Blind Date (Angel)
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|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Thomas J. Wright|
|Written by||Jeannine Renshaw|
|Original air date||May 16, 2000|
"Blind Date" is episode 21 of season 1 in the television show Angel. Written by Jeannine Renshaw and directed by Thomas J. Wright, it was originally broadcast on May 16, 2000 on the WB network. In Blind Date, Angel reluctantly agrees to help lawyer Lindsey McDonald save a group of three blind children from a blind woman assassin hired by the Senior Partners of Wolfram & Hart. However, Lindsey struggles with his decision to save the children and betray the firm when Holland Manners, Lindsey's supervisor, offers him the promotion of a lifetime.
Angel reluctantly agrees to help Lindsey McDonald crack the secret files of Wolfram & Hart to save a group of three blind children from a blind woman assassin hired by the unseen Senior Partners of the firm to kill the children. With a little help from Lindsey and Gunn who cause a diversion, Angel sneaks into the ultra-high-tech security firm to steal the firm’s computer files and also takes an ancient scroll he finds in the building safe. But Lindsey isn’t sure if he can stick by his decision to help Angel and betray the firm by sabotaging the deadly mission when Holland Manners, Lindsey‘s supervisor, offers him the promotion of a lifetime.
Angel fights and kills several vampires, then finds a man who has been killed by a blind woman. The woman fights Angel with her incredible strength and the ability to anticipate his every move. Wesley and Cordelia find that this woman, Vanessa Brewer, has a long crime list and is represented by Wolfram and Hart. In her latest case, the jury finds her not guilty of murder. Lindsey talks with Holland, an associate with the firm, who warns Lindsey about his past mistakes and not making any future mistakes. The lawyers make plans to protect Vanessa for her upcoming crimes.
Angel is furious that he can't do anything to put Vanessa away. He feels defeated by Wolfram and Hart and their games. Lindsey McDonald comes to Angel to help him save a group of children that Vanessa is going to kill. Lindsey's own poor childhood motivates him to go to his worst enemy for help. They need to get into Wolfram and Hart to steal some files. Angel recruits Gunn and with Lindsey's help, they work on getting into the underground vault. With a demon guarding the vault, and another demon that senses vampires on the premises, they have their work cut out from them.
Gunn causes a disturbance and brings a vampire into the lobby while Angel sneaks into the vault. With the help of a security card from Lindsey, and powder from Wesley that kills the demon guarding the vault, Angel steals the disks and also grabs a scroll. However, stealing the scroll sets off an alarm and the building is locked down. Mind readers are brought in to find out who was involved. Lee is killed when the mind readers sense that he's been in talks with another firm. Angel tells Wesley that he doesn't know why he took the scroll, just as Cordelia discovers that all the disks are encrypted.
Holland talks to Lindsey about his betrayal, and lets him have some time off to think about things. Cordelia talks with Willow on the phone and the redheaded hacker talks her through decrypting the computer files. They discover that Vanessa purposely took away her sight at age 21, and studied Nanjin in Pajaur, to enhance her other sensing and strengths. She is going after 3 blind children that will pose a threat to Wolfram and Hart in the future when they're older. Lindsey shows up at Angel's office continuing to help them. Vanessa finds the children, kills their caretaker, but Lindsey and Angel show up in time to help the children.
Angel discovers that if he is completely still and quiet, she can't tell where he is, and then he is able to kill her. Wesley discovers the scroll is The Prophecies of Aberjian. He translates some of the text on the scroll, and discovers that some of the text deals with Angel and his place in the world. Lindsey returns to W&H, and discusses his future at the firm with Holland. He offers him a tremendously better job that Lindsey decides to take.
Jennifer Badger, who guest stars as Vanessa, has previously been Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku's stunt double in both Buffy and Angel. She was also one of the victims in Somnambulist, the eleventh episode of Angel season 1.
Special Effects Supervisor Loni Peristere says they couldn't afford to shoot Vanessa's perspective using greenscreen, so instead they came up with the "crazy idea" of painting the actors with glow-in-the-dark paint and shooting the scenes in the dark. The effect was intensified by offsetting the footage to create tracers, and then reversing the image - "it was supposed to tell the story that she sees the action before it actually happens," explains Peristere. "It was such a wacky idea and it really worked out well."
Producer Tim Minear explains that this episode provides a "detailed exploration of Wolfram & Hart, establishing the power base there and laying the groundwork for Season Two." It also provides backstory for the character of Lindsey, including his motivations for working at Wolfram & Hart.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Holland Manners. He is the one who orchestrates Angel's pinpointed obsession toward Wolfram and Hart through Darla in Season 2.
- Lindsey makes the full transition of his loyalties to Wolfram and Hart after having doubts about the ethical quandaries he has been tasked with.
- Lee Mercer, a colleague of Lilah and Lindsey at Wolfram and Hart who appeared in three previous episodes, is killed after mind readers discover his intentions of leaving the firm.
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Primeval" occurs during the events of this episode. Cordelia, while decrypting files with the help of Willow on the phone, mentions to Wesley that the Scoobies have been decrypting files all day as well. This event falls right after the crossover events of "Sanctuary" and "The Yoko Factor".
In an essay entitled "Why We Love Lindsey", M.S. West says the scene at the end of the episode "fulfills Joss Whedon's earlier promise of a more adult show with less clear fault-lines of right and wrong." Lindsey makes a difficult choice between redemption and power, ultimately choosing to accept the promotion. "In that moment," West writes, "Lindsey is what Angel the show struggled through its first season to be."
- Hughes, Mike (2005-11-19), A Buffy Stunt Team : A real couple of daredevils, OrlandoSentinel.com
- Bratton, Kristy, Special FX: CoA Interviews Loni Peristere, Special FX Supervisor, archived from the original on 2007-12-06
- Gross, Edward (September 26, 2000), ANGEL: Season One, Episode By Episode with Tim Minear, Part 4, retrieved 2007-11-01
- West, Michelle Sagara (2004), "Why We Love Lindsey", in Glenn Yeffeth, Five Seasons of Angel, BenBella, pp. 94–96, ISBN 1-932100-33-4
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