Reaper: All Mine
Last week Kevin brought up his concerns that Reaper runs the risk of falling into the monster of the week trap. It's a legitimate concern, but at this early stage in the season I'm still quite optimistic about the direction the show is headed. This week brought us the first episode not written by the creators, and it would appear it's a pretty tight ship they are running over at Reaper HQ. This flowed very nicely out of the first two installments, and gave us a little forward motion on some of our ongoing stories.
First, Sam and his bounty hunting gig. The first two episodes did share very similar stories in regards to how Sam really doesn't want to be doing this. We got just a taste of that this week when Lucifer had his little chat with Sam by the portable sheds at The Workbench. It was a bit of a new look later though, when Sam gave the guys the all clear to sit this one out. He's said that before, but this time it was with a new confidence. Not so much that he is afraid he is going to get them hurt, and more that he really thinks he can do this. The story is still similar, but he is changing slowly, owning up to his responsibility, and becoming more comfortable with his new gig. I suspect it's something we'll continue to see evolve as we move along.
We also got some good stuff where the Sam and Andi relationship is concerned. Now, the TV obsessed nutter in me didn't think there was any chance Andi was actually leaving the 'Bench to go back to school. That's just crazy talk in this kind of universe. I was still curious to see how they would go about getting her back though. It worked out well for Sam and further cements just what kind of a guy he is. Yeah, he lacks direction, and he could use some motivation, but at the end of the day, Sam is a good guy. Much like he lied to his mother in the pilot, because he thought that was what was best for her, he did the right thing when Andi asked if she should go back to school.
Something we see again at the end of the episode when he finally gets his confidence up to go tell Andi how he really feels, but is caught short when she says she needs things to stay the same. Once again, good guy Sam puts himself second because it's the right thing for someone else. I suppose you could say that this is another trap lying in wait for the show, but it's early enough, and I'm enjoying Sam/Andi enough, that they have plenty of time to work with. You have to think there will be a reward for him somewhere down the line, but there's no hurry to get to it.
Unless you consider having the Devil watching your back a reward, then we might already be there. The capper to the story of him being the one that caused/reported the asbestos problem, thus sending Andi back to the 'Bench, was a nice follow up to their earlier conversation. That relationship is very interesting, and really one of the best aspects of the show. trocoloca asked in the comments last week why the Devil doesn't just do the work himself, which is a solid question. Aside from the obvious answer that it would negate the entire plot of the show, I get the feeling that he's just bored. Giving the job to Sam gives him something to do, and something to amuse himself with, despite how frustrating it can sometimes be. Something we see to great effect when they meet in the bathroom and he tells him, "Get the girl, get the soul, I don't care which. I'm tired of coddling you."
I think that last line will be something of a recurring theme as we move along. The Lord of Darkness' management style is very carrot and stick. He'll be buddy buddy for a while, but those threats of damnation and killing of mothers are out there too. It does make it interesting.
The team solidified a little more this week as well. Not only do we have Ben being put in charge of fixing the vessel, and it was clever that they broke it by 'fixing' it, but Sam handed Sock the responsibility of making the drop off. Off screen unfortunately, much to the chagrin of the Christine Willes fans, I'm sure. But I do like the way they are coming together. It really does make the show work so much better that Ben and Sock were let in on the secret right away.
Which brings us to, the monster of the week. I actually really liked this one, even if it did make me feel a little itchy from bugs that aren't actually there. The Gloria angle actually caught me by surprise. I was sold on it being Bunson after they spied him hanging out with all the bugs in his trailer, so the revelation of the jealous girlfriend was a nice twist. It also led up to what was probably the scene of the night as Sock tried to put the moves on Gloria. It's worth bringing up again, Tyler Labine might be the best bit of casting on any show this season. The guy steals scenes like it's going out of style.
The actual preparation and the showdown were both very well done. The bug spray scene where Sock kept making suggestions and hinting that he wanted to come along was excellent. It seems that the crazy getups as the boys 'suit up' are going to be a recurring gag. I'm good with that. And I'm good with them bumbling their way to success that we see as they bag souls. If they were actually really good at this stuff right out of the shoot, now that might be something to worry about.
My only complaint is the continued use of Josie to get information. Now, I'll go ahead and get on board with any reason to get Valarie Rae Miller on the screen a little more, but there has to be a better way than that being their only means of gaining access to the internet. Yeah, she works for the D.A., but none of the things they are looking for require that. I do look forward to more Josie in the future, and to Sam and Sock discovering AOL.
So, three souls down, who knows how many more to go. So far, so good. The show is off to a fantastic start and feels like it's all come together already.
|Absolutely, who doesn't want to be the king of toilets?||30 (14.6%)|
|No, that's letting the hooks set in just a little too deep.||87 (42.2%)|
|Yes, but only under the condition that Sock and Ben move to plumbing with him.||89 (43.2%)|