Thursday, February 16, 2012

Darkwing Duck, Season Mystery, Episode Eight: "Calm a Chameleon"

There is no particular reason to be watching this episode out of order--I just didn't want to bother switching discs, is all.

Gotta love that title, anyway.  I'm not saying it's a work of genius or anything, but it's a sort of cute, somewhat clever pop-culture reference of a sort that you simply would not have seen in Ducktales.

The idea is that there's this shape-changing witch called The Chameleon.  Her main goal is to steal special ink so she can counterfeit money, which seems like a pretty low-ambition scheme, really.  Oh, and also, there's a companion plot where Honker's feeling picked on so he reads a book that DW apparently wrote in his spare time about being assertive.  This makes him instantly turn into Marlon Brando in The Wild One.

The Chameleon is really named Camille.  Her story, as she explains it, is that in school she was beautiful, but everyone nonetheless picked on her for unexplained reasons.  She wanted to blend in--like the chameleon!--so she managed to do some sort of DNA-related thing to make her into a human chameleon.  Now, she actually looks pretty cool in her regular form, I grant you, but she's pretty thin as a villain.  It's never made clear why "desire to fit in" mutated into "desire to commit crimes," and she never really becomes anything more than the "changes forms" conceit.  Maybe if they had made her a recurring character, they could have developed her better.  Although given that our heroes defeat her simply by turning up the heat, it appears that she would have been done in anyway on the first really hot day to come along.

Stray Observations

-She may be able to look like anyone, but she always has this hissing voice that gives her away.  But when DW goes "hold it Launchpad--there's something funny about your voice!" it's just so instantly obvious that his IQ is going to momentarily dip by ~fifty points and he's not going to have figured out the truth.  I feel like you should strive to avoid this kind of predictability, guys.

-"If I was a fiend named The Chameleon, what would I do?"  If you WERE a fiend, dammit.  Superheroes need to be on top of the subjunctive mood.

-"DW, you really oughta schedule your chase sequences to avoid rush hour."

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