DCAU #314: Once Burned

IN THIS ONE... Ten is back and she's stealing from an illegal poker game to pay her family's ransom.

CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz; directed by Butch Lukic.

REVIEW: Terry's very own Catwoman, Ten, is back, or should I say his Black Cat? Well, Beyond's answer to Spider-Man cheats on his MJ in this one because he and Dana are definitely not broken up when Melanie/10 turns up in his room. The show knows this is wrong though, and Max calls him out on it. He should make a choice, it's not fair to Dana. At the end, Terry does, throwing away a secret love note from Melanie without having read it (as Batman, he promised he wouldn't anyway). The moment is tinged with melancholy and does not include some kind of proud smile, perhaps looking at Dana. It's resignation that one relationship is less viable than the other. Rather adult, this.

Poor Melanie is doomed to be on the run, but at least, she's not proven to be some kind of catty manipulator. It's the Royal Flush Gang who tricked her into thinking they had been kidnapped by a superior force of Jokerz, to test her loyalty. This causes her to lead Batman into a trap, and to her credit, she ditches the Gang for thinking of her as an accomplice more than a daughter. She's rewarded by not going to jail with the rest, but she doesn't get the boy.

Other than that, this is a good episode for Terry who, though he lies the Bruce and needs him to bail him out of Jokerz hide-out, does pull a very sneaky trick on both the Gang and the evil poker club Ten was trying to rob. The gang war he causes (with subsequent police back-up) is a pretty cool moment. Gang does seem to surrender easily once time runs out on the episode. Also of note, the Jokerz like to fight splicers for fun (or else a werewolf got dropped into the story without mention), and getting into a club costs 23 credits - inflation!!!

SOUNDS LIKE: The Royal Flush's Queen has had a change of voice - now she's Sarah Douglas, Superman II's Ursa. Of the criminal gamblers who might be recognizable, we have Tyrus Block, played by football pro and sometime actor Bernie Casey, and as Lola, Daphne Zuniga (The Sure Thing, Spaceballs, Melrose Place).

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - The continuing Terry/Melanie relationship is played in a more realistic way than I'd have expected.

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