Season 5 Episode 2

Just Rewards

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 08, 2003 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
402 votes
  • 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!!!!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spike is back, well sorta

    So we now have Spike back. Unfortunately for him he is incorporeal. Angel is none too happy to see his old pal and the gang (mostly Fred) sets about trying to figure out why he is back. The case of the day is a necromancer named Magnus Hainsley who is also pretty ticked off because Angel has cut off his body supply.Spike and Angel pay him a visit and he cuts a deal with Spike (unbeknownst to Angel) that he will make Spike corporeal and give him Angels body. Fortunately the Spike we all know and love has ideas of his own and he helps Angel kill Hainsley. See? This buddy cop deal with Spike and Angel can work! (lol)
  • Spike: I’m no bloody ghost. Harmony: Hey, you’re the one sticking out of a desk, pal.

    Spike turns up in Angel's mail, as a ghost no less. We thus learn that the little amulet that Angel brought to Buffy, just before Sunnydale and The First were destroyed, may haven't have been just passed along so The Hellmouth could be forever destroyed or even for turning Angel into a ghost, as he assumes they intended for him to wear it. Wolfram & Hart may have had wanted Spike all along. He is trapped in LA and very obviously linked in his spectoral state to Wolfram & Hart. As the entire gang, especially Angel of course struggle with his prescence, we come to find that not only did Angel not inform Wesley or the others that Spike has...or had a soul but he hasn't really come to grips with it or him. Not surprising considering their very conflicting and overlapping history, plus they never really got along all to well anyway.

    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 three weeks moaning in a basement, and then you were fine. What's fair about that?
  • Spike's back... this is about to get nasty!

    Wow! I really love Spike's character and I'm so happy he was on Angel's last season. When he first appeared, I found it really great how each character individually reacted to him suddenly appearing!
    It was hillarious how he got into the Angel world and how Spike and Angel pick fights with each other right from the start. And it was interesting to see how more and more details about Spike's (2nd) death and what happened in Sunnydale come out - all the stuff Angel never told his friends.

    Although bringing Spike back in the first place was kind of difficult to accept, I thought. After his epic death in the Buffy finale I had to get used to the new storyline. With Buffy and everything...
  • all about spike

    what a terrible episode completely useless and stupid just like the rest of the season, spike is a horrible episode this season was more spike than angel

    the episode had some funny moments like angel hitting himself and the cool man witch but the rest of the episode is pointless and a waste of space
  • He's back! So ... what do we do with him?

    One of the things I found most enjoyable about this was the re-emergence of Spike from his own perspective -- drunken out-of-focus handheld camerawork as Spike is spinning around disoriented.

    OK, now he's back, what do we do with him?

    Well, we can't explain it. As far as I know, we've only had one other vampire "ghost" and we're not entirely sure what her deal was -- emanation of the First, some sort of angelic emissary from the Powers That Be ...

    Well, interestingly enough, Fred is the one who suggests that's what Spike is there for (if I'm remembering correctly).

    Shoot back to Spike's perspective: What right did they have to yank him back? He was perfectly happy being dead, it seems -- from his perspective, the immolation in the cavern of the Hellmouth transitioned immediately to his reemergence in Angel's office, with no comment whatsoever on the three weeks in between.

    Well, we find out later it's probably not the Powers That Be, because Lindsey sends the recorporalization spell, and Lindsey is probably the one who tracked down the amulet in the first place and sent it to Angel. Which again raises that delightful question: Was Ghost Lilah working with Demon-Essence Infused Lindsey, or did that amulet actually come from the Senior Partners, and if it did, what's their interest in destroying a Hellmouth-full of Shaka-Khans?

    That's at least two foiled apocali the Senior Partners seemed to have taken a special interest in -- the Jasmanian Farmscape and the Unleashed Ubervamps. They were, if anyone can be believed, grateful enough for the ending of "world peace" that they turned over W&H-L.A. to CYNTHIA!, along with a truly gay brooch that would end the other apocalypse going on in Sunnydale.

    How ... humanitarian of them.

    It's possible they really wanted to do this on their timetable. But if all they were going to do was send hulking demons of their own, as we saw in S5x22 Not Fade Away, why on earth would they object to a few thousand ubervamps flooding out of the Hellmouth?

    I guess they don't want any chaos unless it's their chaos.

    The discussion of whether Angel was meant to have worn the amulet is intriguing. If they -- the Senior Partners or Lindsey -- wanted Angel to float about as a ghost, they could do that easily enough. Pavayne is there, after all, and he's sort of badass.

    Spike's bad enough, but if Angel were a ghostish-type emanation popping in and out, the chaos in the L.A. branch would be complete. Part of his ability to take control of the operation was his very physical beating the crap out of/killing associates and minions. If he was the new guy and incorporeal, he wouldn't have been able to get a thing done -- not only through his own ineffectiveness, but because all his closest allies would be focused on trying to fix him rather than on the various tasks at hand.

    Anyway, Spike seems to be a not-a-ghost, so much as some sort of energy matrix. A projection of sorts. Yet he can possess Ainsley.

    Well, he can possess Ainsley if Ainsley draws him into himself. Otherwise, he just sort of goes through people and walls and things.

    This show turns stereotypes on its ear. In "Conviction," we had the bodybuilder mystic who was into spanking. In "Just Rewards," we have a necromancer who looks like some sort of German pastry chef or butcher.

    I did enjoy his showroom, however.

    I'm intrigued by Angel killing the butler/henchman with a spoon. Hauser's paramilitary squad from last week was heavily armed and extremely dangerous. This guy was old, alone and armed with two meat cleavers. I'm interested in why Angel wouldn't just overpower him.

    It seems to me that Ainsley's liquidation of the W&H lawyer was way over the top. Angel's decision to cancel internment acquisitions was something he could easily have foreseen and ...

    Hold a moment.

    Ainsley had shares in W&H -- a respectable number. If Gunn freezes Ainsley's assets, what does that do to capital at W&H? Anyone know offhand?

    Bringing the tax guys in was way less violent than murdering a division, but ultimately not an effective strategy. Ainsley would murder or thrall or arrange possession for any tax guy he came into contact with, so Gunn's approach, while shrewd, was ultimately not going to be effective.

    Fortunately we never had to see how it would've played out because Angel killed him.

    First though, nicely played, Joss. Spike's loyalties are always mercurial and hard to read, so setting up a situation where Spike might betray Angel and take over his body was some compelling storytelling. One found oneself being terribly concerned for Captain Forehead and deeply relieved to discover there was a plan in place all along.

    Cheesy as Spike's head sticking out of Ainsley's body ended up looking.

    GUNN WATCH: Not evil. Not anything like. He's having fun with his new legal capacities, and he's very much using them to endrun the bad guys. Not that they'd have ultimately been all that effective in this case, in my opinion, but he's projecting an image of growing competence and delivering some fun lines.

    If you're just tuning in:
    S5 brought with it a pack of Buffy viewers and others who weren't 100 percent familiar with the show, so Joss seems to have structured these opening episodes in such a way as to introduce the uninitiated into the new universe they've entered, mostly focused on Angel himself:

    S5x01 -- Angel's job, his associates and some background on his son.
    S5x02 -- More on Angel's associations, specifically setting forth the relationship between him and Spike, with a thumbnail on both of their relationships with Buffy.
    S5x03 -- Seems to take a peek at the life of his heart.

    So looking forward to meeting Nina again for the very first time.
  • I liked it but if spike had a soul when he was burned shouldn't he have a soul now?? Or did he loose when he died (died)????

    It was good i liked that spike came back. But it might have been cooler if buffy went to angel looking for spike and then they got back together and spike got all jeolous but couldn't do any thing about it and then at the end of the season one of them dies! ( prefebly Angel and then Spike dies later when he fights again)
  • Good conclusion, almost surprised me.

    This episode sets Spike up to be a part of the show. Great way to do it too. An Angel fan who hasn't watched Buffy since Angel left it, which would be rare person but it was me at the time when this episode first aired, would think Spike was there and would screw Angel over in a second. But people who watch Buffy knew he was good know, even though he didn't like Angel, that Angel and Spike are now on the same side.

    There were some things I didn't like about this episode though. The villian lost pretty easily. For a guy who could just throw Angel and Spike around, he sucked. Also the fact that they just leave Spike in his astral projection like state kinda sucked. I wish they would have just fixed him in this episode so that whole thing would get out of the way.

    What I did like about this episode is that Angel and Spike defeated the villian together. We actually get a feel that Spike is needed and actually helped. If he would have done nothing, I would have just thought, "Why is he even here!?"

    All and all this was a good episode for the beginning of the season, 8.5.
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