DCAU #97: Batgirl Returns

IN THIS ONE... Batgirl teams up with Catwoman to retrieve a jade cat.

CREDITS: Written by Michael Reaves and Brynne Stephens; directed by Dan Riba.

REVIEW: Not sure the episode plays fair with the audience when it puts Batgirl's dream sequence AFTER the theft of the jade cat, as it takes slightly too long to figure out the story is indeed real, but it's great to see Batgirl going all out, saving Batman and everything. I can't wait for this to happen for real, and on a more regular basis. Batgirl Returns hopefully brings us closer to that moment, and to the point where Robin accepts her as a competent crimfighter instead of the "girls a dumb" attitude he seems to have. If he weren't so dismissive of her, then maybe she wouldn't have played into Catwoman's hands.

Because obviously, that team-up isn't going to end well. It makes sense though. Batgirl would be attracted to a strong female mentor figure, and they do work well together. Catwoman's attempt to turn Batgirl into a career criminal isn't believable, mind, but as a pair of fighting furies, the choreography gives them a lot of chemistry. Very well done fights. One almost wishes the first of these weren't in the bare poker club from Almost Got' Im, which just doesn't offer many opportunities for cool action. It's also interesting that this should complete the Catwoman/Roland Daggett trilogy, with the former businessman down on his luck and committing petty crimes to refill his coffers, but also in such a way as to take revenge on the Cat. But Selina is sore too, and she seems all too willing to murder him, which is perhaps a bit harsh for this show.

Sure, okay, you might argue that in letting Daggett fall into a vat of acid, she was merely creating a diversion for Batgirl and Robin so she could escape with the jade cat. Nevertheless, it could have happened, and so the ending is particularly glib as Batgirl lets Selina escape in a poorly-drawn cop car (she shouldn't be waving goodbye out of the passenger door, surely). The way the Cat always has the upper hand, you want her to escape, that's not the problem. The problem is that the heroes could have gone after her right then and there, and don't because... well, because the show has run out of time. Take away the attempted murder of Roland Daggett however, and I don't think we have that problem. The same way Bruce Wayne seemed almost amused that his junior associates were up against the master thief, we would have been fine with them letting a worthy - but not dangerous - adversary go.

IN THE COMICS: The Chemist has no DCU equivalent, though he looks an awful lot like Captain Marvel nemesis Dr. Sivana.

SOUNDS LIKE: The Chemist is played by Scott Valentine, last seen as Raymond Bell in Feat of Clay.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Considering my love of Batgirl, this should really have gotten a higher rating. I just don't think the characters' motivations were properly drawn.


LiamKav said...

Final produced episode of BTAS. I'm shocked we're near the end, but excited to get to STAS and BB, both of which I'm less familiar with. I'm guessing you're doing it BTAS, STAS, BB, maybe Static Shock (if you're doing that), JL, JLU, with the comics interspersed between them?

Siskoid said...

If it's part of the official DCAU, yes, it's part of this.


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