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The Last Resort

"The Last Resort" is the sixteenth episode of the second season of Batman Beyond. It depicts the founding of a ranch for troubled kids, which becomes hugely popular with the parents of Gotham City. However, Terry becomes suspicious and investigates, finding that the clinic's doctor is subjecting his "students" to brainwashing.


While patrolling the skies of Gotham, Batman goes over a few updates on school events with Max. Just then, Batman hears sirens blare and sees a renegade truck giving the police a lot of trouble. Batman intervenes, but the truck is stronger than the Batmobile and the driver is flying like a madman. Fortunately, Batman manages to stop the driver: Sean Miller, a student in his history class.

Later, the chase forms part of a commercial for a new rehabilitation clinic for troubled adolescents. The clinic's founder, Dr. David Wheeler, reminds parents that new laws are imposing strict punishments on the parents of truants, and assures them that his methods can help troubled kids become normal and well-adjusted again.

Parents start sending their kids to the clinic from the genuinely rebellious to the most minor of offenders. The clinic proves to be so popular that soon Hamilton Hill High School is nearly empty. One of Terry's has only eight students left. Chelsea is sure that the clinic is to blame and sends a protesting e-mail to Principal Nakamura. The Principal tells Chelsea's father about the email, and he seizes on the excuse to Chelsea in the clinic. Knowing that Chelsea is not "troubled," Terry is suspicious at how readily the clinic admits her.

At the clinic, located on a ranch just outside the city, Chelsea wanders around and is rudely greeted by Sean, who is already trying to pick a fight. She tries to leave him by going to a friend of hers, Adam Stepnik. However, Adam is totally unresponsive to her, and she notices that he's painting a blank canvas using a brush with no paint. Sean sneers that Adam is still under the effects of the "ISO". Then the students are herded into "class."

Outside, Batman is eavesdropping through the wall. The class consists of the students being forced to stand for hours on end, listening to Dr. Wheeler yelling at them that they are worthless, and he is the only one who can help them. They cannot leave for any reason, even going to the bathroom. A boy tries to speak up, and Wheeler orders his guards to drag him away to the ISO as punishment. Bruce identifies Wheeler's methods as a form of brainwashing, used by cults and sometimes on prisoners of war. Disgusted, Batman leaves, though he has some difficulty evading the ranch's high-security systems.

Back in the Batcave, Terry says they have enough evidence to go to the police, but Bruce reminds him that the suit recordings have no legal providence. So, Terry decides to go undercover as himself.

He enters the ranch to pay Chelsea a friendly visit, carrying a plastic video camera that slips through the gate's metal detector. Unfortunately, the desk guard confiscates his backpack with the Batsuit in it.

On the way in, he passes a boy being visited by his parents, who is begging to be taken away from the ranch. Terry is told that Chelsea cancelled their appointment, but doesn't believe it. Fortunately, at that moment the boy breaks down and tries to escape through the gate, distracting the security guards. Terry slips inside the ranch and hides in an air duct.

Seeing Chelsea pass, he pulls her aside, and she says she was told Terry was the one who cancelled. He takes out the recorder, and she describes the abusive conditions at the ranch, and explains what the ISO is: a sensory deprivation tank that blocks out all feeling and sound, making the subject feel totally isolated. Reaching the end of her control, Chelsea breaks down crying and says she has to get out. Now that he has the evidence he needs, Terry promises to help her as soon as he can return with the police.

But as he's about to leave the ranch, Sean stops him, trying to pick a fight. Terry keeps going, but Sean attacks him, bringing both Wheeler and his security guards. Sean is sentenced to the ISO, and Terry is searched, turning up the camera. Terry is taken prisoner as well. Wheeler says that if no one comes to get Terry, Wheeler's guards will do away with him, after he gets his own ISO treatment.

That night, Sean taunts Terry through the wall between their cells, describing the horrible experience he's in for. However, Terry convinces Sean to cooperate with him so that they can escape from the ranch.

Morning comes and the two are taken to the ISO chambers but at Terry's signal, they attack the guards and manage to escape. Sean gets hold of the master keycard and uses it to release all the students from their cells. While the security guards are trying to round up the students, Terry retrieves his backpack and suits up. With Batman's help, the students overwhelm the guards.

But Batman hears Dr. Wheeler pleading for mercy, and sees Sean dangling him off a high wall. Batman pleads for Sean to stop, saying that he's now redeemed himself, he's a hero. Sean laughs this off and drops Wheeler, forcing Batman to save him.

The students run outside, where the police and their parents have arrived. Most of the students reunite with their parents, but when Chelsea's father tries to give her a hug, she gives him the cold shoulder, showing she still hasn't forgiven him, much to his sadness. Wheeler and his guards are arrested, and Terry and Bruce watch sadly as Sean is also taken into custody. The ranch may have been a fake, but that doesn't change the fact that there are still troubled kids.


  • Terry alludes to "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" and "Meltdown" when he makes a joke about chasing "renegade synthoids" and "living heads."
  • Jurgen and Blade have broken up; in "The Eggbaby", they are back together.


  • Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis/Batman
  • Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
  • John Ritter as Dr. David Wheeler
  • David Faustino as Sean
  • Cree Summer as Max
  • Lauren Tom as Dana Tan
  • Don Harvey as Vincent
  • Sam McMurray as Chelsea's Dad
  • Adam Wylie as Boy


  • Written by Stan Berkowitz
  • Directed by Curt Geda
  • Music by Lolita Ritmanis
  • Animation by Koko / Dong Yang

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