'Reaper' looks to the heavens in its finale

Reaper_raywise_290 What is in all likelihood the final episode of "Reaper" ever ended with a cosmic bang, but little in the way of definitive answers. The show, much like God Himself, works in mysterious ways. Here's the rub: how many people would have even been around to see God's plan for Sam and Andi come Season 3?

After all, this is officially the Couple From Hell now. Well, Couple Destined For Hell, more accurately, after Andi's ill-fated attempt to leverage her soul in exchange for Sam's freedom landed her in as much future hellfire and brimstone as her boyfriend. Her attempt was the result of a botch effort earlier in the episode by Sam, working through a poor translation of scroll Nina obtained from Mr. Oliver in Hell, trying to beat the Devil in a game of Quarters. And if you didn't realize this show was low-budget before this less-than-epic faceoff, well, now you know.

Figuring her life was hellish enough on Earth as it was, Andi stepped in with an assist from Gladys to both arrange a rematch and add an extra bit to the competition: a mirrored table, designed to distract the Devil with his own good looks. Having made all five shots the first time around, the Devil could only muster one in Round 2, a lucky shot made with his eyes closed. He breaks the shot glass in anger, prompting Sam to search for a replacement for his sure victory. But before he can return, Steve confronts him in the Work Bench and breaks Sam's hand in six places, claiming to be working under orders.

Translation? Had this show continued, we probably would have seen a network of angels on earth protecting Sam and Andi due to their proximity to the Devil. God's presence in "Reaper" was confirmed in the Season 1 finale, but his interest in Sam was not confirmed until tonight. Season 3 would have been Sam as a kind of undercover Abraham, performing a function he doesn't fully understand for a seemingly unmerciful God. While in the last place he wants to be, Sam is exactly where God wants him to be. Getting out from under the Devil's thumb could have been literally apocalyptic for not only Sam, but the entire world.

You'd think the above plot could fill a 42-minute episode, but in fine "Reaper" fashion, we got a completely unnecessary subplot involving an exorcism of Nina at Ben's grandmother's request. I'm guessing more than a few fans would have been fine had her character been sent to hell by the ritual, which is not the feeling the show wished to produce with this storyline. Then again, just to get through that we had to endure a long sequence in which Sock drank a frog-laced Slurpee and tripped his face off in order to rescue his buddy's girlfriend from eternal torment. I'm a fan of Sock and Ben, but tonight should have been about Sam/Andi/Satan, period. The whole season built to that scene between the three of them. Even if the season-long mythology built to a game of freakin' Quarters. Sigh.

A few final bullet points on "Reaper"...

  1. Loved that Gladys had the hots for Andi. But that was only a tenth of the love I had for Sam's monkey dance. If Season 3 miraculously appears in some form in the future, I demand a weekly monkey dance.
  2. Has anyone ever successfully pulled off "The Shark Attack"? Because I see the success rate of that act around zero.
  3. If I were Tony, I'd be mad that my dead boyfriend was around talking to seemingly everyone but me. Even if I were in Tahoe getting my spa on.

I'm torn about how I feel about the close of this series. It's hard to say it didn't live up to its potential, because I'm not sure the show even realized its own ceiling. Occasionally it tripped over something brilliant, and rather than risk staring into the glare, kept stumbling forward by favoring ill-advised romantic subplots over well-plotted narrative arcs laced with an endless mythology from which to draw. I'll miss the moments of occasional genius that this show produced. I'll miss Ray Wise something fierce. I'll miss Ben's offbeat humor. Hell, I'll even miss the fact that each episode cost approximately $154 to make.

But the sad truth is, I probably won't miss them for very long.

Leave your final thoughts on "Reaper" below!

Ryan is buying shots for everyone over at Boob Tube Dude.