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Season 5 Episode 2

Just Rewards

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 08, 2003 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
401 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Spike's essence coalesces out of the amulet in the mysterious envelope, but he is now incorporeal. In effect, he is a ghost. For some reason, Spike is linked to Wolfram & Hart and cannot leave L.A. As the gang struggles with this new development, Angel tries to put a dangerous necromancer, Hainsley, out of business. Unfortunately, Hainsley is very powerful and he offers Spike a chance to be made flesh again -- in Angel's body.moreless

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  • The Spangel show


    The Good;

    I know it's sick but always laugh out loud at Spike looking at 'bucket-o-lawyer' and telling Gunn and Wes "Your man Novak, he's been, how would you put it? Downsized!". Such an unpleasant storyline yet really it's quite immaterial as this ep really is about Spike and Angel rather than some necromancer.

    The Bad;

    You can see the dark haired girl in the corpse showroom move slightly when she's standing behind Spike.

    Best line;

    Spike (looking around Angel's plush digs)"If a certain Slayer could see you now!"

    Jeez, how did they get away with that?

    Harmony telling Spike he can't be mean to her anymore because they're no longer dating. Oh that girl! Plus 'bucket-o-lawyer' (three buckets actually).

    Apocalypses: 5

    Angel Cliches

    In disguise; 8

    DB get's his shirt off; 14, yep, bit bulkier but still looks good

    Cheap Angel; 6

    Fang Gang in bondage:

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 14

    Wes: 7

    Gunn; 5

    Lorne; 5

    Fred; 3

    Fang gang knocked out: Angel by the Hainsley

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 19

    Wes: 7

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 2

    Lorne; 6

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 2

    Kills; 2 humans and a demon for Angel

    Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons

    Angel; 45 vamps, 60 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans

    Doyle; 1 vamp

    Wes; 14 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 humans

    Kate; 3 vamps

    Faith; 18 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.

    Gunn; 11 vamps+ 13 demons, 5 zombies, 1 human.

    Groo; 1 demon

    Fred; 3 vamps+ 2 demon, 5 zombies

    Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 demons, Jasmine

    Fang Gang go evil:

    Cordy: 3

    Angel: 3

    Gunn; 1

    Wes; 1

    Alternate Fang Gang;

    Cordy: 4

    Angel: 11

    Fred; 2

    Wes; 1

    Gunn; 1

    Connor; 1

    Characters killed:


    Recurring characters killed;


    Total number of Angel Investigations; 5, Spike not really in the gang yet

    Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes,

    Angel Investigations shot:

    Angel: 13

    Wes; 2

    Packing heat;

    Wes; 8

    Doyle; 1

    Angel; 4

    Gunn; 2

    Fred; 2

    Notches on Fang Gang bedpost:

    Cordy: 5 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo+Connor plus possibly the Beast

    Angel: 5; Buffy, Darla and The Transcending Furies

    Wes; 3 definite; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah, 1 possible, Justine

    Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen.

    Fred; 1 Gunn

    Groo; 1Cordy

    Kinky dinky:

    Harmony is revolted by the thought of Spuffy "Slayer loving freak!". Fred thinks Spike is hot. The demon states that he considered other sorts of human bodies to inhabit but eventually he went with pretty as everybody does (anyone else think he sounds like Clem?). Spike suggests the villain is into necrophillia. Spike says he'd like to 'have a go' at Fred and that she looks like a 'goer'.

    Captain Subtext;

    Spike refers to Angel as poncey and beefcake. Lorne says he sees Depp and Bloom for the Angel and Spike roles but comments he sees them a lot. His remark 'I could sell that movie in a heartbeat' may be a hint at an Angel movie. Angel is jealous that Spike hooked up with his sexy, petite blonde ex. Spike points out that Angel now has HIS sexy petite blonde ex working as his secretary. Also note that when the Groxlar beast attacks Spike goes to help Angel.

    Spike refers to himself as Angel's 'date' and says that forehead boy has a 'wide spotty ass'. How would he know? Later on in the season Spike refers to the intimate moment Spike and Angel share together much to the delight of Spanglers everywhere. BUT the moment in question could very well be the scene here where Spike is possessing Hainsly who has his fingers lodged inside Angel?

    Know the face, different character; 5

    Parking garages; where Spike meets Angel


    Buffy characters on Angel; 16

    Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, The Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony. POSSIBLY The First Evil

    Questions and observations;

    Gunn smokes cigars? We've never seen him do it before and do we ever see him do it again? Note in the teaser you can just see Harmony's hand appear around the doorframe just before we cut to Sunnydale. The last time we'll really see Buffy proper in the Buffyverse. Love the flashback to Spike's going out in a blaze of glory. How come Gunn has heard of Spike but Fred hasn't? Angel is still in touch with Buffy who's now in Europe. Wes seems to have been informed of recent events but not the others? But even he hasn't been told of Spike's soul, everyone at AI keeps secrets. The Littlelest Vampire is mentioned, either a ref to The Little Vampire or The Littlelest Hobo.

    So how does the medallion get to Angel? We know it's Lindsey but how does he know about it? Eve or is he maybe in league with Lilah? Angel knows a lot more about Spike than he rightfully should. He's jealous that Spike not only got to have more, ahem, intimate time with Buffy than he did but also that when Spike got his soul he was able to recover from the guilt in a matter of months whilst Angel tortured himself for over a century. Of course this was partly because Spike had help from Buffy and in some ways the rest of the Scoobies but also because he deliberately went out to re-acquire his soul and to be the champion Buffy wanted, he had purpose. And he had 3 years without killing before due to his chip, living more and more in the human world, forced to socialise with them and learning from the experience.

    Marks out of 10; 7/10

  • Just Rewards

    Just Rewards was a really great episode of Angel. Now that Angel and the gang are all at Wolfram and Hart they seem to be caught up and still trying to find their footing there. I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of character development as all of the main characters have changed to some degree now that they all run a division of Wolfram and Hart. I enjoyed Spike continuing to haunt Angel, it was fun and classic Spike Motus Operandi. I really enjoyed Fred's interactions with Spike as he begged for her help. I believe Spike called out Angel on some major revelations in this episode about taking over Wolfram and Hart's L.A. Branch. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!moreless
  • Spike is back!

    Just Rewards is a great episode that works on bringing Spike into the gang and also deals with Angel's struggle to work with his very evil clients. It has some good lines and a good plot, and overall is better than "Conviction". The main focus of this episode is Spike and his return from the dead. I really like Spike and am glad he was brought over, but if I'm honest, I loved his death is BtVS and would have preferred he stayed dead in some ways, but in terms of Angel, I'm glad he was brought over or S5 would have been extremely dull. Him and Angel trading insults is a highlight of this season and they always make laugh with their pettiness. However, one main problem I have with Spike is how overused he is here. 5 of the episodes this season are Spike centric and 4 of those are in the first 11 episodes. I like Spike but he just loses his charm a bit near the end. I enjoyed the necromancer plot. I felt it was quite original and I preferred it to last episode's one. Hainsley's death was quite amusing and it was good to see him getting little screen time- he wasn't good enough to hold up an entire episode.

    The revelation at the end that Spike is being pulled into hell is a bit stupid. As he's just been transferred, we know nothing bad will happen to him, making it a bit useless. It's not even an interesting subplot so it's a bit annoying in later episodes.

    I don't have a lot to say about Just Reward. It's a great episode but not particularly deep or though invoking. It's funny and not too serious but not extremely memorable. Still, it's not to be missed.moreless
  • Captain Forehead and Spike, the Wisecracking Ghost Unite!

    Just Rewards-Spike's essence coalesces out of the amulet in the mysterious envelope, but he is now incorporeal. In effect, he is a ghost. For some reason, Spike is linked to Wolfram & Hart and cannot leave L.A. As the gang struggles with this new development, Angel tries to put a dangerous necromancer, Hainsley, out of business. Unfortunately, Hainsley is very powerful and he offers Spike a chance to be made flesh again -- in Angel's body.

    Spike, Spike, Spike, that all I have to say about this episode! With dear Cordelia out of the way, the writers had to find someone to challenge Angel in the group and I have to say, they couldn't have done better with making Spike join the cast. Actually, after seeing this episode, his cast membership was long over do! James Masters has perfected the character of Spike for so long now that it's hard to imagine how different his is from the character. He is hilarious throughout with his introduction with gang as well as making Angel annoyed beyond belief. I love his lines like:

    Spike: "Ohh, Captain Forehead didn't tell you...I got a soul."


    Spike: "Ohh, you mine my skin ripping from my flesh, my insides exploding into my chest, my eyes buring into my socket..nope, don't remember that."

    and Angel: "Spike, this is private meeting."

    Spike: "Ohh...I don't care."


    Angel: "We're...I'm from Wolfram and Hart

    Spike: "Yeah, and I'm his date."

    While there are a lot of jokes and humor too be found, the overall plot with the Necromancer suffers. Victor Raider-Vexler gives a good performance but the storyline never goes anywhere. You knew even if Spike was giving Angel a hard time, he would never get him killed. But it was funny how Angel took over The Necromancer's body and punched Angel a couple times before Angel chopped his head off, lol! The episode ends with a nice touch as Spike goes to Fred for help as Hell is literally after him. All and All, "Just Rewards" is a decent episode because Spike makes for a more than welcoming cast addition and works so well with the whole cast despite the lacking plot.moreless
  • Spike as the wisecracking ghost sidekick? Not on your life, or death. This isn't over, Vampire!

    What a relief after the disappointing season opener! This episode rocks! The writers and cast are back on their game, making "Just Rewards" one of those episodes that make this show so much fun. Not only is the storyline great, but the interactions between the characters is witty, relevant and downright hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud at several things, and damn glad of it too. After a rough second half of Season 4 and a rather boring first episode this season, I was starting to wonder whether I still love this show.

    Spike has been resurrected after dying in the Hellmouth as he helped Buffy save the world in the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now somehow he's back and Angel has to figure out what to do with him. The animosity between Spike and Angel was always there, only now it's a a new level after Angel discovers that Spike and Buffy had been more than "allies" and that Spike has a soul. The entire episode finds them at each other's throats literally and figuratively. It's only because Spike doesn't actually have a body that he doesn't try to kick Angel's a--. Well, actually he tries, unsuccessfully. When Angel tries to drop another client, the necromancer Hainsley, Spike goes along for the ride and eventually Spike helps Angel find a plan to foil Hainsley's evil deeds. I found this both entertaining and surprising. At first it appears that Spike is going to double cross Angel, when all along he is helping to manipulate Hainsley so that Angel can kill him.

    I was impressed that Spike would actually help Angel at the cost of reacquiring his body, which Hainsley had promised Spike as a reward. When Spike tells Angel "I don't play for their side anymore," it's hard to believe, despite the soul, but maybe he really means it. I suspect we'll find out as the season progresses, and this will be one of the things I'll continue to wonder about.

    One of the scenes that sticks with me is this:

    Spike: You're king of a 30-floor castle, with all the cars, comfort, power, and glory you could ever want, and here I save the world, throw myself onto the proverbial hand grenade for love, honor, and all the right reasons, and what do I get? Bloody well toasted and ghosted is what I get, isn't it? It's not fair.

    Angel: Fair?! You asked for a soul: I didn't! It almost killed me. I spent a hundred years trying to come to terms with infinite remorse. You spent 3 weeks moaning in a basement, and then you were fine! What's fair about that?!

    I find this interesting because here Angel is complaining about getting a soul, and making it seem as if Spike had an easy time of it. I actually believe that Spike's request for a soul made him a very special man, yes, he did it for Buffy, but he knew it would cause pain and internal struggle. Angel (or Angelus) didn't want a soul, but he had to deal with it once he got it, and it forced him to change his behavior. Spike actually wanted to change, and I think that's better in so many ways, even if Spike doesn't always seem to be as big a supporter of "good" as Angel does. However, I don't understand why Spike hasn't had as much internal pain over his past deeds as Angel has. It could be because Spike was never as cruel and destructive as Angelus was, but I don't think that's the whole explanation.moreless
William Utay

William Utay


Guest Star

Bill Escudier

Bill Escudier

Hainsley Demon

Guest Star

Victor Raider-Wexler

Victor Raider-Wexler

Magnus Hainsley

Guest Star

Mercedes McNab

Mercedes McNab

Harmony Kendall

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • At roughly 22:45, right after Hainsley's butler comes in to kill Spike and Angel, the person playing the dead body behind Angel can be seen to blink.

    • At 11:00 when the Grox'lar beast tosses Angel into the wall, the back protecting pads on the stuntman pop out from under his shirt and are very visible.

    • Gunn mentions that he's had to fire at least 40 employees in the "last two days." However, "Just Rewards" picks up immediately after "Conviction", on the same day Gunn first shows up in court with his memory upgrade.

    • Angel is now behind Spike in the opening scene, he was in front of him before and we didn't see him walk behind him.

    • In the first ep. of the season, Fred's lab is on the floor up the stairs. But in this ep. Angel walks out of the lab (near the beginning) and when Spike follows him out, they are on the main floor that we always see.

    • In one of the shots where Angel is hanging in the cemetery (because of Hainsley), you can clearly see that hooks have been used to keep him up there.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Spike: I'm slipping.
      Fred: What?
      Spike: I don't want to go. But it's like... it's like the ground underneath me is splitting open and my legs are straddling both sides of this bloody big chasm. It's getting wider. Pulling me in.
      Fred: Is that... is that what's happening when you keep vanishing?
      Spike: I know what's down there, where it's trying to take me. And it's not the place heroes go. Not by a bloody long shot. It's the other one. Full of fire and torment. And it's happening. And I'm terrified... Help me?

    • Angel: I'm meeting with Grox'lars? They eat babies!
      Harmony: Just their heads.

    • Gunn: I fired 40 employees in the past two days.
      Angel: How's that going?
      Gunn: As expected. Anger, tears, venomous death threats.

    • Spike: I'm no bloody ghost.
      Harmony: Hey, you're the one sticking out of a desk, pal.

    • Spike: What's happened to me?
      Harmony: Well, I'm no doctor, but I think you're a ghost.

    • Angel: (to Spike) But you're dead.
      Harmony: Well, yeah. Who here isn't? Besides him and him and her and... (sees Lorne) What are you again?

    • Angel: (to Spike) Fair? You asked for a soul. I didn't. It almost killed me. I spent a hundred years trying 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?

    • Lorne: Honey of a story.
      Wesley: Story?
      Lorne: Yeah. The Vampire Slayer both men loved, both men lost. Oh, I could sell that to any studio in a heartbeat. I see Depp and Bloom. But then, I see them a lot. Sorry. Hazard of running the Entertainment Division. Gotta get out more.

    • Fred: Spike's radiating heat.
      Spike: Think I'm hot, do you?
      Fred: Hmm. Lukewarm. Just above room temperature.

    • (Angel decapitates Hainsley and Spike's ghostly head shows)
      Spike: Oh, bollocks. I was just getting warmed up.
      Angel: That was you hitting me?
      Spike: That last bit, yeah. Hainsley's been dead since he hit the table.

    • Wesley: Do you have any memory of a strange sensation when it released it's energy?
      Spike: What, you mean my skin and muscle burning away from the bone? Organs exploding in my chest? Eyeballs melting in the sockets? No. No memory at all. Thanks for asking.

    • Angel: You're not in this world... Casper.

    • Spike: I bet you're loving this.
      Angel: Knowing you'll be haunting me 'til the end of time. It's a dream come true.

    • Angel: Out of my chair!
      Spike: Make me.

    • Fred: I'm detecting brain activity.
      Angel: On Spike? That is weird.

    • Spike: A spoon? That's just... well, okay. That's just disappointing.

    • Angel: I'm in a meeting, Spike.
      Spike: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't care.

    • Spike: Or maybe Captain Forehead was feeling a little less special.

    • Spike: I must be in Hell.
      Lorne: Er, no, LA., but a lot of people make that mistake.

    • Hainsley: I'll put you back in the driver's seat of your afterlife.

    • Spike: That's how you're gonna fight the forces of evil now? Call the IRS?

    • Angel: Sure you wanna do this, Spike?
      Spike: What, think I could really stand hanging out with you and your lot now and forever? Wisecracking ghost sidekick? No bloody thanks!

    • Hainsley: You think you can get away with that? I'll sue you to hell!
      Angel: Good luck, we're your lawyers!

    • Hainsley: I eat the dead for breakfast, son, and you're just another plate of bacon and eggs.

    • Angel: I'm from Wolfram & Hart.
      Spike: And I'm his date.

  • NOTES (2)

    • With this episode, David Fury becomes the only writer credited with writing at least one episode in all of Angel's five seasons. (Joss did not officially write any season two scripts, but did have two "Story by" credits as well as a directing credit.)

    • This episode occurs immediately after the end of "Conviction" (5x01) and nineteen days after the events of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Chosen" (7x22).


    • Harmony: Why should now be any dif'? Just 'cause you've gone all Patrick Swayze?
      This is a reference to the movie Ghost, where Patrick Swayze dies and returns to his wife as a ghost.

    • Angel: To see the wizard.
      This is a reference to The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and the rest of her friends sing a song called "We're Off to See the Wizard".

    • Lorne: I see Depp and Bloom. But then, I see them a lot.
      Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom starred together in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies as Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner, respectively.

    • Spike: It's good to be the king, isn't it?
      This is a quote from the hilarious Mel Brooks movie, History of the World, Part I. It has been referenced in nearly every Brooks film since then.

    • Angel: You're not in this world... Casper.
      Casper was a both a cartoon and a series of live-action movies in the 90s. Casper was a friendly ghost who, unlike other ghosts, desperately tried to make friends with humans.