It took me a while to learn the name of this episode. Not that such a state of affairs was unprecedented, mind you. During DuckTales' first season, I was in graduate school and was expected to attend the weekly Wednesday-afternoon seminar. The seminar usually ended in time for me to hustle back to the house I was sharing with several other grad students at the time and catch the last few minutes of that day's then-brand-spanking-new DT ep. I can still remember getting back in time to see Filler Brushbill and Louie laughing together at the end of "Much Ado About Scrooge" and wondering, "What the hell -- did Gladstone grow a mustache for some reason?" With the combined help of Joe Torcivia and the "staggered" rerun schedule (in which a week's episodes were shifted in broadcast order... and, yes, that included the multi-part story lines!), I was able to catch up with the missed eps before too much time had passed.
Randolph-Macon College. By this time, I had my own VCR and, even more remarkably, understood how to program it. Recording the new episodes was a breeze... except on the fateful day when "A Case of Mistaken Secret Identity" was broadcast. Through some snafu or other, I only received part of the episode, starting in the middle of Act Three (I think I "came in" when Fenton was going back to the trailer to retrieve the Gizmosuit, only to have it pass him by and knock him over). My first lengthy exposure to the ep turned out to be strictly auditory, when Joe played me some of the more significant parts over the phone. (The regular phone, that is -- what is this "cellular" phone you speak of?)
Joe and I both loved "Identity" from the start. Not only did it seem to provide a fitting bookend to "The Big Flub" in terms of its delving deeply into the drives that animated Fenton Crackshell, but, wonder of wonders, it co-starred Launchpad. After playing minor supporting roles in "The Land of Trala La" and "Allowance Day," DT's single greatest original creation had dropped off the map, seemingly forsaken in the rush to exploit the series' newest co-stars. Joe drew a couple of funny cartoons that were meant to symbolize LP's plight:
Money to Burn" (see image below) and "Allowance Day," just to name two. Not only do HD&L appear to be suffering from a triple brain-cramp here, but then they have to go and make the goof seem worse by acting so overbearingly confident that their theory is correct.
Alan Burnett's script is clever and incisive, with as many memorable and readily quotable lines as any single episode of the series. I still find myself occasionally using Launchpad's sheepish "Of course, I've been wrong before"...
The Masked Mallard" is more of a drubbing of one specific purveyor of quasi-information; Burnett spreads his net wider, seeking to capture a general attitude rather than rib a particular personality, and all of his shots find their targets.
Yuppy Ducks" just because Gizmoduck was on duty...
cartoon city is threatened when the nearby dam is broken" trope. (The good thing about so many cartoon dams busting? If there are any escaped zoo animals about, they'll be drowned.)
A Goofy Movie (1995) is a physical skill... and one that he didn't have time to practice in advance.
Bumper #23: "Baseball"
(Greg) The nephews claim that [Gizmoduck]'s close to the family as they go to a conveniently placed closet and dress up into detective gear complete with magnifying glass; thus assuring that I'll never be able to tell them apart for a while. Apparently; he's been at the mansion so much he leaves skid marks on the welcome mat. Oooookkkkkaaayyyyy.
I wonder whether Burnett got the idea to dress HD&L up as Sherlock Holmes-style detectives as a result of remembering the title of the Holmes story "A Case of Identity," another story which dealt with mistaken identity.
(Greg) Okay; here's a big problem with this: Launchpad's beak shape is different than Gizmo Duck's. Height isn't an issue because of the suit and their builds are somewhat similar so it isn't like Double Darkwings; but the beaks...OH the beaks are going to cause problems. What's funny is that the nephews run down all the similaries and Fenton's ego almost blows his cover every time; including showing a picture of their faces and beaks; forcing Scrooge to hook cane him to shut him up. HAHA! Nice to see Alan Burnett notice that one tiny flaw in logic.
I can't be sure at this remove, but I think that this was the first time I ever saw Scrooge working on a computer. In a computer would have to wait for a while. Since Scrooge did not appear to be familiar with computer banking at the start of "Scrooge's Last Adventure," I have to conclude that this first dip into the world of bits, bytes, and microchips was simply to have another means of communicating with his many business associates.
Just as Gizmoduck himself did the "hi, Mom" spot when he arrived at the stadium. Just another example of Burnett joshing the power of the media.
Maid Of The Myth has made a cameo appearance! How about that?!
It would be even more amazing if there actually had been a character named Hildagarde in that episode. Unfortunately...
(Greg) So we head back to Launchpad's house as Fenton storms in all full of himself of course. Launchpad grabs Fenton and wants him to stop blowing him off because he finally got the ladies. Now wait a second; I thought LP was already a chick magnet?
Well, sometimes he was. After such a lengthy period of somnolence, I don't blame LP for losing a little bit of his mojo.
Another classic line.
(Greg) ...we head back to Scrooge's office as he and Scrooge are reading the newspaper. Fenton is full of himself because he's a hero now and no one believes Launchpad is Gizmo Duck. Scrooge agrees since Gizmo Duck caused so much damage. Wait; considering who Launchpad is; doesn't this prove Launchpad is Gizmo Duck even more?
I assume that everyone concluded that LP couldn't be Gizmoduck because of the scope of the damage he caused. Crashing a dam is normally above LP's pay grade.
Next: Episode 89, "The Bride Wore Stripes."