In California, Dick is relaxing in a pool. His son Johnny jumps in, knocking Dick off of his pool float, and Dick chases Johnny out of the pool jokingly saying that he's going to pay for it. They run into the house where a pregnant Dawn is checking paint swatches for the nursery, and Dick kisses his wife. He says that she should let him help her move the furniture and she still has a month to go, and with a not-so-subtle hint from Dawn Dick suggests that he help get the room set up.
The Skype alert goes off, and the family goes to answer it. It's Rachel and Gar, calling to check about the presents that they sent. Gar suggests that they visit them over Christmas, and Dawn and Dick quickly agree. Once they sign off, Johnny runs off and Dick tells Dawn that he's still worried about Rachel. Johnny calls from the front door, saying that there's someone coming up the driveway. Dick goes out to greet Jason, who is in a wheelchair. Jason says that Batman is in trouble.
Dick and Jason go to the pool in the back and Jason congratulates Dick on having a family. He says that it was his fault because he got too cocky and went straight for Riddler and his gang. Riddler is using a gun and the bullet hit Jason's spine, paralyzing him. Jason says that Gotham is getting worse, and Joker killed Gordon three days ago. Batman is going to kill Joker, but Dick insists that his mentor would never do that. Jason warns him that after Alfred died and then Gordon, Batman has snapped and whatever is holding him together is gone. The younger Robin insists that Dick is the "real" Robin, and Batman was never the same after Dick left. Dick was the only one Bruce ever cared about after his parents died, and Jason insists that Dick needs to come back to Gotham. Dick points out that he swore to never go back, but Jason insists that Batman is the only hero that Gotham has and Dick is the only one who can save him.
Later, Dick paces the kitchen as Dawn makes supper. Dick insists that he can't save Bruce, but Dawn points out that there's no one else. She asks how Dick will feel if he doesn't at least try, but Dick insists that Bruce isn't his responsibility. Dick finally agrees that he'll go to Gotham after the baby comes, if Bruce hasn't gotten his shit together. Meanwhile, Johnny is playing with his toy trains and the stuffed tiger that Gar sent him falls over onto the floor next to the boy. Johnny picks it up and stares at it. He then runs out and tells Dick that the animal wants to go with Dick to Gotham. Johnny gives Dick the stuffed animal and runs off, and Dawn points out that Bruce saved Dick and Dick may be the last person on Earth who can save Bruce.
That night, Dick takes a plane to Gotham but the cab driver refuses to take him downtown. Dick has the driver take him to a hotel in uptown. As they drive past street gangs, Dick calls Bruce and gets his voice mail and says that he wants to talk to him in person. The driver swerves to avoid criminals on the street, and says that every part of Gotham is a bad part.
Dick goes into the hotel and gets a room from the disinterested night manager, who says that they only accept cash. Once he goes into his room, Dick takes out the stuffed animal and wonders what they're doing there. The TV changes to a news conference where the new commissioner, Stable, says that they're not going to tolerate vigilantes. As he retires the Bat Signal, Dawn calls Dick and asks if he's talked to Bruce yet. Dawn says that Johnny has a bad fever and wishes that Dick was there. She tells Dick that they miss him, and Dick tells her that he's heading back because it could take days to find Bruce.
The wall shakes, and Dick calls 911 about domestic violence next door. He then goes over, kicks in the door, and takes out the man beating the woman. Two policemen come in, and Dick says that he called 911 and is staying next door. As Dick leaves, he overhears the cops get a dispatch about a vigilante spotting.
Dick goes to the crime scene and finds Joker's body. Batman tossed him off a building onto a car, and Dick realizes that Bruce really did it. Captain Frank Finney--Trigon--appears and tells Dick that he knows him, and asks why he's there. Dick identifies himself as a detective with the LAPD and says that he used to live in Gotham, and advises Finney to check out a nearby building where Joker was thrown from, based on the position of the body and angle of impact. Finney realizes that Batman killed Joker, and figures that Dick talks like he knows Batman. He says that they need any information that they can get to bring in Batman, and Dick tells him that he's heading back to LAPD to his family. Finney insists that they need Dick and would appreciate Dick's help, but Dick walks off. As the police take Joker away on a gurney, he grabs a coroner worker by the arm. She yells that the villain is still alive, and Dick hears her and tells Finney that there's someone he needs to talk to.
Dick takes a taxi to the seemingly abandoned Wayne Manor and goes in via a window. He walks through the rooms and triggers open the secret door to the Batcave. It's locked, and Dick calls to Bruce asking to talk. There's no response, and Dick tells him that Joker isn't dead and he's not a murderer. Dick talks about how he was in the same dark place when his parents died, and then he found someone who needed him: Rachel. That led him back to life, and Dick figures that Bruce can make it out as well because he hasn't crossed the line yet. Dick offers to help him, but says that Bruce needs to talk to him. There's no response, and Dick walk out as Bruce monitors him via a hidden camera.
When he goes to the hospital, Dick flashes his badge to the officer on duty to get in, and checks on the comatose Joker. Kory comes in and tells Dick that the doctor say that Joker is going to live. Kory informs Dick that she's working with the government to investigate the death of a police commissioner, and wonders why Dick is getting involved. Dick tells her that he might be the only person who knows what Bruce is going through and might be able to save him. Kory wonders if Dick can save her, and Dick says that Bruce had a code and a sense of justice while Dick had the conscience. She advises Dick to go to the better life that he chose, and Dick admits that she's right.
The lights go out and gunshots ring out. Dick and Kory run down the corridor and find Batman in Joker's room, a batarang n Joker's heart. Batman leaps out the window before Dick can stop him, and escapes into the night.
Dick goes back to his hotel room and finds the drunken man beating the woman. The man says that the cops didn't do anything to him, and Dick beats the man repeatedly. The woman looks on, screaming, and Dick finally stops.
The next day, Dick calls Dawn and says that Bruce killed Joker just to spite him. Hank is there with Dawn helping her paint the nursery, and Dick is unhappy that Dawn brought him in after he's been gone a day. Dawn wonders what Dick's problem is, and she says that she had a sick kid and the AC Is out and Dick doesn't get to be mad at her. Dick apologizes and Kory calls on the other line, and Dawn hangs up on Dick. Kory tells Dick to come to Arkham, warning that it's bad.
When Dick arrives at the asylum, he finds the police taking dead inmates out. The corridors are filled with the dead and injured, and others like Two-Face and Ventriloquist are dead in their cells. Kory tells Dick that Batman figured that he shouldn't stop with Joker, and killed the guards, nurses, and warden as well. She warns Dick that Bruce can't be saved and has to be stopped.
Dick goes to the station and offers to tell Finney who Batman is if he lets him run the operation. Finney says that it depends on whether he believes Dick, and Dick tells him that Bruce is Batman. The police chief puts Dick in charge, and he tells the officers that they go in with overwhelming force but the goal is to capture Bruce alive. Finney assures Dick that they're loaded with tranq darts, and Dick warns that Bruce won't go quietly.
The police arrive at Wayne Manor and Dick coordinates from the mobile command unit. The SWAT officers break in and Dick directs them to a secondary entrance to the Batcave. Finney patches Dick into the loudspeakers, and he tells Bruce that the police are good men and he doesn't want to see anyone hurt, including Bruce.
The officers drop into the Batcave and Batman throws an exploding Batarang and then drops down and starts killing them. Dick orders a retreat, but it's too late.
Kory heads down the entrance to the Batcave.
Dick watches on the monitors as the officers die one by one. Batman and Kory are finally the only ones left. Kory approaches Batman, standing among the carnage, and she summons her starblast. Batman shoots her with Mr. Freeze's cold gun, killing her to death. Dick has the officers above activate their explosive charges, destroying the manor.
Later, Dick goes to what's left of the Batcave and finds Kory's frozen corpse among the debris. Batman is lying nearby, buried in rubble, and Dick tells him that he always wanted Dick to give into the darkness and become him. Dick says that he won and breaks his neck, and Trigon's darkness spreads through him.
In the Azrael house, Rachel tries to get through to the darkness-consumed Dick. He doesn't respond, and Trigon tells Rachel that it was Dick's doing. Trigon offered Dick a path but ultimately he chose his own way, to embrace his darkness rather than deny it. He says that he's released Dick from a terrible burden, and he loves Dick as Rachel does because Rachel does. Angela says that now Dick is part of the family, and Dick says it feels good to be good home and they'll all see.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 22, 2018