By Michael Slezak
Updated October 17, 2007 at 06:38 PM EDT
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The CW may be the go-to network of today’s youth, but its freshmandramedy Reaper could benefit from beefed-up screen time for its oldestcharacter. Indeed, episode four — a definite improvement on lastweek’s humdrum hour — was at its best whenever Ray Wise’s Satan was inthe mix. When an angry driver shouted “Go to hell, jerk!” out hiswindow, the Devil’s response — “I’ll meet you there, Bruce!” — andfollow-up explanation to Sam (“The little thing on his neck — not afreckle”) nailed the absurd, mean-spirited humor that’s made me a fastfan of the show. Here’s a question: Since Sam’s family and two of hisfriends already know he’s Satan’s bounty hunter, why not let theminteract with El Diablo, too?

On a happy note, this week’s episode expanded the options for whatconstitutes a demon-catching vessel, as Sam’s weekly delivery fromSatan contained a cooing white dove instead of the electronic equipmentwe’ve come to expect. The fact that Ben (the terrific Rick Gonzalez)bonded with said bird — naming him Winston, feeding him snacks, andcuddling him inside his jacket — made it all the more amusing when thecreature morphed into a swarm of ravens, descended onto the fiend ofthe week, and sucked him up in a flurry of blood and feathers. Sure,the climactic event looked pretty similar to last week’s bug storm, butI’m guessing the F/X budget for Reaper is probably less than thehairspray budget for America’s Next Top Model.

What did you think of last night’s Reaper? Are you rooting for aSam-Andi hookup, or like me, are you hoping our hero shakes things upand develops a new workplace crush? And finally, was that a rhesus monkeyon the inspirational “Believe” poster in Ted’s office? If it was…random!


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