- “Thank you Lindsey... Nice to see you again.”
- ―Vanessa Brewer[src]
Vanessa Brewer was a blind assassin working for Wolfram & Hart as well as their client.
- “God, two minutes alone with that woman, I feel like my spine has been fused. Still, one has to admire her talent - and work ethic. She kind of reminds me of you. Talent and hard work, not the psycho killer part.”
- ―Holland Manners to Lindsey McDonald[src]
According to police files, Vanessa Brewer was born in July 18, 1967 at San Francisco.
According to her file at Wolfram & Hart, Vanessa Brewer was not born blind; she blinded herself when she was 21 and spent five years in Pajaur studying with the Order of the Nanjin, cave-dwelling monks that believed seeing with the heart instead of the eyes was the way to enlightenment.
Afterward, Vanessa became an assassin working for clients such as Wolfram & Hart, who represented her in court, pro bono, in order to protect one of their most valuable assets. Her supposed disability and frailty allowed her to approach her victims unsuspected and to shrug off any kind prosecution from human laws. In 1993, she was first arrested for driving without a license; she drove for six blocks before crashing into a laundromat; Vanessa had been fleeing the scene of a homicide, but no chargers were brought. In 1995, she was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after beating up six people; however the case never went to trial as the District Attorney believed the case to be a joke.
In 1999, Brewer was finally arrested as a suspect in a double homicide and put on trial, with Lindsey McDonald representing her. Thanks to their efforts, she was out on bail. However, she remained working for the firm and went after a new target. However, the man she attacked was a decoy meant to lure her away from her true target. The vampire Angel encountered her, but was unable to stop the blind woman from killing the man.
Angel appeared at Vanessa's trial and gave her back her sunglasses by throwing them at her. Vanessa merely raised her hand to catch her glasses, without even turning back her head. Despite this and a strong case against her, Vanessa was acquitted thanks to Lindsey's maneuvering, much to Angel's frustration.
Afterward, Vanessa was sent after a trio of blind children, a so-called "Holy Triumvirate", who once brought together, would be able to see "into the heart of things" and pose a threat to W&H as they grew. Vanessa managed to locate and trespass into the safehouse where the children were kept and kill their Guardian. She then turned to the children themselves, but was stopped by Angel and a guilt-driven Lindsey. During the fight, Angel discovered a way to become invisible to Vanessa's powers: remaining absolutely still. He managed to approach her and once he was close enough, used Vanessa's own walking cane to impale her in the stomach, killing her instantly.
With Vanessa's death, the firm lost their most valuable assassin, forcing them to turn to other empowered people to corrupt. This would be the case of Bethany Chaulk.
Powers and Abilities
- “Are you telling me self mutilating psycho assassin chick reached "enlightenment"?”
- ―Cordelia Chase[src]
Thanks to her training, Brewer was more in touch with her surroundings than a regular person. She was capable of sensing energy sources around her, as well as every motion around her, even heartbeats and breathing. However, an completely immobile vampire would be invisible for her due to the lack of body heat, heartbeat and breathing, knowledge that Angel used to his advantage.
Her power, combined with her martial arts training endowed her with the ability to become a prime assassin and fighter, enough that she was able to match Angel blow-for-blow and even defeat him. Her weapon of choice was her own walking cane, which she used to impale and stab her victims.
- July 12, 1993
- Charge: Driving Without a License (Misdemeanor)
- Arresting Officer: Willard Batts
- Resolution: No charges brought
- April 23, 1995
- Charge: Aggravated Assault (Felony)
- Arresting Officer: Sandra Smith
- Resolution: Dismissed without trial
- October 6, 1999
- Charge: Homicide (Felony)
- Arresting Officer: David Burns
- Resolution: Died while awaiting trial
Behind the Scenes
- Vanessa was portrayed by professional stuntwoman Jennifer Badger Martin, who had previously appeared on the series doubling for Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku.
- Vanessa's name was originally Vanessa Weeks. As a result, the closing credits of "Blind Date" are incorrect.
- Her "powers" bear a resemblance to the Marvel Comics character Daredevil, in that both lost their sight but are able to function as normal thanks to their other four senses operating at a superhumanly sharp level. Both are also constantly underestimated by opponents due to their presumed weakness.
- The names of the investigating officers on the arrest record for Vanessa Brewer are those of crew members who worked on the series: