Rewatching DuckTales! The “Time is Money” five-part storyline continues in episode 69, “Ducks on the Lam,” as Scrooge and new character Bubba team up to defy society.
Here’s what happens: In previous episodes, Scrooge time-traveled to prehistoric times as part of a convoluted land deal. Bubba the cave duck hitched a ride back to the present and has moved into the mansion. The Beagle Boys took advantage of Bubba knowing nothing about the modern day to trick the kid into letting them inside Scrooge’s vault.
The episode begins with Scrooge and Bubba kicked out of the money bin, and Scrooge blaming Bubba for all his troubles. Bubba runs off, and Scrooge starts planning his retaliation. Complicating matters is that Scrooge still owes Glomgold $10 million to complete the land deal. Inside, the Beagle Boys do their own swimming-in-the-money gag, and they contact Glomgold to tell him they’re not working for him anymore. Then the police and the army (!) surround the Money Bin, and the Boys then ask for Glomgold’s help after all.
Scrooge leads the troops in trying to break through the Money Bin’s high-tech security, with Glomgold on the scene mocking him the whole time. Scrooge even summons three ninjas (!), but everyone fails to get inside. Scrooge then tries access through one of the banks he owns to get Glomgold’s payment, but the Beagle Boys contacted the banks pretending to be Scrooge, saying the real Scrooge is an impersonator.
Bubba, meanwhile, bumbles around town trying and failing to make friends with the locals. He gets arrested after accidentally causing destruction. Scrooge similarly goes on a rant at the bank and gets arrested. In jail, Scrooge talks to his conscience, seen in the form of a tiny Scrooge. The conscience tells Scrooge that he shouldn’t blame his problems on bad luck, or on Bubba, but that he should stop whining and take control of his life. Scrooge realizes he can get the $10 million from his brand-new land, which has a diamond mine on it. He then discovers that Bubba and his pet dinosaur Tootsie are in the next cell over. The two of them reconcile, with Scrooge apologizing. Bubba uses his awesome strength to break them out of jail.
While on the run from the cops, Scrooge and Bubba encounter Glomgold, who chases them through the city. Scrooge hijacks Glomgold’s car phone and calls Huey, Dewey, and Louie for help. The boys have Gyro and Launchpad meet them at the mansion. Gyro brought the time machine, so it’s time for Bubba to return to his own time. A big tearful goodbye is said. Using the last of the bombastium fuel, Gyro sends Bubba back in time. Scrooge evades the cops by taking off in Launchpad’s plane, headed for the diamond mine.
To be continued!
Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc of DuckTales is Scrooge learning his family is more important than his money. Scrooge both forgives and then bonds with Bubba in this episode, but then his focus continues to be the $10 million and the diamond mine. It’s another mixed message.
Junior Woodchucks: There’s a funny meta joke where Scrooge can’t tell which nephew is which when he’s talking to them on the phone.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad has a massive hanger filled with airplanes, and he does eenie-meany-minie-moe to choose one. Does he own these planes? Are these Scrooge’s planes? Questions unanswered.
Everybody walk the dinosaur: This one truly establishes Bubba’s incredible strength. At the park, he throws a picnic table so hard that it knocks over four trees, and he smashes out of jail with his bare fists.
Down in Duckburg: When Scrooge is arrested, he’s not spending the night in a cell at the police station, but inside a gigantic fortress-like prison. Maybe this is because he and Bubba are considered high-profile suspects.
Foul fowls: The Beagle Boys in this are the classic trio of Bouncer, Burger, and Big Time. I especially like Big Time doing a hokey Scottish accent to impersonate Scrooge over the phone.
Reference row: Scrooge says “Missed it by that much” during the big chase, quoting the classic 1965 spy parody series Get Smart.
Thoughts on this viewing: A surprisingly good episode, with some fun chases and escapes and even some funny gags. You can also the plotlines and character arcs of this five-parter come into focus as everything is set up for the finale. That doesn’t always happen with multi-part episodes on shows like this.
Next: Diamonds really are forever.
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