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September 2, 2014

Reaper: Coming To Grips

by Brett Love, posted Apr 30th 2008 1:10AM

Missy Peregrym and Ian Gomez - Reaper
(S01E15) "I'm going to rebuild the army... Pass the paprika." - Tony

Finally, the season-long game of Sam trying to hide his demon hunting gig from Andi comes to a head. It was a welcome event in my little corner of TV land. I had taken issue with their relationship early in the season as it started to feel like we were in a rut and watching the same scene play out over and over. These last two weeks with the two of them together have done a lot to repair that chink in the Reaper armor. But wait, would finding out about Sam's special gift send us right back into that old familiar loop? Ours is not to spoil above the fold, so read on for thoughts on that, and a boatload of other goings on down by the 'Bench.

Gallery: Reaper

Reaper - Ray Wise & Bret HarrisonReaper - Bret HarrisonReaper - Bret HarrisonReaper - Valarie Rae MillerReaper - Rick GonzalezReaper - Ray WiseReaper - Missy PeregrymReaper - Missy PeregrymReaper - Ray Wise and Bret HarrisonReaper - Tyler LabineReaper - CastReaper - Ray WiseReaper - Missy PeregrymReaper - Tyler LabineReaper - Valarie Rae Miller

Clearly, the big news this week was Sam and Andi. So let's kick things off there. I've been on board with the show from the get go, with the lone exception being the Sam and Andi relationship. Early on, it was the least engaging thing about the story. The last two weeks have turned that around. I like the two of them as a couple, and I really liked watching the machinations of Sam finally getting to tell her his big secret.

Her reaction to the news the first time (and how perfect was it that Sock jumped in to steal the reveal?) was just what you would expect. Who in their right mind would just accept that story? My thought all along was that she was going to have to be shown actual physical evidence before she could accept it, but I didn't see the kidnapping plot coming at all. It fit perfectly, and the meeting at Tony's country getaway was a fun scene. "Please don't pee on the carpet. I just put it down."

I probably would have bought in if Andi had her change of heart right there, after passing out or some such dramatic reaction. Their later scene though, where Sam professed his love, and Andi told him she's scared of him made for a nice dramatic moment. They took it farther than I expected, and it worked. The final scene at the bar where they feel out just where they are now, "So.... weird day." finished it off just right. We've now got all of that will they or won't they and hiding from Andi stuff out of the way and can start to get to the good stuff. (contract!)

As good as all of that was, it made up, what?, 20% of the episode? The thing that most amazed me about this week was just how much stuff they managed to cram in to one hour. Along with the Sam and Andi unification, we also had, "The deal v.2.0." Honestly, I was all for Sam taking the deal, favors and all, because having the devil own your soul already, what else can he really do? And in the end, as the details of the favor became clear, even before they were spelled out, you realize, the deal really doesn't matter. He could have made the same demands of an inside man on Sam. The threat to do harm to Andi is going to carry the same weight either way. I think it's just another example of the fact that Jerry likes to play games. Like Costanza, he likes having hand.

Following on the heel's of last week's Sock and Josie story, our pal Ben got a nice little tale of his own. A story complete with some fantastic guest casting. You can't do much better for your dueling love interests than Lucy Davis (The Office, Studio 60) and Kandsye McClure (Battlestar Galactica). I have to admit, I guessed completely wrong on this one. The moment Sara said that she had none of the qualities on the list I thought the lesson was going to be that you never know where you are going to find love, hearts and flowers, etc. The twist of him finding Cassidy reading a Sue Grafton (O is for Obscure) novel made way for a great scene at the bar as the ball and chain forbid his moving forward with it. It's a very fun side story and I do look forward to more from one, or both, of them.

But wait, like a Popeil infomercial... There's more. Tony made his scary return. Like many of you, after watching "Rebellion" I thought that Tony would be coming back bent on revenge. But where would the fun have been in that? It really is a great character, and his hasty forgiveness of Sam sets well with what we have learned about him. I particularly liked the cooking scene: "Oh, that's how you do that." The Jack and Tony relationship also really ups the tension in what is already a strained dynamic with Sam and Jerry. I suspect we'll see Sam holding up his end of the deal as best he can while shielding Tony, and the resistance, from as much damage as possible.

All that, and we haven't even talked about the demon of the week. That's what making a great show looks like. I almost feel bad relegating Ian Gomez (Felicity Think about it, Javier is the Semen Demon. It's funny.) to this late a spot in the review. But that's the nature of what was a jam packed week. This was more great casting, and yet another inventive escaped soul. The joke of a sperm bank operator named Jack King is the lowest of the low-brow, but I'm a sucker for low-brow. The regeneration was a good gimmick, and the scene with a naked Jack landing on Sock's back was priceless.

So, where does all that leave us? Sam and Andi should be relatively squared away now. That means we have the escalated tensions between Sam and Jerry to look forward to as they match wits over the rebellion. That makes for the perfect time to dig the contract back up. It's been too long already. Dust off the costumes for Pa Oliver and let's get into just what was on that page. Personally, I really like the theory that Sam is Jerry's son. It goes a long way to explain both why Sam's father would destroy the page, and why Jerry has a different relationship with Sam than any other hunter. That's all fuel for the future. Paul will be back next week to review "Greg, Schmeg" which will hopefully shed a little more light on our mysteries.

Sam & Andi, sittin' in a tree... What say you?
Ah yes, it's much better now that they are together.178 (47.6%)
Nope. They should have stayed apart and kept Sam's secret.10 (2.7%)
Point a camera at Missy Peregrym and I'm in either way.186 (49.7%)

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Brett Love

You're not forgetting anything Will. That all came up in this episode.

May 06 2008 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

I'm really starting to like this show now. It was so great to see Dee in this episode. I almost didn't recognize her. What's the deal with Ben being married? Am I forgetting something?

May 06 2008 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hemlock

Man this show is awesome. I hope they don't cancel it like some are saying. It is one of the only shows I actually watch!!

May 01 2008 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jayr2345

Yet another great ep. There was nothing about tonight's show that I didn't like. I loved the part where Sam and Sock are filling out there fake sperm donor applications and comparing fake credentials.

April 30 2008 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scott

I can't believe you left out the best line of the night - Sam to the receptionist at the sperm bank: "Hi, we'd like to become donors."

And this farmer needs a wife crap - what the hell?? for the second half of the show (in HD) the "little" CW logo in the corner took up about a quarter of the screen with farmer info on top of it. WTF?!?

I love the idea of sending socks if it gets cancelled. not new ones, either...

April 30 2008 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mmm....cheesy

Kevin Smith actually had nothing to do with this episode nor with any of the previous episodes. He only directed the pilot and then got credit as a consulting producer, which is basically a figure-head position. In other words, he's only involved by name only.

April 30 2008 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mmm....cheesy's comment
Walt

It just shows how easy it is to "do" a Kevin Smith knockoff, because it looks like him helping out in each episode, but as you say, he's only got the consulting producer credit.
(I say "easy" not meaning easy but how seamless it is, making it look easy, so kudos to the actor and others that pull that off, and nice it's not overdone)

Yes, it will suck when the CW pulls this show, but it has been fun watching.

April 30 2008 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fred

Yeah, this was the best episode of the series so far, fantastic!

I especially loved that the whole thing with Andi actually moved on, that they're stll together and she knows the truth. Very refreshing!

I was shocked too to see that Andi could use the vessel, because yes Sock once was wearing the vessel, but Sam was holding him, or they were holding hands or something; and not so long ago when Sock tried to use the vessel, nothing happened!

The only time someone else could use the vessel, I think, was on the pilot (Ben and the hand-held vacuum-cleaner), but it wasn't against a soul, and it was the pilot so maybe not everything was set back then.

I also thought they couldn't deliver an incomplete vessel, yet this time it worked fine, didn't one time Gladys refused to take the vessel cause the escaped soul(s) weren't all in or something ??

http://tvoholic.com/episode-reviews/reaper-coming-to-grips/

Anyways, great show, awesome episode, The CW should renew it and air it along with Supernatural next season or something...

April 30 2008 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GL

Naked guy....too funny.

I'm hoping Sam just tells Tony what's up and they use it to their advantage.

April 30 2008 at 8:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keithnl

After reading the cancellation rumors this episode kinda bummed me out because it was so good.

Were they advancing the plot becuase the show is strong enough to go to new places like buffy did and still crank out great episodes, or is it moving along and getting better because they're running out of time, like lost.

April 30 2008 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ras Thavas

I repeat what I said earlier. If they cancel this show we should "Jericho" the CW network and flood them via mail with socks.

April 30 2008 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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