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Reaper: The Devil & Sam Oliver (series finale)

by Brad Trechak, posted May 27th 2009 12:22AM
Reaper(S02E13) Reaper has been axed by The CW and until I hear that another network has picked this show up, I will consider this the series finale and not simply the season finale. Admittedly, it ended on a mixed note.

I'm glad the Devil actually has a weakness with regards to his vanity. When a character is all-powerful, they get boring rather quickly. Thankfully, Ray Wise has the talent to keep the character interesting despite his handicap of near-omnipotence. When you consider that, you have to wonder how Sam could have possibly thought he had an advantage during the first game of quarters.

The character of Mary Pat (whom I found amusing, but only because she reminded me of some people I know) was gone pretty quickly. At first I thought Steve was back because they couldn't get Tony for the finale until the broken hand occurred. Obviously, the creators planned a bigger role for Sam as a pawn of the war between Heaven and Hell. It's a pity that unless the show miraculously gets picked up, it will never get resolved.

The entire situation with Nina was a cute homage to the Exorcist movies. At least Ben is happy at the end of the series.

After two seasons, I still don't get the nature of the relationship between Sam and the Devil. If Sam refuses to do something, how exactly can the Devil exercise power over him and force him to do his bidding? Hypnosis? Can he use Sam's body like a puppeteer? Sam just seems to resign to his fate rather than refuse. If the series continues, my guess is that Andi will be stuck in the same deal as Sam. At least when they both go to Hell, they'll be together.

At least the relationships got a satisfactory ending: Sam is with Andi, Ben is still with Nina, and Sock is with Sock.

I find it ironic that in the final episode the best line was said by Gladys (usually it's given to Ray Wise): "You look like Justin Timberlake just took a dump."

What was the point of introducing that Indian character (whose name escapes me. Pacey?) in the Work Bench? Other than as a second-rate Gerry Bednob, he seemed to have no purpose in the season.

Obviously, we're never going to learn the big storyline between Heaven and Hell and Sam's involvement between the two. If you have a theory, please leave it in the comments.

Overall, I think the series had a nice concept with good characters, but suffered from a combination of poor writing and a budget that was too small for the concept. Too often I found myself saying what was going to happen a minute or two before it was mentioned in the story. I did enjoy the series and do hope that somehow, someway there will be a third season, but Reaper might have worked better as a feature film. Fortunately, for the same concept with a slightly better execution, we'll have Chuck next season.

So what did you think of Reaper?

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Paul in NJ

I like the idea of a direct-to-DVD movie. It's worked for many other shows.

And here's proof that it works for low-budget productions: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (http://www.amazon.com/Horribles-Sing-Along-Blog-Patrick-Harris/dp/B001M5UDGS) cost about $200K to make (http://doctorhorrible.net/joss-whedon-talks-about-how-its-all-going/912/), and it ranks #22 in Amazon's Movies & TV.

So who's up for "Reaper: the DVD Series"? ;}

May 27 2009 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
metz

You can't overthrow the devil. You can just knock him down a peg. I was really hoping that they'd turn the season finale into a true series finale and focus exclusively on Sam getting out of his deal with the Devil. The seeds were there but they chose the cliff hanger in hopes that they will get picked up for another season.

May 27 2009 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
payme

I have watched this show throughout, because it does have pleasant characters/actors and doesn't take itself too seriously. However, its always been something that isn't "must-see" tv and I usually DVR'ed it and watched it later - and I always watched it in the background while I did something else. I would've liked it to stay, but really the series got in boring ruts. And as for Chuck being "slightly better executed" - I am going to have to disagree, now thats must-see tv for me!

May 27 2009 at 7:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B

"Obviously, we're never going to learn the big storyline between Heaven and Hell and Sam's involvement between the two. If you have a theory, please leave it in the comments."

I think ultimately it would have been straight forward and Sam would have just been instrumental with overthrowing the devil. He'd cultivated throughout the series a strong potential bench of allies to aid in the battle. He had a pretty strong relationship with the demon rebellion that already failed, he had his father and half-brother(forgot his name) in hell who would probably aide him(his brother would probably need to be convinced or just motivated by rage to get back at the devil), he could probably get Nina and Gladys to help him also. Maybe he even could have used the help of some of the more sympathetic escaped souls.

May 27 2009 at 5:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
catko

I'm pinning my hopes on the show being picked up by cable or syndication; we hear that ABC Studios is making these deals right now. Fans, you can help prove there's an audience for this show by writing ABC and your CW affiliate; information here at http://reaperdmv.com . Let's save the show and see where the mytharc goes. Maybe Walt will be right!

May 27 2009 at 4:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Blue Sunflower

You're gonna treat it as the series finale and not the potential series finale? Way to be part of the problem dude.

Luckily, things aren't looking quite as dark for the show as you're acting. I'll wait until final word comes out from ABC before I start theorizing about things I'll "obviously never learn."

May 27 2009 at 4:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Walt

How much money would it take to hire everyone there, including the departing stars such as the guy who plays Sock to work up a Straight To DVD movie? TNT or SciFi would prolly bite on a wrap up movie event.

Sad to see our favorite Devil not get his due, but such is life.

What would the plot of a wrap up movie involve?

Ya know that bit about "Death Takes A Holiday" where there's an issue when nobody is around to deal with the soon to be dead? Well, what happens when the Devil is taken out of action by some force of Sam? We'd find out that we need the Devil to deal with the evil, and not that the Devil is the cause of it. Naturally, Sam and friends would have to visit Hell to find a way to reinstitute the Devil, and hopefully a happy ending for Sam.

Anyway, that's how I'd do it.

May 27 2009 at 3:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Walt's comment
Martin

I would prefer something more original, not what Little Nicky ripped from Death takes a Holiday... but yeah, your movie has basically already been made, with Adam Sandler and fried chicken!

May 27 2009 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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