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Reaper Series 2 Episode 1: …A New Hope 6 July 2009

Posted by jordanfarley in TV Review.
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After a prolonged hiatus caused by the writer’s strike (can’t believe we’re still talking about that) Reaper returned to UK screens this week, but with it the unfortunate knowlege that this is to be the final series as US channel The CW has chosen not to renew the exploits of the devil’s favourite bounty hunter for a third round. So we can only hope the show’s creators Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters pull out all the stops for the rest of Reaper’s 13 episode run as the second series debut left a lot of room for improvement.

Sam, Sock and Ben have been on an extended break since last season’s finale where we learned Sam was indeed the son of the devil. The trio return only to find they have been fired from their jobs at The Workbench, an extremely pissed Andi and a new bounty from the devil. The bounty it turns out is for 40 violent souls who spend their days doing nothing but fighting in a warehouse, and with only a recharging cattle prod as a vessel it seems the devil is sending his own son on a suicide mission.

As far as series debuts go …A New Hope wasn’t particularly promising, more back to business as usual than offering viewers anything special or unusual. Sam falling out of favour with Andi, yet again, is a device the show relies on too much when it needs to put Sam in a deeper hole and it’s a shame the boys got their jobs back within the first 15 minutes as a change of setting could have offered something fresh from the off in this new series.

After Sock’s mother married a new man in the last series he finds in this first episode that he has a new step-sister, a smoking hot Japanese step-sister (played by Eriko Tamura of Heroes season 2 and Dragonball Evolution). I’m not quite sure what to make of this, it’s bound to tie into the bounty hunting thrust of the rest of the show eventually but at the moment it just feels like a distraction, a questionably incestuous distraction at that, and the laughs never really spring from  the scenes where she is onscreen, in particular one truly terrible massage-bed sketch.

Ray Wise’s wicked and downright hilarious devil is still the highlight of the show and here he puts in a couple of memorable, but as always all too brief, appearances. Anyone with  half a brain cell could work out exactly what it is Sam has to do to take care of his bounty, so the idea the devil wants him dead never really rings true. But it’s quite a testament to the likability of Wise’s dark lord that we want Sam to succeed, in part, so that he doesn’t let his dad down.

The one intriguing element of a mediocre episode was the conclusion where Sam comes across a man called Alan Townsend who claims to have escaped not only from hell but from the devil. Quite if Sam will be able to free his own soul by the end of this season seems unlikely seeing as the writers were cut short rather than being able to bring the story to a proper conclusion. But needless to say it’s the only story arc that could possibly maintain viewer interest this season unless they introduce some drastic changes to the show.



1. Reaper's so-so Season Finale and Armie Hammer. | Why I did it - 9 September 2009

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