Thursday, February 7, 2013

Women in Horror Month: Kate Lockley

And now for a character that nobody will remember.


Kate Lockley was the hard-boiled police officer on season one of Angel, the spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the beginning of the show she was styled as a sort of comrade-in-arms to Angel, working on the side of lawful good while Angel could only work from the shadows (literally. You know, vampire).

The great thing about Kate was that she was such a strong but also dynamic character. She wasn't a pillar of unrealistic strength; she had daddy issues and when he died at the hands of a vampire, she took her anger out on Angel. But at the same time, she wasn't a completely rigid and unyielding ball-buster who had to be taught to be gentle and feminine again. She was pretty and competent and strong and human.

Which is probably why she got written out of the show in one season.

I find Kate fascinating because her character was too good, too complete, to work in the context of the show being Angel's story. I was totally digging the budding romance between her and Angel, but I get why she had to move on. He just wasn't mature enough yet... maybe another 500 years or so would do it. Kate was a functional human being who didn't need to be saved. And guess what - Angel's freaking tagline is that he "helps the helpless".

In a way, I'm glad that they phased out Kate without dragging her further down into some swirling pit of doom to allow her to stay in the show (although I could have done without her last episode, quite frankly. Still, I won't call shenanigans given the extreme circumstances of her grief over both her father and her job). While I really wish that there were more strong, dynamic women like her on TV, I understand why she didn't work in Angel.

Because Kate Lockley is anything but helpless.

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