And on record, it was totally and utterly worth the wait.
I have been absolutely on board with the DuckTales reboot since it was announced. And now into the second season, I am completely in love. Every episode is stronger than the next, and there has never been an instance where I have felt anything close to let down. With any series of any medium that is rare – never mind something that is supposed to be a reboot.
The characters, the narrative and everything in between is pure brilliant. DuckTales is one of the foremost examples of a series that has so much love and passion into that it becomes infectious. As I have not been reviewing the series thus far. I really wanted to take a moment and really convey my admiration and thanks to everyone who is working on the series as they deserve the recognition.
Anyone who knows me, is basically aware how easy it would be for me to continue on in that regards. But I really want to dive into the long-awaited and heart-pounding “Whatever Happened to Della Duck?!”.
At this time I warn for spoilers, both for the episode and the series leading to now.
Even though DuckTales (2017) is not heavily episodic based, there has been one very critical plot line that was set up at the very last scene of the series opened. The secret behind Della Duck- and moreover, what happened to her.
During the duration of the first season, we slowly see pieces of the mystery unfold as Dewey and Webby try to find out what happened to Della. And what led to Donald and Scrooge being estranged for nearly a decade. Yet it isn’t until towards the end of the season, in a very bold move do we see the truth of what happened to Della coaxed out of Scrooge.
And does it ever tug on the heartstrings.
Prior to the birth- er, hatching? – of Huey, Dewey and Louie, Scrooge had made a spacecraft made for Della as a gift. Upon discovering the Spear of Selene, Della rather impulsively took it out for a test run. During said run, she found herself in the mists of a cosmic storm. Never minding her uncle’s protest and comments to turn around, Della forged on. And became what everyone believes to be lost in space.
As a result, Donald took guardianship of the boys and severed ties to Scrooge. On the other hand, Scrooge was plugged with regret, and did everything he possibly could have though to do to find Della. Funding countless deep space searches for traces of Della, which nearly resulted in bankruptcy. But that really was nothing compared to what was truly lost-family.
Needless to say, when everything came to light emotions ran high. And once again we see the family pulled apart by ghost of the past. The season one final seen the result of what would be the second family fallout. But thankful, this family had become far too strong to let anything really ever divided them again – even if it required them to be reminded. Little did any of them know, as they reunited victoriously against Magica De Spell, there was someone watching them.
Mainly Della herself.
Somehow, she was alive and was even more determined to return to her family.
This wasn’t the only time we had seen hints of Della’s current state. In the second season episode, “Last Christmas. Where yet again we only get a slight tease of Della. This time we see her working on her ship as she looks off at Earth.
Even though it has been made clear that Della is alive, and trying to get back to her family. It has only been in short teases. Fans have had a lot of ideas, head canons and theories to try to fill in the gaps.
And now we finally can connect the dots.
Whenever Della is mentioned, we normally either think about what happened to her or the implications that affect her family. Myself included, no one has really stopped and though about how her being stranded on the moon was effecting her. We know what her disappearance did to her brother and uncle. We know it bothers the boys not having their mother.
But at the end of the day they have each other to lean on and count on. They are never really alone. Della, she’s alone on the moon and living with the consequences of her actions and the regret. She never got to see her kids be born, spend a single birthday or holiday with them. Just thinking about that has to sting. If Della wasn’t who she was, so determined. She likely would have given up long ago about the notion of being back home.
Right of the bat we know this isn’t a normal episode as we aren’t greeted by the normal title sequence and opening them. No, no holding back here as we jump right into the story.
The episode opens within minutes of the crash, we see Della frantically trying to regain control of her ship. Scrooge is on-screen telling her to pull out, that is until the signal goes out. Only to shortly find herself crashing in a way only really Launchpad can match.
From there, in time lapse we see Della’s state. Her waking after the crash, only to discover her one leg is stuck under her ship and gasping for air. Thankfully Gryo has one invention that actually is useful, a chew-able gun that provides oxygen, water and nutrition. Even if the flavour choice is less than appealing.
Despite being able to survive, Della doesn’t walk away physically unharmed from the crash. She loses one of her legs in the process.
Normally such an affair is meet with graphic imagery, or dramatic elements. DuckTales takes a classy approach, it does illustrate for us that it happens and even brings notice to her new bionic leg. But never diverges in the details. Nevertheless, it is a true shocking holding breath moment for the series. One that explains why in every scene and teasers we had never seen Della from a full body standpoint.
Over time we see Della new normal of sorts; making videos in vain hopes her family might see them and logging her days in space. Fighting against an alien being known as mites that is always trying to interfere with her ongoing attempts at rescue or own escape.
No matter how off course her plans are derailed she keeps fighting. Keeps the belief that she will see her kids. It is such a driving and amazing force. Never mind she also has her brother’s temper, so yeah – never mess with Della Duck.
Finally, after years of trying her best and having everything bow up in her face. Della is able to rebuild her ship and return home. That is until she learns that she is missing one final thing – gold. This leads to the funniest moments in the episode, Della imitating Scrooge. And to be fair it was really good.
But again, it is always something. This prompts Della to travel the moon on foot in search of gold. It seems her luck is similar to that of her brother as she spends years in vain looking for gold and comes up empty-handed. Just when she is about to show signs of giving in, the gum she has been chewing on pulls out a filing from the back of her mouth. A gold filing.
This leads Della to perhaps be the happiest we have ever seen her. After all this time she finally has the thing she needs to go home. It seems so simple and straightforward.
But is anything ever really?
Yeah – no, at least not for Della. She once again finds herself attached by the mite, this time the monster is transfixed on getting the gold. But this fight is far more intense than others, and Della’s ship is once more damaged and is dragged down under the moon’s surface.
This however is met with what can only really be a fated encounter with two aliens, Lieutenant Penumbra and General Lunaris whom have been trying to stop the mite as well. Together the three face the mite in hopes of taking it down for good. That is until Della sees that all of the things the mite has been doing was for the sake of her child – the metal from the ship and the gold, they were to provide for the child.
This resonates deeply for Della as a mother herself that is willing to do anything to be with her kids. In a very magical girl way, leads Della to stop fighting and to embrace kindness. A great moment of sacrifice arrives as Della gives the gold to the mite – even though it might have sealed her fate on the moon and blown her chances of seeing her dream come to pass she does this with little hesitation.
Thankfully, her kindness is recognized by General Lunaris which leads Della to the hidden city on the moon. One heavily occupied by gold and the possibility of returning home.
This was such an emotional episode that really encompassed the highs and lows event and emotional wise for Della. Honestly going into this I had no idea how they were going to go about this. But wow they pulled out all the punches.
I love how they kept the theme of motherhood very central to the story line and make it come full circle. Kind of got some Maquia vibes and I love that.
Knowing where we are in the season, going in we knew that there was no way that Della was getting to Earth that easy. But now with this change it looks like the endgame is going to be a lot more interesting.
Now we wait until May to see what happens next.
Join the conversation: Just how is Della going to get back home? Do you perfect episode or season reviews? Let us know!