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"Sense & Sensitivity" is the sixth episode of the first season of Angel and the sixth episode overall. Written by Tim Minear and directed by James A. Contner, it was originally broadcast on November 9, 1999, on The WB network.


WHO'S CRYING NOW? — Angel fears that Kate's life is in danger after she nabs a dangerous murder suspect, but she becomes distracted when seemingly innocuous sensitivity training turns the entire police precinct into one big open wound. Meanwhile, Cordelia is miffed at Angel's lack of niceties around the office and frustrated that the middle-of-the-night hours are eating into her social life.[1]


Spivey, a black-clad man carrying a black duffel bag, runs breathlessly down dark Los Angeles streets, chased by a quickly-gaining pursuer. As he reaches his car and starts to get inside, Spivey is overtaken by Detective Kate Lockley, whose flying kick smashes him back against the open car door. Kate seems pleased that the uncooperative thug gives her no choice but to arrest him.

In an interrogation room down at the precinct, Kate has Spivey look at photos showing himself in the company of mob boss Anthony Papazian, also known as "Little Tony." Kate informs Spivey that the photos were taken the same day a County Supervisor with ties to Little Tony was murdered. Spivey denies any knowledge of the hit and claims he hasn't seen Little Tony since that day. Through the one-way mirror, her fellow police officers, including her officemate Harlan, watch the interrogation and wonder at Kate's persistence and stamina. At that moment, Kate changes tactics and slams Spivey back against the wall in a choke hold, demanding to know Little Tony's whereabouts. The observing policemen rush in and pull Kate away from her stonewalling informant. Harlan accompanies Kate out into the hall, while the other two cops keep tabs on her now rattled detainee. When Kate admits that she can't get Spivey to talk, Harlan bemoans the department's lack of any other way to locate Papazian.

Meanwhile, Angel fights a gargantuan tentacled demon deep in the sewers, where Doyle and Cordelia bring him an enchanted sword. Angel hacks and stabs the monster, then leaves Doyle and Cordelia to dismember it. He then strides off down the tunnel to find and destroy the demon's nest. After Angel disappears, Cordelia loudly complains to Doyle that their boss didn't once say "please" or "thank you" and therefore must think that being a creature of the night gives him "license to be rude and insensitive." While the moribund monster wraps an enormous tentacle around Doyle's throat, Cordelia, still gazing wrathfully down the tunnel after the departed Angel, snarks, "Can you say 'clueless'?"

Cordelia and Doyle get back to the office covered in green goo. She refuses to take any orders from Angel unless he asks them how their dismembering went. Just then, Kate arrives. Angel shows her into his office at once, while Cordelia quips, "Mr. and Mrs. Spock need to mind meld now." Angel sits at his desk and looks through Kate's photos of Little Tony. He agrees to return Kate's past favors by finding Little Tony for her, but Kate tells him he'll get paid for the job because it's not a favor. Angel speculates that Kate doesn't want to get a reputation for going outside the department, but Kate replies, "I don't want to get a reputation for getting you killed." Kate writes her phone number on a card and instructs him to withdraw to safety after he calls her with Little Tony's location.

While Cordelia and Doyle help Angel search for information on the mob boss, Doyle encourages Angel to express appreciation for Cordelia's efforts. At first, seeming to spurn Angel's sincere but exceedingly awkward attempt, a secretly pleased Cordelia almost immediately resumes her normal demeanor. When Doyle finds police reports of victims washing up at various points along the coast, Angel wonders if they're all originating from the same place and asks Doyle to check relevant tidal charts.

Kate's father, Trevor, enters the open office area of the police station and seems surprised and uncomfortable when Kate hails him. Asking why he didn't let her know he was coming down, Kate listens a little grimly as Lockley dismisses his errand to bring in completed retirement paperwork as too unimportant to bother her with. Clearly uncomfortable, Kate nevertheless takes advantage of the opening to let her father know that she's aware of the party his friends are throwing at the Blue Bar and that she's been asked to say a few words. As their stilted conversation winds to a close, they both look around when someone alerts her to an incoming call. Trevor escapes while Kate takes the call. It's Angel, letting her know he has located Little Tony on a pier in San Pedro. Kate says she's on her way and tells Angel to get out of there.

The moment Kate disconnects, Angel hears a motor and spots a yacht approaching the pier at a fair clip. Donning a hat and a Hawaiian shirt, Angel introduces himself as a tourist to Little Tony and his goon, Benny. He pretends to think that the yacht is the boat heading to Catalina. Benny tries to get rid of "the mook," but Angel knocks him out with one punch. Papazian's other goon, who had spun around at the first sound of Angel's voice, manages to throw a few punches before going down himself.

Bereft of his "muscle," Little Tony tries to make a run for it when Kate arrives with the cavalry and takes the crime boss into custody. After Little Tony is cuffed and in the back of a squad car, Kate berates Angel for not only not leaving but for actively putting himself in danger, as well as for giving her something she'll need to explain to her lieutenant. Angel protests that Little Tony was getting away, but Kate remains unmollified. She elects to ride shotgun in the squad car transporting her quarry, and as it pulls away from the pier, Papazian and Angel exchange a long, intense glare.

At the station, Papazian demands his phone call and discovers his Wolfram & Hart lawyer, Lee Mercer, has already arranged for the "thorn in his side" to be removed. Arriving at the precinct sometime later, Mercer petitions to have Little Tony transferred to another facility, claiming that his client was mistreated and abused by the police and an "as yet unnamed assailant," possibly working with Kate. Nonchalantly denying any such knowledge, Kate then reverts to her usual "bad cop" interrogation tactics, giving Mercer and Papazian all the ammunition they need for their counter-attack. Mercer threatens to expose the department's brutality and callousness to the "court of public opinion" unless all his client's demands are met.

Back at Angel Investigations, Cordelia congratulates Angel on completing such a straight-forward job, but Angel thinks Little Tony is planning something. Cordelia complains that Angel's intuition is highly attuned to "boring old evil," but he doesn't even notice something as obvious as her new shoes. Angel's harried attempt to explain that men simply don't pay attention to women's shoes is completely undercut when Doyle breezes in and brightly comments on Cordelia's new shoes. He then segues into his report that Angel's intuition for evil is spot on. According to his source, Little Tony is planning something.

Kate heads to the Blue Bar after work, where a number of fellow officers congratulate her on finally apprehending Little Tony. To her surprise, even her father buys her a celebratory beer, and Kate brings it over and sits across from him in his booth. Not long after, her co-worker Harlan comes by their table to show her a memo about a mandatory "sensitivity training" seminar that everyone at the precinct is required to attend because of the way she treated Little Tony.

The next day, a group of officers, including Kate, Heath, Dave, Mary, and George, are gathered at the station. The seminar begins when its leader, Allen Lloyd, candidly admits that no one else in the room actually wants to be there and then earnestly describes how he will make these sessions worth their time. Lloyd introduces them to the concept of a "talking stick," which allows whoever holds it to speak freely and openly, without judgment. He asks a cop named Heath to start, and after initial reluctance, Heath slowly begins to open up. At this point, Kate violates talking stick protocol by interjecting a sarcastic comment. Lloyd offers the stick to Kate, speculating that she must have been hurt badly in the past; therefore, she resists opening up because she's afraid of being hurt again.

Meanwhile, Angel and Doyle meet with Doyle's informant, Johnny Red, who overheard a conversation between Izzy Brancato's and Little Tony's boys about how "LT" is planning a hit on Kate. Angel goes immediately to the precinct, where Kate apologizes for being angry with him at the pier, then asks him to accompany her to her father's retirement party the following night. When Angel is finally able to warn her of the danger, Kate speculates that Papazian must really be hurting if he needs to "lash out" like that. She realizes that she's psychobabbling and promises that she'll be back to her "usual level of cynicism" soon. Allen Lloyd meets with Lee Mercer and reports that their plan will yield results after just one more session.

Kate and Angel arrive at the retirement party the next night, and Kate admits that she's nervous but glad Angel came with her. Angel assumes that she's worried about Little Tony, but she apparently forgot all about "that death threat hanging overhead" due to the stress of having to speak in public. Angel fields inappropriate remarks after unsettling comments from both Kate and, after introductions, her father. Both men seem relieved to sit quietly when Kate gets called up to make her speech. Starting out with a deeply touching blend of humor and candor, Kate soon transitions into storms and gales of raw emotion, broaching subjects far too personal and potentially damaging for the venue or the occasion.

Aghast but unsure how to help, Angel overhears Trevor mutter, "What'd they do to her in that class?" When Harlan encourages Kate to keep talking and congratulates her for being brave enough to come clean, their lieutenant reprimands both of them. However, it becomes clear that he has taken a personal, not a professional, stance. When Harlan starts to pummel his boss, Angel hauls him off, and Trevor grabs the openly weeping lieutenant to escort him back to the precinct "to sleep it off with the drunks." Angel collects a speechless Kate and takes her back to his office.

A grouchy Cordelia responds to Angel's late-night summons and finds a totally uninhibited Kate with Angel and Doyle in the inner office. Angel has been trying to ask the detective for the name of the sensitivity trainer. After telling Angel that she believes he's an "old soul" who can't possibly be posing as enigmatic just to attract women, Kate finally hands Angel the original memo. Angel saddles his co-workers with the task of watching Kate while he goes hunting for Lloyd. He inspects the paraphernalia in Lloyd's lair for a clue to what's happening with Kate and her fellow cops.

Back at Angel Investigations, Kate laments that her father walked out on her, then decides that she needs to find him. Cordelia and Doyle try to convince her to stay, but she pulls a gun from her purse and waves it wildly, sincerely apologizing for coming off as insensitive but promising to "blow them the crap away" if they try to stop her.

Meanwhile, Angel interrogates Allen, who immediately launches his standard new-age riff about Angel's rage being a mask for his fear. Just as he asks, "How were your parents?" Lloyd snatches the talking stick from the altar and smashes Angel across the temple with it. Recovering quickly, Angel replies, "My parents were great." He vamps, slamming him up against the wall. Then he quips, "[They] tasted a lot like chicken."

Running into the precinct, Kate calls forlornly for her father, who is no longer there, then stares around at her co-workers, all pacing, gesticulating, shouting, and weeping. Kind-hearted Heath, wishing to establish parity among the inmates, throws the switch that opens all the cell doors. As Angel runs across the intersection toward the precinct, he sees a traffic cop remonstrating with two drivers in a fender bender, then a beat cop attempting to get a purse-snatching victim to see the perp's point of view.

Angel joins Cordelia and Doyle on the precinct steps. They are relieved to see him and immediately begin to report the situation about Kate and her cohorts. Sensing their distress, Angel smiles a big smile and holds open his arms. He then sing-songs, "Okay, I think someone needs a hug," then firmly embraces them both. Realizing that Angel is ensorcelled, Cordelia says, "He put the whammy on you! You stink with whammy!" Angel warmly agrees, telling Cordelia and Doyle that Allen's talking stick is cursed. Angel reveals that Allen was hired by Wolfram & Hart to cause chaos in the police station so that Little Tony could escape. Disgusted at Angel's inappropriate sympathy for the mobster, Cordelia orders her boss to get "all vampy" so they can rescue Kate, but Angel refuses. As the three of them try to get into the locked station, Kate awaits a response to the message she left on her father's answering machine, begging him to talk to her.

Now out of his cell, Little Tony collects an impromptu gang and breaks into the precinct armory. Selecting a shotgun for himself, he chambers a shell and coolly shoots a cop coming around the corner, then leads the way toward the front offices to find Kate. Just as the two face off, Angel's team arrives. While Angel and Kate try to "reach" Little Tony, Cordelia and Doyle urge Angel to stop talking and fight. Angel has a plan, however, and slowly moves closer and closer as Little Tony gloats over the effectiveness of the "sensitivity training" he paid for.

Suddenly, Angel swings the chair he's leaning on, knocking Little Tony's shotgun from his hands. Angel then throws the chair like a missile, sending the skinny thug standing directly behind "LT" crashing into the wall. Kate shoots the other thug as he switches aim from her to Angel, while Doyle and Cordelia disarm the fallen henchmen. Still trading emotional observations with Kate, Angel knocks the mobster unconscious, then shares a comforting hug with Kate.

Later, Little Tony calls Mercer, who tells him that the Senior Partners will no longer represent his interests. When Little Tony argues that they set everything up, Mercer tells him that they set things up so he could escape; however, he instead chose to try and murder Kate in full view of witnesses. While they talk, Mercer views a precinct surveillance tape and freezes it on Angel, unmistakable in his black leather coat. Mercer tells Little Tony that the firm has "more pressing matters" to attend to and that Papazian's client status is terminated.

At the precinct the next morning, the cops resume their normal taciturn demeanor with a vengeance, and Angel checks in with Kate. At her hesitant inquiry, he tells her he doesn't remember much about the events of the night before. Relieved, she goes on to report that Internal Affairs is investigating the Blue Bar to determine whether someone spiked the punch at the retirement party. Agreeing that they both need to get back to work, Angel leaves.

However, Angel turns in the doorway, hearing Trevor greet Kate and tell her he received her messages on his machine. Hardly daring to believe her father has come down to the station just to see her, Kate starts to explain. The hope in her eyes dies as Trevor stops her and says that she should never bring up the humiliating subject again. As far as Trevor is concerned, the events of the night before never happened, given that she embarrassed both herself and him in front of all his friends. Trevor walks away, and Kate sits carefully in her chair, holding herself stiffly against the pain.


  • Doyle brings Angel an enchanted sword, which Angel will use for many years and declare as his "favorite broadsword" ("Couplet," "Sleep Tight").
  • Lee Mercer's interest in a certain image on the precinct surveillance tapes provides yet another indication that the Senior Partners at Wolfram & Hart have a growing interest in Angel's activities — an interest which will continue through the series finale, "Not Fade Away."
  • The detective's remarks to Kate while under the sensitivity spell closely resemble those that Wesley will make to Fred under Billy's influence in the episode "Billy."
  • The memo regarding the sensitivity training indicates it takes place in November 1999, at least as of Kate's attendance of the sensitivity classes.



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • Tentacled demon, stabbed by Angel and dismembered by Doyle and Cordelia.
  • Caffrey, killed by Tony Papazian (only mentioned).
  • Unnamed officer, shot by Tony Papazian.
  • Unidentified man, shot by Kate Lockley.

Behind the scenes[]


  • The title of this episode is a play on the title of the well-known Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility.
  • Tim Minear says his original idea for the episode was of cops who become so sensitive that they are unable to perform their jobs, but, after discussing the idea with creator Joss Whedon, it became "something far more interesting than what I had originally pitched. Instead of just super sensitive cops, you have people whose emotions are completely on the surface."[2]
  • The final scene, in which Kate and her father meet, Minear originally wrote as a "big TV ending where they hug." Whedon suggested that, instead, Kate's father acts as though nothing has changed. Minear says: "If it had gone the other way, I think the whole thing would have collapsed. That's really Joss knowing best."[2]
  • Writer Tim Minear regrets the actor they cast in the role of mobster Little Tony, saying although John Capodice was "very good," the character was "clichéd... a Sopranos knock off."[2]
  • Alex Skuby, who portrays Harlan in this episode, portrayed Vincent in "Bad Girls."


  • "Sense & Sensitivity" had an audience of 3.7 million households upon its original airing.[3]

Pop culture references[]


International titles[]

  • Czech: "Rozum a cit" (Sense and Sensitivity)
  • Finnish: "Hermot pinnalla" (Nerves on the Surface)
  • French: "Raisons et sentiments" (Reasons and Feelings)
  • German: "Verwirrung der Gefühle" (Confusion of Feelings)
  • Hungarian: "Értelem és érzelem" (Sense and Sensitivity)
  • Italian: "Il controllo dell'aggressività" (The Control of Aggressiveness)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Bom Senso e Sensibilidade" (Sense and Sensitivity)
  • Russian: "Чувства и чувствительность" (Feelings and Sensitivity)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Sensatez y sensibilidad" (Sense and Sensitivity)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Sentido y sensibilidad" (Sense and Sensitivity)
  • Turkish: "Duyu ve Duyarlılık" (Sense and Sensitivity)


Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]


Doyle: "I think he appreciates us in his own unappreciative way."
Cordelia: "You want to know what I think? I think he uses his tortured creature of the night status as a license to be rude and insensitive! Sure, he is polite to the helpless and the downtrodden, but he ignores the people that are the closest to him. The people that matter the most, you know? Can you say 'clueless'?"
Cordelia: "You do remember leaving us in a sewer with a giant calamari?"
Angel: "Yeah, and you're both here so I assume it went okay, right?"
Cordelia: "Yeah, it went okay, of course it went okay... Okay, that's not the point!"
Angel: "So there is a point?"
Cordelia: "Being that it is possible to brood and show a little interest in the feelings of others."
Doyle: "Oh, she thinks you're insensitive and, not to bring up the irony but, heh, consider the source!"
Little Tony: "You, ah... You've been running after me for a long time, haven't you, sweetheart? If I'd known how bad you wanted me, I... I might have had let you catch me a little sooner."
Kate: "If I'd known how much you needed the exercise, I might have let you run a little longer."
Cordelia: "What's her deal? Too much...?"
Doyle: "Thumb sucking?"
Cordelia: "Alcohol!"
Angel: "You know, Antony, you could be a rainbow and not a 'pain' bow."


  1. "EpisodeGuideSeason1." Geocities.ws. Retrieved on January 9, 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Edward Gross, "ANGEL: Season One, Episode By Episode with Tim Minear." TimMinear.net 5.0, August 14, 2000. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016.
  3. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's First Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008.