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How do you say goodbye to a popular TV series?
Well, if you’re the showrunners of Disney XD’s 2017 reboot of DuckTales, Frank Angones and Matt Youngberg it’s something you’ve been preparing to do at the start of each new season of television. Only as it was announced on Dec. 2, the animated series’ third season ended up being its final one, marking the end of Scrooge McDuck’s most recent adventures with his family.
“We had an inkling going in that this would also be our final season,” says Angones of when they first found out they wouldn’t be coming back to do more episodes. “So we decided now is the time to start paying off the threads that we’ve been laying in since the pilot.”
Unlike the 1987 version of the show, this newer series has embraced overarching storylines and mysteries, each culminating in a grand finale bigger than the previous one. The first season saw the emergence of Magica De Spell, an evil sorceress intent on unlocking her physical body from inside Scrooge’s “Number One Dime,” while also plunging the city of Duckberg into darkness. The second season saw the Earth get invaded by Moonlanders, the aliens having been lied to and told that Della Duck — Scrooge’s niece and Donald Duck's sister, as well as the mother of Scrooge's great-nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie — had attacked their leader before fleeing home after years spent trapped on the Moon living among them.
“The very first season was a very emotional journey for our family because it was paying off the season of them coming together for the first time and facing one of the greatest threats of Scrooge ever. But it was a very personal thing,” explains Youngberg of the build-up to the Season 3 finale. “The second season finale was a very big action epic because we had this big emotional payoff in the middle of the season. We had the return of Della Duck and that laid the groundwork for this big epic battle at the end.”
Building off of that, the series finale is aiming to go bigger and grander, as it sees Clan McDuck face off against their most devious foes yet: a secret evil organisation called the Fiendish Organisation for World Larceny, otherwise known as F.O.W.L. Led by Bradford Buzzard, F.O.W.L. is not only the biggest and most widespread threat the family has ever gone up against during all this time adventuring, but its also one whose roots began quite close to the Money Bin home, with Bradford having served as the chairman of Scrooge's company, with a seat on its board of directors at one point.
“Until you watch the finale you won’t understand the thematic scope of what F.O.W.L. represents,” says Angones. “Like why they’re doing what they’re doing, how that ties into Scrooge and the family, the extent to which they’ve been involved in our series going back. The why of things suddenly clicks into place. You can go back and watch the series with a new light.”
With the stakes so high in this final episode and so much on the line, it's only fair that the McDuck family (which includes the McDuck mansion housekeeper/former spy Mrs. Beakley, her granddaughter Webby, and the family chauffeur-slash-pilot Launchpad) call in every ally as they have in the past, with everyone from Gizmoduck to Darkwing Duck — who is set to get his own spin-off series — swooping in to lend a hand in this final 90-minute showdown.
"Everybody has a moment to shine," says Angones of the cast that will feature in the series finale. "If you go back and watch when they were first introduced and see where they are now, every character has evolved. There are so many main characters. It's a Webby story, and a Huey story, and a Scrooge story, and a Beakley story, and a Launchpad story, just tracking all of their growth... This is everybody on their biggest adventure yet, both in terms of scope and scale, and also personally."
But just because it has a packed cast full of returning faces (and voices), it doesn't mean fans won't get some answers that have been a long time coming — as well as some they weren't searching for.
"It's going to pay off things that you didn't expect it to pay off, and it's going to give you surprises that you weren't expecting," teases Youngberg. "It's one of our biggest, most DuckTales adventures that you could possibly get out of our series. It has everything that makes DuckTales both classic and new and all just wrapped up into this one package."
The DuckTales series finale airs at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Monday, Mar. 15 on Disney XD. You can stream the first two seasons on Disney+ now.