DCAU #318: Revenant

IN THIS ONE... The high school is haunted by a vengeful spirit, or a returning villain.

CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader; directed by Kyung-Won Lim.

REVIEW: Batman Beyond Season 2 likes its ghost stories, and this one plays on high school-based horror flicks, complete with Ouija board and tittering cheerleaders. I won't mince words, I don't think it's appropriate to show characters, especially good guys like Dana and Max, cooing at how a dead teenager is "hot" or giggling during seances meant to call that kid up. Maybe I'm not clear on WHEN the East Wing was built and that fatal accident occurred. And I also respect the fact that teenagers really do act this inappropriately at times.

Of course, this isn't a real ghost, but a psychic attack on everyone who's ever wronged... Willy Watt. Remember him from early Season 1's "Golem"? Well, he's buff now (a nice touch after the better part of a year in juvie) and his powers have grown beyond controlling machinery. Which is kind of my beef here. In "Golem", he had control over a giant construction robot. At the end of that episode, we found out he didn't need the control mechanism anymore, the powers were innate, and that he could control electronics around him... cliffhanger! But here, they turn him into a total telekinetic, who isn't at all limited to machines. He flies, he manipulated people and objects, and he does so remotely! That's just not the same character, and after we JUST HAD an episode about a powerful telekinetic (Mind Games), it feels redundant too. And it's too bad because there are some excellent sequences here, from the crazy shower scene to the car crash to the brutal fist fight he has with Nash to the Super Saiyan storm he summons when he loses control. Very cool stuff.

In the middle of all this is a dramatic subplot about Terry's brother Matt wanting to have his own seance to speak to the dad he feels he's forgetting. This down beat moment stands in stark contrast to the callous use of such by the school's girls, and reminds us of where Terry came from as a hero. A cute brotherly moment at the end has Terry helping Matt remember their father, stuff that could almost have been dropped into any episode, but I'm glad to see it anywhere. Also: Start watching for revelations about Terry's juvenile record because it's been mentioned twice in the last few episodes...

IN THE COMICS: Bruce believes in magic because he's seen too much. He references the Demon Etrigan, Klarion the Witch-Boy, an immortal (likely Ra's, who has a supernatural origin), and zombies (I like to think this is Solomon Grundy who hasn't appeared in the DCAU yet from our perspective).

SOUNDS LIKE: Principal Nakamura is played by Gedde Watanabe (Mulan, Sixteen Candles) which bears mentioning because he sounds exactly like Terry' own Will Friedle.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - I want to give it a higher rating for the character stuff, but they're way off model on Golem.

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