DuckTales rewatch – The Duck Who Knew Too Much

Rewatching DuckTales! The comedy couldn’t be any more screwball in episode ninety-six, “The duck who knew too much.”

 Here’s what happens: Fenton goes on a game show, where he wins a trip to Swizzleland, home of the Swizzle Stick. There’s a bunch of comedy shtick as Fenton fakes being sick to get a week of from Scrooge, only for Scrooge to be on the same trip for business. Gandra Dee also joins Fenton on the luxurious train ride, jealous that Fenton dotes on his mother, and constantly worrying there’s another woman in Fenton’s life. There’s more slapstick as Fenton hides from Scrooge while trying to convince Gandra Dee nothing is amiss. All this is even more complicated when he accidentally eavesdrops on a beautiful woman, Goldfeather, who is an international spy working with someone named Agent X to steal Scrooge’s gold. Goldfeather fears Fenton will expose her plot, so she’s out to kill him. Gandra Dee, meanwhile, suspects Goldfeather is Fenton’s other woman.

Everyone arrives at the same hotel, of course. Fenton goes to Scrooge’s Swizzle Stick factory in disguise, hoping to root out the spy. Scrooge is there at the same time, for more comedy misunderstandings. Fenton and Gandra Dee end up in the factory’s basement, where they discover a giant robot. The factory manager is the real Agent X, out to get Scrooge. Fenton gets Gandra Dee to pretend to be Goldfeather, who has the remote control for the robot.

Scrooge investigates the factory, where he’s abducted by Goldfeather. She uses the remote to take command of the robot, sending on a rampage. After several attempts, Fenton finally contacts his mother back in Duckburg. He asks her to bring him the Gizmoduck armor. But when she blurts out “blathering blatherskite,” not knowing it’s the password, she ends up wearing the armor.

Agent X and Goldfeather use the robot to attack armored trucks transporting Scrooge’s money. Fenton fights the robot by electrifying a nearby telephone pole. Then Fenton’s mother arrives as Gizmoduck to save the day. After some more slapstick, Fenton’s mom succeeds in destroying the robot, and Scrooge nabs the two spies. Scrooge wants to reward Fenton by finally agreeing to give him a week off, only for Fenton to get sick for real this time.   

Humbug: We’re told at first that Scrooge has a bank in Swizzleland expecting a shipment of gold, which is initial interest in the plot. But then he’s also conducting an inspection of the Sqizzle Stick factory, which he also owns. He can do more than one thing, I guess.

Pro-rata: Fenton and Gandra Dee are a full-on couple by now, even kissing on the lips (er, the beaks) at the start of the episode. She’s still with him at the end, after he comes clean about everything.

Your move, creep: As Gizmoduck, Fenton’s mother first generates a tornado to fight the robot. Then she does the forbidden move of pressing all the suit’s buttons at once. This causes a massive explosion that destroys the robot, but only winds Fenton’s mom.  

Foul fowls: Agent X and Goldfeather don’t get much character development. For all this talk about them being spies, their only motivation is to steal cash.

Reference row: The title is obviously a reference to The Man Who Knew Too Much, a 1934 thriller famously remade by Alfred Hitchcock in 1956. Goldfeather is a shoutout to the 1963 James Bond film Goldfinger. Most importantly, though, the game show is a parody of Nickelodeon’s slime-drenched favorite Double Dare.

Thoughts on this viewing: Although described as a spy caper, the tone of this episode is more farce. Fenton spins lies to everyone, and then barely keeps his head above water as he struggles to keep his stories straight. It’s another late-period DuckTales episode that’s more concerned with laughs and slapstick than the plot.

Next: Now there’s three of them.

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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