Season 1 Episode 21

Blind Date

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 16, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Lindsey McDonald, Wolfram & Hart's wunderkind, finally has a crisis of conscience when a vicious, blind assassin is sent after a group of young kids. Now he must convince Angel that, despite his past actions, his motives this time are honorable.

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  • The Great Sam Anderson


    The Good;

    Lindsay's dilemma and Angel's solution to it. The final battle. Best of all though has to be Gunn's entrance to WR&H, one day he'll have a very different persepctive. The mind-reader line up is also a winner.

    The Bad;

    Would WR&H really be so forgiving of Lindsey?

    Best line:

    Cordy; "Are you telling me self-mutilating psycho assassin chick reached enlightenment?"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Angel shows remarkably little sympathy for Lindsey's story of his dead sibling but then he was from an age where most kids didn't make it out of infancy. Killing Lee is horrible, scumbag though he is, even Lilah has a horrified reaction to it, suggesting the woman beneath the mask.

    Apocalypses: 4

    Inverting the Hollywood cliche; In every other genre handicapped people are inspirational, of course in the Jossverse they're EVIL!

    In disguise; 4

    DB get's his shirt off; 7

    Cordy's tattoo;3

    Cheap Angel;


    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 8

    Wes: 2

    Fang gang knocked out:

    Cordy: 9

    Angel: 10

    Wes: 4

    Doyle; 1


    Cordy: 3 vamps, 1 demons

    Angel: 2 vamps and one human so 16 vamps, 10 and 1/2 demons, 3 humans.

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 1/2 a demon

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 6

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed; byebye Lee although he's evil so screw him


    Total number of Angel Investigations:

    3, Angel and Cordy and Wes

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 8,

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 2

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Kinky dinky:

    Lee asks Lindsey does he find the assassin sexy, you get the impression they both do

    Captain Subtext;

    Holland really does treat Lindsey like he's his son or something.

    Know the face, different character; 2

    Parking garages;


    Buffy characters on Angel; 11, Cordy talks to Willow here but we don't see her. She says hello to Wes, AH and AD having just married

    Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla

    Questions and observations;

    Vanessa Brewer is actually played by CC's stunt double, always nice when that happens (LL's stunt double on Xena would go on to play a recurring characters in the show). This also marks the entrance of the great Sam Anderson as Holland. Angel kills another human and has very little remorse about doing so, very different from Buffy. The scroll refers to the 'vampire with the soul', obstensibly Angel but by season 5 maybe Spike too?

    Marks out of 10; 8/10, good ep

  • 'How am I supposed to fight evil if they won't even put it behind bars?'


    A nice way to get close to the first season’s end.

    and a great way to focus on a recurring character just before it ends.

    The episode begins with Angel meeting a blind woman named Vanessa, but she isn’t like most blind women, she’s a serial killer who works for, surprise, Wolfram & Heart.

    Angel goes to court and tries to get her in jail but he doesn’t succeed, it depressed him. He’s mad at W&H who keep saving evil from bars.

    We also meet Holland Manners who is the boss of W&H, he tells Lindsey that Vanessa is going to kill some blind kids and that Lindsey has to make up a story to get Vanessa out of prison once again.

    Lindsey had already proven to be a great character and have chemistry with Lee and Lilah. But in this episode he proved so much more. The killing kids was a bit to much for him so he decides to go to Angel and tell him he wants out. The chemistry between him and Angel was pure and fresh, Angel doesn’t want to hear from it until Lindsey talks about the kids, Angel wants help to get more information but they’ll have to break in W&H and to do that they make up a plan.

    Once again, Gunn proved to be a very fun character. He helped to get a vamp in W&H while Angel went in backdoors. When he gets the disks he can’t help himself but to take a scroll with him. When Angel escapes Lindsey tries to do the same but gets caught by mind readers and together with other lawyers he gets taken to a room where they all get read. Turns out that Lee was going to another office and that’s why he gets shot in the head, Holland also knows about Lindsey and asks him why he did it, but he doesn’t kill him, instead he gives him time to think.

    Meanwhile the gang get the disks encrypted when Lindsey shows up. He wants to save those blind kids with Angel, Vanessa was an interesting character. She made herself blind and trained herself to sense the heat, but when one doesn’t move (Angel is dead and all) she can’t see it move and that’s how Angel defeats her, he stakes her with her own stick.

    The episode was very well written, it made Lindsey a lot more interesting than he already was. Angel also caught the scroll that tells about his prophecy and Lindsey gets a bigger office offered at W&H and he decides to take it. Very well written episode despite it not being one of the classics.

  • Overall, this episode is the perfect ending to the prologue for the second season’s more epic storytelling aspirations. The writers manage to set the stage for the season finale while also developing Wolfram and Hart as more substantial antagonists.moreless

    If the previous episode covered the character introduction aspect of preparing for the second season arc, then this episode covers the plot aspect. Not only does it bring Wolfram and Hart back as a primary antagonist, something missing from much of the first season, it sets the stage for the plot elements that drive Angel’s conflict. This is especially true in terms of Angel’s growing frustration with the struggle against evil.

    This episode also goes a long way towards demonstrating why Angel’s decision to support Faith’s turnaround was so important. Angel showed a great deal of patience and fortitude to stand against several threats (and Buffy, for that matter) to protect someone who tried, hours earlier, to kill him and his friends. Yet, in the end, did it bring him any closer to a sense of accomplishment?

    Angel wearies of the battle, because as he notes in this episode, there’s more of the enemy than him. He has allies, he has purpose, but so do they. And he can fight one head of the Hydra, but there’s always more, and they tend to grow back. So what is there for him to look forward to? What hope does he have in staying the course, when he’s not even sure why he’s still fighting?

    Enter the Prophecies of Aberjian, which almost immediately suggest to him a sense of purpose and context. This, of course, becoming a bit more specific in the next episode (and then subsequently a lot more complex in the fifth season), but the point is that Angel no longer has the luxury of wondering if his actions are just a waste of time and energy. He sees that there is a purpose, a grand design.

    When Angel doesn’t have that sense of direction and purpose, he can let despair eat away at his moral resolve. And in a way, that is exactly what happens in this episode. Angel had the perfect opportunity to stake claim on the enemy, to steal away one of their own. And Lindsey was on the fence, ready to make a change. If Angel had seen the same potential in Lindsey that he had seen in Faith, it might have made a difference. It might have prevented much of what happens later (though the fourth season suggests it was all engineered by an outside agency).

    As much as this episode appears to be about Vanessa, a very attractive blind assassin, it’s really about Angel, Lindsey, and Wolfram and Hart. Vanessa is just an example of what Wolfram and Hart, represented by Holland, will happily foster in the name of bringing about the apocalyptic vision of the Senior Partners. Holland is more than happy to set aside his conscience for personal gain and the appearance of power; Lindsey is far less certain.

    Lindsey can set aside ethics and align himself with the corporate vision statements so long as the consequences on perceived innocents are kept carefully out of view. Lilah, at one point, notes that Lindsey has taken to avoiding a lot of the grunt work, as if he prefers to keep his attention on the big picture and away from the details. Once forced to see the details, to know the consequences, Lindsey runs up against his own internal moral barriers.

    The problem is that Angel has convinced himself, not unlike Buffy in regards to Faith, that those who work for Wolfram and Hart are unable or unwilling to consider the consequences. So he doesn’t take it seriously when Lindsey comes to him with a desire to change things. He says a lot of the same things he said to Faith, but without the supportive promises that came with the stern moral assessments. In short, Angel doesn’t have the faith in Lindsey that he had in Faith, and in turn, Angel loses sight of what he should be doing, above and beyond preventing the assassination.

    The infiltration of Wolfram and Hart, beyond giving Angel a chance to grab the Scrolls of Aberjian, also serves as a follow-up on the previous episode. Angel told Gunn that he might need help, and sure enough, now’s the time. Gunn’s scene was completely unexpected, and it puts on display a racial edge to the character that would disappear rather quickly over the course of the second season. Even so, it’s one more step towards making him a regular, which is entirely the point.

    The “interrogation” scene clearly indicates the message of the episode: Wolfram and Hart will no longer be a simple shadow in the background of the series. The writers take their time to expose the depth of the cutthroat self-interest that permeates the organization. Holland isn’t simply giving the staff a demonstration when Lee is killed; he’s showing Lindsey what happens to someone who isn’t of use to him and his personal designs.

    Holland may speak in terms of potential, in this case, Lindsey’s, but the fact is that Holland needs someone under him who has a reason to deliver. Lindsey has demonstrated what he can do when he stops letting morals get in the way; Holland just needs to make him even more reliant on his good graces. It frames things for Lindsey: if he plays his cards right within the organization, Holland will protect him for as long as it’s in his interests…and success fits the bill.

    So Angel is placed in a position to counter that offer, whether he knows it or not. Angel does a good enough job of countering the assassination (a great action scene, with lots of beautiful shots of Vanessa), but beyond that, he doesn’t put on the full press sales pitch that he gave to Faith. He leaves it all up to Lindsey, and in this case, Holland has all the influence. Lindsey knows how he can survive with Wolfram and Hart; he has no evidence to how he might survive or thrive on his own or with Angel.

    Angel also creates an even more fervent enemy in the process. Lindsey is a man searching for direction and meaning. Holland seems to give it to him, but the lingering doubts remain. Lindsey has and will have plenty of reasons to hate himself for what he does and allows. All of that anger needs to be applied to something, and it’s easy to transfer his self-hatred onto Angel. Of course, that level of self-deception can only last so long.

    This episode is the perfect prologue to the season finale, which takes “Angel” into a completely different direction and sets the stage for more epic storytelling. The first season began as something of an experiment: could Angel be used as the centerpiece of a televised “comic book” hero, ala Batman, complete with relatively self-contained adventures? To a certain extent, the answer is “yes”, but eventually, an audience hungers for something more substantial. This episode is the end of the process of transformation; from this point, the series would return to the epic storytelling format that worked so well for “Buffy”.

  • a blind assasin

    with only two episodes to go this was not the best way to continue the seaosn. i really liked lindsey but the episode was just too slow sometimes.

    but it was good enough. it gave lindsey a better point of view and he got to chose between good and evil. the episode was about a blind assasin that worked for wolfram and heart. she was oging to kill some little kids and lindsey didnt want that and asked angel to stop her and angel did. in this episode angel finds the scroll of the shanshu prophecy and lee gets killed and he is the first wolfram and heart to go.moreless
  • Lindsey ALMOST leaves the dark side.

    Not a bad episode at all. We are introduced to a scary woman who is blind, but who can kick some serious butt. We soon find out she is an assasin who works for (guess who) Wolfram & Hart. Angel is very frustrated because Vanessa (the assasin) has gotten away with murder on more than one occasion thanks to W&H. Lindsey soon finds out that Vanessa is going to be pulling a job for them which involves murdering children. This is too much for Lindsey, so he goes to Angel for help. Angel is able to break into W&H with Lindseys help and retrieve some info. In doing this, he also steals a mysterious prophecy. Angel and Lindsey are able to save the children, and Angel kills Vanessa. But just when you think Lindsey is going to be a good guy, he is seduced back over by a shiny new office, new title and raise. Oh yeah, Lee Mercer got killed in this ep.(who cares?)moreless
Thomas Burr

Thomas Burr

Lee Mercer

Guest Star

J. August Richards

J. August Richards

Charles Gunn

Guest Star

Keilana Smith

Keilana Smith

Mind Reader #1

Guest Star

Christian Kane

Christian Kane

Lindsey McDonald

Recurring Role

Stephanie Romanov

Stephanie Romanov

Lilah Morgan

Recurring Role

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson

Holland Manners

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • When Lindsey is walking out of the elevator as Angel is breaking in, the badge on the security guard who walks by is backward.

    • Lee: Not since Ostrosky versus California have I seen such devious legal manoeuvring.

      This may be a mistaken—or deliberately altered—reference to Ostrosky v. State of Alaska, a commonly cited example of the "Mistake of Law" defense.

    • While Cordelia is researching the Internet about Vanessa, there is a note stuck on the left side of her computer monitor. The note disappears and appears again through the sequential shots.

    • Lee Mercer was shot in the back of the head with the gun pressed right against his skull. When we see his corpse being dragged away, his skull is totally intact.

    • Lindsey tells Angel the vault is on Sub-Level 2. When Lindsey exits the elevator to go to the vault, the voice system tells him he is entering Sub-Level 3.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Lindsey: Sorry I'm late. Hope I didn't worry anyone.
      Cordelia: We just figured you were dead.

    • Holland: (about Lee being killed) What a pity. You can't get that out of the carpet. Believe me, we've tried.

    • Lindsey: I don't want to be here any more than you want to see me. But I don't have a choice.
      Angel: You always have a choice. I mean, you sold your soul for a fifth-floor office and a company car.
      Lindsey: You think you've got me all figured out? You think you know everything about me?
      Angel: Everything I need to know.
      Lindsey: What was your father? He was a merchant, right? Linen and silk? Did pretty well? Had a couple of servants until you killed them?
      Angel: Just the one.
      Lindsey: Well, our files aren't 100 percent, but I guess it's fair to say that you've never seen anything like real poverty. I'm talking dirt poor - no shoes - no toilet. Six of us kids in a room, and come flu season it was down to four. I was seven when they took the house. They just came right in and took it. And my daddy is being nice, you know? Joking with the bastards while he signs the deed. Yeah, so we had a choice. Either you got stepped on or you got to stepping and I swore to myself that I was not going to be the guy standing there with the stupid grin on my face while my life got dribbled out...
      Angel: I'm sorry, I nodded off. Did you get to the part where you're evil?

    • Angel: How am I supposed to fight evil if they won't even put it behind bars?

    • Holland: I don't think she had a happy childhood.
      Lindsey: Sir?
      Holland: Our blind friend, Vanessa. I think she was terribly abused growing up. I think the details are tragic and shockingly specific. And I think you should create them, sooner rather than later.

    • Lee: (about Vanessa) I can't believe you got her off on all charges. Not since Ostrosky versus California have I seen such devious legal manoeuvring. And now the big brass are smiling upon you. You're the man of the hour.
      Lindsey: Is there something you want?
      Lee: Is it me or is there something kind of hot about her? Well, I'm just saying, I wouldn't say "no." I'd be too scared to.

    • Wesley: The human eye is only capable of registering a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. But if Brewer were somehow equipped to see outside that range...
      Cordelia: She'd be Superman.

    • Gunn: (after breaking into Wolfram & Hart) Whoo-Whoo! My God! They told me it was true, but I didn't believe them. Damn, here it is! Evil white folks really do have a Mecca!

    • Gunn: Give me one good reason.
      Angel: It'll be incredibly dangerous.
      Gunn: Okay.

    • Wesley: Demons with one eye, demons with twelve eyes, some with double vision. No blind demons. Perhaps Angel's discovered a new species.
      Cordy: What, Helen Kellerus homicidalus?

    • Lindsey: I get myself killed, that'll convince you I've changed?
      Angel: It's a start.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Music:
      Singer in the open-air market -- "Time of Day" by Grant Langston

    • When Cordelia says to Angel: "Why are you going in at all? I thought born-again boy was going to do it." This is a reference to "Lindsey McDonald's" apparent decision to betray Wolfram & Hart and do what is right. But, it is also a sly wink at the first name of the actor who portrays Lindsey, Christian Kane.

    • Cordelia confers with Willow over the phone to hack some computer documents. She mentions that the Sunnydale gang were doing the same thing that day. They did in fact do that in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Primeval" (4x21) that aired the same day as this episode, in trying to get the blueprints to the Initiative.

    • This episode marks the death of Lee Mercer (actor Thomas Burr), one of the three most-recurring Wolfram & Hart lawyers to-date (tied with Christian Kane as Lindsey McDonald and Stephanie Romanov as Lilah Morgan).