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Recap / Duck Tales S 1 E 1 Treasure Of The Golden Suns

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In the feature-length pilot, Donald Duck leaves his nephews in the care of Uncle Scrooge McDuck when he sets off to join the navy. The arrival of the nephews coincides with the appearance of an aged Spainard named El Capitán who wants a relic contained in Scrooge's offices, which turns out to be a treasure map that leads Scrooge, his family, and friends on a globe-trotting trip that leads to a fabled hidden treasure.

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This episode contains examples of the following tropes.

  • Alcohol Hic: In part 5, Scrooge (and later El Capitán, and briefly the nephews) start hiccuping whenever they mention gold, as a symptom of their gold fever.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Mrs. Beakley snaps Scrooge out of his Gold Fever by asking him "What's more important, being a rich duck, or a dead duck?!"
  • Bait-and-Switch: During Launchpad's first scene, the air controller tells him to bail out. Launchpad retorts, "Never!", implying that it's a style thing...and then he says that he gets airsick when using parachutes.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "El Capitán" means "the captain" in Spanish. He is the leader.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    Webby: Um, Mr. Scrooge...
    Scrooge: Call me Uncle Scrooge.
    Webby: (giggles) Um, Mr. Uncle Scrooge, we've got company.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The tuning fork serves as one in part 4. Huey, Dewey, and Louie use it for a prank at the start of the episode, then Mrs. Beakley gives it to them so they can bust out of the ice prison.
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  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: El Capitán can't bear to separated from the gold, not even a single coin. This obviously leads to complications when he teams up with other villains in for a share.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Part 1 is about Scrooge warming up to taking care of the boys. Part 4 is about the three warming up to Webbigail.
  • Dire Beast: The "prehistoric wooly walrus" that shows up in part 4.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Scrooge taking a plateful of free samples and his exchange with a charity collector from the first episode establishes how stingy he is.
      Collector: "Penny for the poor?"
      Scrooge: They're not worth it!
    • The moment when Launchpad crashes spectacularly into the ground and then walks over to Scrooge and Gyro, completely unfazed, sums up the mixture of Action Hero stunts and Cloud Cuckoolander antics that define him for the rest of the series.
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  • Evil Is Petty: El Capitán due to his gold obsession. Joaquin Slolei also takes a quick dislike to Scrooge and sends all his forces after him the moment their deal is fulfilled.
  • Exact Words: The terms of Scrooge and Glomgold's bet in part 2 was that if their opponent made more money from scratch in two weeks, the loser would have to literally eat Glomgold's hat. Thanks to Glomgold tossing him a coin as a mocking gesture, Scrooge technically wins the bet when the rest of the treasure goes under.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Burger shows how he'll eat anything when he eats a chocolate covered bomb. His brothers have to keep him from eating the rest so they can use them to escape.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Launchpad and Donald initially do not get along very well, but that changes during the course of the adventure. By the end of the episode, they're on pretty friendly terms. Launchpad even sticks up for Donald when his superior criticizes the frazzled sailor for not immediately saluting.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: A Gold Fever induced Scrooge is left choosing between the treasure and the welfare of his family (along with himself) in part 5. This ultimatum is enough to snap him out of the trance and save them all.
  • Gold Fever: Scrooge, and later the triplets fall victim to this as they reach the treasure in Part 5. Mrs Beakly and Webbigail don't succumb to this, the latter reasons that this is because they aren't as exposed to money as much as Scrooge's family.
  • GPS Evidence: In "Don't Give Up the Ship", the nephews track the Beagle Boys to their meeting place with El Capitán when they find a map of Scrooge's museum the Beagles dropped, written on the back of a flyer for an abandoned theater.
  • Graceful Loser: At the climax of Part 5, both Scrooge and El Capitán discover the ancient vault of treasure is buried under a heap of dirt after the valley caves in. While a horrified El Capitán desperately tries to dig it up, Scrooge just laughs it off and strolls away, having fully overcome his gold fever.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Donald serves as this during Part 3, where he accompanies Scrooge and Launchpad on their trip to the Andes Mountains while he's on leave but has to return by the time it's over.
  • Harmless Freezing: In part 4, Webby and her grandmother are startled by a colossal "wooly walrus", encased in a solid block of Antarctic ice. Their penguin friend and guide tells them he's been trapped in it since prehistoric times. Yet when the ice later melts, the beast is not only alive and unharmed, but can also leap and move like no time at all had passed.
  • Hats Off to the Dead: When Launchpad's opening flight ends with his plane crashing and exploding, Gyro takes his hat off. Launchpad, however, is fine aside from his scarf being aflame.
  • "I Can't Look!" Gesture: Scrooge and Donald say that they can't look and cover their eyes during one of Launchpad's landings. Launchpad says he can't look either and covers his eyes.
  • Insult Backfire: When Mrs. Beakley calls him "mad" for claiming to be centuries old, El Capitán retorts "Of course I'm mad! I'm mad for gold!"
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Scrooge and the nephews wind up leading Glomgold and El Capitán to the ship that contains the first set of lost treasure. After they recover it and repair the ship so it's seaworthy, the duo appears and holds them at gunpoint before forcing them off the ship. Interestingly, Glomgold and El Capitán wanted to avoid this trope and make it to the treasure first, but when their map was destroyed they had no choice but to follow Scrooge's party.
  • MacGuffin Melee: In "Don't Give Up The Ship", Huey, Dewey and Louie and the Beagle Boys fight over the eponymous model ship.
  • Multi-Part Episode: As with the later two TV movies that would come afterwords ("Time is Money" and "Super Ducktales") this one was split up into a Five-Episode Pilot for later reruns:
    • "Don't Give Up the Ship"
    • "Wrongway to Ronguay"
    • "Three Ducks of the Condor"
    • "Cold Duck"
    • "Too Much of a Gold Thing"
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Scrooge's reaction after realizing that his greed may have led to the deaths of himself, the nephews, Webby, and Mrs. Beakly.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: If Glomgold had never tossed the one golden coin to Scrooge to mock him, then Scrooge would have never have won his bet with him. He also would never have learned of the full treasure of the Golden Suns.
  • No, You: Glomgold and El Capitán devolve into this when they both try to pull You Have Outlived Your Usefulness with a cannon.
  • Obligatory Joke: One that actually works literally in context. When Launchpad tells Donald's superior to go easy on him, he asks if the man doesn't know that Donald just flew in from the Andes. Donald (who had to row the entire way to keep the Condor airborne) quips, "And boy, are my arms tired!" before collapsing.
  • Offing the Annoyance: Joaquin Slolei refuses to bargain with Scrooge, until the antics of his crew irritate him into submission. Out of spite, Slolei sends his people to kill them straight afterwards. This Villain Ball ultimately ends up costing him all his power.
  • Punny Name: Joaquin Slolei, modern-day conquistador and self-proclaimed high priest of the sun worshipers in part 3. The same goes for his great-to-the-umpteenth-power grandfather Marchen Slolei, and Marchen's partner Juan Tanamera.
  • Really 700 Years Old: El Capitán.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: El Capitán actually manages to obtain the treasure from Scrooge in each of his appearances, though his manic obsession always sets off a chain of events that leave him with nothing.
  • Shout-Out: When Launchpad gets attacked by a constrictor in part 5, he states he hates snakes, then changes his mind and declares it's someone else who hates snakes. He changes his mind after nearly getting killed by it.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Downplayed and then subverted; when Launchpad's first flight (in the series) ends with a crash and an explosion, Gyro takes off his hat and says that Launchpad may have been a bad pilot, but he wasn't a bad person. Of course, Launchpad emerges completely uninjured.
  • Super OCD: El Capitán. His mission to get the treasure of the Golden Suns seems less for profit and more down to obsession, he knows each and every piece of by heart. It seems to be a Determinator fuelled rendition of this trope that has kept him going on to recollect it for hundreds of years. It is implied he'll damn well try for another few hundred after he fails.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Scrooge develops a stressed stare when Gyro brings up Launchpad McQuack as the pilot he had in mind who is dumb/competent enough to fly the Golden Condor.
  • The Unintelligible: Launchpad doesn't start to understand Donald until they need to work together to get back home and he views it as a sign of how bad things are that he can finally tell what the other duck is saying.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Scrooge asks him who is going to fly the Golden Condor, Gyro says there's only one pilot stupid enough, and then backtracks and substitutes "capable."
  • Villain Ball:
    • Done each time by El Capitán due to his obsession with the gold.
    • Joaquin Slolei in Part 3, not too happy about having to bargain with Scrooge, decides to set his worshippers on him after he obtains his part of the bargain. The scuffle ultimately leads to him losing both of his coins, and thus all his power.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Joaquin Slolei breaks down crying when he loses both the gold coins that marked him as a high priest to the sun worshipers, and his followers refuse to take his orders anymore.
    Slolei: Listen to me! I am your master!
    Natives: No gold sun, no gold sun!
    • El Capitán becomes more and more unhinged with each attempt at the treasure, by the time his final attempt starts to go pear shaped he has become Laughing Mad.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • Glomgold and El Capitán in Part 2. It naturally doesn't last, as El Capitán's extreme greed eventually leads the two to have a falling out.
    • He attempts to start one with the Beagle Boys in Part 1 by busting them from prison. It doesn't even set off, however, since they don't comply unless they get a deal of the gold (he was hoping they would just be grateful enough to help him for free).
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Attempted and even quoted by El Capitán in Part 2, threatening Glomgold with a ship cannon after he throws away a coin of his gold. Glomgold however doesn't take it lying down and sets the cannon onto him. This goes back and forth until eventually the cannon fires up in the air, with the expected results.
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