"King's Ransom" is the third season premiere of Batman Beyond. It depicts the last appearance of the Royal Flush Gang and Paxton Powers. After a job to steal art for Paxton Powers goes sour, King decides to kidnap Powers for ransom.
The Royal Flush Gang attempts to break into a museum. Without Ten, they lack an expert to disable the security systems. When Jack points this out, his father berates him and causes him to trigger the alarm by mistake. Batman arrives and takes them on. In the subsequent fight, Ace is damaged and Jack is captured. King and Queen manage to get away with their loot, a jaguar statue, though its ear is broken off.
Jack is interrogated at the police station. Commissioner Gordon, knowing that the family's personal taste runs to different periods, demands to know who hired them to steal the statue. Jack claims ignorance, but Bruce has a good idea who the Gang's employer is.
King meets with Paxton Powers to deliver the statue and collect their fee. However, Paxton notices the broken ear and gives King only a meager payment. King objects, but is promptly knocked flat by Paxton's assistant, a skilled martial artist. King is forced to crawl away with the pittance.
At their hideout, Queen harangues her husband, saying the family is barely scraping by, and comparing King unfavorably with her father, the previous leader of the gang. King angrily says he has a backup plan.The Gang abducts Paxton and holds him for ransom, demanding 20 million credits.
Melanie Walker is working as an assistant chef at a restaurant. She sees the news of Paxton's abduction, and is confronted by Batman. She swears she doesn't know where her family might be, and is sure she won't hear from them – she doesn't exist to them anymore.As Batman turns to leave, Melanie asks whether he delivered the note she gave him to Terry McGinnis. Batman says Terry got it. Melanie sadly concludes that he must have read it and discarded it, meaning she doesn't exist to him either. Batman doesn't reply, and flies away.
Paxton swears that he doesn't have enough money for the ransom, it is all tied up in investments, and his swanky lifestyle is maintained solely on company perks. Flabbergasted, King calls Bruce and demands that he tap the company assets for the ransom. Bruce coolly informs him that Wayne-Powers's corporate policy doesn't allow him to withdraw money to pay kidnappers.
A furious Queen tells King her father had him pegged when he told her he was nothing but empty bluff. Furious, King raises his sword in Paxton's face. Paxton cracks and offers them a piece from his collection of stolen art: the Crown of Tikal, easily worth twice the ransom. King suggests that Miss Thorpe retrieve the piece, but Queen refuses to trust Paxton's associates, so King calls Bruce, giving him the security codes and telling him to rendezvous with the Gang with the crown.
Paxton snidely informs his captors that, ransomed or not, he's ruined. He's revealed his collection's existence to Wayne, who will certainly turn him in to the police. However, he makes an enticing proposition: if Wayne is killed, Paxton will not only be safe, but will have access to millions in company assets, putting him in a position to reward Wayne's assassins. Queen expresses distaste, but King doesn't hesitate to accept.
Using the security codes, Bruce retrieves the crown, and gets a good look at the rest of the collection. He drives alone to the rendezvous in a park, with Terry watching from overhead. Unfortunately, Terry is ambushed by Ace and knocked out.
As soon as Bruce delivers the ransom, King attacks. The two old foes briefly fight until Bruce summons his faithful dog, Ace, who tackles King. Terry regains consciousness and disables the Gang's Ace by knocking it into the fountain, before engaging Queen in a deadly fight. He manages to handcuff her, while King wrestles Ace away and flees with the crown, leaving his astonished Queen to her fate. As Bruce and Terry confer, she slips out a trick card and unlocks her cuffs...
Back at the hideout, King examines the crown with delight, and then meets his new mistress: Paxton's assistant, Miss Thorpe. In Paxton's absence, and with the codes provided to her by King, she has filched the rest of Paxton's collection. They plan to make a getaway with the loot, leaving the rest of the Walker Family to rot. Their assignation is cut short by an enraged Queen, who appears and attacks with murder on her mind. However, she has inadvertently led Batman to their hideout, and he manages to knock out all three of them.At the police station, Jack's surprised to learn that he's been bailed out, and even more surprised (but also very touched) by the fact that the person who bailed out was none other than his sister, Melanie, who explains that she worked really hard at her restaurant to be able to get enough to bail him out. When Jack questions Melanie on why she did it, she shrugs with, "Hey, we're family." Melanie also tells Jack that she managed to score him a job at her restaurant as dishwasher, which Jack's thankful for--it's an honest job nonetheless. On their way out, they pass Paxton, who has been arrested for conspiring to kill Bruce.
Overhead, Batman looks down with satisfaction at a good night's work.
- Paxton mentions his father's exiling him to South America. Paxton's exile was lifted in "Ascension".
- According to Queen, Melanie deserted the Gang after the events of "Once Burned". Also, Melanie asks Batman if Terry got the note she gave him in that episode. Terry tossed it into the garbage without reading it, but Melanie is unaware of that.
- Paxton's arrest leaves a power vacuum at the top of Wayne-Powers, which allows Bruce to re-establish control of the company at some unspecified point in the future prior to the events of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- Barbara makes a humorous reference about Derek Powers' radioactive condition, which was contracted in "Rebirth, Part II" and revealed to the public in "Ascension".
Home video releases
- When Batman is in pursuit of Ace, the fire emanating from his thrusters is green.
- When the King holds his sword up, Wayne's reflection is visible on both halves of the blade despite the difference of angles between them.
- When Bruce throws his cane at Queen it knocks her scepter out of her hand, yet in the next scene she is holding it again.
- This marks the final appearances of the Royal Flush Gang and Paxton Powers.
- Bruce Wayne briefly fights King. This is not the first time they have clashed; in "Dead Man's Hand", King claims that when he was young, Batman (Bruce Wayne) broke up the Walker gang for a while, something King vowed revenge for. King, however, remains unaware that by fighting Bruce, he is having the rematch he has so desired for years.
- By this episode, Terry's relationship with Bruce has gotten much closer and more informal, as Terry's calling his employer more by his first name rather than referring to him as "Mr. Wayne."
- At several points - after Bruce refuses to pay the ransom and while fighting Queen - King's upper-class accent slips, and after the failed ransom his posh mannerisms slip as well ("shaddup!"). The implication is that he's faking both.
- Terry's line "whites of their eyes" is part of a famous historical quote usually attributed to Colonel William Prescott before the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War.
- Parker Stevenson replaces Cary Elwes as the voice of Paxton Powers.
- Angie Harmon replaces Stockard Channing as the voice of Barbara Gordon.
- Nicholas Guest replaces Scott Cleverdon as the voice of Jack.
- Queen's first name is revealed to be "Donna," which is the Italian word for the Queen in a deck of cards.
- Both Terry and Bruce make references to having an Ace in the hole; Terry in reference to Ace the robot attacking him before the meeting and Bruce in reference to Ace the dog attacking King in surprise. Interestingly, Ace in the Hole is also the name of the previous episode (referring to the dog).
Queen: Brilliant! Another plan that can't fail! Father was right about you! Oh, he had you pegged!
King: Donna, my dear, I-I can explain!
Paxton Powers: Kill Bruce Wayne? They're lying, I tell you! Bruce Wayne's my mentor! He's like a father to me!