Derek’s Review – 2.18 “Dead End”
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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