WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Disney XD's DuckTales reboot.
Disney fans have always joked about how Della Duck, Donald's twin sister and Huey, Dewey & Louie's mother, essentially abandoned her kids for her brother to raise. But 2017's DuckTales reboot leaned right in and made that the central mystery, eventually revealing where Della (voiced by Paget Brewster) really was in the season finale, thus setting the stage for her return beginning with this Saturday's episode, "Whatever Happened to Della Duck?!"premiering on Disney Channel at 8 AM EST.
In case you haven't been watching until now, or if you need a refresher course before diving back into the show, we've assembled a complete timeline of what happened to Della, and what she's been up to all this time.
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DuckTales' hour-long pilot episode, "Woo-oo!" (which is still legally available to watch on YouTube worldwide), set the Della mystery in motion right away. First, Donald (Tony Anselmo) revealed to the triplets they're the great-nephews of the world's richest duck, Scrooge McDuck (David Tennant), with whom he hadn't spoken in a decade. Second, when the episode's events left the ducks trapped in a rapidly flooding Atlantis, Donald groused, "Crazy old man! All you care about is your next adventure. This is the Spear of Selene all over again!" To which Scrooge replied, "Hey, I was not responsible for the Spear of Selene!" [NOTE: Emphasis original.]
Lastly, when examining a painting of Donald and Scrooge adventuring on a pirate ship that was in Scrooge's garage, Dewey (Ben Schwartz) found part of it was peeling off. Pushing it back, he noticed a female duck in the painting and asked, astonished, "Mom?"
In the third episode, "The Great Dime Chase!," Dewey and Webby VanderQuack (Kate Micucci) wound up in Scrooge's personal archives looking for information on Della. There, they found a note from her to Scrooge that simply read, "I've taken the Spear of Selene. I'm sorry."
In the tenth episode, "The Spear of Selene!," when the ducks crash-landed on the mythical island of Ithiquack where the Greek gods (god-ducks?) live, Dewey and Webby entered the temple of the moon goddess Selene (Nia Vardalos) in an effort to learn what, exactly, the spear was. Finding Selene, they learned she never even had a spear in the first place.
In the later episode, "The Secret(s) of Castle McDuck!," while hunting for family secrets in Scrooge's ancestral home and being chased by a demonic dog, Dewey finally told Huey (Danny Pudi) and Louie (Bobby Moynihan) what he'd learned. Although the two were (understandably) horrified they'd been kept in the dark, they joined their brother and Webby in their hunt for clues.
The following episode, "The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!," brought everything to a head when, trapped on a plane on top of a mountain, Dewey nearly killed himself trying to retrieve a shredded piece of paper the kids were using in their investigation into Della's disappearance. Scrooge saved him, and Dewey pleaded for their uncle to just tell them the truth.
Scrooge finally did, explaining that the Spear of Selene was the Spear of Selene, an experimental rocket he'd built in secret ten years ago, just before the boys were hatched. He'd done so because he, Donald and Della had run out of places to adventure on Earth, and Della wanted to go to space. Donald thought it was too dangerous with the kids on the way and, while they'd argued, Scrooge went ahead and built the rocket as a surprise.
But Della found out and took the rocket for a test flight. Unfortunately, a cosmic storm struck, and even with Scrooge talking Della through it via radio, the Spear was struck by a bolt and vanished. Furious, the kids accused Scrooge of leading her into the storm. A hurt Scrooge ranted that his family was nothing but trouble, driving everyone else away from him, even as he remembered how he'd spent nearly his entire fortune to find her, only stopped by his board of directors after all efforts appeared fruitless, with Donald cutting him out of his and the kids' life out of anger and blame.
But, as the Season 1 finale, "The Shadow War!" revealed, Della isn't dead after all. The Spear had crashed on the moon, where she was living in its wreckage and trying to get back home. Having rigged a TV signal, she saw footage of her family after the episode's events (which saw the other ducks reunite). Seeing her sons for the first time, she simply said, "Boys?"
Apart from a brief cameo and her younger self starring in this season's holiday episode, "Last Christmas!"along with her, Donald and Scrooge's previous adventures appearing in several issues of IDW's tie-in DuckTales comic, Della hasn't appeared since. But "Whatever Happened to Della Duck?!" sounds like it will change that. Here's hoping the show sets Della on the path to reuniting with her family for good.