"Dead Man's Hand" is the eighth episode of Batman Beyond. It depicts the first time that the Royal Flush Gang fights the new Batman. After learning that Batman is back in Gotham, the Royal Flush Gang returns to take revenge. Meanwhile, Dana breaks up with Terry but he finds a new girlfriend: Melanie Walker. Unbeknownst to Terry, Melanie is actually the Gang's "Ten". Now, both of them must deal with their dual lives while trying to be with each other.
Out at sea, a single man drives a sailboat and is rudely shoved out of the way by a huge yacht. The snobby passengers mock him but are soon distracted by a group of people dressed as playing cards: a King, Queen, Jack an Ace and a Ten, riding flying cards. The group attacks the passengers and steals their possessions.
Batman notices the commotion and reports to Bruce. Bruce recognizes the villains but doesn't have time to explain. Batman arrives on the ship and breaks up the robbery. However, Queen wrecks the ship and demands that Batman allow her family to escape or the people of the ship will die. Batman has no choice and allows his adversaries to leave.
Bruce checks to see if everything is alright. When Terry informs him they got away, Bruce insists he comes back to the Batcave to learn more about his enemies. However, Terry tells him they'll meet later as he is late for another appointment, Bruce tries again to talk with him but soon realizes Terry is already gone. Later at a night club, Terry meets up with Dana and begins apologizing for being late, but Dana says she wasn't expecting him and believes that Terry only cares about his job. Terry tries to explain the situation but Dana ignores him while unknown to them, a blond girl is watching their argument outside. Terry says he doesn't intend to be late but has these new responsibilities, but Dana refuses to listen. Terry then says if she can't handle his job then they should forget about their relationship, but to his surprise Dana admits she has already forgotten it. Fed up, Terry leaves the club while Dana watches.
As Terry leaves the club, the blond girl intercepts him and reveals she witnessed the argument. They take a walk, where Terry begins explaining his problems to the girl, revealing his job takes a lot of his personal time. She tries asking more about the job, but Terry finds it hard to describe and changes the subject as to why she wasn't enjoying herself inside the club. She reveals she didn't know anyone, making Terry realize she is new to Gotham, she further explains that her parents move around a lot because of their work. Terry points out that at least she gets to see the world, but she mentions that she also loses her friends at the same time. They learn they each share similar problems and formally introduce themselves where the girl reveals herself as Melanie Walker.
Suddenly much to his surprise, Melanie kisses him. Terry is mildly surprised, but Melanie admits it's always been "now or never" for her. Terry then asks her out on a date to which she happily agrees. When Terry asks where to pick her up, Melanie replies it be better if he doesn't and instead they arrange to meet the next night at midnight under the big clock. Terry assures he'll be there and Melanie leaves, but not before giving him a kiss on the cheek. Terry returns to the Batcave. Bruce reminds him he's late and mentions Dana, however Terry reveals they broke up, Bruce assures him, they'll eventually get back together but right know they need to focus on stopping the Royal Flush Gang. Terry believes they are gone for good, but Bruce advises him they'll be back and reveals they have a history and further explains that the Royal Flush Gang is made by family members.
Meanwhile, at their apartment, Jack and Ace are sparing together until King appears and states if they were professionals than Batman would already be dead, revealing he harbors a grudge against the Dark Knight. Jack doesn't understand King's problem as they got away with stealing the jewels, but King reveals his hatred towards Batman as he once broke up the gang for a while. Jack understands but doesn't see how getting revenge on Batman will make them any wealthier, King silences him by punching him and changes the subject, planning their latest scheme. King notices Ten's absence, until she returns revealing Ten to really be Melanie.
The next night, the family are on the rooftop of an museum, seeking to steal a decorative sword. While Ten is busy disabling the alarms, King advises her to be thorough, assuring they have all the time in the world. Ten quietly disagrees as she is distracted as she checks the time for her date with Terry. Batman is flying in the Batmobile, Bruce advises him as to where the Royal Flush Gang are going to strike next, but like Ten, Batman is slightly distracted as he checks the time for his date with Melanie. Ten finishes disabling the alarms, King tries to make certain, but Ten assures them and asks if they can finish the plan, growing impatient. However, the security system is still active, despite Ten cutting the wires.
The family enters the museum and as King goes for the sword, guards intercept them but they manage to escape. However, Batman manages to catch up with them and attacks. While Batman subdues Ace, Queen and Jack attack him while King and Ten watch them. He eventually manages to stop them and soon Ten enters the fight, while they struggle, Batman finds an opening to attack but cannot bring himself to hurt Ten. Soon a guard arrives and tries to stop them, but is captured by Jack while Ace manages to break free. Batman has Ten restrained but is forced to release her when the gang threaten the guard. The group escapes, taking the guard hostage but Batman still gives chase. To stop Batman pursing them, King orders Jack to drop the guard, despite Ten's protests. Batman saves the guard as fall down to the ground. The Royal Flush Gang manages to escape, but King threatens Ten for arguing.
Batman is alright, but the guard reveals he injured his leg during the fall. Batman helps the man to the hospital, but while he checks the time he notices he's really late for his date with Melanie. Later, Terry heads out to the meeting place but she's nowhere to be seen. Feeling disappointed in himself, Terry begins to leave. However, Melanie soon arrives just as late as he. The couple happily reunite and enjoy their time together for the rest of the night. However, Melanie reveals to Terry that her family are planning on moving again, when he tries to ask how long it'll be, Melanie wants to avoid it and decides to "live in the moment". Terry then asks to see her again the next night, Melanie says yes but reveals it to now be tonight as they watch the sun rise. Terry and Melanie share a hug goodbye and assure they will both meet again that night.
Because of their desire for companionship things start going bad for both Batman and Ten. Terry refuses to go out again, much to Bruce's dismay. Meanwhile, at their apartment, King is scolding Melanie for her mistakes and informs her that she must stay focused. However, Melanie sees that her father is being hypocritical, since he is only focusing on getting revenge on Batman for which he's making everyone take stupid risks which will eventually lead to their capture. King gets more angry and states he won't take any disrespect towards him or the family and says that Melanie might as well leave. She agrees with him and starts to head towards the elevator. While King is shocked, Queen is angry at him and goes to speak with Melanie.
Queen speaks with her daughter, stating the family has always taken care of them and always will, but is curious why her daughter would want to give it all up. Melanie reveals to her mother it's because of a boy. Queen doesn't believe it to be real love despite Melanie's protests. Queen begins convincing Melanie to stay with them, stating men will come and go while also saying most men cause nothing but trouble. Melanie points out they don't know Terry, but Queen mentions she never even introduced them to him, knowing that he wouldn't fit in with them. She further convinces Melanie to stay, saying her real King will come in the future along with all the money and freedom she desires, as long as she stays with the family.
Meanwhile, Terry is at the meeting place, still waiting for Melanie. Terry's phone rings and it's revealed to be Melanie. Deciding that Terry isn't worth giving up her family, Melanie reveals she can no longer see him again and despite Terry asking for an answer, Melanie simply states their relationship didn't work out. Terry knows there's something troubling her, but again Melanie doesn't answer him and says goodbye to Terry, ending their relationship. Terry, worried for Melanie, traces the call and heads to her home as Batman. While investigating, he discovers a case filled with stolen jewels and a playing card, finally discovering the truth about his girlfriend. While Batman takes a closer look at the card, he realizes it's a trick card, creating a small explosion.
The Royal Flush Gang return and while everyone is delighted with their stolen goods, Ten is still upset for having broken up with Terry, while King is disappointed that Batman didn't show up for their latest crime, revealing he had a "special" card. However, Jack notices that their trap had been tripped and realizes that someone has been there. King orders everyone to search for the intruder, but instructs Ten is stay, showing he still doesn't trust her. Queen searches the bedrooms until she discovers a device, releasing gas that knocks her unconscious, Batman catches her and attempts to sneak away after turning himself invisible. However, as he attempts to escape, he soon knocks Jack unconscious. Unfortunately, Ace appears to him and puts up a fight.
Batman struggles but eventually manages to beat Ace. Batman searches the apartment and soon finds Ten, Batman is shocked seeing her that he doesn't attack. However, unknown to him it's a trap as King secretly hides nearby, however he soon reveals himself and throws the special card that he had prepared for Batman earlier. The card creates a large explosion that sends Batman outside falling. Batman saves himself and King soon appears and destroys his wings, but manages to grab onto King's playing card. Distracted, King and Batman land on a roof of a nearby building while in the process destroying King's playing card.
Ten then appears to them and is struggling to decide what to do, while King wants her to help him escape from the arriving police, Batman hopes that she will runaway. However, Ten decides to help King but a police officer shoots her down. Batman saves her but since she chose to side with King, he's branded her as a criminal as well. The fact that the police arrive immediately after she requests he let her go is a further prompt to hand her over the authorities.
That morning, Terry watches as Melanie and her family are arrested. Terry is distraught at this troubling experience, but Bruce arrives to offer his support. Terry apologizes for the way he acted before and asks Bruce if he had difficulty with romance. Bruce smiles and begins to tell Terry about his relationship with Selina Kyle as they walk away.
Home video releases
- Batman Beyond - Season One (DVD)
- Batman Beyond - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Batman Beyond The Movie (DVD)
- Batman Beyond – School Dayz and Spellbound (DVD)
- During her fight with Batman, Ten's watch tells it's 11:32. Then the fight continues, Batman saves a hostage and the Gang escapes. After this, Batman looks at a clock and it's 12:32. It's unlikely that this ordeal took place in an hour.
- When the Royal Flush Gang is ambushed by guards at the museum, their playing cards disappear.
- As Terry and Melanie say goodbye after their second date, she goes away wearing Terry's jacket. However, when Melanie calls him telling she can't see him anymore, Terry is seen wearing his jacket.
- Though the Royal Flush Gang existed since Bruce's time as Batman, this is their debut in the DC Animated Universe.
- King's line "We have all the time in the world" is a line that his voice actor said as James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
King: (To Jack and Ace) You're acting like children. If you'd been prepared, Batman would be dead now.
Terry: Look, if you had any proof they were gonna try something tonight, it would be different, but I'm not gonna change my plans because of a hunch.
Terry: Mr. Wayne, those things I said, I'm sorry. This kind of thing ever happen to you?