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Recap / The Adventures of Batman & Robin E20 "Batgirl Returns"

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When a Jade Cat Statue is stolen, Batgirl immediately suspects Catwoman. It turns out Catwoman was framed, so the two set out to find the real culprit.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Acid Pool: Batgirl and Catwoman are captured by Roland Daggett and taken near acid vats. Batgirl asks if he'll drop them in the acid, but he replies he'll just shoot them and use the vats to dispose of their bodies.
  • Clear My Name: Catwoman recognizes that she is the natural suspect in the theft of the Jade Cat, and investigates the crime scene to find the real culprit. She claims to Batgirl to want the statue returned for display, but she would indeed like to steal it herself if she gets the chance.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Batgirl and Catwoman start a Bar Brawl in the Stacked Deck, one of participants seen fighting is the same tough-looking biker who tried picking a fight with Sid "The Squid" Debris in "The Man Who Killed Batman."
    • Batgirl and Catwoman briefly mention several of Roland Daggett's previous crimes in the series, particularly creating Clayface and infecting Catwoman and Isis with his mutagen. Daggett also mentions that his last encounter with Batman caused legal fees that financially broke him.
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  • A Day in the Limelight: As the title suggests, Batgirl. Batman doesn't even appear in this episode outside of Barbara's dream sequence (Bruce Wayne does however, if only for a brief conversation with Robin to explain why he isn't present).
  • Dream Sue: Barbara has a dream at the beginning where she saves Batman from Two-Face, Penguin, and The Joker single-handedly. Just as they're about to make out, Dick Grayson wakes her from her nap.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Bruce Wayne's sole scene is a phone conversation with Robin explaining that he's out of town for a Wayne Corp merger; the Eiffel Tower outside his hotel window provides his location without his needing to say it.
  • Frame-Up: Daggett stole the Jade Cat explicitly because it's the kind of valuable item that Catwoman would want.
  • Genius Bruiser: This is one of the few times in television that Catwoman's detective skills are explicitly brought up. She and Batgirl enter the Stacked Deck, and after subduing a guy who tries to harass her, attacks the chemist to try to deduce the type of acid used to steal the jade cat statue. While the chemist runs, Catwoman sees his shocked reaction to the acid and realizes Daggett is involved.
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  • Hoist Hero over Head: One of Daggett's goons lifts Batgirl over his head and is about to throw her into the vat of acid until Robin saves her.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Subverted. When Catwoman is about to drop Daggett into his own vat of acid, Batgirl calls out, "If you drop him you'll be just like him!" to which Catwoman replies "Oh, grow up"—and lets go. Daggett survives, being saved by Batgirl, while Catwoman takes the opportunity to attempt an escape.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Daggett is arrested at the end of the episode and never reappears, implying it was a long sentence.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: We learn that since we saw him last that Daggett avoided jail time, but the various fines and legal fees left him broke.
  • Loophole Abuse: Catwoman agrees to a deal that if she tries anything, Batgirl will have the police take her in. She does, and Batgirl makes good on that promise, which Catwoman seems to accept without a fight. However, once she is cuffed and put in the police car, the police officers are suddenly kicked out moments later by Catwoman, who has freed herself before taking off in the car. Catwoman says she agreed to let the police take her, but she never said for how long.
  • Mythology Gag: Catwoman ignores a Bat-person's If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him! speech.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
    Robin: Well, you were a lot of help.
    Batgirl: I tried to tell you she didn't steal the Jade Cat.
    Robin: How do you know that?
    Batgirl: I just... know. That's all.
    Robin: Oh, well, thank you, Miss Psychic. And you call yourself a crime-fighter.
    Batgirl: Well, if you'd just listen to me instead of just barging in—
    Robin: Just don't get in my way again, okay? [shoots his grabbling hook and swings off]
    Batgirl: [walks away in a huff] Dork!
  • Plot Hole: Catwoman doesn't know Batgirl's identity, so how did she know exactly where to leave that note for Barbara to find?
    • Catwoman may have figured Batgirl would be working out.
  • Right in Front of Me: When trying to convince Batgirl to join her, Catwoman argues that they'd have no trouble running rings around the "joke" cops led by "that senile fool Gordon."
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Catwoman is about to drop Daggett into an acid vat, taunting him that now he knows how she felt when he infected her with a deadly virus. Batgirl objects that that will reduce her to his level. Catwoman tells her to "grow up."
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: After his actions in previous appearances, Daggett’s reputation was left damaged and leaving him broke, Daggett to petty theft to get by.
  • Taught by Experience: Daggett rebukes Batgirl's suggestion of simply leaving them in some clichéd deathtrap. He says he's learned from experience that costumed heroes are very resourceful, so he intends to have his men shoot them immediately. (This doesn't stop him from telling them his entire plan first.)
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: At the end, as the police cart her off, Catwoman somehow forces them out of the squadcar and drives away herself. Robin tries to give chase, but Batgirl grabs him by the cape, reasoning that they'll encounter her again sometime.
  • We Can Rule Together: Catwoman to Batgirl. Batgirl's response is not exactly unexpected, and becomes even less so when Catwoman throws in a gratuitous attack on "the senile fool, Gordon" with her blandishments.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Barbara, when studying at the beginning: "Math. Why did it have to be math?"
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: When Daggett has Catwoman and Batgirl at gunpoint, Batgirl asks him if he'll leave them hanging above a vat of chemicals with acid eating through the rope. He says that "do-gooders" have a way of getting out of things like that, so he'll just have his boys shoot them and throw them into the acid.
  • With My Hands Tied: When the bad guys tie Batgirl and Catwoman up, Catwoman uses her claws to free herself and start a fight. Batgirl fights, too, but with her hands still tied behind her back, making it a very literal case.