DuckTales rewatch – A Case of Mistaken Secret Identity

Rewatching DuckTales! Now that Gizmoduck is a regular on the show, what do you do with Launchpad? We’re still trying to answer that question in episode 85, “A Case of Mistaken Secret Identity.”

Here’s what happens: Gizmoduck is the biggest celebrity in town, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie want to figure out his secret identity. They suspect Launchpad might secretly be Gizmoduck. Fenton wants to the tell the kids his secret, but Scrooge cautions against it. The mayor announces a gala in thanks of Gizmoduck. Both Launchpad and Gizmoduck are invited, and the nephews hope to use this to catch Launchpad in the act. Unfortunately, it’s a costume gala where everyone is dressed like Gizmoduck. When Fenton arrives at the party in his armor, everyone thinks he’s just another cosplayer. When some fireworks go haywire, it’s Launchpad and not Gizmoduck who saves the day, and now the whole city thinks Launchpad is really Gizmoduck.

At the Beagle Boys’ hideout, they hear the news and decide taking out Launchpad is their first step in getting their hands on Scrooge’s fortune. Fenton confronts Launchpad, saying this must end, but Launchpad is having fun with everyone believing he’s a superhero. Then the Beagle Boys abduct him. Gizmoduck shows up to rescue Launchpad, with Launchpad promising to stop impersonating Gizmoduck. But then the captured Beagle Boys are interviewed on TV, saying Launchpad is really Gizmoduck. Launchpad gets even more famous. Scrooge says this has to stop, so he arranges a press conference.

Reporters converge on the Money Bin, where Launchpad tells Huey, Dewey, and Louie that he will bear his soul. He addresses the press, with Fenton planning to appear as Gizmoduck during Launchpad’s speech. But then Launchpad quotes Fenton saying “Blabbering blatherskite,” not knowing that’s the code to activate the Gizmoduck armor. The armor affixes itself to Launchpad in front of everyone.

Launchpad makes a mess of things trying to control the armor, sending him on a tour of accidental destruction through Duckburg. Fenton pursues him, fearful that Launchpad really will be Gizmoduck from now on. Launchpad then accidentally fires a rocket which destroys the nearby damn, flooding Duckburg. (!) Fenton uses equipment from a construction site to rescue Launchpad from the water. Witnesses cheer Fenton for his heroism, and no longer believe Launchpad is Gizmoduck due to his clumsiness. Fenton promises to use his Gizmoduck powers to clean up the town, and the boys add him to their suspects list.

Humbug: Scrooge first has Launchpad play along with the boys’ suspicions to protect Gizmoduck’s secret identity, but then he insists that Launchpad come clean after things get out of hand. That’s his role in this episode, basically as their boss.

Junior woodchucks: The three boys don Sherlock Holmes outfits when trying to deduce who Gizmoduck really is. This episode loves cosplay.

Fasten your seatbelts: When Launchpad gains some of Gizmoduck’s notoriety, women from all over flock to him. We even see four women hanging out inside his house, somewhat suggestively.

Pro rata: Fenton faces the age-old superhero conundrum of not being able to get any recognition for his good deeds thanks to his secret identity. He gets his moment in the end by saving the day not as Gizmoduck but as himself.

Your move, creep: Gizmoduck finds the Beagle Boys’ hideout using his “ultraviolet tracker-tracker.” Later, Launchpad turns Gizmoduck’s legs into a big drill, fires a city-destroying rocket, and lets a bunch of birds out of the top of his head. (Are those robot birds, or what?)

Foul fowls: The Beagle Boys in this one are Big Time, Baggy, and Burger. They pass a police lie detector test saying Launchpad is Gizmoduck, and it comes out true only because they actually believe it.

Down in Duckburg: Duckburg gets destroyed in a flood in the third act, which seems pretty extreme. But then we see the boys walking around the mansion with the carpet all wet and squishy, suggesting that it’s not that bad.

Reference row: TV talk show hosts Oprah Webfeet and Geralduck Rivera are obvious parodies of real-life TV personalities Oprah Winfrey and Geraldo Rivera. And of course the episode spoofs the famous episode of Geraldo where a brawl broke out on set.

Thoughts on this viewing: I prefer when DuckTales is an action-comedy show, rather than a straightforward sitcom. The farcical tone of this one turned me off at first, but I came back around during the disaster movie third act.

Next: Amnesia: The Duck Descent.

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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