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Recap / DuckTales (2017) S1 E23 "The Shadow War Part I: The Night of De Spell!"

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As the triplets are still trying to deal with the tragic reveal that Scrooge is responsible for their mother's disappearance, Webby and Launchpad hatch a plan to reunite the family again. Meanwhile, Magica De Spell sneaks into McDuck manor to get her hands on the Number One Dime and exact revenge on Scrooge.


  • Abusive Parents: Magica seals Lena into her shadow and laughs at it.
  • Alone with the Psycho: It takes a while for Scrooge to realize that it wasn't exactly Lena attacking him — it was Magica.
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  • An Aesop: Scapegoating and holding grudges will only make things worse.
  • And I Must Scream: Magica seals Lena into her shadow and Scrooge inside his Number One dime, the face changing to show him, beak parted.
  • Anything but That!: Lena begs to not be sealed inside Magica's shadow.
  • Big Eater: Seriously, it's been three days since his family moved out and Scrooge has, like, 300 pizza boxes lying around his house.
  • Big "NO!": Lena gives out another heartbreaking one as Magica seals her inside her shadow.
  • Bland-Name Product: Scrooge orders "Papa Swan's" pizza to deal with his grief.
  • Bottle Episode: Similarly to "The Last Crash of the Sunchaser", the characters remain in the same location for the majority of Part 1: Scrooge and Lena spend the entire episode in McDuck Manor, whereas the rest of the cast is in Donald's house boat. Also, there's a lot of talking and very little action - in stark contrast to the action-packed Part 2.
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  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Subverted; at first it seems Magica gloating to herself, gives time for Lena and Scrooge to rally and attempt to ally against her. Then she reveals she was listening to their mutual pep talks and quickly incapacitates them.
  • Book-Ends: The finale starts with Donald attempting to make snacks for the boys to cheer them up, much as Huey made breakfast for his job interview (both of them including disgusting-looking fish). Dewey also sullenly wears the life jackets that Donald insisted on in the pilot.
  • Call-Back:
    • Several to the pilot episode.
      • When Donald asks where Dewey is, he responds "right here, not trying to steal the boat."
      • Donald plans to move the family to Cape Suzette, the place Dewey was planning to take the boat back in the pilot.
      • When Magica needs to improvise an excuse why Lena is visiting the children, she says she wants to "play marbles". In the pilot episode, Scrooge gave marbles to the children to play.
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    • The triplets are throwing away mementos from their adventures with Scrooge, including the golden khopesh, a "I didn't survive Mt. Neverrest" shirt, and the Druid Cup.
    • When reading Webby's invitation card to his brothers, Louie starts with "Dear Hubert, Dewford and L-hmm-hmm". As established in "The Spear of Selene", Louie dislikes his first name Llywelyn, so of course he skips it.
  • Cartesian Karma: Subverted; at first, Scrooge blames Lena for aiding Magica. He understands, however, when Lena explains that Magica is her aunt and forced to obey her. Scrooge promises that if they get out of this alive, she'll be a part of his family.
  • Casting a Shadow: Magica's magic seems to be based on shadow manipulation.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends right when the Ducks see Magica starting to wreak havoc.
  • Comfort Food: Scrooge drowns his sorrows in pizza. Lots of pizza. As in, "Scrooge has apparently decided to spend his entire Money Bin on pizza" amounts of pizza.
    "Serving Size: Lonely"
  • Companion Cube: At one point we see that Scrooge has made pizza box statues in the images of the triplets.
  • Conflict Killer: We all know what happened in the previous episode, and while Donald has convinced the triplets to make up with Scrooge, Magica's return hurries the visit back to the manor.
  • Darkest Hour: Scrooge's family and some of his loyal employees have abandoned him, and not only is he left alone with Magica, the whole city is in danger.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Launchpad and Webby attempt a chest bump, which knocks over Launchpad. They earlier tried a high-five, both hurting their hands.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: While the majority of the cast are Barefoot Cartoon Animals, Dewey is the first to explicitly state that he does not like wearing shoes, after trying out a pair of deck shoes. He even awkwardly stumbles around in pain while wearing them, and they were clearly tight for his feet.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Inverted. When Magica figures out that Scrooge being a pathetic shell of a duck after his family leave the mansion isn't just an act to make her underestimate him, she furiously says, "How dare you make me pity you!"
  • Drama Bomb Finale: Part 1 of the Season 1 finale, and is certainly downhill especially since it's right after "The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!".
  • Drop-In Character: After Webby and Launchpad come up with their Kids Play Matchmaker plan, the two of them burst into the Ducks' houseboat kitchen with groceries and begin preparing food, even searching the pantry for ingredients. Donald is annoyed by this, but lets them continue anyway.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While Beakley has every right to be angry at Scrooge for insulting her granddaughter, she still calls the others out for scapegoating Scrooge for the Spear of Selene incident.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Scrooge is so depressed that he doesn't catch onto Lena attempting to drug him, or her talking of great revenge schemes.
  • Flat "What": Magica!Lena is walking up Scrooge's driveway loudly celebrating the awesome fight brewing between herself, a sorceress of unfathomable power, and Scrooge McDuck, the world's greatest adventurer... only to be confronted at the door with a slovenly, depressed wreck of a duck wearing nothing but a stained under-shirt.
    Magica: Wait, what.
  • Funny Background Event: While Launchpad is trying to comfort Webby saying the boys will get over it, Louie is seen with a diving suit trying to dive for the golden khopesh while his brothers hold him back.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: When Magica realizes that Scrooge's condition isn't an act, she smacks him and tells him to snap out of it, but tries to use his vulnerable state to trick him into giving his Number One Dime.
    Magica-as-Lena: Tough it up, man! You conquered Plain Awful, you found the lost crown of the Monguls; you even managed to defeat some very powerful dark forces! You don't need family - you're Scrooge McDuck! Act like it!
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Scrooge is not in the best condition after his family and friends (except for Launchpad) have walked out on him, to the point that Magica-in-Lena's-body is alone in the mansion with him and he doesn't even care.
    • The boys are so depressed that Donald tries to rally them by suggesting they move to Cape Suzette. Donald looks extremely guilty when Louie reluctantly loses his Egypt adventure trinket and wants to dive back into the water to save it.
  • Honor Before Reason: Magica hates that Scrooge is so pathetic that she can't even just steal his dime when he's in this state. So she rallies him before attacking him for the Dime.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Scrooge, who Magica describes as a "shrewd, conquering hero of legend", is reduced to moping around in his mansion in filthy clothes surrounded by boxes upon boxes of pizza. Magica actually thinks that Scrooge has to be faking at first.
  • Implausible Deniability: Scrooge McDuck is obviously doing much better than his estranged family... he says, while standing around unwashed in a scruffy singlet, surrounded by thousands of pizza boxes.
  • Internal Reveal: Magica, naturally, had no knowledge about Scrooge's falling out with his family over the fate of Della, believing she could still use the kids' supposed presence at McDuck Manor to gain access until she listens in on Launchpad recapping the family situation.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • Donald has it when Mrs. Beakley calls him and the boys out for leaving Scrooge. He's been noticing how depressed the boys have been since learning about the Spear of Selene, and how frantic Webby and Launchpad are. He decides to abort the move to Cape Suzette, and reconcile with Scrooge.
    • Lena telling Scrooge she wishes she had a loving family like Scrooge causes him to gain a Heroic Second Wind and promise her a place in his family if she performs a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Jumped at the Call: When Donald tells the triplets they're moving to Cape Suzette, all three are initially ecstatic. However, while Huey and Louie eventually have second thoughts after realizing how boring the place actually is, Dewey remains enthusiastic and even decides to reinvent himself as a sophisticated yachtsman, complete with a captain's hat and boat shoes.
  • Kick the Dog: Once Magica realizes Scrooge really is a complete mess, she takes advantage of it and decides to tempt him by telling him his family is worthless and good-for-nothing.
  • Kids Play Matchmaker: Webby and Launchpad plan to reunite Donald and the triplets with Scrooge with a dinner party. Beakley catches on and outright calls it a "Parent Trap"... and wants in, since she too wants them to reunite, and also has experience with guilt tripping people with food as both a spy AND a grandma.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Magica hangs a lampshade on how confusing Scrooge's family structure is.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Donald isn't much better than Huey. He tries to make anchovies on crackers to cheer up the boys. Webby tries one and has to spit it out.
    • Webby and Launchpad try to make a special dinner for the boys and Donald, in an attempt to get them to reconcile with Scrooge. Their attempts are so bad that Beakley, a much better cook, steps in to help.
  • Magic Staff: Magica transforms Lena's amulet into one when she gets her body back.
  • Mess of Woe: Bitter and depressed over the fight with his family last episode, Scrooge has let himself go big time. He's wallowing around in his underwear with his mansion littered with junk food. Enough that even Magica is disappointed as she's was expecting to find Scrooge - "the greatest adventurer", not the sorry mess she sees before her.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Beakley prepares a slice of apple shortbread pie with a scoop of sea-salt ice cream and mentions it was Scrooge McDuck's favourite. In the Kingdom Hearts series, Scrooge sells sea-salt ice cream.
    • Upon realizing the kids are no longer living at Scrooge's mansion and she'll have to figure out a new way in, Magica starts describing herself Darkwing Duck-style. She even gets interrupted when he's about to say her name.
    • When Magica is giving a pep talk to Scrooge, she lists "conquering Plain Awful" and "finding the lost crown of the Mongols" among his heroic deeds, referencing Don Rosa's "Return to Plain Awful" and Carl Barks's "The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan".
    • Magica's Leitmotif after her resurrection uses snippets of the the Transylvania theme.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The huge fight from the previous episode between the Duck family means that Scrooge is left alone when a Magica-possessed Lena comes to steal his dime.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: When Magica finds Scrooge completely despondent, she refuses to believe the target of her vengeance has become pathetic and nigh-helpless. After finally realizing it wasn't a trick, Magica curses Scrooge for making her feel pity for him and even starts inspiring him to be great again before seeing fit to attack him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: It takes a while for Magica to realize that Scrooge isn't being pathetic to simply deceive her.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Scrooge has this reaction when Lena grabs his Dime and reveals that Magica was possessing her.
    • Donald on seeing Magica brought to full strength.
      Donald: Aww, phooey.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: A variant. For years Magica has fantasized about getting revenge on Scrooge in some way that involves dramatically outsmarting or overpowering him, so she can't bear to see him laid low by someone or something other than herself. Which in this case is not another mortal enemy, but depression. Rather than jumping at the chance to take advantage of his weakened state, she feels a need to give him an inspiring pep talk just to snap him out of his funk enough that she can feel like it's her, rather than his own emotions, that are defeating him.
  • Orifice Evacuation: Lena wresting control over her body back temporarily expels Magica's shadow form from her mouth and eyes.
  • Papa Wolf: When Magica first traps them, Scrooge's first instinct is to protect Lena with his body.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: When Webby and Launchpad do a chest bump, it's Launchpad who's knocked over, despite being much larger and heavier than her. Webby is just that Strong.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Turns out Beakley knew the whole story behind Scrooge and how he tried to look for Della, but stopped because he was on the verge of bankruptcy. Beakley could've told the triplets all this sooner, but it would not have made them feel any better.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Beakley gives one to the Ducks for their grudge against Scrooge, while using Reverse Psychology.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: Magica De Spell has always yearned for Scrooge's Number One Dime, but it's usually not clear what good it would do her if she finally obtains it (in some stories, it would make her rich, in others, it would make her the most powerful witch in the world). In this show, however, it becomes perfectly clear; It is the prison of Magica's corporeal form.
  • Sarcasm Failure: Launchpad doesn't quite get the hang of Mrs. Beakley's Reverse Psychology.
    Beakley: I understand. You're upset because you lost one family member, which was terrible and painful. So you decided you should go ahead and lose another. Brilliant. Makes perfect sense [...] Yes. Distance yourself even further from [Scrooge's] life and forsake family altogether. That will definitely fix it.
    Launchpad: No! It'll do the opposite of that!
    Beakley: But I'm just the housekeeper. What do I know?
    Launchpad: A lot! This lady knows a lot!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Attempted by Louie when he sees Magica's return.
    Louie: (Walking off-screen) So, still going to Cape Suzette, right? Cool - I'll start the boat.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Donald's brochure about Cape Suzette has "Cape Suzette" written using the same style as the title of the show the town came from. It even features the same plane Baloo flew for Higher for Hire.
    • "You can't fool me, Scrooge! I am the one who fools!"
  • Spotting the Thread: In her impatience to get her hands on Scrooge's Number One Dime, Magica-as-Lena overreaches in trying to convince Scrooge to give it to her to get rid of, which prompts Scrooge to question why she would be so interested in getting her hands on it. With the eclipse about to peak, she drops the pretense and attacks Scrooge to get it.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Launchpad gives out one when he goes to check up on Scrooge. Launchpad being, well, Launchpad, it doesn't quite come out right and naturally Scrooge sees right through it.
    Launchpad: Howdy Mr McDee! I'm not here to check on you on account of everyone moving out because the boys blame you for launching their mom to space and orphaning them. I'm here to take you out for ice cream! Mmmm! Sounds good right? Family crisis... I mean... Ice creaaaam!
    Scrooge: Go away.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Magica's plan includes poisoning Scrooge's nutmeg tea. (Un)Fortunately, Scrooge is in no mood for tea and he keeps putting the tainted cup aside; at one point he accidentally knocks over the tainted mug. Later he even manages to purposefully and dismissively spill it from a "non-spill" sippy cup, which finally convinces Magica that his malaise is not a ploy but genuine.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Magica calls her plan perfect, going on about how she can use Lena's form to get the kids to let her into the mansion. Unfortunately, the kids had just left, putting a snag on her plot for the moment.
    • Webby and Launchpad are certain that they can still reunite Donald and the triplets with Scrooge, until they hear Donald say that they're leaving for Cape Suzette.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The episode takes place during an eclipse, as Magica's power is strongest during totality.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Trailers show the triplets and Donald back in the marina, which is due to the rift between the family and Scrooge after the triplets all found out what happened to their mother.
    • Magica's true form was obviously meant to be a surprise. There was a glimpse of her face at the end of the 2018 SDCC trailer just enough to entice the fans, but the Disney Channel promos outright showed her whole body, ruining the big reveal.
    • Season 2 concept art of Lena and Webby with their new friend was shown at SDCC 2018, killing most of the suspense and uncertainty regarding Lena's fate in the finale.
  • Undying Loyalty: Launchpad is still the only one who didn't walk out on Scrooge, stopping by to check up on him at the beginning of the episode.
  • Viking Funeral: Huey gives one to the shirt he got from Mt. Neverrest.
  • Voice Changeling: While possessing Lena's body, Magica is able to speak in her own voice, Lena's voice, Scrooge's voice, and probably anyone else's.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Magica as Lena answers the phone in Scrooge's voice, promising Launchpad and Webby "he'll" be at their dinner party.
    • This episode is the first time we've seen the 'heads' side of the number one dime, and for good reason: It's Magica's head.
    • Magica then traps Scrooge in his Dime and Lena in her shadow.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Beakley calls the Ducks out for their attitude towards Scrooge.
    • Lena calls Scrooge out for the way he's been blaming his family, pointing out that Magica only got in and obtained the dime because he drove them off.
  • Widely Spaced Jail Bars: The cage that Magica puts Scrooge and Lena into has openings that are clearly large enough to fit his whole body. However, it is worth noting it is due to inconsistent animation—one scene, the spaces are reasonably narrow, only for them to become wider the next scene.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite her hatred of Scrooge, Magica has great respect for his skills, and slaps some sense into him when she realizes that he's not faking his funk.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: Scrooge refuses to fight Lena, who is practically a minor (until she bites him on the wing, after which he stops pulling his punches), but he finds out the hard way he's dealing with Magica in a 15-year-old's body.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • Scrooge promises Lena that if they work together to defeat Magica, then Lena will be part of his family, which is what she really wanted. Unfortunately, Magica was eavesdropping and subsequently incapacitates both of them before Lena can do so much as recite a spell.
    • Launchpad, Webby and Beakley succeed in convincing the Ducks to reunite with Scrooge. Before anyone can get to the mansion, however, Magica makes her appearance.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Magica succeeds in regaining her corporeal form and full power. By the end of the episode she has trapped both Lena and Scrooge and has taken control over the citizens of Duckburg's shadows.

Alternative Title(s): Ducktales 2017 S 1 E 23 The Shadow War Part 1 The Night Of De Spell


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