"Just Rewards"
Written by David Fury and Ben Edlund; directed by James A. Contner

In case you’ve forgotten what happened to Spike in “Chosen,” here’s a flashback to remind you - he burned up in the Hellmouth. Now he’s back, and he’s materialized in Angel’s office at Wolfram & Hart (see “Conviction”). He’s confused, as are the MoG, including those who’ve never met him. Spike vamps out and tries to attack Angel, but he passes right through him and winds up in the middle of Angel’s desk. “Bugger,” Spike remarks. Harmony thinks that Spike is a ghost, and makes sure that he knows she won’t take any lip from him since they’re not going out anymore. Wesley decides that the amulet must have brought Spike back. Spike makes sure that Buffy’s okay (she’s in Europe now) and tells Angel that he can’t keep her from him. Angel says that she doesn’t belong to either of them and never belonged to Spike. Harmony realizes that Buffy and Spike had something going and can’t stop saying “yecch” about it. “I must be in Hell,” Spike comments. “Uh, no,” Lorne replies “L.A., but a lot of people make that mistake.” The MoG fill each other in on Spike, considering him sort of a good vampire, though Angel is adamant that the two of them are nothing alike. Spike is still confused about where he is. Everyone moves down to the science lab, where Wesley and Fred try to figure out what Spike is now. Lorne notes that the story of Spike, Angel, and Buffy would make a good movie; he can see Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp starring.

Spike, still confused, wonders why the MoG are now working for Wolfram & Hart (we’re all confused about that, sweetie). Fred notes that Spike is definitely something mystical, but if he were a ghost, they wouldn’t be able to see him. He’s also radiating some heat rather than absorbing it. Wesley says that Spike’s essence must have somehow gone into the amulet when he burned up in the Hellmouth. Angel notes that the amulet was supposedly buried in the Hellmouth, so he wants to know how it got there. Fred wonders if Spike has some higher purpose and was sent by the Powers That Be. Spike thinks that he should have just died in the Hellmouth, since he helped save the world, and that the Powers shouldn’t have been allowed to bring him back. Spike suddenly starts to fade, then disappears completely. A minute later, he rematerializes and blames Angel for everything that’s happened, since he brought the amulet to Sunnydale in the first place (see “End of Days” and “Chosen”). He thinks that Angel chickened out from using it himself and left town, abandoning Buffy. Angel argues that Buffy made him leave, which is true, and that he didn’t have a choice. Spike adds that he doesn’t have a choice in what he is now and doesn’t care about destiny and atonement like Angel does. He brings up the fact that he has a soul, which surprises the other MoG. Wesley asks why Angel didn’t mention it and Angel says that it wasn’t worth mentioning. Spike thinks that Angel doesn’t want him in his special exclusive club of souled vampires. Angel shoots back that Spike isn’t even in the world.

Angel heads towards the lobby and is joined by a materializing Spike. Angel denies that he had anything to do with what happened to Spike. Spike calls him a sell-out, noting that one of his perks is Spike’s “ex-tumble, the littlest vampire, fetching coffee” for him. He brings up Angel’s realization from “Home” that fighting from inside the belly of the beast might mean the MoG are getting digested. He says that Angel isn’t in control and doesn’t know it. He suddenly spots a Grox-lar Beast, which Angel fights; Spike can’t fight it because he’s noncorporeal. Angel knocks the demon out and learns from Harmony that he was supposed to meet with it to negotiate with its clan. Gunn arrives and tells Angel that it might be okay, since Grox-lars respect people with a “strong opening position.” He mentions that when Wolfram & Hart gave him law knowledge in “Conviction,” they put in some knowledge of demon laws from other dimensions. Harmony tries to chat with Spike, but he ignores her and walks away. “Slayer-loving freak,” she says under her breath. Angel and Gunn head to Angel’s office and discuss employees Gunn has had to fire. Spike arrives, noting that the building is huge, and Angel tries to kick him out so he can continue his meeting. Gunn warns that the fired employees are going to fight back, then says that he’s going to have to deal with one now. A guy named Novac comes in and asks why Angel shut down the Internment Acquisitions Division (aka grave-robbing). The division is under contract to provide bodies to a guy named Magnus Hainsley; Angel tells Novac to get rid of Hainsley as a client.

As Novac leaves, Spike tells him that he doesn’t have to take that from Angel. Angel kicks him out and Spike says that he doesn’t want to spend his afterlife this way anyway. Later, Angel talks with Wesley, telling him that he could be in Spike’s position right now. Wolfram & Hart gave him the amulet, so they must have expected him to use it and wind up where Spike is. Wesley notes that they handed over the firm to him and Angel wonders what the Senior Partners are up to. Spike returns and reveals that he tried to leave but something physically kept him inside L.A. Wesley says that that makes sense, since the amulet is Wolfram & Hart’s property and Spike is connected to the amulet. Spike is annoyed that he can’t leave and Angel is annoyed that Spike is going to keep haunting him. Harmony tells Angel that Novac is back and two men walk in holding buckets full of…well, Novac. Spike smirks that the MoG are doing a great job. That night, Angel tells Harmony that he wants to keep quiet about Novac for a little while. Gunn brings him Hainsley’s file, announcing that he’s a rich sorcerer with shares in Wolfram & Hart and a lot of connections. Angel determines that he’s a necromancer; Wesley clarifies that he has power over the dead, which is why Wolfram & Hart was giving him bodies. Angel returns to his office, where he tries and fails to kick Spike out of his chair. He decides that he’s going to respond to Hainsley’s bucket message in person, even though Wesley advises him not to. Before Angel leaves, Gunn gives him something to go after to really hurt Hainsley.

Angel heads to the garage and gets into a Viper; Spike is already there, having guessed that Angel would pick that car. Spike is starting to enjoy the possibility of haunting Angel for eternity; he could drive Angel crazy and Angel wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Angel moves to a different car, but Spike is there, too, wanting to go on a road trip with his old buddy Angel. They drive to Hainsley’s house, where Angel tells the butler to interrupt whatever Hainsley is doing. Angel and Spike find Hainsley’s showroom, where he poses bodies, and we see Hainsley in his workshop, chanting over a body as a demon chats nearby. Hainsley puts the demon’s essence into the woman and is interrupted by the butler, who says that there are men from Wolfram & Hart there to see him. Hainsley tells him to kill them. Back in the showroom, Spike says that the bodies there are lucky, since no one’s forced them back into the world against their will. The butler returns with knives (“looks like it’s buckets for you,” Spike tells Angel), but Angel fights back with a teaspoon, which he buries in the butler’s forehead. Spike is disappointed in Angel’s method of killing the butler, despite the fact that it did the job. “I know you can’t help me,” Angel says, “but could you maybe not root for the other team?” They start arguing and Spike says that Angel has all this material stuff, but Spike saved the world and doesn’t get anything. Angel replies that Spike asked for a soul, but Angel didn’t; Angel worked for a hundred years to “come to terms with infinite remorse,” but after a few weeks in a basement, Spike was fine. Spike responds by disappearing.

Angel breaks into Hainsley’s workshop; the woman Hainsley put demon essence into tries to leave, but Angel punches her out. He tells Hainsley that he’s cutting off his supply of bodies. Hainsley quickly takes control of Angel’s body and freezes him. Spike reappears, telling Hainsley that he can do whatever he wants to Angel. Hainsley tells Angel that he could kill him right now without even using a stake, but he would be insulting the Senior Partners, who seem to have a plan for Angel. Angel calls Gunn and gives him the go-ahead to freeze all of Hainsley’s bank accounts and turn over his books to the IRS. Hainsley threatens to sue, but Angel isn’t worried. On the way out of the house, Spike taunts Angel for using legal methods to get Hainsley rather than using violence. He disappears and doesn’t rematerialize until Angel has already left the house. Hainsley offers to restore Spike’s freedom, destiny, and power of choice - he can have a corporeal body again. But first, Spike has to do something for him. Spike excitedly thinks that he’ll have to hurt Angel, which he’s more than willing to do. Back at Wolfram & Hart, Gunn assures Angel that he’s taken care of things concerning Hainsley. They share the good news with Wesley and Fred, but add that Hainsley is going to fight back. The discussion turns to Spike; Wesley says that the only way to get rid of him for good is basically to exorcise him. Spike returns to the firm and Harmony slams him for acting like he’s better than her. Spike overhears the MoG discussing him and saying that they’re going to kill him.

Wesley thinks that sending Spike to his afterlife is merciful, since he can’t do anything on Earth. Angel doesn’t care about mercy; he just wants to get it over with. Wesley tells him that the amulet is protected and normally can’t be destroyed, but that magic won’t work on hallowed ground, such as in a church or cemetery. Angel decides to sleep on the decision. Spike shows up in his bedroom; Angel tells him that he can haunt during business hours but has to stay out of Angel’s personal space. Spike says that he overheard the MoG talking about him and reveals that Hainsley tried to make a deal with him. He’s decided that he wants Angel to end his life. They head to a cemetery with the amulet and say their goodbyes. Angel picks up an urn and starts to smash the amulet but winds up hitting himself in the head instead. Hainsley appears and Angel realizes that Hainsley has taken control of his body again. He knocks Angel out and Spike blasts him for taking so long to get there. Spike refuses to be used by Hainsley, but Hainsley says he’ll have to. After he’s done, Spike gets his life back. Hainsley takes Angel to his workshop; Angel wakes up and says that the Senior Partners won’t be happy when they realize that Angel is missing. Hainsley tells him that he won’t be missing - he’ll turn up again, with Spike inside his body, controlling him.

Spike is happy to think about the things he can do with Angel’s body (Fred is one of these things). Hainsley starts the essence-entering spell, but it doesn’t work. Spike enters Hainsley and Angel starts fighting him; Hainsley realizes that he can’t control Angel anymore. Angel decapitates Hainsley and Spike reappears, upset that he couldn’t keep hitting Angel inside the body. (It turns out that Hainsley’s been dead for a little while and Spike was just taking out some anger on Angel.) Back at Wolfram & Hart, Wesley learns that Spike came to Angel with his plan to defeat Hainsley; Wesley says that Spike should have run the plan by everyone first. Angel says that Spike isn’t good at sharing. “Preaching to the horse’s mouth,” Harmony speaks up. Spike pays Fred a visit in the science lab, noting that she’s “the science queen” and might be able to help him. He says that he’s “slippin’” and feels like he’s trying to balance between two places. She says that that must be what it’s like when he disappears. Spike tells her that he’s seen what’s in Hell and that heroes like him don’t go there. He’s scared, and he wants Fred to help him.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Ghosts are more annoying than people think.

GRADE: B I actually feel sorry for Angel.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: (to Spike) “But you’re dead.”
Harmony: “Well, yeah. Who here isn’t. Besides him (to Wesley) and him (to Gunn) and her (to Fred) and…. (to Lorne) What are you again?”

Fred: (re: Spike) “He can’t get out of here.”
Angel: “Please don’t tell me that.”
Fred: “Okay. Wesley…you tell him.”

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