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'Reaper': Things are getting messy, finally

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Reaper_lIs it me, or is Reaper just not as much fun as it used to be, five long weeks ago? Thank goodness (or badness) that last night’s episode actually moved the mythology forward a bit, since the plotting is starting to seem rote. Once again, Sam had to flake on Andi because he was too busy being Satan’s Little Helper, and he hadto make up a lame lie to explain his flakiness. Once again, Sam’s parents behaved strangely. Once again, while chasing the Escaped Soul of the Week (almost an afterthought this time, given how easy it was for Sam and his team to find and ultimately capture the guy), poor Ben got the worst of it, smothering in a mixture of Ghostbuster-y ectoplasmic slime and used kitty litter. (You should have just let him kill me, a grossed-out Ben told his friends.) Clearly something has to change.

Fortunately, the episode presented us with some intriguing possibilities for a new direction in the show’s main relationship. No, not between Sam and Andi, though I’m glad she’s given up on Sam and started dating someone new, even if it is the bland and obviously doomed Greg. She, too, has been stuck in a rut. Initially, I thought there would be a darker, more supernatural explanation as to why she’s serving time in Purgatory at the Work Bench, but it appears that she’s simply as directionless as Sam, Sock, and Ben.

Rather, I’m talking about the relationship between Sam and the Devil. For once, Bret Harrison (pictured, right) let Sam’s festering resentment of his fate explode; sure, it was a petulant outburst regarding Greg, but by giving in to his baser impulses (taking the bait and blabbing about the picture of Greg and the “slutty twins,” who turned out to be Glen’s sisters), he really is becoming the Devil’s tool. As for his boss: Ray Wise (left) continues to be diabolically delightful, but this week, he started to show a hint of the hellish fury you’d expect from Old Scratch. Notice how he suddenly turned curt in his refusal to meet with Sam’s dad, or how adamant he was that Sam not bring Andi into the circle the way he has Ben and Sock? What is he not telling Sam? Was I right about Andi, that she has some larger, eschatological role to play than as Sam’s unattainable dream girl? And what do you suppose was on the page of the contract for Sam’s soul that his father ripped out of the binder and tossed into the fire? I don’t know, but I hope this all means things are going to erupt soon. Forget spectral sewer slime, this is the kind of mess I want to see the Work Bench gang try to clean up.