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"Out of the Past"

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Batman Beyond episode
Talia exudes satisfaction
"Out of the Past"
Airdate: October 21, 2000
Production Number: 44
Airdate Order: 44
Animation Services by: Koko/Dong Yang
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: James Tucker
Episode images (13)

"Out of the Past" is the fifth episode of the third season of Batman Beyond. It initially aired on October 21, 2000. At a time when Bruce Wayne is feeling his age, a woman from his past appears and offers him the chance to regain his youth.

Plot

Terry takes Bruce out on the town for his birthday, including a performance of "The Legend of Batman"[1], a musical based on Batman's legacy. Bruce is naturally unimpressed, believing it to be a mockery of everything he has ever worked for, and leaves in the middle of the performance.

Talia sways Bruce

Talia makes Bruce an offer he can't refuse.

In the Batcave, he looks at some pictures of the women in his life. Then one of them appears in person: Talia, as young and beautiful as ever, wishing him a happy birthday, and mildly surprised that he doesn't have a picture of her as well. Terry arrives back, and they are introduced, though Terry shows that he knows all about Talia and her father. Bruce asks her why she is there. Talia admits that she has made free use of her father's last Lazarus Pit, and now she wants to offer its powers to Bruce, a chance to be young again.

Bruce decides against it; it is both unnatural and unfair to others for him to artificially prolong his life. Talia says that no one has earned it more; he has given up his whole life in service to others; and what's more, she wants a second chance to be with him. Bruce still refuses.

In conversation with Max, Terry confides that he thinks Bruce is tempted to accept the offer.

En route to Talia's hotel, Bruce's car blows a tire. He pulls over and slowly gets out to change it, feeling more infirm than ever. Then, a group of muggers try to rob Bruce, who fights them off in spite of his old age. Scared, one of the muggers grabs a nearby woman and tosses her to the middle of the street. Bruce tries to rescue her, but he is too feeble and falls down. Both are about to be flattened by an oncoming truck, when Batman arrives and saves them. Bruce bemoans his own helplessness.

In Gotham Plaza, Bruce considers accepting Talia's offer. She proposes to merge their corporations, and thus broadening her philanthropy to other nations. Bruce accepts.

Insane Bruce

The "new and improved" Bruce Wayne.

With Terry accompanying him, Bruce flies with Talia to her estate on New Cuba. Bruce still has some misgivings, but Talia soothes them. She notices that Terry also has doubts and assures him that Bruce will not be taking back the Batsuit even after the treatments are over.

Bruce has his first exposure to the Pit; he is briefly driven mad by the process, but is quickly sedated. Talia tells Terry that the process is much improved from before. Terry doesn't look reassured. Talia explains that it will take several more treatments before the process is complete. Bruce now resembles a man in his 50's: hair partially white, but possessed of a physique nearly as powerful as it was in his glory days as Batman.

Batmen side by side

For the first time, and last time, Master and Apprentice fight side-by-side.

As Bruce and Terry work out in the gym together, Bruce is briefly exhilarated at his feeling of power, but then he cracks and angrily says that he is cheating nature just like Ra's. He informs Talia's attendant, Carter, that they are leaving, but Carter makes it clear that they are prisoners. For one unique moment, Bruce and Terry fight side-by-side against the estate's thugs. Stopping outside Talia's bedroom, Bruce hears Ra's al Ghul's unmistakable voice coming from inside. Bruce breaks in and sees Talia, seemingly alone. He demands to know where Ra's is. Talia laments that she had hoped to keep this secret from him... then Ra's al Ghul's voice issues from her own mouth. Momentarily shocked, Bruce and Terry are overpowered.

Bruce captive

Talia shows "her" true colors.

Outside the estate, a pair of thugs are preparing to toss Terry into a crocodile pond. However, he regains consciousness and overpowers them, then rushes back to the castle.

Inside, Bruce awakens in restraints, hooked up to a device in the Pit chamber. "Talia" appears, and explains. After their last battle, his body was too injured even for the Pit to restore. In order to avoid death, he called on Talia to make the ultimate sacrifice: herself. Ra's had developed a computer allowing him to transfer his consciousness into another body, but it would only do so for someone who was a close genetic match (it is unknown if Talia gave up her life willingly).

Now, however, he has refined the computer to remove this restriction, and he immediately hit on Bruce as the "perfect specimen". The entire scheme was a ruse to make Bruce's body ideal to house Ra's al Ghul's spirit (Ra's also reveals that the incident with the tire and the mugger was staged). Once the transfer is complete, Ra's will reappear in Gotham, as Bruce and Talia's long-lost son, making him the heir to Bruce's fortune and company.

Bruce and Batman made it

Bruce and Batman elude death.

Terry, now donning the Batsuit, enters the Pit chamber in time to interrupt the mind transfer. Ra's attacks with a sword and the two face off. Ra's inadvertently stabs an electronic panel, electrocuting himself into unconsciousness, and starting a fire.

Bruce breaks out from his restraints, and they both run out of the room, Batman carrying an unconscious Ra's. But Ra's wakes up and runs back in, shouting that he cannot let the computer be destroyed. Reaching the burning console, he activates the fire suppression systems, managing to keep the computer intact.
Bruce mourns Talia

Bruce gets closure.

Then a stray electrical cable dislodged by the fire falls into the Pit...

Bruce and Batman reach the outside of the mansion just before it goes up in a massive explosion. Batman wants to go back in to look for survivors, but Bruce says, "Whatever was in there, died years ago".

Back in the Batcave, Bruce is looking at a picture of himself and Talia at a café. His body is gradually returning to its normal age, but he's not bothered by it. After Terry leaves on patrol, Bruce switches off the screen and says softly, "Rest well, beloved".

Continuity

  • Before this episode, Ra's and Talia's last appearance in the DCAU was the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Demon Reborn" after which both of their fates were uncertain. However, Terry makes reference to their last encounter being the Near-Apocalypse of '09. This event will be referenced again in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue".
  • The women whose pictures Bruce looks at in the Batcave before Talia's are Zatanna, Lois Lane, Selina Kyle, and Barbara Gordon.
  • In "A Touch of Curaré" Barbara implied that she and Bruce had once been involved. The pictures on Bruce's Batcomputer and Talia's line about her knowing he loved her corroborate this.
  • Talia says that Bruce saw the effects that the Lazarus Pits had on Ra's al Ghul. This refers directly to the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Demon's Quest, Part I", in which Ra's emerged from the Pit and almost killed Talia in a fleeting insanity fit.

Background information

Home video releases

Production notes

  • The identity of the woman in the last two pictures of Bruce's files caused a great deal of speculation among fans, many of whom thought it to be Andrea Beaumont.[1] However, Paul Dini confirmed it to be Barbara, stating that "Andrea didn't make the cut as she murdered people".[2]
  • Also, Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, in a behind the scenes feature, mentioned that the episode originally included a scene that explained why Talia was speaking with her father's voice: It involved transplanting her vocal cords with his own. However, it was ultimately cut due to taking too long as well as it not really being necessary.
  • The character models for the Batman and Catwoman actors reappeared as guests of Harv Hickman's party in "A Knight of Shadows".
  • During the Terry and Bruce team-up the futuristic Batman: The Animated Series leitmotif previously played in "Disappearing Inque" can be heard.

Production inconsistencies

  • During the musical, "Robin" mysteriously disappears from the stage.
  • During the Batcave scene, Terry McGinnis's Batsuit can be seen on display next to Nightwing's. However, that suit has always been regarded as unique, and in other episodes that display has been always empty. (This also occurred in "Eyewitness", and "The Call, Part I".) By the end of this episode the display is empty again.
  • In one scene, the arrangement of the buttons on Wayne's dashboard is a 3 x 3 arrangement. However, in the next frame there are rows of five.
  • During their conversation at Hamilton Hill High, Max and Terry walk past the science building, but "Building" is misspelled "Buildine".

Trivia

  • This episode was nominated for a Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production.[3]
  • The members of the musical chorus are clear homages to The Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Robin.
  • Adrienne Barbeau, the voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, has a cameo appearance as one of the chorus singers.
  • Though uncredited, Kevin Conroy also provided the voice of his on-stage double. This marks only one of two instances in the DCAU when Conroy has exhibited his fine singing voice, the other being the Justice League Unlimited episode "This Little Piggy".
  • There were in fact plans to produce a Batman musical in 2002, to be directed by Tim Burton, the director of the 1989 Batman film, but it was scrapped. A parody musical, entitled Holy Musical B@man!, was eventually produced in Chicago in 2012.
  • During Bruce's brief rejuvenation, Conroy uses a different voice than his gravelly "old" Bruce voice. Will Friedle said that the episode is one of his favorites as he got the opportunity to hear that voice (and for the one-off scene in which Terry and Bruce are battling villains together).
  • Terry initially pronounces Ra's al Ghul's name "Rahz"; Talia corrects him, saying it should be "Raysh". In the film Batman Begins, it was likewise pronounced "Rahz" and treated as correct. In the animated feature Batman: Under the Red Hood, it is still pronounced as "Raysh".
  • A man resembling Mr. Tarnower from "Mudslide" appears in the audience behind Bruce in the episode's beginning.

Cast

Actor Role
Will Friedle Terry McGinnis / Batman
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne
Stage Batman
Olivia Hussey Talia
David Warner Ra's al Ghul
Mark Hamill Carter
Charles Kimbrough Player James Gordon
Michael Rosenbaum Carl
Cree Summer Max
Gary Sturgis Punk
Mikey (uncredited)
Adrienne Barbeau Singer
B.J. Ward Singer
Jamie Torcellini Singer
Beth Rowland Singer
Steve Bernstein Singer

Quotes

"Batman": I am vengeance... I am the night... I am... (singing) Batman!
Male Chorus: Batman!
Female Chorus: Batman!
Batman: There is a song the good folks sing!
Female Chorus: Song the good folks sing!
Male Chorus: Batman!
Batman: About a hero on the wing!
Female Chorus: Hero on the wing!
Male Chorus: Batman!
Batman: I am Gotham's Darkest Knight, the villains' darkest fright, turn on the signal light, for Batman! Batman!
(wild applause)
Bruce Wayne: You hate me, don't you?
Terry: Lighten up. It's your birthday.
Bruce: Don't remind me.


"James Gordon": Good work, Caped Crusader! Once again, you've saved our fair city from those vile miscreants!
"Batman": They were no problem, Commissioner! For as we all know, criminals are... (singing) A superstitious, cowardly lot! They plan and plot, but they always get caught!
"Gordon/Batman": Their evil schemes all come to naught! A superstitious, cowardly lot!


Terry: It's schway.
Bruce: It's schwarbage.


Terry: I've read a lot about you too. You're the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, one of the old man's worst enemies from way back. You helped Batman fight Ra's one last time in the Near-Apocalypse of '09. For the last couple of decades you been putting your father's money to work cleaning up the mess he made. Current residence is a two hundred acre estate on New Cuba.
(Bruce gives Terry a surprised look)
Terry: What? Did you think I was down here playing vid-games?


Max: ETERNAL YOU-?!
(She stops, remembering they're in a library; Terry pulls her aside)
Max: (whispering) Eternal youth?


Terry McGinnis: I'll tell you right now, there's no way I'm wearing the Robin suit.


Talia: Ra's al Ghul was a man of many contrasts. Leader, environmentalist--
Terry McGinnis: Sociopath. (Talia brings up her ear, indicating she heard that)
Terry: Sorry.
Talia: I was going to say father.


Ra's al Ghul: You always were the perfect specimen, Detective. Even old age has not softened you as much as I had feared.
Bruce: I should have known you'd cheat death again, Ra's.
Ra's al Ghul: I don't cheat death, I master it. Though I assure you, this time my longevity comes at a price most dear.
Bruce: Talia.


Bruce: Sure Ra's, why not? Anything to hold off the Grim Reaper a few more seconds. I take it back. You don’t cheat death. You whimper in fear of it.
Ra's al Ghul: (slaps him) SILENCE!
Bruce: And you hit like a girl.


Batman: Lady, that is the sickest thing I've ever seen. You're creeping me out!
Bruce: You?! She kissed me!


Bruce: Rest well, beloved.


References


Previously produced episode:
"Betrayal"
Episodes of
Batman Beyond
Next produced episode:
"Speak No Evil"
Previously aired episode:
"Big Time"
Next aired episode:
"Speak No Evil"

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