Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Buried treasure

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
Episode 1.18
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)

1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Reaper - Season 1

1. Devils Haircut - Beck
2. Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
3. Date With The Night (US/Canada Album Version) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
4. Into Your Dream - Foreign Born
5. On An Evening In Roma - Dean Martin
6. Devil In Me - 22-20s
7. Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups
8. 3's & 7's - Queens of the Stone Age
9. Watch Me Go - The Dollyrots
10. Hurricane - Division Day
11. Believe - The Bravery
12. The Perfect Crime #2 - The Decemberists
13. Because I'm Awesome - The Dollyrots
14. Lonely Pioneers - Adam & Dave's Bloodline
15. El Micrōfono - Mexican Institute of Sound
16. My World - Brian Buckley
17. Chinese Translation - M. Ward
18. The Underdog - Spoon
19. Turn You Down - The Dollyrots
20. Shim Sham - Imperial Teen
21. Talking, Talking - New Young Pony Club
22. Soul Bucket - The Civil Tones
23. Next To Argyle - Scissors For Lefty
24. Radar Love - Golden Earring
25. Horny Pony - Spektrum
26. I Wonder (Single Version) - Brenda Lee
27. Poor Things - The Boggs
28. Talk To Me - Mink
29. Beautiful People - Alex Painter
30. Tummy Tum Tum - The Dollyrots
31. No Reason - All Night Chemists
32. Cold Hands - Black Lips
33. Nobody Wants U - The Dollyrots
34. New York Summer - Mink
35. Satellite - Guster
36. This Month, Day 10 - CSS
37. Don't You Evah - Spoon
38. Get Lucky - New Young Pony Club
39. You Don't Stand A Chance - Robbers On High Street
40. Oh Yeah - The Subways
41. Beatific Visions - brakesbrakesbrakes
42. Because Of You - Joel Evans
43. Tight Fit - New Young Pony Club
44. What Chu Wanna Do? - Mobonix
45. Sexy Beast - Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra
46. Bongo Fury - Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra
47. Waste My Life - Love Arcade
48. Squares - That Handsome Devil
49. Nasty Numbers - Robbers On High Street
50. Luisas - Cibelle
51. The Way I Want To Be - The Village Green
52. Onions Only - The Civil Tones
53. Everyone Wants to Know - Imperial Teen
54. Goodbye Mr A - The Hoosiers
55. Fire Sign - The Gossip
56. The Good Life - Five Times August
57. Comfort Eagle - Cake
58. Descend - New Young Pony Club
59. Green Peppers - Herb Alpert
60. These Few Presidents - Why?
61. Dirty Cop - The Sleepers
62. What You Do - Imperial Teen