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Ro's Gift

Episode #017 (385-624) - Ro's Gift
Original Airdate - April 27th, 2002

A mysterious group with strange psychic powers kidnaps Ro, believing she is able to communicate with machines. Itís up to Zee to rescue her and save the town from utter destruction.

Media by Borg4of3
Review by Matt Zimmer
Credits:
Producer Liz Holzman, Robert Goodman
Associate Producer Haven Alexander
Story by Hilary J. Bader, Joseph Kuhr
Teleplay by Joseph Kuhr
Directed by Rob Davies
Music by Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis
Animation Services provided by Sum Min Image Pictures

Voices:
Diedrich Bader as Zeta / Zee
Julie Nathanson as Ro
John Rhys Davies as Edgar
Jeff Douchette as Sheriff
Taylor Gifaldi as Amp
Phil Hayes as Carl
Kate Jackson as Bombshell
Phil LaMarr as Schiz
Eli Marienthal as Young Zee
Francesca Marie Smith as Transita
 
Screen Grabs






Pans
Review

The Brain Trust returns in this sequel of sorts to Batman Beyond's Mind Games.

While shopping for clothes Zeta morphs into Ro as a lark. After a near disaster some shady characters see "Ro" do some pretty nifty tricks fixing machines. They conclude that Ro has the ability to communicate telepathically with machines. When the real Ro exits the clothing store Zeta morphs back into Zee and the people who were watching Zeta grab her. Zeta tries to take off after them but they leave quickly on hover bikes.

Ro is taken to a farm where Bombshell has two kids captured. She expects Ro to fix a bomb that broke and Ro is forced to do it or die. One of the kids has the ability to shift matter telepathically and fixes the bomb for Ro without the adults knowing. She befriends the kids named Transita and Amp. Transita is the girl that can shift matter while Amp is a boy with the power to boost other people's powers. They were both taken from their parents by the Brain Trust because of their abilities. Later, Zeta arrives and tries to rescue Ro but the Brain Trust adults incapacitate him and take off with Ro and the kids to their target: a radiation plant where they hope to set off the bomb. They hope the radiation from the disaster will help awaken other kids' "Talents". Zeta arrives and diffuses the bomb while Ro has Amp turn up the powers of the resident telepath which causes the adults to lose control and wig out. They are captured by the authorities, the kids say goodbye to Ro before the police contact their parents and the authorities look the other way and let the fugitives who saved their town walk away.

I love this show. The episode itself is only so-so but the idea that they actually had Batman Beyond villains was great. Kate Jackson returns as Bombshell and although the Brain Trust is never mentioned by name, you know it's them. That's some pretty nifty continuity even if the Albino is now a regular colored guy named Edgar (voiced now by John Rhys-Davies.)

I like how the Brain Trust's plan is to trigger a radiation explosion (or in Static Shock's terms a Big Bang). Still the Trust was never Batman Beyond's most compelling villains and Mind Games was only an okay episode. It was nice they were expanded upon here but I kind of wish Zeta had had the opportunity to clash with another Batman villain before the show was cancelled. Still, at least it wasn't Kobra.

The animation was nothing special although I will note that the final mind freak out, even if choppily animated was pretty scary. I liked the episode for the continuity but the show has done much more interesting stories. Still, I have to give the show credit for the hilarious scene with Zeta changing into tough-guy clothes like a Mounties uniform and lederhosen.

Story: ***
Animation: **1/2
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