Rewatching DuckTales! What’s better than a love triangle? A love triangle with robots! Here’s episode 81, “Metal Attraction.”
Here’s what happens: Fearing he has no more scientific wonders to discover, Gyro Gearloose decides to invent a way to help Mrs. Beakeley with the housework in Scrooge’s mansion. One scene later, he’s come up with Robotica, a robo-maid who can cook, clean, and babysit – except that she frightens the kids for being so mechanical. Gyro then reprograms Robotica to have emotions, only for her to get overly emotional. Meanwhile, Fenton is still trying to romance the lovely Gandra Dee. When Fenton dons the Gizmoduck shows up to do a job for Scrooge, Robotica falls madly in love with him, and she pursues him relentlessly.
Fenton continues to chase after Gandra Dee, when he sees that Robotica has painted “R + G” on the side of the money bin. As Gizmoduck, he confronts her, but she doesn’t take no for an answer. Gandra Dee and Robotica randomly meet at a combination salon and auto shop (!), where they compare notes on the men in their lives. They believe that Fenton and Gizmoduck could learn a lot from each other, and they plan to set up a double date.
Then it’s sitcom antics time, as Fenton keeps switching back and forth between his two identities during the date, piling on excuse after excuse. The two ladies both decide they’ve had enough. Gandra Dee storms off, while Robotica gets electrocuted and goes on a villainous rampage. Mistakenly believing that Gandra Dee is in love with Gizmoduck and not Fenton, Robotica kidnaps Gandra Dee. She plots to fire a missile both Gandra Dee and the Money Bin, so that Gizmoduck with have no other responsibilities other than her. Gizmoduck puts himself in front of the missile to save Gandra Dee, but then Robotica shoves him out of the way to take the blast herself.
Later, Fenton asks Gandra Dee out again, but this time for a simple date, rather than an overflow of gifts and affection, and she says yes. Robotica, meanwhile, is rebuilt and reprogrammed again, better in control of her emotions, and with a new job at the auto shop.
Humbug: Scrooge’s subplot is some strange business about him canning dollar bills, revealing that he has a whole basement of cash preserved in jars. Okay…
Junior woodchucks: The kids are having some sort of impromptu costume party at the start of the episode, dressing up Tootsie the triceratops in one of Mrs. Beakeley’s dresses. They cruelly claim that it’s the only piece of clothing that will fit.
Everybody walk the dinosaur: The Disney Wiki alleges that this is the only time Bubba and Gizmoduck are in the same episode, although they don’t share a scene. They can also be spotted together with the rest of the cast in a family photo. (Launchpad is not in the photo, suggesting he’s already halfway out the door to join the spinoff.)
Pro-rata: Fenton’s attempts to romance Gandra Dee include filling her house with roses, only for her to be allergic, and delivering a building size cake to her (a condominium cake… with aluminum siding). The episode also remembers she works at the bean factory where Fenton used to work, and he treats her to lunch there as well, complete with a roving mariachi band.
Your move, creep: Gizmoduck can stretch his midsection to rise up several stories, kind of like Stilt-Man from Marvel comics. He also has a blowtorch built into one finger.
Foul fowls: Robotica falls under the category of villains who are more misunderstood than outright villainous. It ends with her starting a new romance with the auto shop’s diagnostic computer.
Down in Duckburg: The theme park has a parody of Disneyland’s teacup ride. But in this version, the park guests are inside giant teabags, and they get submerged in hot water.
Reference row: The title is a reference to 1987’s Fatal Attraction, which was parodied by almost all late-80s sitcoms. Now DuckTales gets a turn at it.
Thoughts on this viewing: More screwball sitcom stuff, which is pretty much all these later episodes are, it seems. But, there’s some emotional truth under it all. Fenton tries to romance Gandra Dee with gifts and attention, but this just makes her uncomfortable. When Robotica treats Gizmoduck the same way, that’s when Fenton learns a valuable lesson. Also, a triceratops wears a dress.
Next: Clone saga.
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