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"Two-Face" is a two-part episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It depicts the transformation of Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent into the villain Two-Face.

Plot[]

Part I[]

Harvey Dent has a nightmare in which he is confronted by a mysterious doppelganger, flipping a coin over and over again. Just before Dent wakes up, the figure assures him: "It's time, Harvey...it's time!".

Dent awakens in his office, awoken by his secretary Carlos from the D.A.'s office, and heads out to meet with Commissioner Gordon for a raid on a derelict building being held by Rupert Thorne's gang, heavily defended with stolen weapons and supplies from Gotham's Army depots. With Batman's help, the gang is captured.

Harvey Dent's outburst

Harvey Dent attacks a criminal that just slung mud onto him.

In front of news reporters, Dent publicly congratulates the police and thanks Gordon. But just then, one of the captured crooks taunts Dent with the assurance that he and his cohorts will soon be free, and kicks a puddle of mud, splattering it on Dent's suit. To everyone's shock, Dent goes berserk with fury and attacks the handcuffed man and has to be pulled off him. A second later, Dent inexplicably reverts to his amiable, courteous self, with seemingly no memory of the fit of rage. Despite having seen the direct cause of the attack, Gordon asks what was that all about and Dent says "I don't know. I guess he just hit the right button." Gordon mutters "That's one heck of a button."

Meanwhile, Thorne is gritting his teeth, as Dent's actions have crippled his interests in Gotham. He commands his moll Candice to dig up some dirt about Dent's past that could be used in his favor, despite his apparently spotless record.

A short time later at a campaign party to raise funds for his re-election as Gotham's District Attorney at Wayne Manor, Dent has another violent outburst in public when he is told that Thorne's men have been released due to an incomplete warrant and claims that the judge let them go because he had been bought. Bruce Wayne is nearby and tries to calm him, but Dent shouts him away and is prepared to attack him, only calmed by the intervention of his fiancée, Grace Lamont. Concerned, Bruce advises him to seek psychiatric help which Grace implies he already is, much to Harvey's embarrassment. Dent is highly reluctant to appear vulnerable during his reelection campaign but agrees to seek counseling.

Under hypnosis with Dr. Nora Crest, an alternate personality known as "Big Bad Harv" surfaces. "Harv" is resentful of Dent and produces a coin that he compulsively flips. Dr. Crest reveals that as a boy, Harvey felt very guilty of his angry feelings so he suppressed those feelings until it manifested as Big Bad Harv. Crest notes that everyone feels anger and Harvey needs to realize that anger is nothing to be ashamed of as long as it doesn't result in bad behavior in order for Big Bad Harv to go away but he refuses to let Dent take over completely. After Dr. Crest is nearly thrown from the window, she snaps her fingers. Dent resurfaces and is immediately shaken by "Big Bad Harv" and his actions, stating that he used to be able to repress him before. Nora suggests Dent admit himself to a psychiatric hospital for a few days, but Dent refuses to say that it'd destroy his campaign entirely. Shakily, Dent agrees to the continued (but secret) therapy sessions during the reelection campaign along with letting up on the aggression of it to keep his emotions in check. Unbeknownst to Harvey, Candice secretly overheard the incident, and she leaves to tell Thorne.

Harvey and Grace

Harvey with Grace at his campaign.

Later at a campaign party, it is revealed that Dent is about to receive a landslide victory in the re-election; and that Harvey decides to celebrate this by proposing to Grace and selecting a wedding date later that evening as part of his acceptance speech to DA. Dent receives a call from Thorne, who summons him to a meeting, or else "Big Bad Harv" will be exposed; completely demolishing Harvey's career. Noticing Dent's strange behavior, Bruce changes into Batman and follows him.

At an abandoned chemical plant, Thorne and his gang meet with Dent, having found records from his childhood that showed how "Big Bad Harv" came to be: when Harvey was a little boy, he was bothered by a bully. Every day after school, the bully would pick on him until one day, Harvey got so mad, he hit the bully. At first, Harvey felt proud that he stood up for himself, until he heard the bully was in the hospital (for appendicitis, not injuries, but young Dent didn't know that). Harvey, believing that him hitting the bully caused him to be put in the hospital, felt so guilty, he repressed his anger so completely that it built up over the years until it has become "Big Bad Harv".

Harvey's accident

The fateful accident that created Two-Face.

Thorne threatens to expose an increasingly agitated Dent unless he complies with Thorne's agenda. Suddenly calm, Dent smiles and says: "There's just one problem: You're talking to the wrong Harvey." Now it is Big Bad Harv who rises and attacks Thorne and his accomplices, wiping out the gang with the reluctant aid of Batman. Thorne grabs the psychiatric file and runs out of the office through the plant, and Dent chases him. One of Thorne's thugs opens fire with a Tommy gun, and Batman knocks his aim off. A stray bullet hits an electrical switchboard, and a live cable falls into a vat of chemicals, which blows up under the catwalk where Dent has fallen face-down, the explosion tears through the catwalk and catches him right in the face. As Batman tends to his fallen friend, he recoils in horror at the damage wrought.

Batman shocked

Batman reacts in horror upon seeing the damage to Harvey's face.

Dent is rushed to a hospital. The doctor explains to Bruce and Grace that a plastic surgeon should be able to repair most of Dent's physical scars, though Bruce is more concerned about the mental scars. Meanwhile, Thorne is reading a newspaper about Dent's accident. Though Cadence believes they are rid of Dent, Thorne is unconvinced. Later, the doctor removes his bandages, confessing that there will be some scarring, but he scheduled the surgery. But when the bandages are gone, the doctor and nurse back away in horror. Dent demands to see a mirror.

Grace walks down the hall to Dent's room carrying flowers, then hears a horrible scream and sees Dent bolt from his room, clutching his face. Grace asks him what happened. He turns, revealing that one side of his face has been scarred by the chemicals, making him seem half-human, half-monster. She faints dead away. Dent, muttering a rueful farewell, disappears through the hospital's window.

Part II[]

Two-Face (BTAS)

The new Harvey Dent.

Six months later, Dent, now calling himself "Two-Face", has recruited two henchmen, twin brothers Min and Max. Two-Face's car pulls up outside one of Thorne's bookies, and the gangster pulls a coin out of his pocket: both sides are stamped with a head, but one has been gouged with deep scratches. Two-Face flips the coin to determine whether they will hit the bookie or leave it alone. The coin lands "bad" heads up, and they raid the place. After clearing out the safe and the cash drawers, and taking a crate filled with silver dollars, one of the twins sees a diamond ring on a woman's finger and starts to take it. Two-Face flips the coin again, saying jewelry wasn't part of the plan – the coin lands "good" heads up and to his henchman's bafflement, Two-Face yells at him to leave the ring. Before leaving, Two-Face empties his gun into the walls and television screens, leaving a message for Thorne.

Thorne, infuriated that his most fearsome enemy is now targeting him without the constraint of the law and hurting his pocket much more than he ever did as District Attorney, puts a two-million-dollar contract on Two-Face's head, one million for each face.

Bruce has his own nightmare when both Dent and his parents demand why he failed to save them. Waking, he vows to save his friend at any cost.

Candice, playing a more subtle game than Thorne's other thugs, visit Grace disguised as a police detective, saying that they want to help Dent. Candice leaves her a transmitter with instructions to activate it if Dent contacts her.

In their hideout, Two-Face starts sharing out the profits of the bookie raid. When he opens his own wallet, he freezes when he sees a picture of himself, whole and happy, with Grace at his side. Noticing this, Min and Max offer to bring Grace to him if he misses her so much. Two-Face flips his coin, which lands bad heads, and says it can wait. He also says he's through with humiliating Thorne and is ready to take him down once and for all.

Batman looks at Two-Face's list of targets – all of which, besides having some relation to the number two, are fronts for Thorne's activities – and predicts his next target.

At the office of Thorne's attorney (last name Doubleday), Two-Face and his men find a confidential file on Thorne with evidence galore of his criminal activities. Batman appears and tries to stop them, pleading with Two-Face to let him help. Two-Face is momentarily halted by the mention of Grace, but then Batman is distracted by the appearance of Max, snapping Two-Face out of it. Two-Face escapes with the file, flooring Batman with a kick that sends him crashing into a janitor's cart, severely cracking his ribs.

As they are driving away, Two-Face sees an ad for a wedding shop and imagines that the bride is Grace. Telling his men to stop the car, he takes out his coin and flips it.

He telephones Grace and asks her to meet with her. She agrees and after she hangs up, hesitates briefly, then activates the transmitter.

Thorne rages that if the file finds its way to the police, he will be ruined. Then Candice receives the signal from Grace.

Grace is delivered to the derelict "Wild Deuce" club, where she enters a large room – half of it carefully groomed, half of it violently destroyed. Two-Face stands in the middle, his scarred half covered by a white cloth with an open eyehole. When Grace tries to reason with him, he starts talking about chance, saying how it controls everything, including whether a person is good or bad.

Two Face's hideout

Thorne's men attack Two-Face and Grace in his hideout.

Grace refuses to accept this, saying that Dent has accomplished all the good things in his life – becoming District Attorney, and winning her heart – through hard work and virtue. He can still be a good person and reverse the harm he has done. She then pulls away the cloth and says that, despite everything he's become, she still loves him. Two-Face embraces her, his voice breaking...and then Thorne enters with his thugs, having knocked out Min & Max.

Candice gloatingly informs Two-Face that Grace is the one who led them to him, while Grace is horrified. Thorne demands the file and Two-Face refuses, but Throne breaks him by threatening Grace. Beaten, Two-Face pulls the file from under one of the disused roulette tables. Thorne confirms that the file is genuine, then orders his henchmen to kill both of them.

Just then, Batman arrives. Thorne attempts to shoot him, but Two-Face kicks Thorne and causes him to shoot a chandelier which collapses onto him. Batman and Two-Face attack the thugs, though Batman is severely hampered by his cracked ribs, while Grace does her part by knocking Candice out. Once the thugs are subdued, Two-Face aims a Tommy gun at the trapped Thorne, while Batman is too weak to rise.

Grace and Batman plead to let the law deal with Thorne, and Two-Face retorts that the only law is the law of averages. He flips his coin to decide Thorne's fate...and then Batman throws the crate of silver dollars, mixing them in midair with Two-Face's coin and causing him to lose it. Unable to decide without it, Two-Face collapses onto the club's floor, throwing a tantrum of rage as Grace comforts him.

Coin good side

In a fountain, Batman's coin lands good heads up.

The police arrive and Thorne and his gang are taken away. Two-Face is also arrested, but with Grace by his side. Gordon wonders whether there's hope for Dent, to which Batman claims wherever there is love, there is hope. But alone, he flips a coin into a nearby fountain, wishing his old friend Harvey the best of luck. As he turns away, the coin lands heads up.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Notorious for making changes to scripts he directed, Kevin Altieri has said he hardly touched this one. "There were embellishments I gave to it, like adding the rainstorms to the staging of the psychiatrist's office." but overall, the director noted "it was better than anything the comics had ever done on that character [...] that script didn't need to be changed very much."[1]
  • Despite the animation for Part II seemingly not matching the quality of Part I, Kevin Altieri has come to the defense of Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD., stating "it looks just like the layouts." While also noting "in part one, really great animators took some liberties from the layouts we provided."[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • In the scene where Dent lies in the hospital, his hair, neckline, and hand are clearly undamaged and unscarred. However, when Grace faints after seeing him for the first time as Two-Face, his hair is discolored, and his neck is scarred.
  • In Part II, and throughout the rest of the series, Two-Face's left hand is damaged, but it was unharmed at the end of Part I when he first emerged from the operating room.
  • In Part II, when Two-Face looks in his wallet, there is a card registered to Two-Face himself, rather than Harvey Dent. No real banking institution would willingly lend a credit/debit card to a known criminal.

Trivia[]

  • Reportedly, Richard Moll’s audition for Two-Face was so eerily effective that the entire Batman production staff stopped dead in their tracks upon hearing it. In regard to finding the character's voice, Moll used the same breathy, growling voice of the sorcerer Xusia which he played in the 1982 film, The Sword and the Sorcerer.[2]
  • This marked the time when the writers felt the series really took an adult turn.
  • When speaking on this episode, Alan Burnett has stated he's proud of the episode being "the first time that anyone in animation has dealt with a multiple personality." He expanded, "Two-Face makes sense if we understand he was a multiple personality first, and then became Two-Face. His back history came from an example a psychiatrist gave me of the way a split personality can begin."[3]
  • The reveal of Harvey Dent's disfiguration scared Bruce Timm the first time he saw it. "There's something about him that gives you a weird chill. It's pretty scary."[4]
  • Part I of this episode debuted at San Diego Comic-Con in 1992. It was the first episode of Batman: The Animated Series to have been shown publicly.
  • During the beginning of the robbery at the start of Part II, Two-Face tells everyone "For the next five minutes, I'm in control!" This line was spoken by actor Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. Interestingly, Pacino was considered for the role of Two-Face in the series before Richard Moll was cast.
  • The entire line "Don't bother to adjust the picture..." is also similar to the introduction for the classic science fiction series The Outer Limits: "Do not attempt to adjust your television. We are controlling the transmission."
  • Grace Lamont, Harvey Dent's fiancée, is played by Murphy Cross, who also played a lady friend of Richard Moll's character, Bull Shannon, on the TV series Night Court. Frankie, Thorne's chief thug who menaces Grace, is played by Cross's husband, Matt Landers.
  • Grace's name is a modification of Gilda Grace Dent, Dent's wife in the comics.
  • On the Volume One DVD set, this is the first two-part episode, found on the second disc. It is also the tenth episode, making it the first with two digits.
  • The scene where Dent first sees his new appearance in the hospital was intended to be similar to the scene in the live-action film Batman where gangster Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) first sees his new appearance as the Joker.
  • When Two-Face opens his wallet to give Min and Max their cut of the money stolen from the bookies, the number 666 is visible on his credit card in his wallet.
  • The final shot, in which Two-Face's coin lands good heads, was used in both live-action movies Batman Forever and The Dark Knight, as Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart, respectively) falls to his death.
  • The part where Batman throws multiple coins at Two-Face while he is flipping his coin was also later copied in "Batman Forever".
  • The idea of Harvey Dent aka Two-Face wearing a half-white, half-black split-down-the-middle Armani suit has been copied by the comics since the episode.
  • Grace Lamont made no further appearances in the DCAU but did appear in the tie-in comics. In Batman & Robin Adventures #1 and Batman & Robin Adventures Vol #2, she falls victim to a nefarious plot by the Joker: he enrages Two-Face by suggesting that Grace and Bruce Wayne are a couple. Two-Face kidnaps Dick and threatens to kill him, but in the end, Grace stabs Two-Face's disfigured face with his damaged coin. The story ends with the implication that their relationship is over. In Batman & Robin Adventures #22, however, Two-Face calls Grace via payphone and warns her to get out of her apartment before Little Jonni Infantino, who threatens to harm Grace when Two-Face refuses to give information on one of Harvey Dent's last cases, can send his men after her. She is later seen crying while telling Bruce Wayne that Harvey just saved her life. This comic may indicate that Grace still loves Harvey and that there is still hope for him.
  • Harvey Dent during the DA reelection campaign says to the Gothamites to "vote early, vote often. Just in different elections." This is a reference to a phrase stated by former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley relating to the voting process, which can refer to more dirty aspects of elections such as ballot stuffing.

Cast[]

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman/Bruce Wayne
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Henchman (uncredited)
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Richard Moll Two-Face/Harvey Dent
Thomas Wayne (uncredited)
Murphy Cross Grace Lamont
Mari Devon Summer Gleeson
Bob DoQui Doctor
Doobie
Matt Landers Frankie
Diane Michelle Candice
Linda Gary Dr. Nora Crest
Marcelo Tubert Carlos
John Vernon Rupert Thorne
Micky Dolenz Min and Max

Uncredited appearances[]

Quotes[]

Part 1[]

Big Bad Harv: Harvey... Harvey Dent...
Harvey: No! Keep away! Leave me alone! (continues running)
Big Bad Harv: (chuckles) Where you going, Harvey? You can't get away from me. (appears in front of him) See what I mean?
Harvey: Stay away! I want no part of you!

Candace: My, this guy is crazy.
Rupert Thorne: Yeah, crazy like a fox. That little tantrum probably bought him another 10,000 votes.

Thorne: All men have something to hide. The brighter the picture, the darker the negative.

Big Bad Harv: I'm goin' nowhere, missy! If anyone's leavin', it's Mr. Goody-Good! And maybe you with him...

Thorne: So what do you say, Harvey? Do we have a deal?
Harvey: There's just one problem.
Thorne: What's that?
Big Bad Harv: You're talking to the wrong Harvey.

Batman: HARVEY!!!!

Batman: (Seeing Harvey's scarred face for the first time) Harvey.......no........

Part 2[]

Two-Face: (entering a bookie's to rob it) Don't bother to adjust the picture. For the next five minutes, I'm in control.

Two-Face: Before I go, I want you all to give Rupert Thorne a message for me... (fires constantly into the air)

Harvey: WHY COULDN'T YOU SAVE ME?!

Thomas Wayne: Why couldn't you save us, son?

Bruce: So what are you dreaming tonight, Harvey? Peaceful dreams? Nightmares? Maybe both at once.

Two-Face: (to Min and Max) You always were a couple of greedy little beggars, even when I prosecuted you as DA.

Two-Face: This is my world now... A dichotomy of order and chaos, just like me.

Thorne: At last we meet, face to face... to face.

(Two-Face aims a gun at Thorne)
Thorne: No! Two-Face, don't! You can't let him!
Grace: Harvey, what are you doing?!
Two-Face: Taking control of my life.
Batman: Let the law handle it.
Two-Face: The law?! Here's the only law! (holds up his coin) The law of averages! The great equalizer! (flips it)

Commissioner Gordon: Poor Harvey. So filled with anger. Do you think there's any hope?
Batman: Where there's love, there's hope, Commissioner. But a little luck wouldn't hurt. (tosses Two-Face's coin into a fountain) For you, Harvey. (the coin lands good face up inside the water)

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)
  2. (Starlog #188, March 1993), [Excerpted from the longer article “Animated Antagonist]
  3. "Animated Knights" by Pat Jankiewicz - Comics Scene Magazine #29 (October 1992)
  4. "Gotham Nocturna" by Pat Jankiewicz - Comics Scene Magazine #46 (September 1994)
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