"Just Rewards," Wednesday, October 8, 2003
A flashback recalls that nineteen days earlier in the Hellmouth, the amulet that Spike was wearing shot a powerful ray of light; it destroyed the uber-vamps before Spike burned up as well, as the Hellmouth started to cave in around him. In the present day at Wolfram & Hart, Spike is disoriented and he demands to know what Angel has done to him. It quickly becomes apparent that Spike is a ghost, but after Fred checks him with her lab equipment, she observes that he's not a "regular" ghost. Spike reveals that he saved the world and that he has a soul - neither of which Angel bothered to tell the others. Spike angrily leaves, but he returns saying that he keeps getting pulled back there. Wesley says that makes sense, because Spike is connected to the amulet, which is Wolfram & Hart's property. Meanwhile, Angel meets with Magnus Hainsley, a powerful necromancer, to tell him that he is no longer a client of Wolfram & Hart. Hainsley has power over the dead, and he is able to immobilize Angel with a gesture of his hand. He doesn't kill Angel though, saying that the Senior Partners have plans for him. Angel attacks the man using other means: he uses the IRS to take away all that Hainsley has. Hainsley vows revenge; he secretly offers to return Spike to his body, if Spike will first take over Angel's body and return his money. Spike agrees, but he double-crosses Hainsley, so that Angel is able to defeat him. The next day, Spike is in Fred's lab when she arrives. He asks for her help because he feels like he's straddling a crevice that is trying to pull him in - and it's "not the place heroes go."
As far as storylines go, this pseudo-ghost-Spike-connected-to-the-amulet one isn't bad. It creates a mystery, which gives the gang something somewhat meaningful to do. It provides a reason for Spike to hang around Wolfram and Hart. It also add another similarity between Angel and Spike: Angel died (i.e. Buffy killed him) to save the world, then he was mysteriously returned to Earth – by the First, if I remember correctly.
Speaking of the similarities I'm glad that Angel mentioned how Spike recovered after only a few crazy weeks after having his soul restored. Still, a bit of explanation for that is in order. Was it that Spike had his love for Buffy to help pull him back? Or was it that he got past the craziness for the sake of the battle at hand? Is it their personalities? Or was Angelus really so much worse than Spike that Angel had much more to regret?
Although Spike and Angel get along like they always have, I didn't appreciate Spike's giving Angel such a hard time. His petulant attitude and his repeatedly blaming Angel for his predicament reminded me of Connor. That comparison is strengthened since Spike recalled how Angel is his grandsire. Spike claimed to be peeved that Angel was "king" - or whatever - but it's more likely that he was jealous of what Buffy and Angel shared.
Spike has always excelled at knowing what to say to push people's buttons, and whatever his motivation, there's usually some truth in what he says. Spike's line about them being in the belly of the beast was very similar to what Angel told Lilah after she offered him W&H. Spike accused Angel of making a devil's bargain; since the writers are consistent enough to bring that up, it's probably safe to say that we'll soon learn more about that.
* How is ghostly Spike able to sit in Angel's chair when he passes through walls, people and desks?
* Since Gunn is now super-smart, I expect Wesley to be jealous of him before long.
* Did Hainsley really believe that the Senior Partners wouldn't know that Angel wasn't in his body?