Batman: 10 Two Face, Part One

Batman is a DC Comics character, and Batman: The Animated Series is owned by Warner Home Video. If you'd like to purchase this episode, you may do so here; if you'd like to buy the DVD box set, you may do so here. The story is by Alan Burnett; the teleplay was written by Randy Rogel; and the episode was directed by Kevin Altieri. 

Shimmering ambient noise is paired with single strikes on a xylophone. A man stands in mid-coin flip, his manner and appearance a study in chiaroscuro.

In a fog shrouded dreamscape, The Dent is on the run from a gravelly voice. He encounters the source of the voice, a solitary figure flipping a coin in a beam of light. “It's time,” the figure says, and Harvey wakes up screaming on his office couch.

He's late to a police raid he planned, showing up just in time to almost get torn in half by a hail of bullets. Relax, Harv - that's just how people shake hands in Gotham! 

Gordon is waiting on the SWAT Team. Inside the building, the masked mooks are switching from guns to rocket launchers. Their leader insists no one could get in the building alive! Cue Batman.

It sounds like the mooks are locked in the apartment with an angry bear. They come streaming out of the complex, screaming for clemency. Batman > SWAT Team

Harvey praises Commissioner Gordon to the assembled reporters. Gordon sees the billowing cape of Batman on a nearby rooftop and offers his thanks.

The Dent reminds the media that his re-election campaign is based on removing crime boss Rupert Thorne from power, and he's doing it. As a response, a captured mook who looks like a ventriloquist's dummy slings some metaphorical and literal mud at the DA.

When the other members of the gang start to laugh, it's too much - The Dent loses it! He throws the ventriloquist mook into a puddle of mud, and is on the verge of beating the guy into a pulp. 

Gordon restrains Dent, trying to talk some sense into him. Judging by his face, there are mixed results.

Strike one.  

Summer Gleeson reports all of the preceding events; Rupert Thorne watches her, chagrined. The crime boss's right hand man, who has a bag of potatoes for a chin, suggests they moider him.

Instead, Thorne tells them to dig up dirt on the DA. His right hand woman agrees. The crime boss then smiles at the camera like a male version of Ursula from the Little Mermaid.

Commercial break!

Wayne Manor is decked out Harvey Dent style. Bruce has sponsored a fundraiser for his friend, and sits next to The Dent's fiancee, Grace, in the audience. Harvey charms some old ladies, but his assistant rushes up to him before he can kiss any babies.

Turns out the Judge has thrown out the raid case due to an improperly filled out warrant, showing that this cartoon pays more attention to the rules of criminal procedure than Law & Order. The DA goes ballistic!

Harvey is seeing red, and so are we. He throws his assistant into a table. Bruce steps in, and almost gets a faceful of fist as thanks. Dent finally comes back to reality when confronted by his fiancee. We get another awesome face, and then The Dent wanders off. Strike two.

In the audience, Thorne's right hand woman smirks.

Grace lets it slip that he's seeing a psychiatrist. Bruce is proud, and tells him, “It takes a strong man to admit when he has a problem.” However, it takes an even stronger man to dress up like a bat and beat that man up.

That night, Harvey visits the creepy old woman from Poltergeist, aka his psychiatrist. She hypnotizes him and asks to speak to his other personality. We get a glimpse of what's coming as the lightning flashes outside.

Big Bad Harv is on now; he sounds like the devil after a hundred years of chain-smoking unfiltered Luckies. When BBH realizes they're trying to get rid of him, he tears the office apart.

He's about to do something untoward to the therapist, but she brings him out of the change with a snap. She recommends a stay in a mental hospital. He refuses. There's an election on the line, after all. Instead, he'll meet with her more. That's the ticket!

Outside the door of Dr. BM Crest (ha), Thorne's right hand woman smirks again. I think that's just how her face is built.

Election night, and Harvey is ahead in the polls. All’s well, until his assistant - who must have a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome to keep working for the guy - tells him he has a phone call. It’s Rupert Thorne on the line. When the crime boss asks for Big Bad Harv, Dent knows he has to make a deal.

Ole’ Brucie is making time with a girl in the hallway when he sees The Dent storming off. He confronts him, only to be rebuffed by the force of Harvey's hat.

Bruce watches as his friend gets in a car with some shifty guys, but it's Batman that follows them. He places a tracker on the car's bumper.

Commercial break!

The Batmobile pulls up outside a factory. Inside, Thorne is reading Harvey's psychiatric file to the assembled mooks. The Dent's guilt over punching a childhood bully is A-list material, and they all laugh at him as the blackmail sets in. But is it really wise to taunt a guy with repressed rage issues?

Strike three. Big Bad Harv is in the driver's seat now! He throws Thorne at his mooks, knocking them all down. Batman drops from the ceiling to call his friend back from the edge, but Harvey Dent is gone. 

Given a moment to recover, the crime boss sends his cronies after them. Disassociative Identity Disorder apparently teaches you to fight like you're in the Matrix, and Dent handles his share of the mooks. As the melee rages on, Thorne escapes with the file.

Harvey races after Thorne into the factory.

Ventriloquist dummy mook grabs – what else? - a Tommy gun. Bullets rake the junction box, sending wires flying into one of the vats. The Dent is caught in the resulting explosion. 

Batman rolls his friend's body over. His eyes go wide at the sight of Harvey's face. We see the Dark Knight grieve.

In the hospital, Grace is worried about her husband's life; Bruce flat out asks, “What about his face?” Meanwhile, Thorne stares at a newspaper with Harvey's picture on it before throwing it in the flames. He's not sure it's over.

Back at the hospital, they're already pulling off the bandages. The doctor and nurse recoil in terror. Harvey scrambles for a mirror, and his fiancee is just in time to hear his scream of anguish. (Richard Moll, the voice of Harvey Dent, beyond nails it.)

He stumbles into the hallway, panicked when he sees Grace. Harvey turns to the camera, and we see the full extent of his injuries for the first time.

She faints dead away at the sight of him. Harvey tells her goodbye, and walks into the storm.

To be continued...