"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 insists that Terry come to him so that he can learn about his enemies but Terry has a date and refuses to listen. Unfortunately for Terry, when he meets up with Dana, she reveals that she wasn't expecting him and believes that Terry only cares about his job. After a fight, the pair breaks up. However, when Terry leaves, a blond girl, Melanie Walker, intercepts him and talks to him about his problems, learning they each share similar problems. She then kisses him and they agree to meet again the next night. Terry returns late to the Batcave and is briefly reprimanded by Bruce, who informs him that the group is known as the Royal Flush Gang, and the current King is an old enemy of his. Likewise, the King bears a grudge against the former Batman, who apparently once sent him to prison. Meanwhile, the Royal Flush Gang discuss their latest scheme as Ten returns, revealing Melanie to be Ten.
The next night, the family seeks to steal a decorative sword but Ten is distracted. When the group goes for the sword, guards intercept them but they manage to escape. However, Batman manages to catch up with them and attacks. After a brief fight, he manages to subdue most of the gang but cannot bring himself to hurt Ten. Afterwards, an unfortunate guard arrives and is captured by Jack. Taking the hostage, the group escapes but Batman still gives chase. Seeing that Batman is still in pursuit, they drop the guard much to the dismay of Ten. Batman saves the guard but the gang escapes while King threatens Ten for arguing.
After he's finished with his work, Terry heads out to his meeting place but he's really late and 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 enjoys 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". The couple decides to meet up again.
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. As for Melanie, she tries to leave the family but Queen manages to talk her out of it. Melanie is still angry; she believes King is being hypocritical, since he is just as fixated on Batman. Still, Melanie decides that Terry isn't worth giving up her family for and breaks up with Terry over the phone. Unfortunately for Ten, Terry traces the call and heads to her home as Batman. There, he discovers the truth about his girlfriend.
The Royal Flush Gang arrives and King is disappointed that Batman didn't show up when they committed their latest crime. However, Jack notices that a trap had been tripped and realizes that someone has been there. A brief search, in which Ten is distrusted, takes place and Batman manages to incapacitate both Queen and Jack. Unfortunately, Ace gets to him and puts up a fight. However, Batman manages to beat Ace and then goes after King. King throws a card that he had prepared for Batman and fights him. However, Batman manages to stop him. Ten then appears to them and is stuggling to decide what to do, while King wants her to help him, 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 is arrested and is comforted by Bruce. He apologizes for the way he acted before and asks Bruce if he had difficulty with romance. Bruce smiles and tells Terry about 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?