POLICE HEADQUARTERS int.
The main OFFICE AREA is busy with POLICE handling various cases and SUSPECTS. Scattered throughout the large room are several COPS, HOOKERS, WHINOS, PUNKS, DETECTIVES, and anyone else that would fit in a scene like this. The room is also modestly adorned with Christmas decorations, such as Christmas lights and a "MERRY CHRISTMAS" greeting on the walls. The noise level is pretty high.
CLOSE IN on one corner of the room, where we see BARBARA sitting at her desk, typing away at her computer.
Sitting atop the monitor, apparently guarding it, are two PINKY AND THE BRAIN figurines (hey, she made a P & B reference in a previous episode, so this detail isn't terribly out of place).
She pauses now and again to look around the room and take in her surroundings with amusement.
BABS winces as a WHUMP! sound is heard OFF-CAMERA.
BABS (accepting the candy cane)
Happy Holidays, Harve! Still going to play Santa at the orphanage tomorrow?
Just like every year. Gets old after a while.
Aw, c'mon, Harvey...admit it. You enjoy hanging out with the kids.
Yeah, right. Yer old man makes me do it every year just to annoy me. Wanna take my place this year?
Hmmm...tempting. But I don't have the body style for it, even WITH a pillow. Besides, I couldn't HOPE to match the jollyness you bring to the role.
Just for that I'm draggin' you along as my helper. See how YOU like it.
Does that mean I get to wear an elf costume?
Yeah, yeah, just don't start singin' Christmas carols....
First let my brother outta the slammer! Y'aint got NO right to keep him there!
Oh, izzat a fact? Who's your brother?
Avery James. You picked him up earlier today.
BULLOCK (searching his memory)
"Avery James....Avery James..." The carjacker?
Her eyes narrow with determination.
I MEAN it, man! Bring him out here, NOW, or this ol' bag here gets blasted, I ain't PLAYIN' with you!
A COP advances toward the GANG MEMBER, causing the latter to move defensively. In the process, the BAG LADY ends up blocking BAB'S view of the man, effectively ruining the shot.
SLOW PAN across the room, as everyone watches with held breath. End the PAN on BABS, who's just as nervous as everyone else.
Finally, the GANG MEMBER'S gun shakes and the boy lets the woman go, dropping his gun in surrender. The rest of the room exhales, and the COPS apprehend him.
GORDON holsters his gun, as BABS puts down the snowglobe, gets up, and walks toward him.
Hm? Oh, hi Babs. I was just doing my job. I'm surprised you're still here this late. Weren't you supposed to get off at seven?
BABS (looking up at the clock)
Late...? Oh, I didn't realize it was after eight. Must have been busier with the computer than I thought. Well in that case, I'm gone! Bye, Dad!
(kisses her father goodbye on the cheek)
WAYNE MANOR -ext. NIGHT
The stately mansion, usually somewhat forboding at night, seems to have a friendlier air to it tonight, due in part to the Christmas light strung across the outside walls (not very lavishly, mind you; just enough to say it's there and to brighten up the place). CLOSE IN on a large window, through which a giant Christmas tree can be seen.
We've already used more tinsel than any THREE trees would need, and we're not even done decorating yet!
You want this tree to look awesome, right?
Yes, but the thought of having to vacuum all of this tinsel up when he take the tree down makes me want to consider a career in dentistry.
Tim could vacuum.
ALFRED (enjoying the thought)
Capital idea, sir! I'm sure he would ENJOY the experience!
TIM (not liking this idea AT ALL)
Wha--? No he won't! He's allergic to vacuuming!
Nice try. You have your assignment, Tim.
TIM (dropping his head into his hands in defeat)
Oh, man I'm doomed...
BABS (voice on phone)
Hi Dick! Sorry I'm late.
BABS' CAR -int. NIGHT
BABS talks to DICK on her cel phone while driving.
DICK (voice on phone)
Got the stuff?
Check! Presents, food...that dress you like so much...
DICK (even more excited) Great! I'll see you then! Love you.
BABS (smiling broadly)
(hangs up phone)
WAYNE MANOR LIVING ROOM -int. NIGHT
DICK hangs up the phone truimphantly. His night just got a whole lot brighter.
BRUCE (bemused, but not as excited as DICK)
Yes...so we gathered.
You and Babs have gotten a lot closer lately, haven't you?
GOTHAM HARBOR -ext. NIGHT
CLOSEUP of THE JOKER'S maniacal cackle, as he tosses a JOKER GRENADE behind him to cover his escape.
The GRENADE arcs toward BABS, who's wearing her BATGIRL costume. Suddenly, DICK, as NIGHTWING, leaps into the frame and dives with her to safety.
The grenade explodes OFF-CAMERA, illuminating NIGHTWING as he covers BATGIRL. They stay like this for a while longer, and realize that the rescue tactic has turned into an embrace. They look at each other and smile, not really wanting to get up.
They look up and see BATMAN standing over them.
WAYNE MANOR LIVING ROOM -int. NIGHT
ALFRED (to TIM)
Why, he and Ms. Gordon used to be quite the couple in their college days.
Yeah, so I hear.
Way t'go, man!
BABS' CAR -int. NIGHT
BABS taps her steering wheel with her fingers, her demeanor less than cheerful.
We see through her windsheild that she's in a traffic jam, with no relief in sight.
BABS blasts the horn a few times in frustration, then considers demolishing her steering wheel just out of annoyance. She leans back and rubs her temple.
BABS' eyes widen as she sees an encroaching shadow on the wall behind the GIRL.
A human shadow.
The shadow reaches out predatorially, and an arm grabs the GIRL by the blanket. One quick snatch and the GIRL is pulled into the alley.
BABS watches all this in horror, the color drained from her face.
GOTHAM STREET -ext. NIGHT
BABS unfastens her seatbelt, grabs her BATGIRL mask from the back seat, and gets out of her car, slamming the door behind her.
She races toward the alley, putting on her mask, completely oblivious to the fact that she just left her car unlocked and unattended in the middle of a traffic jam.
BABS enters the alley at a full run, looking around for any sign of the GIRL and her captor.
She sees three retreating figures heading toward a dark corner of the alley: the SHADOWY FIGURE (who's carrying the girl with the blanket) wears a black coat and black hat, while the other two are larger and wear gray threadbare jackets.
BABS grabs GOON #1's shoulder. He wheels around with his elbow. BABS ducks and delivers a solid punch to his ribs.
The other two turn around to see what's going on, and BABS kicks the GOON in the stomach, sending him into GOON #2. Both crash into a pile of cardboard boxes.
The SHADOWY FIGURE sets the GIRL down and pulls a long stick out of his coat. He charges BABS, swinging the stick. BABS sidesteps the stick but is backed up against a wall.
The GOONS get up and approach BABS from both sides. BABS grabs GOON #2's arm and throws him against the wall, raining five powerful punches onto his head and chest in rapid succession. GOON #2 falls while #1 tries to grab her from behind.
BABS ducks and sweeps his legs out from under him. She then performs a backflip onto a handstand over his body and brings her knees down hard on his chest.
She stands up just in time to see SHADOWY FIGURE swings his stick at her, hitting her in the arm and sending her back into the wall.
GOON #2 gathers #1 while SHADOWY FIGURE grabs the GIRL again and the three take off.
BABS tries to follow them, reaches a dead end, turns around, and finds several places the abductors could have exited the alley. She catches her breath, visible in the cold air.
WAYNE MANOR LIVING ROOM -int. NIGHT
Alfred answers the door, and is surprised to see BABS in complete physical and emotional disarray. DICK, BRUCE, and TIM also see her and they immediately rush to her.
BARBARA! Oh my god, are you all right?
Oh, I'm hunky-dory. It's the girl I'm worried about.
"Girl"? What are you talking about?
The Manor's occupants are now in the BATCAVE, huddled around the BATCOMPUTER. All are dressed in their respective vigilante costumes, except of course for ALFRED, who doesn't have one to begin with. Sitting in the chair manning the computer is, of course, BABS in her BATGIRL outfit.
CLOSEUP of the COMPUTER SCREEN which shows a diagram of the alley where BABS chased the abductor.
So the question, then, is: "which path is the most likely, and the most suited to his goals?"
He obviously wanted to get the child to a secluded place as quickly as possible without being detected, so that rules out three of the exits as possibilities.
And he was running from you while carrying a ten-year-old kid, which I doubt he'd be able to do for any length of time, so he probably stopped running shortly after you lost the trail.
BATGIRL (nodding in agreement)
So it's possible his hideout was nearby. Maybe in a building...but I didn't hear any doors open..
ROBIN (pointing to the screen)
What about under the street? Looks like that storm drain is big enough for two people to fit down.
BATGIRL (remembering the details of the alley at the time of the chase)
That's right...the storm drain grille was open, now that I think about it. He could've slipped in there when I wasn't looking.
(sinking her head into her hands)
Why didn't I think of that sooner?
NIGHTWING (putting a soothing hand on her shoulder)
Calm down, Babs...you were under a lot of anxiety. It's easy to miss details like that in the middle of a chase. I know the storm drain exit wouldn't have occured to me either at the the time.
The trail's getting colder by the minute, so let's not waste anymore time. We have a lot of tunnels under GOTHAM to investigate.
BATGIRL (getting up and rushing to BATMAN)
No, I want to go solo on this one.
Please...just trust me on this one, Bruce. This is something I need to do alone.
Dont ask me to explain it right now, because I can't. Call it intuition or whatever you want, just trust me when I say that it's important that I do this on my own.
BATGIRL (becoming angry)
What, YOU'RE perfectly allowed to go on your own private crusades, but I'M not?
Aren't YOU the one who told ME that there's "Safety In Numbers"?
BATGIRL (starting her cycle's engine and revving it twice)
And you didn't listen, as I recall. Now it's my turn.
BATGIRL revs the engine again and kicks the cycle into gear, taking off in a hurry.
NIGHTWING watches her exit the CAVE, and punches the wall next to him in anger.
She knows who the mystery man is.
HIGHWAY -ext. NIGHT
BATGIRL speeds along the highway, determined.
GOTHAM SEWER -int. NIGHT
TIGHT CLOSEUP of a puddle of water created from a slowly leaking pipe. BATGIRL'S foot steps in the puddle, making a tiny sploshing sound. Make sure that her reflection is visible in the puddle before her foot splashes.
BATGIRL continues walking, the eyeholes in her mask covered by green NIGHT-VISION lenses.
BATGIRL heads into the tunnel in front of her, figuring it's the most likely one.
SEWER TUNNEL -int.
BATGIRL sees a faint blue light on the other side of the tunnel grow stronger as she gets closer to it.
She peers out of the tunnel and sees a fairly large room, criss-crossed with numerous grungy pipes. Arranged in rows on the floor are several tanks filled with toxin. Strapped to a far wall are eight CHILDREN, pure terror dominating their faces.
Standing in front of then with his back to BATGIRL is a man in a dingy black coat and hat. His shoulder-length black hair looks as soiled as the rest of the sewer. In one hand is a long stick, though it appears he uses it for effect rather than support for walking. All in all, even though we can't see his face, he's a pretty frightening figure.
BATGIRL takes in all this from her vantage point and scowls.
SCARECROW (putting a hand on her cheek)
"Claudia." Beautiful name.
Well, Claudia, it's like this: I am a psychologist. I study the human mind, and its emotions. Specifically...the emotion known as...Fear.
--just in time to see BATGIRL swing on her grapple line (hooked to a ceiling pipe) and slam SCARECROW into the wall with both feet. BATGIRL'S wearing her gas mask, fully prepared.
SCARECROW drops the glass (which shatters on the floor), and staggers, dazed. BATGIRL grabs him by the collar and pins him to the wall, one forearm pressed against his throat. It's safe to say BATGIRL is unhappy with the guy.
Still upset over last time, aren't you?
BATGIRL (leaning on SCARECROW'S neck)
Yeah. Thanks to your fear toxin I spent several hours living the worst nightmare of my life. It's a little difficult to forgive that kind of thing.
SCARECROW (making a choking noise)
*Ggggkh!* It was my pleasure...
And now you're kidnapping children and subjecting them to twisted fear experiments...on CHRISTMAS EVE of all nights? How bent ARE you?
Standing behind BATGIRL are SCARECROW'S THUGS, who helped him in the alley.
P.O.V. SHOT of SCARECROW, who raises his cane and brings it down on the CAMERA (BATGIRL).
A sharp THUD is heard, accompanied by darkness.
We're almost there.
(presses a button on the console and speaks into it)
Nightwing...are you getting this?
Yes. Child abductions would fit his M.O., but I doubt he's the one we're dealing with.
ROBIN (looking at BATMAN questioningly)
And..what makes you think that?
BATMAN (still looking ahead at the street)
You saw Barbara...she was genuinely unsettled. She obviously knew who the kidnappers were. To my knowledge she's never met The Sewer King. And her behavior suggested that she had some unfinished business to settle with the man.
NIGHTWING (voice on speaker, rhetorically)
Right...so who do we know that she'd have a score to settle with, that's capable of scaring her that much?
When he gassed her with fear toxin last year, she was exposed to a powerful hallucinogen that greatly affected both her health, and her psyche. She almost died. She never got a chance to pay Scarecrow back for it.
NIGHTWING (voice on speaker)
And Babs is like her father. She holds things back...buries her negative emotions. Those things can eat away at her over time. She might still be harboring some unreleased hatred for Scarecrow.
A closer look reveals the car's inhabitants to be THE JOKER and his female sidekick HARLEY QUINN.
BATMAN reacts to this in his usual manner:
To help Babs. You two can handle the Joker on your own.
SCARECROW'S LAIR -int.
BATGIRL sleeps, handcuffed to an old chair, guarded by the GOONS. CLAUDIA'S OFF-CAMERA shouts wake her up.
CLAUDIA is still chained to the wall, obviously drugged and reacting to nightmarish visions in her head. SCARECROW is sitting in a chair facing her, while scribbling notes in a notebook in his lap. The rest of the children are also chained up, asleep.
BATGIRL struggles against her handcuffs, alerting the GOONS. They hold their guns on her threateningly.
SCARECROW turns to BATGIRL without getting up.
Let them go!
Wonderful...you're back on that subject again. Wouldn't you like to see how my experiment turns out?
Gee...I WONDER why?
The GOONS react to this, raising their guns, while BATGIRL slips her hands out of the cuffs and stands up, facing the two in a defensive stance.
The GOONS fire their guns. BATGIRL ducks, unhooking two Batarangs from her belt, then jumps into a forward flip, throwing the Batarangs at the GOONS behind her. She lands facing the SCARECROW.
The GOONS are each hit in the face by a Batarang and drop their guns.
SCARECROW smiles savagely and raises his stick, bringing it down toward BATGIRL. She sidesteps the swing and crescent-kicks SCARECROW in the face, sending him reeling, then doubles him over with a kick to the stomach with the same leg., and finishes him off with an elbow to the back of the neck. SCARECROW sinks to his knees.
The GOONS charge BATGIRL, who picks up SCARECROW'S stick and holds it like a baseball player.
BATGIRL, surprised, reels backward, drops the stick, and coughs. NIGHTWING springs forward and traps SCARECROW in a headlock. BATGIRL recovers, glaring back at SCARECROW.
Correct, Miss Bat. However, that wasn't fear toxin I sprayed you with. Rather, it was the anti-fear toxin, that REMOVES fear.
I wasn't afraid of you to start with.
Right, tell me another. When you first showed up, you were horrified at my experiment, and to cover it up, you became as angry as possible. Remember I make it my life's work to study fear.
But now, I removed that fear, so all you have left...is your hatred toward me. Your need for revenge.
All right, strawbag! That's enough psychoanalysis for one day! You're coming with us! There's a nice padded cell back at Arkham waiting for you.
NO! I'm not done with him yet!
BATGIRL (striding toward SCARECROW)
You heard me, Nightwing. This....CREATURE....has to pay for what he's done to these children.
NIGHTWING catches the stick and stares BATGIRL in the eyes.
BATGIRL hits the ground and NIGHTWING holds her down.
GET OFF ME! If you don't let me go, Scarecrow will--
SEWER TUNNEL -int.
LOW SHOT of BATGIRL'S feet as they race down the tunnel at top speed.
BATGIRL reaches an intersection and looks around, trying to determine which direction to go. She hears SCARECROW'S voice echoing through the sewer:
I'll FIND you, Scarecrow! COUNT ON IT!!!
SCARECROW (off-camera voice)
Then look behind you...
SCARECROW pins BATGIRL against a tunnel wall, holding the pole part of the scyth against her neck.
SCARECROW (taken aback)
You heard me. You're not worth it. In fact, you're pretty laughable.
Yeah. Here it is, Christams Eve...and THIS is how you spend it? Performing psychological experiments on homeless kids, and wrestling around with me in a SEWER? I mean, come on, talk about not having a life!
SCARECROW (threatening tone)
Yeah, I'm supposed to shut up and be scared by a nerd in a Halloween mask that looks like it was ripped off of one too many horror flicks. Give me a break!
You took away my FEAR, remember? What did you THINK would happen? You just wanted me to break my rule against killing. You wanted to see if I could do it. You wanted to see if your will was stronger than mine.
(shoves SCARECROW against the opposite wall)
WELL IT ISN'T! I'm stronger than you because I DON'T bow down to my fear! I DON'T let it consume my life! I deal with it every day, yes, but it DOES...NOT...CONTROL ME. Can you say the same?
STORAGE ROOM -int.
She leads them into a large room where SCARECROW keeps storage tanks of the many varieties of Fear Toxin, which line the walls. The room deadends at the far end.
SCARECROW (catching his breath)
Interesting theory, but it doesn't matter. It's the end of the line for you.
Awww.....but I'm not done TAUNTING you yet!
SCARECROW'S scythe blade buries itself in one of the tanks, releasing a crimson cloud of Fear Toxin into his face.
SCARECROW staggers backward, coughing furiously. The cloud fills the room as SCARECROW - or, more accurately, JONATHAN CRANE - drops to his knees. He covers his face as hallucinogenic visions begin to overwhelm him.
Alive. But in no condition to hurt anyone. Now come on, this place will fill up with Fear Toxin any moment!
STORAGE ROOM -int.
The room is filled with a red fog. JONATHAN CRANE sits at the center of it, hallucinating. His hands cover his ears, as ghost images float over his head.
Images of people...laughing. All at him. Among the group of laughing faces are BATMAN, ROBIN, BATGIRL, NIGHTWING, COMMISIONER GORDON, JOHNNY CARSON, DAVID LETTERMAN, BOB HOPE (and just about any other famous comedian), TWO-FACE, POISON IVY, PENGUIN, KILLER CROC, FARMER BROWN (and if FARMER BROWN laughs at you, you know you have problems!), LOCK-UP, HARLEY QUINN, and of course, the original Laughin' Boy himself...THE JOKER, whose head appears the largers, and who unquestionably laughs the loudest.
SCARECROW (tormented whisper)
no...make it stop.....oh god, please, m-make it stop.....
GOTHAM ALLEY -ext.
The manhole cover lifts up and slides to the side. NIGHTWING, BATGIRL, and the CHILDREN crawl up out of the sewer. NIGHTWING closes the lid behind them. BATGIRL collapses to her knees, exhausted, taking deep breaths.
NIGHTWING (speaking into his communicator)
N.W. to Batman: Batgirl and the kids are alive and safe, and Scarecrow's been dealt with. Over.
GOTHAM LUMBER YARD -ext.
BATMAN and ROBIN crouch behind the Batmobile, as machine gun fire peppers its bulletproof exterior.
The JOKER, the one firing the gun, looks distressed as the gun clicks, out of bullets.
BATMAN rises up into view, glaring at the JOKER menacingly.
JOKER chuckles, an 'I-am-just-so-screwed' look on his face, and throws the gun at BATMAN and runs.
GOTHAM ALLEY -ext.
NIGHTWING listens, then looks at BATGIRL and shrugs.
WAYNE MANOR BACKYARD -ext.
The snow falls, joining the inch of snow already on the ground. FOLLOW two trails of footprints across the yard. BABS and DICK walk together through the snow toward the mansion.
GOTHAM ROOFTOP -ext.
ROBIN sits near STEPHANIE BROWN, a.k.a. THE SPOILER, as they both unwrap their presents.
SPOILER (examining her present unenthusiastically)
Great...another jigsaw puzzle....
ROBIN (checking out his own present with a similar reaction)
Hmmm...a slinky...what I always wanted...
WAYNE MANOR BACKYARD -ext.
BABS and DICK reach the back door to the mansion.
BABS (taking DICK'S hand)
Listen...Dick...I'm...I'm sorry for all the stuff I said to you tonight. All the stuff I did. I'm sorry I hurt you.
Babs, I know you better than anyone else. I know the kind of stuff you've been through. I'm just glad you got through it on your own, without killing anyone. I'm proud of you for that.
Just...next time you're in trouble and I want to help...let me. I don't want anything to happen to you, Babs...I love you.
BABS (smiling at him, then looking up)
Dick? What time is it?
DICK (looking at his watch)
Just about midnight.
Oh good. Merry Christmas, Dick. Love you too.
KEVIN CONROY: Batman/Bruce Wayne
TARA CHARENDOFF: Barbara "Babs" Gordon/Batgirl
LOREN LESTER: Dick Grayson/Nightwing
MATTHEW VALENCIA: Tim Drake/Robin
EFREM ZIMBALIST JR.: Alfred Pennyworth
BOB HASTINGS: Commisioner Gordon
JEFFERY COMBS: Scarecrow/Jonathan Crane
ROBERT COSTANZA: Harvey Bullock
MARK HAMILL: The Joker
YEARDLY SMITH: Claudia
ICE T: Gang Member
MELISSA JOAN HART: Stephanie Brown/The Spoiler