DC Animated Universe

"A Bullet For Bullock" is the fourth episode of the fourth season of Batman: The Animated Series. It depicts Detective Harvey Bullock reluctantly turning to Batman for help after several attempts are made on his life by an unknown assailant. It originally aired on September 14, 1995.


Bullock is targeted

Harvey Bullock is targeted by a murderous driver.

Bullock walks home in the night and is almost run over by a car. He fires at the driver but misses.

Later that night, the Bat-signal is lit up and Batman arrives. However, instead of Commissioner Gordon, Bullock is the one who turned it on. He explains that someone has been trying to kill him and he's at a loss as to who it is. He won't talk to his department for fear that they may find some information on him that could damage his career. Batman agrees to help and takes some file cases from Bullock.

Bullock returns home and is immediately harangued by the building's owner, Nivens, about his messy habits ruining the building. Bullock is unconcerned and rudely brushes him off. Meanwhile, Batman inputs the data given to him by Bullock into his computer and goes to see him.

Elsewhere, Bullock and Montoya go after a gang of bank robbers. They try to escape and Bullock chases one onto the building roof. The thug hides and tries to shoot Bullock and almost succeeds until Batman knocks him out before he can fire. Bullock is ungrateful and tells Batman to meet him later. He then continues with the arrest not following regular police procedure.

His shift over, Bullock returns home and finds Batman waiting for him. He thinks whoever is after Bullock is only trying to scare him, not kill him. The culprit tried to kill him on the street instead of in the privacy of his own apartment.

Going on with his life, Bullock goes to buy some donuts and heads out for the subway. However, as he waits, he's shoved in front of one of the trains and is nearly run over.

Batman confronts Bullock

Batman confronts Harvey Bullock on his reluctance to help save himself.

Back at work, Bullock is pretty shaken up by the attacks. Batman arrives and tells him about Vincent "The Shark" Starkey, a criminal who lost an empire to Bullock and has been set free. Bullock and Batman both believe that he's the one and Bullock is sent to see Summer Gleeson, who's working on a piece on crack houses.

Bullock goes to see Summer, but she's reluctant to help him. Intent on getting what he wants, Bullock raids Gleeson's files without her permission. While Bullock searches Gleeson's files, Batman interrogates a drug dealer on the street. After some persuasion, the dealer gives up the location of Vinnie the Shark.

Back at Gleeson's office, Summer walks in and finds Bullock in her files. Outraged, she refuses to help him and sends him on his way.

With the information in hand, Batman finds Bullock and takes him to Starky's hideout. However, Batman isn't too sure it's Starkey that's been sending the letters and making the shots at Bullock. All the same, Bullock insists on going in.

Starkey questioned

Bullock questions Starkey if he's the one that trying to kill him.

The duo starts to take on Starky's thugs but are captured in the process. Starkey prepares to kill off Bullock, but Batman saves him with some gas pellets. With the gang incapacitated by tear gas, Batman and Bullock easily manage to take them down. Starky makes a run for it, but Bullock catches him. With this collar, Bullock decides that things are over.

Bullock takes Starkey to police headquarters and interrogates him, but Starkey insists that he knows nothing about the letters. Bullock is not convinced, but there is nothing more he can do.

Nivens breaks down

Nivens breaks down and Bullock arrested him.

Later that night, Bullock returns home and is confronted by a thug in a mask. The thug is frightened to the point of trembling and Bullock even almost recognizes him. The thug is ready to kill him, but Batman arrives and takes him down. The thug's mask is removed, and he's revealed to be Nivens. Nivens explains he hated Bullock for all his rudeness and filthy habits and wanted him gone. That was why he made the death threats and murder attempts. Breaking down, he starts laughing and crying hysterically. Bullock states how ironic it is that he was thinking of moving anyway. This time, he genuinely thanks Batman for saving him, but Batman merely leaves as Bullock takes Nivens away.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]


  • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition.
  • Vincent Starkey's appearance was modeled after the actor Lee Marvin, known for his tough-guy roles.
  • Liane Schirmer replaces Ingrid Oliu as the voice of Renee Montoya.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne/Batman
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Robert Costanzo Harvey Bullock
Mari Devon Summer Gleeson
Gregg Berger Rosie
Vincent Starkey (uncredited)
Jeffrey Jones Nivens
Liane Schirmer Renee Montoya


Bullock: Let's get something straight from the git-go, I think you're a freak and a menace, and those are your good points, but the Commish says you serve a purpose, so I go along.
Batman: I appreciate your honesty.

Batman: Are you on the take?
Bullock: Watch it, freak! I never took a dime from nobody! (Now smiling nervously) I just bend the rules a little sometimes. You understand. We're not all that different.
Batman: We're on the same side, but we're not the same.

Nivens: There's a doormat outside, Mr. Bullock.
Bullock: Really? I though you were the doormat around here, Nivens.

Bullock: Thank heaven for rent control.

Alfred: Harvey Bullock? The detective who looks like an unmade bed?

Bullock: (after Batman just saved his life) I asked you to find a name, not hold my hand.

Bullock: You got the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, you'll probably bore me to tears so keep your trap shut, Dogbreath.

Montoya: Well, you're sure full of holiday spirit. What are you doing for New Year's?
Bullock: Same thing I did for Christmas: my laundry.

Bullock: Summer, you gotta help me. I need to find Vinny the Shark.
Summer: You want to find a shark!? You can jump in Gotham Bay!

Bullock: Summer, cut me some slack! This guy's lookin' to whack me!
Summer Gleeson: Look on the bright side: you'll make the 6:00 news.

Bullock: (About to push a button while riding in the Batmobile) What's this for?
Batman: Passenger ejector seat.


  1. "Grimmer Gotham" by Bob Miller - Comics Scene Magazine #40 (February 1994)