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"Sneak Peek"

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Batman Beyond episode
Inside Peek
"Sneak Peek"
Airdate: March 25, 2000 (USA)
Production Number: 32
Airdate Order: 31
Animation Services by: Koko/Dong Yang
Written by: Stan Berkowitz
Directed by: Dan Riba
Episode images (19)

"Sneak Peek" is the eighteenth episode of the second season of Batman Beyond. It depicts the near-revealing of the secret identities of Batman. A mysterious man who is completely intangible is stalking Gotham, recording secrets wherever he can find them. These secrets are later displayed on a tabloid news show The Inside Peek by Ian Peek. Terry thinks the show is great until he finds that his secret will be revealed as well.

Plot

Reporter Ian Peek introduces another episode of The Inside Peek where he reveals the secrets of Gotham's elite. He prattles on about how the trainer of a heavyweight boxer is flirting with the boxer's girlfriend, how Rocker Jamie Jerald is illegally getting spliced, and, for the headline story, Paxton Powers's indecent behavior at a private party.

Matt McGinnis eagerly watches this last segment, but his mother shuts off the television. Terry, nearby, tells his mother to lighten up since it's just entertainment. She retorts that he'd think differently if it was him on the show.

Peek spies

Ian Peek spies on Jimmy Lin and Sam Young.

Later that night, a crime boss, Jimmy Lin, sneaks into City Hall for a meeting with D.A. Sam Young, to secretly testify about his gang's activities. Lin is anxious that he will be found out, but Sam assures him that they are completely alone. Neither of them know that Lin has been followed into the building by a mysterious man seemingly composed of flashing blue and black matter, capable of passing through walls. Unnoticed by either man, the mysterious figure films Lin's testimony, until Sam sees him and summons a guard. The mystery man manages to disable a guard, then Batman arrives. He attacks, but all his punches seem to pass through empty air while the mystery man is perfectly capable of hitting Batman. Finally, the man starts a fire and escapes, entirely unharmed by the flames. While Batman is down, the man touches a device on his belt, switching off the blue and black energy field and revealing himself to be Peek.

In physics class at school, Terry learns that solid matter is mostly composed of empty space, and asks if it's possible for some objects to pass through others. His teacher, surprised at Terry's sudden interest, explains that most scientists believe that to be impossible, but there was one who thought otherwise. Later, Terry talks to Bruce, who reveals that the man worked for Wayne Enterprises: Nabuo Taka, a research scientist who believed he could "phase" molecules to allow them to pass through solid matter. However, Taka can't be the mystery man, as he died in a fire years ago.

Peek finds out

Peek about to learn Batman's secret.

The Inside Peek comes on again and Peek reveals the events of the previous night, telling about Lin's meeting with Young. Terry realizes the connection and heads out to see Peek. His show finished, Peek starts complaining about stomach problems. Batman confronts him at the studio, but Peek denies any knowledge. However, before Batman can further interrogate him, Lin and a gang of thugs enter and try to kill Peek. Batman stops them but loses sight of Peek, who escapes and plants a camera on the Batmobile. Unaware of the camera, Batman returns to the Batcave, talks to Bruce and removes his mask. All of this is caught on the spycam by Peek.

The next morning, Terry is woken up by Matt who alerts him on news about Batman. Immediately getting up, Terry sees a teaser for Peek's newest show, where he reveals footage of the Batcave, including blurred out images of himself and Bruce. Peek promises to reveal the secret identity of Batman and his mentor later on the night edition of the show. Terry then receives a call from Bruce, where he has already discovered the spycam but can do nothing to stop the show from airing. Terry goes to see Peek who is still having trouble with his stomach. Terry demands that he leaves Bruce out of it, but Peek smugly refuses.

Terry returns home and finds that, along with the rest of Gotham City, both Matt and Mary are excited about seeing the show. Mary brushes off her earlier indignation, as Terry ironically convinced her "it's just entertainment". Later as Peek is getting ready for the show, he takes a tablet for his stomach pains, and hears it drop right through him to the floor. He looks down in horror and sees that his body is partially "phased" even without the belt.

At Terry's home, his mother and Matt are getting ready as the show is just about to begin. Terry however deciding its best they learn the truth from him first, Terry confesses that he's Batman. His mother and brother just laugh, despite Terry's efforts. The show starts to air, but is abruptly postponed. Terry discreetly telephones Bruce, but there is no answer, so he goes to investigate.

Peek intangible

Peek now completely intangible as he sinks through the floor.

Bruce appears at Peek's studio in response to an urgent summoning. Peek says his body is slowly becoming completely intangible, even without the belt, and asks Bruce to use his company's resources to find a cure. He asks why Peek came to him, and he confesses that he stole Taka's research and prototype belt and also set the fire that killed him. Bruce refuses to help him, and Peek threatens to expose both him and Terry. Bruce calls his bluff and keeps walking. Desperate, Peek tries to give back the footage by throwing it at Bruce's feet, but he still refuses. Enraged, Peek attacks and nearly kills Bruce but Batman arrives and saves him. Peek continues to fight and raises a gun, but his finger, and then his whole hand, become intangible, followed shortly by his entire body. Peek, still at the mercy of gravity, sinks through the floor, yelling for help. Batman gives chase while Bruce finally picks up the disc containing the spycam footage.

Batman just manages to reach the lowest basement level as Peek is sinking through it. For a moment, it seems that Peek will be able to escape his fate, but he loses all tangibility and helplessly sinks into the ground. Bruce arrives and explains that in his phased state, Peek will likely keep right on falling until he reaches the center of the Earth.

Background information

Home video releases

Production notes

Production inconsistencies

  • During the pan of the Batcave, the Robin suit's insignia is red when it's supposed to be yellow.
  • Mr. Freeze's cold gun is visible in the Batcave, even though it was destroyed by Inque in "Disappearing Inque".
  • During the "Sneak Peak" of Jimmy Lin and Sam Young's meeting, the footage is different to what Peek recorded. During the meeting that peek recorded, Jimmy is seated while Sam is leaning on his desk, but the footage that is shown on TV shows Jimmy and Sam discussing while both standing.
  • This episode is another example of what is sometimes called the "Ghost Paradox" in science fiction and fantasy: if a person is rendered completely intangible by scientific means, he should logically be unable to stand on a floor, breathe air (which is a gaseous matter) into his lungs, or speak; yet Peek is shown doing all of these things. Also, if such a person ceases to be tangible matter, then gravity would have no effect on him. If gravity were the only force acting on Ian, he would not simply come to rest at the center of the Earth. Instead, he would accelerate as he approached the center and then shoot to the exact opposite point of the Earth from where he started, only to be pulled back towards the center and reach the point from where he started. This effect would continue indefinitely, assuming frictional forces can no longer act on him.

Trivia

  • The character model of the boxer is the same as Clayface's human disguise in "Growing Pains".
  • The scene where Terry confesses to being Batman was used for several TV spots promoting the show on Kids WB.
  • Jimmy Lin isn't alone in not wanting to face tax evasion charges. In "Joker's Millions" even the Joker didn't want to face the IRS.
  • The camera used by Ian is similar to that used by Terry in "The Last Resort".

Cast

Actor Role
Will Friedle Batman/Terry McGinnis
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne
Clyde Kusatsu Jimmy Lin
Paul Winfield D.A. Sam Young
Michael McKean Ian Peek
Dave Walsh Stage Manager
Marcelo Tubert Ortiz
Ryan O'Donohue Matt McGinnis
Teri Garr Mary McGinnis

Uncredited appearances

Quotes

Bruce: City hall? Better be careful.
Terry: Always am.
Bruce: Yes, but you've never had to face politicians before.


Terry: Come on, Mom. It's just entertainment.
Mary: You wouldn't find it so entertaining if you were on the receiving end.


Terry: I'm saying that you, or someone who works for you, figured out a way of moving through walls.
Peek: Moving through walls? If I could do that I'd be a very rich reporter.
Terry: You are.


Bruce: I always assumed I'd be found out sooner or later. It's just galling that a piece of garbage like Peek had to be the one.


Terry: I don't care what you do to me. But he doesn't deserve this. He's done too much for this city to wind up in the middle of a media circus.
Peek: He means a lot to you, doesn't he?
Terry: Yeah, he does.
Peek: I believe you. I really do. That's the trouble with this business. You meet so many liars you forget what sincerity sounds like. Want to say it all again while I’ve got the camera running?


Terry: I thought you said it wouldn't be entertaining if you were on the receiving end.
Mary: Yeah, well, what do I know?


Terry: Mom, Matt, there's something I need to tell you.
Mary: After the show, dear.
Terry: No! It can't wait! I-I'm... Batman.
(Matt and Mary laugh)
Terry: Seriously, I am!
Mary: Terry, please!


Terry: What's gonna happen to him?
Bruce: My guess, he'll keep right on falling till he reaches the center of the Earth. It's about as 'inside' as you can get.



Previously produced episode:
"Armory"
Episodes of
Batman Beyond
Next produced episode:
"Plague"
Previously aired episode:
"Armory"
Next aired episode:
"The Eggbaby"

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