Darkwing Duck

Season 1 Episode 3

Beauty and the Beet

Aired Weekdays 3:30 PM Sep 09, 1991 on ABC

Episode Recap

Darkwing digs deep into his criminal fact files to tell the story of Bushroot, the famous half plant, half duck mad scientist and member of the Fearsome Five. Originally, Dr. Reginald Bushroot was a harmless and well-meaning botanist employed at laboratory #356 at the St. Canard University. Along with his colleagues Dr. Gary and Dr. Larson, Bushroot's ultimate goal was to find a way of solving world hunger, and his passion for plants led him to develop a theory that if ducks and other people could get their nutrients through photosynthesis as plants do then all the world's hunger problems would be fixed. But the shortsighted Gary and Larson endlessly mocked Bushroot's ideas, since they felt that their method of enlarging foods was a better way to solver world hunger; mostly because people would still have to buy food, which of course meant tons of money. In fact, the only person at the university who was nice to Bushroot in any way was Dr. Rhoda Dendron. Rhoda was another scientist who, despite working in another lab at the university, often visited Bushroot because she felt sorry for him, little knowing that he harbored a secret crush on her. When Dean Tightbill, the headmaster of the university, paid a visit to the lab one day to check up on the progress of Bushroot and his colleagues, the treacherous Gary and Larson sabotaged Bushroot's experiment to literally blow up in the Dean's face. As a result, Tightbill apologetically cut Bushroot's funding, a sad development indeed for the botanist, who was so very close to completing his experimental plant transformation process!

But he didn't let that stand his way. Determined to prove to the world that his theory was correct, Bushroot hastily threw together his equipment in his greenhouse home. Of course, as Darkwing narrates, it was naturally a dark and stormy night! Initially the experiment seemed like a complete failure, and a dejected Bushroot went home. But then, all of a sudden, he began to feel rejuvenated by the sunlight the following morning! Then his feathers turned green. He figured that it must be a side effect of the plant transformation process and that it was something people could live with. He rushed back to the university, but by the time he got there his mutation had developed far beyond green feathers. As he entered the lab he was shocked to discover that, aside from being green, his hair had also turned purple, he had leafy fronds for hands, and roots for feet! Rhoda was shocked, while Gary and Larson were unsurprised and taunted the mutated botanist as they always did, forcing Bushroot to flee the campus grounds in shame and despair. Seeking refuge in the park, Bushroot quickly discovered that there was another side effect to the plant transformation process: he found that he could communicate with plant life and dictate its actions! He figured that this was sure to impress Dean Tightbill, and most all Rhoda, but he dreaded returning to the university to face the jeers of Gary and Larson again. Thus, Bushroot took his first step towards true villainy by plotting and finally carrying out the deaths of his two former colleagues, as hundreds of smothering, choking vines invaded the lab that night and made short work of Gary and Larson.

With them out of the way for good, Bushroot felt that he could now return to the university with confidence and dignity in order to see Rhoda and the Dean. But he didn't count on Darkwing Duck becoming involved in the affair. The police and the federal investigators were baffled by the strange nature of the deaths of Dr. Gary and Dr. Larson, and so it wasn't long before they requested the assistance of Darkwing, who had previously proven himself worthy of their trust by besting the criminal mastermind Taurus Bullba. After examining the grisly, ivy-covered bodies (unusually morbid for this series) Darkwing was quick to pin the blame on Bushroot. But Rhoda refused to believe that Bushroot would resort to murder. Regardless, Darkwing then theorized that Bushroot would come after Dean Tightbill next since he cut the botanist's funding, and took extreme measures to barricade the Dean in his office. This didn't do much to deter Bushroot, who sent an enormous tree to break into the office and abduct Tightbill. But his murderous efforts were foiled when Darkwing distracted the tree long enough for Tightbill to escape, and an enraged Bushroot ordered the tree to kill him and Launchpad instead. After some near-death experiences with the deadly ivy and the tree, which Darkwing defeated using his trusty buzz-saw cuff links, and a high-speed pursuit up a giant beanstalk on the Ratcatcher, Bushroot managed to give them the slip and they returned to the lab, battered and bruised.

In spite of the preceding battle, Rhoda still refused to believe that Bushroot could have turned into such a monster and expressed to Darkwing and Launchpad her concern for her colleague. Overhearing this as he spied on them, Bushroot got the wrong idea. Thinking that Rhoda was in love with him, he immediately made plans to abduct her and take her back to his greenhouse. His newest creation, a giant Venus flytrap named Spike, held Darkwing and Launchpad at bay while he nabbed Rhoda and escaped. After getting rid of Spike by tricking him into going to fetch a bone, Darkwing and his sidekick followed Bushroot's unique footprints (well, root prints anyway) to the isolated greenhouse. There they found the crazed botanist preparing to make Rhoda undergo the plant transformation process! Crashing through the skylight, Darkwing demanded that Bushroot release her, and the mad scientist responded by sicking the various and sundry plant life in the greenhouse on him. After a furious battle in which Darkwing was "potted" and Launchpad ended up with a pumpkin stuck on his head, Darkwing tried to use a weed-whacker on Bushroot, only to have it run out of gas, and finally he ran Bushroot over with a tractor and turned him to mulch. He then freed Rhoda from the plant transforming equipment and everyone lived happily ever after... ...even Bushroot, who, unknown to anyone, survived as what seems to be a head of lettuce.

Season 1 Episodes

See All
Ep 65
Bad Luck Duck
Ep 64
Kung Fooled
Ep 63
Ep 62
Jail Bird
Ep 61
The Quiverwing Quack
Ep 60
A Star Is Scorned
Ep 59
U. F. Foe
Ep 58
Whirled History
Ep 57
Slime OK, You're OK
Ep 56
The Haunting of Mr. Ban...
Ep 55
Inside Binkie's Brain
Ep 54
The Darkwing Squad
Ep 53
Stressed to Kill
Ep 52
Time and Punishment
Ep 51
Quack of Ages
Ep 50
In Like Blunt
Ep 49
Let's Get Respectable
Ep 48
A Duck by Any Other Name
Ep 47
Dead Duck
Ep 46
My Valentine Ghoul
Ep 45
The Incredible Bulk
Ep 44
Twin Beaks
Ep 43
Dances with Bigfoot
Ep 42
Twitching Channels
Ep 41
It's a Wonderful Leaf
Ep 40
Darkwing Doubloon
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