1st Anniversary Character Posting Board Party - Kate
Masquerade - September 5, 2001

Understanding Kate Lockley

(or, It Ain't Easy Being Blue)


I. Introduction

Kate had the cards stacked against her before she ever showed up in Angel episode two. Buffy/Angel shippers who feared she'd be the female equivalent of Riley--replacing Buffy in Angel's affections-- hated her sight unseen (I know it wasn't all of them or even most of them--I'm a red-blooded B/A shipper myself).

Once Kate did appear, many other fans came to dislike her as well. They found her judgmental, rash, and two-dimensional. She was a stereotypical by-the-book cop and a woman with a flaw written into her personality before she ever had time to develop as a character: a distrust of men that made it difficult for her to maintain close relationships with them. Her attitude towards both Angel and her father constantly vacillated. She wanted to trust them, but she was afraid to. She wanted to hate them, but her father was her father, after all, and Angel was that cute vampire/private investigator she could never pin anything on except allowing some lawyers to die.

We're all familiar with this picture of Kate Lockley. Kate's "daddy issues" were shoved down our throats, and this only made it even more difficult to empathize with the woman.

If that's all there was to understanding Kate, I'd say *yawn*, too. So let's put aside the Kate who flirted with the "brooding man of mystery" between I Fall to Pieces and Somnambulist and then made Angel a scapegoat for her father's death between the Prodigal and Reprise. That's one picture of her, but it barely scratches the surface of Kate. To understand Kate you have to see not only the woman and the cop and the daughter of a cop, you have to see Kate the symbol. Let's face it. Kate wasn't written to reflect and learn and grow (although I think she eventually did), she was written to represent something. Understanding her complexity means understanding that.

Angel: the Series, like BtVS, is a show about justice and righting wrongs and fighting evil. Kate was put on the show to embody the recognized authority on justice and evil-fighting in Los Angeles--the Los Angeles police department*.

For Kate, being a police officer was more than a job. Within the police force, Kate had a home, an extended family--her brothers and sisters in blue. This family was her support structure, the source of her values, and a place to belong. She not only identified with their point of view, their point of view was her identity.

From Kate's perspective, then, Angel was not simply an attractive man or a vampire with a notoriously evil past. He was a private citizen who'd gotten it in his head to do the police department's job for them. In other words, Angel is a vigilante.

Is this a fair perception? Fair or not, the writers wove it in deliberately. Angel: the Series was originally advertised as a cross between "Touched by an Angel" and "The Equalizer", and Angel's vigilante status was underscored by the Batman subtext in the first half of season one. Why did the writers do this? Well, you have to know something about the recent history of Los Angeles to understand that:

...the theme of [Angel: the Series] really *is* about vigilantism, in the face of the Los Angeles attitude toward the inept and/or evil cops and the inept and/or evil lawyers who work with them. I don't think you can discount how fiercely Nicole Brown Simpson and Rodney King and the Manson murders and all the riots and police scandals past and present have affected the city; and the Hollywood scriptwriters who live in it. I think that the lone hero is a major force in L.A. literature ...there is a feeling of impotence and frustration left behind by all of the horrors and injustices visited upon Los Angeles, and Angel's role is to change that feeling and redeem the city.... There's been a lot of build-up to this being a major rationalizing theme, including Angel's repeated reference to "his city" and of course the Angel/City of Angels connection, the noir influences on the show, and Kate's description of Wolfram & Hart as... "the law firm that Johnnie Cochran was too ethical to join" (J. Godwin, 8:03, May 24, 2000, Table Talk Salon)

Even Angel and the people working for him are aware of the thin ice Angel walks on. When Cordelia handed out Angel's business cards at a single's bar in Lonely Hearts, Doyle stopped her:
Doyle: "Hey, hey, hey! This isn't a marketing seminar here, princess. You've got to stay a bit more below radar."
Cordelia: "What radar?"
Doyle: "The police? You know the service our friend Angel provides might put some people in mind of the V-word."
Cordelia: "Vampire?"
Doyle: "No, Vigilante. You know there are laws against this. You need to chat people up a little more casual like. You know, hi, what's your name? How's life treatin' ye? What's that you say? Minions from hell gettin' you down?"
This perspective might seem odd to long-time BtVS viewers who tune in to Angel. We're used to thinking of Angel as a "champion." Like the Slayer, he is "a unique force for good in a troubled world". And his legitimacy for the job, we soon learned (I Will Remember You), came from the same source as Buffy's--a calling by the Powers That Be. And as far as the police go, Angel would say he was filling a gap that the police aren't filling. The supernatural exists, and as he tells Melissa in I Fall to Pieces, he is the one who can help her defend herself against it:

"Remember I told you I sometimes handle things the police can't? This is one of those things."

Kate knew nothing of Angel's calling, ever. From her perspective, Angel went from a mysterious private investigator to a potentially dangerous amateur interloper. We saw a vampire seeking personal redemption; she saw a supernatural vigilante.

And from the perspective of the police, vigilantism is a big bad. A police officer's hands are tied by procedures based on due process of law. They cannot break these rules without having their arrests countermanded and suspects freed or their careers put to scrutiny. Individual citizens, on the other hand, are under much less scrutiny. If they take the law into their own hands, they follow a personal concept of justice that they feel is "above the law". If they violate another citizen's rights in the name of their own personal idea of justice, they might never be forced to justify their actions or accept the consequences of them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Lonely Hearts to the Prodigal: Angel, nice guy to vampire

When Kate first meets Angel (Lonely Hearts), he's a cute guy in a bar. Then she finds him in an apartment with a woman's desiccated corpse. Her attempt to arrest him isn't simply based on Angel's presence there, it's based on his lack of authoritative credentials. He claims to be a private investigator, but he can't produce a license. She continues to suspect him until the "real" serial killer appears and Angel saves her life from him. Kate returns the favor, and decides, for the moment, that he's a mysterious amateur.

Sense And Sensitivity is the episode that introduced Kate's cold and insensitive father Trevor Lockley, a retired police officer. Trevor may feel love, he may feel concern, but he is incapable of expressing them. Dad sums up his life as a cop and a father in one sentence:

"In my day we didn't need any damn sensitivity."

Kate dealt with her father's behavior by becoming hard herself:

"Genuine emotion makes you uncomfortable. That's okay. Your inappropriate sarcasm masks anger. And you know what anger is, Kate?--It's just fear. Fear of being hurt. Fear of loss. You've been hurt, haven't you, Kate. And you're afraid of being hurt again." -- Allen the sensitivity trainer (Sense And Sensitivity)

It also made her the very picture of the L.A. cop, from the average citizen's perspective.

Kate not only represented the way cops are viewed from the outside, her character was also a way to illustrate the police department from an insider's perspective. In particular, their frustration with the criminal element and lawyers, and the inappropriate behavior this sometimes drove them to.

In Sense And Sensitivity, Kate captures the notorious mobster Little Tony. Tony's Wolfram and Hart lawyer, Lee Mercer, plays the Dirty-L.A. Cop card well for his purposes. First, he tries to get his client's verbal abuse stricken from the record and Kate's verbal abuse kept on the record. Then he goes for the throat with the smooth hypocrisy we have since learned to expect of his law firm (note the direct reference to a highly-publicized real life L.A. law case):

"It means that we will open this case to the court of public opinion. It means that we'll shine *light* into the darkest corners of this precinct and give the people a clear view of the brutality and callousness of this police force that will make Mark Fuhrman look like Gentle Ben."

Mercer later brings in a sorcerer to cast a spell on the cops of Kate's precinct under the guise of training cops in "sensitivity". The obnoxiously touchy-feely behavior of the officers under the influence of the spell takes on an irony that is much less puke-worthy than it appears on the surface.

White cop to a black prisoner: "I'd like to apologize for having treated you so shabbily, so I wrote a poem about it. (Reads) 'I saw a leaf and I did cry..."


By Somnambulist, Kate had reached a point in her relationship with Angel where she was past her initial trust issues and willing to extend the private investigator professional courtesies, like running a license plate for him (information that the police department normally doesn't give to civilians). When Angel returns later to tell her that Penn (a vampire he sired in the 1700's) is her serial killer suspect, he begins by asking her:

"Kate, do you trust me?"

Kate responds: "You know I do."

Then Kate finds out Angel is a vampire--the same sort of creature the "serial killer" Penn is. In an occult bookstore, she reads about Penn and his notorious sire, "Angelus". There she not only confirms that vampires exist and that they are vicious killers, she discovers that she has a crush on one of the most notorious vampires in recent centuries.

We have no evidence that Kate read anything about the curse that restored Angel's soul. And it has never been a topic of conversation between them. So what is Kate supposed to conclude when she reads about Angel's past? All she has to contradict the evil vampire theory is his so-far nice-guy behavior. So it is reasonable to assume, given what she knows, that if Penn was capable of these inhuman acts, Angel must be, too. At the least, she can no longer assume Angel is completely benevolent:

Angel: "Let me help end it, please?"

Kate: "Please. Now there is a word I imagine you heard quite a lot in your time. Please... no... don't? Thanks for the offer, but I don't *need* your help. I know what to do. Drive a stake right through the son of a bitch's heart. And when that happens I suggest you don't be there. Because the next time we meet I'll do the same to you."

Then Kate is taken hostage. While Angel fights Penn to save her, Penn taunts him for weakly siding with humans. When Kate's moment comes, she decides to spare Angel. She rams a piece of wood through Angel's stomach and up into Penn's heart. She treats Penn like a murderer whose penalty must, by necessity, be carried out by one individual member of the criminal justice system. And for the moment, she treats Angel as a citizen whose culpability in Penn's actions long ago passed the statute of limitations.

But even if she believes that Angel is "basically a good guy", he is still a vampire--a supernatural creature. As far as society is concerned, his kind do not exist. And despite whatever ties Angel might have to the human world, on some level, he stills lives outside the purview of police authority. Kate cannot simply ignore that. -----

Kate does not immediately make an enemy of Angel. Until Sanctuary she does little more than keep Angel at a distance. In The Prodigal, she is willing to work on a case with Angel, although not much more:

Kate: "No, you don't get to do that."

Angel: "What?"

Kate: "Kill a demon in front of me and then act like we're going to have a cappuccino together. It doesn't work that way."

Angel: "How's it work?"

Kate: "I'm not convinced it does. Look, no offense. I think you're probably a pretty decent guy for a, you know, what you are, but lets keep this strictly business, all right? We don't get personal. I'm not your girlfriend."

This case introduces her to the existence of demons. At first, Kate doesn't really want to deal with them. She hasn't yet been confronted by the real magnitude of supernatural danger in Los Angeles beyond a few not-so-mythical vampires. But there is an entire supernatural underworld in L.A., and Kate comes face to face with it in the worse possible way.

Angel tracks a drug courier to Trevor Lockley's apartment and sees Kate's father take a package. After Angel confronts him, Trevor goes to warn his cronies in crime about Angel. The vampire lackeys of the demonic drug dealer are instructed to get Trevor out of the way. Trevor is attacked by the vampires in his home. Because he refuses to invite Angel in, Angel can only be an impotent witness. After Trevor's death, Angel enters the apartment and kills one of the vampires. The other vampire escapes just as Kate arrives. Kate sees the bite marks on her father's neck and finds the business card of the demon. She must once again serve as the arm of justice in L.A., this time for her own father. She enters the drug-lord demon's lair, gun blazing, and stakes the vamp that got away while Angel takes on the demon.

Finding out her father gave into the temptation of police corruption cracks the foundation on which Kate has built her life. Trevor Lockley may have believed he was abetting a minor crime (facilitating the movement of untariffed auto-parts), but what Kate witnessed was her father breaking one of her family's most treasured values--you don't help the bad guys, regardless of the crime they're committing.

In I've Got You Under My Skin, Kate agrees to deal with the guilty party in Angel's latest case--the human sociopath Ryan Anderson. Her standoffish behavior in The Prodigal and this episode and her outright hostility thereafter can be interpreted in ways other than the interpretation Angel chooses-- that Kate blames Angel for her father's death. After IGYUMS, Kate slowly becomes the prodigal daughter of the L.A.P.D family. Her obsession with fighting supernatural crime and interfering with Angel's work isn't merely about avenging her father's death. It's about confusion--should she stay loyal to the values of the L.A.P.D. or should she question them? She has not only seen police corruption up close and personal, she has discovered a whole new side of crime in L.A. that her cop family refuses to acknowledge. But if she questions the police--the foundation of her beliefs and values--what will that say about her life?


III. Sanctuary to Reprise: Angel the vigilante

For years, Kate embodied the kind of cop the police department held up as an ideal. She was a rational thinker who solved crimes with "good old fashioned police work"--crime scene evidence, confessions, and her own expertise in the psychology of serial killers (Lonely Hearts, Somnambulist), stalkers (I Fall to Pieces), and murderers.

After The Prodigal, Kate makes it her job to investigate the supernatural underworld of Los Angeles. This work was not merely a place to focus her grief. Kate sees this element of crime in the city as her personal responsibility. She alone believes among her fellow police officers, and as a police officer sworn to protect the public, Kate feels obligated to track down demons breaking human laws and and deal with them--even if the demon in question turns out to be Angel.

Accomplishing this isn't easy, though. The police department isn't exactly going to put her in charge of the L.A. "X-files" and bring all the new demon cases to her attention. Instead, she has to keep her self alert to crimes with "a paranormal bouquet" . Then she swoops in and take on other detective's cases.

So it's no surprise that Kate quickly gets a reputation among the supernaturally-clueless L.A.P.D. as a paranormal-hunting kook. They move her out of the downtown precinct and put her behind a desk out in the boonies with only her police scanner for company. Her friends on the force are willing to help her fight the decision, but there is nothing they can do once she's decided to give up investigating mainstream cases.

In Sanctuary, Kate goes to the scene of Faith's torture of Wesley because she's heard that a supernaturally-strong female was reported as the suspect. The detective on the scene says,

"Everybody knows you've gone all Scully. Anytime one of these weird cases crosses anyone's desk, you're always there."

Kate finds out that Angel is hiding the wanted murderer, Faith. He has officially put himself on the wrong side of the law. This brings out her well-trained disdain for vigilantism. Even if she knew Angel's history with Faith, or his desire to redeem her, it wouldn't matter. She hasn't forgotten the good Angel has done in the city. But the plain fact is, a supernaturally powerful citizen with a murderous past has taken the law into his own hands and may do so again if it suits his purposes. Lindsey plays on this fact when he tells Kate that

"creatures like those who killed your father put themselves beyond human law."

No matter who the messenger is, Kate doesn't hesitate to arrest Angel for aiding and abetting a wanted felon.

By To Shanshu in L.A., Kate has become worn and frazzled from her new mission. Then she comes upon Angel once again putting himself above the law. Angel is not the first person in the history of the world to have loved ones on the critical list. So when Angel refuses to stay at his apartment as a witness, Kate is not going to treat him any different than she would any other survivor of a disaster:

Kate: "Never a dull moment with you around, is there."

Angel: "I have to go."

Kate: "Who the hell do you think you are? You are a major witness to a major crime scene. You are not going anywhere."

Angel: "You want to try and stop me, Kate?"

Kate: "I'm glad we are not playing friends anymore. And I'm real sick and tired of your attitude. There is a thing called the law!"


Kate believes that someone who takes the law into his own hands is just one step away from breaking it himself--and the vampire formerly known as Angelus more so.

In Dear Boy, Darla poses as the innocent woman DeEtta Kramer and attempts to frame Angel for murder. Kate knows the attack on the actor playing Steven Kramer was a vampire attack, because the evidence backs it up. It doesn't take much to convince her that the vampire responsible was Angel. Then Angel kidnaps "DeEtta". Kate goes to his hotel to arrest him. There she meets Gunn, the newest member of Angel's vigilante gang. With his record, Kate isn't willing to give Gunn the benefit of the doubt.

The gang tells Kate the truth about "DeEtta"--that she's Angel's sire, Darla, alive and attempting to frame Angel. Gunn points out that Angel could not have entered the Kramer house uninvited. Cordelia argues that the only way Angel could have gotten in is if the owners were already dead.

Kate realizes that they're right about Angel's innocence. But she doesn't back off. As far as she is concerned, even if Angel is good, he's still taking the fight against evil on himself, and that is dangerous. She replies:

"You don't get it, do you?"

Gunn: "What, the fact that Angel's innocent?"

Kate: "The fact that while you're fighting your big battles of good and evil the innocent are the ones who get caught in the crossfire. Those are the ones I care about, like that man tonight, like the real owners of that house if what you say is true. And those are the ones I chalk up to your boss."

Wesley: "You can't blame Angel for that. He's trying to do what's right!"

A lot of people dismissed this speech as referring to Kate's father, who was certainly no "innocent" when he got caught up in the supernatural underworld. And there might be some grief talking here, but it is better understood as the most direct statement of anti-vigilantism Kate makes on the series.

So on the one hand, we have the gang looking at Angel as a warrior for good, fighting the good fight with the blessing of the Powers That Be. Kate, on the other hand, is the voice of the law and its wariness of the lone hero.

In The Shroud of Rahmon, Kate takes the focus off Angel and puts it on the suspected murderer of the actor, Darla. She still has her eye on Angel, though, in case he crosses the thin line from being above the law to breaking the law. Kate has heard a few things about Angel and Darla's past, and she knows he has mixed feelings about Darla. Darla could very well be the trigger that makes him take that one small step.

Kate illegally enters Angel's room at the hotel looking for leads on Darla. When Angel warns her against getting involved with Darla and Wolfram and Hart and getting herself killed in the process, Kate's worries about Angel and Darla reveal themselves:

Kate: You think I'm gonna stand by while you and your playmate finish the game?"

Later, she believes she has finally caught Angel in illegal activity when two cops doing surveillance on a suspected bank robber show her pictures of Angel being greeted by this man. When Kate comes upon Angel at the Museum of Natural History, he is partially under the influence of the one-way- ticket-to-evil-town death shroud. Angel taunts her rather cruelly about her father's death and then attacks her. In a flash-back from Kate's point of view, we discover that Angel used his vampire bite to get between Kate and the criminal Menlo's gun. After taking a nip from her neck, he whispers:

"Stay down or they'll kill you."

Then he lets go of her. She drops to the floor and plays dead.

Kate obviously takes Angel's word that he was working undercover to destroy the shroud, because she does not attempt to arrest or kill him as the last surviving suspect. Later, we see Kate standing in front of her office window, fingering her neck wound and contemplating the shade of gray that is Angel. -----

In Reunion, Kate shows trust in Angel again when she releases him after an arrest for breaking and entering Wolfram and Hart. She sends him after vampDarla and Drusilla, who have killed two employees of a dress shop. This is a big step for someone who is in principle against citizens taking the law into their own hands. Kate has acknowledged that she needs help in tracking down the vampires, and knows that Angel's intimate knowledge of them will help her.

Unfortunately, Angel crosses the line she feared he would. He aids and abets Darla and Drusilla's massacre of the lawyers. Even if you believe that Angel did the right thing, the act has put him at clear odds with the law's position to serve his own personal ends:

Wesley: "You could have stopped them."

Angel: "And I will."

Cordy: "When? After they've finished off all the people you don't like?"

Wesley: "Angel, while it's certainly true that these lawyers brought this on themselves - what you did is..."

Cordy: "...is wrong."

Gunn: "You went too far."


Angel may have been driven to his actions by his frustration with bringing Wolfram and Hart to justice. Likewise, The Thin Dead Line takes an (extreme) police point of view of their own frustration with controlling crime. Just as Angel's hands are tied by Wolfram and Hart's ability to hide behind their own power, the police's hands are tied by constraints put on them by the law.

In TTDL, Captain Atkinson of the 23rd precinct decides to throw out that pesky impediment known as due process. His "new, tougher policy" cuts down dramatically on crime in his precinct by essentially turning the neighborhood into a "police state". Using magic, he raises zombie cops who take whatever measures he thinks are necessary to clamp down on the scumbags of the neighborhood. The best way to keep the criminals from doing anything illegal is to clamp down on anything that's the slightest bit suspicious. The result is cops not only arresting criminals, but assaulting innocent citizens and arresting them for little more than loitering.

The living cops of the two-three breath a sigh of relief:

Officer: "Oh, only a few of us riding the desk tonight."

Angel: "Not a lot going on?"

Officer: "Crime is way down in this precinct. We're doing things right."


Kate: "This captain of yours, he's running things by the book?"

Officer: "I don't have to tell you who used to rule these streets, detective. The scumbags did. Hell, I-I was afraid to drive to work myself."

Despite her loyalty to the by-the-book cop values she grew up with, Kate knows first hand the frustration that lead the officers of the 23rd precinct to do such a thing. After Angel stops the zombies she explains this to him:

"Crime reports from that precinct. Up until three months ago there was a murder every two weeks, a rape every two days, a robbery every hour and a half. And that's what we just gave back to the people of that community."

They can both chime in on their frustration at this point:

Kate: "This job is making me crazy."

Angel: "I know the feeling."

In Reprise, we learn that Kate helped Angel investigate the 23rd precinct at the expense of her job. First of all, the situation was handled by a civilian and without using standard police procedure. Second, there is no way to prove that the captain was ordering officers to commit illegal acts against the citizens of his precinct since the officers that did them were legally dead!

Kate: "You remember Atkinson? The captain at the two-three? He's blaming me for granting access to some lunatic who broke into his office and beat the ever holy crap out of him. He's filed a formal complaint."

Angel: "He was raising zombie cops and setting them loose on the streets."

Kate: "And I'm sure once I explain that to Internal Affairs this will all just go away. And they've just been *looking* for an excuse... And you know what they say about *me*. I am a cop. That is all I've ever... I can't take a suspension... I would just..."

Kate is also afraid they'll nail her for letting a breaking-and-entering suspect (Angel) go who then aided and abetted the death of thirteen lawyers.

Kate: "Hmm, so it's funny how these dead people were threatened by an intruder at their offices. An intruder *I* picked up and released on the street three hours before the complainants were found massacred."

Angel: "You know who's responsible for that."

Kate: "Yeah. But I can't figure out though is why forensics is now telling me that it looks like the suspect or suspects *didn't* break in. They had to break out. The victims were locked in that wine cellar with their attackers and I think I am *done* helping you now."


Later in the episode, Kate goes in for her hearing with Internal Affairs. She has nothing to say in her defense that they'll believe. She is caught between a rock and a hard place. She chased the supernatural in the city not just out of revenge and anger, but because she was a cop who saw a real threat no other cop would handle. But the police aren't ready to believe that this element exists. They want a "rational" defense of her actions, and she has none.

Kate: "What am I supposed to say, Lou? They've dredged out every ugly detail of the last eight months, spilled it out on the table as if nothing had a context and I'm supposed to explain? I was doing my job."

Lou: "Actually what it appears you've been doing, detective, is isolating yourself. You've withdrawn from the stabilizing influence of your fellow officers, developed this morbid fascination for cases of a bizarre and macabre nature, and even you can't seem to give an explanation to why."

They want to blame her behavior while on her lone crusade against the demon underworld on grief over her father's death--a death never solved with traditional police methods and explanations. But Kate wasn't guilty of poor performance, and she certainly didn't choose to isolate herself.

Kate: "You people have no idea what's going on in this city."

Man: "Is this the part where you start to talk about monsters? We'll need your gun and your badge."

And with that, she is fired.

Many fans have no sympathy for what Kate did next. They found it self-indulgent and whiny. But think of it this way: Kate has just been disowned by her family, told that she'd broken the rules of the institution that was the source of her personal values, and told she was incompetent in the job that was her source of pride and identity. She is left without emotional support or understanding and a backlog of grief.

Now, of course, we know that Angel in a normal state of mind could have been the most understanding support to her, but she doesn't trust him, and in Reprise, he doesn't exactly deserve any trust.

Kate goes home to an apartment filled with reminders of a life that has rejected her--performance commendations, trophies from off-duty activities with other cops, a picture of her father. She goes into the bathroom and swallows a bottle of pills with an alcohol chaser, then calls the one person who'll believe her, the creature who started her down the road that ended here. She's angry at herself. She's angry at the L.A.P.D. Is she angry at Angel? Maybe, maybe not, but he's a convenient target for her rage:

Kate: "You did it, didn't you? You bastard.... You made me trust you. You made me believe. No, it wasn't you. It was me, right? I couldn't take the heat... That's what they're gonna say. Then you're gonna feel all bad. Or you won't care. But then, then I won't care either. I won't feel a thing."

With apologies to Cleanthes, his existentialist analysis of Angel in Reprise works for Kate as well:

Despair, says the first existentialist [Soren Kierkegaard], is the sickness unto death. Children babble because they CAN; that is childlike innocence -- losing oneself in possibilities. Lacking that looking for possibility leaves one dumb and stuck with [Angel's] "don't give a crap" or [Buffy's] "mommie"? ...Both seem faced with real despair. Without possibilities, then there is despair and so this endures for every moment without possibility. I imagine Buffy will recover better than Angel, but he's the real existentialist. He must believe that knights of the faith exist in order to keep up the struggle. It's absurd, but that's the way it goes (Cleanthes, 20-Feb-01 22:59)

Kate's attempted suicide was a cry for possibilities; alternatives to being Blue.

In Epiphany, Angel wins back her trust by saving her life. He breaks in the door to Kate's apartment and finds her on the floor, unconscious from her overdose. He stands her up in the shower and Kate comes to.

She finally gets the sympathetic ear she needs when she and Angel meet again later:

Kate: "I just couldn't... My whole life has been about being a cop. If I'm not part of the force it's like nothing I do means anything."

Angel tells her about his epiphany--about how he has "realized" there is no greater meaning to what he does than "simple acts of kindness". All fine and well for Angel, but Kate has lost all her ties to the world. She needs higher meaning again, and she has found it, ironically, in faith towards something that bears a remarkable resemblance to the Powers That Be:

Kate: "I got cut a huge break and I believe... I don't know what I believe, but I have faith. I think maybe we're not alone in this."

Angel: "Why?"

Kate: "Because I never invited you in."


*Disclaimer: I neither claim to be an expert on the Los Angeles Police Department nor on whether the public perception of the department reported here is true or false. Any perceived defending of or criticism of the Real Life department is just me trying to muddle through the fictional picture supplied by the writers of Angel: the Series.



Fan quotes are from the ATPoBtVS Discussion Board and the Table Talk Salon Angel forums.

A:tS quotes are from Psyche's transcripts.


Thanks to

the awesome ATPoBtVS posters for filling my wee corner of the web with laughter, discussion, and deep thoughts!

You guys are the best!

Also, thanks for reassuring me that I'm not the only one who really gets off on analyzing BtVS and AtS to death!

May Joss one day discover that he thinks, therefore we are.

Archived discussion of this post