"You Scratch My Back", the fifth episode of the The New Batman Adventures, and reintroduced two major characters: Catwoman (and her alter ego Selina Kyle, who is now a brunette), and Dick Grayson as Nightwing. The ever-astute Selina uses her feminine wiles to entangle the young and eager Mr. Grayson, but Batman and Batgirl are not so sure about the veracity of her motives.
Act OnePerched on a water tower, Nightwing spies on a man doing rounds. Just then, Batman and Batgirl arrive at the scene, but Nightwing insists that he doesn't need backup. Still, Batman asks what's going on below and he explains how they're gun smugglers from South America. At that moment, a truck pulls up and a forklift rolls out of the back, which is Nightwing's cue to leap into action. He rises from his crouched position and raises his arms, releasing wing-like material. He leaps from the tower and swoops down into battle.
Nightwing glides in to knock out two goons. Suddenly another goon runs out from behind some crates and shoots at Nightwing; he is much too fast and whirls a batarang, disarming him, and then launches two more that pin the man to the crates. The forklift driver then tries to run him over. As Nightwing hops upon the front forks with ease, the thug immediately realizes that the lumbering piece of machinery is nowhere near a match for the agile hero; he pulls out a pistol and opens fire at point-blank range. With lightning fast reflexes, Nightwing dodges the bullet, grabs hold of the fork, and swings around the side, knocking the man out of his seat and onto the ground. As the forklift races towards the dock and into the water, Nightwing jumps off -just in time. With a smile of satisfaction over a job well done, he dusts himself off; quite unaware of what's coming from behind.One of the gangsters has recovered, picked up a piece of lumber, and is charging him down. In spite of the fact that Nightwing is distracted, the thug still cannot get a hit on him as Batgirl swings into the fray. She kicks the guy into the crates. Nightwing isn't impressed and claims to have seen him and could handle it. While they are chatting, another man comes up and she deals with him in the same manner, further enraging Nightwing. Finally a third man gets up and runs for it. Nightwing gives chase. He stops in his tracks, but seeing how Batman doesn't make any moves, he slowly continues to creep away and then bolts. As Nightwing continues the chase, someone else intervenes. Catwoman, observing what is going on, decides to enter the fray. Just as the thug is about to escape, he is thrown out, bound and gagged, from behind the crates. Catwoman shows herself, then blows him a kiss and disappears into the night.
The next night in Dick Grayosn's home, Barbara has some concerns. She wonders why Dick didn't seize Catwoman, but he claims that Selina only was trying to help. Dick divulges that there are rumors circulating that a big smuggling shipment is meant to come in very soon. He dons his costume, once again, assuring her that he doesn't need a partner. Without debating it further, he sets out for another night of patrol.He arrives at a position overlooking a penthouse suite, where a man with a hook for a hand is looking out into the city from his terrace. "Enrique El Gancho", Catwoman says smoothly, startling Nightwing. She continues to say that this 'Ricky the Hook' was a Colombian enforcer. Nightwing resists her offered assistance, but she edges her way in anyway, insisting she has changed. She eventually gets Nightwing's approval. Then, without so much as a warning, she takes the lead, leaping down towards the terrace and leaving Nightwing scrambling to keep up. They creep into the house and soon access shipping schedule documents on a computer. Just as Nightwing finishes copying the documents to disc, in comes the Hook with two goons; Catwoman has vanished, leaving Dick to believe he has been set up. Despite what he may initially think, she has not abandoned him, and swoops down to knock out the two machine gunmen. Enrique is caught by surprise and Nightwing uses that to his advantage, punching him as hard as he can. That's not enough, though, as Ricky gets up again. It's Selina's turn to try, but that merely buys them a little time and they have to flee. The gunmen pursue them and they have no choice but to dive into a pool below. Thinking quickly, Nightwing flings a batarang, seemingly getting them out of the tricky situation... or so they think. Three more men come looking for them, but the pair's reflexes are faster than the gunners' trigger fingers, and they manage to escape.
Back in the alley, they agree that as a team, they did very well and should continue. In the darkness, however, is Batman, listening to every word.
Act TwoAt Selina's apartment, she is on the couch, playing with and talking to her cats, when she notices Batman in the room. He warns her to stay away from Nightwing. She insists that the grown Boy Wonder can take care of himself and make his own decisions. Entering behind them is Nightwing, who is not amused to find his mentor getting involved in his affairs. Batman chooses to leave their combined displeasure, trusting Nightwing's instincts.
Getting down to business, Nightwing tells Selina that he's found something on the files he downloaded from the mobster's computer. He's figured out that the big shipment he has been hearing about is going to come in later that night. As Selina makes an advance -ostentatiously about teaming up- Nightwing spots a mini-Bat-tracer on her whip. Below they spy Batman and Batgirl in the Batmobile waiting for them to move; Nightwing see that as showing that they don't trust him after all. Catwoman places the tracer on her cat Isis, telling her to 'have a night on the town'. The feline runs off, Batman and Batgirl chasing her instead. Nightwing and Catwoman then set off to the dock.
At the docks, Nightwing and Catwoman slip quietly on board the ship. The duo waste no time in reaching their target destination, a large storage area in the hull. With the aid of a crowbar, Nightwing cracks open a wood crate labeled 'FRUIT' only to find it really contains a priceless antique artifact. Unveiling a nearby large, covered object, he reveals yet another artifact, this time of monolithic proportions. He tells his partner about his discovery, but she couldn't care less: she's across the room smashing some smuggled votive statues on the floor. In shock, he dashes over to ask what's going on. Catwoman reveals the truth; she the Cat's Eye Emerald and secretly stashed it in the smuggled cargo, knowing it would eventually reach Gotham; with Nightwing's help, she was not only able to ascertain the precise time the ship would dock, but also retrieve the gem with ease.
Nightwing is not amused. A scuffle between them ensues and the more experienced cat traps the bird in a heavy net.Just then, however, Batgirl makes her presence known, along with Batman; using his batarang skills to free Nightwing, he leaps down himself, trapping Catwoman between the two Dark Knights. Nightwing, feeling cocky, walks over to Batman and confirms that he was right: Catwoman led them directly to the emerald. Selina is shocked and livid that they set her up. Even as they argue, three pairs of armed men surround them, and then the Hook himself. Batgirl quickly tosses three smoke bombs below, allowing the two heroes and the thief a chance to get away. With the cover of the smoke, Batgirl, Batman and Nightwing make easy work of the goons, and all that's left are Catwoman and El Gancho. Nightwing indicates the Hook and tells Batman, 'He's all yours' before pursuing the fleeing Catwoman.
Batman and the Hook face off. Enrique swings his hook, ripping through Batman's costume and drawing blood. Grimacing in pain, Batman holds his wound; Enrique seizes the moment and lunges at Batman, who ducks his swipe and grabs the Hook. With all his strength Batman lifts him up, tossing him across the room into a crate. Batman is on top of Enrique in a moment and they exchange punches, leaving Batman on the floor. Just as Enrique thinks he has the advantage, the Dark Knight grabs a nearby fire extinguisher and uses it to block Enrique's swinging hook. The canister is punctured and the contents of the device burst out, spraying the Hook in the eyes and face. He stumbles backward, disoriented, groping for something to prop himself up on. But his hook finds disaster as it tangles in a chain that triggers the release of a giant crate atop him. He tries to sit up, but it is more than he can handle, and he keels over and passes out.On deck, Nightwing catches Catwoman trying to escape in a motor boat. She takes off, but Nightwing does not give up and sprints to the end of the ship, then leaps into the air. Using his costume's gliding capabilities, he manages to keep pace. Catwoman tries to use a flare gun to try to take him out, but he dodges the first strike and dive bombs her to before she can fire another. Catwoman fires the second even as Nightwing lands, causing her to shoot the second into the boat, catching the fuel tank on fire. As they speed toward the massive propeller of an ocean liner, the two struggle; at the last moment, Nightwing grabs her and jumps into the water. He manages to stay catch on a piece of flotsam as he holds onto an unconscious Catwoman, as Batgirl arrives with the Batboat to pick them up.
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Four (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Best of Batman (DVD)
- When Catwoman's escape boat blows up, the resulting explosion is reused footage from the scene of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "World's Finest, Part III" in which two Wayne/Lex T-7 droids blow up after Batman electrocutes them.
- The civilian shipping schedule includes the HMS Bounty. HMS is a prefix only used by the Royal Navy, and military ships do not appear on civilian schedules. The name is a reference to a famous ship, see below.
- The shipping schedule contains the names of several famous ships:
- Though Selina's new hair color is left unexplained in the series, Batman: Gotham Adventures #4 sets up the "Lost Year" for Catwoman: she was originally black haired, and dyed her hair blonde. After she found out the brand she used was involved in animal testing, she permanently scarred the firm's owner, Amy Mercedes, and never dyed her hair again.
- Though he had appeared as Dick Grayson in "Sins of the Father", this is the DCAU debut of Nightwing.
- Blood is shown twice in this episode, which was a rare sight when the episode was made. Enrique El Gancho cuts Batman's arm and has blood running from his nose.
|Kevin Conroy||Batman/Bruce Wayne|
|Adrienne Barbeau||Catwoman/Selina Kyle|
|Loren Lester||Nightwing/Dick Grayson|
|Tara Charendoff||Batgirl/Barbara Gordon|
|Sal Lopez||Enrique El Gancho|
|Joe Lala||Gun Runner #1|
|Steve McGowan||Gun Runner #2|
|Michael David Donovan||Gun Runner #3|
Batman: Not bad.