Saturday, March 10, 2012

Darkwing Duck, Season One, Episode Twenty-Six: "Cleanliness Is Next to Badliness"

 Not quite sure why, but I do find the word "badliness" to be intrinsically funny.

Weird opening where Steelbeak is explaining to this woman (a HUMAN woman) sitting on his lap why he hasn't been seeing her lately ('cause he's busy with evil-executive stuff, apparently).  Meanwhile, she just sits there stock-still so you think she's some kinda doll.  And then when FOWL contacts him, he quickly drops her through a trapdoor.  I feel like there's a lotta weird psychosexual stuff here just waiting to be unpacked.

Anyway, the shadowy FOWL leaders want him to rob some banks because they're running low on cash.  Steelbeak, considering himself a criminal mastermind, isn't keen on doing something so plebian, but he's intimidated into it.  So he enlists the help of Ammonia Pine, the evil cleaning-lady from some earlier episode or other.

Meanwhile, Gosalyn has the great idea that there should be a Darkwing fan club.  Accordingly, when he goes out to investigate this mysterious bank robbery, she brings some kids out to watch him do his thing.  This is all pretty silly, but sort of amusing, I suppose.

Steelbeak and Ammonia make a theoretically interesting team, but it ultimately gets a little unpleasant: she's into him, and he just acts like a dick about it.  If you ask me, it would be way funnier if the affection was to some degree mutual.

DW gets all full of himself with the fan club thing, but ultimately, with some help from Honker and Gosalyn, he prevails, in the sense that Steelbeak gets beaten up.  In more to-the-point categories, however, he doesn't prevail at all: I must note the most amusing thing about this episode, which is that FOWL totally achieves all its goals, or close enough: sure, Steelbeak and Ammonia were going to rob one last bank, but the FOWL boss makes it clear that the previous robberies had already resulted in sufficient profit to return to normal levels of criminal activity.  Steelbeak getting thwomped doesn't change that.  The writers really took their eyes off the ball here.

Still, not a terrible episode, and we get a longer and more interesting look at Steelbeak than we normally do.

Stray Observations

-"Now try to imagine that Launchpad here is a witless, brainless thug!"

-"I always knew you were a big chicken, Steelbeak!"

"Darkwing Duck does not know the meaning of the word 'defeat'!"  "I know who's getting a dictionary for his birthday!"

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