“Angel” 5×02 – Just Rewards

There’s a lot of fun to be had with Angel and Spike’s dynamic, especially with their shared evil history and common love interest, and Just Rewards is crammed with some hilarious banter between these two. David Boreanaz and James Marsters are both up to the comedic task, infusing their respective characters with just the right amount of depth and humor.

Sadly, the rest of the hour was a hit and miss. While the Angel/Spike scenes were mostly amusing, I can’t help but wonder whether it’s just extremely contrived to have Spike on this show. I get that he was a fan favorite on Buffy, but from a writing standpoint does it make sense to keep telling his story? Wasn’t it (sort of) better to end his arc with his sacrifice? It certainly seemed like a great deal of character development so to have him revert back to being a bit obnoxious and jealous is disappointing.

Then there’s Hainsley, a one-dimensional terrible weekly villain. His ability to transform demon souls into human bodies was too twisted, even for this show, and I was bored to death whenever he took up screen time. Please no more standalone cases!


Bits

– Loved seeing Buffy in the flashback. Sure, it’s the same footage from the series finale, but it still warmed my heart to see SMG on screen again!

– Angel tells Spike that Buffy is in Europe. I NEED TO KNOW MORE, WRITERS!

– Incredible choreography as Angel does a complete split in mid-air while fighting a beast at the law firm. Wow.

– Hilarious bit with Harmony telling Angel that the beast he just killed was actually his 3 o’clock meeting.

– How breathtaking is Angel’s new apartment?

– So, if Spike is a ghost (sort of), how can he sit in Angel’s car or put his feet up on a desk? This was a very distracting oversight for me.

– Do I sense a possible Spike/Fred ‘ship coming soon?

Quotes

Spike: I must be in hell.
Lorne: Uh, no. L.A., but a lot of people make that mistake.

Lorne: Honey of a story.
Fred: 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.

Angel (to Spike): I know you can’t help me, but could you maybe not root for the other team?

Spike: That’s how you’re gonna fight the forces of evil now, call the I.R.S.?

Rating
C+

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