. And, from the looks of it, Steelbeak beat DW up but good.
Poor Fenton… we always knew that Sandra Dee wasn’t what she presented herself as but you have to wonder how legitimate her feelings for Fenton are and how that will play out in the future.