"The Thin Dead Line"
Written by Jim Kouf and Shawn Ryan; directed by Scott McGinnis

Angel is alone at the Hyperion while the other MoG are at their new office, waiting for a case to come to their doorstep. Francine, a friend of Virginia’s, arrives with her daughter Stephanie and reveals to the MoG that there’s an eye on the back of Stephanie’s head. The new agency quickly accepts the job of finding out what happened and making the eye go away. Meanwhile, two teenagers run through the streets of L.A., being pursued by something. Anne (see “Blood Money”) takes care of some people at her shelter, which is packed. The two teens from the street arrive and beg to be let in, even though they’re past curfew. They tell Anne that something is chasing them and say that they’ll sleep on the floor if they have to. Anne lets them in and we see what’s apparently a human on the street, wearing a cap and badge. Angel goes to Merl’s lair, where the demon is planning to pack up and leave. He tells Angel about an upcoming Wolfram & Hart meeting, most likely not planning to ever give him any more information. Anne talks to Kenny, one of the late arrivals, and learns that cops have been hassling and attacking teens on the street. Anne realizes that this is a major problem and thinks she knows who can help. She heads over to the reduced MoG’s main office, reuniting with Gunn, who’s an old friend of hers. She fills the MoG in on what Kenny told her and Gunn decides to go back to the shelter with Anne to make sure everyone’s okay. Cordelia mentions that the agency is called Angel Investigations, which leads Anne to mention that she ran into Angel (again, see “Blood Money”). At first, the MoG are interested to learn that Angel tried to help Anne, but they aren’t completely surprised when she reveals that he was actually trying to get revenge on Wolfram & Hart. Angel looks on from a rooftop as Gunn and Anne leave the building.

At the shelter, the kids tell Gunn, who they’re familiar with, what’s been going on with the cops. Gunn sends Anne out of the room and asks the kids if they’re trying to scam Anne; they promise that they’re not. Angel, who’s possibly been listening to the conversation through a window, is interrupted by a cop. The cop starts attacking him and, while he’s reading Angel his rights, Angel kicks his head off. This doesn’t stop the head from continuing to recite Angel’s rights. Back at the shelter, two of Gunn’s friends, Rondell (Jarrod Crawford) and George (Darris Love), arrive with a video camera. They taunt him a little for working with an agency and “moving on up.” Gunn explains that he wants them to run the video camera and wait until a cop starts messing with them. Angel goes to the police station, where Kate tells him that they’re still investigating Darla and Drusilla’s department store and wine cellar massacres (see “Reunion”). Angel admits that he just killed a cop, adding that there was something supernatural going on. He gives Kate the cop’s badge number and learns that he was Peter Harkes, an officer who died six months earlier. At the reduced MoG’s office, Cordelia learns of Gunn’s plan and tells Wesley that he’s doing something stupid. At first they decide to leave Gunn alone, but they quickly realize that they need to go help him. Angel and Kate visit Peter’s grave, noting that someone’s disturbed the ground. Angel realizes that a lot of cops are buried in the same cemetery and thinks that someone is creating and controlling a bunch of zombie cops. Kate worries that her father is one of the zombies but Angel assures her that the ground around Trevor’s grave is undisturbed. They both wonder why might be responsible for the zombies.

Cordelia and Wesley hurry to the shelter, where Anne tells them that Gunn, Rondell, and George have already left. Cordelia stays behind while Wesley heads off to look for them. She offers to help Anne out with some things and spots a girl wearing one of her shirts, which Angel donated in “Blood Money.” A guy named Jackson arrives at the shelter and Anne tells him that there are no free beds, but he smoothly talks his way inside. Jackson runs into another guy, Ray, and intimidates him a little. Gunn leads Rondell and George into gang territory (against their better judgment) and they encounter a cop. George runs the video camera and captures Gunn getting hassled. Wesley suddenly runs up and tells the cop to leave Gunn alone. The cop turns around and shoots Wesley in the stomach. Rondell grabs the cop’s gun and shoots him a couple of times as Gunn tries to help Wesley. Rondell freaks out about killing a cop until the cop gets up. The four humans rush off as the cop calls for backup. Down the street, Gunn finally calls for an ambulance for Wesley. Angel and Kate head to a different police station and ask to talk to the captain. The cop they talk to tells them that their precinct has recently taken a “tougher policy.” Wesley is picked up by the paramedics and Gunn tells George and Rondell to meet him back at the shelter. However, the ambulance is stopped by zombie cops, who shoot at the paramedics. Gunn takes over driving the ambulance as cops chase him. He takes Wesley back to the shelter, where he tells Anne that the cops aren’t human. A paramedic tends to Wesley inside the shelter as the cops wait across the street. Jackson reveals that he has a gun and can take care of the cops. He and Gunn get into an argument and Anne tells Gunn that he’s not worth it. Outside, the captain sends the zombie cops into the shelter.

The paramedic announces that Wesley needs to get to a hospital but Gunn doesn’t think that it’s safe to leave the shelter. Cordelia is on the paramedic’s side and finally convinces Gunn to risk leaving. Cordelia opens the door and notes that the cops are arriving. Gunn and Anne take charge in the shelter, organizing the teens and giving them instructions. Angel meets with the captain at the station, taking a couple of bullets in the abdomen for his troubles. Angel demands to know how to stop the zombie cops. The cops ambush the shelter as the teens try to keep them out. The captain lets Angel know that he feels he has a responsibility to let the zombie cops keep doing what they did when they were alive. Angel and the captain fight as the teens continue to fight the zombies. Finally, Angel realizes that the cops are being controlled by an idol; he smashes it, and the cops collapse. Wesley is finally taken to the hospital. Angel heads back to Kate’s station and tells her that he took care of the zombie cops. She receives a file on Wesley and tells Angel what happened to him. Gunn visits Wesley in the hospital as Angel watches from outside the room. He runs into Cordelia, who blasts him for waiting until there was a crisis to care about them again. She tells him that he did them a favor by abandoning them and tells him that he should stay away, because they don’t need him. Angel watches the reduced MoG bond, then leaves the hospital.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Dead doesn’t exactly mean dead in the Jossverse.

GRADE: B Zombie…cops? Um, okay.

WELCOME TO L.A.: Rondell, George

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Cordelia: “…She grew another eye in the back of her head.”
Anne: “Oh, that sounds…handy.”

“Hey, Gunn graduated with a major in dumb planning from Angel University. He sat at the feet of the master and learned well how to plan dumbly.” - Cordelia


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