"Over the Edge" is the eleventh episode of The New Batman Adventures, which originally aired on May 23, 1998. A war erupts between Batman and Commissioner Gordon when Gordon finds his daughter is the Dark Knight's fair maiden seconds before her death at the hands of the Scarecrow.
The Police Department, led by Commissioner Gordon, storm the Batcave and shoot at Batman and Robin. Gordon knows who Batman is and wants him taken down. Batman and Robin make a run for the Batmobile, but Gordon has it blown to bits by a bazooka-wielding officer. They run for the hangar, but Renee Montoya intercepts them. With Gordon on their tail, Batman grabs Robin and takes a plunge into the dock, where the Batboat is moored. Gordon aims, ready to shoot Batman. However, he misses when Alfred jumps on him. While Harvey Bullock manhandles and arrests the butler, Batman and Robin escape in the Batboat, much to Batman's shock.
After exiting, a police boat pointlessly orders Batman to stop, and then fires rockets at the Batboat. Just when the shooter is about to take one final shot at point-blank range, an explosion foils his efforts. Nightwing has come to Batman and Robin's rescue on a jetski. The police open fire at him as well, but Nightwing dodges the rocket and fires two torpedoes at them, bringing the police boat and the chase to a halt. He then leads them to a cave along the shore as their hideout. There, Batman recalls the events that led to this...
- The Scarecrow had laid siege to Gotham City Hall. While Batman and Robin dealt with his henchmen, Batgirl ran after Scarecrow to an upper level by herself. She struck at what she thought was him only to find it was part of his clothing on an antenna as a decoy. As she turned around, Scarecrow attacked her and hits her with his staff.
- She fell from the building and landed on the hood of a squad car carrying James Gordon and Harvey Bullock. Gordon ran to Batgirl and sent Bullock to call for an ambulance. However, as soon as she called him "Dad", Gordon realized in horror that the member of Batman's team who was dying in front of him was his own daughter after removing the cowl on her face. Seconds after Batgirl died, Batman descended, but Gordon was angry because, after all these years of hard work and trust, he was never told about this, and blamed Batman for her death. Before Batman could comfort Gordon, Bullock held him at gunpoint and ordered him to surrender, thinking Batman killed her. With Robin's timely intervention, they managed to flee. Bullock was prepared to throw the full weight of the police force after him, but Gordon stopped him, knowing that the effort was futile. Gordon decided to do what he wished he had done long ago.
- At Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, and Alfred Pennyworth were mourning over the loss of their friend Barbara when a call came from Gordon. He revealed that he'd been on Barbara's computer and knew the truth about Bruce's secret identity. Bruce tried to justify his vigilantism by reminding Gordon of the fact that his parents were brutally murdered, but this only gave Gordon inspiration and validation for his very own vendetta against Bruce. As the police broke down the door, Bruce opened the door into the Batcave for Tim and Alfred, and before going in himself, Bruce took a moment to apologize to his parents' portrait, asking for their forgiveness. The GCPD stormed Wayne Manor, leading to the fight in the Batcave and then back to the present.
As Batman decides to remain hidden, Nightwing goes back to his loft for supplies, only to find Montoya and other officers waiting for him. Nightwing resists arrest and fights his way out, but outside he is confronted by three police helicopters that open fire at him. He is eventually taken into custody and questioned by the police. After watching the news of his arrest, Tim wants to extricate both Dick and Alfred from jail to put the team back together and rally. However, Batman calls it quits, admitting that Gordon's reaction may be warranted. He orders Tim to give himself up, believing no one would blame him for what had happened. The two go their separate ways, with a distressed Tim running away into darkness.
Mayor Hamilton Hill talks with Gordon about the consequences of Barbara's connection to Batman being made public. He informs Gordon that the District Attorney's office wants to conduct an investigation, for which Gordon has to step down from his post of duty. During the discussion, Bullock and Montoya watch a television talk show wherein a complaints are made by Harley Quinn, the Mad Hatter, The Riddler, and the Ventriloquist & Scarface, who plan to launch a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit against Bruce Wayne now that they know that he's Batman. They blame him for their lives of crime. Hill leaves, and Gordon realizes that if he doesn't resign now he'll face a grand jury hearing, so he decides to take matters into his own hands even further.
Gordon meets with an inmate at Stonegate Penitentiary and bargains for his assistance in taking down Batman. If the inmate will help Gordon bring Batman to justice, he will receive a commuted sentence. The inmate silently accepts.
At Barbara's funeral, Gordon has officers on the lookout for Batman. As soon as they spot him, Gordon is alerted and goes after him. Gordon is so obsessed with Batman at this point, he literally runs away from Barbara's casket to give chase. Batman jumps to the roof of police headquarters and is engaged by Bane. He conveys his pleasure in their mêlée, during which he taunts and torments Batman with a sociopathic relish, calling him a "killer of children". Batman is almost knocked out during the fight and Bane is ready to kill him — which was not part of the agreement. Gordon shoots at Bane's feet and says he wants Batman alive to spend the rest of his life surrounded by his enemies in Arkham Asylum. Bane double-crosses Gordon and tosses him to the ledge of the building. As Bane is about to send Gordon over the ledge he was hanging on, Batman fights Bane off, ultimately tossing Bane into the Bat-signal, which effectively electrocutes him with its circuitry.
Batman reaches his hand out to pull Gordon from the ledge and pleads him to accept his help "for Barbara". Gordon ultimately takes his hand, but before Batman can pull him up, a weakened Bane uses his last bit of strength to rip out the remains of the Bat-signal and shove it toward them before collapsing dead. The rolling Bat-signal hits Batman and Gordon and bowls them off the edge, sending them falling to their deaths...
Just then, Barbara wakes up in the Batcave, revealing that this was all part of a nightmarish hallucination. She learns that she'd been asleep ever since the fight at City Hall battling Scarecrow with Batman and Robin. Scarecrow didn't actually hit her, but he did release one of his fear toxins, causing her to experience her worst fear: Dying without ever telling her father about her secret identity, and the consequences that would follow. She tells Batman that it's time to face her fear, to which Batman expresses understanding.
Later, when she has fully recovered from the attack (at least, physically), Barbara returns home and invites her father to her apartment for dinner and to talk to him. When she's about to open up, Gordon stops her and tells her that she is a grown woman capable of making her own decisions. Furthermore, he trusts her and he'll love her no matter what choice she made. He winks at her, and the two hug each other as Barbara's nightmare is finally over.
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Four (DVD)
- Best of Batman (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- Batman: Gotham Knight (2DVD, Blu-ray only)
- Originally, the scene where Batgirl crashed onto her dad's squad car was supposed to be animated to portray the crash as being head-on, but the network told them to rewrite it as it was far too directly violent.
- When Batman first sees him, Bane's lips are white. However, a few seconds later, his lips are flesh-colored and remain so for the rest of the episode. This was fixed in the Blu-ray release, with the white lips being removed and replaced with the proper flesh color.
- Batman removes his cape in his fight against Bane and fills it with rocks. The cape is ripped during the fight but a couple of second later appears reattached to Batman's cowl without any damage.
- Despite being the villain who triggered all of this, the Scarecrow has no lines in this episode outside of his grunts and sinister laugh. However, these were provided by Jeff Glen Bennett rather than Jeffrey Combs.
- Bane's only appearance in The New Batman Adventures. However, he would appear in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman — his final DCAU appearance, production-wise.
- This episode marks the only time where Alfred Pennyworth and James Gordon, two major supporting characters in the series, appear in a scene together. However, it was only in an hallucination.
- A unique feature of this episode is Batman's apparent willingness to use lethal force on Bane, suggesting that at least in the hallucination, 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, he implies as much to Bane.
- The lawyer hired by Harley Quinn, the Mad Hatter, The Riddler, the Ventriloquist & Scarface is the same one from "Joker's Millions". He is a parody of Johnnie Cochran, one of the lawyers on O.J. Simpson's defense team during his infamous trial. Cochran's celebrated line "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit" is parodied in this episode as "If the Bat's on a spree, Wayne must pay the fee". The same line is later spoofed for a third time in the DCAU during the Justice League episode "In Blackest Night". When Flash acts as Green Lantern's defense attorney during GL's trial, Flash pleads "If the ring wasn't lit, you must acquit!"
- During the final scene it is implied that Gordon knows that Barbara is Batgirl, further confirmed during the audio commentary included on the Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Four (DVD). The third season of Gotham Girls suggests that he is still in the dark about her secret. However, the Gordon that refers to Barbara exclusively as Batgirl is a robotic imposter, and the actual Gordon makes no real statements either way.
- It is somewhat appropriate that the Mad Hatter would lead the lawsuit against Bruce Wayne, as he used to work for Wayne Enterprises before he went crazy in "Mad as a Hatter".
- For that matter, Harley Quinn is pretty much her own expert witness. As a trained and formerly licenced clinical psychologist, she can diagnose and testify firsthand as to the mental trauma Batman inflicted upon herself and her co-plaintiffs. Whether or not she would be accepted by the court as a credible witness, however, would be another hearing altogether.
- The subject of the Bat-villains having their day in court with the Caped Crusader has come up before. In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Trial", the villains joined forces to capture Batman and take him to Arkham Asylum, where they literally put him on a full-blown mock trial for "crimes" the Dark Knight had allegedly committed against them.
- Mayor Hill sympathizes with Gordon, saying "If it were my child", referring to his son Jordan, who was almost killed by the Joker in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Be A Clown".
- The plot device of the main plot turning out to be an induced dream was also used in the Batman: The Animated Series episode, "Perchance to Dream". Coincidentally or not, the Mad Hatter is the only villain to appear in both episodes.
- This is one of two The New Batman Adventures episodes that features all four Bat Family team members in costume, though here Nightwing only appears in the dream sequence. The other episode was "Old Wounds" (which showed Batman and Batgirl in a flashback). However, neither episode features all four heroes together at any one time.
- A possible clue that the events of the episode are taking place in an hallucination is the presence of the Ventriloquist & Scarface in the group of villains that want to fill a lawsuit against Bruce Wayne, given that the Ventriloquist had previously reformed and destroyed Scarface in The New Batman Adventures episode "Double Talk".
- The comic Batman Beyond #13 elaborates on the long-term effects from events in this episode. It reveals that, ever since her exposure to the high dose of Scarecrow toxin she experienced during this episode, Barbara Gordon is stricken every three or four years by a "relapse" that causes her to experience heightened fear while awake, progressing to the point where she must retreat to a secure location and enter a deep sleep for three or four days to wait out the experience as a nightmare. However, when her latest relapse takes place during a search for a missing girl, Barbara is forced to keep herself awake, contacting Terry McGinnis to keep her awake and focused until the girl is found.
- Sometimes when this episode is rerun, the programming guide's episode description reads "The Scarecrow influences Batgirl's dreams", which gives away the big reveal when Barbara wakes up in the Batcave.
|Kevin Conroy||Batman/Bruce Wayne|
|Mathew Valencia||Robin/Tim Drake|
|Loren Lester||Nightwing/Dick Grayson|
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.|| Alfred|
Show Presenter (uncredited)
|Tara Charendoff||Batgirl/Barbara Gordon|
|Robert Costanzo||Harvey Bullock|
|Bob Hastings||Commissioner Gordon|
|Liane Schirmer||Renee Montoya|
|Jeff Glen Bennett|| Jack Ryder|
Police Officer (uncredited)
|Lloyd Bochner||Mayor Hamilton Hill|
|Roddy McDowall||Mad Hatter|
|Arleen Sorkin||Harley Quinn|
Commissioner Gordon: Bruce Wayne! Stop where you are!
Commissioner Gordon: Oh no, Wayne. No vanishing act this time.
Nightwing: I still don't know everything that happened.
Commissioner Gordon: Ten minutes on Barbara's computer told me everything. Like a fool I allowed you to run wild on your private crusade. A psychotic misfit playing masked hero. Now I've paid for it with Barbara's life.
Montoya: Freeze! Richard Grayson, you have the right to remain silent.
Lawyer: If the bat's on a spree, Wayne must pay the fee.
Bane: You would fight to the death?
Commissioner Gordon: There's nowhere to run, Wayne!
Bane: Please, give your dear Barbara a kiss from me.
Bane: Time to die.
Commissioner Gordon: Sweetheart, you're capable of making your own decisions. You don't need me to approve or even acknowledge them. And in this case, I can't. All you need to know is I love you. All of you. (kisses her) And that is all I have to say on the subject.