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Recap / Batman Beyond S1 E7 "Meltdown"

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Freeze returns for one more round
After burning through yet another artificial skin, Powers starts to become impatient over his doctors' inability to find a cure for his condition. One of them, Dr. Stephanie Lake, suggests an experimental procedure to transfer his mind into a new, healthy cloned body. To test the procedure, they perform it on Mr. Freeze, whose head had been stored in Wayne-Powers for over 40 years. With a new body and a second chance at life, Victor Fries promises to right the wrongs and suffering he caused to his victims. Terry becomes hopeful that Fries has truly changed for the better, but Bruce isn't convinced.

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  • Alas, Poor Villain: Both Terry and Bruce mourn Freeze's death in the end. Bruce even changes his mind about Freeze, at least to the extent of believing that he sincerely tried to reform before being pushed too far.
  • The Atoner: Fries genuinely seemed to want to make things better this time around. After being targeted in an assassination attempt by a man that he once wronged, he refuses to press charges against the man and instead decides to start a charity named in his late wife's honor to repay the victims that he had harmed in the past. Unfortunately, his new body soon begins breaking down and reverting back to its old state...
  • Backported Development: When Mr. Freeze was cloned, he was depicted as still being bald despite having hair when we see a pre-Freeze Victor Fries in Batman: The Animated Series—though considering the clone later redeveloped the condition, maybe it was a sign of Clone Degeneration.
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  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Terry shows Freeze kindness earlier; as such even when Freeze goes on a rampage he gives Terry the chance to leave.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In the end, when Terry admits Bruce was right about Mr. Freeze, Bruce points out they were both right (that vengeance may be in Mr. Freeze's nature, but there's also still good in him).
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Victor Fries is saved by Batman from an assassination attempt, the assassin turns out to be one of the many people Victor hurt years ago as Mr. Freeze, and Victor has no idea who the man is. Then again, the man is around 50 years older than he was when Victor was Mr. Freeze, so it's doubtful Victor would be able to recognize the man even if the list of people whose lives he ruined was smaller. But at any rate, Victor's list of lives he's ruined is apparently large enough for him to immediately believe this story despite not remembering him or having any proof, and he simply lets the man go, feeling he's caused the old, miserable man enough pain in the past without making him spend the rest of his life in jail for an act of understandable rage.
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  • Chronic Villainy: Despite his best efforts to change, Fries's deteriorating condition and betrayal by his doctors causes him to revert back to his old ways.
    Batman: (sadly) Oh, Fries...
  • Clone Degeneration: Mr. Freeze's clone body was still bald despite having hair before his accident in Batman: The Animated Series. Considering that his condition later redeveloped, it might've been an early sign of the clone body degenerating.
  • Darker and Edgier: This episode featured Freeze's first onscreen murder, albeit with a Scream Discretion Shot.
  • Death Seeker / Driven to Suicide: Freeze, after reverting back to his old form and being betrayed by Dr. Lake, sets out to destroy the entire facility that he had been cloned in, taking everyone else out with him.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The episode title can refer to either the return of Mr. Freeze or the debut of Blight.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Freeze is betrayed by Dr. Lake, who, without warning, turns up the heat in his chamber to hasten his body's breakdown, so she can perform a biopsy on his remains.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner / Famous Last Words: "Believe me, you're the only one who cares."
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Freeze tries to reform and make up for the harm he did, but goes back to his old vengeful ways when Dr. Lake turns up the heat in his chamber.
  • Inhuman Eye Concealers: Derek Powers has to put sunglasses on and cut a meeting short due to the artificial skin over and around his eyes starting to crack.
  • Ironic Echo: While his mind is being transferred to his new body, Dr. Lake tells Fries, "Remember, there may be some momentary discomfort." He later uses the same line on her before he kills her.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    Batman(right after Freeze started his rampage): Oh, Freeze.
  • Limb-Sensation Fascination: Mister Freeze has his consciousness transferred from a Head In A Jar to a cloned body. After the completion of this process, he walks to the window (looking out on Gotham in winter), puts his hand to it, and says "cold" with a look of absolute joy on his face. It's been decades since he was able to feel anything, especially that.
  • Must Make Amends: Fries builds a foundation named after his late wife to help the families of his own victims as a supervillain.
  • Pet the Dog: In his first public appearance in his new body, Fries saves a little girl's cat from being hit by a train.
  • Pun: When Powers and Lake are surprised by Freeze's new suit, Freeze says "It's something I've kept in cold storage." See, Arnold, that's an amusing ice pun.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Dr. Stephanie Lake and Powers' other scientists, who seem somewhat ignorant about Powers true actions and nature.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Mr. Freeze.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Bruce refuses to believe that Fries had truly reformed and completely rejected his old ways, even though Terry believes it.
    Terry: Just because he ran off doesn't mean he'll come back.
    Bruce: He'll be back. Count on it. He lives for revenge.
    Terry: Not the Victor Fries I met.
    Bruce: What you met was a ghost.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: Dr. Stephanie Lake's death. We only hear her scream in horrified pain as Mr. Freeze shoots her with his freeze gun.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Powers after burning through yet another artificial skin.
    Powers: It's useless. It barely lasts a day anymore. What do I PAY YOU PEOPLE FOR?!
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Powers says this about his employees when they give him a warm blanket "in case (he's) cold" after escaping from Batman and Freeze while in full Blight-mode.
  • Those Two Guys: Stephanie's fellow two scientists, who Powers shows signs of irritation towards by the end of the episode.
  • Title Drop:
    Batman: (referring to Blight) This guy—he's like a walking meltdown!
  • Villain's Dying Grace: As the building collapses around him, Freeze throws up an ice barrier to stop Batman from risking his own life to save him.
  • Villainous Rescue: Mr. Freeze saves Terry from Blight, although it was likely more motivated out of anger at Blight rather than for Terry's well-being.
  • Walking Wasteland: Blight.
  • Weather Dissonance: The weather goes through some major shifts over a few days, from warm to cold enough for Freeze to feel comfortable after his new body begins reverting and back to warm enough for Powers to assume that Freeze must be dead if he hasn't found a refrigerated hiding place.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Freeze in his first scene. Since he's basically been nothing but a disembodied head for decades, it's not surprising.
    Freeze: Take a good look, Doctor. I've been like this for nearly fifty years and I haven't aged one day. I have become what many men have dreamed of—an immortal. And yet, there hasn't been a day, an hour, a minute, I haven't thought about death. It obsesses me. Even now.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Freeze, yet again. The poor guy just can't seem to catch a break.
  • The Worf Effect: Freeze appears in a new, bulletproof Powered Armor, and displays a more powerful Freeze Gun built into the suit. However, he gets one-shotted by Blight in order to demonstrate the strength of the new Big Bad.
  • You Killed My Father: Fries gets attacked by an assassin whose family had been murdered by Freeze years ago.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing:
    Mr. Freeze: There might be some momentary discomfort.

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