WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the second season of Disney's DuckTales.
When Disney announced its reboot of DuckTales, there were undoubtedly fans of the beloved original series who were skeptical about how this new incarnation would play out. Which one is better is a debate that will likely never be resolved, but there's on thing about the current series that can't be denied: It has handled overarching storytelling incredibly well, particularly when it comes to the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Della Duck, the sister of Donald, and the mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie,
The final episodes of the first season revealed that Della Duck (voiced by Paget Brewster) was never heard from again after crashing an experimental space craft, the Spear of Selene, on the moon. However, the finale confirmed she's still alive. Still, the question remained: What had Della been up to since then, and how was she going to get back to Earth?
This week's double-length episode, "What Ever Happened To Della Duck?!," lays it all out.
Premiering Saturday on Disney Channel, the episode chronicles the struggles Della went through to return home to her sons. Following the crash, Della was left on the moon with a crack in her helmet -- solved by by Gyro's OxyChew, a gum that provides oxygen and nutrients while you chew -- and a leg trapped beneath the wreckage.
The other problem was much more dire, as a time skip reveals Della was likely forced to amputate her leg, and replace it with a prosthetic she invented herself (her amputee walk and attitude were written in consultation with Jack Richmond, president of the Amputee Coalition).
After taking care of her immediate survival, the can-do, optimistic adventurer sets up shelter and begins the arduous task of finding a way home. Some of her plans included flagging down space ships -- an idea taken from her Junior Woodchuck Guidebook -- jumping from the moon to the Earth and, finally, attempting to repair the Spear of Selene.
All of Della's adventures on the moon are chronicled through her video logs, one of the first things she set up in her shelter. Throughout each entry, we find her optimism tested by every trial and setback, one of the most present being the Moon Mite, a creature that foils her plans at pretty much every step. Even when Della wards off the beast and finds a way home -- courtesy of her gold tooth, which could serve as fuel for the ship -- the Moon Mite returns to ruin everything.
Each of those failed attempts to return home answers the question of why Della has been missing for so long. But, the episode isn't simply a string of spirit-destroying failures, as it ends with promise for Della's return. This hope comes in the form of the Penumbra and Lunaris, people of the moon's secret city who have the technology and gold to get Della home. Thankful for her help with the dreaded Moon Mite, they seemingly form an alliance, although Lunaris may be plotting to use Della's skills and intelligence for his own, possibly sinister, plans.
How things will turn out from here is anyone's guess, but learning of Della's unbridled optimism about her chances of returning home, despite her many failures to do so, make for one heck of an episode.
"What Ever Happened To Della Duck?!"' is available for streaming on the Disney Now app.