Tonight's episode hinged on one of the more interesting issues in the Reaper universe: Does the Devil really care about Sam? On the surface it's kind of a dumb question–this is the freakin' devil after all–but the big guy sure does seem to take a lot of interest in our little demon catcher. But after "Rebellion" it seems that, well, he really is the freakin' devil after all, and he continues to play with Sam's emotions like Eddie Van Halen works the fretboard on "Eruption."
Coming off last month's "The Acid Queen," I was really loving "Rebellion" until the final five minutes. The underground society of reformed demons plugging parking meters and fighting the urge to eat children was genius. One of my favorite secondary characters, Ted, was linked with my least favorite, Josie, for a date. (Ted also got possibly the best line of the series so far: "Hooking up any sort of appliance is classic gay porn terminology for getting it on.") And the increasingly weird, father/son dynamic between The Devil and Sam was explored in a really interesting, dramatically enticing way. While "Rebellion" was lighter than "The Acid Queen," it was still darker than most of what's come before, and another positive sign that Reaper is finding its footing even as it faces possible cancellation. (Getting better might be the only thing that saves it, unless ratings rebound really quick.)
It's interesting that, for the second straight week, the action almost entirely revolved around ongoing rather than one-episode story arcs. Sam and Andi finally got it on (in boring fashion) and seem to be establishing a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Even Sock and whosit? got back together. After wondering where the hell Reaper was going and whether it was going to be merely an amusing monster-of-the-week show, it looks the show is getting a grip on its own mythology and is starting to (finally) flesh it out a bit.
Now about those final five minutes …
I don't have a problem with Satan knowing about the coup attempt all along, and his entry into the rebel headquarters certainly was one of the few genuinely scary Ray Wise moments of the series thus far. I was just bummed to see Steve and Tony dispatched with so quickly and decisively. Well, Steve anyway. Tony appears to be alive, ticking, and pissed at Sam for his perceived double-cross on his double-cross of Satan. But what about Steve? Michael Ian Black and Ken Marino were ace additions to the cast and played a big part in Reaper kicking it up a few notches the last three episodes. While there appears to still be a role for Marino, what about Black? Can a demon really be killed by a falling building? Definitely curious to see how this plays out next week.