"Batgirl Returns" is the eighth episode of the third season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on November 12, 1994. It was the final episode of the series to be produced.
A jade cat from the Han Dynasty is stolen. Batman investigates, but is ambushed by the Penguin, the Joker and Two-Face. Batgirl then arrives and quickly manages to defeat the villains, and goes to see Batman if is okay. Grateful, he holds Batgirl in close for a kiss.
Just then Dick calls her and awakens Barbara from her dreams. He offers to take her to get a pizza but she refuses it. Just then, she receives a newspaper that has a headline showing that a "priceless statuette [was] stolen from Gotham University." With her interest piqued, Barbara decides to take a break after all.
At the University, Catwoman investigates the break-in and is interrupted by Batgirl. The two briefly fight but Catwoman claims she's innocent and proves that the crime isn't her style. In spite of this, Catwoman refuses to go with Batgirl to the police. Batgirl insists and a fight is about to ensue but Robin arrives causing Catwoman to flee. Robin and Batgirl give chase but Catwoman manages to escape. Batgirl then explains that Catwoman is innocent and scolds Robin for rushing in. Robin angrily leaves telling Batgirl to stay out of the way.
The next day, Barbara finds a message for "The Winged Mouse" and learns of where Catwoman will be later that night.
Batgirl arrives at the Bayshore pier and finds Catwoman waiting for her. Catwoman offers a truce and proposes a partnership. Batgirl agrees on the condition that Catwoman gives herself up if she's lying.
Meanwhile, Robin calls Bruce and learns that he won't be back from a business trip in time to help with Catwoman.
Batgirl and Catwoman go to the Stacked Deck to find information. They interrogate "The Chemist" to find out who melted the padlock and wiring but he runs before revealing where it was made. A fight ensues in the bar, forcing the two to flee. They steal a motorcycle and are chased by the police. The duo manages to escape and judging by the Chemist's reaction Catwoman deduces who's behind the Jade Cat robbery.
Catwoman takes Batgirl to Roland Daggett's laboratory, the same one used to make the Renuyu cream that turned Matt Hagen into Clayface and the virus that infected Isis. Just as the duo find the cat in a safe, Dagget and his goons appear from the dark and capture them, taking them to vats of hot chemicals. Daggett explains that he stole the cat because it was what Catwoman would have stolen and he needs the money to start over as he was left broke after his last encounter with Batman. Daggett continues by saying he'll have Batgirl and Catwoman shot and then thrown into the acid vats to destroy the evidence. Fortunately, Robin arrives and deals with the thugs before they can execute Daggett's plan. The trio beats Daggett's thugs and Catwoman goes after Daggett.
Catwoman manages to catch up with Daggett and takes the Jade Cat. Daggett attacks Catwoman with a metal rod but only manages to make her angry. Catwoman pushes Dagget over and his leg is caught on a chain hanging over an acid vat. Looking for revenge over the virus incident, Catwoman prepares to drop Daggett into the acid but Batgirl catches the chain and saves him. However, Catwoman makes a break for it and Batgirl is not strong enough to pull Daggett up. Robin arrives and takes over for Batgirl allowing her to go after Catwoman. Using a bola, she manages to catch Catwoman who confesses she always intended to steal the Jade Cat Statue. Catwoman then offers to team up but Batgirl refuses. The police arrive and take Catwoman into custody who claims Batgirl is innocent. Unfortunately, Catwoman escapes the police and takes their car. Robin wants to go after her but Batgirl assures him there will be another time.
- Daggett previously appeared in the episodes "Feat of Clay", "Appointment in Crime Alley", and "Cat Scratch Fever".
- Batgirl makes a reference to Daggett's Renuyu scandal that turned Matt Hagen into Clayface in "Feat of Clay".
- From this point on, Barbara Gordon has a much more significant role throughout the DCAU. She comes up as a potential organ donor for Nora Fries in the feature film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, operates as Batgirl on a full-time basis in The New Batman Adventures, and then finally becomes the police commissioner in Batman Beyond.
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman Super-Villains: Catwoman (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- This episode is named after the second of Tim Burton's Batman movies, Batman Returns. A similar pun was made in the non-DCAU series The Batman, where Batgirl's debut episode was called "Batgirl Begins".
- Despite them being only in a dream, this marks the final appearance of Joker, Two-Face, and Penguin on Batman: The Animated Series.
- Final appearance of Roland Daggett in the DCAU.
- This episode marks the final time Melissa Gilbert provides the voice of Batgirl in the DCAU before being replaced by Mary Kay Bergman for Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero and later by Tara Strong for The New Batman Adventures.
Thug: Hey kitten, how's about spending one of your nine lives with me?
Catwoman: Together we could pick this town clean. Even Batman wouldn't be a match for us, and the cops are a joke, especially that senile old fool, Gordon.