Season 2 Episode 14

The Thin Dead Line

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 13, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
380 votes

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Episode Summary

Angel investigates rumors of renegade cops out for blood. Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn hear the same stories and try to catch the crooked cops in the act, but their plans go awry when they realize that these cops are not what they appear.

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  • Angel does Maniac Cop


    The Good;

    Excellent ep, lovely to see Anne again, good story, especially like the Jackson/Gunn confrontation. Also a nice little role for the desk sergeant.

    The Bad;

    Could this really all happen without anyone knowing about it? Or should I ask without anyone caring? Doesn't anyone hear the gunshots in the police station?

    Best line:

    Angel; "I just killed a cop"

    Kate; (looking around the police station) "I wouldn't say that in here no matter how immortal you think you are"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Once again man's (or should that be zombie's?) inhumanity to man always more disturbing than the supernatural.

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    Damsel in distress; 17

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 11

    Cordy's tattoo; oh yeah, we see it at the siege at the refuge


    Cheap Angel;


    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 8

    Wes: 3

    Fang gang knocked out:Wes passes out after being shot

    Cordy: 10

    Angel: 12

    Wes: 6

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 1


    Cordy: 5 vamps, 1 demons

    Angel; 22 vamps, 31 and 1/2 demons, 3 humans and 1 zombie

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 1 demon

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 16 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 5 vamps+ 2 demons.

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 2

    Alternate Fang Gang:

    Cordy: 2

    Angel: 6

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations: 3/1?

    4, Angel, Cordy, Wes and Gunn

    Angel Investigations shot: yes, Wes by the zombie cop

    Angel: 10

    Wes; 1

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 2

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 1

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 2 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Wes; 2; Virginia and the bleached blonde

    Kinky dinky:

    No time for that

    Captain Subtext;

    Or that!

    Know the face, different character; 2

    Parking garages;


    Guantanamo Bay;

    Merle moves and I don't blame him. The whole thing is one big discussion of The End Justifies the Means, the police Captain uses vigilante methods to eradicate the crime in his area but at what cost? Angel is happy to give the area back to the Jackson's of the world because that's human trouble rather than supernatural.

    Buffy characters on Angel; 14

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

    Questions and observations;

    Nice mislead, you think Anne is going to Angel but instead she goes to Gunn. Gunn himself starts to feel removed from his old gang. Angel and Kate seem to have restored their working relationship after the Shroud of Rashamon. Love the Cordy's clothes gag. The whole ep is reminiscent of the old Maniac Cop horror film series (which also featured a vigilante zombie cop ressurected through voodo) with hints of Night of the Living Dead, Magnum Force and Assault on Precinct 13 (the original, forget the remake even if it has Gay Byrne)

    Marks out of 10; 7/10, enjoyable but a step outside the arc.

  • The Thin Dead Line

    The Thin Dead Line was a really superb episode of Angel. I really enjoyed watching this episode as it includes Anne from the Teen shelter and the main characters of Angel off on their own missions. There was lots of action, mystery, and character development. I think this episode saw the begining of Angel regretting firing the others. This episode had a great story and was very entertaining. It was nice to see Anne again, and Wesley really took one for the team. There were lots of character driven scenes in this episode. I can't wait to see what will happen in the next episode!!!!!moreless
  • Psycho Cops are on the rampage.

    The Thin Dead Line is a great, action packed episode and a huge step up from last week's extremely disappointing Happy Anniversary. It's certainly not outstanding or a series classic but it's an entertaining filler episode with a few excellent moments.

    The main plot of the Zombie Cops was actually quite good- I went into this episode fully expecting to hate it but it surprised me. It was well put together and near the end, the cops got genuinely menacing and you felt fear for the characters- Wesley has already been shot and will die if he doesn't get to hospital- who's to say he or someone else won't be killed off? The scene where the cop shoots Wesley is shocking, especially when he falls to the ground so quickly. What's also good in this episode is that there is no black and white- whatever Angel decided to do with the Zombie Cops will hurt innocents no matter what, leaving you to wonder whether he did the right thing.

    The character interaction between Gunn, Wes and Cordy was another high point- we get the feeling they're family. I liked that Gunn chose to ride in the ambulance with Wesley, showing us that he feels more loyalty to Wesley and Cordy than his old friends. I think Gunn is enjoying his life with them moreso than his street gang days and that's why he feels more enticed to stay with them over the gang members. The scenes at the hospital were touching, showing their close bond. Angel finally shows some feelings in this episode, shown through him visiting the hospital. Although he's the main character, you can't help but root for Cordelia when she tells him they don't need him anymore- he'd be better staying away. Kate was thankfully unannoying in this episode and I liked her more than previous weeks- she takes Angel's side over a fellow police officer's, a big step as she's usually "ZOMG RESPECT THE LAW!" only less retarded. I like that we see her father's grave again. It's a nice bit of continuity. Anne was a welcome addition again and it's sad that this is her last appearance until the very last episode- 3 and a half seasons away! I'm a fan of her character and wish we could have seen more of her. Jackson was the most annoying character ever, but I'm glad he's included. In our society, it seems that only white people can be racist which is incorrect and Jackson is a good example- he says he doesn't care if Wesley dies as he's white.

    The Thin Dead Line is a great episode and a nice return to action as Angel has become quite soap operatic this season- while I love the Darla arc, it's nice to see an episode mainly based around fighting.moreless
  • zombiess. ahhh.

    this episode is pretty good. i have always been creeped out by zombies. so this episode was entertaining. gunn is called tou help out at this shelter and brings the old gang along. somehow in the process of this whole episode wesley gets shot. kate actually kind of figures out the case for them. but of course in the end, angel saves the day, not on purpose though. he destroys the statue thats making the zombies go. i was glad to see kate back. she is such a great character. it is even better that she doesnt really like angel. very good episode.moreless
  • Zombiez In Da Hood

    The Thin Dead Line-Angel investigates rumors of renegade cops out for blood. Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn hear the same stories and try to catch the crooked cops in the act, but their plans go awry when they realize that these cops are not what they appear.

    So far the best filler we had this season, at least better than the last 2. The whole killer zombies may sound lame by today's standards since it's been pretty much used for like every fantasy show and movies ever made, but this episode is quite creepy and disturbing at times. Just the idea of renegade cops beating up on innocent people is quite surreal since it actually happens in the real world and most of the time they get away with it. Most people might not view the episode that way, but I see it as a hidden metaphor executed well. It's nice to see Anne is becoming a recurring character which continues to grow into a likeable and caring person. It's also nice to see more of the homeless kids which shows a very realistic side of L.A. Even though the character of Jackson is an annoying a$$, he represents what really goes on in the gritty streets of L.A. Kate returns, cries and doesn't help much...what a surprise, this character has become pretty pointless and you can tell the writers are running out of ideas for her. I have to say Wesley getting shot was an unexpected and brutal moment, not to mention the zombie attack on the homeless shelter. But this episode just reminds how close Welsey, Gunn, and Cordy have gotten without Angel. Even though Angel was out of line in the first place, it was an action that really made those 3 a family at this point, which is touching. I also like how Angel was involved and saved the day unnoticed by everyone, not to mention the Cordelia's words when he showed up at the hospital to see Wesley...ouch!..she means business. All and All, a good episode with a nice blend of a supernatural threat and real life problems.moreless
Julia Lee

Julia Lee

Anne Steele

Guest Star

Mushond Lee

Mushond Lee


Guest Star

Jarrod Crawford

Jarrod Crawford


Guest Star

Elisabeth Rohm

Elisabeth Rohm

Detective Kate Lockley

Recurring Role

Matthew James

Matthew James


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • It seems extreme for Angel to use lethal force when he fights the police officer. After all, he doesn't seem to realize that the cop is a zombie until his head comes off. Most likely, Angel's kick was intended to stun an ordinary human, but did more damage to the rotting zombie body.

    • When Anne walks into Cordy, Wesley, and Gunn's office, it's daylight; when she leaves it's night. Did she really use the whole day to explain what happened with those at the shelter?

    • When Wesley gets shot, you can clearly see the shot pad he's wearing under his shirt.

    • The shelter interior is totally different from the one seen in the previous episode. Even with the money Anne got (and would she have spent it so quickly, giving away the fact she had excess money to Wolfram & Hart?), she would have had to tear out an entire interior staircase.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Cordelia: What are you doing here?
      Angel: I heard about Wesley.
      Cordelia: Well, that's great. Too bad it takes a gunshot wound to make you give a crap. Wesley doesn't need you right now. We don't need you. You walked away. Do us a favor and just stay away.

    • Wesley: Hey.
      Gunn: How're you doing?
      Wesley: Oh, I feel I should be in a great deal of pain.
      Gunn: Getting gut-shot will do that to you.
      Wesley: And yet... (looks at his I.V.) Is this morphine? (Gunn nods) Well, it's bloody lovely!

    • Anne: So why'd you come in last night?
      Kenny: I don't know. It was cold out there. I was getting frostbit.
      Anne: It was sixty five degrees outside.
      Kenny: So? I'm from Florida. Sixty five degrees is like the Arctic Circle.

    • Cordelia: Where do you want me to start?
      Anne: How are your laundry folding skills?
      Cordelia: I'm an actress, I can fake it.

    • Angel: Hey, Merl.
      Merl: Jesus, man! I mean, can't you, you know, knock?
      Angel: You don't make that funny expression when I knock, or if you do I don't see it.

    • Cordelia: Hello?! Gunn, stubborn, synonyms!

    • Kate: Guess you never caught up with your vampire friends in time.
      Angel: I did track them down later and set them on fire.
      Kate: Sounds like you enjoyed it. But then again, the whole murder and mayhem thing's always been right up your alley.
      Angel: If that's how you feel, I guess probably this isn't the best time to tell you, I just killed a cop.
      Kate: I wouldn't make a joke about that in this building, no matter how immortal you think you are.
      Angel: Of course, I mean, this is the kind of cop that keeps talking even after he's been decapitated. I bet they don't teach you that in the Academy.

    • Operator: All circuits are busy. Please hang up and try again.
      Cordelia: This is no time for circuits busy. Don't tell me circuits are busy. If the circuits are busy, get some new circuits now!

    • Cordelia: Hey, Gunn graduated with a major in dumb planning from Angel University. He sat at the feet of the master, and learned well, how to plan dumbly.

    • Gunn: We were planning on changing it to the "Gunn Agency."
      Wesley & Cordelia: No we're not!
      Gunn: As soon as these two narcissists come to their senses.

    • Cordelia: Maybe we can buy one of those star maps, find out where Steven Seagal lives. You telling me he got to be a movie star without a little demonic assistance?

    • Gunn: All right, look, the plan is simple. I want you to roll the camcorder, wait for the cops to hassle us.
      Anne: How do you know they will?
      Gunn: 'Cause we'll be the ones walkin' while black.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music:
      Playing in the shelter when the two kids show up past curfew -- "Ms. Jackson" by Outkast.

      Playing in the shelter -- "On A Mission" by Sucker Pump

      Playing in the shelter -- "Who's Got My Back?" by Seldom Seen


    • Rondell: A deluxe apartment in the sky?
      This is a reference to The Jeffersons theme song, which explains how The Jeffersons, a spin-off from All In The Family, have gotten rich enough to leave Queens, NY and move to Manhattan: "Well we're movin' on up to the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky. Movin' on up to the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie."