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Elisabeth Röhm as Kate Lockley
|First appearance||"Lonely Hearts" (1999)|
|Created by||Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, David Fury|
|Portrayed by||Elisabeth Röhm|
|Affiliation||Los Angeles Police Department
|Classification||Los Angeles Police Detective I
Kate Lockley is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the television series Angel, portrayed by Elisabeth Röhm. Kate first appears in the episode "Lonely Hearts". She is a young, skeptical detective for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Kate first meets Angel while investigating a case undercover involving the brutal murders of several patrons of D'Oblique, a popular singles bar. After encountering Angel as he leaves the site of another murder, she instantly suspects him to be the killer, unaware that Angel had actually been attempting to stop the real killer (a parasitic demon looking for the perfect host). Angel escapes, and Kate becomes obsessed with finding him to the point that she searches the Angel Investigations offices without a warrant. After she is attacked by the real killer and saved by Angel, she helps him to bring the killer down. Kate subsequently clears Angel of all charges, and Angel offers his services to her whenever she needs them.
Kate's subsequent encounters with Angel lead her to trust him as a helpful stranger, and she, in turn, assists him, using her position on the police force to provide him with information when Angel approaches her for information.
Kate was raised by her widowed father, Trevor, who is also a police officer and taught her to put her emotions aside and to take care of herself at all costs. Through her father, she develops a complete devotion to her occupation, later on saying that being a cop is all she's ever known and that she wouldn't know what else to do. When she discovers that Angel is really a vampire and subsequently discovers his past as Angelus before his soul is restored, her black and white view of the world is shaken, and she delves into the darker side of Los Angeles. On one such investigation, Kate finds her father's lifeless body--completely drained of blood by vampires.
After her father's death, Kate struggles with her relationship with Angel; she has feelings for him, but blames him in part for failing to keep other vampires away from her father. She subsequently becomes increasingly adversarial towards him and becomes obsessed with ridding the city of "his kind." Kate is the first to investigate any calls matching the "otherworldly" profile, even if it's out of her jurisdiction. She develops an intense dislike for Wolfram & Hart and the clients the law firm represents. While she shows an equal resentment towards Angel for exposing her to this world she begins to exhibit signs of an acceptance of the "other" world: when a resurrected Darla frames Angel for murder and goes on a killing spree with Drusilla, Kate shows up as his arresting officer and lets him go as she believes he is the only one who can stop them. Although Angel catches them, he allows them to murder 13 lawyers, which causes Kate to distrust him again after she figures out that he not only let them murder but facilitated it by locking the doors.
Her obsession with supernatural cases becomes her own undoing: after Angel attacks a police captain who had brought back deceased police officers as zombies in an attempt to cut down on crime, she is fired from the LAPD after the captain files a complaint against her for setting Angel on him. Kate calls Angel and blames him for ruining her life, then attempts suicide by taking prescription pills with hard liquor. After he has his fabled epiphany, Angel goes to Kate's apartment. He breaks down her door and holds her under a cold shower. After her life is saved, she thanks him and then tells him to leave.
That evening, Kate and Angel come to a reckoning and she forgives him, believing there is a higher power at work and they're not alone in the never-ending battle against the forces of darkness. When Angel asks her why, she replies that she never invited him into her apartment.
She never appears on the series again, likely due to Elisabeth Röhm joining the cast of Law & Order. However, in one episode soon after her last appearance and dismissal from the force, Angel mentions to his friends that they no longer have a friend in the LAPD.
Kate reappears in the seventh issue of Angel: After the Fall, saving Connor from a group of demons. She is unaware that Connor is Angel's son. She establishes an antiquities business after her departure from the LAPD, and uses her business connections to learn more about the supernatural and the occult. She stocks her hideout with an arsenal of ancient to modern weapons. She is seen leaving to blow up a demon army. This actual event takes place the same night as "Not Fade Away."
Some time later, after LA was restored to normal, she once again encounters Angel and reopens Angel Investigations. However, there are several difficulties due to Angel's new fame status (since many clients are actually fans and admirers rather than people who need help), plus an upheaval in demonic activity. The current Angel Investigations consists of Angel, Kate, Connor and Gwen (although her status is questionable since Connor wants her gone due to her recent betrayal).
In the Angel & Faith series, it is briefly mentioned by Gunn that Kate is back with the LAPD leading their new supernatural investigations unit, as the existence of the mystical world has since become public knowledge following the subsequent events of "Chosen" and "Not Fade Away".
Writing and acting
- Kate was originally conceived as a much darker character. In the unproduced episode "Corrupt," she was a detective deep undercover as a prostitute and addicted to drugs.
- Elisabeth Röhm said "I thought Kate was this incredibly powerful young woman who is fantastic at what she does, but at the same time, just a girl. There's a great line in Notting Hill when Julia Roberts says 'I'm just a girl wanting a boy to love me.' I think that's a part of Kate and a part of everyone who is really great at what they do. They're actually just the girl or boy who's real and has the same problems as everybody else. She's this tough, smart cookie, but she just wants to be loved and she doesn't know how to do it."
- Röhm on the relationship between Kate and Angel: "I think that Kate and Angel are kind of meant for each other but in a way, you can see them become best friends."
- About the character's departure: "Well, I was the first season of the show, I was part of the original cast and loved doing it, but by the second season, I had my own show on TNT called "Bull" so I had to go back & forth between my show & recurring on ANGEL, and then after that I was offered LAW & ORDER and Joss & I decided it would be impossible for me to go from New York (where I was a regular on L&O) to Los Angeles for ANGEL. And we had a great opportunity for it to end dramatically, and it was very satisfying for both of us."
Kate has appeared in
- Kate appeared in 15 episodes and one unaired episode.
Season 1 (1999, 2000) - "Corrupt" (unaired), "Lonely Hearts", "I Fall To Pieces", "Rm w/a Vu", "Sense & Sensitivity", "Somnambulist", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "The Prodigal", "Sanctuary", "To Shanshu in L.A.".
Kate also appears in Angel expanded universe, including the Angel comic Hunting Ground.
Notes and references