Episode # 40
Original Air Date: April 24, 2001
Review by: Anne
When the blurb in TV Guide said that Cordelia's vision was disturbing, I didn't realize that *I* would be screaming and reeling as it happens -- before the opening credits, no less!
"Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger."
That is certainly the case with Cordelia and the visions. At the start of the episode she was screaming and sobbing; she couldn't even talk about what she was seeing. Then she talked a little about it and tried to put it out of her mind (so-to-speak). When Angel asked her to try again because they weren't getting anywhere, Cordelia wanted the pain to stop but she really focused. She considered both what she was seeing and what she was feeling -- "happy about his eye" - to fill in more pieces of the puzzle. At the end of the episode, while the others were still worrying about her, she smiled bravely and seemed to accept it.
The second case of "...makes us stronger" can be seen with Lindsey. His first scene showed the adjustments he had to make without his hand. However in the meeting, he is really prepared. He had accepted that his hand was gone and was getting on with his life. When Lindsey played the guitar with his new hand, that was an attempt to return to his old life. Then it became obvious that life wouldn't be the same; Lindsey accepted it and moved on.
I'm guessing that the writers are trying to make Lindsey similar to Angel. Lindsey seemed to have an epiphany at the "chop shop." Lindsey apologized to the hand guy. Lindsey severed his connections to his former company. The scene with Angel talking to Lindsey in the car was reminiscent of the scene with the Host talking to Angel in the car. Even Lindsey's song - "I can't feel a thing" -- could remind us how Angel wanted to feel something besides the cold. The end of the episode found Lindsey leaving town -- and maybe starting symbolically on the rocky road to redemption?
We can also see the "...makes us stronger" theme in Angel, knowing that he hit rock bottom and tried to kill himself but he came back ... stronger.
Call me crazy, but I liked the humor in this episode. Cordelia "loves" Angel again! (And he *should* smile more!) It was cute that Angel was offended by the gang insulting his singing. I liked the pace and the dialogue as the A-team reacted to Lindsey's song. I liked the banter between Angel and Lindsey. Angel sure is playful these days - who knew that vampires were such pranksters!
The whole "evil parts" plot had some flaws. Cordelia's trying to recall the vision would have been more effective if we could not have seen the name of the school so clearly. How did the fingerprints on the new hand work to get Lindsey into Nathan Reed's office? (I chalk Lindsey's knowing the password up to his W&H training.) Lindsey left with his "evil hand" issues -- did destroying the hand guy not break the evil link? Did the demon make the hand evil or did he just attach it? All the hand seemed to do was write "kill." In the scene where Lindsey quits, was his hand doing bad things or was it Lindsey doing bad things because he thinks the hand is evil?
"Dead End" left several openings that could easily work into future plot lines: Lindsey and his evil hand. Cordelia's worsening visions and the others' concern. W&H still keeping track of Angel. Lindsey's leaving W&H. Lilah's promotion. Lindsey's denial that he had a moral turning point.
In the non-dead ending spirit of the episode, I leave you with a point to ponder. What was the significance of all of those perspective shots? Some of them had clear meaning, but what about Lindsey's view from the operating table, and of the hand guy's view from inside that chamber? I had several theories, but they didn't really tie into the title of the episode. Any ideas?