After a sting operation to take down a drug lord goes wrong, the three cops involved (Detective Harvey Bullock, Officer Renee Montoya, and rookie cop Wilkes) are grilled by Internal Affairs. Each tells his or her version of the story, but inconsistencies between them lead to all three being suspended. On the way home, Montoya puts the pieces together and realizes where the mob hideout is — and good thing too, because Batman, who was believed to have perished during the operation, is found captured there.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Acrofatic: Bullock is a surprisingly good fighter, despite his girth.
- Blame Game: Bullock, a plainclothes detective, and the two uniformed officers each blame the other for the operation's failure.Bullock: [to Hackle] Why don't you ask them [Montoya and Wilkes] why they were late?
Wilkes: But we weren't late!
- Da Chief: Commissioner Gordon plays the opposite of this despite his rank, standing up for his officers, while it's the IAD investigator that plays the role straight.
- A Day in the Limelight: This is pretty much the only episode where Montoya is the major focus of an episode.
- Dirty Cop: When the planned police sting goes awry, with the intended target getting away and taking the bait money, the Internal Affairs investigator looking into the event suspects that the three officers involved are "on the take."
- Eureka Moment: Officer Wilkes hears one of the captured criminals refer to "Doc", and Officer Montoya hears another criminal refer to "Hathcock". It is only when Montoya is taking the train home later that she makes the realization that "Doc" is "Dock", and she goes to the Hathcock warehouse at Gotham Harbor.
- The Faceless: The gang leader's face is always in the shadows, with his monocle visible from the dark. We get a glimpse of his face before getting caught.
- Forklift Fu: A mook tries to run down Batman with a forklift. It doesn't work; Batman commandeers the forklift and drives it off the edge of the dock, where it punctures a hole in the bad guys' fleeing ship.
- Giant Mook: Driller stands nearly 7 feet tall and sends the tough-talking Bullock running by taking a swing at him. He's also more persistent than the other thugs against Batman.
- High-Class Glass: The gang leader wears a monocle, which is the only thing we see on his Face Framed in Shadow.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A mook opens fire with a tommy gun on Batman and Montoya, but uses up the entire clip seemingly just to shoot an outline around them! Which, of course, means only that Reality Ensues—he lost control of the bucking gun and literally overshot the mark. Full-auto fire is seriously inaccurate in real life, too.
- Internal Affairs: The episode revolves around an Internal Affairs investigation into a failed sting where the intended target, a Gotham drug lord, escaped and took the $2 million in seed money that the police had laid in as bait.
- Interrogation Flashback: The story is told this way. After they botch the capture of a criminal, Lieutenant Hackle chews out three police officers, until Commissioner Gordon convinces Hackle to let the 3 tell their side of the story. And so, the experienced Renee Montoya, the new recruit Wilkes, and the Jerkass Harvey Bullock each tell of the frightful events that happened that night.
- Jerkass: Hackle, the Internal Affairs guy.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Hackle's harshness on Bullock is justified, as Harvey's story is the most obviously falsified.
- Mythology Gag: The crooks drilling a safe is similar to the scene with Jack Napier and his gang in Tim Burton's Batman (1989).
- Never My Fault: Bullock blames Batman for ruining the whole operation, and accuses Montoya and Wilkes of being late (when in fact he went in without waiting for backup).
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Well, not exactly a "hero", but if Bullock had told the truth, he wouldn't have gotten himself, Wilkes and Montoya suspended.
- No Name Given: We never learn the gang leader's name.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Hackle cares more about trying to finger Montoya, Bullock, and Wilkes as Dirty Cops than about figuring out what really happened and how to get back the lost $2 million. After the criminals were apprehended, Hackle only came to tell Montoya she was suspended.
- Papa Wolf: Commissioner Gordon lets Hackle have it when he continued to badger his fellow officers even after they cleared their name.
- "Rashomon"-Style: Bullock, Wilkes, and Montoya tell three different stories in voiceover, while the viewers see what really happened in each case. Bullock is trying to make himself look like a hero with Batman being the bungler, contrasts with what we're actually shown. Wilkes is being honest in his retelling, but as a rookie who didn't really get a good look at what was happening, he pictured Batman as some kind of metahuman with magical abilities, when we're really seeing Batman using his tools and weapons. Montoya's account is pretty exact, except that she erroneously believes that Batman was killed.
- Self-Serving Memory: Combined with "Rashomon"-Style. Harvey Bullock's account of events paints him as a brave hero and Batman as a menace, while the animation shows him bumbling around and Batman doing most of the work (though Bullock does take on several thugs singlehandedly). In a slight twist to this, the rookie cop unintentionally does the same, depicting Batman as some almost supernatural creature; for example, he claims Bats took down a fleeing crook just by pointing at him, apparently having missed the batarang in his hand (it was too dark to see it).
- Skewed Priorities: Hackle. Despite the fact Montoya helped Batman get the whole mob arrested and recovered the missing money, he had the gall to say it didn't count becaused he suspended her. Commissioner Gordon finally had it with the condescending prick and knocks him down, calling his "investigation" a farce before taking back the suspended officers' badges.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: When Montoya figures out the criminals are at Gotham harbor, she is about to call for backup, but remembers she's suspended and has to go on her own. Fortunately, Batman is there too.
- Turn in Your Badge: Bullock, Wilkes and Montoya have to turn theirs in until the investigation is over.
- Unreliable Voiceover: There are three separate flashbacks, each narrated by a member of a sting operation that had gone wrong and each telling their experiences in the lead-up and aftermath of the sting. Officer Wilkes is honest in his story, but misunderstood much of what he saw, so his description of Batman resembles a magical creature instead of a costumed crimefighter. Bullock knows what happened, but is deliberately falsifying his statement to cover his own mistakes and blame Batman for them. Officer Montoya tells a mostly accurate story, but mistakenly believes that Batman was killed. In all cases, the on-screen flashbacks show what really happened, along with where the narration differs from the actual events.