Episode: 221 "Timephoon!" 9/9/19
Starring: Louie Duck, Della Duck, Huey Duck, Mrs. Beakley, Launchpad McQuack, Scrooge McDuck, Dewey Duck, and Webby Vanderquack
Costarring: Gyro Gearloose and Roxanne Featherly
Featuring: Bubba the Caveduck
Introducing: Tootsie and Benjamin Frankloon
Setting: Duckburg (McDuck Manor) and the Paleolithic Era
The show has done an amazing job of not merely glossing over the difficulties of Della’s return and really delving into her understandably rocky transition in becoming a parent. Better yet, it’s not giving her a pass for the reckless and irresponsible decision she made that ended up marooning her on the moon and making her an absentee mother in the first place. This all comes to a head when Louie’s newest “foolproof, get-rich-quick plan” and business venture predictably blows up in his face, putting his entire family in danger.
The McDuck family is hunkering down within the sturdy confines of McDuck Manor while the major El Pato (Espanol for “the duck”) storm is a brewing just outside. But this doesn’t preclude Louie from carrying out another one of his cockamamie capers under the banner of Louie Inc. This time he’s absconded with Gyro’s Time Tub and is using it to track down “lost treasures” the exact moment before they were lost to time. Louie believes that he’s found a loophole in not disrupting the time stream since these treasures are being found before they were lost so nobody ever knew they were missing in the first place. Thus creating “Time Treasures: a Subsidiary of Louie Inc. - It’s Not a Crime if it’s lost to Time!”
Meanwhile Della can’t shake free from a barrage of parenting lectures courtesy of “butterfly basher” Beakley. Della’s laissez faire approach to structure and discipline in regards to the triplets is starting to raise flags. Della wants to “let the kids be kids,” refusing to “sweat the small stuff.” But Beakley rightly points out that “small problems can turn into big problems if not prevented early.” Although she doesn’t quite articulate it, Della isn’t totally secure yet in being that tough parent who delivers hard truths and stern punishment. But after the inroads she’s made in bonding with her boys since her return (along with some encouragement from Beakley), she may have finally gained the equity to start trying.
Because of Louie’s wanton disregard for time and space, the El Pato storm has merged with a terrifying time vortex (of Louie’s creation) creating “what local reporters are calling a Timephoon!” With this, all manner of historical characters (ninjas, pirates, Spanish/French freedom fighters, cowboys, the members of the Pennyfarthing Society, etc.) are running amok in McDuck Manor while the Timephoon’s lightning is zapping McDuck family members from the present timeline and into the past. Louie finally manages to put the proverbial horse back in the barn but the damage has been done and it’s time to face the music.
Much like the treasures that Louie un-found from history, Della’s past can’t be undone either. That’s why after Della throws down the hammer on Louie, admonishing him for not “thinking about the consequences or the people you would hurt,” he quickly and snidely shoots back “I wonder where i got that from… (because, you know, that’s EXACTLY what Della did when she commandeered the Spear of Selene).” Della doesn’t waver though, she grounds him and puts an end to Louie Inc. Once Louie trudges up to his room and is out of sight, Della drops to her knees from the emotional toll of it all. “That was hard” she says but Beakley picks her up, proud of the progress Della has made.
The kids erupt in laughter after Webby asks “hey Louie, can you give us a hand?” The in-jabbing at Louie’s laziness by his family is hilarious!
Huey is working on a comprehensive report on caveducks. He sees this as his chance of getting into the new edition of the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook.
Among Scrooge’s collection of Famous Canes of Clan McDuck is a green parrot head handle which strikes an uncanny resemblance to Mary Poppins’ famed umbrella handle.
Roxanne Featherly is usually relegated to short soundbites in her appearances but this time she provides actual plot exposition during her news reports and acts almost like the episode’s chorus.
The second most famous historical figure to make an appearance is history’s foremost meteorologist, Benjamin Frankloon.
The most famous figure, of course, is Bubba the Caveduck who is making his series debut after a memorable run in DuckTales ‘87. The McDucks first encounter Bubba in the 5-part-episode “Time is Money” where Gyro’s time-traveling helicopter, the Millenium Shortcut, inadvertently takes them to prehistoric Duckburg. Bubba eventually makes his way to present time where, after much hilarity, Scrooge eventually makes a cave on the premises for him and his pet triceratops, Tootsie, to live in.
In this episode, Bubba becomes the first hiccup in Louie’s scheme as he enters the Time Tub’s orbit and is zapped to present time. Here he’s revealed to be quite advanced as he quickly adapts to the various amenities and gizmos of modernity. These developments leave Huey shocked and chagrined since they fly in the face of his caveduck research.
What does fall in line with Huey’s studies though is the incorporation of Tootsie the triceratops. She arrives in the current timeline independently from Bubba as Huey rightly points out that Dinosaurs lived millions of years before Duckus Lopithicus. However, this fact doesn’t preclude Bubba from adapting almost immediately to the Huey-named-Tootsie.
We learn that Gyro is in the middle of creating a clone army of himself. Could this development play into future storylines or is it merely a throwaway gag?
In a dark moment, Della and Beakley team up to defeat the ninja by throwing him in the Santa Trap where he appears to be burned alive. This is also a reminder of Scrooge’s longtime vendetta with Santa Claus which should play out in the not-too-distant future.
Hanging on the wall, you can see the painting of Della fighting pirates. This is the same painting that Dewey finds stored away in Scrooge’s garage from the Pilot that also serves as the catalyst for him investigating her disappearance. Presumably, Scrooge had it hung only after Della’s return in “Nothing Can Stop Della Duck” (S2, E12).
By the way, why doesn’t Launchpad get in trouble for his role in Time Treasures? He gleefully tags along and participates in Louie’s get-rich-quick scheme while offering no opposition. He’s such a dimwitted goofball that the family doesn’t even take him seriously enough to hold him to the same standards as the children.
Before Bubba returns to his time, he takes Scrooge’s Cane of the First of Clan McDuck with him. With this, along with how smart and tough he showed himself to be, it’s heavily implied that he’s a far off descendant of Clan McDuck. Once home, he also fashions himself a top hat made of stone.