Jimmy and Tom love them some cartoons and some Batman.
So, here they are again, chatting about the Batman Beyond episodes “The Last Resort,” “Armory,” and “Sneak Peek”.
“The Last Resort”
There’s a popular new therapy camp outside Gotham where parents send their teenagers. Is it on the up and up?
jimmy: I didn’t even recognize John Ritter.
tomk: Did you recognize Bud Bundy?
jimmy: …I guess not. Was he Evil Steve or whatever his name was?
tomk: Yes. Evil Steve. As opposed to Crazy Steve from All-Star Batman and Robin.
jimmy: I did notice Marcel Marceau played Other Adam.
tomk: He always does such a great job in those roles.
jimmy: Especially the painting.
tomk: Yes, well, as far as John Ritter goes, while Three’s Company wasn’t really a kids show, I always appreciated how much Ritter went outside his wheelhouse for roles like Dr. Wheeler or that one time he played a literal psycho killing machine on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
jimmy: I wouldn’t know.
tomk: How about Bad Santa?
jimmy: Yes. That I’ve seen.
tomk: Arguably, that was when Jack Tripper morphed into Mr. Roper.
This episode of Batman Beyond is when Jack Tripper morphed into Hannibal Lecter.
jimmy: And still tripped over the couch. And there was a misunderstanding.
tomk: And he probably got all his ideas on fixing problem kids from this old TV commercial:
jimmy: Too bad Chelsea didn’t have that hammer.
tomk: She does look like Lady Thor in that old ad.
jimmy: I thought the same thing.
tomk: Yes, well, the idea had to come from somewhere, and since Chelsea had been on the show before, I am sure this was a coincidence.
jimmy: There was one thing that kinda bugged me though the episode…can you guess what it is?
tomk: That Chelsea was considered a “good girl”?
jimmy: Hehe. No. On that subject…how many friggin’ kids were “bad” enough to have to be sent there for therapy? And I know Chelsea’s email was “the straw that broke the camels back”…but sent there over an email?
tomk: I think the point was parents were overreacting and worried, so they sent their kids to the clinic for silly minor things. Evil Steve, AKA Sean, needed something, but Chelsea and Marcel and the others were another story.
It’s not like real world parents don’t occasionally think their kids are all involved in some overblown fad that probably isn’t anywhere near as widespread as people think. You know, like the Tide Pod Challenge.
Heck, in the 80s, plenty of people believed devil worshipers were kidnapping large numbers of kids all over the United States.
jimmy: That was just the work of heavy metal music.
tomk: And then there were “rainbow parties”.
jimmy: Urban legend.
tomk: Exactly, but people believed those things. So, I can see the parents sending all their kids to this place in a panic.
But if its odd that Chelsea was considered a good girl, I think it’s even stranger that Terry wasn’t sent there since he has a record of some kind.,
jimmy: Well, his mother isn’t insane
tomk: Howard Groote’s parents are probably too broke to send their boy after that fembot exploded in their living room.
jimmy: That was the other thing…Jack even says that it’s expensive (but worth it) yet half the school can afford to send their problem kids?
tomk: It was all a scam so he could yell at teenagers.
jimmy: …so…it’s not just me who is wondering what he planned to do with these brainwashed teens?
tomk: I’m not sure he planned that far ahead.
jimmy: So, you still never guessed what bugged me…
tomk: Bruce didn’t have a bat suit for himself when he showed up?
jimmy: Or did he?
tomk: He wasn’t wearing the last one we saw.
You know, the robo-bat he tried against Inque.
jimmy: It may have been in the car.
tomk: Is that what bothered you?
jimmy: Nope. I know he wasn’t in his Batsuit most of the time, but Terry seemed to have way too much trouble with the 1984 security guard and Sean for that matter.
tomk: Like how much I was bugged by Nosotros in the original run?
I know I’ve complained about similar “Batman should wipe the floor with these guys” situations before.
tomk: That guard was trained by the Clock King.
jimmy: Apparently so.
tomk: And Jimmy reacted the same way.
Why can’t Batman easily beat up nameless mooks or moody teenagers?
jimmy: Yes! Why not!?!?
tomk: They still need to fill 22 minutes if the story is thin.
jimmy: Then get a better story.
tomk: Was this a bad story otherwise?
jimmy: Nah, the story was fine…even if it didn’t have any end game besides being a brainwashing facility that Batman has to take down because his friends are in there.
tomk: Dr. Miller or Lecter or Tripper or whatever his name was shouldn’t mess with people no one knows are friends of Batman.
When the show first started and Terry brought down the runaway flying car(?) I thought “but of course it’s someone from your high school. Gotham must have about 80 people in it.”
tomk: I thought you were concerned that Terry’s friends never lasted more than one episode.
jimmy: Stop using my own words against me!
tomk: Should I use someone else’s words against you? Like Bruce Campbell’s or Francis Bacon’s or Watson’s?
jimmy: Bruce Campbell? Any time. Bacon? Everyone loves bacon. Watson? Now you’re just being downright mean.
tomk: I apologize for the thoughtless remark.
jimmy: Apology accepted.
But to your point, it’s a common occurrence, going back to at least BTAS, that a good friend of Batman’s will show up for one episode and never be seen again.
tomk: True, but that also true for a lot of television.
But if you think characters shouldn’t return or something, maybe the next episode will give you some food for thought if we’re done with this one.
jimmy: Trying to think if there was anything left to say about this one. We mentioned bacon, so I think we’re good!
tomk: Then let’s move on to something that may or may not also have bacon involved in some way.
tomk: Time for Jimmy’s lunch from the looks of things.
A weapons designer is laid off and needs money, fast! Will the crimes he commits as the well-armed Armory be enough, or will Batman bring him down?
jimmy: I guess when you spend all day designing and testing guns, it prepares you to fight Batman.
tomk: Yeah, and who needs cardio to fight Batman judging from Armory’s waistline.
jimmy: Well, I think he said he was in the “war”. That may have helped.
tomk: I guess the war on Christmas finally happened. At least the shooting portion.
jimmy: About time. Christmas has gotten out of hand.
tomk: Well, we don’t know who won that war.
jimmy: Weapons manufacturers probably, though those profits have appeared to have dried up.
tomk: I dunno. Middle-aged guy uses his own weapons to hold off Batman sounds like a hell of a resume bulletpoint.
jimmy: True. But not going to do him much good now in jail.
But good point, I was thinking he was someone Bruce should be recruiting.
tomk: He cooperated with the authorities, his family forgave him, and he helped out at the end. We’re even told his prison stay will be a short one.
jimmy: Well, besides fighting Batman to get away during his robberies, he was never really much of a villain. The true villain was (not surprisingly) the corporate big wig.
tomk: Isn’t a sympathetic villain a standard of animated Batman stories?
jimmy: It does happen a lot.
Also a standard, buying CDs.
tomk: It’s right up there with the omnipresent smartphones.
jimmy: Well, at least I think they did say the CDs were vintage.
tomk: It’s good to know Nickleback will still inexplicably have fans in the far distant future.
And it took me a while to decide what musician’s name would be funniest for that joke.
jimmy: Are you still deciding?
tomk: I was thinking something with Kanye, but I think the rule these days is “Nickleback is always funny.”
Well, what else? Terry’s suit is pretty susceptible to electrical current.
tomk: Yours isn’t?
jimmy: Good point. And I doubt I’d bounce back as fast.
tomk: It’s his fault Bruce won’t spring for the better stuff from Stark Industries.
jimmy: Armory did have some inventive gadgets though.
tomk: He did. It’s really baffling how a guy like that would be unemployed.
Why doesn’t he start his own company?
Did you have a favorite?
jimmy: Hmm. Not sure. The force field grenade he threw on the highway was cool.
And yeah, why not start his own company? Unless it was for financial reasons. He was pretty cashed strapped to attempt a start up. Or, it’s a kids cartoon and not much thought was put into that. 🙂
tomk: Heck, most of his ordinance seemed nonlethal. The cops would probably love that stuff that was clearly better than their own equipment.
jimmy: Another point in the “how come this guy couldn’t get a job” column.
tomk: He had weaponized goo. Never argue with weaponized goo.
jimmy: And different versions of it depending on what he needed in any given situation. Seriously, Bruce couldn’t employ this guy?
tomk: Bruce has so little control over his own company.
jimmy: Employ him directly.
tomk: That requires old Bruce to trust a stranger.
jimmy: That did cross my mind as I typed that.
tomk: Did it cross your mind that you saw Armory before?
jimmy: It did not. Have I?
tomk: You did.
His wife was one of the victims in the first Spellbinder episode. She freaked out and tossed some expensive jewels at their wedding. Fortunately, Terry was invited for some reason.
jimmy: I do remember that. Though not him particularly.
tomk: Terry has only so many friends.
But once again, a potential criminal mastermind is thwarted by the fact he or his kid attends Terry’s school.
jimmy: Gotham’s a small place.
tomk: Well, which do you prefer: Terry has various friends who only appear in one episode or Terry’s friends keep inadvertently having supervillain relatives?
jimmy: Seems like both happen often. And often in the same episode.
tomk: Yeah, well, I actually like that they remembered this background character from a single episode and gave him a story of his one. And it had weaponized goo. You can never go wrong with weaponized goo. Just ask Spider-Man.
jimmy: I like that too. World building is good.
tomk: Do you have anything else to add here, Jimmy?
jimmy: Hmm. I am curious if we see Armory again, but can wait to find out.
tomk: I can say sometime in the next few episodes, we will see Batman team up with a former adversary, Armory sadly does not return.
jimmy: Funny, when you said “Batman team up with” I still thought of Bruce.
tomk: So does Bruce. You should still never mess with Bruce as some episodes demonstrate.
jimmy: Well, let’s see if he demonstrates that next episode.
tomk: I think you’ll see for yourself very soon.
A gossip columnist keeps getting impossible scoops! What happens when he turns his sights on Batman?
jimmy: So I was wondering, if I can walk through walls, how do I keep from sinking into the floor?
Which they kinda turned to as their resolution for this episode.
tomk: Yeah, well, sometimes people should think things through.
jimmy: And why does gravity affect him? And why only at the end when he “loses control”?
tomk: If gravity didn’t affect him, he’d just float away.
jimmy: He had quite the control over his powers with the belt on. Walk through walls, but keep his feet solid so he didn’t sink through the floor…but make them intangible while walking through a wall. Not to mention turning his hands solid when needing to punch or smash Batman.
tomk: Well, you really shouldn’t play with density control belts. It just leads to being stuck at the center of the Earth,
jimmy: I wasn’t sure why he never unmasked Terry after their first encounter.
tomk: I wasn’t sure why a celebrity gossip reporter was reporting on mob informants.
jimmy: And how was it gossip?
tomk: Kinda my point.
jimmy: Good thing he was untouchable.
tomk: Not so. He was touchable by Bruce’s sass.
tomk: Did Bruce save the day here?
jimmy: Seemed more like faulty technology saved the day.
tomk: Terry sure didn’t.
jimmy: He was too busy getting laughed at for confessing to being Batman.
tomk: Terry don’t get no respect.
jimmy: He’s the Rodney Dangerfield of future Batmen.
tomk: So, he’s 70s Adam West?
jimmy: At least West could dance. Remember the Battusi?
tomk: Doesn’t everybody?
jimmy: I try to forget.
tomk: Not quite what I asked.
jimmy: Pure West.
tomk: West’s Batman would have taken care of that Peake guy.
jimmy: I think Grey Ghost’s suit appears when Peake…Peek?…whoever was showing the secrets of the Batcave.
tomk: It should. Bruce wore part of it when Inque invaded the cave.
jimmy: There’s also a great shot of Bruce standing in front of the Bat-suit, with the ears showing up over his head.
tomk: Huh. How symbolic. It’s like they can’t deny Terry just borrows the suit.
jimmy: Everyone knows the score.
tomk: Except Ian Peake.
jimmy: He knows the score now. Gravity 1 Peake 0.
tomk: That’ll teach him to be an unscrupulous gossip who never technically broke the law on the way to fame and fortune.
jimmy: Bruce says as much when Terry says the cops should arrest him.
But there has to be some kind of trespassing or recording someone without their consent kind of issues here.
tomk: You’d think.
Though it does help in the end when he does confess to theft.
jimmy: And arson.
tomk: Terry forgot that part.
Assaulting a cop, too.
jimmy: We won’t miss him while he is stuck at the Earth’s core.
Though the McGinnis family will need to find a new show.
tomk: At least he seemed happy in the end.
And I think Terry learned a lesson.
jimmy: Tell us what he learned today, Tom.
tomk: Don’t mess with Bruce, who can devastate someone’s life with a sneer.
Also, Terry’s family doesn’t respect him.
And his mom is a hypocrite.
jimmy: And that Krull is a horrible, horrible movie.
tomk: He didn’t need Ian Peeke to teach him that.
jimmy: I also came across this, which I talked about earlier:
This episode is another example of what is sometimes called the “Ghost Paradox” in science fiction and fantasy: if a person is rendered completely intangible by scientific means, he should logically be unable to stand on a floor, breathe air (which is a gaseous matter) into his lungs, or speak; yet Peek is shown doing all of these things. Also, if such a person ceases to be tangible matter, then gravity would have no effect on him. If gravity were the only force acting on Peek, he would not simply come to rest at the center of the Earth. Instead, he would accelerate as he approached the center and then shoot to the exact opposite point of the Earth from where he started, only to be pulled back towards the center and reach the point from where he started. This effect would continue indefinitely, assuming frictional forces can no longer act on him.
I guess it is Peek.
jimmy: Well, that’s how they spell it. I never noticed in the credits.
tomk: Why can’t my superhero cartoons present accurate physics?
tomk: I suppose next you’ll tell me kids don’t kick their feet in the air while laughing.
jimmy: I don’t know about kids, but at least one adult does!
jimmy: Close enough.
Speaking of Peek, I’m surprised we’ve gone this long without mentioning who he was voiced by.
tomk: He’s only a third of Spinal Tap.
jimmy: He only turns things up to 10.
tomk: 11 means center of the earth.
jimmy: Don’t tell Nigel.
tomk: Can I tell Squiggy?
tomk: He can warn Lenny.
jimmy: About the pudding?
tomk: Or the suffocation involved with breathing molten rock.
jimmy: At this point, he’ll probably be happy if he can suffocate.
tomk: What about you, Jimmy? Are you happy with this episode?
jimmy: It was good. You know I’m a sucker for episodes where Bruce gets involved in the action.
tomk: Take that, Max!
Well, if you have nothing else to add, should we see what role Bruce plays in the next one?
jimmy: Sure. Let’s.
NEXT TIME: Tom and Jimmy will be back with more chat. Come back soon for the episodes “The Eggbaby,” “Zeta,” and “Plague”.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)