Rewatching DuckTales! We’ve got Gizmoduck. We’ve got TV parodies. We’ve got it all on episode 80, “My Mother the Psychic.”
Here’s what happens: Fenton Crackshell wants to take his mother on a picnic, but she wants to stay inside watching TV all day. When she tries to fix the TV’s reception, she gets electrocuted. This improbably gives her visions of the future. When Scrooge learns this, he offers her a job so he can profit off her predictions. It works, and Scrooge’s stocks go up. This catches Glomgold’s attention, as he tasks the Beagle Boys to use a high-tech spy camera to find out Scrooge’s secret. Fenton is jealous of his mother’s powers and her newfound success. They have an argument, in which she accuses him of being too predictable. She then has a prediction that Fenton will leave and never return.
The Beagle Boys use a fake commercial to lure Fenton’s mother out of the house, where they abduct her. Scrooge easily deduces that Glomgold is behind her disappearance. Fenton dons his Gizmoduck armor for the rescue, and Glomgold fights back with a giant magnet. Glomgold tries launching Gizmoduck into space, only for Gizmoduck spin the magnet to return to Duckburg. He chases the villains and catches them by knocking an electric tower onto Glomgold’s car. Fenton’s mom shakes Gizmoduck’s hand, gets electrocuted again, and loses her psychic powers.
Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc of DuckTales is Scrooge learning his newfound family is more important than his money. Upon seeing Fenton’s mother get electrocuted, Scrooge’s first thought is how to profit from it. At the end, he says he’s forced to go back to making money the old-fashioned way, by earning it. Another mixed message, I’d say.
Pro-rata: Is Fenton perhaps a little too doting on his mother? She spends all day in front of the TV, and he’s all “I just want to talk.” It comes off as somewhat strange.
Your move, creep: When Gizmoduck is launched into space attached to a magnet, he returns to Earth by spinning the magnet like a big Frisbee. Sure. Also, the armor comes equipped with its own satellite dish so mom can still watch TV while on their picnic.
Foul fowls: The Beagle Boys this time are Burger, Baggy, and Big Time. Although the Beagle Boys and Glomgold went their separate ways at the end of the “Time is Money” storyline, they’re back together in this one.
Down in Duckburg: The actress seen on the TV soap opera is Featherika von Strangeduck, who we met way back in episode 12, “Hotel Strangeduck.” Except in that episode she was wealthy duchess and not an actress. The character can be spotted on blink-and-you-miss-it TV screens throughout this latter part of the series. The Disney Wiki seems confused as to how a duchess can also be an actress, so it lists her TV appearances as “Featherika von Strangeduck lookalike.”
Reference row: The soap opera All My Ducklings is an obvious parody of All My Children, the ABC soap opera starring Susan Lucci that ran from 1970 to 2013.
Thoughts on this viewing: This is more like it. The show’s new hero goes up against one of its original villains. Glomgold knew Gizmoduck would show up at his door sooner or later, so he had his deathtraps ready to go. Their big confrontation is fun James Bond-type stuff. Fenton’s mother isn’t that interesting of a character, but this episode makes her part of Scrooge’s extended family.
Next: Love, Duck, Robots.
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