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Batman Beyond episode
Lost Soul
"Lost Soul"
Airdate: October 9, 1999 (USA)
Production Number: 17
Airdate Order: 17
Animation Services by: Koko/Dong Yang
Written by: Stan Berkowitz
Directed by: Butch Lukic
Episode images (10)

"Lost Soul" is the fourth episode of the second season of Batman Beyond. It depicts the trouble brought to Gotham when a rogue computer program sweeps Gotham's computer network. Re-released thirty years later, it enters into Gotham's computer networks and eventually downloads into the Batsuit, seeking to fulfill his true agenda: a new body. Now Terry must fight his own suit without any powers.

Plot

A newscast reports the death of Robert Vance, owner and president of a powerful computer company. Knowing that he was dying from an incurable brain disorder, Vance took steps to safeguard his company's future by digitizing his mind into a computer program, to act as a helpful "advisor" to future owners.

Bobby Grandfather

Bobby meets his grandfather.

Thirty-five years later, in the present, a young man enters Vance Enterprises and re-boots Vance's program. The young man identifies himself as Bobby Vance, the elder Vance's grandson. Bobby is now the owner of the company, the last member of the family after his father died of a heart attack. Bobby is still young and is not sure he can handle the responsibility. Robert reassures him and encourages Bobby to put his program online, and he complies.

Elsewhere, Dana and Terry share a romantic night up on the roof of a skyscraper. After they decide to leave, they board an elevator that suddenly starts to erratically drop and rise at a dangerous rate just before they were about to kiss. Terry looks out and sees the entire city being affected in much the same manner. Terry manages to stop the elevator and heads off to see Bruce.

Bruce explains that the program has been hoarding information all over the city's network, causing random device malfunctions. He is sure that the program has a hidden agenda and sends Terry to stop it.

Batman makes it to the power plant where the program has taken over, and tries to shut off the power. Unfortunately, the program activates the automated defense systems, making it impossible for the power to be shut down except from the central control. Going into stealth mode, Batman manages to sneak in but a stray cat wanders in and alerts the defenses. Batman manages to shut off the power, but is too late to avoid being hit by a laser blast. Believing he is not seriously injured, Batman tells Bruce that the trouble is over, and Bruce orders him out on patrol.

Out in the city, a gang of thieves are attempting to steal from a powerless ATM and Batman manages to stop them. However, before he can continue, his suit starts to malfunction. Soon it refuses altogether to respond to his movement, and communications with Bruce are cut off. Instead, Terry hears Vance's voice downloaded into the suit by way of the laser blast. Under Vance's control, the suit walks into the ocean, Vance telling Terry along the way that he intends to download himself into a new body.

Realizing something is wrong, Bruce hits the Batsuit's kill switch, preventing Terry from drowning, but leaving him immobilized in the water as the tide comes in. Just after it covers his head, Bruce arrives personally in the Batmobile and rescues him.

Vance in suit

Robert Vance takes over the Batsuit.

Back in the Batcave, Bruce talks about reprogramming the suit, but he and Terry decide to leave the task until later. As soon as they leave, however, the suit gets up by itself and leaves.

Night falls and Bruce and Terry discover the suit missing. Terry is determined to stop it, but Bruce tries to dissuade him, saying he is not powerful enough to do it. Donning Nightwing's old mask, Terry explains that he had always wondered to himself what makes Batman: is it him in the suit, or is it the only the suit and the abilities it gives him? He is determined to find out once and for all and seeing that there is no stopping him, Bruce gives Terry his old utility belt.

Different Mask

Terry dons Nightwing's old mask.

Acting through the suit, Robert finds Bobby in the Vance Enterprises building and injects him with a sedative. On the roof, Terry breaks into the air shafts and makes his way to Vance's lab. He watches as Robert wires Bobby to a machine, explaining that he plans to download his mind into a living body: Bobby's; the process will erase Bobby's mind, but that hardly matters.

While examining Bobby, Robert accidentally catches his arm in an electromagnetic field and temporarily loses control of it. Terry notices this and now has a plan of attack.

Terry defeats Vance

Terry stops Vance and the Batsuit.

The transfer begins but Terry interrupts it. However, his melee attacks are ineffective against the suit and it activates its stealth mode, then attacks with an exploding batarang that triggers explosives in Terry's belt. Terry hurls the belt at Robert and manages to disable its stealth mode. Terry and Robert fight for a while but the suit is much stronger and nearly invulnerable to damage. However, Terry manages to get hold of a sharp steel rod torn from the wall and wraps a power cable around it. He then jams it into the suit and plugs it into a power outlet, overloading the suit and erasing the program.

Later, a newscast announces that Bobby has sold his company to some outside investors. Asked whether he has reservations about giving up his family's company, he responds that he's decided to let his grandfather rest in peace.

While Bruce is reprogramming the suit, Terry asks hopefully whether this means he can have a few nights off. Bruce, who has upped his estimation of Terry's abilities, states that while the suit is currently out of commission, Batman is not.

Continuity

Background information

Home video releases

Trivia

  • The newscaster in the opening prologue is clearly Summer Gleeson, who apparently hasn't aged since the years of the original Batman.
  • A character appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X", but his familial relation is never explained.
  • Stacy Keach's role as Robert Vance mirrors his earlier role as Carl Beaumont in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in that both are fathers who realize they have limited time left and make plans to ensure their respective families' futures (in vastly different ways). The notable difference, however, is Vance's return to oppose Batman while Carl was merely suggested to.

Cast

Actor Role
Will Friedle Terry McGinnis / Batman
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne
Corey Burton Captain
Stacy Keach Robert Vance
Lonnie Leavitt-Barker Newscaster
Townsend Coleman Lieutenant
Mark Jonathan Davis Newsman
Lauren Tom Dana Tan
Rider Strong Bobby Vance

Quotes

Bruce: The door's not working. I had to shut down the computer when Vance's program tried to get in. If you want out of the cave, you're going to have to do it the old-fashioned way.
Terry: You're kidding.
Bruce: None of the Robins ever complained.


Dana: Manual? On an elevator?!


Terry: Sometimes I ask myself, is Batman just the suit, or is the man inside?


Robert Vance: (voice gradually regresses from an adult to a high child's tone and then to baby talk) Five hundred megs! A thousand kilobytes! Pi "R" squared! Two plus two equals four. Me first! I wanna play. One potato... two potato... Mama Mama... Ma-ma!


Bruce: Terry, it's only the suit that's out of commission, not Batman.



Previously produced episode:
"Splicers"
Episodes of
Batman Beyond
Next produced episode:
"Bloodsport"
Previously aired episode:
"Joyride"
Next aired episode:
"Hidden Agenda"

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