"A Touch of Curaré" is the twelfth episode of Batman Beyond. It depicts the first appearance of the assassin Curaré. Gotham City District Attorney Sam Young has been marked for death by the Society of Assassins, who have sent their best member: Curaré. Now Batman must face off against one of the world's deadliest fighters. Making things worse, is the fact that Commissioner Barbara Gordon, Young's wife, isn't as liberal as her father was when it comes to costumed vigilantes, despite having been one herself.
Commissioner Gordon and her husband, D.A. Sam Young walk along in the park late at night, when a woman painted blue and wearing white rudely interrupts them. The woman attacks with daggers and a sword that is sharp enough to easily cut through a tree. Gordon defends herself and her husband, but the woman manages to deflect gunfire with her sword, and to slice through anything thrown at her. Batman appears none too soon, managing to save Sam, but the woman now attacks him. The police soon arrive and start firing on both combatants until Barbara tells them to leave off Batman. In the confusion, the woman manages to escape.
Terry learns from Bruce that the woman is named Curaré, a member of the League of Assassins. Her scimitar has been laser-sharpened to an edge no thicker than a molecule. Terry volunteers to look after Barbara, but Bruce says she's not the target. Barbara herself appears in the Batcave and chimes in, "her husband is". She explains that Sam is scheduled to testify against international arms dealer Fyodor Davic, who has hired the Society to kill him first. Terry is shocked to see her in the Batcave, but she reveals that she was Batgirl a long time ago. She warns Terry and Bruce that she has long since relinquished that identity, and tells both of them to stay out of police business.
The next night, Sam is being kept in a safe house under heavy guard. Bruce, however, is skeptical about their ability to keep their quarry out. Barbara leaves and Curaré makes her move. She easily manages to evade or incapacitate the guards and makes it into the house, pursued by Terry. Catching up to her, he briefly unmasks her, but she traps him underneath a huge light and continues towards her target. Making it to his room, she hurls her sword and impales... a dummy. The whole thing was a trap, but unfortunately, Terry is the one who is caught in it. Curaré escapes into the night. Terry does as well, but a batarang left behind in the trap controls reveals his involvement.
Furious at the trap's failure due to Batman's intervention, Barbara confronts Terry and warns him that she'll arrest both him and Bruce if he gets involved again. However, Terry asks her why she hates Bruce and she says that she doesn't hate him, she but rather that he's become such a lonely recluse. Over coffee, she talks about her past as Batgirl, explaining that she broke up with Dick Grayson when he left Gotham, choosing to stay behind with Bruce. As a crime-fighting team, they were the perfect pair, but Barbara gave up the life when she realized that Bruce never would.
The night of the trial comes and Curaré learns of the plan to take Sam to the court. Bruce orders Terry out, but he is reluctant, wanting to heed Barbara's warning. Bruce tells him why Curaré is so dangerous: the Society of Assassins' standard practice is to kill any one of their own who fails; but Curaré has never failed—she is the best of them.
Sam heads out on a train along with Barbara and Curaré manages to intercept the train. Once again she defeats the guards with ease and derails the car carrying her target, which crashes into the side of a meat processing plant. Barbara and Sam seal themselves inside a meat locker, but their communications are cut off and Curaré's sword is able to cut through the steel door with ease. She catches up to her target but before she can kill him, Batman intervenes again. During the fight, the meat grinder is activated and some batarangs hit the wall near Barbara and Sam. Eventually, The fight carries the combatants over the meat grinder and Curaré prepares to slash Batman with her sword one last time. Just before she can do so, a batarang, thrown by Barbara, knocks her sword from her hand and into the grinder. Batman manages to capture Curaré and save his friends.
Later that night, Terry is on the phone with Bruce, who says that Sam's testimony has succeeded in convicting Davic, but a newscast reports that Curaré has escaped. Bruce tells Terry not to worry, as Curaré has "other concerns". Elsewhere, Curaré desperately drives a police car out of the city, when a sword stabs down through the roof just next to her...
- Barbara mentions the time she and Dick dated. Their involvement was explored in The New Batman Adventures episode "Old Wounds".
- It's hinted that Barbara was once romantically involved with Bruce, which was later confirmed in "Out of the Past".
- For the first time Terry makes reference to his time in Juvenile Hall. The reasons for his conviction aren't disclosed until "Big Time".
Home video releases
- Batman Beyond - Season One (DVD)
- Batman Beyond - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Batman Beyond – School Dayz and Spellbound (DVD)
- Despite the fact Curaré sliced the doors to the room Sam was in, after she has disappeared the doors have returned.
- During Batman's fight with Curaré in Gotham Park, he throws a bola at her, which she cuts off with her scimitar. On the next scene, the fragments of the rope that should be on the floor are gone.
- In the Batcave, Barbara says that Sam is testifying at the trial of Fyodor Davic, but later says that Sam is scheduled to give a deposition. Testifying at trial and giving a deposition are two completely different things.
- Curare, sans the accent, is the name of a poison found in a South American plant, normally used to poison darts and arrows.
- Although Barbara Gordon and Sam Young are married, Barbara still retains her own family name.
- Melissa Disney is credited as the voice of Curaré, even though the character only grunts and never actually speaks.
- Barbara's accusing Bruce of manipulating Terry into becoming Batman mirrors Robin's accusing Batman of manipulating Barbara into becoming Batgirl, in The New Batman Adventures "Old Wounds".
|Will Friedle||Terry McGinnis / Batman|
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne|
|Stockard Channing||Commissioner Barbara Gordon|
|Victor Rivers||Master Assassin|
|Larry Cedar||Manor Cop|
|Mark Jonathan Davis||Virtual Anchor|
|Paul Winfield||D.A. Sam Young|
Batman: (After seeing Curaré cut through a steel lamp post with her sword.) I gotta get me one of those swords.
Barbara: (Sees her old costume in the Batcave.) I see you've sewed up the bullet holes.
Master Assassin: You were taught to expect the unexpected, Curaré. Batman should not have made a difference, nor the police, no matter how many there were. You know the price of failure. I only hope you haven't lost your edge.
Sam: I thought the man was supposed to protect the woman.
Terry: So you and Dick Grayson like, dated.
Barbara: No, I don't hate him. I hate what he's become. Such a great man... so alone.
Terry McGinnis: (After Barbara used a batarang to disarm Curaré.) I guess you never lose the touch. How'd it feel?