I just watched all four sets of Batman: The Animated Series and again, really enjoyed about 94% of the show. The few clunkers are still pretty good, too. Anyway, the final 24 "new look" episodes are some of the funnest, though this one certainly is dark and grim. I guess I should say there are spoilers ahead, but mostly just some observations about the episode itself. So you have now been warned, proceed at your own risk if you haven't seen this episode. One more interesting note before I proceed- I have more Batman DVDs than any other superhero, which is odd, since I do love the Bat (since I was three) at this point he's so overdone that I don't care that much for his current incarnation. Until they make a Tigra or Vision series, this will do.
Anyway, our heroes- Batman, Batgirl and Robin are fighting the Scarecrow. The episode starts out with Commissioner Gordon hounding Batman, and them escaping into a hideout with the help of Nightwing. We then get a flash back to Barbara's death at the hands of the Scarecrow. But instead of going with that, Gordon and Bullock immediately blame Batman. Sure, this makes no sense now...
One by one our heroes get captured, including Alfred. Gordon makes a deal with the overrated Bane who promptly reneges. He didn't see this coming? Bane gets defeated by Batman, but in his final breath he manages to kill both Batman and Gordon.
Then Babs wakes up. Turns out she was dosed with the Scarecrow's fear gas and dreamt her greatest fear. She decides she needs to tell her father she's Batgirl, but when the time comes, he lets her know he already knows. This leads me to believe he also knows who the other three are. I mean, even with comic book logic the way it is when Bruce adopts another orphan and shows up with a younger Robin, it can't be that difficult to ascertain secret IDs. Especially for a smart cop like Gordon.
It's a standout episode, even with the whole "it was only a dream" thing playing out. I can't believe this show is 22 years old now. The commentary on this, and all the DCU episodes is always great. I wish they had done more, but as PT Barnum said "always leave 'em wanting more."