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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E10 "Two-Face: Part 1"

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The episode begins with Harvey Dent being chased by a mysterious figure who keeps taunting him. Luckily, it's just a dream; his coworker Carlos wakes him up and tells him that a raid against mob boss Rupert Thorne has started.

Upon arriving there, Dent and Gordon find that Batman has taken Thorne's goons down, though Thorne himself is not present. As Harvey swears to bring down Thorne, one of the goons taunts Harvey and kicks mud on his suit, really pissing Harvey off. Harvey goes berserk and starts attacking the goon until Gordon stops him. Afterward Harvey has no memory of what he had done. It's not long before there's a repeat of the incident, as at an election fundraiser Harvey learns that a judge has declared the raid to have been illegal and has released Thorne's men that were arrested. This time it's Harvey's fiancée Grace who snaps Harvey out of his rage but as he was about to punch Bruce who's trying to consul him, but nonetheless it's clear that something is wrong with Harvey Dent.

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Meanwhile, Thorne reveals that he's increasingly worried about Harvey's attempts to put him in jail, and sends his assistant Candace to start investigating him, claiming that all men have something to hide.

At a therapy session, Harvey's therapist reveals that he has Dissociative Identity Disorder, and a second personality that emerges when Harvey is too stressed or angry to deal with his emotions. This second, much more aggressive personality, whom Harvey refers to as "Big Bad Harv," then takes over for the things that the gentle and kind Harvey can't deal with. The therapist uses hypnosis to draw out Big Bad Harv and speak to him. Upon hearing that Harvey might get better, meaning Harv could "go away," he promptly starts trashing her office in a rage until she snaps her fingers, returning Harvey's normal personality to the fore. The therapist advises Harvey to take time off for treatment, but Harvey refuses, as he's in the middle of both his reelection campaign and attempting to prosecute Gotham's biggest gangster, so time isn't something he really has.

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It's not long before Candace, who was eavesdropping on the therapy session, steals Harvey's psychological file, and Thorne tries to use it to blackmail him. In the midst of Thorne's mockery and blackmail, Big Bad Harv takes over and he begins trying to attack Thorne and Thorne's mooks. Batman comes in to help, but during the course of the altercation an explosion badly injures Harvey. He wakes up in the hospital under the control of his second personality and has a Freak Out when he sees the damage the explosion did to his face. Grace comes to see him at that moment and faints at the sight, which convinces Harvey to leave and attempt to take his revenge on Thorne—under the control of Big Bad Harv, and using the methods of that personality.


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Tropes in this episode include:

  • The Baroness: Candace loves to watch a fistfight, even when the fight is not going her boss' way.
  • Big "NO!": Batman has a low-key one once he sees what the explosion did to Harvey's face, indicating his empathy for his friend.
    Batman: Harvey! Noooo...
  • Bullying a Dragon: Big Bad Harv comes out when Harvey gets bullied. He even comes out when things don't go in Harvey's way.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Harvey has one at the beginning.
  • Cement Shoes: A mobster being bothered by crusading DA Harvey Dent considers "fitting him for a cement overcoat."
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: When Harvey's "Big Bad Harv" personality dominates, his voice is deeper and raspier. This would become permanent as Two-Face's voice.
  • Fainting: Grace faints when she sees Two-Face's face for the first time.
  • Foreshadowing: During Harvey Dent's hypnotherapy session there is a brief lightning flash; during the flash a split-second shot shows hideous scarring on the left side of Dent's face.
  • Freak Out: How Two-Face first reacts upon looking in the mirror.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: It's easy to spot in normal viewing, but still cool to freeze frame Harvey Dent's gruesome half-face, foreshadowed in a flash of lightning.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Downplayed, obviously enough, for a cartoon, but in the final fight, Candace is very obviously impressed with the way Harvey (with some help from Batman) trashes half a dozen or so of Thorne's goons.
  • Lightning Reveal: A storm rages outside the window as Harvey and his therapist discuss his second personality under hypnosis. A flash of lightning shows Harvey as he will appear as Two-Face.
  • Mythology Gag: Harvey's plastic surgery scene plays out very similarly to Jack Napier's.
  • Not So Stoic: Upon seeing the effects of the chemical explosion on his childhood friend (and one of few real friends "Bruce Wayne" has) Harvey Dent, Batman's pain is clear.
  • Off-Model: Our first look at Two-Face includes a white eyebrow, which became black for the rest of the show. Also, his hand wasn't scarred.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Big Bad Harv takes control over Harvey Dent:
    Harvey: There's just one problem.
    Rupert Thorne: What's that?
    Harvey: You're talking to the wrong Harvey.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Upon awakening after getting caught in an explosion, Harvey Dent demands a mirror. When he sees the grotesque scarring of half his face, he screams with horror and anger, and his transformation into the villain Two-Face becomes complete (except for the occasional Hope Spot that keeps Batman tormented that his old friend might be saved).
  • Remember the New Guy?: Harvey's long time fiancée Grace. It's jarring because a few episodes ago he was dating Pamela Isley.
  • Sanity Slippage: As Thorne and his goons laugh at Dent, taunting him about how they have him completely at their mercy using his psychiatric file, Dent's sanity finally loses its grip and goes screaming over the edge as he surrenders control to Big Bad Harv.
    Thorne: So, what do you say, Harvey? Do we have a deal?
    Harvey: There's just one problem. You're talking to the wrong Harvey.
  • Shadow Archetype: Thorne's line about how the cleaner someone seems, the dirtier they become is one of the quotes on the quote page.
  • Slouch of Villainy: When the therapist asks to speak to Big Bad Harv, Harvey shudders for a second, then slouches over on the therapy couch, pulls out the silver dollar, and begins flipping it.
  • Stealth Pun: The episode featuring Two-Face is a two-parter.
  • Stunned Silence: A crowd of reporters becomes as silent as a tomb when Harvey first loses control.
  • Suppressed Rage: After slugging a school bully, and later hearing he was hospitalized (for appendicitis, but he didn't know that), a guilty young Harvey suppressed his rage so hard that it formed a completely separate personality: Big Bad Harv.
  • There Are No Therapists: Oddly enough, Averted. Harvey is seeing one, and she seems rather competent. Sadly, she can only do so much. She suggests that he check himself into a psych ward for more intensive treatment, but he rejects the idea because it would torpedo his reelection campaign. But compromise by cutting down a bit on his campaign and plans to make regular appointments (in secret).
  • Tranquil Fury: The first sign of Dent's psychotic break; he goes completely calm and quiet as he readies himself to go berserk.

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