Sense and Sensitivity
written by Tim Minear
originally aired November 9, 1999

The episode starts out with a man being chased through the streets of LA.  He tries to escape in his car, but he's stopped just in time by Kate.  She arrests him and lets him know that he's in a whole lot of trouble with her.

Meanwhile, Angel is fighting a tentacled-monster in the sewer.  Doyle and Cordelia run up with swords which allow Angel to chop a tentacle off, and once the beast is dismembered, Angel leaves Cordy and Doyle to do the dirty work.

Cordelia: Okay.  Am I wrong in thinking that a "please" and "thank you" is generally considered good form when requesting a dismemberment?
Doyle: Well, he appreciates us in his own....unappreciative way.
Cordelia: You know what I think? I think he uses his tortured, creature of the night status as a license to be rude and insensitive.  Sure, he's polite to the helpless and the downtrodden. But he ignores the people who are close to him, the people who matter the most, you know? Can you say clueless? [saying all this while Doyle is getting strangled by a tentacle]
Later, we see Cordelia and Doyle, both not looking so good, stumble into the office.
Cordelia: Does giant tentacle spew come out with drycleaning?
Angel: Oh good, you're back.  Cordelia, you need to...
Cordelia: No! I don't care what horrible thing is about to happen -- asteroids are hurtling towards Earth, unspeakable evil is rising in the San Fernando Valley, Jar Jar is getting his own talk show, whatever -- I don't want to hear about it. Not 'til you ask us how it went.
Angel: ... call your mother back.
What Cordelia means to say is this:
Cordelia: Being that it is possible to brood and show a little interest in the feelings of others.
Doyle: Oh, she thinks you're insensitive and, not to bring up the irony, but consider the source.
But while Cordelia's trying to explain to Angel the necessity for him to show a little bit more interest in her well-being, Kate walks in the door, and she needs to talk to Angel in private:
Cordelia: Mr. and Mrs. Spock need to mind-meld now.
Basically, Kate needs Angel's help in finding "Little Tony", a mobster they have an indictment against but have no idea where he is.  Kate makes it clear that Angel's role in this is only to find him and not to get involved beyond that.  So the gang (Cordelia, Doyle, and Angel) do a little research, start to find a pattern in where Tony's victims are being found, and start to get some ideas on where to look for him.

Meanwhile, Kate sees her police-officer dad at work.  He's retiring soon and there's going to be a big retirement party down at the bar that a fellow officer told Kate about.  She wants to say a few words at the party, but it's obvious that she and her dad are anything but close.  There's a lot of tension between the two and they don't talk often.

Angel's on to something, and he finds LIttle Tony waiting to escape in a boat at a dock at night.  He calls up Kate (since he's not supposed to get involved), but once he sees that Tony can escape, he cleverly walks up in a tourist-y outfit to keep them occupied with his small-talk.  A fight inevitably ensues, and once Kate arrives, she's more than a little mad at Angel for interfering, and Tony's not too happy with Angel or Kate for locking him up.

The bad news is that Tony's represented by the lawfirm Wolfram & Hart, and they're prepared to arrange for Tony to get his revenge on the woman who finally caught him - Kate.

Angel has a hunch that this case is far from over, that maybe Kate is in trouble.  Cordelia listens to his worries, moves her feet around a lot, and again expresses her dissatisfaction:

Cordelia: Mmm-hmmm!
Angel: What?
Cordelia: Nothing! I just find it endlessly fascinating how your instincts are so highly attuned when it comes to boring old evil, but you have yet to make any mention of these new shoes.
Angel: Look, Cordelia. Women's just don't...
Doyle: [walking in] Great shoes! New?
The bad news for Kate at the moment, though, are these new sensitivity classes that the LAPD are being forced to take because of "what she did" to Little Tony.  The instructor is definitely over-sensitive, jumping to conclusions in assessing people's deepest fears and emotions when he knows nothing about them.  He has a "talking stick" where whoever holds the stick has permission to be perfectly honest and upfront.  Kate takes all this with a large grain of salt, but the instructor isn't easily discouraged.  He gives Kate the stick and tells her that she's angry, and that anger is just fear.

From Doyle's sources, Angel does confirm that Tony's up to something to get his revenge on Kate.  When he tells Kate at the police station, however, she doesn't react in the way he expects to her at all.  She's amazed at how much pain Tony must be suffering from and how he's really acting out.  Angel's more than surprised by this new-found sensitivity, and so is she.

That night, though, is Kate's dad's retirement party and Angel comes along because Kate asked him to be there.  Kate starts to say the usual few words, but after a little while, she starts breaking down with emotion.  She tells her dad how he seemed to hate her ever since her mom died; that he couldn't stand the sight of her and he never once said he loved her or that she was pretty.  She's heartbroken over her relationship with him and she basically loses it in front of everyone.  But the rest of the police officers are also acting in uncharacteristically emotional ways as well.  Things are definitely strange and a lot of the police are acting in very weird ways.

So Angel brings Kate back to the office, and Cordelia is called in:

Cordelia: All right, I'm here. What's the big emergency? These middle of the night hours are really eating into my potential social life. Why I ever thought it was a nifty idea to work for a vamp-triloquist. Hi! [sees Kate]
Kate is acting way out of character with her "sensitivity".  She's pretty unpredictable in her violent moodswings, and Cordelia's getting a little bit scared by all of this:
Kate: Look at Doyle. Really look at him. What do you really see?
Cordelia: A bad double polyblend?
Kate: That's defense, Cordelia. Maybe you should try to open your heart to a new possibility.
Doyle: Hey, you know, she's starting to make some sen--
Cordelia: Angel!
Angel finds out where this guy who did the sensitivity training is based and he goes to find some answers, leaving Cordelia and Doyle behind with Kate.  Kate's not too easy to contain, though:
Doyle: Why don't we all just...
Kate: Help each other?!
Doyle: Right, by staying here together.
Kate: Well we could do that, but see I have this...
Cordelia: Personal problem you're gonna share 'til dawn?
Kate: ...gun. And I don't want to come off as insensitive, but if either one of you try to stop me I'll have to blow you the crap away.
Kate's off to go reconcile her differences with her father (which she has to/wants to do immediately), and Cordelia and Doyle run into Angel at the police department.  Things are in a state of chaos: prisoners are being let out, muggers are getting away, etc.  Most importantly, Little Tony's on the loose and they have to get to Kate first.  There's more bad news, though: Angel's a sensitive guy now, too!
Angel: Okay, I think somebody needs a hug!
Cordelia: Uh, ew!  Ew!
Cordelia and Doyle aren't sure what to do, but they have to do something.  Apparently, the talking stick used by the sensitivity trainer was cursed, and the effects will wear off in time.  Angel refuses to vamp out because he feels they "judge him" when he does so, so Cordelia has to break one of the windows so they can get in (the police won't let them in because they're sick of always having to be open for everyone else).

When they finally do find Kate, it's at the same time as Little Tony.  Angel still refuses to fight and Little Tony is pretty happy with how this sensitivity thing - which was arranged by Wolfram & Hart - has worked out for him.  He's ready to kill Kate, but Kate starts shooting at him with a gun to protect herself and to show him how she feels.  A fight ensues and - surprise! - they beat Little Tony.  Right after...

Kate: You!
Angel: No, you!
Cordelia: Anyone for vomit?
After everything blows over, though, Kate and Angel are back to their normal quiet and brooding selves.  Kate sees her Dad, and he tells her that as far as he's concerned, he never heard any of the embarassing things she said to him at the bar.

Most memorable line

Cordelia: Mr. and Mrs. Spock need to mind-meld now.
Nice observation on Kate and Angel.

Most memorable scene

Probably the interaction between Cordelia and Angel after Angel fell under the "influence".  They had some pretty funny interaction in there and I liked how grossed-out Cordelia was by having to hug Angel. :)

Other Characters

Doyle: Not much Doyle in this ep other than to help the gang out, although he wasn't really involved in any of the storylines at all this time....

Angel: Big reversal for our brooding vamp!  This brings out a side of Angel we've rarely ever seen before.

Kate: Lots of development in the Kate area and we get to see some of the reasons for why she is the way she is.  It was really great to see that she's more than a cynic as well, and some of her "sensitive" scenes at Angel's office were hilarious. ("We all need....SO much!")


Mesuvius: Hmm, this episode wasn't the greatest.  I really do like Kate a lot and it was really fun to see her under the influence of the "sensitivity" (she had some great lines!), but the plot was fairly weak and the characters weren't utilized to their full potential, IMO.  Cordelia and Doyle were kind of useless in this episode (Doyle even more so) and when you think about it, there's really not that much to this episode.  There were some funny moments but that was about it.  Some moments were just a little bit too silly for my taste (especially Angel's terrible "painbow" line!).
My Rating: 4.5/10

TyMcNeal: Counterpoint! I liked this one a bit more than you did. It closely resembled "Band Candy," but it avoided the biggest problem with that episode in that the thoughts and feelings expressed by the characters "under the influence" are real, adding to characterization. For example, I thought it was interesting that Angel feels Cordy and Doyle "withdraw when he goes vamp." Also, Angel thinks Cordelia is precious. How can you not like that? ;) As far as Cordy and Doyle being useless, well, that is one of Joss' weak points. He's not real good at the "B" story, so when we have a character centered-ep, everyone else tends to fade away. For all it's problems, there were some great scenes, the Wolfram and Hart arc was advanced, C/D interaction was set up for "The Bachelor Party," and there were some great Cordy moments, especially the three-way hug and "magic word" scenes.
My Counter-Rating: 6 / 10 tiaras on the Homecoming Queen scale.

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