Going Through The DCAU Part Sixty-Four

Jimmy and Tom are back for more, continuing their look into the DCAU and the series Batman Beyond.

This time around, they’re covering the episodes “April Moon,” “Sentries of the Last Cosmos,” and “Payback”.

“April Moon”

Why did a scientist who developed the machines in the batsuit also turn a street gang into dangerous cyborgs? Terry better find out if he wants to stop them! 

jimmy:  Having chainsaws for knees seems pretty impractical.

tomk:  You know, every time I see this episode, I think to myself, “Why would anyone want that?

jimmy:  At least put them on the feet. But maybe it was dictated by earlier injuries/prosthetics.

tomk:  If that were the case, he should be even more careful with his knees!

jimmy:  It was just weird. There was a funny part at the beginning though when he was cutting into the safe. Puts in right hand, puts in left hand, puts in right knee…”now, this should be interesting…”

They don’t show him put the left knee in, but they cut to inside the vault and there are four blades at work. Now that’s talent!

tomk:  More talent that Mr Bullwhip-in-the-Wrist had that he didn’t see how dumb his ultimate plan was.

jimmy:  What? Letting a guy put you under anesthesia and operate on you isn’t a solid plan?

tomk:  Not if there’s even a chance that he know his wife didn’t really get kidnapped.

Though next time, Terry should be shouting that kill code through a bullhorn.

jimmy:  I thought that too. Why did he need to be close up to them? All they needed was to hear it. And I’m sure the Batsuit has some sort of voice amplification built in. Soon as it worked on guy #1, take the other three out with one shot, or shout, as the case may be.

tomk:  It’s less exciting that way, especially when chainsaw guy becomes Torso Boy.

Seriously, Chain Saw Knees jumped out to me, and not for good reasons.

jimmy:  At least 2/4 enhancements were somewhat sensible. The whips were kinda dumb too.

tomk:  Not as cool as Real Iron Fist or Replica Juggernaut?

jimmy:  At least they could be useful. The whips are just silly, even if in this “reality” he can use them as competent weapons.

tomk:  Maybe if he became one of the Enforcers 2099

jimmy:  The Enforcers was one of the first things I thought of too!

tomk:  Montana 2099! Ox 2099! Fancy Dan 2099! And Chain Saw Knees.

jimmy:  And if you have a mechanical servo for a knee…how does that hurt if damaged?

tomk:  They included the pain receptors?

jimmy:  Yeah. That makes sense.

tomk:  

jimmy:  Haha

tomk:  You know, Jimmy, I can’t help but think that Chain Saw Knees was such a ridiculous-looking guy, that it’s all we end up focusing on.

He wasn’t even the main villain!

jimmy:  Right! We haven’t talked much about Whiplash!

tomk:  The He-Man villain or the movie where J.K. Simmons taught some twerp how to play the drums?

jimmy:  I was thinking of the horrible Iron Man 2 villain.

tomk:  I would also have accepted “a common neck injury after a car crash.”

jimmy:  Hmmm…that would have been funnier. Let’s go with that.

tomk:  Terry Vs. Neck Trauma it is!

jimmy:  I hope Terry has a good lawyer.

tomk:  He better. He might want to sue this episode. It’s weird. We open with the gang and Whiplash tells one guy he doesn’t have to go since it’s his first time. That guy runs in later. Now, you’d think that meant the plot would be about Iron Fist there having second thoughts about all this and maybe turning on the others, but nope. That’s the last we hear of that guy.

jimmy:  Well, we got all caught up with the superior Chainsaw Knees storyline!

tomk:  Did that guy have a name? Besides Chainsaw Knees?

jimmy:  Uh…let’s say…Moe.

tomk:  That doesn’t sound wrong.

jimmy:  And we’re back to CK…seriously, nothing of significance happened in this episode outside of that lunacy. 🙂

tomk:  Yeah. We had a doctor voiced by Ed Begley Jr, returning to do another Batman character voice, and a predictable plot involving an unfaithful wife voiced by Princess Vespa.

So, let’s look at cyborgs.

jimmy:  There were some popular voices.

tomk:  But I know I wasn’t surprised the hot younger wife was fooling the lonely scientist.

jimmy:  I never saw it coming.

tomk:  You live in a world of sweet innocence.

That, and Chainsaw Knees is a hell of a distraction.

jimmy:  Both.

tomk:  But you’re right. This episode is just nuts.

jimmy:  And I did feel a bit of “Terry shouldn’t be having so much trouble with these guys”, but I guess they did have their enhancements. Not that that automatically made them competent fighters.

tomk:  There were four of them.

These weren’t just a mob of Jokerz.

jimmy:  But he’s supposed to be Batman

tomk:  That’s your answer to everything.

“Jimmy, who ate all the pudding in the Gabbing Geek office fridge?”

“But he’s supposed to be Batman. “

jimmy:  Pudding IS delicious.

tomk:  If we are talking about pudding, we must not have much to say about this episode.

jimmy:  Well, the ending was pretty dark.

tomk:  What? Surgical torture is dark now?

jimmy:  Just torture? I don’t think Whiplash was waking up from that one.

tomk:  He should have been nicer when he was teaching jazz drumming.

jimmy:  Ba dum dum!

tomk:  Rimshots for drum jokes?

jimmy:  You earned it.

tom:  Lamentably, yes.

Anything else you want to add about this insanity, Jimmy?

jimmy:  Did we talk about how impractical chainsaw knees are?

tomk:  Maybe.

How do you walk with those things? Or wear pants?

jimmy:  Or play hacky sack?

tomk:  Clearly that was not a well-thought through enhancement.

It’s also the only thing we noticed about the episode…

jimmy:  The hot girl stabbed the old guy in the feels. Batman did some stuff. The old guy totally tortured and murdered the hell out of the drum guy at the end.

I think that covers the rest.

tomk:  Truly.

Especially the torture and murder that has always been a part of every quality kids show.

jimmy:  Shall we see if the next episode is full of more torture and murder?

tomk:  Why certainly.

“Sentries of the Last Cosmos”

Some players for a popular VR game are so into the game, they’re willing to perform some tasks for the game’s creator…the kind that Batman has to stop!

jimmy:  The one where Terry learns the important lesson that if you master something in a video game, it automatically transfers to real life scenarios.

tomk:  And always steel from the best.

Like, say, Star Wars.

jimmy:  And that Jar Jar sucks.

tomk:  I suppose I could ask my nephew who grew up with Jar Jar how much his generation thinks that’s true, but I have better things to do.

jimmy:  Well, Terry’s generation thinks so. I’m surprised in whatever year this takes place that a Jar Jar insult can be thrown out as an understandable passing reference.

tomk:  It’s almost like it was really made for kids in the late 90s or so…

jimmy:  The Jar Jar line made me simultaneously think “Batman Beyond wasn’t airing too long ago” and “Damn, Episode One has been out a long time”.

tomk:  That joke aside, this episode made me think they may have owed George Lucas royalties.

jimmy:  Because of the laser swords and blatant Emperor rip off?

tomk:  And “Wise Ones” and music that sounded like John Williams might have written it.

And something that could have been the Jedi Code of Conduct saving the day.

jimmy:  They probably kept it different enough to avoid a lawsuit.

tomk:  But close enough to make it a tribute.

jimmy:  Well, it wasn’t the greatest episode in the world.

jimmy:  It also might have been a tribute to The Last Starfighter.

tomk:  Well, it wasn’t a tribute to the collected works of Ernie Cline.

jimmy:  This was probably better than Armada.

tomk:  Root canal work on your birthday is better than Armada.

jimmy:  Haha

tomk:  Should I ask what you think the greatest episode in the world is?

jimmy:  Something that will piss Ryan off. Let’s say, the Lost finale.

tomk:  Tempting fate again, I see. Why not endorse Doomsday Clock over Captain Marvel while you are at it?

jimmy:  Forking Jimmy!

tomk:  Still, this episode posited gamer nerds are stupid.

jimmy:  It did do that didn’t it?

tomk:  At least Terry could mostly take care of them. They only had numbers as an advantage.

jimmy:  As it should be.

tomk:  Yeah. Only a fat guy in a too-small t-shirt gave him anything like trouble this time.

jimmy:  Sigh.

tomk:  I’ll cut Terry some slack considering his voice was provided by noted geek comedian Patton Oswalt.

I mean, that guy knows his stuff. See for yourself:

jimmy:  And a version I can actually view:

jimmy:  And also predicting the Fox/Disney merger…

tomk:  You and your predictions…

jimmy:  I predicted you were going to say that.

tomk:  What’s Watson doing this afternoon?

jimmy:  I like to keep this article PG-13.

tomk:  That checks out.

In all seriousness, Oswalt does a lot of geeky stuff these days, including voicing Space Cabbie on Justice League Action.

jimmy:  He’s also been on Agents of SHIELD.

tomk:  Yeah. That too. He was one of the few things I liked in the one season I saw of that show.

jimmy:  They kind of address this in show, but it seems like the Wise One spent an awful lot of money and created an awful lot of futuristic tech to not pay Patton Oswalt some royalties.

tomk:  Is the Wise One in his private home with all the artifacts George Lucas in Skywalker Ranch?

jimmy:  Quite possibly.

tomk:  Stay out of the planetarium if you ever go there. Apparently, that’s where the evil plots are laid out to trick nerds.

jimmy:  Kinda insulting the key demographic there Batman Beyond.

tomk:  Kids full of sugary cereal on a Saturday morning?

jimmy:  Them too!

tomk:  But the nerds saved the day in the end…while still being nerds.

jimmy:   

tomk:  We seem to be covering all the video and YouTube clips that were denied us by the very presence of Chainsaw Knees.

jimmy:  Don’t bring that guy up again!

tomk:  What guy?

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  So, any thoughts on this episode? Do you want your own flaming sword and a hoverscooter?

jimmy:  Maybe just the hoverscooter. I probably can’t be trusted with a flaming sword.

tomk:  It’s good to know your own limitations. If the Wise One did, he would have known his Sentries would turn on him.

jimmy:  He didn’t follow the code.

tomk:  Rather foolish for a Wise One.

jimmy:  Do we know how the Wise One got his Jedi powers?

tomk:  I assumed it was the tech suit under his robes.

jimmy:  So, he was just a normal guy!?!?

tomk:  I thought he was. He had a high tech suit on that Batman shorted out. And that convinced the Sentries to think twice.

jimmy:  You just can’t trust a Wise One these days.

tomk:  He went to great lengths to avoid paying out a lawsuit to redheaded Gary Gygax.

OK, so, the previous episode we hung up on a minor character with a weird quirk. This one, we’re using a lot of YouTube videos. But what did you think of this episode, Jimmy? Like it?

jimmy:  It was ok. I didn’t dislike it. But I doubt you’ll see it on anyone’s list of favorites.

tomk:  Well, it was another weird one.

Like, this guy spent a lot of money (like you pointed out) to recruit some naive gamers to take out a guy trying to sue him when he could have, I dunno, hired someone like Inque to do the job for him and maybe even killed the fat guy with a little t-shirt.

jimmy:  Good point. And it’s not like being good at the game directly translated to destroying computer files and fighting Batman.

tomk:  Which they weren’t very good at. I mean, sure, jam a flaming sword into a computer might destroy the file, but Batman is a little too formidable for the gamers most of the time.

jimmy:  They’re just a bunch of untrained teenagers.

tomk:  Again, Wise One should have just hired a contract killer.

It’s almost like this Simon Harper guy isn’t really all that wise.

jimmy:  A wise man once told me, “if you have to call yourself the Wise One…”

tomk:  “…you might be a redneck.”?

jimmy:  You might be. Haha. 🙂

tomk:  Anything else, Jimmy?

jimmy:  Is the next one weird too?

tomk:  Well, I haven’t rewatched it yet, but the plot description leads me to think it probably isn’t.

jimmy:  Let’s find out.

“Payback”

A new vigilante comes to Neo-Gotham, but is Payback really on the side of the angels?

jimmy:  Did Braveheart run away? Did Payback run away?

tomk:  Yes?

jimmy:  Hmm. Well.

tomk:  So, after two fairly weird episodes in a row, we go back to what feels like a normal plot.

jimmy:  A normal plot that involves mistreatment of employees leading to vigilantism.

tomk:  And Bruce does more than just be the guy sitting in the cave and giving out information.

jimmy:  Well, they did detective work before the internet.

tomk:  And learned to recognize kids on stilts back then too.

jimmy:  At least it wasn’t three ducks in a trench coat.

tomk:  Well, this was the character prototype:

jimmy:  Looks kinda like Payback.

tomk:  Swap that broom out for a whip and you’ve got it.

jimmy:  I thought he was going to have a light saber at first.

tomk:  No way. This show loves whips.

jimmy:  That’s true. Such logical weapons.

Better than chainsaws for knees.

tomk:  But what about Payback? Did you figure out who he was before Terry did his Scooby Doo reveal?

jimmy:  No. I was pretty sure he was the first suspect who had the exact same build. You?

tomk:  Well, I don’t remember when I first saw him, but there’s a certain juvenile quality to everything Payback says and does.

jimmy:  Even his MO.

tomk:  Yes. His targets weren’t criminals. They were people the average teenager might complain about.

And he called Bruce a mean old man.

jimmy:  Well, he’s not wrong.

tomk:  Nope. And he won’t deny it either. I’m surprised Payback didn’t quit when Bruce agreed with his assessment.

But you generally like it when Bruce plays a role in the story. That must have made you a bit happy.

jimmy:  I do like me some Original Recipe Batman.

tomk:  And we haven’t seen Bruce leave the cave all that much in a while.

jimmy:  Well, with Terry falling down on the job, he had to take matters into his own hands.

tomk:  Yeah, Terry sure screwed up a lot for this one. Every suspect he had was wrong.

jimmy:  I think it was partially set up that way to show Bruce as the “villain” in Payback terms.

tomk:  And I had to wonder why none of Bruce’s past protégés needed therapy before.

jimmy:  Oh, I’m sure they did.

tomk:  Maybe that’s the real reason the Teen Titans originally formed: it was an intervention for Dick Grayson.

jimmy:  Also see the Titans TV show. Or any conversation between any of the Robins or Batgirls.

tomk:  And that’s not even including Alfred or the Huntress.

jimmy:  Oh, they are plenty scarred as well.

tomk:  No wonder Bruce needs to date an only somewhat reformed thief to have anything approaching a normal relationship.

jimmy:  Well, Old Man Bruce is not dating much of anybody nowadays.

tomk:  Yeah, this Bruce dated Batgirl. I still don’t understand why.

jimmy:  Well, they do have at least some things in common.

tomk:  The ability to make a cape look good?

jimmy:  And cowls.

tomk:  Ok. That makes sense.

But I do enjoy it whenever Bruce gets to be sarcastic with some bad guy threatening him. You can always see it throw off the baddie’s rhythm.

jimmy:  Especially with someone so young and inexperienced.

It also usually turns into Bruce defending himself somewhat which surprises them as well…until the old age catches up with him.

tomk:  And then Terry shows up.

You know, after the crazy of Chain Saw Knees and Star Wars knock-off nerds almost becoming assassins, we’re left with a rather average episode that isn’t in any way bad, but it sure is a step down from what we watched before this one.

jimmy:  Step down, or step normal?

tomk:  Step aside maybe?

jimmy:  Step by step?

tomk:  Step up to step down?

jimmy:  We’re stepping into ridiculous territory now.

tomk:  Can we mention Bill Fagerbakke as Payback and decoy #1 or Mitch Pileggi as the ineffective psychiatrist?

jimmy:  They did the same thing on Mask of the Phantasm to create a red herring.

tomk:  Used Bill Faberbakke (Patrick Starr on Spongebob) and Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner)?

jimmy:  No, used the actor that voiced the villain play another character.

tomk:  Oh.

You so smart sometimes.

You probably even know what Bruce’s worst nightmares are.

jimmy:  Falling and not being able to get up?

tomk:  Damn, you are good.

Well, do you have anything else to add? I mean, you’re just hitting all the right points right now.

jimmy:  Without chainsaw knees and light sabers, there’s not a lot to chat about.

Though I didn’t notice Pileggi did a voice, and I’ve watched all of the X-Files except the final season. I really should do that.

tomk:  What if I told you the next one has an unexpected team-up of Terry’s greatest allies next?

jimmy:  Payback said he was an ally of Terry.

tomk:  Yeah, and Mitch Pileggi voiced Commissioner Gordon in The Batman. But it won’t be Payback. It will be…other people.

jimmy:  Other people eh? Now I’m interested.

tomk:  Then let’s move on

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy aren’t done yet.  Be back soon as they discuss the Batman Beyond episodes “Where’s Terry?” “Ace in the Hole,” and “King’s Ransom”.

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