Okay so I was listening to @amorespatospodcast talk about “The First Adventure,” and they were talking about how interesting it is that Beakley was the director of SHUSH when it dissolved, and how double-interesting it is that Beakley recommended Bradford to Scrooge when she knew that there was a mole in the agency, and they also mentioned the feather from “The Split Sword of Swanstantine” a few times…
…and this theory popped into my head, and it’s so darn wacky, I don’t really expect this to be true at all, but still… what if…?
Ducktales spoilers below the cut… haha just kidding… unless…?
On the podcast, Anna and Fabi theorized that the feather that Heron nabbed in “Swanstantine” is Scrooge’s feather, and that it could be used to clone Scrooge and create a “rightful heir of McDuck” that would allow FOWL to find the Papyrus. I like the sound of this, especially since we know that super-fast cloning IS possible in Ducktales, what with all the Gyro clones. Bradford has shown that with the help of agents like Gandra Dee, he is able to use/hijack Gyro and Fenton’s technology. FOWL wouldn’t have to wait years and years to grow an heir; they can just do it with the tech they stole. All they needed was a DNA sample: Scrooge’s feather.
But why do they need the feather now? Why didn’t they take one years ago, in all those decades of Bradford running Scrooge’s business? Bradford has clearly been calmly and quietly planning his moves for years. Why wait until Scrooge is onto him to put this plan in motion?
My answer: he didn’t wait. FOWL did take a DNA sample from Scrooge years ago. This is the second time that Bradford has tried to create a “rightful heir of McDuck.” And the first time? He succeeded!
Beakley was working with Bradford in the time of “First Adventure.” Absolutely she was. She’s the best spy in the world and she doesn’t trust anyone, so there’s nothing that Bradford could’ve said to her to make her trust him, unless she knew what he was all about. And Beakley, at some point while she was an agent of SHUSH, figured out what Bradford and FOWL were up to, and was swayed to Bradford’s side.
Beakley is not an agent of chaos. She does not encourage Scrooge to go on reckless adventures. She was happy to be his housekeeper while he was depressed for ten years, and she wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about him seeking out Atlantis in the pilot. If I remember right, she says she has more than enough adventure in her life raising Webby, and while she encourages Scrooge to talk to his grandnephews, since she values family, she doesn’t tell Scrooge to take them on an adventure. In fact, Scrooge makes a point of telling the kids to not tell Beakley that they’re going, as though he knows she wouldn’t approve.
When Beakley joins the adventure gang in “Last Crash of the Sunchaser,” she is appalled to learn that Scrooge regularly puts the kids – particularly Webby – in danger. I can 100% imagine strict, meticulous, rule-abiding Beakley hearing Bradford’s pitch about controlling the world to stop terrible, chaotic things from happening anymore, and thinking, “Huh, sure, I’m on board with order!”
“But what about ‘The Case Files of Agent 22?’” you ask. “Beakley was working with Scrooge against FOWL then!”
Well, it all depends on exactly when Beakley caught onto Bradford and he gave her his pitch. It could be that the flashbacks we see in “Case Files” are before this, and Beakley is completely above-board at this point. It’s also possible that Beakley is already working with Bradford.
Think about how protocol-oriented she is in this episode. She wants to do things by the book. She hates that Scrooge is going off the rails and changing the plan. She learns to like and respect him over the course of the episode, but the way she reacts to Scrooge’s loose-cannon nature reminds me a lot of how Bradford reacts to Heron in “First Adventure.” Scrooge also encourages Beakley to lighten up in a similar way to how Heron encourages Bradford to embrace his inner villain. Order versus chaos. Control versus adventure.
Maybe Heron had gone off the rails and started acting super extra villain-ish, creating a secret island laboratory and trying to use the Gummi Berries herself instead of just collecting/destroying them like Bradford would have wanted, and so Bradford asked Beakley to reign her in, and she did so in a way that aligned with SHUSH’s agenda, too. After all, she’s a spy; she could easily have ulterior motives for her actions. Along the way, she befriends Scrooge. And if Scrooge trusts and likes Beakley, this helps FOWL. It means that when Bradford finally decides to take a more active role in taking over the world, Beakley can tell Scrooge to let Bradford control his business.
So. We’ve got Bradford trying to take over the world, and we’ve got Beakley – the director of SHUSH – secretly working with him. And now Bradford has access to Scrooge’s finances and technologies. And, Bradford still wants the Papyrus. Maybe he’s going to just keep it. Maybe he just wants to make sure that the McDuck family doesn’t get it. Maybe he’s going to use it to get what he wants – total control of a completely orderly, boring world. The important thing is, to find the Papyrus, Bradford needs a McDuck heir.
Hence the cloning. Bradford gets close enough to Scrooge to get a feather, or some more significant DNA sample. But that’s not all he needs. Anna and Fabi pointed out that a clone wouldn’t necessarily be an “heir.” It would just be a copy. Bradford would need someone else’s DNA to combine with it.
Now, whose DNA would Bradford use? Who would he want to take a sample from? Who does Bradford have on hand who knows what he’s planning and isn’t a total villainous loose cannon?
It takes a long time. They don’t have Gyro to mooch off of; he’s in Japan, and even when Scrooge does hire him, he hasn’t developed his own cloning technology yet. So when they do finally create the clone, it’s a baby. They’re going to have to wait for it to grow up and be able to find the Papyrus for them.
Meanwhile, Scrooge doesn’t notice any of this, because he’s having a grand old time roaming the world with Donald and Della, creating plenty of chaos for Bradford to hate.
And then – the Spear of Selene. Della vanishes. Donald takes the eggs and leaves. Scrooge is grief-struck.
And so, I think, is Beakley.
I think Beakley has grown attached to the clone-baby, much more than she expected to, and much more than Bradford or anyone else in FOWL has. And I think Beakley, seeing her friend so affected by the loss of his family, suddenly started thinking about how terrible she would feel if something were to happen to this baby. And with Bradford in control, with Bradford who clearly doesn’t understand the power or importance of family using this baby as a tool in his plans, something terrible is bound to happen to this baby.
So she, like Donald, took the baby and ran.
Maybe she struck a deal with Bradford. Maybe she said, “Look, Scrooge isn’t going on any adventures anymore. You don’t have to worry about him creating chaos. Just keep on controlling the world using the money of the richest duck in the world, and you’ll have what you want. As the director of SHUSH, I’ll tell everyone that FOWL was defeated, and dissolve SHUSH so no one will look into your work anymore. I’ll even go keep an eye on Scrooge, and I’ll let you know if he does start adventuring again. Just let me keep the baby.”
And Bradford said yes.
And Beakley told the baby that she was her grandmother.
And Beakley spent the next decade telling her granddaughter not to bother Scrooge. Remember that that is the reason Webby gives in “Case Files” when Scrooge asks why they haven’t gone on adventures together before – Beakley told her not to bother Scrooge. Beakley didn’t want Scrooge adventuring, and she didn’t want Webby in danger.
Fast forward to “Moonvasion.” Bradford has been content this long to quietly control the world, since Scrooge hasn’t been running around causing chaos. But now, the McDuck family has caused an alien invasion of Earth. And like Bradford says, you can’t control the world if the world is destroyed.
So he goes back to his original plan. Collect the magical artifacts that the McDucks and related villains might use to cause chaos. And, importantly, find the Papyrus, the most dangerous of them all.
But, again, he needs the rightful heir of McDuck. There’s a couple potential heirs running around to choose from, but again, there’s only one person who Scrooge McDuck trusts that Bradford has reason to think he could control.
So Bradford contacts Beakley and tells her to bring Webby to him. And we know – Frank Angones has confirmed this – that Beakley would do anything to protect Webby. To protect her physically, and also, as we learned in “Lost Harp of Mervana,” to protect Webby’s perception of Beakley as a good person. The last thing Beakley wants to do now is expose Webby to FOWL and let her discover the truth.
Beakley would do anything to protect Webby. So she agrees to help Bradford create a new clone. She’s a true double agent, actively and sincerely working with both sides. In “Escape from the Impossibin,” she is both serving as a part of the distraction to keep the family from noticing the theft of the missing mysteries until it’s too late (which puts Scrooge in a hurry, sending him out into the field in “Swanstantine,” giving Heron the chance to grab the feather), and she’s also trying to prepare Webby for the very real possibility of having to fight her own family, Beakley included.
Only the best spy in the world – which Beakley is! – could pull something like this off. The thought of losing Webby (both physically and emotionally – if Webby finds out that Beakley betrayed Scrooge, Beakley could lose Webby forever) scares and upsets Beakley enough for her to betray everyone else she cares about, and even sell out the entire world to Bradford.
TL;DR, Beakley is the mole, she initially joined FOWL because she likes order but now is working with them to protect Webby, Webby is a potential rightful heir of Scrooge McDuck, and FOWL is cloning a new heir.
…and now, after rereading this whole thing for typos, I actually kind of buy my own cracky theory. Wow.
And now I’m imagining a future callback to “Last Crash,” when Scrooge told Webby that she wasn’t family, with Beakley standing right there to hear it, which he still to this day has not apologized for. What if Beakley, desperate not to lose her granddaughter, used that painful memory to try to convince Webby that betraying Scrooge to protect her was the right thing to do?