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"Reaper": Some Improvement

By admin Published: October 30, 2007

I had bailed out on "Reaper" for the last couple of weeks because, after a promising start, it had fallen into the same plot week after week. I was recording it, but I didn't feel any great urge to watch. But this morning I checked out last night's episode, and it seemed somewhat better.

The show is finally allowing Sam to be used to his job, so we don't get the reluctant dragon bit every week. The use of a famous historical soul -- in this case Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley -- was a nice little flourish. The scene of the dead bodies in the slaughterhouse was genuinely unnerving. And having the Devil hate Halloween was not only a funny line but an idea that was built on; I especially liked him playing golf with the pumpkins at the end.

Not so sure about the serialized stories. The awkward romance isn't much except for a way of showing new assertiveness in Sam. The business with the contract from last week (I did a quick skim after watching this week's episode) looks too much like a setup for a season-ending cliffhanger. The show did plenty with the Devil's warning about what could happen to everyone around Sam, to establish that he's not getting out of his deal and he really shouldn't tell anyone else. Then we could get down to soul-hunting.

Of course, the effects, including the monster dog, are beyond cheesy. The whole Leon thing didn't hold up over the episode. And Missy Peregrym seems to have two, maybe three expressions in her acting bag.

But there's still Ray Wise. And enough decent storytelling that I'm a little bit more interested in future episodes.

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