DCAU #323: The Last Resort

IN THIS ONE... Kids are being sent to a therapy resort/unethical prison.

CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz; directed by Curt Geda.

REVIEW: Terry's high school is quite the villain generator. Sean Miller from history class here shows up to commit criminal acts and gets sent to a special juvenile detention center, painted as a therapeutic haven for troubled teens, to which rich parents soon send their kids for the merest non-conformist behavior. That would be a masterful scheme from Dr. David Wheeler, especially given his skills at brainwashing (oops! we knew it was too good to be true!) if only they'd explicitly had him MAKE certain kids anarchic to boost his business. But no, he seems to just want to turn them into docile zombies, and Sean Miller is actually a sociopath, playing along so he doesn't get "Iso" treatment. A missed opportunity which weakens Wheeler and makes Sean a two-dimensional bully.

A kid in the recognizable group, Chelsea, gets sent to the "resort" for sending a nasty email to the principal, which gets Terry investigating in a way Batman can't. As himself. Feels like Terry should have tried to use his past delinquency to motivate his institutionalization, but no, it's just visiting hours that devolve trespassing. Again, the writing seems rushed. Similarly, we have Terry making a point of remembering a jerky guard's name which just doesn't pay off. I'm also left wondering why Batman hits someone just off-screen with such a sickening crunch that you think he's killed him. Surely he didn't, so what's the point of the cutaway?

Chelsea looking haggard after an Iso session, and the chase sequence through the woods (which feels like it's out of Return of the Jedi) create some of the better moments in the episode, but mostly, it feels like one missed opportunity after another. We never see Iso, for example, nor do things get very desperate even after Wheeler decides Terry might be better off found dead in the forest.

SOUNDS LIKE: Chelsea's vocal chords are handed over to Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie and the Pussycats) with this episode. Comedy legend John Ritter (Three's Company, need I go on?) is Dr. David Wheeler, which seems like unusually terrible casting. The role of the delinquent Sean is played by Bud Bundy on Married... With Children, i.e. David Faustino.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - The premise had promise; the execution left a lot to be desired.

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