Instead Lena takes it mostly in stride. You could infer Lena’s gotten over everything she was struggling with in ‘A Nightmare on Killmotor Hill’ but those emotions needed to be addressed again in order to make this plot work. Lena going from that fear over becoming like Magica to casually learning from her needed more space to breathe.
It also leans much more on comedy than other Lena and Magica episodes. There have been comedy moments in those sure but they mostly came from other characters (let us never forget Huey’s legs.) Here Magica is the butt of a lot of jokes and I’m conflicted about it. On the positive side I loved the 80’s montage jam and Magica’s house is filled with a ton of great little details (the wall art was especially great.) We’ve seen Magica being played for jokes in ‘GlomTales!’ but doing it with Lena around robbed the arc of much of its power. You could say this is the ultimate way of taking Magica down several pegs but we needed more time for this to be earned.
There’s some great set-up at the start of the episode with Lena worried about everything triggering her magic and Scrooge off handedly mentioning “nothing good has ever come from magic.” I’m sure the team behind DuckTales didn’t want to feel like they were repeating ‘Killmotor’ again with Lena unsure how to deal with her past but there’s still a lot of untapped story potential in the after effects of her abuse. I wish the episode had delved into that instead of working with Magica so quickly.
The inclusion of Gladstone was an understandable choice even if it had somewhat underwhelming results. I like the character and his anguish at not having everything goes his was fun but he never quite clicked with the rest of the cast here. His bits felt like they could have been excised from the plot and you wouldn’t have lost much.
However the episode does manage to recover by the end as Lena begins to learn about her own magical powers. Magica attempts to get her to rely on anger but Webby shows her a different path. Magic powered by friendship! It’s the most Webby thing ever but after so much build up between her and Lena it feels perfectly earned. Lena’s only able to access her own magical powers when she thinks about friendship and manages to take on an all-new form, one that doesn’t rely on Magica’s powers. She defeats the enemy and delivers this killer line to Magica,