Angel Review – “Just Rewards”

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.)

14 replies on “Angel Review – “Just Rewards””

  1. UncleJam says:

    Oh my god…

    …I was so bored.

    First off, I no longer give a damn about Spike; the last few seasons of Buffy completely ruined his character for me.

    As you said, it’s pretty stupid for a vampire and a ghost to go after a guy who controls the dead.

    No one else on the team really had anything to do!

    Angel’s big strike against the necromancer involved making a quick phone call. Ooh, dramatic!

    Did I mention I dislike Spike? Well, I hate him even more as a ghost. Especially since the previous ghost on this show, Phantom Dennis, never shows up any more. (Though he is still in the credits.) I know, since Cordy’s gone there’s no need to see her old apartment. Has it been rented to someone else yet? Has PD begun haunting them now? Does anyone even care? I want an episode where somehow Dennis gets loose from the apartment (maybe it was destroyed or seriously damaged in the rain of fire), comes looking for Cordy and, finding her comatose and the Angel Inc folks seemingly indifferent to her plight, begins to wreak havoc in the W&H offices. Hell, make Spike useful by having a Spike/Dennis showdown, as long as nothing bad happens to Dennis.

    Angel’s new pad? Miss the hotel. (Especially since the building they use for the exterior is just down the street from my apartment; I get a small thrill every time I go past it.)

    I’m a bit confused by the timeline. Last week we were told it had been a week since the group accepted W&H’s offer. Last night we learn it has been 19 days since Spike’s death and the destruction of Sunnydale. But that occured after the gang accepted W&H’s offer. Angel accepted the offer and left to deliver the amulet to Buffy. Huh-wha?

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Oh my god…

      Angel accepted the offer and left to deliver the amulet to Buffy. Huh-wha?

      As I recall, Buffy got the amulet last season the senior parters must have expected Angel to be the one to save Sunnydale (after all, only one vampire with a soul, right?

      • UncleJam says:

        Re: Oh my god…

        But how does the timeline work out?!?

        1. W&H makes their offer to the Angel Inc gang
        2. Angel accepts the offer
        3. Angel delivers the amulet to Buffy
        4. Spike dies saving everyone (gag!)
        5. A week after item #2, Angel Season 5 starts
        6. At most 1-2 days later, Spike erupts from the amulet.

        And yet, the teaser to this week’s episode says that #6 happens 19
        days after #4. How the hell does that work?

    • jdarksun says:

      Re: Oh my god…
      Bah, I thought it was a great episode.

      I’m a big Spike fan, I think Angel is a pompous arse, and I love seeing him as Angelus or being tortured. Well, that’s not quite true, he seems to be a little more masculine on his own show now. But, topic for another post.

      I’m really looking forward to next week, but, hey, I like the direction of the show.

    • chuckeye says:

      Re: Oh my god…
      Where is the exterior of the Hotel? I haven’t noticed it around Hollywood,
      but I admit, I haven’t really looked…

  2. y42 says:

    My hatred of Fox grows ever stronger…
    I’d just like to state that I get the WB shows through fox, and they
    had baseball yesterday.
    No Smallville, no Angel.

    I hate fox so much.

    • $ says:

      Re: My hatred of Fox grows ever stronger…
      suprnova.org is your friend.

      • y42 says:

        Re: My hatred of Fox grows ever stronger…

        suprnova.org is your friend.

        Oh my! Yes it is!

        Unfortunatly the audio on the smallville ep is out of synch. Pretty
        annoying to hear everything 2 seconds before you see it happen.

        • vanyel says:

          Re: My hatred of Fox grows ever stronger…

          suprnova.org is your friend.

          Oh my! Yes it is!

          Unfortunatly the audio on the smallville ep is out of synch.

          DirecTV is your friend, though you may need to rent a mailbox somewhere that has a decent set of “local” channels…

  3. quantaman says:

    Sigh
    SPOILER WARNING

    It always bugs me. Spike is moaning and groaning about having no body, then he takes over the necromancers body. Now sure it isn’t exactly in great physical condition but it’s tangible and doesn’t have the annoying habit of bursting into flames in the sun like that last one he had. But instead of keeping it what does he do? He gets it killed the first chance he gets!! Geez some peoples ghosts…

    • y42 says:

      Re: Sigh

      SPOILER WARNING

      It always bugs me. Spike is moaning and groaning about having no
      body, then he takes over the necromancers body. Now sure it isn’t
      exactly in great physical condition but it’s tangible and doesn’t have the
      annoying habit of bursting into flames in the sun like that last one he
      had. But instead of keeping it what does he do? He gets it killed the
      first chance he gets!! Geez some peoples ghosts…

      Like Spike would be seen dead in a fat bald body. He’s a princess that
      Spike, he needs the platinum hair and the six-pack abs.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Sigh
      Remember, Spike isn’t evil anymore. Taking over someone’s body, even a scumbag’s, would be considered an “evil” thing to do and he’s just not into that nowadays. It looks like he could potentially inhabit a corpse, which would be less evil (assuming you subscribe to the greys instead of just the blacks and whites), but then the body would be decomposing – yuck! Also, it probably wouldn’t help him with his most immediate problem which is that he’s discorporating.

      • hydrian says:

        Re: Sigh

        Remember, Spike isn’t evil anymore. Taking over someone’s body, even a scumbag’s, would be considered an “evil” thing to do and he’s just not into that nowadays. It looks like he could potentially inhabit a corpse, which would be less evil (assuming you subscribe to the greys instead of just the blacks and whites), but then the body would be decomposing – yuck! Also, it probably wouldn’t help him with his most immediate problem which is that he’s discorporating.

        I also I would suspect possessing a powerful necromancer’s body would be a bit more difficult to maintain than a regular John Doe.

        I think Spike will be an interesting change in the Angel Inc. group. While Spike may be better than he was, I would hardly see him being “good.” Also the fact that he is nicer in general now doesn’t me he has any love or kindness for Angel. Seeing the two of them go at it verbally and otherwise will be entertaining.

        • jdarksun says:

          Re: Sigh
          > I would hardly see him being “good.”

          He sacrificed himself to save Buffy, the Scoobies, the Slayerettes – and, maybe, the world. That definately falls under my category of “good”.

          Is he totally atoned? No. Does he need to be shriven to do a good deed? Not in the slightest.

          That’s not to say he is without moral ambiguity – but, after last season (and the start of this one), I think it’s pretty clear that the character of Spike fits in very well with the direction of Angel, his crew, and the show.

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