"Hidden Agenda" is the 18th episode of Batman Beyond. It originally aired on October 16, 1999. Batman is worried to find that another student, Maxine Gibson, is trying to close in on his secret identity. At the same time, another student with a criminal secret identity targets Max for revenge.
A businessman rushes to catch up with a vertical train. Once on board, he is terrified to find a gang of Jokerz are the only other occupants. They begin terrorizing the businessman, then their leader, a man in zombie makeup who calls himself "Terminal" releases a set of vicious, razor-sharp gag teeth, before the Jokerz exit the train. As the teeth tear at the businessman's clothes, he is driven to the door and falls out into the sky. Batman narrowly saves him.
While leaving the scene of the crime, one of the Jokerz, Trey, makes a sarcastic comment, which Terminal responds to by grabbing him by the necklace and dangling him off the edge of a building's roof. Trey hurriedly apologizes, but even the other Jokerz are taken aback by this cold-blooded display from their leader as Terminal walks away.
At Hamilton Hill High School, the results for the standardized test, "GAT", are posted. The top score, a perfect 2400, goes to Maxine "Max" Gibson, leading many people to speculate that she is the leading candidate for class valedictorian (Terry's test was left incomplete as he had to leave in the middle of an emergency).
Max modestly brushes off the talk, saying the test score isn't a good indicator of intelligence. She shows Terry and Dana her latest spare-time pursuit: she has written a program to discover Batman's secret identity, based on an analysis of his physical characteristics and school demographics, the times and locations of his appearances, etc. So far the field of potential candidates is wide, but every time a new piece of data is added, the program continues to narrow down potential candidates. Terry is slightly worried.
The GAT's second highest score, just short of perfect, goes to Carter Wilson, class president. At home, however, Carter is berated by his mother, who considers anything short of first place equal to failure. Carter mentions that he would have been first except for Max's perfect score, to which his mother sarcastically responds that it makes him the "first-place loser". After she leaves his room, Carter applies make-up to his face, revealing that he is Terminal. He calls his Jokerz to do a job.
They break into the school, destroying the computers containing the GAT results. Terminal also looks at the school's grade records and finds that Max is indeed the front-runner for valedictorian. He attempts to delete these records, but his access is blocked.
The next day, Hamilton High students find the vandalism, complete with Jokerz tagging. As Max, Terry, and Dana discuss the crime, Max speculates that the crime appears to have been targeted at someone specific, meaning the leader may be another student. She realizes who the target is when she finds a booby trap in her locker. Max plans to adapt her identification program to find out who the Jokerz' leader is.
On the next night, the Jokerz appear outside the high school and flee when the Batmobile appears. Terry gives chase, allowing Terminal to slip inside where Max is working late. Catching up with the Jokerz, Terry sees one of them wearing Max's student pass, and realizes who their target is.
At the school, Terminal appears on the monitors, taunting Max, and the school's cleaning robots are reprogrammed to attack her, spraying deadly acid. Batman arrives back just in time to save her.
The next morning, Max is surprised when the program comes up with a list of six names: one of them is Terry's. Max becomes even more suspicious when Terry catches up with her and tells her that she should abandon her investigation, though he is actually speaking out of concern for her safety.
The next night, she emails Terry, telling him that she knows his "secret", and ordering him to a meeting in the park. Seeing the message, Terry dons the Batsuit in a panic and flies to the park.
At the park, Max is confronted by Terminal and his Jokerz. Now Terminal plans to kill her. She calls him "Terry", and he laughs it off. Realizing she was wrong, Max tries to run, but they catch her. Batman arrives and fights off the Jokerz. Terminal is a handful for him, but Max breaks free of her captor and shuts down a nearby fountain, causing the ball suspended on top to fall and roll, knocking Terminal into the fountain and scattering the rest of the Jokerz. Terminal's makeup washes off, revealing his true identity.
The next day, the students discuss the news of Carter's arrest. Terry speaks to Max in private. She says she was wrong, a mistake in her programming led to the computer spitting out the wrong name—to her chagrin, Carter wasn't even on her list of possible Jokerz—but she reveals that he was. Surprised, Terry asks does she really think that and although Max admits she did at first, she reveals that she now knows that Terry is really Batman. Apprehensive, Terry asks what she's going to do. Max reveals she'll keep his secret, while deciding to cover her tracks so that no one else will find out. However, Terry assures her the situation is taken care, revealing a "friend" has helped cover their tracks.
Terry points out this changes everything between them, but Max believes it's for the better as now he has someone to confide in who knows his secret and mentions she can help him whenever he needs it. Terry is confused until Dana arrives angry as they had plans to meet the previous night. She believes that Terry simply forgot again, but Max covers for him, "revealing" it was her fault as she was supposed to babysit Matt, but had to cancel so Terry had to instead. This eases Dana, understanding that family comes first and assures Terry they can make it up and gives him a quick kiss before moving to her computer. Terry is now assured of the situation, now seeing this can work well, however Max informs Terry that she has only one condition: if he calls her Robin, she's out. He agrees, and calls her "Alfred".
- Deducing from Terry's quip, Bruce told him about Alfred Pennyworth.
Home video releases
- This episode was produced after "Bloodsport", even though it aired before, which is why Maxine uses the cover story about Matt, whom she met in that episode.
- When Max is reading her e-mail to Terry, she says: 'Terry, meet me at the Gotham Park water fountain at eight tonight to talk, or I blow your secret wide open.' However, the e-mail reads: 'Meet me at the fountain in the park to discuss your "secret life"'.
- This is the first out of five episodes from which Bruce Wayne is absent — the others being "Final Cut", "Armory", "Zeta", and "Inqueling".
- Terminal is voiced by Michael Rosenbaum, the voice of several other characters on Batman Beyond and went on to voice Flash on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
- Interestingly, in the feature film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Rosenbaum voices another Joker, Ghoul, whose real name is given as "Stewart Carter Winthrop III".
- Rosenbaum's Terminal's voice is much more similar to that of his "Deadshot" voice that was reportedly based on that of actor Kevin Spacey.
- One of Matt's toys is a miniature of Superman's spaceship.
|Will Friedle|| Terry McGinnis / Batman|
|Michael Rosenbaum||Carter Wilson/Terminal|
|Cree Summer|| Max|
|Lauren Tom|| Dana Tan|
|Jill Eikenberry||Mrs. Wilson|
|Ryan O'Donohue||Matt McGinnis|
Trey: (searching for Max) Come out, come out, wherever you...