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Recap / The New Batman Adventures E12 "Over the Edge"

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When Scarecrow kills Batgirl, Gordon discovers she was his daughter, and maddened with grief blames Batman.


  • All Just a Dream/Fever Dream Episode: The episode was Batgirl's hallucination after she was hit with Scarecrow's fear toxin.
  • Bad Future: We see just how far Commissioner Gordon would go for revenge if Barbara was ever killed in the line of Bat-duty. It is not pretty.
    • Or at least how far Barbara fears he'd go.
  • Breaking Bad News Gently: Barbara intends to tell her father the truth, and has him sit down before she starts. He cuts her off to maintain deniability, though, as it's implied he already knew.
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  • Car Cushion: Scarecrow bashes Batgirl over the head with his cane, causing her to plummet over the edge of a skyscraper and crash through the windshield of the police car her father is riding in.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Barbara wakes up as her dad and Batman fall to their deaths.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Batgirl fears that this trope will be enacted if she became a casualty of the collateral damage from a super-battle: The Commissioner Gordon would become a Knight Templar Parent that will destroy the Bat-family. He would become a villain created by the death of heroine Batgirl.
  • Darker and Edgier: No doubt the darkest episode in the whole series.
  • Deal with the Devil: So maddened with grief is Gordon, and the fact he is about to be fired for The Reveal of his daughter being Batgirl, he makes a deal with Bane to capture Batman, knowing he will strike at his daughter's funeral.
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  • Deconstruction: This episode essentially shows why the Batman-Gordon relationship is so essential. If Batman got in his bad books, Gordon can shut down his operation within a week, seizing his assets, declaring him an outlaw and stripping him of any purpose and mission as a Vigilante superhero. It's all but implied in the end, that if Gordon is ignorant of Batman's identity it's more out of Plausible Deniability because he doesn't want to look deeper, or that he knows but doesn't want to upset the equation.
  • Despair Event Horizon: For both Gordon and Batman. After being declared an outlaw by a man he has utmost respect for, Batman has lost everything, his home, his finances, his allies, his secrecy and even his moral code. He has literally nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. He tells Tim Drake to save himself since the writing is on the wall for him.
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  • Downer Beginning: More like "WTF Beginning". The explanation - which only makes the situation worse - comes in flashback a few scenes later.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Bane calls Batman a "killer of children", though he may have only said that to torment him further.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Bane has no intention of bringing in Batman alive, and has no problem taking Gordon out with him.
    Gordon: We had a deal!
    Bane: Thought about it. Didn't work for me.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Gordon's intends to lock Bruce away in Arkham for the death of his daughter. Bane on the other hand...
    Gordon: I want him alive, alive to spend his days in Arkham, surrounded by the monsters he's created.
    Bane: Poetic. But no.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Here, Bane is much more tranquil and sarcastically cordial than in other appearances (possibly because Barbara had never encountered him to know what he's like.)
    Bane: I'm pleased you remember me, Mr. Wayne.
  • Foregone Conclusion: It's doubtful many fans didn't realize quickly that this was some horrible nightmare, given how much the established status quo would have been altered had it not been. (Possibly, however, a few were in the dark about just who was having the nightmare, as it initially seems like Batman's darkest fears becoming real.)
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Minor villains launch a billion dollar lawsuit against Wayne Enterprises. The Johnnie Cochran lookalike from "Joker's Millions" pops in: "If the bat's on a spree, Wayne must pay the fee!"
  • From Bad to Worse: Things eventually become worse than worse.
  • Futile Hand Reach: Batman does one when Scarecrow knocks Batgirl off the building.
  • Hidden Depths: Barbara had been fearing for a while on what would happen if her dad learns her secret the hard way before she got a chance to.
  • Hope Spot: The brief moment where Batman offers Gordon his hand to pull him up, and Gordon actually accepts instead of turning away his help. That's when an exhausted Bane flings the Batsignal at them.
  • How We Got Here: The episode opens with Commissioner Gordon and a police squad chasing Batman and Robin through the Batcave, shooting at them with machine guns, grenades, and a couple of rocket launchers. Once they reach safety, Batman brings Nightwing up to speed on how Scarecrow killed Batgirl/Barbara Gordon in front of her father, driving him to revenge on Batman.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The policemen are terrible shots, failing to hit Batman and his associates even at close range. Later, the snipers' shots missed Batman despite having the element of surprise.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Because of a Scarecrow-induced nightmare, Batgirl actually dreams she gets killed during costumed adventuring. Commissioner Gordon discovers then that Batgirl was his daughter Barbara, and actually orders a manhunt on Batman. Things go downhill from there. Gordon goes so far as to enlist Bane to help him hunt Batman. A surprisingly dark episode, and probably one of the best of an already excellent series.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Barbara dies in her father's arms while she tries to tell him she's sorry she never told him the truth.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Since Batman never told Gordon that Barbara was Batgirl, he goes all out in a bid to capture him.
  • Last Breath Bullet: In the last moments of Batgirl's Scarecrow-induced nightmare, Bane, having been fatally electrocuted by Batman, uses the last of his strength to toss the Batsignal into Batman and Jim Gordon, knocking the two off the roof to their deaths.
  • Long Last Look: When Bruce Wayne has to flee from Wayne Manor, possibly forever. He looks at the painting of his parents and says "I'm sorry." He doesn't spare a second thought for any of his many possessions.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: James Gordon, grieving for his daughter's death, unleashes so much firepower and hyper-efficiency to curb-stomp Batman's entire operation that the city would be a whole lot less plagued with super-villains if he did the same to them.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Gordon (as well as the police force) entirely places the blame of Barbara's death on Batman, with Bullock even calling him 'murderer', even though it's very clearly Scarecrow who killed her. However, this is never addressed and it doesn't really matter either way, because Batman blames himself anyway. It could be justified by the events being a fear toxin-induced fever dream, with Barbara imagining an absolute worst case scenario rather than a particularly realistic one.
  • My Greatest Failure: Bruce tells his parents' portrait he's sorry for letting them down.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: During the initial raid on the Batcave, not only are the GCPD extremely willing to use lethal force on Batman and Robin (the latter, it should be remembered, is a minor) but come armed with rocket and grenade launchers.
  • Not So Different:
    Bruce: Jim, believe me. I know how you feel.
    Gordon: You can't.
    Bruce: You know how I lost my parents. The only way I could hold on to my sanity was to take matters into my own hands.
    Gordon: (*beat*) That makes us even.
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: The police have found the Batcave. Luckily, Batman has a giant penny on display, which is knocked out of its stand and rolled towards the cops. They all run directly away from it.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The loss of his only daughter causes Commissioner Gordon to snap. Thank goodness it was all a hallucination...there's a reason it's said no parent should ever have to bury their child.
  • Reality Ensues: This episode shows what happens when the police in Gotham pull no punches. Also when Barbara's identity is revealed Gordon gets fired due to his past involvement with Batman, and now Batman is a fugitive.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: It's strongly implied in the end that Commissioner Gordon already knew Barbara is Batgirl.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: The Batsignal gets broken during Batman's scuffle with Bane. As You Know, the Batsignal is Gordon's link to the Batman, the way he asks for his help. And it's Bane throwing the Batsignal at the two that does them both in, dead as a result of their shattered friendship.
  • Take My Hand: Batman offers his hand to Gordon while he's dangling from the edge of a building. Gordon actually takes it, surprisingly.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Averted, as Batman is more willing to use lethal force on Bane. Though justified, at least in Barbara's dream, since the loss of his "family" and what he views as his betrayal of Gordon has shattered his moral code as he has nothing left to lose.
    Bane: You would fight to the death?
    Batman: It makes no difference now.

    Bane: Time to die.
    Batman: You first.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After a pretty unimpressive debut in "Bane", this episode depicts Bane as the vicious and cunning Implacable Man he should have been. Shame it's all just a dream...
  • Wham Line:
    Gordon:Bruce Wayne! Stop where you are.
    Bullock: That's as far as you go murderer.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: Centered on Barbara.
  • Undead Author: A variation. Barbara dies at the beginning of her own nightmare and can only watch the rest helplessly.


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