Television Review: Reaper, "Episode 201: Episode IV, A New Hope"
by R.J. Carter
Published: March 3, 2009
Reaper, the outrageous and irreverent comedy from the CW, returns for it's second season tonight, and the stakes have never been higher -- or more hilarious.
At the conclusion of last season, Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison), having learned earlier that his parents sold his soul to the Devil at his birth, discovers that he may not be merely Satan's bounty hunter -- but also his biological son, fated to bring about the apocalypse.
So Sam asked for some time off from his boss (played to absolute villainous perfection by Ray Wise), and goes on a month-long road trip with his best buds Sock (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez), without telling his girlfriend Andi (Missy Peregrym). Needless to say, upon his return, she isn't in the best of moods. And a couple of other things have changed in his absence as well.
First of all, they've been evicted from their apartment and fired from their jobs. Secondly, Sock's new stepdad, whom he hates, comes with a hot young daughter... whom he loves. She loves him too, excited to have a big brother, and her enthusiastic attitude toward sharing a familial relationship with him puts a damper on his attempts toward something more sexual.
Of course, there's no rest for the wicked, and Sam is quickly given another bounty hunting assignment from Satan. With a cattle prod that needs to recharge between bursts, Sam is expected to bring in a twenty-member fight club of vicious bare-knuckle brawling souls. But the number quickly grows to forty, and it's starting to look like the Devil doesn't want Sam to succeed this time.
A particularly amusing point in this episode comes when Sam tries to use an arcane spellbook to summon his dad for a heart-to-heart. Upon repeating the incantation within his circle, quick as a wink, the Devil appears. Sam is actually taken by surprise, thinking the spell worked, but the Devil is quick to correct him. "I just wanted to tell you that your pentagram is actually a Star of David. Mazel Tov!"
Sam's ingenuity wins out in the end, and he sets out on a plan to successfully bring in almost all the souls -- and in the process gains an optimistic new hope for the future of his soul, an optimism that really grates on the Devil, who is more used to being the happy one in his and Sam's relationship.
"Episode 201: Episode IV, A New Hope" (yes, that's really the full name of the episode) premieres on the CW March 3, 8:00/7:00 CT.