Season 2, Episode 7: "Whatever Happened to Della Duck!" 3/10/19
Starring: Della Duck
Featuring: Lieutenant Penumbra and General Lunaris
Setting: The Moon
Plot: After a crash landing on the Moon, Della must learn to survive the elements of the moon.
The show does a smart thing here. Integrating Della Duck in with her family and into the story in general could prove to be difficult and awkward.* That’s why introducing Della with her own bottle episode, of sorts, where she spends the vast majority of the episode all by her lonesome doing her best version of Castaway or The Martian provides her the room to spread her wings and give her character a chance to breathe on its own.
Even smarter, the story steers away from the inevitability of reuniting with her family and, instead, launches into a Della-on-the-moon storyline where she starts the process of integrating with the mysterious, not-to-be-trusted civilization of moon people. Perhaps, this could even serve as our yet-to-be-determined story arc of season two.**
So, who is Della Duck? We already know she’s a bit reckless and impulsive. Afterall, she did commandeer a not-yet-ready rocketship to space all while her unhatched eggs are left at home, incubating without her. Though, by her preoccupation with and dedication to returning home to the sons she’s never met, it’s safe to say that she’s not beyond regretting that fateful decision. Della’s also a bit of a composite of her family, exhibiting traits of everyone:
(*) I’ve mentioned this multiple times already but I don’t think we’re putting enough consideration into how much Della’s presence (as the boys’ mother) really changes the very fabric of the show. At its core, Ducktales is about the relationship between Scrooge and his young nephews - Della’s reemergence really undermines Scrooge’s role as their chief parental figure.
(**) Which will ultimately lead to Della returning home where she will accidentally let slip that there’s a Moon city made of gold which will then lead to Scrooge leading an expedition to extract said gold from the city resulting in an intergalactic war between the McDucks and the Moon people.
Due to it being trapped under her ship, Della cuts off her leg (off screen) and fashions a new one made of scrap metal.
The oft-mentioned Moon Theme from the 8-bit DuckTales video game features prominently but, most notably, when we learn she added words to the tune to create a lullaby that she used to sing to the unhatched boys.
I don’t think we will or should ever get a “who’s-the-boys’- father?” storyline. I have no evidence for this but I feel like, in this world, that female ducks just lay eggs independently of “male companionship” and that the father is just whoever the mother happens to be in a relationship with (if at all) during the hatching.
Della celebrates the boys’ birthday one year after the crash. Were they actually born the day of the crash??? Or, is she just nuts at this point?
This episode closes a few loopholes too:
“A mother would do anything for the sake of her kids!”… except, of course, forego a dangerous mission to space in an unready rocketship within months of their hatching *shrugs*