"Time and Punishment" is the sixteenth episode of Darkwing Duck.
Gosalyn accidentally hitches a ride on Quackerjack's time top, and winds up in a terrible future where her father has gone crazy due to losing her.
Megavolt and Quackerjack, using an updated version of Quackerjack's time top, escape into the future to retrieve high tech weapons and toys. Along the way, they accidentally kidnapped a sulky Gosalyn Mallard, who is dragged along with them into the far future of St. Canard.
While they are in the future, the evil duo and the little girl witness a far more malicious version of Darkwing who calls himself "Darkwarrior", harassing a pedestrian and sending him to prision for simply jaywalking before leaping into a huge tank and rolling away. Shortly thereafter, Darkwarrior's robot enforcers impound the time top for illegal parking, and then imprison Megavolt and Quackerjack.
Gosalyn manages to escape and makes her way to Darkwing Tower within the Audubon Bay Bridge. Once there, she finds it largely abandoned, occupied only by an older version of Lanchpad, who reveals that Darkwing went mad with depression when Gosalyn went missing; believing she had run away because he did not allow her to help him that night against Quackerjack and Megavolt (in fact she fell into the timestream).
One night, he came across someone who was in need and reminded him of Gosalyn. Rediscovering his purpose, he became a much more public menance and deadlier than many of his foes ever were. However simply defeating the supervillain menace of St. Canard is not enough for Darkwarrior; and he becomes a militaristic dictator, declaring martial law over St. Canard. He would punish anyone for minor offenses. Launchpad is no longer a sidekick to him because Darkwarrior accused him of being too soft on crime after he said criminals should be arrested before they were sent to the electric chair.
Gosalyn convinces Launchpad to help her find Darkwarrior and talk some sense into him. Eventually she determines the best way to get his attention is to deface his prized statue, now a massive monument in the center of the city. When he encounters Gosalyn while patrolling in his modified and beweaponed Thunderquack, DW tries to reconcile with her. He also, beneficently, only sentences Launchpad to life in prison because obviously he is not a criminal mastermind. He fashions a suit of armor similar to his own for Gosalyn so she can help him patrol the city and rid it of crime. Gosalyn was unhappy with Darkwarrior's extreme views on crime fighting and was not impressed with the armor as she could hardly move in it. When she protests his twisted views after inadvertently revealing the presence of the evil duo and the time top, and demanding that the three of them be returned to the past to set things right; he has her arrested and sent to prison, declaring she had gone bad.
In the meantime, Darkwarrior seems finally to go completely round the bend, determining to use the power of the Time Top to completely rewrite history in his own image, plotting to go back in time to the beginnings of law enforcement in Ancient Babylon, or even further, to when the first proto-duck left the oceans. This pointedly contrasts with Gosalyn's desire to use the time top to simply go back and stop herself from disappearing in the first place.
Gosalyn leads Lanchpad, MegaVolt, and Quackjack in a prison break so she can return to her own time and prevent the dystopian future of Darkwarrior ever occurring. When she tries to save Megavolt and Quackerjack from being killed by Darkwarrior, he points a version of his gas gun in her face. Gosalyn notes she's not afraid of it; but seemingly incredulous, he replies that hasn't used a gas gun in years, promptly changing it into a very lethal missile launcher. He again turns against her, noting that all her past attempts to misbehave were signs he should have realized about her being a bad egg from the start. He is about to use his weapon to execute her but then resists the impulse to kill his baby girl; he is then quickly knocked out by Launchpad allowing Megavolt, Quackerjack and Gosalyn to return to the present, apparently preventing the Darkwarrior timeline from existing.
Once in the present, Darkwing's shadow terrifies Quackerjack and Megavolt into fainting away. He finds Gosalyn within the time top and immediately grounds her for a month because she has disobeyed his order to stay in the Ratcatcher, which she gleefully accepts as a just punishment compared to the tyranny of Darkwarrior.
- Megavolt: Let me out. I'll make him sizzle like spit on a griddle.
- Quackerjack: Ooh, aren't we sounding folksy.
- "But traveling through time could put a hole in the space-time continuum, wreak havoc with history, inalterably change the past, present, and future forever! Actually, it sounds kinda fun."
- — Megavolt.
- Darkwing: You should have been home in bed hours ago.
- Gosalyn: And walk out on The Viper Zombies from Wormwood Creek movie marathon? Not in this universe. Heck, I wouldn't miss the scene where the chainsawing cannibals beg for mercy from the slimy mutant slugs.
- Launchpad: Uh, gee, this popcorn isn't half as tasty as it was a second ago.
Gosalyn: You haven't even asked why I haven't grown. Darkwarrior: I assumed it was the junk food!
Gosalyn: Now, what's going on around here? The city looks like it's just been washed and waxed, the streets are deserted, and Dad's acting like Nobrain the barbarian. Boy, I slip away for a couple of decades, and the whole town goes down the tubes!
Gosalyn: And I used to gripe when he sent me to my room.
Darkwarrior Duck: I am the terror that hunts in the night. I am the jackal that gnaws at your bones.
Darkwing: I am the batteries that are not included.
- Gosalyn: What'd all these people do to get locked up?
- Launchpad: Ah, the usual stuff. Traffic violators, lawyers, plumbers, rude supermarket clerks, cartoon producers.
- Gosalyn: (Points to an old lady in a rocking chair) Who's that?
- Launchpad: Mrs. Mildew. She flunked DW in penmanship.
- Gosalyn: Well, at least he has some sense of justice left.
- Darkwing: I don’t know where you went. But you’ll be sorry you came back.
- Both: (Screaming).
References and Censorship
- Darkwarrior Duck is a reference to the Batman portrayed in The Dark Knight Returns, where an older and embittered Batman viciously and ruthlessly deals out his own brand of justice to evildoers. Darkwarrior's transformation being brought on by Gosayln's disappearance further references how Batman's retirement at the onset of that story was caused by the death of Jason Todd, the 2nd Robin. The Dark Knight Returns would again be homaged as the title of the first arc of the Boom! Studios comics.
- There is a street sign named after Frank Miller, the author of The Dark Knight Returns.
- There are also elements of the Judge Dredd comic, particularly in the body-armor, robot enforcers, and heinously overblown criminal charges DW hands out as a one-man judge, jury, and executioner.
- The sequence when Darkwarrior Duck threatens Gosalyn with his missile launcher was edited when the show was broadcast in Toon Disney.
- No time perspectives are given for how long it took for Darkwing to change or how far Gosalyn traveled to the future, but Darkwarrior Duck shows up as a dimensional abduction victim in "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings". "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings" takes place a year after Darkwing retired, which is an undetermined amount of time after the final episode. Darkwing's transition to Darkwarrior would thus have taken place in around a year time.
- Darkwing still carries the potential to become Darkwarrior. This is brought up in "Campaign Carnage, Part 3" in response to his loss of Morgana Macawber.
- This episode marks the first appearances of Darkwarrior Duck and Mildew.