"Joyride" is the sixteenth episode of Batman Beyond. It depicts the troubles Gotham faces when a group of Jokerz hijack a prototype military vehicle. After finding an abandoned military vehicle, one of the Jokerz, Scab, takes it for a joyride and proceeds to try and take out Batman and a rival gang known as the "T's". However, unbeknownst to the gang, its power source is a nuclear reactor and is about to go critical. Now Batman must stop them and shut off the reactor before it explodes and destroys half the city.
A small gang of Jokerz ride out of Gotham City on their way to initiate Lee, a new member of the gang. On their way out they are buzzed by a highly advanced flying vehicle that races overhead. Though they are startled, the Jokerz continue on. Meanwhile, the pilots of the vehicle laugh over their antics until they are contacted by the vehicle's inventor: Dr. Price. She asks them to report the numbers on the various gauges and suddenly becomes agitated when she hears the fuel temp. She orders the pilots to abandon the vehicle and get as far from it as possible.
The Jokerz take Lee to an abandoned mineshaft for his initiation, first putting some clown makeup and a fake nose on him. Lee, who is new to the Jokerz, is a little apprehensive about what they're going to do with him. But before the initiation begins, the vehicle lands nearby. As the pilots emerge, the Jokerz easily take them out and jump into the vehicle. After fiddling with the controls and realizing it is equipped with weapons, Scab decides to take it for the Jokerz.
As the gang flies back to the city, Scab receives an urgent call from Dr. Price, telling them they have to return the vehicle immediately. He refuses to listen to her and cuts off the call before she can tell him why.
In the city, Scab picks up the rest of the gang, and takes them on a joyride around town. First they go to a Bee Fee Burger restaurant and get free food at gunpoint, giving a demonstration of the craft's weapons first. Terry happens to be at the restaurant and calls in the Batmobile to pursue them as they leave.
The Batmobile gives chase, but the vehicle is faster and more heavily armed, and the Jokerz manage to shoot him down. Batman survives the crash, but the Jokerz land and disembark, preparing to finish him off. Lee, who believed the gang had more honor to it, questions the ethics of the entire gang fighting only one guy. However, the "one guy" easily defeats all of them and forces them back into the vehicle. Angered, Scab turns the vehicle's weapons on Batman, who is narrowly saved by the timely intervention of Dr. Price, piloting her own vehicle. She takes them both to a safe distance.
Dr. Price checks up on Batman's health and he manages to convince her to take him with her. While looking for the Jokerz, Dr. Price reveals that, unknown to the military or the Jokerz, the vehicle is powered by a nuclear reactor, which has been breached and will soon explode. Shortly afterward, they come across a gang of teenagers called the "T's". Each member of the gang is horribly injured.
The Jokerz celebrate their victory and plan to take out the leader of the T's, Fat T. Again, Lee questions the ethics of using the vehicle's weapons on enemies who can't fight back, but he's dismissed. Dr. Price catches up with the gang and plays "chicken" with them. She gives Batman a key that will shut down the vehicle's reactor, then ejects him. Scab seems prepared to collide with her vehicle, but Coe forces him to turn. The Jokerz' vehicle only takes minimal damage and they manage to escape, but Dr. Price's vehicle is terribly damaged and she's injured. When Batman rushes to her side, she tells him to go after the gang.
Having heard the Jokerz' plan from Coe, Batman heads off to the T's headquarters and tells everyone to leave. The gang resists but after some roughing up, they obey. Barely a second later, the vehicle arrives and opens fire on the headquarters. As it shoots randomly, Batman ties a cable to the vehicle and anchors the other end around a support beam, before tossing gas grenades into the cockpit. The gas causes Scab to panic and try to fly away, but the cable snaps taught and the vehicle crashes.
The rest of the Jokerz flee, but when Batman enters the vehicle to shut down the reactor, Scab attacks, and manages to trap him. Batman tries to warn him about the reactor, but Scab refuses to listen, and doesn't seem to notice that the reactor is about to go critical. He says the vehicle is his ticket to real power, and he won't give it up. Lee sneaks back in time to hear Scab saying that he doesn't care about the rest of the gang, they were only a "crutch"; now that he has the vehicle, he doesn't need them anymore. This is the final straw for Lee, who knocks Scab out. Free, Batman inserts the key and shuts down the reactor. Lee throws off his fake nose in disgust, and quits the gang.
As Lee and Batman leave, Scab wakes up and jumps back into the pilot's chair. Without power, the vehicle doesn't respond to his actions, and he breaks down screaming in helpless rage.
- The skeleton at the bottom of the mineshaft is presumably that of the Joker, as it is wearing a boutonniere. In the subsequent feature film, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Barbara Gordon tells Terry that she and Batman buried the Joker beneath the ruins of Arkham Asylum after their last confrontation.
Home video releases
- This was the first episode to be produced for season two. The shot of the Batmobile under the limelight and the revealing shot of Terry emerging from the shadows dressed as Batman confer to this episode a "premiere" feeling.
- This is the first episode of the series to feature the Jokerz as the main antagonists, as opposed to bit-part bad guys.
- After the Jokerz run over the two pilots, they are lying on the ground almost parallel to each other. But when Dr. Price arrives, they are lying perpendicularly to each other.
- Though Scab is first seen in the episode "Rebirth, Part I", this is the first time he's been named.
- This episode introduces the T's.
- Bruce's one line, "So stop them", is the shortest that Kevin Conroy has recorded for a single episode in the whole DCAU.
- While piloting the aircraft in the opening scene, the pilot tells Dr. Price that he wished he would have had the aircraft during the last war. Since the setting for Batman Beyond is five decades into the future, and the pilot wouldn't be more than sixty years old, there must have been a war post-2010.
- When Batman (Terry McGinnis) first encounters the Jokerz, Scab rolls down the window and says "Hey Bats! Wanna race?", the same exact line said by Harley Quinn in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Harley's Holiday" when Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Robin pull up beside her car.
- When Dr. Price orders her crew to leave the vessel, the crew informed her the fuel temperature is 280. It's never specified as to what unit of measure they're using. Regardless of whether it's measured in degrees Kelvin, Celsius or Fahrenheit, 280 degrees is not dangerous operating temperature for real world nuclear reactors. Real world nuclear reactors can operate at temperatures exceeding 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit).
|Will Friedle||Terry McGinnis / Batman|
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne|
|Bruce Timm||Jokerz Leader|
|Wendie Malick||Dr. Price|
|Kevin Michael Richardson|| Pilot|
Fat T (uncredited)
Pilot 1: Ha, ha, ha! First thing they're going to do when they get back to Gotham is tell their buds that martians are coming.