Written by David Greenwalt
Directed by James A. Contner
Lindsey wakes up in his apartment and turns off his alarm with the stump of his right hand. He awkwardly shaves with his left hand. He puts his prosthetic on. He picks a pre-tied tie to slip over his head, and he notices the guitar sitting abandoned in the bottom of his closet.
Cut to an average suburban dad getting ready to leave for work while his wife gets the kids ready for school. He’s the last one out of the house, gathering up the last few things everyone forgot. But then he grabs a butcher knife and gouges out his own eye. Cut to Cordelia, who is having this vision. Angel, Wes, and Gunn all rush to her side. She’s still rather traumatized from the vision—can’t blame her. Eye horror. No thank you.
At W&H, Nathan Reed is leading a board meeting. Lilah and Lindsey disagree about how to handle a certain client. Then they move on to the subject of Angel. They know he’s back with his team and not on the warpath against W&H. Lindsey seems slightly more on top of things than Lilah, even though Lilah’s definitely the one who cares more. And at the end of the week, they’ll be deciding which one to keep and which one to fire. After the meeting, things look even worse for Lilah because Reed asks Lindsey to meet him in his office.
Reed wants Lindsey to put a cork in his vitriol about Angel, because it doesn’t look good. Also, he made a mystery appointment for Lindsey.
Cordy describes the vision for the guys. She’s still pretty upset about it, especially because they still don’t have enough details to start looking for the eye-stabbing man. They split up to go in search of leads anyway. And I really like Cordy’s shirt, but there hasn’t been a good shot of it yet.
At a building that looks suspiciously like the W&H building, only from a different angle than their usual establishing shot, Lindsey is getting his blood pressure checked. A doctor greets him. He’s very keen to begin some kind of procedure. Lindsey still has no idea what’s happening. This is a pretty unusual clinic. One capable of giving Lindsey a new hand! We see the transplant from Lindsey’s point of view. The procedure involves a creepy demon doing a ritual over the new hand, which makes it seamlessly attach to Lindsey’s wrist.
Gunn has been calling hospitals all day in search of eye-stabby guy. No luck. Angel and Wesley have also had no luck, and Cordelia has been manically cleaning the lobby for the last few hours. Come on, give me a good shot of that shirt already! None of the guys wants to try getting more vision info out of Cordelia, so Wesley, as the boss, officially assigns Angel that job. He approaches her and makes with the awkward small talk. *sigh* Is this a thing now? Is Angel going to be an awkward dork from here on out? How about not.
Cordelia knows they need more to go on. Her head is killing her. She wants to be able to help. Angel asks if she can go deeper into the vision. That’s what she’s been doing all day. She replays the vision. She realizes eye-stabby guy had kids, and one of those kids has a backpack with the name of the school on it. A lead! She really needs some time off. But woe on whoever suggests that to her face. And I finally got a shot of the shirt!
Lindsey wakes up the next day. It’s just like the previous morning, except now he has two hands! He shuts off his alarm with his right hand. He splashes water on his face with both hands. Halfway through putting on a tie, he spots his guitar again. He picks it up and starts playing. He’ll have to build up some calluses on the new hand, but he can still play. At W&H, he’s shaking hands with everyone, especially Reed. Lilah notices the new hand too, and she thinks it’s proof she’s screwed.
Lilah and Lindsey go into a meeting with a rather stupid and belligerent client. Apparently he sells chocolate and is being sued because of the toxins that got into the chocolate from the tin foil wrappers. He thinks it’s China’s fault for selling him bad tin foil, but Lindsey has a very handy solution that absolves his company of guilt without giving the complainants anyone to get money out of, since the scapegoat is out of business already. Lindsey notices that his new hand has been writing “KILL” all over his notepad, of its own accord. He bails from the meeting, and Lilah (annoyed) covers for him.
Back at his apartment, Lindsey tries to get his hand to write more weird stuff so he can figure out what this is about, but he gets nothing, even after stabbing the hand a few times with a letter opener. He wants to know who his hand used to belong to
Angel has ordered a bunch of sandwiches because he can’t remember what Cordelia’s favorite is and he panicked. He’s afraid she’ll get angry, but she just says “I love you” and picks her favorite sandwich out. He smiles the biggest smile we’ve seen on him all season, I think.
Cordelia gets more of the vision again. She gets the sense this time that eye-stabby guy was, for some reason, super happy about his eye before he gouged it out. Wes and Gunn arrive with info about eye-stabby guy. The family is mysteriously relocating to the Seychelles. There’s no trace of them at their house, either, but the clean-up crew missed a chunk of baseboard, which has blood on it. Considering how thorough that clean-up crew was, I’m kind of surprised Angel’s first theory wasn’t W&H, particularly considering his recent vendetta. Instead, he thinks it’s karaoke time. Cordy, Gunn, and Wes would all like to avoid that, if it means Angel has to sing.
Luckily for us and the A.I. team, it’s Lindsey who’s singing at Caritas. Also, if you watch real close, you’ll notice that the bouncer at Caritas is one of the fish boys from “Go Fish.”
I love Lindsey’s song. It’s “Pretty As a Picture.” Everyone but Angel loves hearing him sing. Angel, continuing his annoying new dorky attitude, is being a pouty jerk about Lindsey’s obvious singer/songwriter talent. Our luck keeps improving! Angel won’t have to follow that because Lorne’s reading for Lindsey is directly related to their case!
Cordelia, Gunn, and Wes all compliment Lindsey, but Lindsey is more focused on the way Lorne is trying to push him towards teaming up with Angel for the next little bit. He hates that idea, and he leaves in an irritable huff. But that’s okay. Eye-stabby guy stabbed out his new eye, and Lindsey has a crazy new hand. They don’t actually need Lindsey’s help, they just need his new hand’s fingerprints, which he left on his water glass.
Lindsey goes to W&H after hours. He sneaks into Reed’s office. Reed’s computer password is “zen.” Hahaha. Lindsey checks Reed’s files on Lilah and the clinic where he got his new hand.
At the hotel, Angel has found the identity of the hand donor. Gunn and Wes are annoyed to learn that the way he got this information was by hiring another P.I. with a police friend. Well, too bad, because Kate got fired, so she can’t be their police friend anymore. The hand donor is a parolee who recently went missing.
Lindsey is on his way back out when he spots Lilah digging around in the records room. We see that she has a revolver in her purse. Next, Lindsey visits some dude with a handlebar mustache. He convinces the guy to let him in. It’s the parole officer of Lindsey’s hand donor. As soon as he starts asking questions about where the clinic gets the body parts, the guy starts beating him up.
Just when he’s about to shoot Lindsey, Angel tosses a trash can through his window, which lures him over close enough for Angel to get him in a headlock. Lindsey is completely outraged that Angel is horning in on his lead. Angel is much funnier in this scene than he has been in a few episodes. Lindsey is nearly blowing a gasket. The parole officer doesn’t want to talk until Angel vamps out and threatens to use him as a food source for a month. He tells them where he took the hand donor in order for W&H to get access to him.
Cordelia is crying with her head buried in her arms. Gunn and Wes try not to disturb her. They don’t think this is a good sign. Maybe normal humans aren’t equipped to handle visions like this. They hear her talking to Angel and worry she might be going crazy. But she’s just talking to Angel on the phone. They’re very sheepish.
Angel and Lindsey are in Angel’s car. Angel tells Lindsey the story of Mr. Eye-Stabby. Lindsey doesn’t want to have a fun chat with Angel. Angel wonders why Lindsey is so angry all the time; he has everything he wants, right? They get to the address the parole officer mentioned. Lindsey thinks Angel wants him to hack the place’s security system, but Angel just wants to break in and fight. Oh. Well that way is much more fun. Angel and Lindsey make short work of the security guards, then go through a trapdoor into a secret basement.
The secret basement contains several chambers—upright glass coffins, really—with people inside. Most of them are missing at least one limb. They seem to be stuck in some kind of miserable stasis. Seems like the reason things aren’t going so well post-op is that a sect of demonic healers is involved in the process. They find the guy who supplied Lindsey’s hand. Lindsey recognizes him. They used to work in the mail room. His name is Brad, and he keeps saying “Kill me.” Angel lets Lindsey decide what to do with Brad, but he starts helping the other “spare parts” people get out of their cells so they can escape. Lindsey pulls the plug on Brad, and Brad dies. They rig the place to blow once they’re gone, then skedaddle. Explosion!
The next day, Angel, Wes, and Gunn are still worried about Cordy. She admits that the visions are starting to wear her down.
It’s time to reevaluate the Special Projects Division at W&H! Reed starts talking about how Lilah has done lots of wonderful work, but she knows this is the gentle let-down, so she tries to grab her revolver. To kill herself before W&H can do it in a really gruesome way, I suppose? Lindsey stops her. He acknowledges that he’s the one they chose. But this isn’t Lindsey’s acceptance speech. This is something much better. Essentially, he’s quitting, and he’s recommending Lilah for the job they were about to give him. Them giving him a homicidal hand was the last straw for him; he’s sick of working there. It’s one of the funniest scenes of S2, particularly when Lindsey grabs a guard’s gun and starts shooting while chuckling about his evil hand. I highly recommend watching the episode just for this scene. It’s amazing. He grabs Lilah’s butt on his way out (evil hand!). Lilah gets the promotion.
Angel intercepts Lindsey while he’s loading up his old pickup. Angel likes the truck. He reminisces about the ‘50s and about what they thought the world would be like by now back then. He’s pleased that Lindsey is ditching W&H. Just to be clear, Lindsey isn’t a good guy now. Angel knew that. Lindsey warns Angel that if he wants to fight W&H, he has to make them play his game; he can’t try to play theirs. When Lindsey drives away, we see that Angel has taped a poster that says “COPS SUCK” to the tailgate. Bahaha.
With the exceptions of the parts where Angel’s being a dork, I love “Dead End.” Lindsey has never been more entertaining than during his grand exit from W&H, and Lilah has never been more sympathetic. The sequence showing Lindsey’s morning routine and what he can’t do without his right hand is very powerful; it makes you almost get choked up when he goes through the routine again, this time with both hands. And oh boy can Christian Kane sing. I also love seeing Angel and Lindsey working together. David and Christian are best friends, and some element of that tends to come through in their scenes. The scenes feel more vibrant than usual, or something. So it’s kind of a shame that this will be the last we see of Lindsey until S5. (But that’s okay. I’ll console myself by watching Secondhand Lions in the interim.) It’s probably healthier for Angel and the team to have Lilah in charge of Special Projects instead of Lindsey, who just wants Angel dead. On a more troubling note, we’re introduced to the idea that Cordelia’s visions may not be something she can physically handle long-term.
I’m really hoping that now Angel’s been fully accepted by Cordelia again, he’s going to knock it off with the dorky awkwardness. And I thought he was aware of how terrible his singing was; why’s he trying to insult the singing of someone who’s obviously excellent and getting offended when nobody wants to hear him sing? But the stuff with Lindsey in the second half of the episode is fantastic. There’s the sense of humor I love from Angel. And his willingness to work with Lindsey and his lack of interest in going after W&H even though this is a W&H-related case is very encouraging. It proves how serious he was about that epiphany.
Cordelia is trying so hard to keep the focus off how much her visions are hurting her. She doesn’t want to feel like an obstacle to the team solving their cases. And I like how quick she is to accept Angel back once he’s sufficiently proven he’s no longer an insensitive jerk.
Wesley is really enjoying the position of authority he holds over Angel, isn’t he? The tasks he’s assigning him aren’t as menial as last time, but they’re still the things he would rather not do himself. It’s kind of strange. When Cordy, Wes, and Gunn were on their own, Wes never particularly seemed to be the boss—it was more like they all shared equal rank. But now that Angel’s back, Wesley is just sort of automatically the boss. *shrug*
Gunn doesn’t have a whole lot to do in this one, but I love when he, with a completely straight face, holds up that chunk of baseboard for Angel to sniff.
“Wow. A whole dollar just for me. I’m the luckiest delivery man ever.”
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.