PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Willow Says "Hey."

Episode 1.21: Blind Date. Original Airdate: 5.16.20.

“A renegade attorney from Wolfram and Hart joins forces with Angel to stop a blind assassin from killing three children who threaten the firm.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • The streets of LA.
  • A blind woman walks down the street dressed in Plain Jane clothes.  
  • People get out of her way.  That’s... that’s it. That's the scene.
  • Then we cut to Angel fighting vamps.  He kills two.  One in an amazingly physics-defying way.
That's some physics problem solving right there to get him right in the heart.

  • It’s the blind lady!  She’s fighting Angel!
  • But she’s not blind blind.  She kinda sees like Daredevil.
  • Wes & Cordelia do some research on the blind woman/demon.  They assume she’s a demon, anyway.
  • Cordelia finds her identity like totally fast when realizing she might have been arrested.  Which one of these stealthy hackers figured out how to do that?
  • She finds out that this Vanessa Brewer is actually on bail/trial.
  • Cut to Lindsey defending her in a courtroom.
  • Angel tricks her in this very very sun-lit courtroom by throwing a pair of sunglasses at her.
  • At Wolfram & Hart, Lee Mercer seems healed from when Faith smashed his face into a desk.
  • He leers at Vanessa like the gross frat boy lawyer he is.
  • She seemingly hears him with her super senses.
  • Oh, and we finally meet Holland Manners who has an amazing name.  He’s one of the higher-ups not to be confused with a senior partner.  AKA Lindsey’s boss.
  • Holland giving Lindsey a pep talk here is important because it’s measuring the evilness of Wolfram & Hart, but more importantly the individual morality of its employees, judged both by his bosses and us, the audience.
  • Back to business: Holland informs Lindsey that they need Vanessa to assassinate some….children.  So that's fun.
  • Despite Angel’s theatrics in court, the jury acquitted Vanessa.  And Angel is pissed.  “Life isn’t fair, the system doesn’t work,” blah blah.  We know this, Angel.  We know.  
  • And then Lindsey shows up.  He wants to go to the light side!
  • But Angel is skeptical. Lindsey has cool hair, though, so we should trust him.
  • A plan is formed!  Angel comes to Gunn!  He’s forming a crew! Like Ocean’s 11!  Lindsey’s the inside man.  Gunn’s the weapons man!  Angel is the muscle!  Wesley is the brains!  Cordy is the...sass!
  • Breaking into a safe! Tension! Demons!  Gunn is also the distraction!
  • Vampire in the lobby!
  • A security guard stakes a vampire.  He knows what’s up.  I wonder how many minds they need to erase now?  Man, vamps and demons are a much bigger open-secret in LA than they were in Sunnydale...where the hellmouth is.
  • Angel defeats with some powder and then pushing him over. And thanks Wesley which is nice.

  • Oh no! Alarms! Angel touched the wrong thing.
  • Oh no, it’s the mind-readers!  Lindsey’s in trouble!
  • But he’s not!  It’s Lee who gets mind-read.  And….terminated. Oh, puns.  Poor Lee. I guess.  But Lindsey is found out too.  Why hasn’t he been terminated?  It’s interesting that Holland treats Lindsey differently than he treated Lee.  Lee’s only “crime” was that he wanted to leave the firm for another firm and I guess taking some clients with him.  
  • Does this mean there's another evil firm like Wolfram & Hart called Klein & Gabler that defends demons and evil too?  (Or is this just a commentary that all law firms are evil?) [No comment - Z, who worked at a law firm]
  • Aww, Cordelia is chatting with Willow!  They’ve been talking for an hour and 45 minutes.  This feels mature…of Willow to offer so much help to Cordelia and be patient enough to be on the phone with her for so long.
  • “Sorry I’m late.  I hope I didn’t worry anyone.” “We just figured you were dead.”
  • Ooh, Vanessa can’t see someone when they’re standing perfectly still - and since Angel doesn’t breathe, it’s easier for him.
  • The parchment that Angel stole:  There’s a whole passage about him, not by name - but about a vampire with a soul.
  • For some reason, Holland is impressed with Lindsey and offers him his job.  Holland is apparently going upstairs.  Is he a senior partner now?
  • It’s now a choice for Lindsey.  Does he take the red pill or the blue pill?  He gets up, closes the door & sits down at his new desk.  I guess he chose the red pill.  Or the blue one.  I don’t know, I barely remember that movie.

Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • From Mysterious Blind Woman walking down the street to Angel fighting some vamps. Good morning.
  • Oh look they coincide! Time for Mysterious Blind Woman to fighty fight Angel. And then Mysteriously disappear.
  • Ah they think she’s a demon. She’s human though I think? I think I remember she’s human.
  • Ah, Wes is with me now. And Cordy found her criminal record! Vanessa Brewer.
  • Wow, she’s currently on trial for murder and is off murdering while on bail. That’s bold.
  • Hey it’s our man Lindsey defending her! I mean. Not our man. He’s a bad rude lawyerman.
  • And Angel, also rude, threw something at her head so she could catch it in air and undermine Lindsey’s argument. Remember when Julia Louis-Dreyfus pretended to be blind on Arrested Development? That was certainly a thing that happened.
  • Wow, even with the catch she still got off the murder charge. Hey look it’s Holland Manners! Whut up.
  • So we know they took the case pro bono, which probably means a quid pro quo situation. Law talk means Latin talk.
  • Holland Manners thinks Lindsey’s not happy, though he wants him to succeed at the law firm of evil. “You’re not gonna be happy until you find your place in the scheme of things.” Meanwhile, Lindsey’s being asked to create a tragic backstory and alibi for our blind assassin. And we see at last Lindsey’s hesitation, when he finds out the new target is some children. Welp.
  • Angel’s really upset that a guilty person was acquitted of murder, and wow is that a big fucking mood right now.
  • He’s also concerned about his place in this world, when he can’t testify and can’t lawyer ex machina. Where the evil he fights gets acquitted. I think we have a theme for the episode.
  • “It’s still their world, Wesley. Structured for power, not truth. It’s their system and it’s one that works. It works because there’s no guilt, there’s no torment, no consequences. It’s pure. I remember what that was like. Sometimes I miss that clarity.”
  • Ah the juxtaposition! Angel: “Nothing ever changes.” // Lindsey: *walks in* “I need your help … I want out.”
  • Lindsey gives us his sob story of growing up in abject poverty, two siblings dead from flu, and Angel’s not interested because as he points out “You always have a choice.”
  • Lindsey’s choice: tell Angel the intended target for the assassin is kids. And he has Angel’s attention.
  • Also fun tidbit about W&H: they have mindreaders to catch anyone thinking of turning not-evil.
  • Lindsey warns us they have shamans who can tell when a vamp crosses the threshold, but Angel has a solve: Gunn! HELL YES GUNN. Gunn’s gonna be his diversion, a vamp in tow. “Gimme one good reason.” // “It’ll be extremely dangerous.” // “Okay.”
  • I see they souped up the W&H lobby.
  • Hey, it’s Lilah! Why’s she in the basement?
  • The law firm I worked in didn’t have any shady basements full of storage … that I know about. Our file room was on the same floor as everything else.
  • Hahahahah time for Gunn’s scene. “Evil white folks really do have a Mecca.” He’s … kinda doing a Will Smith imitation. And look, he brought a vampire. A pretty feral lookin’ vampire.
  • But at W&F the security guards come armed with stakes … and it kinda looks like they stake him in the tummy but I guess that counts if you’re not Angel with his itty bitty heart.
  • Hah, thanks to Wes’s research, Angel knocks out the demon guard without a big fight. Cute little undercut of expectations.
The poof before the boop

  • Oh right, this is where Angel finds the shanshu prophecy. Oops, but that’s also how he sets off the alarm. But he Harrison Fords his way under the falling grate and escapes.
  • But before Lindsey can also make his exit, security guards are locking down the floor to do a mindreading sweep.
  • Oops.
  • Oh right, this is why we don’t have any more episodes with Lee Mercer.
  • Lindsey, sure he’s about to die, still looks Holland Manners in the eye.
  • Snort. Lee’s getting taken out because he’s been in talks with another firm. But here, that’s enough for a holy shit execution.
  • But also he’s not letting Lindsey, who has blood splattered all over his face from Lee’s execution, leave.
  • Wes opens the scroll Angel walked out with. It’s in Aramaic. And Angel doesn’t know why he took it, except that he felt compelled to do so.
  • Oops the W&F files are encrypted. I mean of course they are, duh, dumdums, but oops.
  • It’s interesting, this game Holland Manners is playing. He knows about Lindsey’s betrayal, much worse than Lee’s, but he chose to dispose of Lee and to try to talk to Lindsey. He calls this a crisis of faith. He’s still talking about finding your place in the world. He doesn’t want to execute Lindsey but to give him a chance to come back to their side. “I believe in you.”
  • Aw, Cordy called Willow for help decrypting the files. And adorably, she says Willow’s been doing the same over in Sunnydale. Oh right, the Initiative.
  • “Willow says hey.”
  • Wow, Vanessa’s been blind only since she was 21 … and she blinded herself after some mystical training in her special special skillz.
  • So the target is three also-blind children who are seers whose power is enhanced by their proximity. OH MY GOD IT’S THE PRECOGS FROM MINORITY REPORT.
Meet Agatha, Arthur, and Dash.

  • Oops, Vanessa found them. It’s okay, Angel and Lindsey found Vanessa.
  • It’s a special kind of fucked up that she uses her white cane as a weapon.
  • And Angel clocks that she can’t see him when he holds completely still. It’s the movement and it’s trajectory she sees.
  • Oh. Angel just killed a human. Has he … done that before? I mean while being not-evil?
  • Wes says the seer children have an important role to play. Too bad we’ll literally never hear of them again.
  • But he says they’re foretold in the prophecy scroll Angel grabbed. As is Angel: a vampire with a soul.
  • “There is a design, Angel. Hidden in the chaos as it may be, but it’s there. And you have your place in it.”
  • Lindsey goes back to the office, returns the files. He doesn’t want to be at war with the firm and kept copies of some files as protection. And Holland still doesn’t want to have him killed. He’s admiring him for having the confidence to walk back in, to call Holland by his first name. Interestingly, Holland says he thinks the world’s better for what W&H does.
  • And Holland offers him a big fat promotion, because Holland himself is going “upstairs.”
  • And Lindsey … takes the job.

  • Which is what we really need to know about him, I think. He’s definitely an interesting character, and I love Christian Kane’s performance, but this is a man on whom we can never ultimately count to do the right thing. Sure, he may have a sticking point, just like the Pirates of Penzance don’t attack fellow orphans, but he’s not on our side. Which is why spoiler spoiler spoiler season five.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: Lindsey: Sorry I’m late, I hope I didn’t worry anyone. // Cordy: We just figured you were dead.


First Appearance: Holland Manners
Recurring: Charles Gunn, Lindsey McDonald, Lee Mercer, Lilah Morgan,
Generally Known TV Face: Sam Anderson
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Jennifer Badger is primarily a stunt performer and coordinator, and has done stunt work on both Buffy and Angel (for Cordelia and Faith, per the internet). Scott Berman (Vendor on Angel, Mover #2 on Buffy), Derek Anthony (first of two roles on Angel, Imposing Demon on Buffy)
Buffy Crossover: Willow (on the phone)

Angel! In! History!

Angel’s father was a merchant—linen and silk. Had a couple servants [“just the one”—Angel] til Angel killed them.


Cordelia’s Hair – messy bun
Dead Humans – 4
Dead Undeads – 3
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 1
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 2 (Lindsey got Vanessa acquitted; Holland decided not to kill Lindsey)
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 1 (Prophecies of Aberjian)

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