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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S1 E24 "The Shadow War Part II: The Day of the Ducks!"

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A long-awaited clash between the Sorceress of the Shadows and the World's Greatest Adventurer.
With Magica freed from her magical prison and unleashing an army of shadows, the Duck family races against time to plan a dangerous rescue mission to save Duckburg from her shadowy grasp... and Uncle Scrooge as well.


Tropes:

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  • Achilles' Heel: Magica has two:
    • Even when unsealed, her power seems to have some reliance/connection to the #1 Dime as when it is not on her person, she becomes notably weaker (though still dangerous).
    • The Sumerian Amulet, which appears to hold or be the source of all her power. She doesn't need to be in contact with it to use magic, but when it is broken, she seems to lose her magic completely.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original Ducktales cartoon, Magica's shadow turned on her to become an independent villain. This time, she does it to join the heroes.
  • Affably Evil: Gladstone's shadow hands him a twenty-dollar-bill he had found before heading off to join Magica.
  • The Ageless: Due to being a shadow, Lena has looked the same for fifteen years since she was formed by Magica.
  • All According to Plan: Donald told the kids to stay away from the Money Bin, but they ignore him and go there to fight anyway. When they run into him there, he reveals he knew they wouldn't stand by while Scrooge was in danger and he used Reverse Psychology on them so they'd sneak in without anyone, including Magica, noticing.
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  • Always with You: The boys say Lena will always be with Webby. Lena becomes part of Webby's shadow.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Besides her amulet/staff, as also mentioned above, the #1 Dime seems to significantly boost Magica's powers when she has it.
  • Badass Boast: Donald uses his newly gained Don Cheadle voice to give out several.
    Beakley: Get ready for the storm.
    Donald: I am the storm!
    Beakley: OK, seriously, have you been saying things like that this whole time?!
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Della can breathe on the moon without any kind of space suit. She seems to be inside the wrecked remains of the Spear of Selene, though how it's airtight or has enough O2 is a mystery.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Fenton pulls this in order to save Manny and Li'l Bulb from Magica's shadow army.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Scrooge is freed from the Number 1 Dime and Magica's amulet-staff is broken, stripping Magica of her power and forcing her to flee. Lena sacrificed herself to save Webby, but Lena is now part of Webby's shadow, with the latter unaware of this. The houseboat is destroyed again, but Donald and the boys have reconciled with Scrooge, reuniting the Duck-McDuck family. The episode ends with The Reveal that Della is still alive and stranded on the Moon.
  • Book-Ends:
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    • The end of the the first episode has Dewey say "Mom?" after he finds a picture of her. Della herself does the same thing, instead calling out for her boys when she sees the broadcast at the end of her family's fight with Magica.
    • Those same two episodes also has the phrase "Family truly is the greatest adventure of all" be interrupted, with Launchpad's panicked "OH NO, THE GROUND!" interrupting his while Donald ends up shocked one too many times and spits out the voice modulator.
  • Born as an Adult: Due to Lena's status as Magica's shadow brought to life, she was physically born as a teenager.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: While fighting off the shadows, Mrs. Beakley uses two of Donald's catch phrases: "What's the big idea?" and "Aw, phooey!"
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: A downplayed version of this trope. When Magica gets ahold of Gyro Gearloose, she asks Scrooge if he is a good friend or just a business acquaintance. Scrooge bluntly states that he is the latter, but given that Magica was out to destroy everything Scrooge cared about, it could also very well be the former. Even though the whole exchange is Played for Laughs, it's clear that Gyro is hurt.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Since Fenton's shadow stole his Gizmoduck suit, Fenton decides to weaponize Li'l Bulb onto Gearloose's laser gun to fight.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Upon her staff getting destroyed, Magica loses all of her powers and finds herself forced to run away.
  • The Cameo: During Magica's takeover of Duckberg, the audience catches glimpses of Glomgold, Gladstone, Mamá Cabrera, and Gabby McStabberson reacting to it. Likewise, after the children escape their own shadows on the stairs, they run into a new group which consists of former enemies: Gabby McStabberson, Falcon Graves, the Beagle Boys, and Bentina Beakley.
  • Character Development: Donald with Reverse Psychology lets the boys go on the adventure and be the heroes.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • During the battle with Magica, Louie displays the ability to swim in the gold coins, a skill previously attributed solely to Scrooge, and remarked upon in "The Great Dime Chase!" Looks like the boy has been putting in the hard work after all. He's even seen swimming alongside Scrooge during one of the final scenes amongst said coins.
    • The scuba equipment from the previous episode and "Jaw$!" comes back, with the kids using it to swim underwater and infiltrate the bin.
    • Webby's night-vision goggles allow the boys and Webby to traverse the money bin and avoid their shadows.
    • Fenton's science and experience with Gyro's equipment allow him, Manny and Li'l Bulb to weaponize Li'l Bulb's wattage and upgrade their laser gun.
    • Webby's friendship bracelet allows Lena to regain her sapience in shadow form.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Gyro mentions the shadows trashed his underwater lab. The boys and Webby use the lab's elevators to get into the bin.
    • Louie retrieved the khopesh from the bay. This is later thrown to cut the lights in the bin stairwell.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: Magica's dark magic is represented by a purple glow, whereas the magic that comes from Webby and Lena's friendship glows with a bright blue color.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Much like Louie struggled with the stairs before, all the kids have to when the elevator in the Bin is busted.
    • In Gladstone's brief appearance, he finds twenty dollars lying on the ground, which was a Running Gag in "The House of Lucky Gander". Being the luckiest person in the world, his Living Shadow gives him the money with a smile instead of attacking him.
    • While the other ducklings can only roll around on the surface of the gold, Louie can dive into it and swim in it just like Scrooge - a skill he expressed interest in both in "Woo-oo" and in "The Great Dime Chase".
    • Both Mama Cabrera and Gabby McStabberson get a brief cameo, with the former arresting the latter, before both their shadows fly off.
    • When Magica lists to Louie what sorts of magic she is versed in, she mentions Demigorgon. The medal that Goldie was wearing in "The Golden Lagoon of White Agony Plains" was the Eye of the Demigorgon, from the demon dimension of Demigorgana.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Lena fights against Magica to save Webby, but given everything that she did to her, it also qualifies as this.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Beakley agrees with Donald that the kids should stay out of this one because this isn't a typical adventure. Then it turns out Donald had different plans.
  • Evil Gloating: Magica prepared the monologue on index cards to read out to Scrooge.
    Magica: I was trapped for fifteen years. I'm allowed a minute to gloat.
  • Evil Is Petty: One of the things Magica does is turn some of Scrooge's wealth into ice-cream and then drop it. Really, her whole motivation seems to boil down to this.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: After being depowered, Magica drops a smoke screen and seems to have vanished. She's seen stumbling away seconds later.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Magica's biggest flaw is her ego. Huey manages to distract her by asking a series of questions about her power, which nearly drives her to explain, while Louie bluffs her about a cursed mirror.
  • Forced to Watch: Essentially Magica's plan for Scrooge.
  • Forgiveness
    • While Webby is hurt on learning that Lena used her and betrayed the Ducks to bring back Magica, she understands that Lena wasn't completely doing it of her own volition and blames Magica for taking Lena away. She also mourns Lena when Magica destroys the latter's shadow.
    • Dewey rescues the Dime and talks to a trapped Scrooge in it, apologizing for blaming him for Della's disappearance. He says he understands now that the triplets didn't just lose their mother; Donald lost his sister and Scrooge lost his niece. Scrooge, with a sorrowful expression in agreement, in turn has long forgiven the kids and Donald for his anger, since they came to his rescue and he wanted them back.
  • Funny Background Event: As everyone engages in Pooled Funds, Donald is seen in the background trying to do a cannonball, and only hurting his butt instead. Indeed, nobody seems to be able to swim properly in the treasure except for Scrooge and Louie.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: A variant; Beakley uses one of the shadows as a club against the others.
  • He’s Back: Once Scrooge is released, he's back in his full glory, and he thanks Magica for bringing them all together again.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Lena (seemingly) sacrifices herself to save Webby and the other ducks.
  • Hold the Line: Beakley unsuccessfully tries to defend Donald's boat from the shadow creatures. It gets trashed in the process.
  • Humiliation Conga: Losing her powers, being bellyflopped by Launchpad and being forced to run for her life? Yep, what a way to put Magica down.
  • I Am the Noun:
    Beakley (handing Donald a harpoon gun): Get ready for a storm.
    Donald (voiced by Don Cheadle) I am the storm.
    Beakley: Seriously, have you been saying things like that this whole time?
  • I Will Show You X:
    Dewey: (on Donald's voice) Completely unintelligible.
    Donald: I'll show you unintelligible!
  • Internal Reveal: When looking for Lena to help them sneak into the Money Bin, the kids discover her secret hideout. There not only do they find out that she was helping Magica all along, they also discover how Magica plans to get revenge on Scrooge.
  • I Have No Son!: More like "I have no niece/daughter". Magica mocks Lena for the latter continuing to call her "Aunt" even though Magica created Lena out of her own shadow. This would practically make her Lena's mother. Not that it matters to Magica one bit - in her words, Lena was never family or even real.
  • Ironic Hell: Magica's attempted imprisonment of Scrooge in his most prized possession, and success in the present, was meant to do this. Magica getting sealed in the Dime by the very spell meant to seal Scrooge also counts.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Magica refers to Lena as "it" when mocking Webby for befriending her.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Manny taps this out to Li'l Bulb when they are cornered by shadows.
  • It's Personal: Webby doesn't take Magica's attempt to ruin the lives of her friends and family very well, and in particular seems to target the witch especially hard over the loss of Lena.
  • Kick the Dog: Magica tells Webby that Lena was never real and how Webby befriended a shadow.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A Wizard Did It gets lampshaded during the climactic fight. Huey distracts Magica by asking her several questions such as how come they never saw her in the dime and how was Scrooge able to defeat her when he doesn't have magic powers. Eventually she gets frustrated and just tells him it's magic.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • Donald sheds his cautious, overprotective nature to rally everyone to fight Magica and save Scrooge. To drive the point home, he picks up a harpoon and whispers, "I am the storm". He also fights off dozens of shadows with his bare hands (including one wearing the Gizmo Duck power armor)and lives.
    • Launchpad, as he prepares to fight the shadows, presses his Darkwing Duck bobblehead to hear the "Let's get dangerous" catchphrase for motivation. Then when Magica's shadows immobilize his plane, he starts singing the Darkwing Duck theme song with improvised lyrics) while getting out to punch them.
    • Fenton proves that he doesn't need the Gizmoduck suit to be a legitimate threat to the shadows.
    • Li'l Bulb strikes a heroic pose when Fenton upgrades his wattage with a laser gun, and proceeds to obliterate the shadows.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: Donald treats Webby as one of his kids, ordering her to stay with the boys on the docks, out of danger. When the shadow army attempts to attack her and the triplets, he shouts, "Get away from my kids!"
  • Living Shadow:
    • Initially, as established early in the show, Magica appears as Lena's shadow. Then the whole thing gets turned on its head as Lena is revealed to be part of Magica's shadow brought to life.
    • As part of her Evil Plan, Magica summons the shadows of every living person in Duckburg to do her bidding and create an army of shadow people.
  • Logical Weakness: When the kids' shadows attack, Webby remembers shadows need light. Once they kill the lights, the shadows lose their power. Extreme light however, will burn them off.
  • Made of Iron: Launchpad survives quite the impressive fall (crashing himself) right onto the very not-soft surface of treasure in the money bin, and stands up afterward with barely a remark on it. Doubly so for Magica, who he landed on and had been de-powered to boot seconds prior, so you can't blame that one on magic.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • In "Daytrip of Doom!", Beakley firmly tells Donald while he's in the manor, "My house, my rules!" to his chagrin. When she tries to take the wheel of his houseboat here, he throws the same line back, and she immediately complies.
    • Dewey orders his brothers to do what they do best: "make trouble".
  • Metaphorgotten: When lobbing magical bolts at Webby and the triplets, Magica throws out one-liners like "Fore" and "Homerun" before saying "Tennis thing" and eventually just shouting "SPORTS!".
  • Mood Whiplash: Lena's (apparent) death is just glossed over by everyone else, after Webby and the triplets take some time to mourn her, who then proceed to take a late night money bin swim.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Barksian voice modulator that lets Donald speak coherently is a two-fer: first, it alludes to how Donald's dialogue is always understandable in the Carl Barks comics (for whom the device is named after); and second, it references the theatrical short "Donald's Golden Voice", in which Donald takes special pills that give him a normal voice.
    • As in the previous episode Magica's Leitmotif uses snippets of the the Transylvania theme.
    • The Moon Theme from DuckTales plays at the end before the Wham Shot.
    • It's a smaller one, but Magica's living shadows have the same Achilles' Heel (dependence on light) they did in the original series episode where Magica brought shadows to life.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Launchpad attempts to fly his plane to a Magica-infested Scrooge McDuck's money bin, trying to crash into it, only for her shadows to slap it away multiple times. Downplayed in that he then fights them with his bare hands when they grab his plane.
    • Dewey tries to tackle Magica from behind. It seems he might get the drop on her, but then she pulls out People Puppets control on him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Fenton sees his shadow appearing and attempts to summon the suit. His shadow shoves him out of the way and wears it instead. Oops.
    • The heroes let a depowered Magica get away, because she no longer seems to be a threat.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Magica's desire to destroy "everything Scrooge loves" was about 85% complete after the bombshell last episode, so if she hadn't made the huge display of power, no one would have been the wiser. Scrooge even points it out to her to rub it in that she "saved" his family. Admittedly, his family were planning to reconcile with him anyway, but the taunt serves its purpose to upset Magica.
    • Magica destroying Lena for defying her only makes Webby's attacks more vicious, to the point that Magica can barely hold the other girl off.
    • She tried to blast Dewey while he had the #1 Dime, which dispelled the enchantment that was keeping Scrooge imprisoned. Scrooge lampshades it.
    Scrooge: Way to de-spell your own spell, DeSpell!
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Webby launches a vicious attack on Magica that lands several effective punches and kicks.
  • Noodle Incident: Beakley mentions that she led an uprising in a country called "Eagleslavia"note .
  • Not Me This Time: Gyro is quick to point out that he didn't cause the shadow uprising. Apparently, his shadow control ray is still in the works.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Fenton battling his way through the shadows, without any weapons, until he picks up Gyro's laser gun and uses it to save Manny and Li'l Bulb.
    • Donald defeating all the shadows outside the vault door, including the one in the Gizmoduck suit.
    • Della has somehow lived on the moon for at least a decade.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Huey pulls this during the fight with Magica. Although he moves in the proper direction, he leaps behind a money pile and appears behind another without being seen moving in between. He even surprises Magica by appearing behind her after sliding down a pile.
  • Oh, Crap!: Fenton's reaction when his shadow makes off with the Gizmoduck suit.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Donald hates adventure and doesn't have the best relationship with Scrooge, but he agrees that everyone needs to work together to take Magica down. So he takes charge, makes a decent plan to defeat Magica, and even Beakley cedes authority to him.
    • After finding out the possibility that Lena betrayed them, Webby becomes snappish and irritable. She also fights Magica with more brutality than she did with Black Heron.
  • Percussive Therapy: Webby vents all of her hurt, heartbreak and anger about Magica using Lena into her blows. She looks much calmer, if saddened, after the battle.
  • Pet the Dog: A tiny variant. Magica has one only goal: to make Scrooge watch while she torments his family and destroys everyone he loves. Even so, her spell when it's broken returns Scrooge dressed in his trademark outfit and looking glorious, when before he had been dressed in a dirty shirt.
  • Pooled Funds: After Magica is defeated, Scrooge invites everyone for a "late night swim" in his money bin. Scrooge and Louie can perfectly dive and swim in it, while the other kids just roll around on the surface. Meanwhile, Launchpad and Donald don't quite get the hang of it, the former getting stuck in the gold head-down and the latter hurting his butt while trying to do a cannonball.
  • The Power of Friendship: Lena regains her sapience to fight her aunt (actually creator) thanks to the friendship bracelet she and Webby made together. When Webby mourns Lena and says, "She actually was my best friend," Lena reforms in her shadow, smiling.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Subverted/lampshaded. Launchpad tries to crash his plane into the money bin several times, each time shouting, "Sorry to crash the party!" only for Magica to deflect his plan every time. It finally pays off when Magica loses her powers and his plane falls, Launchpad crashes himself into Magica while shouting the line.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: After losing the respect they had for him in "The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!", the boys and Donald welcome Scrooge back into their lives.
  • The Reveal: Lena was Magica's shadow, cast to walk the Earth and bring her back to corporeal form. But she gained limited free will, sapience, and a conscience. She's also really fifteen years old, but has looked fifteen for all that time. Also, Della is still alive on the moon.
  • Reverse Psychology: Donald knew very well that the kids would go straight to the bin after he told them not to. It was his way of ensuring they'd be able to sneak inside without Magica noticing. Louie lampshades it when he realizes.
  • Rhyming with Itself: Launchpad when singing to the Darkwing Duck theme:
    Launchpad climbs out on the plane
    Gonna start a fight
    Wish I could think of a word
    That would rhyme with "fight"! Right!
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Webby went all-out on Magica for taking Lena away from her.
  • Rousing Speech: Donald begins to say one about how "Ducks never back down", but his voice makes it impossible for the others to understand it, let alone take him seriously. Then Gyro gives him the Barksian voice modulator, which enables him to give the speech in a clearer, more heroic-sounding voice. (Specifically, Don Cheadle.)
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: As it turns out, Magica had been trapped in the Number One Dime the whole time, thanks to Scrooge turning her spell on her.
  • Secret Diary: The boys discover Lena's room and Webby reads a poem inside that explains how she was created by Magica before she was trapped in Scrooge's Number One Dime.
  • Sequel Hook: Lena is now part of Webby's shadow, and Della is alive on the moon, unbeknownst to any of the main characters.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: An unusual variant where the comic relief character isn't sent away, but temporarily has his "joke character" aspects nullified. Just in time for this dramatic episode, Gyro force feeds Donald a device that nullifies his usual speech impediment, though by the end of the episode, the experimental device malfunctions and ultimately stops working. While it's active, Beakley is utterly surprised at how competent he is at devising a plan and giving badass one-liners.
    Beakley: Seriously, have you been saying things like that this whole time?
  • Side-Effects Include...: Of a sort. Louie explains the side effects of a supposed "curse" as, "Grave misfortune, increased gullibility, [and] a swift kick in the ribs." Cue the last part being delivered by Webby.
  • Silent Snarker: Scrooge, while he's trapped inside the dime. Complete with eye roll and everything.
    Magica: (shouting after she messes up her monologue) Don't roll your eyes at me! I've been plotting this for more than fifteen years! I'm entitled to at least a few minutes of Evil Gloating!
  • Soft Water: Gyro is thrown from near the top of the money pit, and appears to fall at least 60 feet before landing in the bay below unharmed.
  • Status Quo Is God: Gyro gives Donald a voice modulator that lets him speak coherently. Unfortunately, the device suffers a short-circuit toward the end of the episode.
  • Stealth Pun: When using the Barksian modulator, Donald Duck sounds like Don Cheadle, who plays War Machine, one of the Avengers, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This makes Donald a Duck Avenger.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Donald is the storm. Even Beakley is impressed.
  • Tempting Fate: When Donald goes to swim to the Money Bin, he leaves Beakley in charge of his houseboat and tells her to look after it. Beakley confidently scoffs "If Donald can keep this bucket afloat, how hard can it be?" Barely a couple of minutes later, thanks to some attacking ghosts, it's on fire and sinking. Apparently it's harder than it looks.
  • This Explains So Much: When the kids find Lena's hideout, they realize it's not very comfortable, and why she spends so much time at the Manor.
  • Throat Light: Magica's powers erupt from her throat and eyes when her staff breaks.
  • Time for Plan B: When the shadows don't allow him to crash into the Money Bin and immobilize his plane, Launchpad steps onto the wings and fights the shadows one on one.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Donald becomes a lot more capable of effortlessly taking charge of his friends, authoritatively coordinating their attack and saying incredibly badass things practically the very second he starts talking with the smooth, dulcet tones of Don Cheadle.
  • Translator Collar: The Barksian voice modulator, which turns Donald's quacks into the clear, smooth voice of Don Cheadle.
  • Trash the Set: Donald's houseboat is destroyed during battle.
  • Understatement: While giving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Magica, Webby exclaims: "You are not a nice person!"
  • The Unintelligible: Donald's status as this gets thoroughly lampshaded when his first attempt at a Rousing Speech falls completely flat. Huey claims to rely on context clues, Louie gets "every third word", and Dewey calls him "completely unintelligible".
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Donald told the boys to stay put on the docks and not follow him. However, this was Reverse Psychology and that the part he didn't tell them was actually the part the boys had to figure out on the way.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Having lost the real thing, Magica attempts to escape using simple stage magic. Despite her smokescreen comically failing to cover her escape — after initially seeming to disappear, she can soon be seen stumbling around just a few yards away — no one makes any attempt to stop her from getting away.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Webby is crushed to learn that Lena was Magica's spy, never her friend, and a traitor. Later, however, she says she believes Lena was real to her, and that's all that matters.
  • We Need a Distraction: Donald orders Gyro, Manny and Li'l Bulb to distract Magica from the bridge, and for Launchpad to deliberately crash into the shadows in the sky. Both are so he and Mrs Beakley can maneuver his boat around the back.
  • Wham Shot:
    • As the family celebrates, we pan up to the moon and see the wreckage of the Spear of Selene... and that Della is still alive.
    • A smaller one is Lena reforming in Webby's shadow when Webby puts her friendship bracelet on.
    • Earlier, in the flashback to when Magica was sealed away, the shadow she left behind forming into Lena.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Magica cruelly says Lena was never real. Webby doesn't agree, blaming Magica for taking Lena away.
  • A Wizard Did It: Magica invokes this when Huey raises a number of questions as to how her powers, defeat by Scrooge and her plan worked out the way they did. She explains a little but then in frustration just says it's magic when she cottons on to Huey's plan.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Launchpad gets frustrated when the shadows won't let him crash into the Money Bin. So he gets out to punch them out when they immobilize his plane.

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