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Discussion of 1.21 "Blind Date" - Aired 5/16/2000

Discussion in 'Official Episode Discussion Threads' started by Flannen, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Flannen

    Flannen Flannix

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    Discuss this episode here!
     
  2. Jules

    Jules Bite Me

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    Black Thorn
    Following on from the Jesse/Xander storyline in the previous episode, Gunn got over his sister's death pretty quick. I enjoyed watching Gunn's distraction scene, it was so funny!! I also love that Cordy was speaking to Willow to help her decrypt those files. That evil woman was so freaky but watching Angel play musical statues while fighting her was funny as well. I love Lyndsey, he's such a complex character. He starts out wanting to get away from W&H and ends up getting promoted.
     
  3. Charmander

    Charmander Potential

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    I felt that Lee could have taken on a bigger role, he was a good antagonist. Maybe I just really liked the W + H trio. (But that mind reading scene was great, so it was worth it)
    Lindsey is also awesome. I like how he's not portrayed as a solidly evil guy, despite having come across that way since his character was introduced.
     
  4. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    This felt like a set up episode to me for what was to come. It was very solid, and I thought there some great scenes with Lindsey and W&H. But certain plot points were a bit flimsy, and I wanted more from the Vanessa character.
     
  5. Carrie Hopewell

    Carrie Hopewell Little girl lost in the woods

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    Sineya
    This episode definitely works as a set-up to the next episode, so reviewing it alone it's a bit weird. But before getting to the part of the episode that continues something that was brought up in the previous episode ('War Zone') and that will be continued in the next episode ('To Shanshu in L.A'), some observations about 'Blind Date':

    - I don't like the 'blind' woman, the episode would have better if she were more convincing. I did like the final confrontation between her and Angel. It was funny to see what her weakness was and the concept of the woman itself was interesting.
    - I liked the inclusion of Gunn in this episode and, obviously, his grand entrance in the W&H buildings was iconic.
    - I think this is one of Lindsey's best episodes. All scenes with him were fantastic, his conflicts bring a touch of humanity to the evil law firm. The way Holland tries to tap into Lindsey's potential, not by threatening him, but by appealing to and indulging in his existential crisis is refreshing. And it works! Lindsey is made Junior Partner.
    - I appreciate the way Angel behaves when Lindsey's telling him his sad story, it really doesn't justify the monstrous things he's doing for W&H. I found some parts of Angel's speech inspiring however ("You're panicking right now. You can't believe how bad you let things get. That's not change. You have to make a decision to change. That's something you do by yourself. Most people, they never do."). Wise words Angel, so very true.
    - Lastly, the grand theft was well executed. I really liked the moment when Angel grabbed the scroll (especially now that I know what it means and how the story ends).

    I haven't mentioned my favorite part of the episode, made me tear up a bit too. This exchange:

    Angel: "I have no place in their world at all. [...] How am I expected to do battle if I can't even get into the ring?"
    Wesley: "You have a place, Angel. Our battle will be fought elsewhere."
    Angel: "It's still their world, Wesley. Structured for power, not truth. It's their system, and it's one that works. It works because there is no guilt, there is no torment, no consequences. It's pure. I remember what that was like. Sometimes I miss that clarity. [...] Nothing ever changes."

    The plot twist here is that Lindsey comes in looking to change and in the end chooses not to, validating Angel's idea of humanity. People do seldom make the right changes in their life. However, the conclusion to this argument comes at the end of the episode:

    Wesley: "There is a design, Angel. Hidden in the chaos as it may be, but - it's there - and you have your place in it."

    That final line about Angel having a place in the world is a call back to the previous episode, when Angel explains "what he wants": "Big question. What do I want? Love, family, a place on this planet I can call my own [...]"). Angel adds that he can never have those things. 'Blind Date' seems to answer Angel's dilemma. Although he isn't a part of humanity in the strictest sense (no identity card or even last name), he does have a place in the world. Like Wesley explains, the reference to him in the 'Shanshu Prophecy' supports the idea that the PTB have an agenda for him, that he is needed in the big scheme of things.

    What I don't understand then, is why this revelation repeated in the next episode. 'To Shanshu in L.A' starts with Wesley's realization that Angel can never be a part of the world because there is nothing he desires. Though that's true, it does feel odd after the previous episode. Furthermore, 'To Shanshu in L.A' ends with the realization that Angel will have a place in the world because the desire to Shanshu, to have that reward, will make him part of the humanity, bringing things full circle.

    So perhaps, 'Blind Date' is about having a purpose, a place in the world (he is part of the prophecy so he has a purpose), but 'To Shanhsu in L.A' is about being a part of the world - Angel's desire to fulfill the prophecy binds him to humanity, people are driven by something, that's what motivates and changes them.

    To end on a less serious note, Angel's safety glasses looked ridiculous on him, made him look like a mad scientist!
     
    Mr Trick, Bluebird and GwenRaiden like this.
  6. Bluebird

    Bluebird two by two, hands of blue

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    Black Thorn
    I really like this episode, and agree with your review. I think it's held together very well by some wonderful character work and dialogue. Lindsey, Holland, and Angel are so well realised in this ep. The scene between Lindsey and Holland, after the execution, is one of my favourites of the whole season. Seeing Lindsey's blank expression, while still showing blood on his face from Mercer, was brilliant. It could come across as arch villainy, but to me it was perfectly insidious. :D
     
    Carrie Hopewell: Thanks ;) And I agree.
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  7. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Yes I'd say that this was Lindsey's best episode up to this point. And it is one of the best episodes of the whole season for me. Its just a shame that Lilah wasn't given more to do in those early episodes. I still think she's a much better character than Lindsey.
     
    Carrie Hopewell: Yes, Lilah is much better than Lindsey. Unfortunately they only start focusing on her once Lindsey's out of the picture.
    Carrie Hopewell likes this.
  8. Smile Time

    Smile Time Fuffy Apologist

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    Sineya
    Angel's fighting vamps again, wonder what it is this time.

    He accidentally staked a human :eek:

    The blind lady has some great reflexes.

    Wes, that makes sense, people tend to overcompensate for skills they lack.

    W&H are defending her, not surprising...

    The blind lady is creeping me out...

    Good point, she has an excellent work ethic :)

    "Harvest time of year", doesn't sound too good.

    Children=vampire hunters ??? o_O

    Good thing it wasn't Angel who staked him :)

    Angel misses being soulless ??? o_O

    Lindsay wants out :eek:

    If Lindsay is telling the truth, I feel kind of bad for him :(

    Lindsay could use some of Angel's lessons on redemption.

    Gunn clearly seems to be grieving his sister by his attitude towards Angel :(

    Angel with protective goggles :p

    Gunn has a point, W&H are racist...

    Dust kills demons :eek:

    Angel, you seriously underestimated W&H's level of security :rolleyes:

    Disloyalty hurts you ??? :rolleyes:

    Ouch!

    Cordy's computer skills sure have improved since her days in Sunnydale :)

    Lindsay, you will get a fatal bullet eventually, but not today.

    W&H are more evil than I thought...

    Willow is giving Cordy advice on how to break into encrypted computer files, does this take place before the destruction of The Initiative ???

    The mentor has arrived, but the blind lady kills him :eek:

    and Lindsay comes just in time.

    The blind lady looks a tiny bit like Amy Acker...

    Angel has defeated her :eek:

    A passage about Angel, why doesn't this surprise me ???

    Lindsay, I think you have been fired...

    Apparently, he's getting a new permanent job...

    He gives in, and takes the job offer :eek:

    Next time: More W&H trouble.
     
  9. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Really like this episode. Think its one of the best of S1.
     
  10. Antho

    Antho Scooby

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    [​IMG]


    Finally we refocus on Wolfram and Hart, it was really time. It seems that the screenwriters have just realized that they had something to exploit. They went to explore other tracks that did not lead them far, they waded, now they are heading in the right direction. Better late than never ! From a scenario point of view Wolfram & Hart was mismanaged. They are presented as formidable opponents with a lot of unimaginable resources but if you look at the season well, their actions have been limited, they have not often acted against Angel, it was often the opposite. So I had a little trouble seeing this power they boast constantly. I am glad that they are more highlighted here and that we explore their universe. We enter in the backstage of the structure and I am fascinated. I love the whole side "Supernatural High Tech" with this demon that acts like an anti-vampire alarm, telepaths that read in the thoughts of the employees (better than to undergo examinations), and the bewitched double glazing that does not let the rays of the sun pass. The atmosphere is tense there, they are clearly all in competition and everyone knows that all the blows are allowed and that whatever they do, there will be consequences ! Lee paid him with his life, he sought his personal profit, he wanted to double his boss and he paid the high price for his betrayal. When he took the bullet in his head, it was so unexpected, he was coldly dejected and Lyndsey's reaction was priceless, he was blank ! In fact, it was also my reaction. It is crazy as this place breathe normality, because from an external point of view it is only a law firm and the employees are human, and it breathes abnormality at the same time because the customers are demons, not sure if the labour law is respected, and the employees musn't have unions.

    Holland Manners enters in the game ! Then he captivates directly. As much as it took me a little time while before being attached to Lilah or Lyndsey, as much as with him I'm impressed from his first appearance. The actor is really good in his role. It shows immediately that he is a man of power, who has principles, beliefs to which he holds much and which he is not ready to betray. He seems to have understood everything in life, he is intelligent, manipulative, machiavellian, full of charisma, class, at last he impresses me ! These speeches are filled with lyrics that are both glacial, spiritual, ambitious and of great fineness. He was able to attract Lyndsey in his nets. He killed Lee because he was serving his own interests first and he leaves Lyndsey alive because he fights for something he defends, something he believes and which is not is his interest. Holland clearly perceives that if he can manage to make Lyndsey have the same vision of things as him, he can make him a powerful soldier, one who will not fight for himself but for what he believes. He does he put pressure or force Lyndsey's choice, he leaves to him his free will because he knows that a constrained ally is not faithful or that ally intimidated by a fear is not stable or effective while someone who joins a cause of his own free will, it will be a much more significant act. On the other hand, Holland allows himself to influence him, notably thanks to this promotion, he makes Lyndsey aware of what he will lose if he leaves this place and what he will have if he stays !

    The episode stimulates reflection by taking the characters to wonder about the place they occupy in this world. The life we have had, we lead, personality, desires, physical appearance, there are a large number of factors that influence our actions that determine how we live. The questions asked by the different protagonists are fairly well explored :

    - Lyndsey : He's an ambiguous character and he proves it here. He knows perfectly well what he is engaged in and until then it does not disrupt him more than that. Apparently the murder of children seems to violate his moral code. He is not a holy, he covers and commits hateful acts, but he has limits, and that is what makes him so particularly interesting. His story, although cliché (it is already heard the history of the poor child who grew up in misery) remains consistent with his behavior. It is someone who no longer wants to be trampled, who wants to crush, who no longer wants to owe anything to someone but that on the contrary we owe him. He wants to have control over his existence, that no one ever imposes on him anything, he is in search of power ! All of his actions, especially his final choice, are motivated by that. And it is ultimately this ambition of power that leads him to stay at Wolfram and Hart, he chooses his own place. He signs his future. Christian Kane has very well interpreted all these contours of the character.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    -Angel : The release of the blind woman forces him to question the importance of his role, his actions, his mission. He makes a very pretty tirade about power precisely. He realizes that truth does not always triumph, that he has enemies in front of him who have a power superior to his own because they act without any morality. He is frustrated because he feels his helplessness. It is amusing to see him in such a state of mind where he comes to envy this power when we know his past. When he questions himself, fate sends to him a small sign of hope with the discovery of the Shanshu Prophecy. Frankly, I love the moment when he stops in front of the parchment, he feels that it concerns him and I very much like the expression of David Boreanaz (including later when Wesley announces to him that indeed it speaks of him) . Angel was in the grip of doubts, it brings him hope and with that an objective and a greater motivation.

    [​IMG]

    -The Blind Woman :
    Unlike many of you I loved the passages with her. She is creepy, I love her because every passage with her is filled with nervous tension. Whenever I saw her on the screen, I didn't moove :p. Then her character proves that a handicap does not always prevent to live, we can adapt, to learn to live with, to use it to develop other senses, transformed this weakness into strength (well afterwards it depends on the handicap and the gravity). Of course, she is not using it for the good cause, but her motivation has propelled her very far and her blindness has not stopped her. In any case, I really like the message that is conveyed, namely that we all have our place in this world with our strengths and our weaknesses.

    -Gunn : Through him, the episode speaks briefly about discriminations. It is much shorter and tackled less seriously but there is talk about rights violated under the pretext of a difference in skin color and Gunn exposes it very well when he lands in the law office, does a scandal to make diversion and takes the opportunity to say that despite being black, he has as much right as anyone.
    What is unfortunate is that the reason for wanting to help Angel to infiltrate Wolfram and Hart is the danger. I do not find it consistent with the previous episode where he was playing with danger and it cost him his sister's life. I thought he understood that he had to calm down. I'm not disturb by his decision, he does the right thing by accepting, but not for that reason otherwise it shows that he did not understand the lesson.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    +1 for the infiltration scene and collaboration between Angel/Lyndsay. I really like the duality between the characters and the connection between David Boréanaz and Christian Kane.