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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S1 E22 "The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!"

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Scrooge takes the kids on a vacation to Monacrow where they are supposed to find the legendary Maltese MacGuffin and attend the EX.C.E.S.S. show. Mrs. Beakley tags along, planning to take a long overdue vacation. Little does Scrooge know that the kids have a plan of their own: to finally find out what happened to Della.

Unfortunately, Scrooge and Launchpad get their plane, the Sunchaser, stuck on top of a mountain on their way there. With the engines burnt out, the plane ready to collapse, and the Darkwing Duck tape stuck on an endless loop, this will prove to be an emotional ride for everyone.



  • Adult Fear:
    • Your niece, after having her kids, steals a new vehicle from you and disappears. And you can't do anything to save her, because all the efforts to follow her prove fruitless, and you end up isolating your family as a result.
    • Your entire family abandons you over a large misunderstanding. And you can't even explain yourself properly.
    • It's implied throughout the episode that Scrooge is suffering from PTSD when his friends and family are put in trouble, especially whenever someone questions his ability to keep another safe. This is all because he failed to save Della.
    • Donald was apparently not informed of Della's trip until after the fact, meaning he just woke up one day with three kids about to be born learning that his sister, their mother, was presumed dead.
  • Becoming the Mask: Happens to Louie when he tries to distract Scrooge, pretending to be concerned for the group's safety so Dewey can get the piece of paper that they need to solve the mystery of Della's disappearance. But after Huey and Webby reveal that the odds of survival are actually very slim to help back up the ruse, he starts to legitimately fear for his life and spends the rest of the episode cowering and being careful.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The kids hit Scrooge's by claiming he didn't care enough about Della to get her back. He responds by lashing out. It doesn't end well.
    • During this moment, Mrs. Beakley makes it clear to Scrooge that she doesn't tolerate anyone insulting her granddaughter.
  • Blatant Lies: Scrooge claims to be happy after Donald and the boys go back to the marina and Beakley, Webby and Duckworth take an extended leave of absence, leaving Scrooge all alone. He is very clearly not happy.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In light of The Reveal, Scrooge and Donald's feud is a case of this. Scrooge argues that while he did build the spaceship, he knew it wasn't ready for travel and had no intention of it being flown until it was properly tested. Della was the one who decided to ignore this, sneak onboard, and fly it into outer space through a cosmic storm. Donald believes that Scrooge shouldn't have built the spaceship in the first place, especially since he did so fully aware of Donald's concerns about Della risking her life for space travel when she was about to become a mother (Scrooge was in the room for one such fight between the twins over it) and of Della’s impulsive tendencies.
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  • Bottle Episode: The majority of the episode takes place aboard the Sunchaser, the iconic red plane that Launchpad has been piloting since the start of the show. Only the main cast have any speaking lines.
  • Broken Pedestal: Scrooge is this to the kids — even Webby — after they find out about the Spear of Selene. Though more in Webby's case she is heartbroken that Scrooge said she's not family.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After Scrooge tells the kids about Della and the Spear of Selene, the boys are understandably angry at their uncle for building a rocket that would allow their mother to go to space while she was expecting and for not doing anything to save her. The truth is quite different, but Scrooge is taken aback by their accusations and loses his temper, causing things to escalate.
  • The Cameo: Duckworth appears at the end, apparently having decided to use his vacation days along with Beakley and Webby.
  • Cassandra Truth: Scrooge protests that he spared no expense to save Della, but Dewey and the others don't believe him because he's so cheap. Turns out he nearly bankrupted himself to find her, draining his money bin until the Board forced him to stop.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Scrooge's squabbling with the Board of Directors in "The Great Dime Chase!" is a lot less funny when you know that Scrooge nearly drove his company bankrupt during the search for Della Duck, and the Board had to physically stop him. The various expense-cuttings suggested by the buzzards are necessities to restore the company.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Very very minimal comic relief in this episode. Instead, this episode goes for full-blown family drama with devastating consequences. Considering the main plot and the backstory revealed, this episode arguably surpasses "The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck!" in terms of maturity and raw emotion.
    • Scrooge's final flashback becomes way darker if one considers the possibility that lots of those pilots he sent up to search for his niece were lost to space themselves...
  • Deus Exit Machina: Duckworth is seen leaving the mansion, which means his overpowered Ghost Butler abilities won't be there to help the main cast in the final episodes.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Scrooge is completely blindsided when the nephews turn on him after he tells them about the Spear of Selene and as such he's unable to control his temper.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Scrooge, in his attempt to explain what happened with the Spear of Selene, ends up angering everyone who listens, because Della Duck is his Berserk Button.
  • Doting Parent:
    • Uncle in this case. Scrooge built the Spear of Selene as a surprise gift for Della so she and her kids could go out into space.
    • Applies to Donald too, being the only adult considering the needs of the 3 eggs as shown in the flashback.
  • Downer Ending: Everyone but Launchpad is pissed off at Scrooge for one reason or another, causing the boys to want to move back to the marina with Donald and for most of his staff (except Launchpad) to use their built-up vacation days, leaving Scrooge completely alone. And Magica is coming for him...
  • Dramatic Irony: The kids call Scrooge out for not doing more to help find Della, but the end shows that he only stopped when the Buzzards literally dragged him away, after he depleted what must have been the majority of his fortune in the process.
  • Ear Worm: In-Universe. When the Darkwing Duck tape keeps looping over the credits, Huey, Louie and Webby starts singing along to the instrumental theme. Dewey eventually cracks after listening to it so much.
  • Easily Condemned: In a complete 180 from the previous episode, the nephews immediately blame Scrooge for their mom's absence and are in no mood to forgive him. This, of course, causes Scrooge to lose his temper and lash out at them, telling them they're nothing but trouble.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: A variant. Even Duckworth (an anthropomorphic dog) ends up leaving the mansion after he becomes disillusioned with Scrooge's actions, leaving the old duck totally alone in the massive home.
  • Exact Words: Beakley tells Scrooge and Dewey to stop running inside the plane. So they walk slowly instead.
    Mrs. Beakley: That is not what I meant and you know it.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Louie, Huey and Webby attempt to distract Scrooge in order for Dewey to get the missing picture piece. As the predicament they are in is described to Scrooge, Louie suddenly understands the full extent of the situation the whole family is in and he becomes understandably scared for real.
  • Fatal Flaw: Oh boy... The only one not to show one is Launchpad.
    • Scrooge's pride and temperament cause him to not only lash out unfairly at Webby and Beakley, but also prevents him from telling the whole story of the Spear of Selene to the kids, making them assume he did nothing to save Della.
    • Della's insatiable thirst for adventure is what causes her to steal the Spear of Selene prematurely and head to space. She also displays Suicidal Overconfidence, which is what prevents her from turning the rocket around when she approaches a cosmic storm.
    • Huey's literal-mindedness and tendency to overthink causes him to misinterpret Scrooge's story about the cosmic storm. This causes Dewey's accusation about Scrooge being the reason why Della's gone to gain merit and ground despite him being technically wrong. Huey was right in that Scrooge should have made Della turn around but didn't even think that he might have and Della was just to stubborn to do it. In fact Mrs. Beakley was most likely trying to point that out before Louie interrupted her.
    • Dewey's Determinator tendencies lead him to carelessly risk his life in order to get the final piece of Della's picture even as the rest of his family urges him that it's not worth it!
    • Louie's cowardice ruins one of the kids' attempts to retrieve the missing picture piece without the adults noticing. The botched attempt caused by Louie's panicking also leads to the jeep accidentally being jump-started and knocked loose, further damaging and unbalancing the plane.
    • Webby's nigh nonexistent social skills and lack of a filter keeps her from defusing the situation properly and adds oil to the fire. While Scrooge was wrong to tell her to stay out of family business the way he did, Webby really should not have added "even if gifting an experimental rocket to a mother of three, was a TERRIBLE IDEA!" until everything had calmed down.
    • Mrs. Beakley constantly forgets that while she was Scrooge's partner at one point, she is right now his employee, while also not trusting in his judgement enough. This causes her to make criticisms toward him that actually egg him on rather than make him think. Also despite being a level-headed caretaker and knowing the full truth behind the Spear of Selene, she gets overprotective of Webby when Scrooge lashes out at her inappropriate comment and fully stops trying to defuse the situation.
    • Donald's anger and spat with Scrooge keeps him away from the adventures, so he can work on the houseboat and go back to the marina with the boys. Meaning the third person that might know the full story is nowhere near and cannot defuse the situation. And if anyone had a good chance of calming the triplets down it was Donald.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Darkwing Duck tape's end credits list some pretty nonsensical jobs, like "ink well custodian", "carbon copy manager", "time handler" and "page flipper".
  • Freudian Slip: At one point, Scrooge, who is going to fix the rotors, says that he's going to save her, which briefly confuses Beakley.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Duck family is broken up, the triplets move back to the marina with Uncle Donald, and Mrs. Beakley, Webby, and Duckworth all leave Scrooge alone in his mansion. You might say that things couldn't possibly get any worse and that this is the show's Darkest Hour... And then you remember that Magica DeSpell is set to make a grand return for the season finale.
  • Fun with Acronyms: EX.C.E.S.S. is the EXtreme Consumer Electronics and Science Symposium, and a clear parody of E3.
  • Furry Reminder: A flashback reveals that the triplets hatched from eggs. While logical, it's an aspect of the Disney Ducks that has not been dealt with much in the comics or animated cartoons, where the ducks are just treated as humans who happen to look like ducks.
  • Hope Spot: Scrooge thought revealing the fate of Della would mend the bonds between his family and stop the kids from going off on wild hijinks. Instead it just causes everyone to lash out at him because, at the end of the day, he seems responsible for the possible death of the triplets' mother. This causes him to lash out at them in return.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Dewey, furious at Scrooge for what happened, remarks that Scrooge probably stopped searching for Della the second it put a dent in his money bin. The ending reveals that Scrooge had nearly depleted the bin searching for her and had to be forcibly stopped by his board members.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Huey claims that Newton got theory of gravity from the JWG.
  • Ironic Echo: A rare double echo. Scrooge tries to assure Mrs. Beakley that the children have never feared for their safety. Cue Louie saying how all the children are fearing for their safety. Then, after Huey and Webby give very real reasons why they should be afraid, Louie repeats that he's afraid for his safety, but with genuine terror in his voice.
  • Irony: Each of Scrooge's traits that the triplets expressed admiration for in the first episode now become sources of anger towards him upon learning the truth of Della's disappearance:
    • Dewey, who looks up to Scrooge for his daring and adventurous personality, is furious that Scrooge built the incredibly dangerous rocket Della took to outer space.
    • Huey, who admires Scrooge's intelligence and wisdom, can't believe Scrooge didn't account for the dangerous variables of the cosmic storm and order Della to turn back instead of trying to guide her through it (although given Scrooge's comment that she was stubborn, it's implied he did try to talk her down only to be ignored).
    • Louie, who always held Scrooge's vast fortune and Pooled Funds in esteem, lashes out at him for seemingly not using them to fund more ships to go up to space and find her (though it turns out Scrooge actually did do this).
    • A double dose of irony shows up at the end as the flashback showed all three were wrong to lash out at him; Scrooge spared no expense and sent entire fleets up into space to look for Della, sitting by mission control the entire time. He had to be physically dragged away screaming and kicking by his board members when he nearly bankrupt himself and the company. And he doesn't get to tell this to the boys due to his anger.
  • It's All About Me: As the episode stretches on, Dewey is perfectly willing to risk killing himself and six other people to settle his obsession, and seemingly doesn't care about the consequences.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • It turns out that Scrooge wasn't responsible for the tragedy of the Spear of Selene, as he shouted at Donald in "Woo-oo!", at least not entirely. He had made the Spear, yes, but it was an experimental prototype rocket for trips into space. It wasn't ready beyond the testing stages, and certainly not for solo trips. Della was the one who made the choice to test out the rocket alone, after she had the triplets, only leaving a note behind for Scrooge and no word at all for Donald.
    • Donald had every reason to be angry at Della for wanting to take the Spear of Selene into space. Aside from the fact it was a dangerous untested prototype, Della was about to become a mother to three kids and risking her life for the thrill of adventure in spite of that is completely irresponsible.
    • The vultures pulling Scrooge away when he was trying to save Della might seem heartless, but this was after Scrooge had spent presumably months (long enough at least to build a fleet of space ships) trying to find her with nothing to show for it except a massive drop in his fortune. Scrooge probably would have driven himself into poverty for nothing if they had not stopped him.
    • While Scrooge did try everything within his power to get Della back, Huey was right in that Scrooge could have told her to turn back instead of trying to guide her and pushing her forward.
  • Kick the Dog: As everyone onboard the Sunchaser confronts Scrooge at once about his part in enabling Della's disappearance, he becomes hyper-defensive and starts lashing out at everyone around him. Webby tries to defuse things but Scrooge tells her to stay out of a family argument because she is *not* family. Webby is visibly wounded and Mrs. Beakley is not happy in the slightest.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: It appears Dewey takes after his mother a great deal, sharing not only Della's thirst for adventure, but also her stubborn recklessness.
  • Low-Speed Chase: As Scrooge chases Dewey, Beakley warns them to stop running or they'll cause the plane to lose balance. So they walk slowly instead.
  • MacGuffin: Parodied with the Maltese MacGuffin, which is even named after one of the most famous examples. We don't even learn what it is, aside from a rare lost item.
  • Mama Bear: Beakley immediately comes to Webby's aid after Scrooge lashes out at her.
  • Misblamed: In-universe. The family blames Scrooge for building the Spear of Selene, a rocket meant for family adventures, and tempting Della into taking it. Though he should have told Donald that he had built the rocket in the first place, he didn't make Della go up in it, or travel through a cosmic storm.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • After the huge argument, Launchpad yells (not even in his goofy self) that the plane is falling to the ground, and thankfully manages to steer it so it crashes normally. Then he whimsically wonders that the plane didn't crash usually, then he accidentally hits the ignition, crashing the plane to a rock, casually shrugging it off with his usual humor. Then the mood gets dark again ...
    • The episode ends with a downright tragic Downer Ending - followed by the usual happy end credits music.
  • Motive Misidentification: It turns out Scrooge wiping every trace of Della from the world wasn't because he wanted to hide the truth or keep her "betrayal" a secret, as Webby and Dewey had believed. It's actually because he partly blames himself for what happened to her, and it was how he coped with his grief. When Dewey confronts him for answers, Scrooge readily tells the whole story when he realizes what Dewey badly wanted.
  • My Greatest Failure: Despite his denials to the contrary, and how he puts on an uncaring front, Scrooge blames himself heavily for the Spear of Selene.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Della's disappearance is very similar to her comics one, only in that case Donald told the boys that rockets were a relatively new invention for the time period, and thus known to be dangerous.
    • The final shot of the episode, with Scrooge in his chair, fists clenched, glaring forward, and hated by his entire family, is a reference to his first appearance in the comics.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Despite Della's fate being largely her own fault, Donald and the triplets ignore her impulsive actions and put most of the blame on Scrooge for building the rocket in the first place. Even when Scrooge defends himself, he chooses to point out everything he did to try to save her rather than pointing out Della's poor choices.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Scrooge taking control of the Sunchaser in an attempt to show Beakley the plane is safe leads to their most dangerous crash.
    • Scrooge building the Spear of Selene against Donald's wishes, and keeping it a secret from him, leads to Della taking the Spear and getting lost in the cosmic storm. Donald was angry at Scrooge for enabling Della and not thinking of the boys and subsequently severed ties for ten years.
    • During the climatic argument, Beakley initially tries to calm the boys down, even managing to get out, "Now, boys, you don't know..." before being interrupted. Once Scrooge lashes out at Webby and snarls she isn't family, Beakley immediately goes to Webby's defense, costing Scrooge the one ally he had who not only knew the full story but could also help calm the kids down.
  • No Antagonist: The episode features no villains or even jerkass characters that threaten the protagonists - the conflict arises entirely from the characters' (primarily Scrooge's, Dewey's and Della's) personality flaws and inability to deal with a tragedy from the past.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Scrooge made the Spear of Selene as a gift to Della to celebrate the triplets' birth. It was meant to be a surprise. Della found out and, inexplicably, decided it would be a good idea to take it for a "test flight" after leaving Scrooge a hastily written note.
  • Noodle Incident: How Louie got the shredded documents from Quackfaster is unrevealed.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • The plane apparently has several safety concerns that Beakley can see just from the pilot's area.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: When Scrooge is abandoned by his family again and sits alone in the mansion, we see the whole truth about Della and the Spear of Selene: he had done everything to save her, spending a large part of his fortune in the process but he was forced to stop by the executives because the costs of finding Della were getting too high.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Between Della's desire to travel and Scrooge's need for adventure, Donald was the only duck in the trio who tried to remind everyone that Della's three triplets were on the way and it wasn't a good time to go adventuring. This resulted in a pretty huge argument between him and Della.
    • In the present day, Beakley is this when she tells Scrooge to call off the adventure and evacuate the plane.
    • And then when Beakley gets pulled into the family argument, Launchpad becomes this, trying to break up the in-fighting and keep the situation from getting worse.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Scrooge McDuck, one of the most famous tightwads in fiction, spent huge amounts of his fortune to try and save Della. He only stopped when his vultures forced him to.
    • Launchpad takes the Only Sane Man ball at the climax, trying to (unsuccessfully) stop the family squabble by reminding them that the plane's about to fall - even looking angry when his words go unheard.
    • Louie, the money grubber who enjoys living in McDuck Manor the most, is the one who tells Donald the triplets want to move back to the marina.
  • Opening Shout-Out: The stuff the kids and Launchpad are excited about seeing at the EX.C.E.S.S. event references the "racecars, lasers, aeroplanes" line in the opening.
  • Papa Wolf: Scrooge rushes to the rescue to save Launchpad when he's in danger of falling out of the plane with loose cargo. It's revealed that he tried his best to save Della, and his business executives had to literally drag him away from it all because it was proving fruitless and costly.
  • Parental Abandonment: After she had the triplets, Della "borrowed" the Spear of Selene, without telling Donald and only leaving a note for Scrooge. After she disappeared, Donald took the boys in and there's no mention of their father.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: After failing to properly communicate about all he did to help Della, the triplets, Beakley, Webby, and even Duckworth, but not Launchpad, abandon Scrooge, just before the final two episodes of the season.
  • The Precarious Ledge: The Sunchaser is stranded on top of a mountain peak, and any shift in weight could cause it to fall. Later, Dewey sees the missing piece of paper that they need caught on the propeller, and climbs along the wing to retrieve it, while Scrooge, tethered to the plane, tries to get him back inside.
  • Poor Communication Kills: And it breaks up your family to boot. After finding out the truth about their mother, because Scrooge was too proud to tell them exactly how much he cared for Della and how much he spent to save her, the kids ask their uncle Donald to leave the mansion and take them back to the marina.
    Donald: What happened to you?
    Dewey: We know about the Spear of Selene.
    Donald: Oh...
    Louie: Let's go back to the marina.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: When the nephews accuse Scrooge of not caring about Della, he's unable to control his temper and lets out a rant that's both cruel and heartbreaking.
  • The Reveal: The truth about Della Duck and the Spear of Selene is finally out by the end of the episode, and it's not pretty. The Spear of Selene is a rocket that Scrooge built to allow the family to go to space, except Della took it without Scrooge's permission, while she was expecting the triplets, to fly it to the moon with tragic results.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: This exchange between Scrooge and Beakley:
    Scrooge: We are going to use the jeep's engine to jumpstart the plane, what could be safer?
    Beakley: Getting off the plane and climbing down the mountain? Not starting a car inside a plane?
  • The Scapegoat: Everyone blames Scrooge for building the Spear of Selene, because if he hadn't built it then Della wouldn't have taken it. Donald was more hurt by the fact that Scrooge didn't tell him, because if he had, then Donald might have been able to talk Della out of such a foolish endeavor, especially since she was expecting kids. Scrooge blames himself deeply, despite his telling Donald "I was not responsible for the Spear of Selene!"
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: At the end of the episode, the boys, disillusioned with Scrooge, ask Donald to move the boat back to the marina. Meanwhile, Mrs. Beakley, angry and disappointed at Scrooge's insult towards Webby, leaves for an extended vacation with her granddaughter. Even the loyal Duckworth decides to leave with a suitcase. The only one who doesn't leave Scrooge is Launchpad.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Most of the plot is spent attempting to keep the weight of the Sunchaser balanced so it won't go toppling off the mountain peak. Eventually it does fall off the peak... but then it turns out they weren't as far from the ground as they thought (as it was obscured by clouds).
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • As the others try to talk Dewey out of climbing the wing of the plane, Launchpad just wants to know if he should put the Darkwing Duck VHS tape on pause until he gets back.
    • Della wanted to go on an impromptu trip into space, which could endanger her life, despite having three kids on the way, something that Donald doesn't hesitate to call her out on.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: After going on so many adventures, Scrooge, Donald, and Della were running out of places on Earth to explore. Della's solution was to take the next step and go exploring in outer space.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Displayed by both Scrooge and Della.
    • When Scrooge takes over the controls of the Sunchaser, Beakley asks when he learnt to fly a plane. Scrooge brushes off the concern by pointing out that if Launchpad could do it, how hard could it be? Naturally, the plane crashes soon after.
    • Della chooses to take the newly completed Spear of Selene up into space seemingly on a whim, apparently confident that as an ace pilot and the designed of the ship she could handle anything that happened. Then the cosmic storm hit...
  • Tempting Fate: Dewey repeatedly does this when trying to get the last scrap of the photograph, each time saying that nothing can stop him now (followed by the scrap blowing away). By the third and final time, even Webby is sick of it and tells him to just bring over the stupid paper.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: Or rather penultimate episode misunderstanding. After finding the truth about their mother, the kids accuse Scrooge of doing nothing to save their mother. In reality, he did everything he could to save her, but his pride prevents him from saying more on the matter, causing the kids to think that he didn't care for her.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: If Scrooge hadn't decided to surprise Della with the Spear of Selene, and if Della hadn't decided to just fly into space without thinking it through, everything would have turned out very differently.
  • Undying Loyalty: Even though it's not shown, Launchpad is the only one who doesn't leave Scrooge at the end of the episode.
    • That said, even Launchpad hesitates when Beakley points out that Scrooge is gambling everyone's lives on the fact that "(he's) Scrooge McDuck!" and will always find a way to keep everyone safe.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Downplayed; it's loosely implied if Donald hadn't fought with Della about traveling into space with her kids about to hatch, she wouldn't have left to prove him wrong and Scrooge would have kept Donald in the loop about the Spear. Even so, the triplets and Scrooge don't blame Donald for this, because Donald was actually Properly Paranoid about space travel being too dangerous.
  • We Need a Distraction: Said word for word by Webby when they plan to get the last piece of paper from the car without the adults finding out. They all turn to Louie.
    Louie: (weary sigh) Fine. Just follow my lead.
  • Wham Episode: The truth about Della and the Spear of Selene is finally revealed, and the kids are not happy about it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Beakley calls Scrooge out twice. The first one is when she notices that the Sunchaser has several airplane security violations that make it unfit to fly. The second and more heartbreaking one is when Scrooge tells Webby to shut up because she is not family.
    • Donald in the past called out Della for wanting to go into space when her children were about to hatch, which resulted in a nasty fight between the two of them.
    • Even Duckworth is disillusioned with Scrooge's actions in this episode, and proceeds to leave the manor with Beakley and Webby.
    • Although it's subtle, you can catch Launchpad giving off this vibe a few times as he seems visibly angry at all the infighting happening when they're all on the verge of dying if and when the plane teeters off the rock formation.


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