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'Reaper': Gladys all over

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Reaper_l Ask and ye shall receive. Like Sock himself (Tyler Labine, pictured), Reaper fans have been longing to see more of Gladys (Christine Willes), the saturnine DMV demon. Well, our prayers were answered in this week’s Gladys-centric episode, “The Cop,” which began with Gladys making a suprise visit to the boys’ home turf and buying a lot of paper towels at the Work Bench (and what was that tarp-wrapped bundle in her car that looked suspiciously like a corpse?). This shopping trip only further whetted Sock’s fascination with her, leading him to a few discoveries (and some even more tantalizing secrets) about what makes this deadpan demon tick.

Sock and Ben actually tracked Gladys back to her house, and when she left for work, they broke in and found… nothing that unusual. It was just an ordinary suburban home, filled with middle-aged lady kitsch (including lots of angel figurines — perhaps Gladys’ way of pining for the celestial status she might have enjoyed before she and Lucifer and all the other demon rebels became fallen angels?), and with a greenhouse in the backyard. Still, even the neighbors find her creepy, especially the kids, who regard her as the local Boo Radley and egg her house. Gladys, in turn, seems hurt by the ostracism, but also by Sock and Ben’s invasion of her privacy. In a terrific sequence, Sock returns to her house to apologize and express empathy, Gladys softens, and the two start a furious make-out session on the couch. Alas, it turns out to be Sock’s dream, but as he learns later, a dream planted by Gladys herself. Wicked!

The Gladys storyline was yet another example of how Reaper‘s subplots have become more engaging than the ostensible main plot, the escaped-soul-of-the-week. This week’s involved yet another fugitive serial killer (ho-hum) and would have been strictly dullsville except for a few things: the killer’s nifty ability to peel off his own tattoos (strands of barbed wire, fireballs) and use them as weapons; the guest appearance of X-Files costar Mitch Pileggi (as the menacing cop of the episode title, who turns out to have his own contract with Satan); Sam’s childlike glee in getting to use a taser gun to capture the bad guy; and Sam’s discovery that he doesn’t necessarily need Sock and Ben’s help (since they were both too busy stalking Gladys) to hunt down escaped souls.

Two other mild disappointments: First, not enough time with Ray Wise’s Devil (though his line about having a craving for a bloomin’ onion was pricelessly delivered), and the whole Andi subplot. I’m glad she dumped Greg, who went from being bland to being a jerk in about 10 seconds flat, but it was strange to see her then pull away from Sam. It’s one thing for her to worry that if she and Sam did become a couple and then broke up, it would ruin their friendship (à la Sock and Josie), but another thing to break down in tears when he offered her a necklace. I still think there’s something she’s not telling us, a possibly diabolical secret.

What do you think Andi is keeping from Sam? Does Gladys have a thing for Sock, or is she just toying with him? Which would you rather do: have to scrape all the gum out of a dumpster, or be treated to a lobster dinner but get stiffed for the bill? And how soon do you think Sam will get to use that Monopoly-style “Get Out of Hell Free” card?