Angel 10/08/03 - Just Rewards (spoilers in box)

Episode 2 picks up just where ep.1 ended. After all, it said “to be continued” at the end, last week.
I don’t know if I would really call this a two parter. Just because there is a cut off mid-action doesn’t mean it’s a story spanning 1h20min. It doesn’t matter though, because Fans-of-Spike, FoS™ will get what they want in this episode. It deals mostly with him coming back and the background story is more of the same from last week: Evil client - how do we stop him?

There isn’t much in the plot to put in the box, because mostly it deals with Joss Wheadon playing the Fairy of Misdirection a lot of times. Too many times, IMO. It’s a bit too obvious, when watching, that the writer is trying to be clever. I sat and watched with a feeling of “Oh get on with it already, we know this is just a ploy.”
Other than that, good solid acting. The title is self explanatory, when one’ve seen the episode, and Marsters does a good job portraying a whole cocktail of emotions.
I get the feeling that the two first episodes were largely exposition. Re-capping why the gang is at W&H. Setting up the moral conflict and then getting Spike up on stage. Fine. It’s done. Now let’s get on with the show.

I just sat down and watched Conviction last night and overall I was kind of disappointed.

I am a huge FoS but the preview for tonight made it appear as if Spike is a comic sidekick for Angel and I don’t like that.

The show just doesn’t seem to be the same to me as it has been in the past…maybe I just had too high of an expectation but I’m going to hang in there for a while and see what happens.

And I really like the character of Eve and I’m anxious to see what they do with her.

Hopefully after tonight, like you said, they will get on with this season and not catch new viewers up with what has already happened.

An afterthought.

I get the same vibes from Ats S.5 as with BtVS S.6. It got renewed (albeit on the same network) and everyone is happy to have a job, make money and do the fun stuff. But the same way Buffy5 was a very long arc, with a very suitable finale, so was Ats4. In a way, had Angel got the Shanshu (or whatever it’s called) in Sunnydale, after getting some rest with regard to Connor, then it would have been the perfect ending for the franchise. It would also fit the prophecies. FoS would not be so happy, but I get a bad feeling, that they don’t know where they’re gonna go this year with Ats, as I think they didn’t know about BtVS S.6. I’m not spoiled, so this is just speculation. If it’s true, then this will be the final season, I’m sure.
I hope I’m wrong, though, and that adding Spike to the mix, can bring some new life and unexpected turns to the show.

The whole “Will Spike go evil ploy” is so fucking old. He’s not going to go evil! And it wasn’t Joss playing the fairy of misdirection, it was Fury. He probably has more control over AtS this season than Joss does, since he’s like executive show runner or somthing. Joss isn’t around much, he’s working on Firefly.
Anywho, Fury likes to play like that, and it’s boring and old, and I wish he’d stop.
Other than that, I had so many moments to love during that episode. “Oh, I’m sorry…didn’t care.” “Hurt Angel? That it? You want me to hurt Angel?” “Spots, you dink, leopards have spots.” I missed Spike. It was a long summer.

Pepperlandgirl

I think both these episiodes are written and directed by Joss, but as I (as I think you) only have seen the workprint, I’m not sure. We’ll know soon enough. And I agree. Spike was fun and snarky.

Gaspode

I don’t have the script, but I had the sides for the ep, and it was penned by Fury.

I don’t know who wrote the episode, but as to my overall take on it, I’ve got to agree with pepperlandgirl.

Or should I say “pepperlandgirl, you’re preaching to the horse’s mouth?”

Perhaps unsuprisingly, I loathe…

[spoiler]…Spike the Snarky Ghost just as much as I hate him on Buffy. Just FYI, when he first vamped out and ran through Angel, my first thought was that this isn’t Spike at all, but rather the First Evil. It says something about my hatred of Spike that I’d rather it be one of the lamest big bads ever instead of him, I think.

I agree with the analysis of the lame “oooooh, is Spike bad?” ploy. Harmony and Wesley were fun, but Fred and Gunn were boring beyond comprehension.[/spoiler]

Spike is annoying. Can he die all ready?

Or live… then get killed?

I’ll dispense with the boxes, since the show aired last night.

We got almost no Lorne this week, but I trues the show’s Powers That Be to give us episodes for each main character this season. I hope a Fred comes up soon.

The writing credit was for David Fury and Ben Edlund.

Ben Edlund is one of the writers, and Hainsley’s butler is attacked with a spoon. Coincidence? I think not!

Fav moments;

Angel: blahblah I spent 100 years coming to terms with my soul, Spike spent three weeks in a basement and he was fine.

HA! (That whole scene with Angel having to explain to the rest of them how Spike is another vamp with a soul was hilarious.)

Spike: He was dead when his head hit the table.

hee.

Spike nonchalantly explaining what it felt like to burn alive.

I think I might be extremely easy to please.

I just hope this doesn’t become a Spike-focused season like Buffy season 6 (or was it 5?)

Oh no, Spike’s a ghost! Isn’t he funny? Listen to him banter with Angel! But is he going to double cross Angel? And now he feels like he’s fading away, and going into Hell! Angel has to save him!

Please, Mutant Enemy, make Angel save him in two episodes or fewer. I really don’t want an all-season Spike arc.

While watching last night I couldn’t help thinking of an audio commentary for Buffy Season 4 (I think) where it was mentioned that, when they brought Spike back, the plan was to give him the Cordelia role. He would be the guy standing on the side of the action telling everyone that they’re stupid.

I also seem to remember that it didn’t work out the way they wanted and they had to come up with other ways to integrate the character.

Well, it looks like thay dusted off that plan and now Spike is that guy again. Indeed, as a ghost, there seems little else that he can do besides make snarky comments.

I suppose I wouldn’t mind so much if there was more give and take. At what point did Angel and Co. become unable to snark back. I was doing it at home. When Spike and Angel were in the parking lot and Spike said “I can haunt you for all eternity and there’s not a bloody thing you can do about it.”, I was saying (for Angel) “I can leave town.”

OK, not Joss Whedon quality, but still - some actual banter would have made things more interesting.

And beyond the Spike question, I didn’t find much to like about the show. Wasn’t that plot to take out the bad guy needlessly complicated? And was Angel in on it? And what was up with the dubbing on Spike?

Hainsley was a cool villian–finally, somebody over the age of 30 and not a gym bunny in LA. He looked like a bank teller but was scary as hell, although a little too self-confident in his “control of the dead”.

JM sold the Evil!Spike thing pretty well, but it’s only the second show, we KNOW Spike isn’t gonna be that evil.

Trion is right–Angel gets tired of Spike, he can decamp to Palm Springs or something. And I wonder if the amulet is put in a box with a spell sealing it, if that would contain the Essence O’ Spike. Fred did say that he wasn’t a traditional ghost; maybe he’s a demon in Lorne’s sense of a dimensional traveller, and he’s caught between one and the other?

But then why is hell looming below him? What has he done to deserve that (lately?) And Spike, when he “fades back in” to W&H, doesn’t look like somebody who’s just seen hell. Hmmm.

Spike still likes this world. Angel, in a similar sitch, would probably really want to be released.

Spred! I want Spred! And they’ll be no annoying pancake kisses because they can’t kiss!

The snark between Angel and Spike was priceless. Harmony’s Mrs. Malaprop imitation will get old if it’s not in moderation, though.

And no Eve at all!! Yay! Wonder what the Senior Partners will think of Spike traipsing around, unless it was part of their plan all along, like having the amulet “mail itself” back to LA (Willow would have sent them a note). But as we could see from the Big Horned Demon killing their entire staff last year, they don’t control everything that happens.

While not a big fan of Spike on Buffy, and I was one of those who feared the “annoying sidekick” aspects which were played up in the previews- and I happy to say that I did enjoy the episode.

Spike’s status is serving as a bit of the little bad for this season.

The whole will he or won’t he on the eveil front, was for me- how far will you go to save yourself. Sure it was a little plt-twisty, but yeesh, after last season its too be expected.

Freed from the horrors of the Buffy writers, and the stupid plotlines from the last two seasons, Spike is actually getting interesting again.

Still, I am ready for the W&H plotline to start playing out.

:slight_smile:

I agree with those of you who feel that an oversaturation of Spike is just, well… annoying. I think his character is best left to small doses and smarmy comments from the side. Maybe an episode or two centered around him would work well, but I don’t feel that yet another season dedicated to him is going to keep (or build) the necessary viewer base. (Of course, I may still underappreciate the possibly vast number of Spike fans out there. At least those with Nielsen boxes, that is.)

Better yet, I think they should ditch the whole Wolfram and Hart storyline and get them back in their hotel. I liked it better when the cast was smaller and the show had more of a private feeling about it; now, with a gigantic building and hundreds of extra cast members milling about (or it feels like hundreds), it all feels too crowded. Maybe in a smaller setting an arc based around Spike might not be so, well… blah.

I also liked Hainsley (SP?) as the villain; he wasn’t decorated in bad latex, his voice was Bosleyesque (David Doyle, that is), and he seemed smarter than the usual villains.

Of course, we’re only two episodes into the season, so it’s possible that it will pick up and improve quickly. That said, I also hope that Spike is restored to corporeal form as quickly as possible; I think the Spikey, the Tuff Little Ghost will wear (ahem!) thin.

By the way, what do you think would happen to Ghostly Spike if he ventures out into the sun?

A few months off and everyone turns hypercritical.

As Gaspode pointed out, the last two episodes had some work to do, both for new viewers, and for the major shift from a small detective agency to the head of Wolfram and Hart. With that in mind, I think the shows did a fine job with each of the characters. I was especially impressed with what they did with Gunn. He goes from “the guy who hits stuff” to the legal brains of the operation. I think it was a great move, both for the show and for the character. Fred gets her dream job, and learns to deal with being a boss. Wesley was kinda given short shrift the first two episodes, but he was fine. And Angel is having his issues with making a deal with the devil. I was impressed with all they accomplished in two episodes.

And they did it all while keeping the humor I love so much. Spike calling Angel “Captain Forehead” had me rolling on the ground.

Some points from prior comments in the thread:

Spike isn’t just a comic sidekick, thank god. Unlike some, I thought for a second that Spike could actually sell Angel out. Given the changes death made to Buffy, I bought into the fact, just for a second at the grave scene, that Spike could go back to evil. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I think it worked.

I really liked the first two episodes. Sure they’re not Buffy S.2, but it’s still one of the best shows on television. I didn’t see anything to get so critical about.

But I miss the tied Spike during the Haloween episode who told off the Scooby gang about all their PC anxiety. I want that Spike. Not pirmary-love-interest Spike.
I want Spike tobe snarky and able to see things very clearly. The writers of Ats managed very well last year to have a theme with morally ambigous characters and the fine line between good and bad being blurred. If they could handle that, they should be able to handle Spike with a soul, but snarky.

I also thought it was possible for Spike to go back to evil. I mean, he seems to be a ghost. He was a vampire with a soul before his Champion Moment™, but if he’s a ghost, what is the status of his soul? I thought it possible that he’d lost his soul in the great burnout beneath Sunnydale, and what we were seeing was a return to Evil Spike. Particularly because it will be tough to have two good souled vampires in one show.

Anyway. I now trust that Spike will remain good and that the writers will drop that plot element.

I agree. The first episode or three of any new season is dedicated to exposition – setting the stage for the plot arc to come. I think it’s WAY too early to be overly concerned with what Spike’s role will be or whatever. Give it time, and the payoff will come eventually, and there’s lots of fun to be had along the way. I think the show’s humor is even sharper than it was last season, there’s an intriguing set up, and already they’ve done right by Gunn. What’s not to love?*

  • Except for Harmony. She’s always bugged the piss out of me.

I liked both episodes quite a bit.

I just think that people are a little worried about the show after how great it was last season and seeing so many changes being made in such as short time.

But I have faith, most of the vore is still there, and they have added a good actor to the mix.

Wait and see- things will heat up. Emember last year people (including me) were ready to jump off of a bridge after the Cordy-Conner bedroom scene.