This is 500 words about a Batman episode. This is the BATMAN 500.
When you’ve been living with a separate, distinct personality that threatens to consume you at every turn, it’s only natural, in the Batman universe, that that personality has been doing a lot of planning for the moment when it will finally (and permanently) take the wheel. The length of time between “Two-Face Part 1” and “Two-Face Part 2” is never really explained, but I’d like to think that, while Big, Bad Harv was biding his time and waiting for Dent to lose control, he was also thinking about aesthetics and business models. “Yeah, and then I’ll get some gun-toting twins to work for me! And they’ll both wear exactly the same shit! And when they step out of line, I’ll smack them in front of everyone. Oh, this is going to be so tight. So, so tight.” Two-Face seems extremely organized at the beginning of “Part 2,” and you can either attribute this to a long length of time having passed since he was “born,” him just having astounding luck when it comes to starting criminal empires, or solid planning abilities.
The really great thing about “Two-Face Part 2” is that it’s not just the second half of a supervillain origin tale, but it’s also a story about fallout. All of the events that erupted at the end of the first episode are raining down. We see Bruce Wayne caught up in guilt over not being able to help his friend, which is kind of like the guilt he feels about his parents. We see Grace, Dent’s former girlfriend, trying to deal with the fact that the man she loves is now a bank-robbing evildoer. Rupert Thorne is trying to counter Two-Face’s rise in power and do damage control at the same time. Two-Face is forced to deal with Harvey Dent’s former life. No matter how hard Big, Bad Harv tries, he can’t fully escape Harvey Dent. It’s a reverse of the previous episode, and it’s awesome.
One thing I noticed in this episode is that, when Rupert Thorne finally confronts Two-Face, just before the final fight, he says “At last we meet, face to face to face.” It’s a good line, but the “face to face to face” part of it is repeated by the Penguin in “Second Chance,” seventy episodes from now. Sure, that’s a long time, but villains really need to get together and go over who is going to get the most quotable shit. There’s nothing more embarrassing than overlap when you’re trying to craft unique megalomaniacal personas.
Two-Face wouldn’t get another Two-Face-centric episode for a long time and he’d mostly show up alongside other villains in big, gimmicky team-up stuff. But that’s okay, because this two-episode arc is one of the first times (of many) that Batman: The Animated Series would create a definitive story for a character. If you’re looking for a forty-minute explanation of what makes Two-Face tick and the part his life plays in the overall Batman mythology, watch these. They’re essential.