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Reaper: Coming To Grips

Illustration for article titled iReaper/i: Coming To Grips
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Illustration for article titled iReaper/i: Coming To Grips

Not to get all Comic Book Guy on a show that's not even a season old yet, but was "Coming To Grips" the worst Reaper episode ever? It's hard to say, but this episode definitely belongs in the bottom third, plus I'm subtracting a few points for killing the momentum and good will built up by the previous three episodes. Finally, something appeared to be at stake on Reaper, as the show's enjoyably light tone was darkened (and deepened) by a real sense of mortality and inescapable evil. But "Coming To Grips" just seemed listless, lacking even the agreeable comedy that has redeemed the season's other middling entries. (I count just one choice line, from Tony: "I'm going to rebuild the army, pass the paprika.") And the "Let's prove Sam's really a reaper" storyline felt endless and clumsy, and it reminded us that Andi still hasn't been developed into a full-blown character. Rather, she's merely a catalyst for Sam to act out, typically to his own detriment. (Which in this case meant making a fool's deal with the Devil, which he's cashing in by making Sam sell out Tony. Maybe THAT will be interesting.)

The thing is, I didn't buy the Andi storyline AT ALL. The thing about her following Sam and believing he's a killer was an ill-conceived and plain dumb excuse to make Sam fess up about his demon-catching ways. I'm pretty sure most girlfriends would high tail it out of town if they saw their beaus cut some dude's head off. Andi, though, gave Sam 24 hours to explain his actions. I wonder what explanation would have sufficed, because Sam's Devil story understandably didn't cut the mustard initially. But hey, Sam said he loves Andi! And she's not really afraid of Sam after all! Why the change of heart in just a few scenes' time? Who cares!

(I kept thinking how much more interesting this episode had been if it were more like that cool Bill Paxton movie Frailty, where a middle American dad gets a vision one night from God that tells him to hunt and kill demons, who happen to look just like normal, innocent people. Is he crazy? Is he righteous? Man, why didn't I watch Frailty tonight instead? At any rate, it was fun watching "Coming To Grips" from the perspective of an unknowing bystander with every reason not to believe Sam's cockamamie story.)

As for the B-story, Reaper's exemplary record with standout guest stars continued with Lucy Davis, who played the Pam Beesly equivalent on the British version of The Office. Davis is as cute as a basket of buttons, but she was pretty much wasted tonight. Since she's married to Ben, I assume she'll be back next week, so hopefully the talented Davis will be used more.

So, I thought "Coming To Grips" pretty much sucked. Is the Reaper comeback over? A nation turns its lonely eyes to next week.

Grade: C-

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