Sam (apillarofsalt) wrote in idol_reflection,

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Lindsey McDonald (Angel)

Title: Born Again Boy (Lindsey McDonald, Angel)
Author: Sam (apillarofsalt)
Spoilers: Every season, but specific ones for season one, two, and five.

It took me awhile to figure out how to approach this. I wasn't sure just how to categorize my attachment to Lindsey, aside from a fangirl adoration of Christian Kane and a love of the bad boy. It wasn't until I sat watching past episodes to get a new feel for the boy that I realized that it was the grey area that Lindsey posed and his redemption-temptation-fall cycle that was really appealing.

I am a Lindsey Redemptionist. I fully believed that, in his eyes, Lindsey was redeemed when he was killed. That essay reflects this. Feel free to disagree with me. I love debate. ^____^

Lindsey McDonald
Look like somebody who's feelin' kinda lost. (Lindsey to Spike, "Soul Purpose")

What we know about Lindsey, especially concerning his past, comes from Lindsey own mouth. Considering the stuff he told Angel was not something one would be inclined to brag about, it can be assumed that Lindsey was telling the truth. Other things about his past have to be assumed, such as the fact that he's from Oklahoma, considering the truck in "Epiphany" and "Dead End" had Oklahoma plates, or Texas, since Angel insults him by calling him a "tiny Texan" in "You're Welcome".

Lindsey was born to a poor family. He himself calls them dirt poor with "no shoes, no toilet". He had five siblings, though the ratio of brothers to sisters is unknown, as the actual birth order. I tend to assume that Lindsey was born somewhere in the middle, simply because of his need to prove himself in some way, a thing common with middle children. It is known, however, that two of those siblings died during flu season before Lindsey was seven. The kids all slept in one room, actually making it a miracle there weren't more deaths, though that does lend credence to the theory that Lindsey hadn't been the youngest, since it's usually the younger children/infants that die from the flue first.

When Lindsey was seven, the bank foreclosed on his family's home, and the McDonalds were forced to live on the streets. That was the big turning point in Lindsey's life because he watched his father get walked all over while doing little to nothing to fight back. Lindsey determined at that point that he had two choices in life: to either be walked all over or to be the one doing the walking. He followed his ambition and set about attempting to become one of the higher-ups, someone with power.

Canon gives us nothing about Lindsey's school years. It can be assumed he had the typical upbringing of poor, white people in Oklahoma, and as evidenced by his ability to use a sledgehammer as a weapon in "Epiphany", it can be assumed that he was a rough kid, possibly getting into physical fights to prove himself to people who looked down on him. He probably played sports of some kind since it was unlikely that his family could have afforded to send him to a university like Hastings without being on some sort of scholarship, athletic or academic. The only reason that I'm not inclined to say that Lindsey gained an academic scholarship is because he's not the sort to flaunt his intelligence, seeming to enjoy it when people underestimate him.

The next time we learn anything about Lindsey's history is when Holland points out that he tapped Lindsey to be a part of Wolfram & Hart when he was a sophomore at Hastings. I assume Holland means University of California: Hastings, which is a law school. After graduating, Lindsey took a position in the Wolfram & Hart mailroom. He eventually worked his way up to being a junior partner in a short amount of time, considering he's one of the youngest members of the firm, along with Lilah.

Lindsey first meets Angel, and draws the firm's attention to the vampire with a soul, while handling the legal needs of Russell Winters, a vampire with a penchant for young starlets. Lindsey attempts to throw Angel off his game, but only ends up getting his words thrown in his face as Angel mostly ignores him and only stops long enough to place the business card that Lindsey gave him back in Lindsey's pocket without a word. So began Lindsey's biggest rivalry and obsession.

The next significant event in Lindsey's life was taking the case of Vanessa Brewer. He defended the woman's actions, getting her acquitted, and then discovered that her next big job was the murder of several children, an act that Lindsey couldn't bring himself to condone. He went to Angel, helping him to get into Wolfram & Hart to steal the necessary files as well as going up against Vanessa to defend the children alongside Angel. However, Lindsey did not immediately fall into Team Angel, leading to the first instance of broken trust between the two, when Lindsey accepted a promotion with the firm and seemed to turn his back on those first tentative steps toward redemption.

Angel's next act against Lindsey sealed the animosity between the two when, during the resurrection of Darla, Angel was responsible for cutting off Lindsey's hand after the later attempted to burn an important, to Angel, prophecy. The summer after that, Lindsey was responsible for Darla's care and he slowly developed feelings for her, whether it was love or not. He spent the next year or so devoting his life to both attempting to draw Angel over to side of evil as well as avoid getting killed by Angel as the vampire declared war on Wolfram & Hart for their part in turning Darla into a vampire.

It's during this time that it's revealed that Lindsey has a bit of a death wish. When Darla and Drusilla are locked in the cellar with the lawyers, he is the only one who isn't scared.

But not from you. Do you know what I'm getting from you, Lindsey? Nothing. Why aren't you afraid?
I don't know.
You could die here. Chances are you will.
I know.
And you don't care.
I care. - I guess I just don't mind.

What caused this death wish is unknown, though Lindsey does seem to have a renewed zest for life when he thinks he's the only one to survive the massacre. It turns out that Darla and Drusilla merely wanted someone they could control at the head of special projects, either Lilah or Lindsey, and they didn't care who it was. The revelation that only the two of them survived caused many at the firm to suspect their involvement in the massacre, and they both attempted to sabotage the other. However, both ended up in the running for the vacant "head of special projects" position, the loser of which would end up dead.

In a show of favoritism, Nathan Reed chose Lindsey to receive a hand transplant, but after the new hand began having a life of its own, Lindsey sought about finding out whom the hand had come from. He ended up, along with Angel, discovering a Wolfram & Hart run organ-transplant center. They destroyed it, and Lindsey decides to quit the firm, despite having been named the head of special projects. He throws a very amusing fit, shoots up the boardroom, gropes Lilah, and walks out. He was last seen heading toward...somewhere with a "cops suck" sign (courtesy of Angel) on the back of his truck.

We know very little of what happened to Lindsey in the next two years, except that at some point, he ended up in Nepal, where he learned a few demon tricks that gave him strength and magic. He also, at some point, received mystical tattoos that allowed him to hide completely from the Senior Partners, both mystically and mundanely. Somewhere in there, something happened to change Lindsey's feelings on Angel. At the end of "Dead End", when Lindsey left town, the two seemed to have an uneasy truce, yet the next time we see Lindsey, he's actively working to take away Angel's shanshu (by giving it to Spike) or kill Angel (through a Senior Partner inspired failsafe in the firm).

A lot can be assumed about Lindsey's activities those two years. He encountered and teamed up with Eve at some point, crafting the plan to release Spike from the amulet and make him corporeal. Nepal is home to several monasteries, and it's possible that more than one of them could be demon-related, where he could learn to fight as well as learn magic.

However, we next see him in the episode "Destiny" where it's revealed that he is both in a sexual relationship with Eve as well as the mastermind behind the race for the shanshu. He furthers his plan by approaching Spike, pretending to be a man cursed with visions named Doyle, and guiding Spike along the path to being a hero. He somehow finds out about the Slayer in the insane asylum, sending Spike after her, an act that ends with Spike getting his hands cut off. Lindsey and Spike bond over both having lost a hand something that is used later to identify the mysterious Doyle by Angel.

Once Lindsey is discovered, he is caught in the act of attempting to activate a failsafe that will kill Angel. The two of them fight as Cordelia attempts to disable the failsafe. Eventually Angel, with Wesley, Fred, and Lorne performing the magic necessary to remove Lindsey's tattoos of protection as well as his power, manages to defeat Lindsey and the Senior Partners suck him into a hell dimension.

A hell dimension, by the way, that appears to be a perfect suburbia. However, Lindsey must relive the same day over and over, each time going into the basement where he's tortured, eventually having his heart cut out day after day. Angel, Spike, and Gunn eventually rescue him, in order to gain information about the Senior Partners, though Gunn offers himself up to suffer in Lindsey's place, since that's the only way the spell can be broken.

Lindsey is little help to Angel and company, however, as he merely tells them that the apocalypse, the real one, is occurring and that Angel is woefully behind in saving the world. It's only later that Lindsey offers up what he knows about the Circle of the Black Thorn, the group of evil humans and demons devoted to promoting man's inhumanity to man.

While a prisoner at Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey is offered the chance to side with Angel in the final battle, with the promise that if they win, Lindsey will be placed in charge of Wolfram & Hart. Lindsey agrees, simply because it promises to be a good fight. However, it doesn't end well, with Lorne shooting Lindsey on Angel's orders.

But it's not me you want to screw. It's him. (Darla to Lindsey, "Darla")

Angel was the one big obsession in Lindsey's life. Proving himself, and even his feelings for Darla, paled in comparison to defeating or in some way one-upping Angel. The tension between them, on Lindsey's end, started from the beginning. Lindsey was not the type to be ignored easily, and yet, Angel did it without a second thought and actually dismissed Lindsey as a minor annoyance.

For Angel, the animosity didn't really start until Lindsey refused his chance for redemption and remained with Wolfram & Hart at the end of "Blind Date." Angel could never trust Lindsey after that, and the two had little hope of a real reconciliation after Angel cut off Lindsey's hand.

That one act sealed Lindsey's hate because he blamed Angel, and rightly so, for making him weak and handicapped. It didn't stop Lindsey's need to prove himself, however, and it only made him more determined to do whatever it takes to get rid of Angel in one way or the other. It's during this time that Lindsey begins to think of himself as Angel's big nemesis, while Angel continued to think of Lindsey only as an annoyance, since much of Angel's attention at this time was wrapped up in Darla and saving her.

Lindsey developed a sort of jealousy over Angel, an emotion that wasn't helped by Angel sleeping with Darla. Indeed, Lindsey continues to have this jealousy even when he returns in season five, commenting to Eve that she's the one thing of his that Angel's never had. He was apparently unaware of the events on Halloween where a spell caused Angel and Eve to have sex.

Lindsey's life literally revolved around Angel from the first moment he saw him. He hired Faith to kill him, went to him when he sought redemption, got his hands dirty by actually performing the resurrection spell on Darla simply to spite Angel, and it's Angel he begins to see as his past, present, and future. He believes that Angel will be the one to kill him.

Whether you see the relationship as merely enemies or on some level romantic/sexual, Angel is the single most important person in Lindsey's life. His entire purpose is to fight Angel. It only makes Lindsey more determined to beat Angel when the vampire constantly gets what Lindsey sees as rightfully his (especially when Angel gets both Darla and the CEO-ship of the L.A. branch of Wolfram & Hart). He is determined to prove himself a worthy opponent and enemy, which is why he constantly goes up against Angel.

Should never have come back, Lindsey.
What can I say? I missed you.
("You're Welcome")

Lindsey's return in season five serves one purpose in Lindsey's mind – to foil Angel anyway possible. He attempts to turn Spike into Angel, he attempts to kill Angel, and he finally sides with Angel in the very end. He thinks he has Angel figured out, but Angel refuses to believe that Lindsey is capable of change. That's what's really behind Lindsey's death. Angel believes Lindsey will only betray him, which is possible, since Lindsey lives by his own ethics, but all visible evidence pointed to a legitimate change in Lindsey.

You know, all my carefully laid out plans, my designs, when you get right down to it, that was pretty sweet, too, huh? Reason enough for me to come back. You, me... fight to the death...

Lindsey's death wish never went away. Not really, but it did evolve. He no longer wanted to die so much as he wanted to either kill Angel or be killed by him. The fact that he denies that Lorne is capable of killing him, and the last word Lindsey ever breathes is "Angel."

That means something, in Lindsey's head. He thought that he had the grand, epic rivalry with Angel, and Angel's constant ignoring of him only spurred him. Lindsey wanted to proof his worth to Angel. Lindsey had a tiny bit of a crush, resorting constant attempts to get Angel's attention. Even Darla could see that much.

Website: L.A., Slashing the Angel

Death and Redemption
How did you think this would end? (Lindsey to Angel, "The Trial")

Lindsey was murdered. Or assassinated, if you want to get right down to it. He didn't die in battle. His death wasn't a spur of the moment occurrence, nor was it an accident. He was shot after being used to win a portion of what was generally considered to be the final battle. To make matters worse, he was killed by someone he previously thought trust him, or tolerated him at the very least.

Lindsey had never shown himself to be a trusting soul, especially when the trust in question was directed at Team Angel. Yet, he expected Angel to be true to his word just this once.

It's about what he needs, and right now, he needs every hand he can get. As long as I'm fighting on his side, he'll play me fair. When the smoke clears, then we'll see where we stand. (Lindsey, "Not Fade Away")

He certainly wasn't expecting to be betrayed at the last moment, he certainly wasn't expecting Lorne to do it, but in the end, he was genuinely starting to feel like a hero, or, at least, someone who could be a viable part of Angel's group. Lindsey was enjoying it, being a part of that team, that family. But old distrust dies hard, and Angel's belief that you're either suffering constantly under the weight of your past sins or you're still evil and will never change came back to haunt Lindsey.

The question of whether Angel ordered Lorne to kill Lindsey is actually debatable, despite the evidence in the episode. Lorne tells Lindsey that this was all Angel's plan and that it doesn't matter if Lorne trust him or not. This happening right before Lorne shoots Lindsey seems to imply that it was Lindsey's death that was the plan. Angel himself later tells Eve that Lindsey's not coming back, before he had any knowledge of whether Lindsey completed his part of the mission. That seemed to imply that Angel at least had foreknowledge of Lindsey's death, whether it was his own plan or not.

I could go one for pages about the implications of Angel killing an "innocent" human being, no matter their past history, but this essay isn't about Angel, and Lindsey's story should end with his death. It doesn't have to though, since Christian Kane himself has commented recently, "I guess that's the only place you actually have to die to become a series regular." (link) The end of the series does put a damper on any resurrection plans that may or may not have been planned, but that's what fanfic is for.

Gee, I think it's just getting interesting.
Yeah, I bet you do.
You don't trust me. You don't think a man can change?

That's the real tragedy behind Lindsey's death.

In his eyes, he had changed, he was better person, he was working for the greater good. He told Angel in "Underneath" that the Senior Partners "can only undo you as far as you think you deserve to be undone." Lindsey felt he had paid his penance, getting his heart ripped out at least once a day, every day for months. He didn't feel that he had to suffer anymore. He'd paid his debt to society, and, no matter what anyone else might have thought, he was redeemed.

Unlike Angel or Spike, Lindsey didn't have centuries' worth of lives ruined on his head. He had already shown that he had boundaries that he wouldn't cross, even when he was still as loyal as Lindsey could be to Wolfram & Hart. He refused to be a part of the murder of children in "Blind Date" and the final straw came with the harvested body part of a former co-worker in "Dead End". Lindsey showed constantly that he had a conscience, even if that conscience only kicked in occasionally. His ethics were situational, and, yes, most of the time he was out just for himself, but he drew that line and showed he was willing to go up against the firm when they crossed that line.

Other fans probably don't see Lindsey as redeemed, but it's all about interpretation. I believe that he showed he was willing to side with the side of good, even if it was just for a decent bit of violence and a chance to run Wolfram & Hart all on his own someday. That one step on the path of all that's good and righteous had a lot of potential but was cut a little too short because Lindsey wasn't performing to someone else's expectations.

It's like something out of a fairy tale. (Lindsey to Eve, "Not Fade Away")

Lindsey tends to fall in love hard. He thinks he does, anyway. It was only a few months into his association with Darla, and already, he showed more caring and emotion than he had about anyone else. He tends to be overprotective of the people he actually seems to care about. He tells Eve in "Not Fade Away," "If this thing does go down, I want you to stay the hell away from it. I'm not gonna let anything happen to you". It's rare, though, that we actually hear Lindsey use the word 'love' in relation to anyone.

Angel will not be covered in this section, since I've already gone over their beyond complicated relationship above. Both slash relationships and het ones will be covered, however.

Darla: Darla is the first person we really see Lindsey develop any sort of romantic attachment to, excusing his attachment to Angel, that is, since it to in a way is romantic. That's covered elsewhere, though. It bears a mention, though, that Lindsey begins to lose interest in Darla when he finds out she had sex with Angel. He still cares for her, obviously, but she was tarnished after that.

From the beginning, Lindsey'd placed Darla on a pedestal. He'd known about her before Wolfram & Hart resurrected her, of course, since Lindsey revealed in "Blind Date" that he had intimate knowledge of Angel's past. However, the revelation of a completely human, and terminally ill, Darla caught Lindsey off-guard. It also hit every over-protective, caring, and down-right loving part of his mind. Darla, in the beginning, was someone Lindsey could take care of. He actually took the time to get to know her whereas the majority of the staff at Wolfram & Hart treated her as little more than a simpleton.

Lindsey: "She likes Chopin and Brahms. She's not too fond of the Russians."
Lilah: "Hello, Darla. How are you doing today? Feeling any better? It's a beautiful day outside."
Lindsey: "Lilah, shut up. She's not a child. She's 400 years old."
(Lindsey and Lilah, "Judgment")

Lindsey didn't fully agree with the firm using Darla, though he knew she was the only way to turn Angel to the side of evil. He justified his feelings about using Darla as more vengeance for what Angel did to her and him as opposed to simply viewing her as a tool. He attempted to make his own motives more sympathetic both for Darla's sake and for his own sake so he wouldn't feel any more guilt over the way she was being used.

Darla eventually showed she wasn't as naive as many, including Lindsey, had painted her. The entire scene provides insight into both of them, but especially into Lindsey and how he seems to act while having feelings for a person. He doesn't make the first move; he's cautious, especially when he's not certain of the other's feelings. He never comes out and tells Darla anything about what he wants from her, but she seems to know, both in the sense of kissing and fucking her to get to Angel. Lindsey, for his part, doesn't deny that he's using her. Darla, for her part, really doesn't seem to mind. At that point in the show, she was dealing with her own issues about her human soul, so her reaction is muddled and probably not entirely true to how she would react when in complete control.

Lindsey never actually says he loves Darla. It's always the other characters that call him on his feelings. Angel is the one that really brings to light how Lindsey feels about her, though Angel is convinced that the world is still black and white and has difficult believing that Lindsey can actually feel anything at all.

Do you love her, Lindsey? Is that what this is? Heh - look at you. A few short months with her and you go all schoolboy. I was with her for 150 years.
But you never loved her.
I wasn't capable of it and neither are you.
(Lindsey and Angel, "The Trial")

Lindsey does do whatever he can to save Darla when it's discovered that she's dying. He brings in Drusilla to turn Darla again, when it becomes clear that Angel will not save her live by turning her into a vampire. Lindsey doesn't care if the Darla he's come to love/care about is destroyed; he merely wants her to live. It's an entirely selfish feeling, but it's one that's understandable on a base level. She's going to die. Lindsey loves her and knows that as a vampire she'll continue to exist in some way. He does what he can to protect the woman he cares about.

Lindsey doesn't abandon Darla when she's turned. If anything, he becomes more attached for her, being attracted to her strength just as he was to her vulnerability. It only gets stronger, knowing that she can no longer be a pawn for the firm. He foolishly does think he can be with her after she's been turned, despite his denials to Angel. It leaves him vulnerable to her, after Angel sets her and Drusilla on fire and it allows her to once again play on his love and need to be needed by coming to him to recover. Even after she's healed, she continues to use him.

It's not until she betrays him and finally makes her move against both Wolfram & Hart and Angel that he realizes just how much he's been played. He doesn't give up on her, though, as he's genuinely concerned about her whereabouts after the ritual was disturbed in "Reprise". It's not until he finds out that she and Angel had sex that he begins to fall out of love with her. She's no longer his Darla, having believed that she would eventually choose him over Angel.

Lindsey, however, blames Angel for Darla's fall from grace, and when he finds out that the two of them had sex, Lindsey's reaction is to say, "I want to know what he did to you." While there is a perverse voyeurism in that statement, there's enough anger in the words to make it seem more like he's blaming Angel and not that he's living vicariously through her words. This anger comes to a head later when Lindsey goes after Angel, using first his truck to run Angel over then beating Angel badly with a sledgehammer. While he's doing this, he's constantly demanding that Angel tell him what happened.

When Lindsey finally returns to his apartment after the beating, he finds Darla gone. It's unknown if he ever sees her again, or knows about Connor (Angel and Darla's son from that night), but as nothing is ever stated one way or the other in canon, fanfic is definitely open for speculation.
Websites: Tainted Love, Star-crossed

Eve: We know very little about the early portions of Eve and Lindsey's relationship. We know she was born to serve the Senior Partners, but it's unsure if she means literally, or if she was making a grand statement. It can be assumed that Lindsey first found Eve to be a convenient way to spy on the Partners, and that, much like with Darla, he found himself caring more and more for her.

He treats Eve more like an equal than he did Darla, though that's not saying he doesn't still treat Eve very much like a child sometimes. Whereas Darla was the dominant one in their relationship, Lindsey takes on this role with Eve. She is willing to defer to him in terms of planning and executing those plans and doesn't question him much at first. It's not until she loses her position as liaison that she begins to have a bit more of a backbone, and she starts showing that she does care for his well-being, especially when he's locked in the hell-dimension in "Underneath" and especially when he agrees to side with Angel.

Lindsey tends to be all business, at first, with Eve. He refuses to have sex with her in "Soul Purpose" until he's managed to get her to tell him everything that's currently going on with their plan for Spike. He never says he loves her, despite her feelings for him, despite what she's done for him, in giving up her immortality that she gained by being a liaison. He obviously cares for her, though how deeply those feelings run, that's unknown.

When Angel told Eve that Lindsey wasn't coming back during the final battle with the Senior Partners, she refused to leave the crumbling, destroyed Wolfram & Hart office building. It's assumed she died, but nothing is really certain.

Website: Up-close and Personal

Lilah: Lilah was Lindsey's biggest business rival. Literally. They were both up for the position in the firm left empty by Holland Manners's death, the executive vice-president of special projects. Before that, Lindsey and Lilah were seen as being on relatively friendly terms, in that they weren't trying to kill each other constantly. Keeping that in mind, Lindsey still was not amused to find out that Lilah had survived Darla and Drusilla's massacre.

Lilah, for her part, seems to be the less experienced lawyer with the firm, though it's possible that the two of them simply worked in different departments before Holland's death, and therefore had different backgrounds when they arrived in special projects. Lindsey tended to regard Lilah with a bit of disdain, especially after the arrival of Darla and Lilah's subsequent treating of Darla as a child.

Lilah tries to get to Lindsey like she does to most of the men we see her interact with. She attempts to bait Lindsey by coming on to him sexually in the hopes that in the throes of passion he'll let something slip that ends up with him being killed. It doesn't work, however, as it seems she underestimated Lindsey. He discovers the wire tap after turning her own game around on her and baiting her, as well.

Lilah did not seem too fond of Lindsey after he left, constantly making references to Lindsey cowardice and habit of switching sides. It seems unlikely that a relationship between them would work beyond that, a fact sealed by Lilah's subsequent death.

Website: Ace of Harts, Deep Stuff

Faith: Lindsey hired her to kill Angel in the episodes "Five by Five" and "Sanctuary". Eventually, he ended up hiring someone to try and kill her to cover his mistake, as well as eventually turning her whereabouts over to Kate Lockley. Their initial meeting however, was full of Faith's typical sexual innuendo, so there's the chance of a brief affair there.

I think if a service is rendered, we can get you off.
You don't know how many men have promised me that.

Since Faith did seem to look up to Angel as well as share his views on redemption, after her time in prison, it's unlikely she would see Lindsey as a viable partner, especially considering his lack of remorse for pretty much anything he did in his past. She would most likely still find him reprehensible.

Website: Rocky Road

Spike: The first time they'd ever met was when Lindsey was posing as Doyle to tempt Spike away from Angel's side. They encountered each other in a strip club, a sexually charged environment anyway, and it wasn't made better when Lindsey bought Spike a drink, prompting Spike to declare that Lindsey "wasn't his type."

The two go on to spend the majority of their relationship snarking, making veiled insults on both their sexualities, and bonding over the loss of limbs. After Lindsey's lie was revealed, Spike wasn't exactly going to trust him, though he did go along with Angel to rescue Lindsey from the hell dimension that the Senior Partners placed him in.

As all things with Lindsey and love/sex tended to do, there was always the threat of violence, with both Lindsey and Spike doing their part to goad the other.

So what are you gonna do? You gonna beat it out of me?
If you say so. *walks toward Lindsey, who stands to meet him*

Spike and Lindsey actually could work since both reject Angel's idea of permanent suffering to gain redemption. The two would simply have to work past the violence and distrust, probably with more violence.

Others: I only covered the characters Lindsey had had significant interaction with or about. It would be exhaustive to try and draw parallels between him and every other character in the Jossverse. I do, however, offer a list of links to other relationship based sites.

A Life Less Ordinary (Lindsey/Buffy)
Law & Physics (Lindsey/Fred)
One Hell of a LoveOne Hell of a Love</a> (Lindsey/Willow)
Canon Inspired (Lindsey slash)

It's not about good or evil. (Holland to Lindsey, "Blind Date")

I remember developing a love of Lindsey during the first airing of the episode "Blind Date", but it wasn't until the second season began, and we really started to see more of Lindsey, his obsession with Angel, and his ability to blur the line between black and white, that I really started to love the character.

I like complicated characters. The hero rarely appeals to me. I prefer Batman to Superman, Wolverine to Cyclops, and Lindsey to Angel. The fact that Lindsey was human and enjoyed working on the side of evil was more appealing to me than Angel's struggle with his soul. Angel was good, his soul made sure of that, at first (again, until the second season and Angel's beige-period when that character started to be interesting), but Lindsey was not bound by soul = good since as a human it was a given that he had a soul.

Lindsey, however, wasn't purely evil or purely good. He had limits, boundaries that even as bad as he was, he couldn't and wouldn't cross them. Killing children and harvesting bodily organs were just two examples we saw. Lindsey presented the picture of a man who knew what he wanted in life, strove to be greater than the life he was dealt, and in the end, found redemption on his own terms.

I became emotionally invested in the storylines they gave him. I cared whether Lindsey lived or died, almost from the beginning. Here was this character, who was not only a lawyer but quasi-evil as well, who went to his mortal enemy for help because children were going to die and he couldn't allow that to happen.

Lindsey was a character who fell in love with Darla to the point where before Lindsey couldn't be used by women yet now was willing to do anything for Darla because he cared for her and thought she cared for him. He betrayed everything he held dear, namely Wolfram & Hart, for her, and he once again found his way back to Angel in order to protect her when she was still human, and when Angel wouldn't save her, he took matters into his own hands.

Lindsey was a character who was so in love with his mortal enemy that he had no other option but to hate Angel because Angel ignored and dismissed him.

Lindsey was complicated, back-stabbing, conniving, smart, wicked, amusing, spastic at times especially with an evil hand and a gun, and I loved him for that.

The End
You're about to pick the nastiest fight since mankind drop-kicked the last demon out of this dimension. And that you don't do without me. (Lindsey to Angel, "Not Fade Away")

Most of the following links go to fanfic sites because I simply can't narrow down a list of recommendations, except to say that if it's archived at Legal-ease, it tends to be mind-blowing.

Legal-ease (The Lindsey site for the Buffy Writer's Guild. Excellent, excellent site for in-depth essays, episode guides, and archives)
Behind Blue Eyes (another excellent archive of Lindsey fiction)
Sky's Gonna Open (The Lindsey fanlisting)

The man behind Lindsey:
I'm recommending Christian Kane websites because so much of Lindsey is tied up in who plays him on the screen, but also because Christian himself has some wonderful insights into Lindsey, so I recommend reading interviews and Q&As with him whenever possible.

Christian Kane: Maverick
Christian Kane Fansite

A note on feedback: I'm going out of town tomorrow, so I won't be able to respond to any comments for a few days. I promise to respond to the ones I receive once I'm back with a computer on Wednesday.
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