Batman Beyond Season 2 has, thus far, included some of the show’s best episodes so far. This episode, though, is one you can skip.
Batman Beyond: Joyride
The plot here is pretty straightforward. Some members of the Jokerz gang find an experimental military aircraft that has, unbeknownst to them, a deadly flaw. The nuclear-powered vehicle is going to melt down in a spectacular way if someone doesn’t shut it down.
I feel like there’s a potentially interesting story here, and some of the dialogue even acknowledges it. Scab, the leader of this group of Jokerz, is desperate for some true power to hold onto. At the beginning of the episode he’s hazing a potential new recruit, exercising power over some of the few people he can. When he finds the jet, though, he looks to make the most of it as he tries to eliminate a rival gang. When things are falling apart at the end, he and Batman discuss whether or not the ship is just a crutch that he’s using as a substitute for real power. Meanwhile, the show never acknowledges that Terry is, similarly, a regular guy encased in technology–though the next episode does get into this.
Meanwhile, Batman links up with the inventor of the craft, voiced by Wendie Malick. If you’ve ever seen Malick in anything, her voice is absolutely unmistakable, and she ends up being the star of the show as a result. She’s demonstrated to be a badass right away when we meet her, the coolest woman to appear in Batman Beyond thus far. She has a cool ship and an even cooler demeanor. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to do much other than give Batman some advice.
There’s also the poor schmuck that Scab is trying to haze that ends up being in way too deep. There’s a storyline here about peer pressure and standing up for yourself and standing up for what’s right. But again, the episode doesn’t really do much with it. All of this feels like a loose amalgamation of cartoon parables mashed together into a Batman-shaped collage, but doesn’t have any of the thoughtfulness or curiosity that we usually get from these stories.
This is an exceptionally boring episode of an otherwise enjoyable show, and one that you can safely skip if you’re looking to optimize your rewatch of the show.
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