Rewatching DuckTales! We’re almost at the end of the series. You’d think that “Scrooge’s Last Adventure” would be the finale, but this is the next-to-last. Also, virtual reality!
Here’s what happens: Huey, Dewey, and Louie are roughhousing inside the mansion, accidentally destroying Scrooge’s antique grandfather clock. They con a clockmaker, Dr. Clockenspeil, into fixing it. When he calls Scrooge’s mansion, Scrooge mistakes him for his actual doctor. Upon hearing “the ticker” can’t be saved, Scrooge believes he only has a few days left to live. A distraught Scrooge gives the boys a lot of money, offers Mrs. Beakeley a raise, and gives butler Duckworth a rare day off. Meanwhile, Fenton gets a call from the doctor, saying Scrooge is in good health.
Before Fenton can give Scrooge the good news, Scrooge asks about leaving his money to his nephews. But he’s concerned about protecting the money from the likes of the Beagle Boys. Fenton suggests Scrooge transfer his fortune to the bank, where it’ll be stored electronically rather than in a gigantic bin. Scrooge agrees, and trucks start emptying the bin. There’s a lot of technical gibberish as Fenton tries to invest Scrooge’s money in stocks, and loses it all in a computer glitch. Scrooge insists Fenton get the money back.
Scrooge and Fenton go to Gyro for help, and Gyro says he has new tech that can transform them into electronic impulses, putting them physically in the computer via floppy disk (!). Just like The Matrix, except not. It works, and Scrooge and Fenton enter cyberspace. They chase the money around a virtual landscape, only to encounter the glitch in the form a giant whale-like creature. In the real world, the three boys find out what Gyro is up to, and they help out as if Scrooge is in a video game. They unplug the computer, thinking it’ll save Scrooge, despite Gyro’s warnings.
In the virtual world, Scrooge and Fenton blink out and then re-form, escaping Gyro’s computers and flying around through the phone lines out into the wider internet (or something). When the glitch corners them, Fenton leaps into its mouth in an attempt to stop it. Gyro reestablishes contact and tells Scrooge to scramble the glitch with a magnet, which Scrooge happens to have built into his cane. He saves Fenton and the money. Gyro brings them out of cyberspace, which also refills the money bin with all the cash. Scrooge admits the truth about his “ticker,” only for the boys to fess up about breaking the grandfather clock. Scrooge is distraught at this, as the others warn him not get overstressed for fear of his heart health.
Humbug: Scrooge’s attitude changes upon learning he’s going to die. He wants to give his money to the boys, and becomes kinder and considerate to Duckworth and Mrs. Beakeley. The episode ends at an abrupt point, so we don’t get to see how this event changes Scrooge in the long run.
Junior Woodchucks: To get their way, Huey, Dewey and Louie do “plan B,” by pretending to cry until they get their way. When Scrooge breaks down at the end of the episode, they wonder if he’s doing “plan B.”
Pro-rata: You’d think that the Gizmoduck armor would be the instrument that gets Fenton and Scrooge into cyberspace, but Gizmoduck tech never comes up during all this.
Maid and maiden: Mrs. Beakeley and Scrooge seem to bond while she makes him lunch. Were the writers hinting at a potential romance between them?
Foul fowls: The glitch isn’t much of a monster, but more an obstacle to get in our heroes’ way. The convenient destroyed-by-magnets weakness doesn’t do it any favors.
Reference row: The late ‘80s/early ‘90s were the height of popularity for the cyberpunk genre following the whirlwind success of William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer in 1984. (Though it should be noted that Disney’s own Tron came out two years earlier, in ’82.) The big reference in this one, however, is classic arcade game Pac-Man, which is recreated in this episode as the glitch chases Scrooge and Fenton around Pac-Man’s maze.
Thoughts upon this viewing: The Scrooge-thinks-he’s-dying plot and the cyberspace plot make this feel like two episodes squashed together. But, it’s a lot of action, gags, and interesting character moments packed into one half-hour, so it’s all good.
Next: The golden end.
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