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For other episodes of the same name, see Pilot (disambiguation).

"You haven't failed me. I chose this life, and all of the risks that came with it. You don't have to protect me Helena, do you understand? We have to protect each other."
Barbara Gordon to Helena Kyle

"Pilot" is the first episode of Birds of Prey. It aired on October 9, 2002.


Batman has vanished from New Gotham, but the next generation of the criminals he fought still prowls the city. Now confined to a wheelchair after being attacked by Batman's archenemy, The Joker, Batgirl redefines herself with a complicated double life.[src]



Guest starring





In New Gotham City seven years ago, the Joker had a defeat against Batman so humiliating that he dared not to face him but to exact his revenge against those with significant ties to the hero, namely Selina Kyle and Barbara Gordon, resulting in Selina's death and Barbara's paralysis, respectively. Meanwhile, Dinah, a young girl, sees the events as they unfold though her mother tells her that they are only nightmarish dreams.

Presently, the young girl has decided to seek the characters of her nightmares and travels to New Gotham City, where Barbara, who was previously Batgirl, has become an English professor and is called Oracle, and the daughter of Selina, who witnessed the Joker stab Catwoman to death, has become a bartender and is now called Huntress.

Upon arrival, Dinah watches a man hit by a truck; she touches him during her attempt to comfort him and has a vision where rats come from the sewers to attack the dying man. Dinah tells the New Gotham Police Department detectives about the incident, prompting one detective, Reese, to reveal that there seems to be more occurring than they know.

Meanwhile, Helena, who goes to court-ordered counseling, and Barbara talk about how men are committing suicide for no apparent reason. To clear her head of it being the seven-year anniversary of her mother's death, Helena goes on patrol and saves Dinah from a potential rapist; Dinah sees that at least one of her dream characters is real.

Barbara Gordon/Oracle

Dinah learns that the second character is real when she touches Helena and learns where she and Barbara live. After awakening from the blow Helena gave her when she infiltrated their clocktower, Dinah explains that she has no where else to go and wants to join their crime-fighting team; Helena is adamantly against it, but, citing to Helena that after Selina died, she took her in, Barbara allows Dinah to stay for the night. The next morning, Alfred Pennyworth arrives from Wayne Manor, offering Dinah a change of clothes, breakfast from the newly stocked refrigerator, and advice to Barbara that Dinah should stay.

Dinah and Barbara talk about Crowley's suicide and Dinah's vision; they learn that he is one of four businessmen who formed Phoenix Industries, Inc. and the second to commit "suicide", so that night, after further counseling, Huntress goes to the loft of a third founder to find him hanging from the ceiling. Reese arrives and captures Huntress, but, to avoid his back-up officers and after revealing that she is a crime-fighter, not a criminal, she quickly escapes.

Huntress goes to the home of the fourth businessman Larry Ketterly to protect him while Dinah, after much convincing, goes to the docks where Phoenix Industries, Inc. is located, to find a hidden basement. There, Dinah learns from Barbara that it was in that basement seven years ago, where she, as Batgirl, watched as Batman embarrassed the Joker and destroyed his organization. Dinah and Barbara soon realize that it is Ketterly himself who is causing the suicides by making people see their nightmares and fears.


Just as Ketterly is convincing Helena to commit suicide, Dinah and Barbara arrive; however, Helena is too deeply entranced to stop on her own, so Dinah uses her powers, bringing herself and Barbara into Helena's mind. In her mindscape, Helena is dissuaded against suicide, causing the mental version of Ketterly to actively fight her. Ultimately, Huntress kills the avatar and the three women join hands and exit the mindscape to find the physical Ketterly comatose.

The heroes leave Ketterly at the precinct, but Reese takes the comatosed man to Arkham Asylum where Helena's counselor Harleen Quinzel works. She is highly disappointed in his failure as she has plans for New Gotham City.

The next morning, as the warehouse is demolished, Helena and Barbara officially make Dinah a teammate and tell her the ground rules of staying.



  • Jeffrey A. Okun is mistakenly credited as a "visual ffects supervisor".
  • Though the newspaper says that the man was hit by a bus, it was clearly a truck that killed him.