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Recap / Angel S02 E18: "Dead End"

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Lindsey McDonald wakes up and goes about his daily routine of washing, affixing his prosthetic arm and getting ready for work. As he removes a shirt with a pre-knotted tie from his wardrobe, he looks forlornly at his guitar, which he can no longer play. Meanwhile, a man and his family go about their morning business before the wife and kids rush off to their destinations. The man follows moments later, but nonchalantly picks up a large kitchen knife and blood starts flowing. Cordelia gets a nasty vision about the man that sends her flying about the hotel, landing on the floor in tears. After she recovers, she says she saw a man who stabbed himself in the eye. The guys split up to call hospitals, check out morgues and the streets for any information on the guy from Cordy's vision.

Lindsey and Lilah speak with their boss, Nathan Reed, about their upcoming reevaluation. Later, Nathan privately tells Lindsey that he has made a surprise doctor's appointment for him. At the Fairfield Clinic, Lindsey learns from the doctor that Wolfram & Hart has arranged for him to get a hand transplant. During the procedure, a Pockla Demon is brought in to perform a brief ritual and complete the attachment of the hand to Lindsey, leaving only the faint outline of a scar as evidence that the hand had not originally been Lindsey's. The next day, Lindsey wakes up and goes through his morning routine, this time with the benefits of his new hand. While getting ready, he notices his guitar again, but this time picks it up and plays. Later, at the office, Lilah notices Lindsey's new hand and grows very nervous about her job since Wolfram & Hart spent so much money on her "partner." While the two lawyers meet with a client, Lindsey's new hand repeatedly writes the word "kill" on a legal pad, without Lindsey even being aware of it, and seemingly despite Lindsey wanting to write other things.

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At the office, Angel has a wide assortment of food delivered as he wanted to get lunch for Cordelia but didn't want to bother her by asking what she wanted. She appreciates it and as she leaves, she remembers from her vision that the man was happy about his eye before he stabbed it. Wesley and Gunn discover the identity of the man: Joseph Kramer. He and his family have all suddenly disappeared, with the explanation that he was suddenly transferred overseas and his house has been emptied and scrubbed. Having reached a dead end, the gang is forced to go to Caritas. On stage, they are shocked and impressed to find Lindsey singing and playing guitar quite beautifully (although Angel childishly tries to pick faults). The Host informs them that Lindsey and Angel need to work together to solve the case, but Angel and Lindsey are completely opposed to the idea. Lindsey storms out, as Angel tells the team that they've got a new lead... the fingerprints of the new hand are left on the glass.

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Based on the fact that Lindsey got a new hand and Kramer a new eye, it's concluded that somewhere body part transplants are being done and causing some kind of demonic problems. At Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey sneaks into Nathan's office to look up information on Fairfield Clinic, where he got the transplant. He later spots Lilah stealing files. Angel hires a private detective with a friend of the force (much to the chagrin of the others) who traces the fingerprints to Bradley Scott, a former employee of Wolfram & Hart who went to prison for embezzlement and after serving his sentence reported to his parole officer once before vanishing. Lindsey visits Scott's parole officer to get information about the clinic, but the man gets violent when Lindsey doesn't know "the code". Before the man can shoot Lindsey in the head, Angel arrives and saves him. Holding the officer by a rope around his neck, Angel demands information.

Wesley and Gunn worry about Cordelia as she seems to be suffering from the visions for as long as the problem remains. Angel and Lindsey head for a building as Angel confirms their location with the parole officer tied up in the trunk. Angel and Lindsey take care of the security guards inside then they head downstairs through a trap door to the place where the body parts are harvested. The room is full of people held, awake but immobile, in upright glass cases. Most of the people are missing some body parts. Lindsey spots Bradley Scott, and asks who Scott wants to kill. Scott's answer: "Me. Kill me". Angel lets Lindsey decide what to do about Scott, while he frees all of the others from their glass prisons. Angel cranks up all the oxygen tanks and blows the place up. Back at the hotel, the gang ask Cordelia how she is doing and she admits the visions are starting to get more painful but accepts it as part of the job.

Back at Wolfram & Hart the next day, a meeting is called to announce to Lindsey and Lilah that they have made a decision about who to promote and who to terminate. Nathan starts to give Lilah empty platitudes, causing her to start and freak out knowing that they have decided to choose Lindsey. But before she can reach into her bag Lindsey interrupts her, telling her that she didn't have what he has... an "evil" hand. He then takes advantage of the evil hand to punch out and shoot a security guard in the foot, before firing shots in Nathan's direction. He 'thanks' Nathan for choosing him, but tells him that he should pick Lilah instead, as she has enough secret files on everyone in the room to destroy them if the Senior Partners got a hold of them. She has proven herself to be intelligent, conniving and ruthless... the perfect Wolfram & Hart employee. Lindsay then announces that he's leaving, and invites the firm to chase him if they want but reminds them of his 'evil' hand. As Lindsey leaves, he sincerely wishes Lilah good luck in her new job before copping a feel as he goes past (blaming his evil hand, of course) and Nathan amends the minutes of the meeting to reflect Lilah's promotion instead. Lilah is left in shock at the fact her long-time rival has just saved her life.

Lindsey packs up his belongings in his truck, ready to hit the road. He encounters Angel outside by his truck and reluctantly talks to him, telling Angel he's leaving L.A. for good. Lindsey also gives Angel advice for fighting Wolfram & Hart: don't play their game, make them play yours. Angel sees his old rival off, but not before getting in a final dig at him; he secretly sticks a sign on the back of Lindsey's truck bearing the words "COPS SUCK." The episode ends with Angel standing in the street, smirking.


Tropes featured

  • And I Must Scream: The unwilling donors are kept sedated but fully awake.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Lindsey singing at Caritas.
    Cordy: "I know you're evil, and everything, but that was just so amazing."
    Gunn: "That was kind of tight."
    Wesley: "Terrific, really."
    Angel: "Is everyone drunk?"
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: The Fang Gang are trying to track down clues re Cordy's vision. Wesley enters and says excitedly, "Guess what I found?!" then adds, "More nothing than usual."
  • Beautiful Dreamer / Shirtless Scene: Lindsey, with and without his hand.
  • Black Speech: The Pockla Demon whispers some incantation while completing the hand transplant.
  • Blatant Lies: "I'm glad I didn't have to do something immature here." Which must be why Angel tries to get the cops after Lindsey.
  • Bound and Gagged: Sam, the corrupt parole officer in Angel's trunk.
  • Continuity Nod: The files on Nathan's computer include Manners Massacre, Bethany Project, Project Darla, Drusilla (vampire), Project Angel, Vampire Detectors, Youth Center Project.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literal gun — Lindsey sees Lilah is packing heat in her handbag and later stops her from shooting Nathan.
  • Classified Information: Lindsey tries to get information from the parole officer on Wolfram & Hart's payrole, offering to pay him. He keeps insisting Lindsey give him a password and when Lindsey says he doesn't have one, pulls a gun.
  • Covert Pervert: Lindsey pinches Lilah's behind as he leaves and blames it on his Evil Hand.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: The Pockla demon has inhumanly long fingers.
  • Curse Cut Short: Lilah is furious over Lindsey casual attitude to their impending review (and possibly death).
    Lindsey: "Well, nothing lasts forever."
    Lilah: "That's deep. Why don't you go f__"
    Nathan: (interrupting) "Oh, Lindsey. Why don't you join me in my office?"
  • A Day in the Limelight
  • Eaten Alive: Lindsey jokes that if the Senior Partners find out about Nathan and Ronald stealing from the firm to fatten their own pockets they'll eat them alive. Considering the setting, it may or may not be a Deadly Euphemism.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lindsey finally sees too much of Wolfram & Hart's activities and resigns.
  • Evil Hand: Subverted — the hand is not actually trying to get Lindsey to kill someone, but is writing a psychic plea from its original owner who's begging to be killed. After granting his wish Lindsey continues to play up the evil hand idea as an excuse to cause havoc in a board meeting.
  • Eye Scream: The man at the start who got his eyes from Wolfram & Hart gouges it out after he says goodbye to his family.
  • The Faceless: The Pockla demon has a dark void were its face should be.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Cordelia's increasing mental and physical stress over her visions which are slowly killing her as they're not meant to be experienced by a human body.
    • Lorne seems disturbed by what he sees in Lindsey future which is likely Lorne seeing that he'll end up killing Lindsey in the series finale.
  • Friendship Moment: Cordelia is puzzled as to why Angel buys her half a dozen different kinds of sandwich.
    Angel: "I forgot what you liked."
    Cordy: "Why didn't you ask me?"
    Angel: "Well, you said, 'why is everyone asking you if they can get you anything?', and-and I didn't wanna do that..."
    Cordy: "So you did this...instead."
    Angel: "Yup."
    Cordy: "I love you."
    [Angel's worried look melts into a big smile as Cordy picks up two sandwiches.]
    Cordy: "And you ought to do that more often."
    Angel: "Buy you food?"
    Cordy: "Smile."
  • Game Face: Good for Perp Sweating corrupt parole officers.
  • Human Shield: The corrupt parole officer uses Lindsey as a shield while he fires at Angel who's just smashed the window. Unfortunately Angel doesn't like Lindsey much and is Immune to Bullets.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Irv Kraigle, the corrupt businessman complaining that no-one wants to take responsibility these days, then blaming his problems on the Chinese factory he subcontracted out to.
  • I'll Kill You!: Lindsey runs into Angel at the karaoke bar and is not happy.
    "If I see outside of the club, I'm gonna kill you."
  • Immortal Immaturity: We've seen this from Angel before and we would see it again but we had never seen it quite this bad. From jealousy at Lindsey's singing leading to arguing to messing with his truck, after claiming how glad he is not to have to do anything immature.
  • In the Hood: The Pockla demon wears a red cloak with his face hidden appears during Lindsey's operation to complete the transplant with an incantation. This cannot be good.
  • Ironic Echo: Kill...me.
  • I Want My Jetpack
    Angel: "You know, back in the Fifties we all thought life was gonna be like in The Jetsons by now. Air cars, robots...I'd love to have an air car. Wouldn't that be cool?"
  • "Kick Me" Prank / Restrained Revenge: Angel tells Lindsey to drive carefully. "Lotta cops out there." Annoyed, Lindsey roars off at high speed unaware that Angel has attached a sign saying COPS SUCK to the back of his truck.
  • Madness Mantra: KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL ...
  • Mercy Kill: Lindsey unplugs his former co-worker whose hand he now wears, then trashes the organ bank equipment.
  • Mundane Solution: Angel and Lindsey are walking up to the fake Travel Agency used to conceal the organ bank, and discuss what extensive security measures might be involved — window sensors, motion detectors, cellular backup, guards. Lindsey suggests getting his laptop and trying to hack their way in. Instead Angel just chucks his axe through the window and they slug their way through the guards who come charging out.
  • Nervous Wreck: Lilah during the reevaluation, having figured it out Lindsey will be chosen and she will be, literally, terminated.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Lilah at the board meeting has visible nips.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Lilah's terror at what will happen if she gets fired screams this.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Cordelia spends hours cleaning the Hyperion in silence after having her vision.
  • Organ Theft: W&H is involved in it through its health subsidiary, Fairfield Clinic.
  • Pad Full of Crazy: Lindsey first realises something is wrong with his new hand when he starts writing KILL KILL KILL all over his legal notepad.
  • Pun: Lindsey getting a new hand is something to applaud. The Host can't resist getting in a couple too.
    "Well, you know what they say: the hand is quicker than the eye. You'll get that later."
    "Right now [Lindsey's] got your case in (laughs) forgive me, in the palm of his hand."
  • Put on a Bus: Lindsey's last appearance until Season 5.
  • Remonstrating with a Gun: Lindsey; first while Perp Sweating the parole officer (at least one of the people he's pointing the gun at is Immune to Bullets though) and secondly during the board meeting while firing the gun from an evil hand!
  • Running Gag: The Fang Gang's terror over the prospect of Angel singing again.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Lindsey pulls this on the entire board.
  • The Scrooge: Angel pays a delivery guy and tells him to keep the change.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Angel and Lindsey are arguing over how to break into the organ bank.
    Angel: "What do you say we just fight, huh?"
    [Angel lifts his ax and Lindsey braces himself for a fight, raising his fists.]
    Angel: "You might wanna step aside?" [throws axe through the window]
  • Scenery Censor: The nude organ donors each have a large sticker with medical information on the glass cabinet around the groin area. The women have their breasts covered by a bikini-like strip of gauze.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The Fang Gang go to Caritas and find Lindsey playing his guitar. He's playing "LA Song (I Can't Feel)", which was written by Christian Kane. The song's lyrics fit his character (and Angel's) perfectly. "Pretty girls on every corner. Sunshine turns the sky to gold. Warm, warm, it's always warm here. And I can't take the cold." And considering what happens in Season 4 the lyrics "The sky's gonna open/People gonna pray and crawl/It's gonna rain down fire/Gonna burn us all," seem like Suspiciously Apropos Foreshadowing as well.
  • Talent Double: Though Christian Kane is a guitar player as well as a singer, it is his KANE band mate Steve Carlson that lends his hands for the performance shots during the Caritas scene.
  • Talking to Themself: Wesley and Gunn are alarmed over Cordelia's strange post-vision behaviour, especially when they hear her talking to Angel whom they know is elsewhere. They kick down the door...only to find Cordelia talking to Angel on the phone.
  • Taking You with Me: Lilah, in a desperate attempt to at least survive Reevaluation alive, has gathered evidence of her superiors stealing from the firm: Nathan has secret offshore accounts and Ronald has been manipulating the stocks.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Lindsey and Lilah. Lindsey and Angel.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": W&H shows off its lousy security again when Lindsey manages to access Reed's computer with a single attempt.
  • Vampire Detective Series: Subverted when Angel admits he had to hire a real private detective to run the fingerprints on Lindsey's new hand as his Friend on the Force has been fired.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Lindsey casually shows off his Evil Hand to the board by stealing a guard's gun and shooting him in the foot. Afterward Nathan does show some concern over him by having an ambulance called.
  • When He Smiles: We get to see that Angel has an absolutely radiant smile.
    Cordelia: And you ought to do that more often.
    Angel: Buy you food?
    Cordelia: Smile.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lindsey hates Angel too much to give him this acknowledgement, but fully acknowledge's Lilah's worth.
    "Nathan, I'm so proud that you chose me. (Ruffles Charlie's hair as he walks past him) Charlie! If I would have been in your shoes - I would have chosen Lilah. (Lilah turns to stare at Lindsey) Let me tell you why. Do you have any idea of the hours this chick has logged in? Huh? The files she has on you guys? Deep stuff. Ronnie, your stock manipulations, Nathan's little offshore accounts... Can you imagine if something were to happen to this girl and those files got back to the Senior Partners? They'd eat you alive! She's been working overtime, boys. She's everything you ever dreamed off. Lilah is your guy."
  • You Can Never Leave: Averted; Lindsey challenges Wolfram & Hart to come after him and his evil hand.

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