It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride this first season for Reaper, so perhaps it's fitting that last night's season finale was a snapshot of the season as a whole. Everything starts out great, then things start to fall flat, then, just when you think there's no hope of saving it, the show pulls something out at the last minute to redeem the whole shebang.
While we were all expecting to find out whether Sam was the Devil's son -- and the always trusted "Drop Washing Machine" technique at least supported the theory -- a few more interesting things happened along the way to (not completely) answering that question. First and foremost was introduction of God into the equation, who up to this point had mostly been an inherent feeling based solely on the presence of Old Scratch. The fact that fallen angel Steve (Michael Ian Black) makes it into heaven ("it's better than Cancun") shows that there's hope for all, including Sam, and that the Big Man above has more than just a passing interest in Sam's destiny as well. This storyline was marred by hiccups and weird pacing, but it sets up some weighty subjects for the second season, and if that weren't enough, the truth about Sam's father makes for even more to gnaw on in between seasons.
It's true we don't get any forthright answer on whether Sam is the devil's son ("I have too much respect to lie to you so I tell you in advance that I most probably am going to lie to you,") but I for one am glad that there's more to it than that simple answer. Sam's (bio or adopted) father obviously more than mortal (surviving being buried alive in a cage built for Ashmedai,) and it has me wondering if Sam instead is the Devil's nephew, with Sam's father asking his big bad bro for a favor after falling in love with a human. (What do we make then of Sam's younger brother, who was Chuck Cunningham'd out of the storyline by the second episode?)
The rest of the episode left much to be desired, and I might have even called a disaster if not for the final minute with Sam's parents. Sock and his succubus ("suck-you-what?") seemed like a pointless stunt whose only purpose was to have Sock lift heavy things, and the scene pimping her to Ben was beyond stupid. The soul-of-the-week was merely 'meh' -- getting captured by a tossed baseball was not very inspired. Meanwhile, they still don't know what to do with Andi... now don't get me wrong, I'm supremely glad the series got picked up, but there's sure still a lot of things to work on in the off season. Fazekas, Butters and crew still have their work cut out for them to take this from a merely good series to great.
As far as music goes, it was kept to a minimum, but I did pick up Imperial Teen's twee ballad "What You Do" playing near the end, with the refrain "it's a long way down... with you," a fitting final song to a series that's essentially about something a long way down. To that end, I've compiled a playlist of nearly every song that appeared in season one (over 60 songs, the two from last night listed below) - my treat to you.
Playlist: Reaper - Season 1
1. "Dirty Cop" - The Sleepers - Sock displays his adrenaline rush
2. "What You Do" - Imperial Teen - Sam laments the death of his father - at bar with Andi / then parking lot with Ben and Sock
Full tracklisting by episode
Previously: Who's Your Daddy? (Episode 1.17)