"Eyewitness" is the twenty-seventh episode of Batman Beyond. It originally aired on January 22, 2000. Batman makes an enemy of Commissioner Barbara Gordon when she sees him murder a criminal in cold blood. Now he is a fugitive from the Gotham Police Department, led by someone who not only knows his secret identity, but knows every trick in the superhero book.
While on patrol, Batman sees a suspicious delivery being made late at night. Bruce warns him not to leap in before he understands what's going on. Terry sees money change hands, but before the cargo container is opened, he attacks, subduing its driver and several of the gangsters buying it. The buyers manage to escape, and Terry opens the container to find... a squad of armed police officers and a furious Commissioner Gordon.
At Wayne Manor, Barbara angrily tells Bruce that Terry has messed up a police sting that was in the works for a year. She's also looked into his background and discovered his juvenile record. Bruce vouches for Terry, but Barbara warns him, one more mistake, and she'll put an end to Batman.
The next night, Barbara is speaking at a benefit dinner for her husband, District Attorney Sam Young's, re-election campaign. The dinner is interrupted by Mad Stan, on his latest crusade against bureaucracy and corruption. Batman arrives and engages Stan in a brutal fight, driving him upstairs into a parking garage. Barbara follows with her gun drawn.
In the garage, she sees Stan bring out a massive bomb, which Batman disarms before knocking Stan to the ground. Stan taunts him, saying that he'll break out again and cause more destruction. Batman says he's right—and to Barbara's horror, picks up the bomb and brings it crashing down on Stan's head, twice. She turns her gun on him and orders him to freeze, but he turns and disappears. Other officers arrive and check Stan's pulse, confirming that he is dead.
Barbara immediately orders Terry arrested, and, when he isn't found at his mother's house, she goes to confront Bruce herself. He claims not to know where Terry is, and Barbara warns him that Terry will be arrested as soon as he is found. Bruce points out that doing so will expose his secret identity, which will in turn expose theirs as well. She knows that well, especially that doing so will likely sink Sam's campaign, but she feels that there are no other options.
Terry is hiding out with Max. When Bruce calls him, he is shocked to hear the accusation. Bruce asks him to explain Barbara's eyewitness testimony, and he swears he only knocked Mad Stan out. Bruce reviews the video from the surveillance camera, and finds interference blocking the view of the crucial moments. He realizes something strange is going on behind the scenes, and deduces that Terry has been framed.
On his order, Terry leaves as Batman to examine Mad Stan's body. Breaking into the morgue, Batman finds that Stan's body is gone. Then an invisible intruder trips the alarm. Batman is cornered on the roof by the police. Barely managing to escape, Batman is guided by Bruce to the old Majestic movie theater, where there is an underground tunnel, but Barbara is waiting for him.
As the police close in on Batman, Bruce's computer finishes cleaning up the footage of the alleged murder: it confirms Terry's version of events. Bruce looks closer at the video and sees a shadowy figure in the background. Bruce tries to contact Barbara, but she refuses to listen.
He contacts Terry and tells him the intruder is likely there. Batman pretends to surrender to stop the police from shooting, then throws a batarang to reveal Spellbinder hiding behind Barbara, using an illusion to make himself practically invisible. He used his illusion technology to trick Barbara into "witnessing" Mad Stan's murder. He's taken into custody, but not before mockingly informing Barbara that she was so ready to believe the worst in Batman that tricking her was incredibly easy. Barbara, realizing that she really screwed up big time, apologizes to Batman and admitting to her mistakes--he accepts her apology, as he has made his share of mistakes.
At Wayne Manor, Terry calls Bruce, revealing as a way of further apologizing, Barbara is presenting Terry with a civic service award, earning him kudos from his mother as well. Terry also thanks Bruce for believing in him. Bruce mentions that the police have found Stan, alive and well: inside one of Spellbinder's illicit virtual reality parlors, he sees himself blowing up City Hall, having himself a jolly old time.
- When talking about tea and crumpets, Bruce claims he learned the former from the best, obviously referencing to Alfred.
- Barbara found out that Terry spent three months in juvie. There have been references to Terry's record ("A Touch of Curaré", "Rats", "Revenant"), but this is the first time that some actual detail about it is revealed. It won't be until "Big Time" that we find out what Terry did.
- Stan is held up the same type of virtual reality booth that was used by Spellbinder in "Hooked Up".
Home video releases
- The first episode of Batman Beyond to be digitally colored.
- When Batman is run over by the car, he breaks a palm scanner with elbow and the doors open to reveal the GPD officers. It's odd that a lock supposedly as complex as a scanner can be circumvented by being shattered.
- When Barbara is in the Batcave, Terry McGinnis's Batsuit can be seen on display next to Nightwing's. However, that suit has always been regarded as unique, and in other episodes that display has been always empty. This also occurs in "Out of the Past".
- Mad Stan's full name is revealed to be Stanley Labowski.
|Will Friedle||Terry McGinnis / Batman|
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne|
|Stockard Channing||Commissioner Barbara Gordon|
|Teri Garr||Mary McGinnis|
|Henry Rollins||Mad Stan|
Mad Stan: You're all infected with the disease of bureaucracy! But I know the cure, man! All of you must be destroyed! All of you!
Barbara: When he comes, you have to hand him over.
Mad Stan: (laughing maniacally) Finally, an end to the bureaucratic nightmare!