‘DuckTales’ Un-Plucked – Episode #04: “The Beagle Birthday Massacre!”
I had so many questions watching this week’s episode of Ducktales. Why was it called a “Massacre”? Is this new character even important? Are we seriously getting a filler episode? And then those final seconds happened! So as usual, if you already haven’t seen it, pull up your DVR or check out the link below to watch it on Disney XD, and let’s get ready to take a Closer Look at Ducktales (2017) Episode 04, “The Beagle Birthday Massacre!”
Filler Episode Turned Set Up – Aunt Magica!:
We’ve yet to really have a character specific episode. Yes, certain story lines thus far have had an emphasis on one character over others but the episode almost always includes the majority of the gang. This episode changed that up a lot as it was largely Webby’s episode, though as I’ll discuss in the next section, it might have actually been more of a Lena episode. Whoever’s episode it was, there were no “adult ducks” nor were the boys instrumental in any way. Plus we got ANOTHER helping of the Beagle Boys, whom we just met two episodes ago. If there was ever a premise that sounded like an unattached/ stand alone/ filler episode, it was this one. But that all changed with the final moments of the episode as “vintage Sumerian Talisman” Webby pointed out on Lena at the start of the episode turns out to be Lena’s way of summoning her “Aunt Magic” aka Magica De Spell.
If you don’t know, Magica De Spell was a major character from the original Ducktales series and comics. I vaguely remember her and Scrooge having a bit of an occasionally flirty relationship, but it’s been decades since I’ve seen all the original episodes so I can’t be sure. Though what I do remember is Magica always being after Scrooge’s Number One Dime – which we met in the last episode. Magica believes that dime holds the key to “The Midas Touch”, but not to the extent that it made Scrooge rich, but rather it stands for Scrooge’s ability to make money. So by using the Dime as a charm, she can gain Scrooge’s luck. Knowing this, we have to look at Lena’s character in a completely new light for not only this episode, but also for the Season overall perhaps.
Lena – Series Regular or Occasional Pop Up?
Sometimes, the best betrayal stories are the ones where you really can’t tell which side a character is going to betray. And that is precisely the story that seems to be getting set up for Lena. On one hand, many aspects of her in this episode just seemed off. At times it seemed like she knew full well who Webby and the McDuck family were; but then other times we saw her express remorse for how her family was. There’s other “De Spells” lightly referenced in Ducktales history, so it’ll be interesting if this series explores that more. Whatever they do with the “De Spell” story, Lena’s has a lot going for it.
Lena could pop up from time to time, but since Magica would want her to most likely earn Webby’s trust and “get close to Scrooge’s dime”, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her over the course of the season. This could set Magica up as the Season villain as well since unlike Glomgold and co, we still haven’t MET her. This is just Magica’s Shadow, and the two aren’t always connected. Additionally, keeping Lena around more could lead to some great juxtapositions between her and Mrs Beakley. Though best of all, keeping Lena in the fold would balance the story even more so instead of it just being Webby and the (now) three distinct nephews, there’s now another female player to join Webby. But above all else, we can’t tell which way Lena’s story will go. Her deadpan delivery is either fantastic acting against Magica or she really doesn’t care at all about Webby.
Things That “Quacked” Us Up – Easter Eggs, Quotes & More:
- HA! “The Daja vus” were introduced three times! I laughed way more at this than I should have!
- Let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that unlike all other ‘skateboarders jump off a roof and fall’ gags, this episode played into that expectation and avoided it with wing suits.
- At present, I really can’t tell which way Lena’s story will go. Though since she only tells Magica “she’s in” at the end of the episode, that means much of what she did this episode wasn’t under Magica’s control. Is this Lena’s plan to actually go out of her way to deceive/ stop Magica in favor of a real family?
- Favorite Quotes:
- “Are you saying Louie would rather eat us than hot dogs…”/ “I do hate hot dogs…” (Huey, Louie)
- “We almost died”/ “We ALMOST died”/ “WE’RE GONNA DIE!!!!!!!” (Webby, Lena, Both)
- *fistbump* “You wanna blow it up don’t you” (Lena) *Webby nods uncontrollably*
In the end, I might not have figured out why “Massacre” had to be in the title; but I was reminded how talented this show’s team is! If a seemingly “filler” episode can have such huge ramifications for the future of this series, then imagine what else this series will accomplish!