Spike’s first Angel outing is good but not great. I remember being disappointed in ghost-Spike the first time around; I wanted to see my favourite Buffy character on a new show and the insubstantial version just felt like a cheat. It is, when you get right down to it, but it’s a necessary one. Spike’s too antagonistic for it make sense for him to stick around without some sort of mystical excuse. The antagonism is fun enough to make that excuse worthwhile (especially on subsequent viewings) and “Just Rewards” wastes no time sliding Spike into the role of naysayer. The exposition regarding the move to W&H is still a bit clunky, but Spike more than holds up his end as he repeatedly reminds Angel that he’s sold out. Continue reading
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