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Recap / Batman Beyond S 2 E 14 Eyewitness

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Comissioner Barbara Gordon's mistrust of Batman becomes worse when she witnesses him supposedly killing Mad Stan. However, there might be more to it than what she saw...

Tropes:

  • Anti-Hero Substitute: The basis of Barbara's concerns over Terry as Batman which she tells Bruce when she heads over to Wayne Manor. When she sees him kill, she decides enough is enough, and tries everything in her power to take him down. The murder was faked, and she decides that she was wrong about Batman in the end.
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  • Asshole Victim: Mad Stan. Except that he wasn't really killed.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Mad Stan is said to have been found alive and well, there's a scene of him blowing up City Hall. Fortunately, it was just a virtual reality simulation.
  • Clear My Name: The entire episode is Batman trying to prove he's innocent, when Commissioner Gordon witnesses him kill Mad Stan. The end reveals that it was an illusion created by Spellbinder.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Barbara equips her task force with the perfect equipment to counter Terry's getaway tricks and sets up an ambush for him alongside one of Bruce's secret escape routes. No surprise given she's the former Batgirl.
  • Death Faked for You/Frame-Up: Spellbinder tricks Barbara into thinking Mad Stan was killed in cold blood by Batman.
  • Enhance Button: While reviewing the footage of Terry's fight with Mad Stan, Bruce notices someone hiding in the background. He zooms in and enhances to find Spellbinder's silhouette.
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  • Evil Gloating: Spellbinder takes the time to indulge in this when his plan is exposed, gloating to Barbara that her own biases against Batman made it easy to trick her into thinking he killed Mad Stan.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Batman pulls an I Surrender, Suckers to get Barbara and her men to stop shooting at him, before tossing a Batarang in her direction. Barbara ducks... allowing the Batarang to shatter Spellbinder's orb and expose him.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Spellbinder's entire plot hinged on exploiting Barbara's Inspector Javert tendencies towards Batman, duping her into thinking he killed Mad Stan in cold blood. It almost works, and when he's exposed and arrested, he gloats to Barbara's face that it was easy to trick her because she was already fully prepared to believe the worst in Batman anyway.
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  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Batman beats up Mad Stan, and supposedly murders him by repeatedly smacking his head with the bomb he disarmed, it cuts to Barbara's shocked reaction. The whole thing turns out to be an illusion Spellbinder created anyway.
  • Grandma's Recipe: Bruce and Barbara discuss her concerns about Terry over tea and crumpets. Bruce says that he "learned from the best" how to brew tea, and regrets that he never figured out how Alfred made the "tea cakes".
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Spellbinder had been with Barbara the whole time since Batman's confrontation with Mad Stan, at least. Justified as his illusions had a sort of perception filter around him. It's only when Batman uses his suit to scan for infra-red signals that he discovers him and he's finally exposed.
  • Hypocrite: Barbara ends up doing exactly what she feared her father would do to Bruce with her death in "Over the Edge" in order to bring Terry down.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Once Batman knows that Spellbinder is nearby:
    (Batman waves hand, signalling surrender, raises himself and puts his hands up)
    Barbara Gordon: This better not be another of your tricks.
    Batman: (deadpan ) Sorry.
    (Batarang emerges from Batman's wrist and he throws it at Barbara's direction... hitting Spellbinder's orb)
  • Ironic Echo: The episode begins with Batman ruining an undercover sting operation, and getting grilled by Commissioner Gordon over it. Close to the end, after Gordon is convinced that Batman killed Mad Stan, and used the full might of the Gotham Police to apprehend him, Batman exposes Spellbinder as the real culprit and reveals that he hypnotized her to make her believe that Batman would kill. Commissioner Gordon eats crow, and admits her screw-up, to which Batman smiles and says, "I've been there," and flies off. To her credit, she gives Terry a commendation.
  • Jury Duty: One of the things Mad Stan shouts in the end is "NO MORE JURY DUTY!"
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Spellbinder gets Mad Stan out of the way by putting him in one of his virtual reality environments from "Hooked Up" where he is able to live his dream of blowing up City Hall.
  • More Than Mind Control: While Spellbinder did cast an illusion on Barbara Gordon to make her think that she saw Batman kill someone in cold blood, even he points out that Barbara's own biases towards Batman did most of the work for him—as he's being arrested, he even takes the time to taunt Barbara by pointing out that with how ready she was to believe the worst in Batman, "it was easy" to fool her into thinking that Batman actually killed someone in cold blood.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Realizing that she screwed up big time, Barbara really does her best to make it up to Terry for what she did.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At the beginning of the episode, Terry unknowingly ruins an undercover operation ran by the police.
  • Oh, Crap!: Terry's reaction when he tries escape via smoke bomb, only to have it immediately dispelled by a police cruiser equipped with a fan.
  • The Reveal: During the climax, it's revealed that Spellbinder is the one who made Barbara think Terry killed Mad Stan. Earlier, when Terry goes to the morgue to look for Mad Stan's body, Stan's name is shown to be "Stanley Labowski."
  • Villain Has a Point: Sure Spellbinder made Barbara Gordon see Batman kill Mad Stan, but his taunt to her just proves his point on her opinion of Terry.
  • You Are What You Hate: Remember Barbara's fear of what her father would do to Bruce with her death in "Over the Edge"? Well, she ended up doing exactly what he was doing towards Terry.
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