Episode: 224/225 "Moonvasion!" 9/12/19
Starring: Scrooge McDuck, General Lunaris, Della Duck, Louie Duck, Flintheart Glomgold, Donald Duck, Mrs. Beakley, Launchpad McQuack, Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera/Gizmoduck, Jim Starling/Darkwing Duck, Gyro Gearloose, Manny the Headless Man-Horse, and Captain Penumbra
Costarring: Cousin Fethry, Gladstone Gander, Mitzy, Selene, Storkules, Zeus, Lena, Violet Sabrewing, Mrs. Quackfaster, Duckworth, D’jinn, Amunet, M’ma/Officer Cabrera, Lil Bulb(s), Zenith, Gibbous, Palus, and Roxanne Featherly
Introducing: F.O.W.L. (Bradford Buzzard, Bentley Buzzard, Gandra Dee, Rockerduck, Jeeves, Funso/The Phantom Blot, Steelbeak, and Black Heron) and Mickey Melon
Appearances by: Mark Beaks, Randy Ottoman, Johnny Ottoman, Gabby McStabberson, the Harpies, Goldie O’Gilt, Zan Owlson, Doofus Drake, B.O.Y.D. Drake, Mr. Drake, Mrs. Drake, Bouncer Beagle, Burger Beagle, Percival P. Peppington, Fisher, and Mann
Setting: Duckburg (McDuck Manor, the Money Bin, the docks, Waddle Headquarters, Public Library, Chum’s), Egypt (the Temple of Toth Ra), Ithaquack, a Deserted Island, and Outer Space
The “Moonvasion!” is finally here, giving Scrooge and a deeep roster of family, friends, and acquaintances (with even a nemesis and a turncoat to boot!) the opportunity to flex their feathers and come together in defeating that “scurrilous space scoundrel,” Lunaris and his army of Moonlanders. With Clan McDuck on the proverbial ropes, their eventual victory hinges on the two characters who have taken more than their fair share of lumps the past few episodes: Louie Duck and Flintheart Glomgold. But the biggest surprise is the legitimately jaw dropping reveal that puts everything we’ve seen into question while setting up a deliciously F.O.W.L. Season Three.
Once Lunaris and his fleet of Spears touch down, the McDucks waste no time springing into action. That’s when Della promptly scoops up the boys (plus Webby) in her Scrooge-approved-plan to fly them as far away from Duckburg as possible under the guise of “finding help.” After months of adjusting to her new life, Della has finally forgone her more reckless inclinations in favour of being a mother and shielding her flock from danger. But that won’t count for much if there’s no planet left to protect. With ZERO military presence (seriously, where are they?) and the extended McDuck family acting as Earth’s best and ONLY defense, it really has to be an all hands on deck approach. And since she’s among the best and most capable adventurers on any planet, Della’s place should be on the front lines with Scrooge.
But Della is in a bad place. Since marooning her crew on a not-so-deserted island, the trauma from her time isolated on the Moon is affecting her. Adding to that, Della thought parenting would be all “adventures and fun” and isn’t quite ready for the stakes that come along with it. This is when Louie steps up. Fresh off licking his wounds from the debacle that was Louie Inc., the newly humbled “evil triplet” gives Della the pep talk she so desperately needs. He admits that he’s also often “terrified” and “can’t plan for everything” but has learned to “deal with bad surprises because they may lead to a good one” - like reuniting with her. It’s through this (and an old lullaby written by Della and sung by Donald) that Louie convinces a reluctant Della that they have to go back to Duckburg and fight “with eyes clear and true, unafraid of the unknown.” And, luckily for them, they’ll do so with some reinforcements in Donald (who happens to be marooned on that same island) along with cousins Fethry and Gladstone who just rode in on Mitzy the gigantic mutated krill.
Back in Duckburg, Scrooge’s folksy axiom of only needing “twelve highlanders and a bagpiper, and I’ll give you a rebellion” doesn’t amount to much; nor does his tired platitude of being “smarter, tougher, and sharper.” Lunaris is seemingly one giant leap ahead of Scrooge at every turn. Even while pushing the planet out of orbit to the point of freezing over, Lunaris’ most devastating blows are the earth shattering truth bombs he drops on an already beaten Scrooge McDuck. During his premature-villain’s-monologue, the megalomaniacal LUNAtic lectures on the power of fear and how he weaponized it to “motivate the Moonlanders to invade.” But he also completely eviscerates Scrooge in pointing out that “fear can make the ridiculous people of Earth put their faith in a foolish old man’s foolhardy plan” and that “fear can drive away Della, the one Earther with any knowledge of my people.”
With Scrooge all out of ideas and most of his “ragtag gang of underdogs” in captivity, they are down to an “elite squad” of five… err, four (Scrooge, Beakley, Launchpad, and Manny) after Duckworth abandons them to “prepare their places in the afterlife.” This is when none other than Flintheart Glomgold steps up and delivers not a plan but “a scheme… a cockamamie one.” Like Louie, ol’ Flinty recently took one on the chin too in losing his wager to hated rival Scrooge along with his company entirely. But this doesn’t stop him from pitching in and “Operation Glomgold Saves Everyone: a Glomgold Industries Scheme… a subsidiary of McDuck Enterprises” proves to be a revelation. And even though the whole scheme is just “an idiotic cover for a secretly brilliant strategy” to get Scrooge to give Glomgold his company back, the sharkas (sharks in parkas) and costumed role play actually works. Scrooge notes that Lunaris was “prepared for our best but not our dumbest” as Glomgold chimes in “and I’m the dumbest there’s ever been!”
Della and her crew return to Duckburg and no sooner than Scrooge can say “hi, kids,” Lunaris’ plan is all but thwarted. He quickly retreats back to his ship and blasts off into outer space. This is when Della commandeers one of the Spears and, with the kids, Donald, and Scrooge all aboard, the McDuck family aims to defeat Lunaris once and for all. Even Scrooge can’t help but get sentimental over three generations of McDucks embarking on a dangerous adventure all while Donald and Della squabble like kids... “oh bless me bagpipes, have I missed this.” But things quickly turn once Lunaris unleashes a barrage of missiles and Della can’t seem to steer clear from the pull of the massive ship’s tractor beam. This is when another unlikely hero jumps in to save the day. Captain Penumbra, Lunaris’ former second in command and Della’s frenemy, goes full renegade and ghost rides her whip right into Lunaris’ beam, ending his threat once and for all.
There you have it… a misfit, a villain, and a traitor all manage to rebound from recent failures to do their part in staving off an invasion and defeating an inter-orbital warlord. The extended McDuck family is finally reunited, paving the way for a series of low-stake, globetrotting adventures where they can pilfer primitive societies of their wealth and treasures… together. But not without some healthy competition from the Federation of World Larceny. Yep, it turns out F.O.W.L. has been hiding in plain sight since well before the series even began. Their leader, Bradford Buzzard, who has been embedded as McDuck Enterprises chief advisor for god-knows-how-long, has declared that “the pieces are finally in place” and that it’s “time to come out of the shadows and take control and end Clan McDuck. If the McDuck family wants an adventure… we’ll give them their last.” Dun, dun, dunnnnn! Onto Season Three!
Louie taking out the communication satellites in “The Richest Duck in the World” (S2, E23) is what allowed the Moonlanders to enter the Earth’s atmosphere so easily.
As the army of Lil Bulbs are sent out to find Scrooge’s allies, Gyro’s best known invention finally shirks his evil predilections to make a positive contribution.
Before taking off in the Cloudslayer, Della perfectly encapsulates the kids’ strengths in “Webby’s skills, Dewey’s gusto, Huey’s know-how, and Louie’s ability to “see the angles she can’t.”
While flying over Egypt, Della and co. search out old friends Amulet (“The Living Mummies of Toth-Ra” (S1, E8)) and D’jinn (“Treasure of the Found Lamp” (S2, E8)) who are already fighting off Moonlanders. This leads Amunet to lament that she “can’t believe we defeated the sun god only to be attacked by moon people, if only there was some kinda, I don’t know, moon god.”
Speaking of which, they then travel to Ithaquack looking for help but find that Zeus has grounded Storkules and his sister Selene.
Once all of Scrooge’s allies answer the call, they meet at McDuck Manor. Curiously, brothers Randy and Johnny of “Ottoman Empire” fame are at the table. Since when have they ever interacted with Scrooge or proven to be anything more than reality TV hosts?
Even stranger is Gabby McStabberson’s inclusion. While she’s proven herself to be a capable fighter, she’s been shown to be nothing more than a low ranking thug who associates with the likes of Flintheart Glomgold in “Woo-oo!” (S1. E1). Her only other appearance is a brief one in “The Shadow War” (S1, E24) where she’s being arrested by Officer Cabrera. Has she served her sentence and since been rehabilitated? Is she officially good now???
It turns out that the clone army Gyro briefly mentions in “Time-phoon!” (S2, E21) is an actual thing after all. In fact, he employs them in the battle against the Moonlanders. However, one is zapped to death which begs the question whether that was a clone or the real Gyro that perishes.
We don’t get much from Lena this episode but she looks to have developed quite the command of her magical abilities and employs them aptly while battling the Moonlanders.
While scouring the globe for help, Della mentions the Dawson mines (where Scrooge first struck it rich) and the caves of Mt. Neverrest (“The Impossible Summit of Mount Neverrest” (S1, E9)) as possible hideouts.
One of the best bits is when Scrooge dons Darkwing’s suit to pull one over on the Moonlanders. Also to that end, it’s a lot of fun seeing LP serve as DW’s sidekick… albeit, they definitely need more reps.
During his Castaway-esque time on the deserted island, Donald creates a Mickey Mouse head made from a watermelon to keep him company and even lends it a familiar voice. Mickey Melon even uses famous catchphrases like “hot dog!” (Mickey’s first words from “The Karnival Kid” (1929)) and “see ya’ real soon!” (his signature signoff from The Mickey Mouse Club (1955).
Scrooge and the “Elite Squad of Five” are hiding out at Chums, the dockside haunt first seen in “The Ballad of Duke Baloney” (S2, E3). Also from that episode and making an appearance are longshoremen Fisher and Mann who are seen as prisoners of the Moonlanders.
Beakley is right; it is concerning that Duckworth goes down instead of up when retreating back to the underworld.
Cousin Fethry and Mitzy are making their first appearance since “The Depths of Cousin Fethry” (S2, E3). Them along with Gladstone prove to be quite essential as they transport Della and the kids back to Duckburg, while Mitzy literally topples Lunaris.
While riding Mitzy back to Duckburg, the kids strike poses with their adult counterparts: Webby is Della, Louie is Gladstone, and Huey is Fethry... leading Dewey to lament “aw, man am i the Uncle Donald?” Speaking of which, how are they getting the Cloudslayer back to Duckburg???
While fighting over the controls of the Spear of Selene, Donald insists that “this is a ship and I’m a sailor!” with Della countering “this is a rocketship, genius, I’m a pilot!”
The special effects during the space battle look amazing. Production definitely upped their budget for this one.
No longer grounded, Selene informs a defeated Lunaris that Storkules has set the Earth back into orbit and that his ship will now become a second moon.
The Moonlanders, realizing that they’re the bad guys, revert back to their friendlier nature and free the captive earthlings.
The news reporter who favours Roxanne from A Goofy Movie (1995) makes her first appearance since the Pilot as an unnamed background actor.
Launchpad, ever the ladies man, wastes no time in hitting on Penny. While she’s less than impressed, I’d LOVE to see this star-crossed pairing explored further in Season Three.
F.O.W.L.’s leader appears to be Scrooge’s top advisor, Bradford Buzzard. Other members include: