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"Shadow of the Bat: Part I" is the fifty-seventh episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series, and the first of a two-part episode. It originally aired on Fox Kids in the United States on September 13, 1993. The episode features the first appearance of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl and is concluded in "Shadow of the Bat: Part II".


Rupert Thorne is supervising a loading at a warehouse late at night. They are interrupted by a squad of GPD officers, led personally by Commissioner Gordon and Deputy Commissioner Gil Mason. Thorne tries to run but is caught on the roof by Batman. This makes Thorne the third Gotham City mob boss who has been apprehended thanks to information supplied by Mason, supposedly from a secret informant, but Bruce Wayne is suspicious.

At their home, Barbara Gordon is practicing a gymnastics routine, while her father teases her about her burgeoning relationship with Mason. Then Mason himself appears at their door and reluctantly places Gordon under arrest. Evidence found in the warehouse raid implicates Gordon in taking bribes from Thorne. Elsewhere, Bruce becomes enraged and even more suspicious when he reads the newspaper report about Gordon's arrest.

Outraged, Barbara complains to District Attorney Janet Van Dorn, who says the evidence is solid, and also that there are warnings that Gordon might flee the country if allowed bail. Bullock encourages her to trust her instincts, and tells her the police department will be holding a public rally to gather support for Gordon.

Batman sneaks into the police evidence room to examine the evidence. He communicates with Gordon in his cell, and tells him that the evidence looks as though it was forged by someone other than Thorne's gang and that there have been rumors on the street of a new organization moving in. Gordon asks him to look in on Barbara.

Batman does so, and Barbara begs him to make an appearance at the rally, to show the public that he is also on Gordon's side. Batman refuses, saying the most important thing is for him to find evidence of Gordon's innocence. He tells her that she should stay out of it for her father's sake. But once Batman's gone, Barbara resolves that one way or another, he will be there.

Instead of Batman, Bruce decides to investigate in his disguise as "Matches" Malone. Dick Grayson protests at not being allowed to come with him, but Bruce suggests that Robin appears at the rally in his stead.

At the rally outside police headquarters, Gil is giving a speech on behalf of Commissioner Gordon. Robin prepares to swing overhead, but then a figure dressed in a bat costume does it first. It turns out that Barbara has donned her own Batsuit for the sake of appearances. After the crowd's enthusiastic reaction, she plans to slip away, but then a car speeds past the podium and the rider opens fire with a machine gun.

Instinctively, Barbara leaps into action, catching the banner over the street and pulling it down over the car's windshield, causing it to crash. As she starts to run, Robin catches up with her and grabs at her cowl, tearing away a piece of it and letting her hair fall loose. Summer Gleeson catches footage of the mysterious "Batgirl" fleeing into an alley.

Barbara chases one of the masked thugs into an alley and pulls off his mask, getting a good look at his face. He manages to get away, however, and she has to run before Robin catches up with her.

Watching the news report of the incident, Dick notices something strange: in slow motion, it is clear that Mason ducked well before the guns appeared out of the car's windows as if he expected it.

Barbara slips into police headquarters and looks through the mug books, finding the face of the thug she tackled, Mad Dog. Excitedly, she goes to Mason's apartment to tell him but stops short when she sees Mad Dog himself sitting in his living room. Mason passes him off as a friend. Barbara hurriedly excuses herself, much to Mason's confusion.

Meanwhile, Bruce is undercover at the Stacked Deck as Matches Malone. He sees Mad Dog make a phone call from the booth and, through lip-reading, realizes where he's going next. He follows him to an abandoned theatre but is disabled by its security systems as he is entering. He comes around as a prisoner, confronted by the leader, who is actually a resurfaced Two-Face, having laid low since his last battle with Batman while gathering his own crew. Bruce claims to be interested in joining his gang, but Two-Face, as always, lets his coin decide. It comes up scarred, and Bruce is knocked unconscious by Mad Dog.

With Batman mysteriously absent, and deciding that she can trust no one except herself, Barbara dons her new costume and prepares to enter the night as Batgirl.



Shadow of the Bat part 1

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