This time the advertising did leave some things unsaid.

Cast and Crew

David
Boreanez
as
Angel

Alexis
Denisof
as
Wesley Wyndham-Pryce

J.
August Richards

as Charles Gunn

Amy
Acker
as Fred
Burkle

Andy
Hallett
as
Lorne

James
Marsters
as
Spike

Written by Ben
Edlund

and David Fury,
based on
Fury’s story.

Directed by James
A. Contner
.

Original Airdate

Just Rewards originally aired on Wednesday,
October 8, 2003.

Synopsis

Spike is back and bound to Wolfram and Hart, for reasons
as yet
unrevealed.

High Point

Spike’s confession. Now we know why he choses to stay
around Wolfram
and Hart instead of some random other place in L.A.

Low Point

Nobody realizes the problems with sending a ghost and a
vampire after
a necromancer?

The Review

The show is striking out in new and original
directions for
the most part. Spike is getting abused even more than he
was back in
mid-season four, and Angel is back to being point man on
missions
rather than sending out Wesley and Gunn. I give it 4 out of
6.

The effects were minimal this week. Most of
them were
quality and Spike-related, but we had some mediocre stuff
with the
necromancer’s source of income. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story had that moment of collective
stupidity I mentioned
above, but otherwise was a nice way to reintroduce Spike
and his role
with the Angel Investigations crew. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting from David Boreanaz seems that
much worse when
he’s standing next to James Marsters. Marsters did a
great job on
Buffy and on Angel, and he’s liable to steal the limelight
away from
the mediocre Boreanaz when we see them side by side
like that. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced wasn’t
very strong until
the very end. While Spike is always amusing, it took a
while before
I’d believe that he’d chose to stay as close to the group as
he did.
It would have been nice to get some private hint of that
sooner, so
the rest of the episode didn’t feel as forced. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The production is by Mutant Enemy. James A.
Contner knows
how to direct for television, and the rest of the production
crew have
long since figured out how to put together the sets, the
editing, the
lighting, and so forth. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s really little more than an hour of
“Spike is
changing shows.” The good news is, Spike is a changed
man, so it
should be more than the retread his first guest shot on the
series
was. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Just Rewards receives 29 out of 42.

Additional Comments

The review of next week’s episode, titled
Unleashed, will
likely be a few days late. (I have exams on Thursday and
Friday.)