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October 10, 2015

Reaper: The Leak

by Brett Love, posted May 14th 2008 7:28AM

Ken Marino and Conrad Coates - Reaper
(S01E17) All things considered, this has been a pretty good week for Reaper. In light of the very real possibility that next week's season finale could have been a series finale, news that the show has been picked up for next season is cause for celebration. Sure, the thirteen episodes for mid-season part isn't ideal, but hey, gift horses and whatnot. I am already looking forward to a Reaper/Supernatural block on Thursday nights. And hey, there was a new episode too. There was a lot going on, but the big news was that after months of patience, there is finally some news on the contract. That, and the rest of the episode, after the jump.

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

Once again this week, the show managed to weave a collection of stories together. Let's start at the bottom and work our way up. Ben and Sara, not that the story wasn't good, but it's hard to compete with the contract. I like the way this has all played out. Giving a much bigger story to Ben makes a huge difference. It's been pretty obvious from the get go that the marriage wasn't going to end well, and tonight it all came crashing down.

The lead up was fantastic, with Tyler Labine stealing the scene as they prepared for their interview. "Benjamin, rip off that shirt. We gotta get you lubed up." The combination of fear and bewilderment emanating from Ben through the entire process was perfect, even forgetting his own mother's name. But the crucial scene was that of the proposed bribe. I was hoping and hoping that Ben was going to throw her under the bus right there, showing up only to wave goodbye as the immigration agents carted her off. Nice guy Ben just doesn't have that in him though. I knew the money was gone, but was guessing it had gone back to Manchester with Sara, not that she was on the lam. Nice that it leaves the door open for her possible return in season two.

Then we had one Mike Volta. Richard Burgi is always good, so nice casting there. Just as a soul of the week, it was pretty solid. The back and forth between Mike and Sam reminded me of the old cartoon "Don't Give Up The Sheep" with Sam the sheepdog and Ralph the wolf. Both of them just going about their jobs. No reason they couldn't be civil during their off time. I also really liked the Polaroid vessel, and the disposable flash bulbs were a great touch. Another interesting bit of Mike's tale though, was the possibility that comes out of what we learn about Mike. Given his penchant for seducing married women, is it so inconceivable that he could be Sam's father? Certainly all signs point to Jerry at this point, but it's certainly not something that is set in stone. Don't they look alike?
Richard Burgi and Bret Harrison - Reaper

But the best part of Mike's story was that it gave Gladys more to do. If you had seen any of the previews for the episode, they blew the big reveal that she was Mike's inside man long ago. That was unfortunate, but not a huge deal as there was plenty more to the story. As it played out, it was almost a little sad when Gladys revealed that she did it because she was tired of being lonely. Awwww. It makes you feel for her. Not unlike the reaction we saw from Sock. I like that he has formed such an attachment to Gladys. Blaming himself for her death, and how he fretted over her burial.

Her resurrection came as a relief. And given the nature of it, I'm going to start operating under the notion that Claire from Heroes is a demon, because the idea just makes the show so much more entertaining. It's also worth mentioning the showdown at the DMV between Jerry and Gladys. Just the looks from the two of them were fantastic. I know that the CW doesn't get Emmy nominations, because of entirely too many sticks stuck in entirely too many asses. And neither do supernatural/comedy shows, but good grief, is anybody better at their job on TV than Ray Wise? I am awfully thankful that Sam, and his special connection, were able to get Gladys her old gig back. She's just too much a part of the show to be gone so soon.

And finally, the contract. It's been a long wait, but I was thrilled when Andi butted in and got Tony on board with taking a look at the contract. And even happier to see Conrad Coates (The Dresden Files) as Kenneth, the go to demon for contract law. Not only did we learn what we had expected, that the page Sam's father ripped out had to do with who Sam's real father was, but he removed multiple pages that referenced it. Just that one little reveal sets up a whole pile of conflicts for the big finale.

Now that Tony believes Sam is one of Jerry's kids, does he tell him what they found? Will the other demons share Tony's protective nature where Sam is concerned? Assuming that they do tell him, how's that scene play out with the parents? And does Sam jump to the same conclusions as Tony, Kenneth, and the rest of us? It could make for some great scenes with Sam and Jerry. So many ways to go, but we'll have to wait until next week to see how it all plays out.

One quick edit to settle the debate on which camera Sam was using for the vessel. On the left, an admittedly grainy screencap from the episode. And on the right, the Polaroid OneStep. Two points for bc and tracey.
Polaroid OneStep

Get your votes in now, is Sam the son of the devil?
Yes, Tony and Kenneth have it right.164 (41.8%)
No, our chain is being yanked.228 (58.2%)

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This idea first hit me seriously when we saw Cady through the glasses... and saw nothing. Made me wonder what we'd see in a mirror. Although, now, way too obvious to happen.

As you can tell, I'm a bit behind. So the next episode I watch, ten minutes from now, may make me look the fool.

But damn, this show gets better and better. Ken Marino is great. Mike Volta was great. Is anything even slightly less than great? I would have had to have been forced to watch the pilot, and caught the tail end on a fluke. Same with the next episode. But I was pretty sold. And it just got better and better.

June 02 2008 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

best moment (of many - great episode!) of the night - gladys getting eaten by that giant Dune like worm...and her utterly dazed reappearance. when i was an extra on northern exposure she did an episode or two - a really nice woman from what i recall. but it's weird - i checked imdb and her northern exposure bit doesn't show up...i could swear it was her...

May 14 2008 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sam asked Jerry (Satan) point-blank if Cady was his daughter. Satan said no, without hesitation. I'm inclined to believe him, despite him being Satan. But the way Satan answered suggested that Sam was onto something (who Satan is the father of).

I don't think Mike is Sam's father. Mike's story was meant to allude to the deal that went down between Satan and Sam's parents, which resulted in the conception of Sam.

But the one question I'd like answered: WTF happened to Sam's younger brother?? Have the producers simply decided to "forget" him from this series entirely?

May 14 2008 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scotty's comment

He is shooting hoops with Richie Cunningham's older bro.

May 16 2008 at 3:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We never did find out for sure if Cady was his daughter, but as far as I remember, it was still a possibility, so that was what I was basing my comment on. But you are right, nothing for sure.

May 14 2008 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know the fact that the Devil may be Sam's father has been brought up for a while now, but only tonight did I realize that if Sam is the Devil's son, that could mean that Sam was banging his own sister earlier in the season when he was dating Cady, which rightly freaked me out.

May 14 2008 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael's comment

I don't think we ever found out for sure that Cady was the devil's daughter, did we?

I'm so glad to hear that this was renewed! I think my favorite part of the episode was how the Devil didn't want to release Gladys from hell until Sam said please. With puppy-dog eyes.

May 14 2008 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For a very long time i had thought that sam was the devil's son, but with these episode, and the fact that they directly hint us that... i stared wondering, you know, these show is the most impredictable out there, when we think white, they go black (and that is what make it great), so in the same logic... maybe jerry isn't sam dad as we all though...
whay do you guys think???

May 14 2008 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm pretty sure the camera was a Polaroid One-Step. I used to have one when I was a kid. See the picture near the bottom of this page:

You know, I've been convinced since rather early in the series that Sam was the devil's son, and the first time I had any doubt of it was... when the demons came right out and said it! This series is so full of twists and turns that if they tell you one thing, you know it can't be true!

May 14 2008 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tracey's comment
Brett Love

tracey, you and bc have it right with the camera. I've added a screencap that shows it is in fact a OneStep. Nicely done.

May 14 2008 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the 2nd week that the CW has spoiled the episode in advance. Bah! Someone over there needs to learn how to make better previews/commercials.

Ray Wise is the best! And I really liked that this week's soul was kinda different, in that he didn't seem all that bad at first. It was a nice change. So glad the show got renewed!

May 14 2008 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just a nitpick, but I'm pretty sure that camera is Kodak's patent-infringing version of an instant-photo camera.

May 14 2008 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Hank's comment
Brett Love

That's an excellent detail Hank. My knowledge of instant cameras is such that I just toss around "Polaroid" to cover them all, like southerners and their abuse of the word coke. Now, if Sam had been given something from the AE-1 family, I'd be on better footing.

May 14 2008 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

No, no, no. Kodak's instant cameras were a different shape and color. This was probably an original 1977 Polaroid OneStep--white with a central rainbow stripe, used the flashbar; later on most models had built-in electronic flash, as did Kodak's folding models.

As an aside, how cool is it that Richard Burgi can make his man-boobs jiggle?

May 14 2008 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hadn't even thought of Mike "The Ladies Man" Volta being Sam's father. With so much else going on, that possibility went right past me. This was a great episode, with something for everyone to do. The only one missing was Ted. Those little "Ted-isodes" are always a sure-fire way to inject some quick humor into any episode. Sara was nearly at that point too, although in a crazy-chick kinda way that reminded me too much of former girlfriends.

I bet Jerry ends up being SOMEbody's father though, either Sam or Andi is my guess. I'd hate to think of Sam's hot mom cheating on his dad though. With anyone but Sock that is.

May 14 2008 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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