"The Winning Edge" is the ninth episode of Batman Beyond. It depicts the effects of mass distribution of the drug Venom, now available through an instantly-acting skin patch known as a "slapper." They greatly amplify a person's strength, but are illegal and also highly addictive. Terry discovers that three kids in his own school are using these, turning to crime to pay for their habit, and experiencing the negative effects of their usage. Now Batman must stop the manufacture and sale of these drugs before things get too far out of hand.
Out on the streets of Gotham City, a group of Jokerz crowd around an illegal arms dealer who shows them some of his impressive merchandise. However, Batman shows up and breaks up the sale. In an unfortunate accident, one of the Jokerz shoots the delivery van and blows up the van. Batman has foiled the arms deal but the late nights are getting to him.
The next day, Terry sleeps in class again and the teacher gets angry, giving him a note to take home. Dana tries to comfort Terry by asking him to the game that night. During the game, the opposite team easily scores a goal and the Coach berates his players for their lousy performance. As the time out ends, one of the players, Mason, rolls up his sleeve and slaps a patch onto his arm, which instantly bulges with muscle. With his newfound strength; Mason checks one of his opponents so hard he pushes him through the wall of the court. The referee objects, but the Coach commends Mason.
That night, Batman intervenes in a robbery at an electronics store. The thieves are three teenagers, and as they run, one of them even yells out Mason's name. Batman corners Mason, who slaps on three patches and doubles in size. He's now much stronger than Batman and easily throws him around the room, allowing he and his two friends to escape.
Morning comes and Chelsea runs after Mason. Mason blows her off but she notices that he doesn't look so good and realizes he's on slappers. Angered at this, Mason yells at Chelsea and she breaks up with him. Soon after, Mason's partners in crime arrive and give him the money they made from fencing the stolen goods. However, even his partners notice that he doesn't look so good. Later, Mason buys slappers from a supplier concealed in a black car. He uses one of the slappers and instantly feels better.
Night comes over Gotham and Batman is on the move again. Searching Mason's locker, he discovers the packet of slappers and takes them. However, Coach Creagar finds and attacks him. After a brief fight, however, Batman manages to beat the coach and escapes.
Later, Terry finally makes it home and Matt mockingly proclaims him to be in trouble. Mary walks in and confronts Terry about his tardiness. Terry claims that he was running errands for Mr. Wayne, but she doesn't buy it. She already knows that he's been caught sleeping in class, and wants to see the note from his teacher. Before Terry can reach for it, Matt runs to get it, and as Terry tries to stop him, he drops his backpack and the packet of slappers falls out. Mary believes that he's been using them, and grounds him until further notice.
Terry goes to Bruce and gives him a slapper that he managed to keep. Bruce analyzes it and finds that it contains Venom. The only person who has the formula is Bane, who now lives on a remote island estate.
Terry sneaks onto Bane's estate and ties up his attendant, Jackson Chappell. But then he sees Bane, whose physique has wasted away to nothing, and is now so weak that he can barely move and needs a respirator to breathe. Chappell says it is the result of too many years on Venom. Batman leaves, baffled as to who is supplying the Venom.
Back at the school, Mason and his partners continue to do poorly in their games and complain that they can't even get through practice without slappers, since Batman took their stash. Fortunately for them, one of them has stolen a cash card, which Mason takes to the next drop off. However, Batman is watching and interrupts the delivery. The car speeds away but Batman puts a tracer on it. Mason is so pathetically needy that he tries to run after the car, and is easily apprehended.
Batman follows the car to the supplier's hide out, and finds a secret slapper factory. The car opens and the "boss" of the operation steps out: Chappell. It turns out that Bane entrusted the formula to Chappell after he became too weak to make it himself.
Chappell bares his torso and applies four slappers, becoming hugely strong. Batman fights back, but Chappell's raw strength proves too great even for Batman's enhanced capabilities. However, during the fight, Batman manages to throw him onto the slapper machine, covering his whole body with them. He screams as the drug takes effect, but is now freakishly large and strong, and nearly insane with rage. But Batman triggers a small explosion that sprays chemicals in his enemy's eyes, blinding him. As Chappell swings wildly around, he causes a large explosion that incapacitates him. As the smoke clears, Batman looks closer and sees that, due to the overdose, Chappell's mind has left him.
Terry returns home late, but with Bruce accompanying him. Bruce shows Mary test results from a clinic, proving that Terry hasn't been doing slappers. A newscast then shows that Mason and his friends have been arrested and Coach Creagar has been put on suspension from teaching. Terry on the other hand, gets some well-earned sleep.
- Bane makes his first and only re-appearance in the Batman Beyond series. It is revealed that his lifelong use of Venom rendered him completely incapacitated over the decades, leaving him a complete contrasting shadow of his former self.
- Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis / Batman
- Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
- Peter Jason as Coach Creager
- Teri Garr as Mary McGinnis
- Lauren Tom as Dana Tan
- Yvette Lowenthal as Chelsea Cunningham
- Ryan O'Donohue as Matt McGinnis
- Ian Ziering as Mason Forrest
- Dave Walsh as Dirk
- Marc Worden as Jody
- Larry Drake as Jackson Chappell
- Bruce Timm as Jokerz Leader
- Written by Rich Fogel
- Directed by butch Lukic
- Music by Kristopher Carter
- Animation by Koko / Dong Yang
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