Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episodes 10 and 11 – Two-Face – The Tragedy of Harvey Dent

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“Chance, Grace. Chance is everything. Whether you’re born or not. Whether you live or die. Whether you’re good or bad. It’s all arbitrary.” -Two-Face

“Two-Face” is a two part episode that explores the tragedy of Harvey Dent. It shows how dangerous he has been to Rupert Thorne and his gang and his need for relationship (Poison Ivy last time and has a fiance in this episode). It is powerful and one of my favorite Batman episodes.

Here is the assessment:

Presentation – Lightning and shadows are used to illustrate when Harvey Dent or Two-Face are speaking…it is wonderful and it illustrates his world, since we see this episode mostly through his eyes.

Pros: Harvey Dent/Two-Face – As Harvey we have the idealistic D.A. who overreacts because of the bullying he went through…it is from there we get his motivations for bringing down other bullies too and his need for companionship…He feels no power within himself so he seeks it through action and other people. This I think is a huge part of the split personality of Harvey and Big Bad Harv, based on what we see in the episode. His explanation on the coin and chance is a much better speech than the one he gives in the “Dark Knight.”

Batman – We see the failure he feels at not being able to protect Harvey, it more believable than in the Dark Knight too, because we have seen the action of their friendship in prior episodes. It is for this reason his fear of having failed Harvey floats to the surface and the fear that he failed his parents (In the episode “Nothing to Fear,” we saw this). We also see his belief in Harvey that lasts even to the end of the episode when Two-Face is going to Arkham. a

Rupert Thorne – Best gang leader so far. He not only creates Two-Face but keeps the upper hand in every interaction with Harvey Dent. His blackmail is what lead to the tragedy in the first place…and he survives the episode, which is saying something.

The Minions – From Two-Face’s Ginger Twins to Thorne’s secretary who revels in being bad all the minions in this episode with lines are interesting characters. They have personality and we even get to see some motivations and drive.

Grace – The name means a lot, but her love and support of Harvey Dent is pretty powerful. She looks past the Two-Face, it is only when it never goes away…I wish Harvey Dent had received some redemption…but he never does, it just isn’t there for Batman’s Rogues, which is a shame cause they are so fascinating, and Harvey Dent/Two-Face is one of the top of that list (along with Mr. Freeze).

The ending – It ends on a hopeful note…Batman even tosses a coin in a well for luck for hope in regards to Harvey’s recovery. It is a wonderful end.

This episode still stands at one of my favorites. I’m glad it was two parts, outside of the symbolism in regards to Two-Face it also gave us enough time to explore Harvey and hist motivations…as well as his fall.

I highly recommend this episode 10 / 10.

 

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