Season 2, Episode 9: "The Outlaw Scrooge McDuck!" 5/8/19
Starring: Scrooge McDuck, Louie Duck, and Goldie O’Glit
Costarring: Gyro Gearloose
Featuring: John D. Rockerduck
Introducing: Sheriff Marshal “Deputy” Cabrera and Jeeves
An Appearance by: Johnny Ottoman
Setting: Gumption and Duckburg (McDuck Manor)
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 gleefully 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 first appeared in Carl Barks' Walt Disney's Comics and Stories "Boat Busters" (1961) as an oil tycoon and rival of Scrooge's.
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.