Derek’s Review – 2.18 “Dead End”

The Good:

Cordelia struggling with her visions was a nice bit ofconsequence following through on earlier lines this season. Charisma Carpenterdid a great job expressing her pain. Especially when portraying the emotional toll the chronic pain of her visions have had on her. It was intense without being overwrought. There was were also plenty of good Angel and Cordelia moments throughout.

The basement where Angel and Lindsey found the bodies was borrowing for a fair number of creepy Sci-Fi and horror laboratories but it was still effective. It was a pretty creepy visual that I remembered even before rewatching the episode.

The Bad:

However, I really don’t like this one. It doesn’t help that I have never really liked Lindsey but that is not the episode’s only problem. I can’t even begin to fathom why Wolfram and Hart has put any trust in Lindsey. When Lindsey and Lilah were made co-heads of the department it was a clever move by the writers, to keep two existing characters on the show but acknowledge their screw-ups. Yet even then Lindsey had far more transgressions than Lilah did and since he’s only gotten worse. He’d been keeping Darla in his apartment secret for weeks, he has an emotional outbursts daily and just a general apathy about everything. Then in this episode he worked with Angel, yet again, to blow up another of Wolfram and Hart’s side projects.  I know that Wolfram and Hart isn’t going to do anything “as prosaic as winning” but why would you keep this guy on the payroll? Then after his board room meltdown, he leaves the building unscathed, why? Why would Wolfram and Hart want this potentially very dangerous enemy out of there and free? But even when you put aside the large gaping plot hole, Lindsey is just not compelling.

I said on the podcast that Lindsey, unlike Kate, has a clearly defined character. The problem is he is just completely unlikable. There is an immaturity and juvenility to him that is just frustrating to watch. His “deep” backstory is that he is a child of a large, poor Southern family who moved to the Big City and worked his way up the social ladder. While that isn’t a wholly original story, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s more of a character trait than a character but it’s perfectly acceptable. It’s completely unacceptable how Lindsey throws tantrums every chance he gets and I’m forced to watch him. There’s nothing I’m remotely able to latch onto with this character.

Lindsey and Angel both come off as extraordinary petty in their interactions this episode. From Angel’s side it’s actually pretty amusing because Angel acting out his schoolboy grudge with Lindsey is contrasted with all the other aspects of Angel. Angel being petty isn’t funny because grown men acting like children is inherently funny. It’s funny because it can be compared to Angel’s other actions. He’s a character who can condemn a bunch of lawyers to gruesome deaths and stick a “Cops suck” sticker on someone’s bumper. Lindsey doesn’t have anywhere close to the same amount of layers.

Also Cordelia basically excuses all the horrible things Lindsey has done (for a moment) because he has a nice singing voice? What the hell was that?!

The Unknown:

I suspect the reason why Lindsey was allowed to live or was considered for promotion will never be given. I’m sort of willing to believe that they would have kept Lindsey on because he is erratic and chaos just begets more chaos. At the end of the day, that’s all the Senior Partners want just destruction and waste. Yet I still need to be told that. The end of this episode just made the higher-ups at Wolfram and Hart look like complete morons. A terrible thing to do your hyper-intelligent, always one step ahead villains.

Favorite Moment:

The moment where Cordelia thinking she is alone, weeps quietly on the desk, while Gunn and Wesley watch really got to me. Earlier on in the series, Cordelia tended to be too histrionic when acting out her visions. In this episode there was certainly yelling but it was appropriate. In this scene she really nailed the quiet pain and exhaustion that can come with chronic pain.

Bottom Line:

Cordelia’s story was brief but intriguing. As disappointing as it is say this was Lindsey’s episode but now Lindsey’s gone and I can’t be anything but happy about it. This was just a boring slog of an episode covering a character I really have never liked. Lindsey was never meant to be a likable character but there is way to portray villains where they are still interesting. Lindsey was never that.

39 out of 100

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3 responses to “Derek’s Review – 2.18 “Dead End””

  1. Tom says :

    You state that Lindsey is completely unlikeable and never an interesting character as if you were stating that a green screen effect was bad. Keep in mind that this is only an opinion. An effect can be judged after criteries and classified as bad. What you find likeable or interesting is a preference.

    You find this character unlikeable. Search on the net and you’ll find reviewers who find this a great way to portray villains, interesting or sympatetic. And you’ll find others who hate it. This will be the same for all characters. The character was never interesting to you or to William, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t interesting to others.

    Putting a character in the bad section for every episode he appears and saying “the bad: character X is in an episode again, X needs a face transplant, X is grating” is a bit much. Say that you don’t have any interest in the character, thus scenes doesn’t add anything for you, and leave it at that.

    There is a line between reviewing what’s happening on screen and demonstrating your dislike. That you find Lindsey’s behavior grating is a minus point for your enjoyment of an episode, but it’s not necessary a flaw for the episode (coherent story, plot holes, good use of characters, production values etc.).

    In your own review you are of course be allowed to say what you want, but some of it is not necessary for the review and it can be a bit much. If your dislike is not so obvious it makes the reviews seem less biased. Knowing the amount of screentime Lindsey has this season, I was thinking “oh no” already last season. Negative comments about one character for every episode isn’t that fun reading. Imagine reading something that trashes your favorite character every episode.

    Keep in mind that for every character in Angel there are viewers who have this character as a favorite. What you find boring there are others who find interesting.

    • angelrewatch says :

      Thanks for commenting. I tried in this review to explain why I have such problems with Lindsey as a character because it felt just repetitive writing it as you felt reading it. This review was my great summation of why I felt so strongly about Lindsey as a character. This episode in particular my dislike for Lindsey was the least of my problems, I think there were many plot holes.

      I don’t know if you listened to the podcast or not, but I’d really like to hear from someone who does like Lindsey. I suspect you like him and I’d really like to hear your reasoning. I’d like to have a debate about the character but I haven’t interacted with anyone through feedback that has liked him.

  2. Tom says :

    Thank you for a serious reply. Lindsey added to my interest in the series pre Pylea, but so did all the other characters that were there at that point as well. It was a reaction to the amount of comments towards one character, which I would have written no matter who that character was.

    Maybe no one else thinks like this, but how easy would it be for someone to read comments like this and admit they really like the character. I am sort of embarrased to say something positive about him, since there are other places on the internet that lists him (and Darla) as the worst elements of Angel, even if there are places that mention him positively too. Its often completely different opinions from people who think Angel found itself after Pylea, and people who only liked before Pylea, so the judgments seem to vary after if they judge the series as sci-fi or as drama.

    Below is a link to a text written on Livejournal that lists some of the things that repeat from posts that write positive about Lindsey. Its not a text that argues positively for Lindsey, it is just mentions of what people wrote about what elements of the series they liked, what type of characters they get interested in, how they want to see villains portrayed, what take they have on Lindsey’s worse personality traits etc. Maybe some points can make it understandable that if this is what someone looks for in a series, their opinions about Lindsey could be positive. Or maybe points can highlight why the character doesn’t work for someone, that some points are exactly what you don’t want from a villain etc. Includes spoilers for all seasons.

    http://meridien-11.livejournal.com/

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