"Reaper": Sam and Andi confront the devil inside

Bretharrison "Reaper" fans, I come not to bury the show, but to praise it. And since we're more than likely looking at the final season of the show, let's enjoy every morsel we can. Sure, it's tough with Kristen and her booty shorts getting in the way, but we'll try and make the best of things with the few remaining weeks we have.

How best to spice things up on a show stuck in a geographical rut? ROAD TRIP! The Devil sends Sam and the Hellish Hand Grenade to Dove Hollow to find Mordecai Nash, an escaped soul now taking the form of a giant tentacled beast hiding out in the local silver mine. Nash can also mimic of any member of Dove Hollow that he's killed. Think "tentacle puppets" and you get the idea of how he managed to fool Sam and company.

Basically, there's only one living soul left in Dove Hollow: its sheriff. At first, he seems willing to help Sam in his supernatural endeavor, but by episode's end we learn he's Nash's puppet, willing to feed Nash tourist-flavored snacks in return for living the idyllic life in his utopian town. It's "Pleasantville" by way of "Children of the Corn" with a dash of "Hot Fuzz" topped off with a dollop of "The Blob."

The Sheriff also stands as both foil and potential future for Sam, as the corruption of our hero's soul stood at the thematic center of the hour. Still stung by Morgan's revelation of Sam's supposed parentage, Andi's already gun shy about her boyfriend's disposition. But watching him try to summon his inner "devil power" to open a bottle of wine during their picnic lunch in front of the haunted mine shaft proved just a touch too much for Andi. By episode's end, their relationship is in serious jeopardy of being permanently over. (Again.)

Ironically, losing Andi might be the element that truly pushes Sam over to the dark side. It's unclear, as Andi says, whether Sam's learning to enjoy his work with the Devil or always possessed a latent capacity for evil. But it's not only Andi that notices it: Nina plants a smooch on Sam's lips after realizing Sam spared the Sheriff's life not out of compassion, but a form of cruelty. "Reaper" has done a pretty good job of guiding Sam to this place where we as an audience are starting to come to the same conclusions at the same time as the characters on the show.

Of course, taking Sam completely down that path would involve the removal of Sock and Ben from his life. Those bonds will be more difficult to break. But for this week, the only troubles for Sam's sidekicks are their respective love lives. Sock finally got his wish and slept with Kristen (um, yay?), only to have her run away in shame. Meanwhile, Ben put Nina in his Fave Five and bombarded her with calls, which annoyed her. Then, at Andi's behest, he stopped calling her. Which not only annoyed her, but directly led her into the first of Nash's three stomachs.

Both sets of relationships seem pretty doomed. The arrival of Sock and Kristen's parents will undoubtedly put a strain on their relationship. Then again, because "Reaper" seems to occasionally hate me, this plot development might just lead to more Sock-Kristen sweat fests. As for Ben, the boy's got it bad, but Nina's got it bad for bad boys. Can't see that ending well at all.

The good? Everything involving Sam's corruption. It's a fascinating story and should be at the heart of this season. The bad? The episode dragged, too long by half and yet felt twice as long as it was. Thematically strong, but dramatically lacking: that's the best way to sum things up.

But enough about me: did you enjoy the vacation from (literal) hell? Do you buy Sam's slow descent into evil, or does the concern seem unfounded? And what precisely is the Devil's ultimate goal with Sam? Leave your thoughts below! 

Ryan invites you to see his silver mine over at Boob Tube Dude.