"Hooked Up" is the eighth episode of the second season of Batman Beyond. It originally aired on November 13, 1999. Batman discovers several teenagers addicted to a new form of virtual reality, which causes harmful side effects and pushes many of its users to crime to pay for their habit. Things worsen when Max, who has been pressing Terry to let her take a more active role in his crimefighting, investigates the technology and becomes hooked on it herself.
A young teenager named Donny gives a knockout performance at a rock concert. As he leaves the arena, he pushes past his adoring fans and enters a with three waiting girlfriends... then the scene changes to a virtual reality parlor, where Donny's booth has just been shut off. He begs to be put back in, but the proprietor says he needs to pay.
At Hamilton Hill High School, Terry is still trying to wake up after another rough night. Max suggests that he would do better if she came with him sometimes, but he refuses point-blank.
On patrol that night, Terry sees Donny, who ran away from home and school the week before. Donny is trying to panhandle from passers-by, but when they refuse, he becomes violent and starts mugging them, snatching wallets and purses. Batman confronts him, and is astonished when Donny leaps off the building roof in desperation to get away from him. The chase leads down to the highway, where Terry is forced to break off the pursuit to prevent a highway crash.
Donny returns to the parlor and offers the stolen money, begging to be hooked up again, and is given another chance by the proprietor—Spellbinder.
Another one of Spellbinder's clients, Jessie, suddenly loses consciousness and becomes comatose. Spellbinder shuts off the other's booths, and tells them to dump Jessie somewhere, and then go out to find some "new recruits."
Jessie is later found and hospitalized. Bruce notes that she is the latest in a long list of runaways who have been later found comatose and are currently hospitalized. Whatever is happening to them is likely connected to Donny.
Terry reluctantly brings Max along on an investigation, to visit Donny's parents, whom she has met before. They are disturbed to see that the parents live in a seedy apartment, and that Donny's father is abusive toward his wife and no longer wants to see his son. While there, Max finds a cash card belonging to Donny, and sees a large number of charges from a video arcade, which includes a virtual reality booth.
They visit the arcade, which is legitimate. While there, Donny and two other of Spellbinder's clients catch sight of Max and Terry, and offer to show them a "real" virtual reality experience. Terry is reluctant, but Max is eager to investigate further. After hearing that the experience is offered by Spellbinder there is a fight in which Terry is distracted by Donny, but Max is dragged away.
In the illicit virtual reality device, Max experiences an intoxicating fantasy where she returns home to a loving and supportive family.
The next night, on patrol as Batman, Terry is shocked to see Max breaking into a car's glove compartment to steal from it. He confronts her, and she says she is desperate to get back to the V.R. room. Terry convinces her to return home, and he catches a glimpse of her reality: her parents are divorced, and her mother is hardly ever home because of her work schedule. Most of the time it's just Max and her sister.
As she lays down to rest, Terry calls Bruce on the phone — then Max sneaks up on him and knocks him out before leaving the apartment.
After regaining consciousness, Terry tracks down Donny and follows him to the parlor's location. He finds Max there, hooked in again. He shuts down her booth, and she rages at him, telling him that it is what she wants and he has no right to interfere. He tries to reason with her, but then Spellbinder ambushes him and knocks him out. Max is eager to get hooked back in, and doesn't seem to notice that Spellbinder is about to kill Terry.
Spellbinder overloads Terry's mind with his illusion device — then Max breaks out of the booth and subdues him. Spellbinder is arrested, and an examination of his machines allows the authorities to treat his victims.
Max apologizes, saying that she almost got both of them killed. Terry tells her not to worry, it worked out all right in the end. Moreover, she's now proven her worth to him as a partner — "only we'll take it a little slower from now on."
- Max is pressing Terry to become more involved in his secret life as Batman, after discovering it in "Hidden Agenda."
- Spellbinder uses a similar virtual reality booth to temporarily imprison Mad Stan in "Eyewitness."
- Max does not know that Bruce Wayne was the original Batman at this point. By the episode "Final Cut", she has figured it out.
- Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis / Batman
- Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
- Cree Summer as Max Gibson
- Jon Cypher as Spellbinder
- Jason Marsden as Donny
- Charlie Rocket as Donny's Dad
- Michael Rosenbaum as Wendell
- Greg Eagles as Max's Dad
- Telma Hopkins as Max's Mom
- Mark Jonathan Davis as Virtual Anchor
- Eliott Goretsky as Kip
- Jennifer Hale as Jessie
- Written by Robert Goodman
- Directed by Dan Riba
- Music by Kristopher Carter
- Animation by Koko / Dong Yang
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