'Reaper' recap: 'Unseen'

Reaper_lReason No. 817 I love Reaper: Sock’s crystal bowling ball with the skull inside. Not only is this an indisputably cool prop, but it’s also an allusion to the orb wielded by Janeane Garofalo in the woefully underrated Mystery Men. Consultant Kevin Smith certainly knows his superhero movies, including ones about misfit groups of heroes who save the day despite their lack of useful villain-fighting skills. Kinda like Sam, Sock, and Ben, who elsewhere in last night’s episode likened themselves to Batman, Robin, and "that weird English butler." Hilarious.

It’s good that the pop culture references were flying fast and furious, since plotwise, the episode kinda spun its wheels. Even though our soul-capturing trio tried to prove their maturity by moving out of their parents’ houses and getting their own apartment together, they clearly haven’t advanced much. For one thing, Sam and Andi are still not acknowledging what is now obvious to everyone else: that they have feelings for each other. Also, the boys fell back into childlike dependency as soon as they met their new neighbors, a gay couple named Steve and Tony (The State alumni Michael Ian Black, pictured, and Ken Marino) who were only too happy to cook for the guys and take them clothes-shopping. (It’s like living next to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, enthused Sock, before finally acknowledging that the boys have simply traded one set of parents for another. Oh, and Sam’s discovery at the end of the episode that the pair are actually demons, who use power sanders to file down the horns on their foreheads, also doesn’t bode well.)

Finally, Sam’s still not sure whether Cady is the Devil’s daughter or not. Sure, she makes glass shatter when she kisses Sam, she can make gutterballs roll back into the lane and become strikes, and she snores like a hellhound. Then again, the Devil flat out told Sam that she wasn’t his daughter (then again, he could have been lying), and when Sam looked at her through the see-the-true-face-of-evil glasses (another nice reference, to the alien-invaders movie They Live), he didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. And her chat with Andi was a lot less psychotic than last week’s. Still, it wasn’t too mature of Sam to stop returning Cady’s phone calls, or to move into a new place without telling her. No wonder she wants to spend some time apart.

Not much to say about the escaped soul of the week, an invisible hunter who preyed on visitors to the wooded park he holes up in. The evil X-ray specs might have helped Sam capture him more easily, but he insisted on doing it on his own (that maturity thing again). His idea, involving paintball guns and motion detectors shoplifted from the Work Bench, was actually pretty clever, and it had the added benefit of playing a mean practical joke on manager Ted, who’d installed the security monitors to prevent the kind of shoplifting that’s become routine for our heroes. Pretty cool special effects: the polka-dotted, paint-speckled invisible killer, and the Magic Bullet blender with the flying propeller blade that was this week’s soul containment vessel.

Questions: Will Cady’s absence provide an opportunity for Sam and Andi to finally get together? And will Cady be literally mad as hell when she returns? Did we see altogether too much of Sock when he was sleeping and showering at a camping display at the Work Bench? (And was that scene another allusion, to the movie Where the Heart Is, where Natalie Portman takes up residence inside a Wal-Mart?) Will the guys’ new landlord give them any kind of rent discount for having to live next door to demons? And where’s Gladys? We haven’t been back to the DMV to see her for weeks.

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  • Kathleen

    I’m grateful for your recaps of this show. I’m very disgruntled with the new time slot for this. True, it moved away from the American Idol monter, but now it’s up against the Lost monster (which I have chosen to watch – hence the yay for the recaps), and soon the Office and Scrubs monsters. The episodes I have caught are fantastic, but I think the CW has doomed it.
    And I totally hope Sam and Andi get together.

  • Nat X

    Good lord, why is this show on Thursdays? CW, you are retarded. That being said, the Andi character is just awful. Boring and awful and it’s hard to understand why the dude from Grounded for Life would make an effort for her. Ugh. Most unrealistic part of the show! Would it kill them to have more female characters? Then the dude would have more of a choice. It’s kinda like his only two choices in the world are Andi and Cady…because they are the only possible candidates on the show.

  • Vicky

    They’re moving back to Tuesdays once Supernatural comes back. They were just testing it out in the time slot. (trying to get the audience from new eps of Smallville). The writer’s strike was to blame for the change. They had 3 pre-strike episodes and they didn’t know what to do with them for a long while.

  • cimagato

    We love this show–from the six year old to the old guy on the couch. We don’t look at it too hard, and I think that’s part of the enjoyment. A fun, fun ride. Does anyone know if CW picked this up for next season yet?

  • Lynny

    I immediately thought of Mystery Men too! This is such a fun show. Loved when Sam almost put on the glasses with the devil and he was like,” ahh you don’t wnat to do that.” ha ha

  • SDA333

    Sorry, CW. Still ain’t watchin’ you. “No Veronica, No CW”!

  • JP

    You can buy a skull bowling ball here:

    http://www.bowlingdeals.com/Product/3617/info.html

  • Phil

    I’m a fan of this show, and I had some interesting theories on the PopWatch boards back in the Fall, but I other than Vicky’s comments about what to do with these 3 un-aired episodes from before the strike, I kinda am not sure what the CW was doing. Yes, I understand that the Supernatural time slot kinda made sense since thats a show based on demon hunting, but last week’s Xmas themed episode in March, and then this week’s epssode with Andi & Cady actually speaking seems very out of place regardless of not knowing where to air them. I like this show, but these all do NOT spell good signs for renewal. AND where is Gladys? Will she have a hand in the horned demons next door plot? I still think Cady is the Devil’s daughter, or on the flip side, an angel sent to mettle with Sam, which could also explain the glass cracking since it was Sam she was kissing! And that would explain why the glasses didn’t work on her. Although what if Sam wears the glasses & Andi turns out to be evil?

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