Quarantine Post #72: Batman Beyond

So did I need more Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne? I did. Did I also want a future batman and a look at the future Gotham? Also yes. So I was thrilled to hear that the DCAU would explore more Batman content. I was not disappointed. Shoutout to HBO for having most of the DCAU collections. I have enjoyed my trip down memory lane. After 52 episodes spanning three seasons and one direct-to-video feature film, the series was brought to an end in favor of the Justice League animated series, and plans for a fourth season were canceled. Listen… as much as I enjoy the Justice League… I am sure that a 4th season would have been a great idea. (Also… I will get around to blogging about the Justice League too.) Depicting a teenaged Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne, Batman Beyond is chronologically the final series of the DC Animated Universe (despite being released before Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited), and serves as a continuation of both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.

I forced my sister to watch this with me as part of a watch party. Is it nostalgia? It can’t be because I have already rewatched both Batman and Superman TAS and they did not disappoint. The DCAU never disappoints. The show is said to explore the darker side of many Batman projects, playing on key elements such as emotions, personal relations, fear of the unknown, as well as sci-fi themes such as the issues and dilemmas of innovation and technological and scientific progress affecting society, and the psychology of the character of Bruce Wayne. In addition, due to the titular character being a high school student, it includes issues that plague teenagers (substance abuse, subcultures, child abuse and neglect, school violence, peer pressure, etc.). The Batman universe is pretty dark. (I think I said in my post, that it was way darker than I remember.) Batman TAS is dark for a kid’s show so I was expecting more of the same. I knew it was going to be dark when we saw the intro.

Something about the fact that this story takes place in 2019… made me want to rewatch it even more. What is the obsession with flying cars? (Some stuff we don’t need.) The prologue initially begins in 2019 (set about 20 years after The New Batman Adventures, 17 years after Justice League, and 15 years after Justice League Unlimited). An aging Bruce Wayne, despite suffering from health complications continues to fight crime as Batman in a new high-tech Batsuit. I mean what is he like 80? seriously? He looks way old. One of my favorite things was telling Leah about Terry McGinnis… and her responding… Who is Terry? Sometimes, I wonder how we have remained friends.

But let’s jump into the top episodes that had meaning for me. It is hard to choose from because all of the 52 episodes were fantastic. But let’s hop into it.

  • Rebirth Parts 1 and 2 (Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2 ) – Who is running Gotham after Bruce gets old? Don’t worry you can find out in this 2 part episode. This will be a bit long because it is 2 episodes. In an airplane hangar just outside of Gotham City, a group of kidnappers watch a news report about a failed attempt by Derek Powers to take over Wayne Enterprises. (Derek Powers is scum… more on that later.) The news also states that the kidnappers have failed to release their hostage Bunny Vreeland in spite of being paid five million dollars in ransom. As it turns out, they plan to execute Bunny and make a getaway with the money. Batman arrives, wearing a new suit that lacks a cape but features retractable wings and jet boots along with increased strength, flexibility, propulsion, agility and other abilities. Batman manages to subdue most of the kidnappers with limited effort, although he does get a brief crippling chest pain afterwards. (Things were looking too good for Bruce. However, just as he is about to untie Bunny, the thug leader ends up ambushing him with a wrench (with Bunny attempting to warn Batman of the oncoming attack by gasping). As the Caped Crusader is engaging the last thug, he is suddenly struck by crippling chest pain severe enough to bring him to the floor. The last kidnapper, wielding an oversized wrench, unleashes a savage attack. As he continues his vicious battering, he smugly comments how Batman had been getting in the way of people like him since he was a kid. Unable to defend himself and in serious danger, Batman snatches up a weapon dropped by one of the other kidnappers in desperation… a handgun. As surprised as Batman is to see what he has done, his attacker runs off fearfully, before being intercepted by the arriving police. njured, Batman limps outside the hangar. He removes his mask and reveals a gray-haired, older appearance. Upon realizing he was wielding a handgun, something he had sworn he would never do, Bruce is enveloped in absolute horror and revulsion. Back at the Batcave, he puts the Batsuit in the costume display gallery alongside his other crime fighter costumes and his original batsuit that he used to wear as Batman. Realizing that he has grown too old for crimefighting anymore, he takes one last look at the Batcave from the top of the stairs and solemnly vows never be Batman again. Twenty years pass and Gotham City has changed much in this time, according to a current newscast. Derek Powers has managed to take control of Wayne-Powers, and has been increasing his power and wealth by gobbling up smaller businesses. A teenager dressed as a clown climbs onto a public train and starts making trouble. Just then, Terry McGinnis deals with the clown and grumbles “Jokerz”. (They think they know… But they have no idea.) At school, he gets into a fight with Nelson Nash which gets him into trouble. His father is not all that happy. Back at Terry’s house, his father Warren McGinnis gets a desperate message from his co-worker Harry Tully. He meets with his co-worker who has several dark patches on his skin. Tully gives Warren a disk and is dragged off by Mr. Fixx, a large man who works for Powers. Upon returning home, Warren reviews the data on the disk and becomes distressed and shocked at the information on the disk. Terry tells him that he’s leaving but Warren forbids it as Terry’s grounded, despite the fact that he didn’t start the fight. (Terry is always in some mess so can you blame Dad.) After a brief argument Terry leaves in anger. As he leaves, Powers’s hit man Fixx watches and grins, seeing that Warren is now alone. Terry heads out to a nightclub and meets up with his girlfriend Dana Tan. (He is 16 right? Are there fake ID’s involved?) Things escalate when the Jokerz arrive and terrorize Dana. Terry starts fighting them but when reinforcements arrive, Terry is forced to flee on one of their motorcycles. The gang chases Terry down a seldom-used road and Terry swerves to avoid hitting an old man, which causes him to fall. The Jokerz catch up with him. Just then, the old man reveals himself as Bruce Wayne, and demands that the Jokerz leave, but they attack instead. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05QJOmnr-IA) Together, he and Terry manage to fight off the gang but Bruce suffers from his weak heart. While snooping Terry discovers the Batcave. Upon seeing the costumes, Terry learns Bruce’s secret but Bruce attacks him from behind and angrily throws him out. Upon returning home, Terry finds his house in shambles and the words “ha, ha, ha” written in graffiti all over the house. The police are there as is his mother. Terry asks what happened and where’s his father. They inform Terry that Warren has been killed, and the Jokerz are apparently responsible. (The Jokerz are dumb but Powers is diabolical.) But Terry has to move in with is mother and discovers the disk that his father was killed for. He returns to Wayne Manor to show him the evidence. Terry spends the second part of this episode dodging Powers and his henchmen. His solution… break into the batcave and steal the batsuit. Terry, in the suit, clumsily flies towards the Wayne-Powers tower and eavesdrops on a conversation between Powers and Egans. As evidence of the gas’s lethality, Powers shows Egans footage of the gas being tested on plants, then on a calf, and then photographs of Tully after his accident. Egans is impressed, and Powers assures him that the gas will be shipped out that very night; his assistant Mr. Fixx will personally see to it. After Egans leaves, however, Powers is concerned that Terry is still alive. Fixx tells him not to worry, revealing that he is the one who killed Warren. Security guards discover Terry and attack. Bruce deosn’t take kindly to his suit being stolen. Poor Terry doesn’t know that Bruce can see and control the suit from his computer in the batcave. When Bruce shuts the suit down… Terry gets the beating of his life. Terry makes his way to the hover docks and discovers Powers and Fixx supervising the loading of the gas. He is attacked by more security guards. On Powers’s orders, Fixx gets into the hovercraft and takes off, while Powers stays behind to deal with Terry. Terry throws a Batarang, which Powers shoots out of the air with ease. Terry then throws a gas canister, which Powers shoots without thinking, exposing himself to the gas. Terry flies after the hovercraft. Terry manages to fight off Fixx and the hovercraft is destroyed. That morning, Terry’s mother wakes him and tells him that Bruce is there to see him. Bruce tells Terry’s mother that Terry saved his life and defended him from the Jokerz and he tried to reward him, but Terry refused. Bruce offers Terry a job as a part-time assistant, which Terry accepts, knowing that the offer is really to become the new Batman. Back at Wayne-Powers, Powers is exposed to intense radiation to eliminate the gas. The radiation succeeded in saving his life. However, the radiation therapy, combined with the gas’s mutagenic properties, radically altered Powers’s body. He is now emitting radiation so powerful that his skin is now translucent, and he appears as a glowing green skeleton. So that is fun. Birth of a new villain… (Well the transformation of the same villian.)

  • Meltdown (Season 1, Episode 5) – It has been awhile since we have seen Mr. Freeze. It always entertains me when Terry had to battle baddies of the past. Powers is at it again. But Freeze thrives on revenge. He is not a person you want to double cross. Out at the Gotham Docks, Batman tests the water and discovers that it’s ripe with radiation. The reason soon arrives and a bunch of men in lead suits arrive to unload canisters of radioactive waste into a barge. Batman takes on his stealth mode and starts attacking the crew. Being able to move virtually undetected, he easily defeats the crew and stops the evidence from being removed. Batman then goes after the group’s leader, and using the man’s cell phone, he discovers Derek Powers’ involvement. I haved learned from comics that Billionaires are either Villains or hero vigilantes. Derek, at this time, is trying to buy out a company and using the underhanded tactic of using a late hour negotiation. Unfortunately for him, when he hears from Batman informing him that his men are going to be caught by the coast guard, much to his anger, his skin starts to crack and he has to give up the negotiation for the time being. Back in his laboratory, Powers complains about the fact that the skin hardly lasts any more but there is nothing his doctors can do. However, a new doctor, Dr. Stephanie Lake, approaches Powers and tells him that she can clone him a new body and transfer his mind into it. (The other Doctors try warning against her idea. I originally thought it was because they wanted to keep her beneath the rest of them. But honestly… It was a bad idea.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTc-5tILw6U) This body would be healthy, since she would screen out the mutation. Powers is intrigued, but Dr. Lake says that she wants to test the procedure on someone else: Mr. Freeze’s disembodied but immortal head which has been kept in a Wayne-Powers vault for nearly fifty years. The procedure is performed and Victor Freeze soon finds himself in a new, healthy body—one that, miraculously, is able to feel heat and cold like a normal person. Things seem okay, but Bruce is suspicious of both Freeze and Powers and tells Terry to tail Freeze. Bruce trusts no one.  A sniper tries to kill Freeze. Batman stops the attack, but the sniper cries that “the monster’s gotta die”. Mr. Freeze had previously killed this sniper’s family and he now seeks revenge. Freeze decides that he’s done enough damage to the sniper’s life, and sets him free, vowing to make amends. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GJUqteX5Lc) Later, Freeze announces that he’s starting an organization so that he can help the people he once hurt. He promises to fund this with his legitimate holdings, which now comes to significant sum in this time. Terry thinks that Freeze is trying to change. After the announcement, Freeze starts to notice that he’s feeling hot. He leaves the studio and feels even more uncomfortable from the heat. However, it soon starts snowing, and he immediately feels better, proving that he’s starting to revert to his previous condition. Freeze returns to Dr. Lake and she informs Powers of the incident. She guesses that there is a mnemonic agent within his DNA that caused him to revert. Powers wishes to biopsy Freeze’s organs and without warning, Dr. Lake seals Victor inside a cell and turns up the heat to try to knock him out, but he escapes the cell by throwing with gurney on glass at her, now convinced that Dr. Lake and Powers have betrayed and tried to murder him. He escapes the facility, hell bent on revenge once more. Freeze arrives in a suit more powerful than any he had built before with improved protection against bullets and freeze guns built into the gauntlets. Freeze corners Powers and Dr. Lake and freezes them both in icy coffins, then goes out and fights off some guards, making his way towards the main power generators. Unknown to him, back in the hallway, Powers unleashes the full heat of his body’s radioactivity, shedding both his icy prison and his artificial skin. The final battle sends Freeze up in flames. Powers doesn’t die… Because… I mean it is only the first season but… I doubt that Freeze died either.

  • Shriek (Season 1, Episode 7) -Walter Shreeve is looking for more funding from Derek Powers. The meeting doesn’t go as planned. Although, I found it pretty entertaining. Derek Powers sits alone in a dark room while listening to a lecture from acoustician Walter Shreeve, who explains that sound is the first warning of danger and is under-appreciated. Just after that, Powers hears the sound of a locomotive racing towards him and stares into its headlight. Just as he screams in panic, the illusion ends and Shreeve points out that it was only to prove his point. The invention of a profound acoustical amplification/manipulation suit capable of easily destroying solid objects through use of focused infrasonic frequencies. Shreeve expresses his desire to use this suit to revolutionise the construction industry, but Powers is still unimpressed. Seeking to make use of Shreeve Sound Laboratories’ research & development, Powers hires Shreeve to destroy Batman and Bruce Wayne. (Who knows what it must be like for Bruce to know that Powers wants to destroy him…) Bruce makes a speech to his board of directors expressing his disgust with Powers’ idea to tear up Crime Alley, now known as Gotham’s Historical District due to being left unchanged from the city’s development and build an industrial complex. He proposes that they hold a stockholders’ meeting for a vote. The proposal is quickly seconded and Powers has no choice, but to allow the meeting to take place. Nevertheless, he’s sure that his plan will succeed. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKhjEtr_0_E) Bruce meets up with Terry and takes him to Crime Alley, where he explains why he’s fighting so hard to keep the place preserved: it includes the theater where his parents were killed. Terry is confused as to why Bruce would want to keep that particular memory alive when he could easily allow the area to be torn down and forget it, but Bruce quietly compares it to Terry forgetting the memory of what happened to his father. Shreeve enters in his sonic-suit and starts attacking with sound blasts powerful enough to tear up the floor which severely damages the old building. Getting Bruce and himself out of the way of several attacks, Batman tries to engage Shreeve away from Bruce, but when Shreeve shows he’s only interested in harming Bruce, Batman damages Shreeve’s right hand sound generator with a Batarang. The sparking and arcing unit hurts Shreeve and forces him to eject it; the distraction allows Batman to retrieve it, grab Bruce and run out of the GPD before it completely collapses. Batman and Shreeve are okay, but Bruce faints from the exertion. Bruce gives the hospital workers a hard time over being there. Bruce starts to hear voices. The voice claimes that there’s something he must do. The voices order him to go to the window and open it. The voice indirectly encourages him to jump from the window, which would cause him to fall to his death. Even though he doesn’t jump, it doesn’t look good for Bruce. Terry does an analysis of the sound generator from Shreeve’s suit and discovers it to be comprised of acoustium, an alloy developed by Shreeve Sound Laboratories. With this lead, he disguises himself as a misdirected pizza delivery boy and cons his way into Shreeve’s lab with free pizza. Shreeve shows Terry some of his inventions such as a miniature radio receiver and transmitter and device to cancel out sound. However, when Terry asks about sound vibrations, Shreeve becomes suspicious and attacks him. Terry manages to escape and the police learn of Shreeve. Terry rushes back to the hospital to inform Bruce, but the nurse informs him that he has been transferred to the psych ward, apparently on Powers’ advice and under Powers’ care. (Yeah that is what you want. To be in the care of the person trying to kill you.) Batman pays a visit to Bruce in the psych ward and discovers the source of the voices: one of Shreeve’s miniature radios hidden in Bruce’s bandage. He apparently bribed a nurse to place it there. Together, the two leave the hospital and trace the signal back to Shriek. Batman finds him in a car factory and the two start to fight. Shriek has the advantage with his formidable sonic blasts and Batman attempts to hide. Batman turns on the factory’s machinery, causing a concert of noise. Shriek, however, reveals another of his sonic-suit’s acoustic abilities: the projection of a dampening field that cancels out all ambient sound waves. Batman is pursued out of the factory in an eerily complete silence, nearly getting killed not only by Shriek, but a series of dangers that he’s unable to detect without sound. However, as Ace is able to hear, Bruce unleashes him; the canine saves Terry from being hit by a truck. Just as Shriek finds them, Batman once again damages his right hand sound generator with a Batarang, causing the dampening field to suddenly cut-out and Shriek’s ears are overwhelmed by the various sounds of the city which are collectively amplified in exponential by his sonic-suit. Screaming in pain, Shreeve collapses and receives a shock when Batman removes his helmet: he has gone deaf. (Well I should have seen that coming.) Check out the final scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lKH2BpJ_JY)

  • The Winning Edge (Season 1, Episode 9) – Out on the streets of Gotham City, a group of Jokerz crowd around an illegal arms dealer who shows them some of his impressive merchandise. However, Batman shows up and breaks up the sale. The next day, Terry sleeps in class again and the teacher gets angry, giving him a note to take home. Dana tries to comfort Terry by asking him to the game that night, though Terry refuses the offer at first, but Dana further persuades him, saying “you need some excitement in your life”. During the game, the opposite team easily scores a goal and the Coach berates his players for under-performing. As the time out ends, one of the players, Mason, rolls up his sleeve and slaps a patch onto his arm, which instantly bulges with muscle. With his newfound strength, Mason checks one of his opponents so hard he pushes him through the wall of the court, almost hitting Terry and Dana in the process. The referee objects, but the Coach commends Mason. (The coach isn’t likable at all. He is someone that the kids are supposed to be getting help from but he is looking the other way.) Mason is having a hard time and his girlfriend Chelsea and his friends notice it. In order to keep up the addiction they have been robbing places. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TA56hw_VJQ) Later, Mason buys slappers from a supplier concealed in a black car. He uses one of the slappers and instantly feels better. Batman searches Mason’s locker, he discovers the packet of slappers and takes them. However, Coach Creagar finds and attacks him. After a brief fight, however, Batman manages to beat the coach and escapes. Mary walks in and confronts Terry about his tardiness. Terry claims that he was running errands for Mr. Wayne, but she doesn’t buy it. She already knows that he’s been caught sleeping in class, and wants to see the note from his teacher. Before Terry can reach for it, Matt runs to get it, and as Terry tries to stop him, he drops his backpack and the packet of slappers falls out. Mary believes that he’s been using them, and grounds him until further notice after Terry tries to explain what happened, much to Terry’s dismay. Restricted to work, Terry goes to Bruce and gives him a slapper that he managed to keep. Bruce analyzes it and finds that it contains Venom. The only person who has the formula is Bruce’s old enemy Bane, who now lives on a remote island estate. Batman sneaks onto Bane’s estate and ties up his attendant, Jackson Chappell. He finds Bane, whose physique has wasted away to nothing, and is now so weak that he can barely move and needs a respirator to breathe. Chappell says it is the result of too many years on Venom. Batman leaves, baffled as to who is supplying the Venom. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BLe5aXwBaY) Batman follows the car to the supplier’s hide out after breaking up a sale to Mason, and finds a secret slapper factory. The car opens and the “boss” of the operation steps out: Chappell. It turns out that Bane entrusted the formula to Chappell after he became too weak to make it himself; his years of Venom use left Bane dependent on it just to keep himself alive. (This has to be one of the most shockiing episodes for me. I always thought Bane was an addict. But seeing how he ends up is crazy. The kids not know Bane were more susceptible.) Chappell bares his torso and applies four slappers, becoming hugely strong. Batman fights back, but Chappell’s raw strength proves too great even for Batman’s enhanced capabilities. However, during the fight, Batman manages to throw him onto the slapper machine, covering his whole body with them. He screams as the drug takes effect, but is now freakishly large and strong, and nearly insane with rage. But Batman triggers a small explosion that sprays chemicals in his enemy’s eyes, blinding him. As Chappell swings wildly around, he causes a large explosion that incapacitates him. As the smoke clears, Batman looks closer and sees that, due to the overdose, there was nothing upstairs. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGQIghWQmUA)

  • Spellbound (Season 1, Episode 10) –  Gotham City is overcome by a rash of strange crimes by seemingly normal people, each of whom claims to have experienced hallucinations after meeting a man dressed in a strange suit and a magic eye. Chelsea returns home from a date with her boyfriend, Rick. When he asks if she’s all right walking alone the last few feet to her door, she says nothing ever happens around their block. Before reaching home, Chelsea notices a strange wind picking up and is approached by a man dressed in a strange costume. He tells her not to be afraid and shows her a large eye in his hand, inviting her to an “adventure”. Chelsea stares into the eye and suddenly finds herself wandering through a jungle. She enters an ancient temple and picks up a small idol in the center. She then follows the strange man to a pool of lava and drops the statue down. In reality, she has entered her home, picked up a statue from her father’s study, and dropped it off the riverbank outside her door. When her father confronts her, she snaps out of it and expresses confusion. Neither of them notice the man fly away with the statue in hand. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xEESMrsoiA) The next day, Terry talks to his friend Jared and notices Commissioner Barbara Gordon walk by. He follows her and eavesdrops on a conversation between her and Ira Billings, the school psychologist. Billings says that, in his expert opinion, Chelsea commits acts like this to get attention, and her “mystery man” story is likely made-up as an excuse. Barbara accepts this explanation and leaves. (I have always wondered why he was allowed to talk to the police. Don’t the cops need a warrant.) Terry is suspicious, but even Bruce doesn’t see anything wrong, believing that it’s just Chelsea’s personal problems. Night comes and the mysterious man picks off another victim, Mr. Deakins, an auction house manager. Mr. Deakins is hit by the power of the eye and soon after he knocks one of the security guards unconscious and locks himself inside. As the police arrive, and tend to the guard, Deakins drags a valuable dress (once belonging to Princess Audrey) up to the roof. In his mind, he’s in the middle of a jungle war, dragging a wounded comrade to safety while trying to evade the enemy. On the roof, the mystery man is waiting, where Deakins sees his vehicle as a rescue helicopter. He loads the dress onto the craft. Batman arrives but Mr. Deakins sees him as an enemy soldier and attacks him, telling the “helicopter” to run for it. After a brief fight, Batman manages to knock Mr. Deakins into the wall, thereby snapping him out of his delusion. Mr. Deakins also expresses confusion. Chelsea is now being taken seriously since another person spots the villain. Terry announces that he has a personal gathering to attend. Terry goes to the wedding of Jared’s mother, admiring the large jewels she’s wearing. However, as the bride walks down the stairs, a magic eye concealed in a video camera hits her and she suddenly sees herself in a nest of gigantic insects. She runs in terror. Catching a glimpse of Spellbinder hiding in the crowd, Terry runs down to his motorcycle and pulls out the Batsuit. In terror, Jared’s mother jumps off the hotel balcony. Batman grabs her, but she sees him as an insect too and tries to escape him. Eventually, she sees even her jewelry as insects and tears them off, before falling onto the train tracks in the path of an oncoming train. Batman manages to save her but cannot stop Spellbinder from stealing the jewels. The next day, Billings expresses concern for Terry’s mental health, given the recent loss of his father and the new stress caused by his job. He invites Terry to tell him about his experiences working for Bruce. Terry is a little reluctant but finally caves in. (Mr. Billings is a bit too helpful.) That night, Bruce hears an intruder alarm sounding. He goes upstairs and finds Terry stealing valuables from his home. Terry sees himself as being a contestant on a shopping spree game show and even attacks Bruce when he tries to stop him. Bruce, however, snaps Terry out of it. In the Batcave, Bruce reveals Spellbinder’s true identity: Billings. All of the victims either had therapy with him, or had children who did, which is how Billings “cased” their houses. He does not suspect Terry’s secret identity, but only used him to get access to Wayne Manor — which means that at that moment Spellbinder is waiting outside for him. (Just know that my mind is blown.) Terry confronts Spellbinder as Batman, but is hit by the magic eye. Things don’t seem to alter, and he claims that he’s okay but soon sees a pack of zombies crawl out of the ground and they attack. As the illusory zombies gang up on Batman, Spellbinder explains his motives for the crimes: Having gotten poor compensation for treating many of the students with connections to wealthy families, he decided to get what he believed he was entitled to and strike back at the rich, with Spellbinder also using the illusions to sneak attack Batman. The images eventually fade and Batman sees Spellbinder standing just in front of a cliff. He runs after him but Bruce warns Terry that it’s an illusion. Terry freezes, stopping just short of where the real cliff is. Spellbinder attacks from behind, but falls off the cliff himself after Batman evades the attack and captures him.

  • Disappearing Inque (Season 1, Episode 11) – We met Inque earlier in the series…. when she was employed by Derek Powers for corporate espionage against Foxtecha. In their first clash, Terry used Mr. Freeze’s gun to immobilize her. Inque broke down into pieces of ice, which were then delivered to Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon in a giant bag. So this episode takes us back to her. Out at Gotham Cryogenics, a disgruntled employee, Aaron Herbst, walks in on Inque who is still trapped in a block of ice. He starts talking to Inque about his problems, including that he’s been turned down for a raise, but then gets a call that his boss wants to see him. Just for luck, he kisses the ice holding Inque. (Odd. Can you fall in love with someone who doesn’t interact with you at all?) Well, his boss is not happy. His boss tells him that cameras have been monitoring his “conversations” with Inque, and he’s being fired. In revenge, Aaron cuts off the power to Inque’s cell, allowing the ice to melt and freeing her. (This is such an extreme reaction. I am not sure that I would have let a villain loose but…. also… if this job was that important. They should have paid him more money.) Being shown around the displays in the Batcave, Terry admires an exosuit on display next to the costumes, and asks about it. Bruce says he built it when he first started losing his strength and endurance to old age—the suit greatly increases both, but he soon realized that using it put too great a strain on his heart. Inque releases the hostages but Batman notices that one of the officers is wearing a black coat. Deducing that this coat is actually Inque he attacks. However, the police start to fire on both Inque and Batman. Worse, Inque manages to destroy Mr. Freeze’s gun and escapes. Inque finds her way to Aaron’s apartment looking for his help. She reveals that despite being immobilized, she retained consciousness, and as a result, she could see and hear her curator’s incessant nattering and moaning about his pitiful life and his love for her. Inque says she won’t tell anyone if he helps her. Aaron eagerly says he’ll do anything for her. Terry reinforces the Batcave’s stone superstructure with Plasti Steel. , Bruce analyzes a sample of Inque’s bio-residue and discovers that her human DNA has been damaged to the point of preventing her assuming of human form, probably from being frozen, and that this was the reason she posed as a black overcoat in her escape earlier. That night, Inque and Aaron break into a chemical lab and steal the chemicals she needs. Before they can leave, Aaron asks for his reward: to be mutated into a shapeshifter like her. Inque agrees, but before she can make good on her promise, Batman arrives. Inque attacks him and manages to dodge his special batarang, leaving him with nothing. Batman continues to fight Inque but she easily gains the upper hand. However, after a failed attempt to drown him in her body, Inque is forced to release Batman when he activates his thrusters, breaking free long enough to grab the electric Batarang. Inque is downed, but Aaron beats Batman and knocks him out with an industrial haptic feedback robotic arm and saves her. Inque wants Batman dead, but decides to wait until she can get “the old one too”. ( What about this was Aaron so attracted to?) Inque and Aaron go to an abandoned sporting arena and Inque drinks the mutagen, healing herself. Meanwhile, restrained to a post of the center ring with chain, Batman has contacted Bruce and reveals information of where he has been taken. They continue to talk until Batman stops. She wants him to tell Bruce where he is being held but Terry refuses.  Seeing that Batman refuses to talk, Inque instead reveals to Bruce they are at the Gotham Hills Arena and warns him to come alone or she threatens to kill Batman. Batman warns Bruce not to come, trying to reveal she would kill them, until he is prevented from revealing anymore information by Inque who forcibly kisses him.  Aaron follows her once again demands his reward, and Inque injects him with the mutagen. Bruce arrives at the Arena wearing a trench coat that seems unusually bulky on him, along with a hat, scarf, and sunglasses to conceal his face. As he walks through, he sees Aaron, who is now a shapeless, unstable blob: Aaron mumbles that Inque only gave him half the treatment—robbing him of his cohesion, but leaving him unable to shape-shift like her. There is nothing Bruce can do for him.  Terry is horrified to see that Bruce has donned the exosuit to fight Inque, despite the risk to his heart. In the armor, Bruce manages to send Inque flying into the far wall, but she attacks with a vengeance and throws him to the ground. As she advances, preparing to kill him, Aaron crawls between them, moaning, “You promised… you promised!” She sneers, “Loser!” and tries to swat him aside, but Aaron, enraged that he gave up everything for nothing, wraps his shapeless body around her. As she struggles to get free, she accidentally knocks down the center ring, allowing Batman to free himself. As she throws Aaron aside and advances on Bruce again, Terry throws a Batarang at the glass ceiling, smashing it and letting in the rain. Inque begins to melt away. She lurches desperately towards the flask containing the remaining mutagen, but falls short and dissolves away into the drains. Bruce recovers from the fight without ill effects. Aaron has been recovered and thanks to Inque’s deceit has been rendered an invalid. With no hard tissues, he has no substantial locomotion and is kept in a simplified glass enclosure with a blanket, and can only eat liquid foods fed to him through a funnel. Now he is the one trapped with an annoying and cheery attendant, who tells him about all her problems and is likewise unaware that she too is being monitored.

  • Lost Soul (Season 2, Episode 4) – A newscast reports the death of Robert Vance, owner and president of a powerful computer company. Knowing that he was dying from an incurable brain disorder, Vance took steps to safeguard his company’s future by digitizing his mind into a computer program, to act as a helpful “advisor” to future owners. This sounds like a bad idea. A very bad idea. Thirty-five years later, in the present, a young man enters Vance Enterprises and re-boots Vance’s program. The young man identifies himself as Bobby Vance, the elder Vance’s grandson. Bobby is now the owner of the company, the last member of the family after his father died of a heart attack. Bobby is still young and is not sure he can handle the responsibility. Robert reassures him and encourages Bobby to put his program online, and he complies. This seems like Skynet. SKYNET. Dana and Terry share a romantic night up on the roof of a skyscraper. After they decide to leave, they board an elevator that suddenly starts to erratically drop and rise at a dangerous rate just before they were about to kiss. Terry looks out and sees the entire city being affected in much the same manner. Terry manages to stop the elevator and heads off to see Bruce. (Dana deserves better. As in more time with Terry. But he tries lol.) Bruce tells Terry that a program has been hoarding information all over the city’s network, causing random device malfunctions. He is sure that the program has a hidden agenda and sends Terry to stop it. (Bruce doesn’t trust anything.) Cherck it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6u6bE_4SoQ) Batman makes it to the power plant where the program has taken over, and tries to shut off the power. Unfortunately, the program activates the automated defense systems, making it impossible for the power to be shut down except from the central control. Going into stealth mode, Batman manages to sneak in but a stray cat wanders in and alerts the defenses. Batman manages to shut off the power, but is too late to avoid being hit by a laser blast. Believing he is not seriously injured, Batman tells Bruce that the trouble is over, and Bruce orders him out on patrol.(I sense there is a something not right.) Out in the city, a gang of thieves are attempting to steal from a powerless ATM and Batman manages to stop them. However, before he can continue, his suit starts to malfunction. Soon it refuses altogether to respond to his movement, and communications with Bruce are cut off. Instead, Terry hears Vance’s voice downloaded into the suit by way of the laser blast. Under Vance’s control, the suit walks into the ocean, Vance telling Terry along the way that he intends to download himself into a new body. Realizing something is wrong, Bruce hits the Batsuit’s kill switch, preventing Terry from drowning, but leaving him immobilized in the water as the tide comes in. Back in the Batcave, Bruce talks about reprogramming the suit, but he and Terry decide to leave the task until later. As soon as they leave, however, the suit gets up by itself and leaves. Bruce talks about reprogramming the suit, but he and Terry decide to leave the task until later. As soon as they leave, however, the suit gets up by itself and leaves. Terry and Bruce realize the suit is missing. Terry decides to go after it even though Bruce tries to talk him out of it. Donning Nightwing’s old mask, Terry explains that he had always wondered to himself what makes Batman: is it him in the suit, or is it the only the suit and the abilities it gives him? watches as Robert wires Bobby to a machine, explaining that he plans to download his mind into a living body: Bobby’s; the process will erase Bobby’s mind, but that hardly matters. (Robots can’t be trusted… at all.) Terry notices when Robert accidentally catches his arm in an electromagnetic field and temporarily loses control of it. The transfer begins but Terry interrupts it. However, his melee attacks are ineffective against the suit and it activates its stealth mode, then attacks with an exploding batarang that triggers explosives in Terry’s belt. Terry hurls the belt at Robert and manages to disable its stealth mode. Terry and Robert fight for a while but the suit is much stronger and nearly invulnerable to damage. However, Terry manages to get hold of a sharp steel rod torn from the wall and wraps a power cable around it. He then jams it into the suit and plugs it into a power outlet, overloading the suit and erasing the program. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDiw7awiwDw)

  • Rats (Season 2, Episode 9) – An ominous newscast speaks of Gotham’s “secret shame”: giant man-eating rats. These rats are blamed for several disappearances. Max states they are nothing but an urban legend and a way for media to get more attention, but Chelsea seems to believe them. But Dana and Terry are having some issues. I wondered how long it would take before she got really fed up. Terry has stood her up again. Terry arrives and tries to patch things up but she refuses to listen. Terry apologizes claiming Mr. Wayne needed him again and doesn’t blame Dana for being mad. Dana reveals she is more than mad as she has tried to be patient with him and while Terry replies she has been great as she has always been there for him, Dana points out that she doesn’t feel that way in return as she has only received broken promises and dates, claiming that Terry cares more about his job than her. (I mean… she’s right but she doesn’t know his job is Batman.) Terry reminds her that he has responsibilities now since his father died as his mother and brother depend on him more and asks what does she want. Dana reveals she would like someone who will be there for her and leaves. Terry tries to go after her, but Chelsea advises him to give her some space and leaves. Max admits to Terry that it’s a shame he can’t tell Dana the truth. When Dana reaches her car, she finds a white rose and a note saying, “I’ll be there for you”. Assuming the rose came from Terry, Dana begins to change her mind. (But… how would it have been from Terry?) Later that night at his house, Terry and Matt are relaxing until the phone rings. Matt answers and reveals it’s Dana and soon Terry sends him out of the room. Terry and Dana talk, where reveals he didn’t expect to hear from her, Dana says the rose changed her mind which confuses Terry, revealing he didn’t send Dana the rose. However, Dana doesn’t notice and instead arranges a date for them at Rhino’s Chili, Terry assures he’ll be there and Dana promises to wear the white dress he likes, ending the call. At Dana’s house, she is dressed and ready for her date with Terry. She says goodbye to her father, who believes she is leaving for a study group. When Dana reveals she is meeting Terry, her father disapproves of their relationship as he knows of Terry’s past, believing that Dana could be with someone better. Dana assures her father that Terry’s trouble is in the past, while also mentioning his job. Terry heads out to meet Dana but he receives a call from Bruce alerting him to Mad Stan being on a rampage. Knowing his responsibility must come first, Batman confronts Mad Stan, who believes that Gotham is falling apart due to an information overload, in the library and the two start to fight. While Batman and Mad Stan fight, Dana waits in front of Rhino’s and eventually decides that she’s been blown off again. Angrily leaving the scene, she come across another rose with the “I’ll be there for you” message. As she reads the note, she is approached by two giant rats that slowly advance on her. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rax_72-R23s) Dana wakes up surrounded by white roses. Looking around, she finds herself in an underground room filled with shelves of junk items. A rat-like boy greets her and tells her that his name is Patrick and that this is his collection of things that people don’t want. Dana soon comes across the giant rats again, but Patrick shows that he can control them and that they are his friends.  Dana learns that Patrick ran away because people called him “ratboy” and he sought to quit being teased. Attempting to escape, Dana offers to take Patrick to Rhino’s for some chili, but he refuses to let her go and heads off for himself. Back at Terry’s house, Terry calls Dana and apologizes. Soon afterwards, there is an insistent knock at the door. Terry answers, and is soon assaulted by Dana’s father who demands to know her whereabouts. Terry is taken aback, but now learns that Dana is missing. Terry has told Bruce about Dana missing and is out investigating her disappearance. He comes across Rhino’s where patrons are escaping in droves. Inside, Patrick is busy ladling chili into take-out containers for him and Dana. Batman discovers Patrick’s giant rats and a fight ensues. Patrick escapes and Terry follows him into the sewer. Dana searches through his collection and finds a flashlight. With the light in hand, she searches for a way out, passing by several barrels of toxic waste which were presumably the source of the giant rats. The journey through the sewers proves to be an ordeal for Dana. Dana falls into sewer water and soon finds herself trapped in a pit, along with a huge colony of regular-sized rats. Despite their small size, the rats are aggressive and attack Dana. Fortunately, Patrick arrives and scares the rats off. Later, they return to Patrick’s dwelling. Patrick notices Dana isn’t eating and asks if something’s bothering her, Dana angrily snaps at him for his kidnapping and for having rats as friends. Patrick starts realizing that Dana doesn’t get him as much as he thought she did. Dana asks if he has kidnapped people before and Patrick reveals in the past, he’s kidnapped people similar to Dana’s problems and tried to give them a home in the sewers. When Dana asks what happened to them, he pulls out a whistle and says “They don’t make fun of me anymore”, implying that he murdered his previous victims. The rats, both giant and regular, advance on Dana. Patrick grabs her and reveals she shouldn’t have made fun of him, but, before he can attack her, Batman arrives. Dana tries to question Batman as to how he found her, but he brushes it off and warns her to stay behind him while he fights them off. The rats begin to advance in Batman and soon they quickly overwhelm. Dana rescues Batman as she takes a hockey stick and sets it ablaze. The two manage to ward off the rats long enough to escape. During the escape, Dana drops the lit hockey stick into the toxic waste, causing an explosion and Dana to fall unconscious. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM8iOKFY9CU) Later as fireman and news reporters arrive at the scene, Dana is sitting an ambulance. Terry arrives and begins apologizing to Dana for not being there for her, blaming himself for what happened to her. Dana cuts him off, simply saying shut up, causing Terry to slightly worry. However, Dana instead hugs Terry, needing comfort after her ordeal. Terry the begins to take her home.

  • The Last Resort (Season 2, Episode 16) – Does it seem like these parents are the worst? Well this episode shows it to the fullest. Batman hears sirens blare and sees a renegade truck giving the police a lot of trouble while on patrol. Batman intervenes but the truck is stronger than the Batmobile and the driver is flying like a madman. Batman manages to stop the driver: Sean Miller, a student in Terry’s history class. Later, the chase forms part of a commercial for a new rehabilitation clinic for troubled adolescents. The clinic’s founder, Dr. David Wheeler, reminds parents that new laws are imposing strict punishments on the parents of truants, and assures them that his methods can help troubled kids become normal and well-adjusted again. This sounds like the making more villains. The clinic proves to be so popular that soon Hamilton Hill High School is nearly empty of students. One of Terry’s classes has only eight students left. Chelsea is sure that the clinic is to blame, and sends a protesting e-mail to Principal Nakamura, calling this new solution “un-schway”. Nakamura calls Chelsea’s father about the email, and Mr. Cunningham seizes on the excuse to enroll Chelsea in the clinic. (So…. do parents no longer talk to their kids? Parenting has gone out the door in Gotham. One could argue they never had it.) Knowing that Chelsea is not necessarily troubled, Terry, Max and Dana are suspicious at how readily the clinic admitted her, and Max and Dana both agree that someone should look into the ranch, with Max casting a meaningful look Terry’s way. At the clinic,  Chelsea wanders around and is rudely greeted by Sean who accuses her of talking about him behind his back. She tries to leave him by going to a friend of hers, Adam Stepnik. However, Adam is totally unresponsive to her and she notices that he’s painting a blank canvas using a brush with no paint. Sean sneers that Adam is still under the effects of the “ISO”. Before Chelsea can get answers as to what “ISO” means, the students are herded into “class” by Vincent, the head guard of the facility. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VLiEJzWa9w) That night, Batman starts his investigation of the clinic, eavesdropping through the wall. The class consists of the students being forced to stand for hours on end, listening to Dr. Wheeler yelling at them that they are worthless and he is the only one who can help them. The students are not allowed to leave for any reason, not even to go to the bathroom. A boy tries to speak up, begging to go back to his room so he can sleep, and Wheeler orders Vincent to drag him away to the ISO as punishment. Bruce identifies Wheeler’s methods as a form of brainwashing, used by cults and sometimes on prisoners of war. Back in the Batcave, Terry says they have enough evidence to go to the police and have the clinic shut down, but Bruce reminds him that he would have to explain how he got the suit’s recordings which he cannot do without revealing their secret. So Terry decides to go undercover in the ranch as himself. Terry slips past security when another person tries to escape. Seeing Chelsea pass, he pulls her aside, and is horrified at the state she is in. She reveals that she hasn’t been sleeping much. They both learn they were told that the other canceled the appointment to see each other. He takes out the recorder and she describes the abusive conditions at the ranch, and explains what the ISO is: a sensory deprivation tank that blocks out all feeling and sound, making the subject feel totally isolated. Reaching the end of her control, Chelsea breaks down crying and begs Terry to get her out of there. Now that he has the evidence he needs, Terry promises to help her as soon as he can return with the police. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeDrKOr3scM) Terry tries to leave but he gets attacked by Sean… Sean is sentenced to the ISO, and Terry is searched, turning up the camera. Terry is taken prisoner as well, yelling at Wheeler that once the parents find out about him, they’re going to shut him and his ranch down. As Wheeler and Vincent talk, Wheeler says that if anyone comes for Terry, they’ll destroy the camera and it will be nothing but his word against Wheeler’s in court, but if no one comes, they will do away with him. When Vincent expresses how Terry will not be easy to kill because he is a fighter, Wheeler tells him that they’ll just have to “take the fight out of him” by putting him in ISO alongside Sean. Sean taunts Terry through the wall between their cells, describing the horrible experience he’s in for. However, Terry convinces Sean to cooperate with him so that they can escape from the ranch. Morning comes and the two are taken to the ISO chambers, but at Terry’s signal, they attack the guards and manage to escape with the help of Adam, who takes Vincent out with his easel just as it looks like he has Terry on the ropes. Sean gets hold of the master keycard from the downed Vincent and uses it to release all the students from their cells. While the security guards are trying to round up the students, Terry retrieves his backpack from storage and suits up. The guards continue to overwhelm the students and begin to throw tear gas bombs as they try to escape. The guards are about to set off another, but Batman appears and single-handedly defeats the guards with the students cheering him on. However, Vincent suddenly appears and zaps Batman with an electric staff, but Batman quickly recovers, disarms Vincent and takes him out easily. Batman then hears Dr. Wheeler pleading for mercy, and sees Sean dangling him off a high wall, intent on revenge against him for trying to put him in ISO. Batman pleads for Sean to stop, saying that he’s now redeemed himself by freeing the students and helping shut the ranch down, and that he’s a hero. Sean laughs this off and drops Wheeler, forcing Batman to save him. Sean is then apprehended by the guards. he students run outside, where the police and their parents have arrived. Most of the students reunite with their parents, but Chelsea gives her father the cold shoulder, showing that she still hasn’t forgiven him, much to his sadness. Wheeler and his guards are arrested. Terry and Bruce watch sadly as Sean is also taken into custody. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUnZVFL_AkA)

  • Where’s Terry? (Season 2, Episode 25) – Terry, Dana, Maxine and Howard walk out of the Majestic Theater after watching the classic movie Casablanca. Terry and Dana begin to talk, with Dana revealing it was nice to spend quality time together, but is upset of how his job interferes. However, Terry reassures her that despite his job, he reveals that she is more important to him. Terry and Dana then share a sweet kiss, before Terry heads off into the subway. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3JgYtXVzhQ) The next morning, his mother notices his bed is still made and believes Terry didn’t come home. At school Dana begins to worry for Terry, but believes that Terry must be sick, though Dana remains worried. Out at the Batcave, Bruce finds he can’t contact Terry. Worried, he leaves Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, Max and Dana talk over the phone and share information that Terry hasn’t been home all day. There’s a knock at Max’s door and she finds that it’s Bruce. Bruce asks where Terry is and where he was. After obtaining this information he heads out to look. Max goes after him and ignores Bruce’s orders to go home. Together, they make it to the subway station. Batman wakes up buried underneath rubble staring up at a young boy, who demands to know why Batman’s there. Batman explains that he was following someone, he was spotted, then nothing. He asks the boy what he’s doing down there. The boy simply says that he’s finding Batman the fastest way out. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n9tSjdB_Sg) Shriek dons his suit and attempts to cause another collapse but the tunnels make aiming difficult for him. Still he fires away. Batman and the boy continue to walk on and Batman notes that the boy wants him out pretty bad. Batman deduces that the boy is a runaway, but before they can talk further, Shriek’s blast causes another cave in trapping the duo in a dead end. Bruce and Max continue to search and he unsuccessfully tries to deter her from going along with him. A group of T’s walks by and Max notices that one of them is wearing Terry’s backpack. Bruce and Max follow after the Ts and offers to purchase the backpack at any price. However, the Ts are suspicious and jump him. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAFGNVio-g8)  The boy goes on about how half the students in his school want to be Batman and he’s in the other half, preferring to idolize villains. (Gotta love the moody teenagers that are so interested in being different that they “hate” everything.” Batman continues to search for a way out and learns that the Gotham River flows around the tunnels and that opening any of the walls will cause a flood. However, the boy indirectly discovers a spot on the wall without condensation and gives out a hollow sound. Believing he may have found a way out, Batman sets up his explosives. Fortunately, a hole in the roof breaks open and while it’s too small for Batman to fit through, Dak can manage. Dak is surprised that Batman trusts him but Batman tells him it’s better that only Dak gets out rather than neither of them. Unfortunately Dak leaves and finds himself confronted by Shriek. Max helps out Bruce and thy manage to beat up the T’s and get information on Terry. Batman quietly sits and thinks about his next move. Shriek calls out to him and threatens to kill Dak if Batman doesn’t show up. Dak claims that Batman can’t show up because he’s trapped, accidently revealing that he knows where he is, and Shriek threatens him into showing him where to find him. Batman quietly sits and thinks about his next move. Shriek calls out to him and threatens to kill Dak if Batman doesn’t show up. Dak claims that Batman can’t show up because he’s trapped, accidently revealing that he knows where he is, and Shriek threatens him into showing him where to find him. Batman quietly sits and thinks about his next move. Shriek calls out to him and threatens to kill Dak if Batman doesn’t show up. Dak claims that Batman can’t show up because he’s trapped, accidently revealing that he knows where he is, and Shriek threatens him into showing him where to find him. Max continues to follow after Bruce in spite of the fact that he tells her he doesn’t want her there, not because of his pride but because of his conscience. Max still refuses to listen but the debate is cut off when they notice that a repair crew has cut off the tunnel. Bruce tells Max to sneak into the tunnel while he distracts the workers. However, when Max tries, Bruce points her out thereby getting the workers after her and giving himself ample time to sneak into the tunnel himself. (Where is this old man going?) Dak takes Shriek to a wall covered in condensation and says that’s where Batman is. Shriek destroys the wall, thereby allowing the river to flow inside and is swept away. Dak tries to escape but he too is swept away in the flood. Fortunately, the flood further opens the hole and grants Batman a chance to escape. He follows Dak’s cries for help and saves him from falling to his death. Unfortunately, Shriek catches up with him and prepares to kill his enemy. Bruce, however, shows up and defeats Shriek. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9MpkpB28kU) Bruce knows how to wield that cane don’t he?

It was a fun trip back down memory lane. I always enjoy the DCAU and for some reason, I am partial to Batman. It is fun to see Bruce in his old age unchanged and he continues collecting young people to do his crime-fighting. Terry was a good addition. Terry was different from Bruce in many ways. Unlike his mentor, he had a childhood (of sorts) and also faced the demands of a normal kid his age: a school career, his girlfriend, Dana Tan, and the responsibilities of the eldest son in a family. Although it was often a greater strain for him to maintain his secret life with Mary, Matt, and Dana, Terry was able to find a source of solace with Bruce, Barbara, Max, and Ace. I would have loved to see Terry meet Dick Grayson. But you can’t always get what you want. Let me know your favorite episodes in the comments. That is all for now.

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