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I see that you're either the one with the power or you're powerless.
―Lindsey McDonald[src]

Lindsey McDonald was a lawyer at Wolfram & Hart and both an enemy and ally of Angel Investigations.[1][2]

History

Early life

I guess it's fair to say you've never seen anything like real poverty. I'm talking dirt poor, no shoes, no toilet, six of us kids in a room and come flu season that went down to four. I was seven when they took the house, just came right in and took it.
―Lindsey McDonald[src]

Born into a poor and dysfunctional family in the south-central United States, Lindsey worked hard to overcome his upbringing. Lindsey was one of six children, two of whom died of the flu.[1]

While studying at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Lindsey was recruited by Holland Manners to the law firm Wolfram & Hart. Starting in the mailroom, he quickly worked his way up, becoming one of Wolfram & Hart's most valued lawyers.[citation needed]

Wolfram & Hart

Lindsey, a young, budding lawyer about to meet Angel.

Lindsey legally represented many vampires and demons, as well as evil humans. In 1999, he worked with vampiric businessman Russell Winters, a client that because of Lindsey's and his firm's services, could feed on young women without alerting attention. When he tried to kill the aspiring actress Cordelia Chase, Angel attacked Russell at his manor to save her. Upon discovering this, Lindsey sent several top private investigators to find out who the intruder was. But just as he said this, Angel entered the conference they were having where Lindsay introduce him to Wolfram & Hart and telling him that Angel could not touch Winters. Angel then hurled Winters out of the window of the tall building they were in, into the sunlight where he was burnt to dust. After Angel left, Lindsey informed the firm that there was "a new player in town."[3]

Lindsey, Lilah and Lee get a slayer to kill Angel.

Months later, Lindsey then worked with fellow lawyers Lilah Morgan and Lee Mercer, both having had previous plans ruined by Angel, to have him killed. The three hired then-renegade Slayer Faith to assassinate him, promising to free her from her police charges and a doubled amount of payment. When Faith made the deal known to him, Angel broke into Lindsey's though was quickly caught out when Lindsey walked in. Before Angel left, Lindsey had the encounter digitally recorded and alerted the police.[4]

After learning that Faith was convinced by Angel to end the deal and stay at his apartment for rehabilitation, Lindsey then hired an assassin to kill Faith, not wanting word to get out of what happened. Failing in that, he gave information about Angel to police officer Kate Lockley, whose father had been recently killed by vampires, putting her in a vendetta against Angel.[5]

Lindsey represented Vanessa Brewer, a deadly assassin posing as a blind woman. This allowed her to commit murder and get away due to her supposed disability. Angel tried to catch her out by attacking her, thus forcing her to defend herself beyond the abilities of an average person in front of a court hearing with Lindsey as her defendant. Nevertheless, a new contract required her to kill the Holy Triumvirate, formed by three innocent children. Putting him in a crisis of conscience, Lindsay teamed up with Angel to save the children and allow him to leave Wolfram & Hart scot-free.[1]

Lindsey used his pass to get Angel past security so he could steal disks with information against his colleagues. The break was eventually detected and Lindsey, along with Lilah, Lee, and several other employees where searched by mind readers. In the search, it was discovered that Lee had consulted with an enemy law firm, and was then executed right next to Lindsey, his blood spraying on his face. Their supervisor, Holland Manners, noticed Lindsey was going through a stage in his life to make decisions and allows Lindsey to take a few days to decide.[1]

After saving the three children, Lindsey returned to Holland, returning the disks and admitting to what he did. Holland, surprised by Lindsey's willingness to stand up as his person, welcomed Lindsey back, giving him a raise and his own office.[1]

By trying to foil Angel's plans to save his friend, Lindsey loses his hand.

He then aided in the resurrection of Angel's old lover, Darla by taking over chanting during the ritual to bring her back when the demon Vocah; who was originally performing the ritual; was distracted when Angel attacked him. During the ensuing battle, Lindsey attempted to burn a scroll that Angel needed to save Cordelia. Unable to get within a good distance due to a cross Lindsey held, Angel threw a scythe at Lindsey, chopping off his right hand. This then forced Lindsey to use an artificial hand from then on.[6]

When Darla was returned to life as a human, Lindsey became attached to her, struggling with CDs to play her music at his office and helping her mess with Angel's mind; he provided Darla with a fake identity and hired actor to play her husband to frame Angel for murdering him. When Darla failed to persuade Angel to their side, thus stunting her mentality, Lindsey discovered he was in love with her despite her desire to become a vampire. When she seemingly killed a security guard which put her on the run, Lindsay tried to contact Angel but he was already there and hung Lindsey's neck by a string choking, wanting to know where she was but Lindsey explained that she would die if Angel didn't save her. When he did, Lindsay discovered the man slaughter was a hoax to get Darla to Angel and hopefully take his soul.[citation needed]

As Lindsey falls for Darla, his dislike of Angel increases.

Failing to do so, Darla was diagnosed with syphilis, the disease that she had before becoming a vampire. Lindsey was eager to have Angel sire Darla, thus saving her. Since he wouldn't do it, Lindsey stormed into her hotel with armed men, with Lindsey personally having Angel tasered and forcing him to watch as Drusilla entered the room and re-sired Darla.[7]

Due to his and Lilah's achievements, they were congratulated at Holland's wine tasting party where Darla and Drusilla came and massacred everyone there, save for Lindsey and Lilah, as payback for being used as pawns.[8] Darla did this with the intent to keep both lawyers as their liaison to the Senior Partners, because though angry for being used by Wolfram & Hart, she desired power. On the other hand, with only Lindsey and Lilah left of Wolfram & Hart's Special Projects Team, their rivalry reached an all-time high as the two start a power struggle for the vice-presidency of the team as at the time neither of them was deemed fit to take the title.[citation needed]

Though rivals at heart, Lindsey and Lilah were also forced to also work together. One their schemes involved organizing a charity event with Anne Steele, operator of the East Hills Teen Center, to improved Wolfram & Hart's image and secretly steal the donations. Learning that Angel planned to expose the truth, they hired an old demon enemy of his to kill him. The demon however, worked against them by causing a distraction with Angel so Anne could show a tape, suspected to have incriminating evidence against them.[9]

They learned that Angel had nothing and the footage consisted of nothing but Cordelia and Wesley messing around; it not only embarrassed them when they acted suspiciously to stop the footage being shown, but it allowed the demon to take the money and return it to Anne. Because their behavior was shown on national television, coupled with the loss of the money and their attempt to kill Angel was revealed, which was against the firm's policy, their new supervisor Nathan Reed told them that Angel's life was invaluable while they were replaceable.[9]

After an entire team is slaughtered, Lilah and Lindsey are put in competition.

After Angel violently burnt Darla and Drusilla, Lindsay, still infatuated with Darla, let her recuperate at his apartment. Darla, however, secretly used his feelings to gain information from Wolfram & Hart to obtain a mystical ring from the Senior Partners during the Review. Angel fought Darla for it at the event and Lindsey tried to protect her from Wolfram & Hart, which tried to kill her. Lindsey then discovered that Darla had slept with Angel.[citation needed]

Lindsey responded by changing into his casual clothes, getting into his truck and by brutally beating Angel with it and a sledgehammer, demanding to know what happened with Darla. Leaving Angel briefly to get his stake, Angel in that time recovered and turned the tables on Lindsey. Beating him down with his bare hands while apologizing for the fact Darla didn't love him and that he made the right choices, Angel used the sledgehammer to smash Lindsey's prosthetic hand, noting that Lindsey should be grateful he recently had an epiphany, as Angel could have easily destroyed Lindsey's remaining real hand instead. Knocking him out with a kick to the head, Angel borrowed his truck to save Cordelia from a group of demons before returning it the next morning though heavily damaged. Returning to his apartment, Lindsey found that Darla had left town, taking all her clothes with her. Lindsey was left alone, beaten both physically and emotionally.[10]

Having had enough of Angel, Lindsey does it his way.

Lindsey quickly replaced his hand with a new prosthetic and continued with his life, requiring pre-made ties for work and unable to play his guitar. Consequently, his work at the firm suffered as he aired his hatred towards Angel against his colleagues while still in a race with Lilah for the promotion. Hoping that his performance would pick up again with the return of his hand, Lindsey's superiors arranged for him to receive a mystical transplant. At first he enjoyed his new privileges, able to play his guitar again. However, his hew hand began to act up, writing "kill" whenever Lindsey didn't concentrate. Fearing that the hand is evil, Lindsey went to Caritas and sang for the Host, revealing that he used to be a regular customer and musician at Caritas until he lost his hand.[2]

After his achievements, Lindsey receives a new hand.

Lorne set him and Angel on the path that would end with the two working together to discover a Wolfram & Hart facility that specialized in unwilling transplant donors. Among them was the donor of Lindsey's hand, an old friend of his from his mailroom days. After figuring out that his hand wasn't evil but rather suicidal, Lindsey pulled the plug on his friend and destroyed the facility, while saving those that could still be saved.[2]

It was then that Lindsey decided to leave Wolfram & Hart permanently, despite the fact he was promoted. He did this by casually informing the board in a meeting that he was bored with the firm's games while assaulting his colleagues and throwing the promotion to Lilah after revealing she carried files against them out of fear that she would not be promoted and thus killed. Upon leaving, he warned them not to follow him due to his "evil hand issues," pinching Lilah on the bottom as he walked out the door.[2]

In a final confrontation between Angel and Lindsey, the two buried the hatchet, and Lindsey warned him of the games Wolfram & Hart was trying to play. Dressed in his casual attire, Lindsey left Los Angeles and went on a soul-searching trip, including, amongst other places, Nepal. Though Angel saw Lindsey off, he managed to get one last crack at him by taping a sign reading "Cops Suck" on the back of his truck.[2]

Return

The Senior Partners gave that Eurotrash vampire everything I've worked for. I couldn't let that slide.
―Lindsey McDonald[src]

Two years later, Lindsey finally returned to Los Angeles, when he learned that Angel has taken over the Los Angeles division of Wolfram & Hart. Although it seemed that he and Angel had buried the hatchet, Lindsey was unable to cope with the fact that the Senior Partners gave Angel everything that Lindsey had worked so hard for. Lindsey had tattoos of Enochian protection runes over his body, mystically hiding his presence from the Senior Partners. At some point, he began a relationship with Eve, the Liaison to the Senior Partners.[citation needed]

Lindsey and Eve.

Together, Lindsey and Eve manipulate events so that Spike, not Angel, proves (or at least appears to the Senior Partners) to be the ensouled vampire foretold in the Scrolls of Aberjian, the one who will have a crucial impact in the Apocalypse and fulfill the Shanshu Prophecy. Lindsey hopes that once the Senior Partners realize the folly of attempting to seduce Angel to their cause, that he will be stripped of his position at Wolfram & Hart, leaving a power vacuum which Lindsey could fill, gaining a measure of revenge on Angel.[citation needed]

Angel is given the amulet which Spike eventually uses to destroy the Hellmouth in Sunnydale.[11] Nineteen days later, Lindsey makes a trip to the crater where Sunnydale once stood and digs Spike's amulet out of the Hellmouth. Afterward, he mails it to Angel at Wolfram & Hart.[12] Deposited, incorporeal, in Wolfram & Hart and unable to leave the city limits, Spike gradually grows attached to L.A. and reconsiders his initial intention to seek out Buffy in Europe, deciding to allow Buffy to remember him as a self-sacrificing hero.[13]

Lindsey then initiated the next stage of his plan, making Spike corporeal again through a package sent to Spike at Wolfram & Hart. Lindsey also worked with the ex-Watcher Rutherford Sirk to fake an addendum to the Shanshu Prophecy that the vampire with a soul must drink from the Cup of Perpetual Torment — after apparently causing a disruption of reality that Eve claims is the result of there being two vampire champions with souls — in an attempt to provoke a conflict between Angel and Spike that would result in Angel's death. Although his deception is exposed and the Cup revealed to be a fake, Lindsey's plans were nevertheless served as Angel begins to doubt himself after losing to Spike.[14]

Lindsey later sought out Spike under the assumed identity of a drifter named Doyle, closely paralleling the initial encounters between Angel and the real Doyle. Claiming to receive visions from the Powers That Be, he gained Spike's cooperation and trust.[citation needed]

Lindsey and Eve contrive a situation where Spike saves Angel from a demonic parasite (placed on an unconscious Angel by Eve), which simultaneously disheartened Angel, galvanized Spike, and adds weight and veracity to the claims made by "Doyle"/Lindsey.[15] Although the "mind numbing" visions that Lindsey reported were non-existent, the events described were real.[citation needed]

However, Cordelia's seemingly returning to life was a risk Lindsey's plans. He sent Spike to kill her, claiming she was still possessed by Jasmine; he later admited he did not expect the plan to succeed, but it "was worth a shot." Meanwhile, he infiltrated Wolfram & Hart. When informed by Eve that Spike had failed, Lindsey activated the Senior Partners' program meant to kill Angel if he turned against them. The plan was averted as Spike, Cordelia, and Angel were able to uncover Lindsey's actions.[16]

While Spike fought the zombie defenses protecting the creature meant to kill Angel, Angel and Lindsey dueled in the chamber where the "contingency plan" was stored. The pair fought on a rising container that held the creature, while Cordelia tried to stop the process. Lindsey displayed the new abilities he had learned on his journeys, enabling him to keep up with Angel in a physical confrontation. Despite this, Angel finally defeated Lindsey and his comrades completed a ritual that dissolved the tattoos that protected Lindsey from the Senior Partners, and he was dragged away through a portal.[16]

Lindsey was incarcerated in a Holding Dimension that emulated suburbia, complete with a wife and a son. Time operated in a loop; each day, after waking up and sharing a normal day with his "family," he had his heart cut out by a The Wrath, a demon in the house's basement. He was eventually rescued by Angel, Spike, and Charles Gunn for information they need. They were only able to leave by the sacrifice of Gunn, who remained behind to take Lindsey's place.[17]

Lindsey later revealed the existence of the Circle of the Black Thorn, the Senior Partners' instrument on this plane, a secret society devoted to maintaining man's inhumanity in exchange for power. He noted that, while Angel was sidetracked at Wolfram & Hart, the apocalypse was already underway, and Angel and his team were becoming more corrupt by the day.[citation needed]

Death

You kill me? A flunky?! I'm not just... Angel... Kills me! You don't... Angel...
―Lindsey's last words[src]

Lindsey and Angel allied once more in an effort to stop the Circle. The two agreed to fight the upcoming battle together and, at the end, resolve their differences, maybe even allowing Lindsey to take a powerful position at Wolfram & Hart as "the devil [they knew]."[18]

Lorne shoots Lindsey.

Lindsey destroyed the Sahrvin Clan with Lorne's assistance as planned. However, Angel knew that Lindsey could never be trusted, and he had secretly instructed Lorne to assassinate Lindsey once the Sahrvin demons were eliminated. Lindsey insisted to Lorne that he had changed, offering to sing for him so Lorne might read his future. Lorne remarked he had heard him sing and shot Lindsey twice in the chest with a silenced pistol. A stunned Lindsey slumps against by a wall, outraged that he was killed by one of Angel's "flunkies" instead of the vampire himself.[18]

During the Fall of Los Angeles, the Senior Partners discussed with Wesley the possibility of replacing him with a "zombified McDonald" or Eve as their liaison to Angel. Wesley, unhappy with being forced to serve the Partners, shot those possibilities down, saying the presence of either alongside Angel would not help the Senior Partners get what they wanted, as the vampire would at worst ignore them and kill them at best.[19]

Personality and traits

You're not part of the solution, Lindsey. You never will be.
―Lorne to Lindsey[src]

Unlike most of Wolfram & Hart's other employees, Lindsey was not entirely devoid of a moral conscience. On more than one occasion, he joined forces with the Angel Investigations team and helped them stop some of Wolfram & Hart's particularly amoral agendas and operations, such as their plan to assassinate three children[1] or their mystical transplant operation.[2]

Lindsey's driving force was his ambition, largely in part due to his childhood poverty.[1] Despite being one of the brightest of Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey secretly harbored a great deal of distrust for the organization and his colleagues, particularly Lilah.[citation needed]

Powers and abilities

  • Exceptional condition: Lindsey possessed great physical prowess, even without his mystically enhanced strength and endurance. Without his powers, he was capable of killing off a demon clan with remarkable speed and strength.[18]
  • Magical prowess: Lindsey also seemed to be skilled in sorcery to some degree, as seen with the spell that re-corporealizes Spike.[14] He was even able to give himself superhuman strength and endurance as well as make himself immune to surveillance.[16]
  • Swordsmanship: He was an adept swordsman, rivaling Angel himself.[16] Even with his powers apparently gone, he retained this ability as noted by Lorne when he took out the Sahvrin Clan.[18]
  • Demonology: According to Eve, Lindsey spent years of his life to the study of the Senior Partners: their powers, their assets, their ambitions, and especially their methods of manipulation and operating Wolfram & Hart.[17]
  • Legal knowledge: In addition, to his academic background his long career in Wolfram & Hart gained him a great deal of legal knowledge, both in human terms and demon worlds. He was even considered to be Wolfram & Hart's "golden boy," until he decided to resign.[citation needed]
  • Other skills: In addition to driving, he was also an admired singer and competent guitarist until Angel cut off his strumming hand.[citation needed]

Former powers

Prior to having his powers stripped from him by Angel's team, he displayed the following powers.

  • Strength: Lindsey became gifted with superhuman strength through some mystical process, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with Angel in single combat. He could overpower Angel physically and leap great heights with his legs' enhanced strength.[16]
  • Durability: Lindsey became gifted with superhuman durability through some mystical process. He could take on powerful hits from Angel.[16]
  • Detection immunity: He had runic tattoos meant to hide him from all known surveillance methods other than the naked eye.[16]
  • Telekinesis: He could mentally command a door to shut to trap Angel and Cordelia with him.[16]
  • Object transmogrification: He was also capable of transmuting a small knife into a sword.[16]

Behind the scenes

  • He was portrayed by Christian Kane.
  • Lindsey is the only character besides Angel himself to appear in the first ("City Of"), 100th ("You're Welcome"), and last ("Not Fade Away") episodes of the series.
  • 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 in "Dead End."[citation needed]
  • The fleur-de-lis bracelet that Lindsey wears throughout his time on the show is actually a bracelet that Christian Kane wears to remind him of his mother who is from New Orleans.[citation needed]
  • Because Christian Kane and David Boreanaz were both friends with Glenn Quinn, the pair were uncomfortable with the season five arc in which Lindsey pretends to be Doyle.[citation needed]
  • Kane has described the character as being driven by cynicism and ambition: "I still think this cat looks at the glass as being half empty. And so, damn it, I'm going to drink the rest of that water."[20]
  • Christian Kane has said that he considered Lindsey to be driven in his hate for Angel during season 5 over losing Darla to him: "Even though I'm in love with Eve, Darla was a true love. And Angel did that."[20]
  • Lindsey was originally going to appear in the "First Night" storyline of After the Fall killing Eve to prove himself to the Senior Partners and being subsequently told to "wait" before they sent him back. The story was discarded because it was seen as out-of-character for Lindsey to kill Eve, and it gave the impression that he was going to be more important than he became.[21]

Appearances

Canonical

Other

Angel comics

References

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