|Season 1, Episode 21|
|Air date||May 16, 2000|
|Written by||Jeannine Renshaw|
|Directed by||Thomas J. Wright|
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"To Shanshu in L.A."
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
|Alexis Denisof|| Wesley |
|J. August Richards|| Gunn |
|Jennifer Badger Martin||Vanessa Weeks|
|Keilana Smith||Mind Reader #1|
|Dawn Suggs||Mind Reader #2|
|Charles Constant||Security Center Guard|
|Derek Anthony||Dying Black Man|
|Rishi Kumar||Blind Child #1|
|Karen Lu||Blind Child #2|
|Alex Buck|| Blind Child #3 |
"Blind Date" is the twenty-first episode of the first season of Angel and the twenty-first episode overall. Written by Jeannine Renshaw and directed by Thomas J. Wright, it was originally broadcast on May 16, 2000 on the WB network.
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 Charles 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.
One night while on patrol, Angel encounters a woman wearing sunglasses and carrying a white cane which she has just used to murder a random man. He attempts to defend himself when she attacks him but he finds himself struggling to even defend himself. During the confrontation, he knocks off the woman's sunglasses to find out that she truly is blind. She eventually manages to slip away. When he returns to Angel Investigations, Cordelia Chase looks up “blind woman murder” on the Internet (as they can't find any demons that match her description and suspect her of being human) and discovers a blind woman named Vanessa Brewer has been arrested for fleeing the scene of a homicide and assault, and is currently on trial for her suspected role in a homicide. Cordelia also discovers Wolfram & Hart is representing Vanessa pro bono, so she’s probably working for them in some capacity.
In court, Lindsey argues to the judge that Vanessa's disability absolves her from suspicion. Angel enters and tosses Vanessa’s glasses at her, and when she immediately catches them, the courtroom reacts. Despite this, the jury fail to return a verdict and Vanessa is acquitted. Later, Lindsay meets with his superior Holland Manners who is touting him to Bill and Chuck for doing well in court. Lindsay also speaks with Vanessa, who clearly makes him feel uneasy (something which Holland also admits to). As they leave, Holland speaks to Lindsey about the hardships he has faced over the past year, namely the poor decision to send Faith after Angel. Holland says Lindsey won’t be happy until he figures out his place in the world. The conversation turns back to Vanessa, and Holland tells Lindsey that it would be a good idea if he starts working on a tragic and abusive history for her, as Vanessa has been asked to do something that (on the slim chance she gets caught) would require a strong defence in court. Lindsey enquires what this is about, and Holland simply says that there are some children arriving in LA that could pose a threat to them...
At the office, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce explains Vanessa can see outside of the spectrum of normal human sight. Angel is upset that Vanessa was acquitted and he can’t do anything about it. He’s angry that Wolfram & Hart has made up their own rules. He tells Wesley he remembers living in a world like Wolfram & Hart’s, where there’s only power and no consequences. He misses the clarity involved and laments that nothing ever changes. Lindsey suddenly arrives and tells Angel that he needs his help: "I want out." Lindsey explains he grew up in abject poverty, and decided he would become powerful to keep things being taken away from him - which was why he joined Wolfram & Hart. Angel is uninterested in Lindsey's life story until Lindsey tells him that Vanessa has been hired to assassinate children. Angel tells him that he’ll need information that Lindsey will have to take from Wolfram & Hart. Lindsey does not want to go back, since people there are under constant surveillance, but goes to prove to Angel that he really wants to change. Later, the group plans Angel and Lindsey's break-in at Wolfram & Hart. Lindsey decides to use his own pass to get into the building, then leave the pass for Angel to use to get into a demon-guarded vault. Lindsey suddenly remembers the firm’s vampire alarms, which will go off as soon as Angel enters at the building. That night, Angel meets with Gunn to ask a favor, which Gunn agrees to when he learns it’s dangerous.
The next day at Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey runs into Lilah Morgan, who is surprised to see him heading towards a records room. Once she’s gone, he leaves his security pass under a fire extinguisher then heads back upstairs as Angel waits for the right time to move. Gunn steps into the lobby causing a commotion before some of his crew enter carrying a large bundle at the exact time Angel enters the building. As the vampire alarms go off, Gunn cuts the cord holding the bundle, revealing a captured vampire inside. Security guards chase the vampire and stake him, as Angel grabs Lindsey's security pass and uses it to enter the vault. He takes CDs labeled “restricted access” and is about to leave when he notices a tube covered with symbols. Angel, despite not knowing what it is, cannot help but feel he has to take it too and grabs it too. This activates another alarm and drops a grate over the door to the vault. Angel is able to make it under the grate before he was trapped inside. On his way back to the sewer, he calls Lindsey and tells him that he’s done and that Lindsey should get out of the building. Lindsey tries to avert some security guards but soon realizes that they’re everywhere. Lilah tells him that there’s a sweep, and Lindsey sees Holland leading two mind-readers into an office.
A handful of lawyers are lined up for the mind-readers to read. Lindsey fears that he’s been caught, but Holland announces that Lee Mercer has been in secret meetings with another firm and planned to leave Wolfram & Hart taking clients with him. Lee attempts to protest his innocence, but doesn't get very far before he gets a bullet to the head. Holland dismisses the others, asking Lindsey to stay behind. Holland asks Lindsey if he’s scared; Lindsey admits that he is. Holland says that’s understandable, since he went to Angel for help, stole from the vault, tried to sabotage a case, and lied about everything. Lindsey says that he didn’t want to lie or betray the firm, he just wanted to leave. Holland says that few men make their own destinies, but those who do “have the courage of their convictions, and they know how to behave in a crisis.” He thinks that Lindsey has what it takes to be one of those men, but he still doesn’t know where he belongs. Holland decides not to have Lindsey killed, instead giving him a few days to figure out what he wants to do.
Angel returns to his office and is surprised that Lindsey isn’t already there. Cordelia asks if Angel is going to go back for him, but Angel won't, explaining that if Lindsay got out he'll head to them and if he didn't then there's no reason to go back. Wesley finds the tube in Angel’s briefcase and finds a roll of parchment inside. He asks why Angel took it and Angel admits that he’s not sure. Wesley says that he’ll translate the ancient Aramaic on the parchment, but Cordelia discovers that first they’ll have to translate the encrypted disks. Cordelia calls Willow for help decrypting the disks (Willow has also been been decrypting all day). The decrypted information reveals Vanessa blinded herself when she was 21, then trained with a group of monks who believed that “enlightenment is seeing with the heart, not the mind.” Vanessa is supposed to kill three children - blind seers considered a powerful triumvirate. Angel instructs Cordelia and Wesley to intercept the mentor who’s supposed to meet with the children. Vanessa arrives at a safe house, killing the man guarding the children with her cane. Angel tells Lindsey to get the kids out. Vanessa fights them both, but Angel eventually grabs her cane and stabs her with it. Later, back at the office, Wesley tells Angel the parchment he stole from Wolfram & Hart contains the Prophecies of Aberjian (referred to later as the Shanshu Prophecy), which mentions a vampire with a soul. Wesley tells Angel that he may not know what his place is in the chaos, but he belongs somewhere in there.
Lindsey returns to Wolfram & Hart with the disks Angel stole and apologizes to Holland, saying he did what he needed to. Holland proclaims his rescue of the children “noble” and notes that Lindsey probably made copies of what was on the disks. Lindsey says that he wants his own life, but Holland tells him that “we’re all part of something larger.” He tells Lindsey that he handpicked him to join the firm because he saw potential in him. “It’s not about good or evil - it’s about who wields the most power,” Holland announces. Lindsey stood up to the firm and won, and Holland wants him to stay with them. In fact, he’s giving Lindsey his own job, since Holland is getting a promotion. He tells Lindsey that it’s his choice, then leaves. Lindsey stays put, looking out the window at the city lights as Angel does the same thing elsewhere.
- The assignment details that Angel, Cordelia, and Wesley read indicates that the children arrived on April 28, 2000. This dates the final act, from when Angel breaks into Wolfram & Hart's Los Angeles offices to the rescue of the children on the date, and setting the episode itself likely entirely within just a few days of each other in April 2000.
- Wesley first discovered the Shanshu Prophecy in this episode, an extremely influential action that will heavily affect Angel and his actions throughout the rest of the series. It also indicated for the first time that Angel truly had some greater destiny in store for him, since a prophecy was focused on him.
- Cordelia phoned Willow to hack codes and find information on Vanessa Brewer. Willow and Tara were at that very same time working on getting information on Adam by hacking, seen in "Primeval".
- Holland Manners mentions it not being about good or evil, but it being about having the most power; the First Evil(in the guise of Buffy Summers) says the exact same thing in the episode "Lessons".
- Two vampires, dusted by Angel
- decoy man, killed by Vanessa Brewer
- One vampire , dusted by Wolfram and Hart security guards
- Lee Mercer, shot by Phil with a gun
- Old man, impaled by Vanessa Brewer
- Vanessa Brewer, impaled by Angel
Behind the Scenes
- Jennifer Badger, who guest stars as Vanessa, has previously been Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku's stunt double in both Buffy and Angel.
- Special Effects Supervisor Loni Peristere says they couldn't afford to shoot Vanessa's perspective using green-screen, 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.
- In the closing credits, the character Vanessa Brewer appears as "Vanessa Weeks".
- The names of the investigating officers on the arrest record for Vanessa Brewer are those of crew members who worked on the series: Will Batts - Set Designer, Sandy Struth - Set Decorator & David M Burns - Assistant to Kelly A. Manners, Second Unit Director.
- German: Die Augen der Vanessa Brewer (The Eyes of Vanessa Brewer)
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- Angel angrily announces, "They acquitted her. Hung jury." In fact, it's one or the other -- a hung jury is one that does not reach a verdict, and the accused is subject to retrial if the prosecution wishes. An acquittal occurs when the jury returns a verdict of 'not guilty.' There is no retrial possible after a criminal acquittal.
- When Lindsey returns from the sub-basement and exits the elevator, the writing on the security guard's shoulder badge is backwards; the video has been reversed.
|Lindsey - I get myself killed, that'll convince you I've changed?|
|Angel - It's a start.|
|Gunn - Give me one good reason.|
|Angel - It'll be extremely dangerous.|
|Gunn - Okay.|
|Gunn - Whoo! Whoo! My God! They told me it was true, but I didn't believe 'em. Damn. Here it is! Evil white folks really do have a Mecca. Now, now, now girls, don't get all riled up. [screams] Did you just step on my foot? Was that my foot you just stepped on? Are you assaulting me up in this haven of justice? Somebody get me a lawyer, 'cause my civil rights have seriously been violated. Oh, I get it, I get it. Y'all can cater to the demon, cater to the dead man, but what about the black man?|