One of the reasons I love this episodes so much is that it shows Batman's humanity, something that people often neglect. It really furthers his character and makes him an even better character then he already is (which is quite hard). The whole episode is about How Terry discovers his DNA "lineage" from Batman, and how Cadmus, after deciding the world needed a Batman, set up his whole life so that he would be the next Batman. He didn't take kindly to this information (Cadmus had to have Terry's parents killed in order to make Terry to turn out like Batman). So Terry found Amanda Waller, the now old former head of Cadmus. She by now has many regrets and says, "I was wondering when you were going to show up," and invites him to tea. He sits down to it, and she begins to tell Terry about his "father," Batman, as Terry was also struggling with bitterness towards Bruce for his "inhumanity." Waller tells the story of when the Justice League had to face the Royal Flush Gang at a particular peak of power in their part, as Ace, the "leader," (a little girl who was given hallucinatory powers, and really only wanted to play) was dying, and her powers had evolved into the ability to manipulate reality, and her illness could eventually distort reality for ill and probably kill millions of people. Ace was in the middle of a "park" that she had created with strange colours and such. Waller and Cadmus had come up with a device that could kill her, and thus save million of lives. The only question was, who would do it? well, batman said he would do it, and nobody had a problem with that (of course). so he walked in with the device clipped to his belt, but as he got out of eye shot he dropped the device on the ground. He walked up to her, and just sat and talked to her and comforted her until she died. His comfort had caused her to realize the danger she was causing and she willed herself to die in a gentle way. The "magic park" melted away and the rest of the Justice League see Batman walking back with Ace in his arms, and if i remember correctly, he was crying.
A side of Batman not many people see, and Terry was profoundly humbled.
Oh, and another thing I really like about this episode (i know it seems really trivial) is that Waller openly states her belief in God in a great way. I love that they're just so open about it. Terry appears shocked for a moment, as the audience is, and she says, "Oh yes, I'm a Christian" or something like that.
Anyways, hope it helps.
While JL and JLU are great shows for many reasons, Batman and his gallery of rogues and to a lesser degree the various bat children was the main draw as is with every DC property. If you've watched the series up to this point, The Batman we see in JL and JLU is distinctly different than that of his early days in BTAS and it's incarnations and much more similar to the cantankerous old man who mentored Terry Mcguinnes. He's more cynical, more focused and determined. He rarely smiles, he never jokes. The years and years of cleaning up the streets seem to have diminished his faith in humanity. He's sharper and more cunning in battle, but his rigid morals and sense of mercy and justice have eroded to raw pragmatism and duty which he demonstrates on a regular basis, even hinting that he will take a life it means protecting innocents. it seems Any trace of Bruce Wayne is gone, there is only the Bat and his sworn oath to protect Gotham and now the World in JLU.
I'm deliberately keeping many plot details out of this review because seeing it unfold is extremely powerful. Batman again distinguishes himself from his "super" friends not only in combat and intellect, but compassion and understanding. When everyone else saw a monster, he saw someone who needed help. Someone in a place that he had been before. When the nigh-invincibles and inhumans deemed the situation too dangerous, the mortal put himself in harm's way not just because it was the right thing to do, but because He couldn't - wouldn't - let someone else experience what he had to.
After the tearjerking emotional gut-punch of a flashback, we return to present (future) Gotham and reveal the bombshell final mystery of the DCAU Batman Universe that ties together the Story of Bruce and Terry to a conclusion that feels satisfying, comforting, and makes sense poetically if not practically.
It is also very much like issue five of Watchmen, Fearful Symmetry, in that the episode is symmetrical. Terry spends the first half of the episode trying to permanently distance himself from his friends, his girlfriend and Batman. By the end of the episode he is trying to make stronger, more empathetic connections with these people. He goes from feeling like Bruce Wayne's hubristic backup plan, to being an ideal that is better than his predecessor in some ways.
The nicest touch is the what happens twice in the episode with the pill bottle.
I also love the scene where Batman stays with Ace and how he has said to countless supervillains who have had terrible experiences in their childhoods that he knows how they feel, but Ace is the first to know that he is telling the truth because she can see in his mind.
Finally, nothing beats a Timm drawn on Black production and this one is perfect.
The episode does pay a nice homage to Bruce Wayne/Batman in showing him perform a heroic deed regarding one of the members of the Royal Flush Gang: Ace. It is also nice to return to the Batman Beyond world after a long hiatus. However, how the story serves to end the adventure of Terry McGinnis is nothing short of underwhelming and even insulting. In a nutshell, Terry is revealed to be a genetic son of Bruce Wayne himself because of a genetic project undertaken by Amanda Waller, the individual Terry confronts about his past.
This serves to erase the individual toughness and mental fortitude that Terry displayed throughout the Batman Beyond series as being nothing less than mere genetics. Oh yes, Amanda tries to off-highhandedly mention that he isn't "completely" like Bruce, and that she didn't pull the trigger on his parents, but the road was basically set so that when the time came, he would have the chance of being Batman. Who can tell whether the decisions he made were a product of himself or his genetics? What a load.
DCAU, you couldn't have dragged the carpet out from under an excellent series more than with this episode. Definitely not your best effort.