Angel/Recap/S01/E21 Blind Date
Angel is playing exterminator with some vamps in a warehouse. Once they're all dust, he hears somebody wail in pain. Inspecting the noise, Angel sees a wounded man crawling out onto the floor and collapsing. Angel examines the body, only for a woman wearing sunglasses to grab him by the throat. Her sunglasses are knocked off, and she's got spooky white cataracts in place of pupils. This time, Angel's opponent effortlessly dodges his fists every time he swings, as if anticipating his movements. She manages to toss him through a wooden partition, and by the time Angel gets to his feet, she's gone.
Flash-forward to Angel's office: A frustrated Wesley shuts his Encyclopedia Demonica, having failed to dredge up any info on blind demons. Cordelia suggests he look up Helen Kellerus Homicidalus. It hits Wesley that maybe the woman isn't a demon at all - that perhaps she's merely honed her senses around her disability. Cordelia uses a search engine and pulls up one Vanessa Brewer, a blind woman who has been spotted fleeing the scenes of various homicides, and is currently on trial. It gets better: Wolfram & Hart is representing Vanessa pro bono, so she's probably working for them in some capacity.
At the trial proceedings, Lindsey MacDonald is delivering an impassioned speech on behalf of this poor, persecuted lady. Enter Angel, busting through he courtroom doors like Atticus Finch and flinging an object toward the front of the room. From her seat, Vanessa raises an arm and neatly catches her sunglasses, causing the attendees to gasp aloud. Lindsey looks less than pleased.
At the Wolfram & Hart building, Lindsey watches as Vanessa pals around with some bigwigs. Lee Mercer sneaks up from behind and offers his snide congratulations on getting Vanessa cleared on all charges. Finally, a bigwig (Holland Manners) notices Lindsey and waves for him to come over. Brief recap of how Lindsey erroneously hired Faith to kill Angel, along with a host of other screw-ups. Holland uses a plethora of menace-laden words to emphasize that the firm doesn't tolerate losers, but that despite this, he's grown fond of Lindsey. Gee, thanks. Smiling amiably, Holland pats Lindsey on the shoulder before mentioning that it would be a good idea if he invented a tragic and abusive sob story for Vanessa. Lindsey catches on that Ms. Psycho is about to commit another crime, and Holland explains that there are some children arriving in LA tomorrow that could pose a threat to them. Oh snap.
Angel is upset that Vanessa was acquitted and he can't legally testify in court. He tells Wesley he remembers living in a world like Wolfram & Hart's, where there's only power and no consequences; He misses that kind of clarity. But he doesn't miss the 'killing your friends' part, Cordelia nervously chimes in. As if on cue, the door opens, and Lindsey steps into the office. He tells Angel that he "wants out" of Wolfram & Hart.
When Angel expresses skepticism at his "born again" attitude, Lindsey explains he grew up in abject poverty, and swore to himself that he'd never again-- Angel acts like he's about to nod off from boredom, before snarking to Lindsey to get to the part about being evil. Lindsey mentions that Vanessa has been hired to assassinate children. Later, the group plans Angel and Lindsey's break-in at Wolfram & Hart. Lindsey plans to leave his security card for Angel to find, allowing Angel to slip into the demon-guarded vault. Lindsey suddenly remembers the firm's vampire alarms, which will go off as soon as Angel enters at the building, but Angel assures him it won't be an issue.
That night, Angel meets with Gunn, who is reluctant to help him. "Not really interested in some rich guy's heartbreak." Angel can relate, but says there are bigger things at stake. Gunn challenges Angel him to give one good reason why he should bother. Well, it'll be extremely dangerous! Gunn grins mischievously - he's in.
The next day at Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey leaves his security pass under a fire extinguisher then heads back upstairs as Angel waits for the right time to move. Gunn steps into the lobby carrying a burlap bag, distracting the guards with a hilarious rant against The Man. As the vampire alarms go off, Gunn cuts the cord holding the sack, revealing a captured vampire inside. The guards are too busy with the decoy vampire to notice Angel is on the premises.
Angel uses the security card to open the vault, then blows some of Wesley's pink pixie dust into the guardian demon's face, causing it to stiffen into a board and fall over. He takes CDs labeled "restricted access" and is about to leave when he notices a scroll covered with symbols. Angel cannot help but feel drawn it and grabs it too. This activates another alarm and drops a grate over the door to the vault. Whoops. Angel makes like Indiana Jones and dives under it before it slams shut.
Angel phones Lindsey and tells him to get out. Unfortunately, Holland is herding everyone into a conference room for a surprise mind-reading. Lindsey fears that he’s been caught, but Holland sidesteps him and announces that Mercer is planning to jump ship to a rival firm. Lee protests his innocence, but doesn't get very far before he gets a bullet to the head. Holland laments the sad task of terminating an employee and dismisses the others - but unexpectedly asks Lindsey to stay behind. D'oh. Lee's body is dragged out the door by some guards, leaving a bloody streak behind. Holland chalks up another ruined carpet and asks Lindsey if he’s scared; Lindsey admits that he is. Holland says that's understandable, since he defected to Angel's camp, stole from the vault, tried to sabotage a case, and generally screwed Holland over. A jittery Lindsey insists that he didn’t want to lie or betray the firm, he just wanted to leave. Cryptically, Holland decides not to have Lindsey killed, instead giving him a few vacation days to contemplate his future.
Angel returns to his office and is surprised that Lindsey isn’t already there. Cordelia asks if Angel is going to go back for him, but he says that there's no point. The discs reveal that Vanessa is slated to murder three immigrant children - blind seers considered to be a powerful triumvirate. Lindsey wanders in as they mull over the details, apologizing for being late. Not bothering to glance at him, Cordy answers that they just figured he was worm food.
Vanessa arives at a safe house, stabbing the man guarding the children with her cane. Angel tells Lindsey to get the kids out. After being thrown against a wall, Angel lies motionless on the ground and watches as for the first time Vanessa seems unable to detect him, since Angel lacks both a pulse and body temperature. Having finally realized her weakness, Angel pummels her for a bit before grabbing the cane and skewering her with it.
Back at the office, Wesley tells Angel the parchment he stole from Wolfram & Hart contains the Prophecies of Aberjian (henceforth referred to as the "Shanshu Prophecy"), which mentions a vampire with a soul. Intriguing, no?
Lindsey returns to Wolfram & Hart with the disks Angel stole and apologizes to Holland, saying he did what he needed to. Holland mutters that his rescue of the children was noble, or whatever, and notes that Lindsey probably made copies of what was on the disks. He tells Lindsey that he stood up to the firm and won; the firm needs people with that kind of chutzpa. In fact, he’s giving Lindsey his old office, since Holland is getting a promotion. He tells Lindsey that it's his choice, then leaves. After pondering for a moment, Lindsay instead closes the doors and takes a seat at the beckoning desk of power and evilness. Lindsey gazes out the window at the city lights as Angel does the same thing elsewhere.
- Ambition Is Evil: Lindsey's ambition is to never be powerless again - like his destitute father, who stood there meekly while the repo men seized his foreclosed home, cracking jokes with them the whole time.
- Ascended Extra: Jennifer Badger, who plays Vanessa, has previously served as Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku's stunt doubles on both Buffy and Angel.
- Bad Boss: Mercer is 'terminated' permanently for trying to steal one of W&H's clients.
- Blind Seer: Vanessa, the seer kids all have cataract-eyes, and their powers increase as they mature.
- Blindfolded Vision: By removing her sight, Vanessa's other senses have heightened to the point of being able to 'predict' movement. Translation: she's unstoppable.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: Averted as Lindsey isn't innocent. He does get Mercer's blood over his nice white collar though.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Holland notices his young protégé Lindsey is dissatisfied in his job, and spends an entire scene lecturing him about life. He then segues into why Lindsay should get cracking on an abusive sob story for Vanessa, as she's preparing to do something messy which (on the slim chance she gets caught) would require a strong defense in court.
- Canis Latinicus: Cordelia's "Helen Kelleris Homocidalus".
- The Caper
- Continuity Nod: Lindsey gets snippy after Angel tells him he " sold [his] soul for a 5th-floor office and a company car." He says Angel doesn't know a thing about him, then demonstrates that he knows a lot about Angel: his father was a linen merchant, fairly well-to-do? Had a couple servants, until Angel killed them? "Just the one.", Angel corrects him, a sly smile appearing on his face. "The Prodigal" had a flashback of Angel (under his human identity, Liam) trying to seduce his father's serving wench.
- Cordelia calls up Willow to enlist her help in translating the encrypting discs. "Guess what they've been doing all week?" Actually, the Scoobies have been busy decrypting Adam's files (a plot point in the Buffy episode "Primeval", which aired concurrently with this one).
- Creepy Twins: Most companies have drug tests. Wolfram & Hart has mindreadings. Lindsey and his collegues are lined up against the conference room wall (in a scene highly reminiscent of a firing squad) while a pair of Grace Jones-like identical twins pace around the room menacingly.
- Dark Action Girl: Vanessa.
- Deadpan Snarker: Just because he has a soul doesn't mean Angel can't bring it, as he shows when Lindsey is trying to justify his actions.
zzzzzzzz...I'm sorry. I nodded off. Did you get to the part where you're evil?
- Defector From Decadence: Lindsey, a man of stout stomach, draws the line at ordering a hit on children. Subverted when Holland dangles a paycheck over his head.
- Did Not Do the Research: Angel angrily announces, "They acquitted her. Hung jury." Actually, it's either one or the other: a hung jury is one that does not reach a verdict, meaning that the accused is still subject to retrial. An acquittal occurs when the jury declares the defendant 'not guilty.'
- Disability Superpower: According to her Wolfram & Hart dossier, Vanessa wasn't born blind; she blinded herself at age 21 and spent five years in India studying with cave-dwelling monks.
- Damsel in Distress: The Holy Triumvirate, a trio of blind children from different parts of the world who, according to the Scrolls that Angel collected, would one day be able to "see into the heart of all things" and pose a threat to Wolfram & Hart.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Angel suits up to impersonate Wolfram & Hart's lawyers. This is the second time he's waltzed right into their headquarters with nothing but a suit and briefcase - the first instance was in "Five By Five".
- Enlightenment Superpowers: Vanessa was previously under the tutelage of monks who believed seeing with the heart instead of the eyes was the way to truth - thus explaining her Matt Murdoch superpowers. The irony of somebody becoming a serial murderer because she found enlightenment is not lost on Cordelia.
- Evil Mentor: Holland may as well be named "Mammon".
- Faux Affably Evil
- First-Name Basis: Lampshaded by Holland; he notes that Lindsey calling him by his first name instead of "sir" means his confidence has increased after getting one over on Wolfram & Hart.
- Freudian Excuse: Born into a dirt-poor dysfunctional family in the southwest, Lindsey worked hard to overcome his beginnings. He grew up alongside five siblings, two of whom died of the flu.
- Glass Cannon: Angel opens the vault and is jumped by the demon. He merely blows a powder in it's face and the demon collapses. "Thank you, Wesley."
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Lindsey chats up the security guard in Wolfram & Hart's surveillance room, distracting him from the monitors. He oh-so-casually glances at another camera, which spots Angel swiping the building pass, and switches the monitor off.
- Hannibal Lecture: Holland, who can read Lindsay like a book, explains that life is not about "good or evil", only power.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: That vampire Gunn and his crew are lugging into Wolfram & Hart? That's Joel Heyman! Caboose is a vampire!
- Hoist by His Own Petard: During his second fight with Vanessa, Angel discovers a way to become invisible to her sense: remaining absolutely still. Once he's close enough, Angel uses Vanessa's own walking cane (her signature weapon) to impale her in the stomach.
- Holding the Floor / Malcolm Xerox: Gunn standing in the center of Wolfram & Hart's lobby declaiming, "Damn, here it is! Evil white folks really do have a Mecca!" It really needs to be seen to be believed. Crowning Moment of Funny
- Holy Child: And they come in threes.
- Hope Spot: Lindsey almost squeaks by unnoticed during the mind scan - or so he thinks. Lilah offers him a brisk pat on the shoulder after Holland calls back him over. Uh oh.
- I Like Those Odds: Angel recruits Gunn for his caper by emphasizing how suicidal it is. The prospect of offending untold numbers of rich lawyers in their own house probably holds some appeal, too.
- Ignored Epiphany
- Improvised Weapon: During the Batman Cold Open, Angel is about to stake one of the vampires when a second one suddenly attacks, causing the stake to roll away. Angel grabs a chain from the conveyor belt overhead, wraps it around his neck, hoists him to the ceiling, and sends him swinging into a convenient stack of wood planks. Poof.
- Instant Sedation
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: In the original promo for this episode, Vanessa is humming "Three Blind Mice" when she is preparing to murder the children (nice), but in the actual episode she doesn't.
- It's All About Me: Holland shakes his head with regret as Lee's bloodied corpse is dragged out of the conference room. "What a pity. You can't get that out of the carpet. Believe me, we've tried."
- Killed Off for Real: Lee Mercer. He will not be missed.
- Leave No Man Behind: Subverted, as so often happens on Angel. When Lindsey fails to rendezvous back at the office, Wes and Cordy suggest that Angel double-back for him, but he flatly refuses. If Lindsey's been caught, he's as good as dead anyway. Despite the malice they bear Lindsey, the pair of them are surprised by Angel's coldness.
- The Little Detecto: Among the security measures at Wolfram & Hart are demons shamans who monitor the threshold of their office building for vampire intruders. They squeal when they sense a vampire, but they can't pinpoint a location or sense numbers. The system's poor performance record is lampshaded throughout the series.
- Living Lie Detector: Holland's mind-reading amazons.
- Living Motion Detector: The camera switches to Vanessa's perspective to demonstrate her ability to 'see' movement. The crew couldn't afford a special effects shot for this episode, so someone came up with the "crazy idea" of painting the actors in glow-in-the-dark paint and then shooting the scenes in the dark.
- Nerves of Steel: Lindsey demonstrates his skills as a defense lawyer during the heist by fast-talking his way out of many sticky encounters. Lilah's suspicion is aroused when she catches him snooping around the records room, since Lindsey usually makes his assistants do research for him. Recovering quickly, Lindsey jokes that he won't tell anyone if Lilah doesn't.
Lindsey: If the amoebas find out you're willing to read, they lose all respect for you.
- Oh Crap: Lindsey upon learning that his entire department is being swept up in a random mind-reading test.
- Professional Killer: Vanessa works as a freelance assassin for some of Wolfram & Hart's biggest clients.
- Prophet Eyes: Vanessa and her quarry each have milky white eyes.
- Psycho for Hire: Vanessa
- Psychotic Smirk: Vanessa's response to jabbing her way into the safehouse and detecting the sound of three tiny heartbeats.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Y'all can cater to the demon, cater to the dead man, but WHAT! ABOUT! THE BLACK! MAAAN?!
- Suicide Mission: Cordy, ever the optimist, foresees doom.
- Super Reflexes: When Lindsay dimisses the allegations against his blind client as "childish, if they weren't so sad.", Angel hurls an object directly over her head. Vanessa instinctively jerks her arm up and snags the glasses, exposing her super-awareness for all to see. Despite all this, Vanessa is acquitted thanks to Lindsey's maneuvering, much to Angel's frustration.
- Surprise Witness: Angel showing up at Vanessa's trial to return her sunglasses. Such a nice guy!
- Tantrum Throwing: That poor phone. Angel picks it up and smashes it against this office wall after hearing of Vanessa's acquittal.
- Two Roads Before You: Lindsey is faced with a choice of either taking Holland's bribe, or walking out the door. In the end, Lindsey shuts the doors in front of him.
- Walk in Chime In: As Wesley goes into detail about how the Holy Triumvirate is in seriously hot water, Lindsey appears in the doorway to finish his thought - revealing himself to be very much alive.
- Worthy Opponent: Far from ordering Lindsey to be killed (or at the very least firing the thieving twerp), Holland offers Lindsey a promotion - anybody who can outmaneuver Wolfram & Hart could be a valuable asset.
Holland: You stood up to us and won. Do you know how many people have that much nerve? I can count 'em on one hand. I need people like that working for us.
- Holland's reasoning here is analogous to the Senior Partners' plans for Angel.
- Would Hurt a Child: Vanessa
- You Remind Me of X: Holland hints at having an Ignored Epiphany of his own when he was Lindsey's age.