Lost Soul

  A tycoon preserved as a computer program searches for a new body.
  Original Airdate: October 9, 1999
  Episode # 17
  Rating: * * *

Credits Cast

Written by Stan Berkowitz
Directed by Butch Lukic
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Animation by Koko/Dong Yang

Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis
Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
Lauren Tom as Dana
Stacy Keach as Robert Vance

Corey Burton as Captain
Townsend Coleman as Lieutenant
Lonnie Leavitt-Barker as Newscaster
Rider Strong as Bobby

What is the relationship between substance and soul? What is the difference between me and my body? What is the difference between a person's identity and the role they play in life? These are the heady questions considered by "Lost Soul," and if nothing really controversial or interesting gets said, it's nice to see them raised and competently dramatized.

What is it to be Batman? Is it to wear a certain kind of suit, to live in a certain city, and to use certain weapons? Or is it to fight in a certain way, for certain principles? The script neatly separates the two by having the villain (a software program replicating the mind of a dead software tycoon) download itself into the Batsuit, leaving McGinnis to fight what appears to be his own alter-ego. The conclusion, that it is the fighting spirit and not the sword that makes the hero, is unsurprising and hammered home with a bit more emphasis than is perhaps warranted. But the idea is sound, and makes for an interesting counterpoint to "His Silicon Soul," where a machine that copied Batman too closely seemed to become endowed with a little bit of his soul, too.

Having asserted that there is a difference between the will and the weapon, however, it is surprising that the episode seems to reach the opposite conclusion about mind and matter. Is the software program running amok actually the late Robert Vance? McGinnis rejects its claim and shows neither remorse nor compunction in destroying it. We might have expected a bit more sympathy from someone who is for much of the story similarly disembodied; for a while, McGinnis seems more than a bit disoriented at his losing the Batman "body."

Also of interest is the way McGinnis' decision to confront the suit with only his own skills and will marks a decisive step forward in his maturation. Before, it was possible to still think of Wayne as the genuine Batman, and of McGinnis as just a hand in a high-tech glove, manipulated by Wayne; before this point, in other words, it was still possible to think of McGinnis as just another piece of equipment in Wayne/Batman's arsenal. After this episode McGinnis looked more like the genuine article.

Related Episodes
   * Blind as a Bat
   * The Mechanic

What Others Are Saying ...
"... fun to watch."Batman: Tomorrow and Beyond

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