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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S2 E9 "The Outlaw Scrooge McDuck!"

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In The Old West, Scrooge and Goldie form a band of outlaws and stage a heist to save a small town from corrupt businessman John D. Rockerduck.

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On a lazy afternoon at McDuck Manor, the equally (if not more) lazy Louie is watching a new episode of Ottoman Empire, now featuring Johnny as its sole host following an apparent falling-out between him and Randy behind the scenes. Scrooge enters the living room with stack of business cards he got for free due to a printing error and offers them to Louie, thinking they will help his nephew spread the word about Louie Inc. and the new "nap-n-go" car bed he has conceived. To Scrooge's dismay, Louie has already given up on his financial aspirations not because the idea was already claimed or because of a design flaw that could not be fixed, but simply because he didn't have the patience to wait in line at the patent office before five other people.

Incensed over Louie's willingness to give up all he has planned as soon as he faces an obstacle, Scrooge decides to tell him a story of how he started to make his fortune through grit and determination in the Wild West era.

During this time, a younger but just as determined Scrooge had travelled to the small town of Gumption as a prospector with the intention of digging beneath the town, believing it to be an ideal place to find and unearth a gold nugget. During the excavation, he realized he was on the right track upon finding a small scrap of gold but when he attempted to use dynamite to see if there was any more further along, the ladder leading out of the mine shaft broke and sent him falling back into the tunnel just as the dynamite went off, pinning him down by the leg beneath the rubble caused by the explosion.

Fortunately for Scrooge, the explosion managed to catch the attention of the Sheriff of Gumption, Marshall Cabrera, who bears a very strong resemblance to a certain McDuck industries employee and armored hero in the present day. After being fished out of the tunnel despite having dislocated a leg from the cave-in, Scrooge chowed down on a can of beans while Sheriff Cabrera informed him a "big timer from the big city" was coming to Gumption promising big things for the town and the local prospectors ought to know of it. Upon Sheriff Cabrera informing him that Gumption had become a "two prospector town" and that someone else had set up camp directly across town from his own, Scrooge immediately became territorial, snapping his leg back into place and storming over to confront this second prospector. He soon discovered with great displeasure that his competitor was none other than one of his most cunning and frustrating rivals: Goldie O'Gilt.

Louie immediately interrupts the story, not wanting to hear of any "old people romance" between his uncle and Goldie, though Scrooge assures him he only saw and still sees Goldie as an inconvenience in his career as a treasure hunter before getting back to the story.

The two rivals immediately got into a scuffle, ignoring Sheriff Cabrera's reminder of a town hall meeting the following day before he headed off. Unsurprisingly, Goldie had followed Scrooge to Gumption with the intention of swiping the gold Scrooge was searching for beneath the town.

Getting tired of hearing old prospector lingo, Louie asks if Scrooge can substitute it with something else, but is quick to change his tune upon hearing how horrible Totally Radical sounds coming from his Scottish uncle's beak.

Goldie's refusal to step off only strengthened Scrooge's resolve to find the gold nugget, but he found himself at a disadvantage once Goldie revealed she purchased Gumption's entire cache of dynamite to give her an upper hand in the race to excavate the nugget. Undeterred, Scrooge worked nonstop for two days, foregoing sleep to keep tunneling with his pickaxes while Goldie sat back and casually let the dynamite do the work for her. After tunneling far enough by tying a pickaxe to his foot to double his digging speed and using the last of her dynamite, Scrooge and Goldie found their efforts rewarded upon discovering a large gold nugget at the same time. But just as soon as they found the nugget, they felt it and themselves being lifted up from the ground by their pickaxes, still embedded in the nugget.

It turns out, the slicker from out of town was none other than John D. Rockerduck. Who using a large digger, and after buying the deed to the town, plans on making that giant gold nugget his own special nugget: The Rockerduck nugget. And then develop Gumption as well. Goldie and Scrooge are quite upset at possibly losing their big score, though Goldie for her part plays the situation better. She bulks up Scrooge's reputation, then eggs Rockerduck on to provoke Scrooge to violence. After Rockerduck and Scrooge start throwing fists (or Scrooge does after tying up Rockerduck with his own hat), she then eggs Sherrif Cabrara to arrest Scrooge, then uses what looks like the unguarded digger to make her escape. Only, it's not unguarded. Rockerduck's buff butler Jeeves stops her cold, and without anyone else to draw him off, Goldie is thrown in jail along with Scrooge for their hooligan actions.

Louie is momentarily distracted by the Ottoman Empire show, but then is pulled back to Scrooge complaining to Goldie on how she kept him from riches again. They push back and forth on each other, only to be broken up by a scientist who's also in the cell who's definitely not Gyro Gearloose stuck in the past of the old west.

For his part, Marshall says that Rockerduck's leaving with the nugget, though Rockerduck said he would return to grow Gumption afterwards. But using his future knowledge, Gyro informs Marshall that Rockerduck's true character is a thief who takes mining rights and leaves ghost towns in his wake. Angry at losing his money making chance, Scrooge resolves to chase down Rockerduck and become The Outlaw Scrooge Mcduck.

Each person resolves to help. Gyro to find things for his time machine (unmentioned), Goldie to get those riches, and Marshall to save the gold nugget and maintain justice for his town. Forming a plan, they get to work. Gyron builds Steam Punk rocket horses (with Marshall thinking regular horses might work just as well), while Goldie and Scrooge find high class outfits to blend in. Goldie is at first skeptical of Scrooge's ability to look high class, until she sees him in a charming green outfit, with a dapper top hat.

The plan is this: using the rocket horses, Scrooge and Goldie would board the train, with Goldie distracting Rockerduck, allowing Scrooge to steal a key to the gold nugget. After which, they'll load the nugget onto a stage coach Gyro and Marshall would bring alongside.

The first phase goes pretty well: distracting Rockerduck from complaining about not getting cold soup without feathers in them, Scrooge swipes a key to the gold nugget. Unfortunately, Jeeves noticed him doing it, and after finishing, Goldie tries to aid in fighting Jeeves, but she and Scrooge are no match for Rockerduck's Battle Butler.

Meanwhile, Marshall accidentally overloads the steam horses and carriage, destroying most of them, and knocking Gyro clean out.

At that point though, Louie complains that Scrooge couldn't possibly have known what "the inventor" and "the sheriff" were doing since he was on the train. Scrooge just smiles slyly on Louie being "invested" in the story at last.

Finally thinking up a makeshift solution, Marshall grabs parts of the horses, catching up with the train....in the first ever Gizmoduck suit. Knocking Jeeves back, Marshall then grabs the giant gold nugget, but Goldie and Scrooge are restrained before they can escape. Thinking quickly, Scrooge appeals to Jeeves's common worker background with him, saying he deserves gold just as much as all the working stiffs. So, he offers Jeeves the gold piece he recovered first. And after considering this "bribe" Scrooge is offering, Jeeves lets them go.

Unfortunately, Marshall's makeshift suit is still unstable, and while all the ducks get clear, the suit explodes still holding the gold, prompting frustration for Scrooge (and Louie). However, on their return to Gumption, it turns out this worked for the best. For the explosion was right over Gumption Gultch. And the river in the gulch carried the gold bits all the way back to Gumption, sparking a new gold rush for the town.

So, as the story ends, "the inventor" disappears, Marshall heads over to supervise the new miners, Scrooge and Goldie have an Almost Kiss, then start competing for the gold. However, Scrooge wraps up by saying he figured out that selling equipment was more profitable than panning, until the rush caused the Gumption gold wars.

Louie, distraught, realizes that there was more after this, and Scrooge didn't get rich off this. As Scrooge tries to explain, life is always a cycle of obstacles and opportunities, so what you need to do is persevere and adapt to those situations. Be less a conman (like Rockerduck) or a shifty operator (like Goldie), but instead be strong as an honest, hard working, sharp worker (like "your dear old uncle").

Reflecting on this, Louie takes the wrong lesson from this, calling Goldie, and asking if she could teach him more about being able to operate shiftily. Which he's certain would make Scrooge mad.

Oh, and Gyro appears in a time tub, making Scrooge realize that HE was the inventor the whole time.


Tropes for this episode include:

  • Absentee Actor: Scrooge and Louie are the only main characters to appear in this episode.
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  • Adaptational Badass: In the comics, Rockerduck's butler Jeeves was simply... The Jeeves, capable but physically unassuming. The Jeeves here is a hulking brute with super strength and metal teeth who acts as Rockerduck's enforcer as well as valet.
  • Advice Backfire: At the end of his story, Scrooge asks Louie how he wants to make his fortune: as a swindler like Rockerduck, a thief like Goldie, or with honesty and hard work like Scrooge? Louie decides he wants to be like Goldie.
  • Answer Cut: When Louie finds out that Goldie is in Scrooge's story, he asks if they're going to do anything mushy, like holding hands. When we return to the story, the two of them are indeed holding hands... but in a Brawler Lock as they argue.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Goldie and Scrooge do this all episode, acting like they're giving the other a compliment only to turn it into an insult.
    Scrooge: There's Rockerduck. I'll snag the key from him while you, well... do what you do best. *smirks at Goldie*
    Goldie: *flutters her eyes and blushes*
    Scrooge: *still smirking* Be an annoying diversion.
    Goldie: *glares*
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  • Big "NO!": When the gold nugget is destroyed, we see Scrooge's shocked reaction, focusing in on his angry face as he breathes in deeply... and Smash Cut to Louie in the present letting loose an anguished "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: Gyro's first idea for "rocket horses" that are faster than a steam train is strapping actual rockets to a living horse and lighting them. It goes just as badly as it sounds.
  • Blatant Lies: Gyro denies being from the future even though nobody asked if he was.
  • Brawler Lock: Scrooge and Goldie do this in the story right after Louie asks about them holding hands.
  • The Caper: The last third of the episode is Scrooge planning to steal the giant gold nugget from Rockerduck.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Scrooge finds his first piece of gold that he puts under his hat. He later uses it to bribe Jeeves.
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  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: When Sheriff Cabrera shows up when Scrooge is stuck in his hole with his leg trapped under a rock:
    Sheriff Cabrera: Anyway, need some help?
    Scrooge: ...Yes. Could you find me someone who is not you?
  • Curse of the Ancients: Louie complains about this in the story, so Scrooge briefly switches to Totally Radical lingo until his nephew says listening to that is so much worse.
  • Determinator: Scrooge is always this, but a particularly notable example is him snapping a broken leg back into place so he can march over and give Goldie a piece of his mind.
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: Gyro finds Sheriff Marshall Cabrera "familiarly frustrating" when he makes a technical comment on the utility of his rocket horses.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: To get the point of his story across, Scrooge asks Louie how he really wants to make his fortune: as a swindler like Rockerduck, a thief like Goldie, or with honesty and hard work like Scrooge? The episode ends with Louie looking to apprentice under Goldie, regardless of Scrooge's feelings.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Scrooge bribes Jeeves with a small shard of gold and a bit of persuasion by noting that Rockerduck doesn't appreciate Jeeves.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: After Gyro mentions that Rockerduck was an infamous swindler, Sheriff Marshall says Gumption is going to become a big city like a bunch of the other towns Rockerduck had visited, until he realized that none of the towns he listed have actually become such and the town is probably doomed.
  • First-Name Basis: Averted at the end of the episode when Louie calls Goldie on the phone.
    Louie: Hello, Miss O'Gilt... can I call you Goldie?... Absolutely not? Great, great.
  • Framing Device: The main story is told in-universe by Scrooge to Louie in present day when he discovers him giving up on his financial dreams.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • As Scrooge arrives to Gumption, you can briefly see Gyro in his Time Tub on a roof.
    • In the final scene, Louie has a number of strange business ideas on his wall, including Funnel Glasses, Baby Mop and Chopstick Butter.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • While Louie is recording Ottoman Empire, a duck is getting swallowed by an ottoman as if in quicksand.
    • As Scrooge and Goldie talk after the climax, Gyro is behind them using his time tub to return to the present.
  • Furry Reminder: Rockerduck complains about a feather in his soup, much like someone might spy a hair.
  • The Gadfly: Goldie seems to agree to teach Louie her tricks mostly because it'll piss off Scrooge.
  • Generation Xerox: Played straight with Fenton's identical ancestor, Sheriff Marshall Cabrera, who is also a dorky person fighting for justice on the side of Scrooge, and ends up donning a superpowered armor. Subverted with Gyro's "ancestor", who turns out to be the real Gyro lost in the past.
  • Graceful Loser: Rockerduck's only reaction to Scrooge and Goldie making off with the giant gold nugget is a simple "Well, dang".
  • Hilarious in Flashback: Goldie is skeptical about Scrooge being able to dress like a wealthy man.
  • Identical Grandson: Although the relationship between Sheriff Marshall Cabrera and Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera is not specified, the two look identical (outside of Marshall having thicker eyebrows) and share the same voice.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Louie asks Scrooge how the latter could possibly know what Sheriff Marshall and Gyro were discussing on the canyon as he was down on the train while it was happening.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Goldie's modus operandi. She first sets Scrooge and Rockerduck against each other (not that they needed much encouragement), then steals the gigantic nugget. As she flees, Jeeves stops her and she tries to use it on him, but soon realizes she's run out of people to pit against each other.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Goldie mentions she should have stayed in Dawson. She also distracts Rockerduck with a song; in the comics Scrooge met Goldie when she was a singer at the local saloon.
    • Another nod to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck happens when Goldie invokes Let's You and Him Fight and tells Rockerduck, "Do you know who you're talking to? This is the Buckaroo of the Badlands!" The Buckaroo of the Badlands is the title of the 3rd chapter.
    • Gyro's bathtub time machine was featured in the original series episode "Sir Gyro De Gearloose".
  • Nice Hat: It's implied that Scrooge started wearing his signature top hats because Goldie said he looked good in one.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... Happens to Scrooge when he suddenly finds Jeeves standing between himself and the giant gold nugget.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending has Louie, who has taken Scrooge's lesson the wrong way, calling Goldie and asking if he can become her apprentice.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: A gender-swapped version when Goldie sees Scrooge, who was still a gritty prospector back then, dressed up as a rich man for the first time. Not that Goldie doesn't look quite nice herself in her fancy dress.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Slacker: Louie is proven to be this trope once more, by giving up on Louie Incorporated altogether just because of a line (consisting of only five people) at the patent office. This is the reason for Scrooge, who has zero tolerance for laziness, to tell him the story in hopes it will get him back on his feet.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Goldie and Scrooge bicker for most of the episode. At the end, it looked like Goldie was confessing her feelings to Scrooge, which he was reciprocating, before she slapped him with a gold pan and ran off to collect as much gold from the river as she could. Scrooge takes it in stride, smirking as he chases after her.
  • The Slow Path: During Scrooge's flashback, we can see Gyro disappear in the background. Then, in the present, Gyro appears in front of Scrooge, who naturally spent the intervening time in a mostly-linear fashion (timeless demon dimension and Christmas time-travel shenanigans aside). It's only just then that Scrooge seems to realize that the strange inventor from his story was, in fact, Gyro.
  • Spanner in the Works: Rockerduck would've gotten away scot-free had Gyro not coincidentally time-traveled to the town and informed Sheriff Cabrera about his true character.
  • Stable Time Loop: Gyro's time travel turns out to be one of the things that helped Scrooge in his story. However, Gyro did not go back in time to prevent any past event, so You Already Changed the Past (which normally goes hand-in-hand with this trope) is averted. Additionally, him convincing Sheriff Cabrera might have been what led people in the future to know what a horrible swindler Rockerduck is.
  • Steam Punk: Gyro manages to craft some rocket-powered horses out of the tools found in an old western town. More egregious is Marshall Cabrera somehow fashioning a steam Gizmoduck suit from those horses' scrap.
  • Title Confusion:
    Sheriff Marshall Cabrera: Howdy, friend! It's me, Sheriff Marshall Cabrera!
    Scrooge: Well, which is it? Sheriff or Marshall?
    Sheriff Marshall Cabrera: My name is Marshall, but I happen to be Gumption's town sheriff. Though my friends actually call me Deputy, which was my nickname before I got the promotion. Hard to shake a nickname!
  • Wham Line: Louie on the phone to Goldie O'Gilt
    Louie: "I'm looking to operate my company more... shiftily. Could you teach me to do what you do?"
  • What Year Is This?: Gyro appears back in the present at the end of the episode and asks Scrooge this question. Scrooge is too surprised to reply.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Aside from the present day Scrooge and Louie scenes, this episode takes place entirely in the Old West.
  • The Wild West: The town of Gumption, complete with a lone sheriff and gold mining.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Rockerduck is believed to be an honest businessman by the townsfolk. It wasn't until a time-travelling Gyro told Cabrera about his misdeeds that the sheriff came to his senses.

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