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Reaper: "The Favorite"

Illustration for article titled Reaper: "The Favorite"
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Tonight’s episode “The Favorite” had the feel of a homecoming. Sam met his “brother” Morgan, played by Armie Hammer, which is actually a much better name for a demon than Morgan. T.V. Club comments section favorite Ted returned to The Bench, first as a contractor working under Sock and then as an officially recognized trainee. Most important, Sam’s “dad” made a quick appearance at the end of the episode, right at the exact moment when it most appeared that Reaper had simply decided to disregard his survival in the season one finale.

Knowing Reaper, we can’t expect to learn too much about what Sam’s dad—I’m referring to the guy who sold Sam’s soul, not The Devil—has been up to all this time, or the true roots of Sam’s family tree. This is a show that will gladly devote as much time to the intricacies of person-demon sex as it will to major plot points that go back to the early part of the first season, so it could be a while before we get any answers. In the case of “The Favorite,” Reaper’s leisurely storytelling wasn’t a bad thing—in fact, this was probably the most satisfying episode of the year so far, with everything pretty much hitting on all cylinders. Or as many cylinders as Reaper would ever bother to hit before falling into a pot-fueled power nap.

Was anybody else confused by Morgan being The Devil’s “other” son? Setting aside the issue of whether Sam really is his son, didn’t The Devil say that he’s sired thousands of children over the years, and they all turned out to be disappointments? Perhaps Morgan is only supposed to be the “chosen” son, the young turk that will reign over the dark kingdom as Satan’s right-hand man. He’s good-looking, charming, and sociopathic, all good qualities for an evil lord except not caring about anyone or anything has seriously compromised his commitment to the black arts. He’s evil, but he like so many of these kids today with their Twitters and camera phones and rap music, he’s not very ambitious. So, The Devil hooks him up with Sam so he can learn how rewarding hard work can be from a real-life bounty hunter. Sam thinks Morgan is a dick, but I agree with everyone else who thinks Morgan has “it.” Apparently, he’s set to be on Reaper for at least another three episodes, according to IMDB. I’m curious to see more of this limo-stealing, store window-smashing S.O.B., especially since Sam has been so blandly-bland-bland lately.

Meanwhile tonight, Sock was exploiting the hell out of the comically creepy Ted, who was found lurking in The Bench parking lot like a downtrodden, sexually aggressive puppy, by making him do his work for half the pay. I’m onboard with our Ted-loving commenters, and pairing him with Sock could be comic gold in future episodes. Sock and Ted are Reaper’s two most shamelessly stupid characters, and together they shall rule as king shits of fucking obnoxious mountain. This storyline even made Andi somewhat interesting, though not interesting enough for me to say anything more about her. As for the C-story, Ben’s relationship with the Nina, Hell's Sexiest Lil' Blonde Demon continues to pay comic dividends. I’ve really become a Rick Gonzalez fan lately; last season Ben was merely the one that always got hurt by the demon o’ the week, but lately he’s emerged as the most purely likeable character in the Reaper universe, and I mostly credit Gonzalez for that. One of the most underrated attributes in an actor is the ability to express decency and warmth without coming off like some kind of phony, goody-goody asshole. Gonzalez can do that, even when he offers to doink a demon without her human clothes.

So, good, good Reaper tonight. Next week, it looks like our boys will be hanging out with a baby. I’m laughing already!

Grade: B+