March 15th, 2012

Two-Face... FOREVER!!!

Review: Grace and Harvey reunite in the conclusion for B:TAS' "Two-Face, Part II"

Previous entries: Part I, and most of Part II.

Sorry for the long wait. This was the hardest post of all to write, and not just because I had to rewrite half of it from scratch. Be warned, I go really in-depth with the speculation on this one. This review will either be the culmination of all my analysis from the two previous posts, or it will be the moment when I utterly disappear up my own ass. YMMV.

Since I'm forced to give this scene its own post, we might as well take a moment to contextualize these events. By the time this episode of Batman: The Animated Series first aired, there had been two stories where Harvey Dent had been redeemed through the power of love (which is itself, as I understand it, "a curious thing"). The first resulted in a happy ending for all, while the second was uncertain but optimistic... at least, until the next writer decided to ignore it entirely.

At the center of both these stories was Harvey's fiancée/ex-wife, Gilda. She was featured in a third story from 1989 that also dealt with similar themes of redemptive love, ending on a note that was bittersweet, but not without hope amidst the tragedy. Except in that story, Gilda was renamed "Grace." All three of these stories influenced the emotional core of Two-Face, Part II, especially in the big reunion in Act 3. While Grace Lamont is a rather vapid character, she serves the same classic Gilda role of being Harvey's moral compass. As such, she's still the second most vital character to this episode, more so than even Batman himself.

Something I've neglected to mention: Grace is voiced by Murphy Cross, a TV actress so obscure that she doesn't even have her own Wikipedia page, and someone with no voice acting experience at this point. So why did B:TAS casting director Andrea Romano hire Cross for the crucial role of Harvey Dent's fiancée? My best guess, after viewing Cross' IMDB page, is because she appeared on one episode of Night Court, playing opposite Richard Moll's trademark character, "Bull" Shannon.

Naturally, being the obsessive that I am, I tracked down and watched the whole episode on YouTube. Much to my surprise, it was not only thoroughly enjoyable, but also... not entirely irrelevant to what Harvey and Grace are about to go through in their big reunion scene. I actually wrote several paragraphs dedicated to analyzing their scene, and how it relates to Harvey and Grace, but thought better of it. I've already spent way, way, WAY too long on Two-Face, Part II as it is. Adding analysis from an episode of frickin' Night Court is just ridiculous.

That said, I did save the analysis, so if anyone actually WANTS to hear my ridiculous views on the Night Court/Two-Face reading-too-much-into-things comparisons, just ask. Just don't say that I didn't try to spare you!

So without further ado, let's finally review the final act of Part II where everything comes together before falling apart, and let's see if anything can be salvaged from the wreckage.

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