(S01E12) These are very interesting times for our pals down at the 'Bench. Reaper was noticeably absent from the list of renewals their CW overlords sent around a couple weeks ago. The Hollywood Reporter article that Anna posted about last week, talking about bubble shows, didn't do a lot to instill confidence either. It looks like it's going to take some solid ratings in the Winchester slot to bring the show back for round two. We'll get to that, and what was another very good episode, after the jump.
OK, first up, ratings talk. Last week the show managed 2.8 million viewers. To put that in perspective, the last new episode of Supernatural, airing in that slot, against similar competition, pulled in 3.2 million. I don't think that bodes well for Reaper. I'm remaining optimistic though, hoping that there is a measurable percentage of audience that just dropped the ball and didn't realize new episodes were back. If we are going to see a boost in ratings, it should be with this episode. Otherwise, 2.8 might be the show's level on Thursdays. And that is too bad, because it really is firing on all cylinders.
There was a lot to like about "Unseen." I'll start with my favorite part of the show, the continually evolving relationship between Jerry and Sam. They've done a good job building that underlying tension between the two of them throughout the season, and last week was definitely a high water mark. With that tension escalated, it makes their conversations so much more interesting to watch. You're just waiting for Jerry to snap and knock Sam back down a peg or two. The pair of them are just great together. Also, there is just something I find funny about the devil playing the Wii.
Along with that, Sam's new relationship with Cady is paying dividends. I was on board already, just because it knocked us out of the Sam and Andi rut that was threatening to trap the show. How it's all playing out though, is very fun. As soon as Jerry brought out the glasses, my first thought was, "Let's get a look at Cady through those specs." The veiled threats to Andi, the creepy snoring, going all Earl Anthony at bowling night, the breaking glass, it's all very weird. And none of it seems to point to happily ever after for our two lovebirds.
For her part, Andi was ok this week. Sure, she's jealous, and we all saw that coming. But I did like the little conversation she had with Sam where she warned him about Cady. She's doing the right thing, at the risk of alienating Sam. Fortunately for her, he was already headed down that path. I suspect that means we'll see a return to the Sam/Andy thing, but that's OK. By the time that gets set into motion we'll be kicking off a second season, and I'd make that trade. I put up with a hokey soap-opera murder story to get my second season of Friday Night Lights, so I'll work with more Sam/Andy if it means more Reaper.
Cady (Jessica Stroup) wasn't the only guest getting some play this week. In what I thought was a brilliant bit of casting we also got to meet the new neighbors, Steve (Michael Ian Black) and Tony (Ken Marino). I'm a sucker for this kind of thing. Phil Stubbs and Vinnie Van Lowe as gay demons? I'll get on board that train every time. That bit of the story worked on two levels. There was something off about the pair of them from the start, and I really liked the reveal. Little electric sanders. Like the kinder, gentler, Hellboy. Tony and Steve also served as a nice setup for Sock to be Sock. His insecurities bubbling to the surface, but then being overcome by their shared love of the Naked Chef and the Food Network.
Of course, those neighbors come along due to the new diggs for the boys. That's good timing. They needed a bat cave. The 'Bench does have a plethora of supplies, but they were spending entirely too much time there. This frees them up and offers options. Sock forcing the apartment on Ben and Sam fit in perfectly with everything we know about him. He clearly operates under the better to ask forgiveness than permission philosophy. I especially liked the details of things like the Leia poster, and the Ted dart board.
And in the spirit of Sock's beloved Magic Bullet, I have to toss out my own infomercial line, "But wait, there's more." All of that and we haven't even made it to the big bad of the week, one Herbert Scrim. With so much else going on, Herbert didn't get the same kind of focus that some of his fellow escapees have warranted. I'm giving the Reaper team extra points for this one anyway though. An invisible monster can be a tough sell, but I thought it was handled very well. The paint ball scene really sold it, and I loved the effect of their various paint colors swirling inside the Bullet.
So, where does all of that leave us? Crossing our fingers and hoping for a reprieve I think. I really don't want this DVD set to end up on my "Complete Series" shelf next to Keen Eddie, Firefly, Wonderfalls, The Lone Gunmen, Cleopatra 2525, Clerks, and The Dresden Files. As far as the show goes, no complaints about "Unseen" here. The only negative I have is the nagging voice in the back of my melon that keeps saying, "What about that page of the contract?" Whichever way the series goes, I do hope that there is time to get back to that part of the story before the show heads off into the sunset.
|Sam is going to have to package them up for Gladys.||20 (9.3%)|
|They'll be 'good' demons, and the boys will continue to be friendly with them.||159 (73.6%)|
|Finding out who Sam is, they skip town.||7 (3.2%)|
|It turns out that one of them is actually Cady's father.||30 (13.9%)|