Angel/The Thin Dead Line

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The Thin Dead Line
The Thin Dead Line
Season 2, Episode 14
Airdate February 13, 2001
Production Number 2ADH14
Written by Jim Kouf &
Shawn Ryan
Directed by Scott McGinnis
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AngelSeason Two

The Thin Dead Line is the fourteenth episode of the second season of Angel, and the thirty-sixth episode overall. Overly aggressive cops have been plaguing the streets around Anne's teen shelter and both the ex-Angel Investigations crew and Angel attempt to solve the case (albeit separately).

Starring: David Boreanaz (Angel), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn)

Guest Starring: Elisabeth Rohm (Kate Lockley), Julia Lee (Anne), Mushond Lee (Jackson), Jarrod Crawford (Rondell)

Co-Starring: Cory C. Hardrict (Ray), Kyle Davis (Kenny), Camille Mana (Les), Darin Cooper (Police Officer), Brenda Price (Callie), Darris Love (George), Matthew James (Merl), Geoff Koch (Street Cop), Jerry Giles (Desk Sergeant), Steven Barr (Captain), Suli McCullough (EMT), Marie Chambers (Mother)


Plot Overview

Hearing about several of her kids suffering from police brutality, Anne goes to Gunn for help. Working with Kate, Angel learns a police department has been raising fallen cops to put back on the street.


Monster of the Week

  • Zombies: No, not the shambling, brain-eating kind. The zombies in this episode are corpses brought back to life by a mystical means and controlled by an outside force. In this case, recently deceased cops are brought back to "clean up the streets" or in other words indiscriminately beat people to death. It turns out that their former captain is to blame and destroying the idol of Granath (the zombie god) stops the reanimated corpses. After the idol is destroyed, the zombies collapse and decompose instantly.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Peter Harkes Angel Decapitated Outside the Teen Center
2 EMT Zombie Cops Shot Alley


Songs are listed in order of appearance in the episode:

  • Outkast - "Ms. Jackson"
  • Sucker Pump - "On a Mission"
  • Seldom Seen - "Who's Got My Back?"

Arc Advancement


  • Ex-Angel Investigations: The gang is still searching for a title, but Gunn continues to insist on calling it "The Gunn Agency". When Cordelia runs into Angel at the hospital, she rejects Angel's sympathy.


  • Wesley: Wes is shot by one of the zombie cops in this episode. Although he loses a lot of blood, he's recovering in a hospital by the end of the episode.


  • 2x12 - Blood Money: Angel attempted to expose the Wolfram & Hart plot to steal millions from a fundraiser for Anne's teen help center, but he only really wanted to make them look like fools.
Anne: But it turned out it was just a scam to screw this law firm.
  • 2x11 - Redefinition: Angel killed all the demons that Darla and Drusilla were gathering and set the two on fire using gasoline and a cigarette. This didn't kill them, but it did send Drusilla back to Sunnydale.
Angel: I did track them down later and set them on fire.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • The Thin Red Line: The title of this episode is a reference to "The Thin Blue Line," which is a term used occasionally to refer to the police. Additionally, the title also refers to The Thin Red Line, a fictionalized account of the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II by James Jones.
  • The Jeffersons: Rondell quotes a line from the theme song for The Jeffersons, a spin off from All in the Family about George and Weezy Jefferson, a wealthy black couple living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The full lyric is: Movin' on Up! / To a dee-luxe apartment in the sky.
Rondell: Deluxe apartment in the sky.
  • Rodney King: In 1991, a bystander videotaped Rodney King being beaten by Los Angeles police after a high speed chase. The beating caused eleven skull fractures and permanent brain damage. King's attackers were put on trial, but all of the defendants were acquitted, a decision which sparked the 1992 L.A. riots.
George: Cops see me with this, ain't no way we can Rodney King them.

Memorable Moments


  • Cordelia: Maybe we could buy one of those star maps, find out where Steven Segal lives. You telling me he got to be a movie star without a little demonic assistance?
  • Angel: Hey, Merl.
Merl: Jesus, man! I mean, can't you, you know, knock?
Angel: You don't make that funny expression when I knock or if you do I don't see it.
  • Anne: So why'd you come in last night?
Kenny:: I don't know. It was cold out there. I was getting frostbit.
Anne: It was sixty-five degrees outside.
Kenny: So? I'm from Florida. Sixty-five degrees is like the Arctic Circle.
  • Gunn: I still hunt vampires, but if this job's taught me anything, it's that there's things a lot worse out there than a set of teeth.
Anne: Like a bunch of overzealous cops beating on my kids.
  • Gunn: All right, look, the plan is simple. I want you to roll the camcorder, wait for the cops to hassle us.
Anne: How do you know they will?
Gunn: 'Cause we'll be the ones walkin' while black.
  • Kate: Guess you never caught up with your vampire friends in time.
Angel: I did track them down later and set them on fire.
Kate: Sounds like you enjoyed it. But then again, the whole murder and mayhem thing's always been right up your alley.
Angel: If that's how you feel, I guess probably this isn't the best time to tell you, I just killed a cop.
Kate: I wouldn't make a joke about that in this building, no matter how immortal you think you are.
Angel: Of course, I mean, this is the type of cop that keeps talking even after he's been decapitated. I bet they don't teach you that at the Academy.
  • Anne: How are your laundry folding skills?
Cordelia: I'm an actress. I can fake it.
  • Gunn: (seeing the empty streets) Damn. Somebody have an apocalypse and forget to invite us?
  • Gunn: Jackson? What the hell are you doing here?
Anne: How are we gonna keep the cops out?
Jackson: I say let 'em come, bro. I know how to handle cops. (pulls up his shirt to reveal a gun)
Gunn: That lifestyle working out for you?
Jackson: Don't get all high and mighty with me, player. I know where you come from.
Gunn: Where I come from you don't bring down a community. You try to make it better.
Jackson: I'm just doing my thing, man. Why - why don't you go on and get out of my face.
Gunn: Your thing hurts everybody! Why do you think nobody cares they're clamping down on this neighbourhood?
Jackson: 'Cause they're a bunch of racist pigs.
Gunn: Well, there's that. And there's people like you - a thug with a gun, keeping the cycle going.
Jackson: Not my problem.
Gunn: No! See, it's my problem, all right? 'Cause they shot my friend over there.
Jackson: Oh, yeah. A white man dying. Not exactly losing sleep on it.
  • Operator: All circuits are busy. Please hang up and try again.
Cordelia: This is no time for circuits busy. Don't tell me circuits are busy. If the circuits are busy, get some new circuits now!
  • Cordelia: What are you doing here?
Angel: I heard about Wesley.
Cordelia: Well, that's great. Too bad it takes a gunshot wound to make you give a crap. Wesley doesn't need you right now. We don't need you. You walked away. Do us a favour and just stay away.