Angel: Season 5, Episode 2

Just Rewards (8 Oct. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
8.0
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Team Angel is shocked when Spike appears out of an amulet that someone sent to Angel. Spike was suppose to have died back in Sunnydale, but now he's returned as a ghost. And he's really ... See full summary »

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Title: Just Rewards (08 Oct 2003)

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Victor Raider-Wexler ...
Magnus Hainsley
William Utay ...
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Team Angel is shocked when Spike appears out of an amulet that someone sent to Angel. Spike was suppose to have died back in Sunnydale, but now he's returned as a ghost. And he's really unhappy about it. Angel has to deal with an evil necromancer and with Spike, who might just be willing to turn on Team Angel if it'll make him corporeal again. Written by katierose295

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8 October 2003 (USA)  »

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As this episode begins straight after the previous, Angel is now behind Spike in the opening scene, forming a major continuity flaw. See more »

Quotes

Angel: [concerning Spike's soul] Fair? You asked for a soul. I didn't. It almost killed me. I spend a hundred years tryin' to come to terms with infinite remorse. You spent three weeks moaning in a basement, and then you were fine. What's fair about that?
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References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watching Spike and Angel...My favorite past time
4 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love this episode because it center's around Spike and Angel's reluctant bond. Going back to season two of BTVS, the two of them have had an interesting relationship. They've each had opportunities and reasons to kill each other, but they just can't. They're strangely alike and yet completely different. They have a bickering sibling rivalry, that just cracks me up, and then they can be so heartbreaking together. They share a past as evil vampires, which binds them in ways no one else can really understand. They see all the other's faults, but when it really comes down to a fight, they still trust each other to do what's right. Then there's their duel status as vampires with souls, which causes mutual jealousy and, at the same time, allows them to talk to each other in ways that they can't with other people. Angel and Spike don't always like each other, but they do love each other. They're family. "Just Rewards" sets up their relationship, which will grow over the course of the season. I highly recommend it.

"Just Rewards" revolves around Spike coming back to unlife as a vampire ghost. He pops out of that pendant thing and lands right in the middle of Angel's new office. Neither Vampire Champion is thrilled to see the other. Spike, as usual, blames Angel for all of his problems. He want to be corporeal again, get out of LA and talk to Buffy, not necessarily in that order. Angel just wants Spike gone. Spike brings up a lot of unresolved feelings in Angel, about Buffy, his soul, the Shanshu Prophesy, etc... Also, Spike is really good at getting under Angel's skin with his wisecracks and way too insightful comments. Unfortunately for both of them, Wes and Fred explain that Spike is linked to the pendant and can't go anywhere unless they destroy it. And if it's destroyed than Spike will die for real. Angel is reluctant to do that.

Meanwhile, Wolfram and Hart is dealing with a necromancing client who's causing all sorts of trouble. After Angel freezes all the guys' assets, the necromancer decides to get even. He can't kill Angel outright or the Senior Partners might come after him, but he can control the dead, putting demons into new bodies. He offers Spike a deal: If he'll help the necromancer trap Angel, Spike can have Angel's nice corporeal body. Spike agrees. Then he double-crosses the necromancer. Spike & Angel come up with a plan of their own. (Although, I'm never clear on how much of the plan Spike left for a surprise. It seems kinna reckless) Anyway, Spike takes over the necromancer's body long enough for Angel to kill him. Back at Wolfram & Hart, Spike goes to Fred and admits that he's scared. He's fading and slipping into hell. He asks for her help.

There are some great parts to this episode. I love the rest of Team Angel finding out that Spike saved the world and has a soul now. Angel is so cute and pouty. "Buffy did most of the work." And it's interesting that Spike's the one who can see Wolfram & Hart for what it really is. He tries to reason with Angel, saying that fighting in the belly of beast will just get Team Angel digested and that Angel's not in control of the situation. Angel doesn't listen, but Spike's got a real good point. He can always see things pretty clearly and he knows that Angel's in over his head. And I like Gunn's trying to guide Angel through their new white collar approach to fighting evil, so they call the IRS on the bad guy. Plus, the Gunn Voodoo doll is just hilarious. Also, I always start laughing when Spike and Angel go to visit the necromancer. Angel introduces himself and says that he's from Wolfram and Hart. Everyone looks over at Spike who smiles and says, "I'm his date." I especially like the last scene with Fred, as Spike tries to explain that he's slipping into hell and doesn't know how to stop it. "Help me?" he asks, quietly and my heart just breaks.

One of the small parts of the episode I love is Spike, holding his coat tightly, as he follows Angel around. Angel thinks that Spike's just trying to annoy him, and --sure-- that's part of it. But, on a deeper level, I think that Spike is confused and instinctively turning Angel to for some sort of protection. Angel/Angelus trained Spike. They were vampire buddies for decades. Spike's always seen Angel as the strongest. The leader. So when he's suddenly a ghost and scared about it, Angel is the one "person" he trusts to help. And when Spike actually does try to leave LA, Angel is clearly worried about him and feels guilty. I think it's just a nice little indication of how much they --reluctantly-- mean to each other. And their plan would never have worked if they didn't trust each other. Spike could have taken over Angel's body, but he didn't. And Angel could have smashed that amulet, but he didn't. Instead, they worked together, beat the bad guy, and only got in --Oh...-- 40 or so fights. Go team!

On the down side, I think it's wrong that they edited the scene of BTVS season seven's "Chosen." They cut out the part where Buffy tells Spike that she loves him, which sort of undermines their relationship. Also, is Spike really the second worst vampire of all time? What about Darla?

My favorite part of the episode: Spike pretending to be a Black Hat. He tells Angel that, once he takes over Angel's identity, he'll have "Everything, everyONE, I deserve." Just the way he stresses the word "everyone" brings up their whole past with Buffy without ever saying her name. It's just really well done.


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