'Reaper' recap: 'The Leak'

Reaper_lFirst of all, thank heaven whoever for the timely renewal of Reaper. Guess that "Save Our Socks" campaign worked. Alas, the show won’t be back until midseason, so after next week’s finale, our heroes will be in, um, purgatory for about seven months. Still, at least we won’t be left hanging as far as mythology and plot twists that, as Bret Harrison (Sam) noted in his interview with me last week, are just now starting to pay off.

Soul of the week was a womanizing cad named Mike (Richard Burgi, for whom the part wasn’t much of a stretch, since he plays womanizing cad Karl, ex-husband of Teri Hatcher’s Susan, on Desperate Housewives), for whom part of the thrill of seduction is the chaos and destroyed lives he leaves in his wake. After all, Mike can seduce any woman — newly-engaged fiancées, new brides, wives who’ve been faithful for decades, and even demons. Which is how DMV demon Gladys (Christine Willes, center, with Harrison, left, and Tyler Labine) gets in deep trouble.

Now, as regular readers know, Gladys is one of my favorite semi-regular characters on this show, and last night, she got her juiciest storyline yet. Turns out the reason Mike kept escaping from hell, forcing Sam to have to capture him over and over (vessel was a Polaroid camera — remember those?) is that he’d won over the lonely Gladys, who kept freeing him instead of sending him on the pneumatic tube express to Hades. It took Sam and the Devil a while to figure out that Gladys was "The Leak" of this episode’s title, and her punishment was swift and humiliating. (Not just being sucked down into hell by a Beetlejuice-style giant worm bursting through the Work Bench parking lot, a horror/humor moment that would have been more effective if the previews last week hadn’t spoiled it, but also being betrayed, stabbed, and left for dead by Mike, leading Sam and the gang to dump her in a wheelbarrow and nearly bury her alive, face down. Awk-ward!) Still, it was fun to watch Gladys getting frisky with Mike or prickly with Andi (for whom she developed a grudging appreciation after Andi responded to her insults with a crack about Gladys’ demon horns).

Sam was able to persuade the Devil to pardon Gladys, not on the strength of his argument that mercy toward a wayward employee would boost the rest of his staff’s morale, but on the strength of his pleading, puppy-dog eyes. As Tony and his demon co-conspirators noticed (while Sam and Satan were bonding over turkey jerky), the Devil has been going suspiciously easy on Sam. Add to that the revelation that the missing pages in Sam’s voluminous contract concern the identity of his true father, and the demons came to the same conclusion that many viewers have over the past several weeks: that Sam’s actual dad may be Lucifer himself.

Questions: Why didn’t Tony recognize Gladys? Hadn’t he and Steve told Sam that they often played racquetball with her? Did anyone besides me recognize early that green card bride Sarah was going to con Ben out of his savings, go on the lam, and leave him to face jail time? (And how do you think he’ll get out of this mess? And aren’t you relieved anyway to see her out of the picture?) What loophole, if any, do you think the demons will find in Sam’s contract? Do you think Satan is Sam’s father? And who do you think will die in next week’s finale?

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  • Rich

    Sarah was funny, but a total drag on the show. I’m glad to see her gone, but I can’t believe Benji bought her line of baloney. Sam definitely won’t get off the hook next week, or there goes the show. And I’m betting either Sam’s dad or Tony is the one to go.

  • Anonymous

    Ben’s only going to be in jail for 8 days. Sam said that last night. No big deal.

  • Emoney

    I’m very happy that the show has been renewed. If the Devil is Sam’s dad, I don’t think Sam will find out next week. Maybe we’ll know for sure, but Sam won’t yet. I love Gladys and was thrilled that her character wasn’t erased off the show. The sandworm preview from last week had me very sad.

  • Rebecca

    sooo excited that Reaper got renewed! This show has really found its footing in the last few episodes and I am excited to see where it will go next season.

  • JackBurton

    So glad this got renewed, even if only for 13 episodes. I need more of the show and I’ll take it any way I can. It’ll be interesting to see how Tony deals with the latest revelation.

  • Jim

    I’m thinking that Satan’s plan is that in doing this job he’ll eventually do enough good to get himself let into heaven, a place he can’t but wishes he could go back to.

  • Jim

    That’s Sam will do enough good to get into heaven not Satan.

  • PJ

    I think the death will be Sam’s dad. Just as he’s dealing with that, Sam will find out who his real father is. If Mr. Oliver is killed for breaching his agreement with the Devil, that means he will probably go to hell and end up an escaped soul in the future, and that would be an amazing story for Sam. What would he do if he were ordered to capture him, effectively having to choose between his two fathers?
    I so love this show. It fires the imagination and I can’t wait until it returns. Yay for the renewal! Now let’s hope it becomes a ratings and demo hit as well, and not just a “cult” favourite always in danger of cancellation.

  • Ann

    Thanks for bringing back the Reaper recaps. I’ve missed them for the past few weeks while they were gone.

  • monica

    + I think Gladys’s approval of Andi was cute. Although I would appreciate it if every now and then Andi were afraid of a demon instead of chummy with them.
    + I knew Sarah was going to steal Ben’s money, but I thought that it was a ploy all along and that the INS guy was fake. I don’t think there’s anything that Ben has to “get out of” because he only has to go to jail for 8 days, which really isn’t that big of a deal. But it would be cool if they had to get a soul in there. I’m just glad he didn’t ask the devil for help.
    + I think Satan is Sam’s father, but last night I also started realizing that Satan really isn’t that bad of a guy. If I’m not mistaken, all the people Sam has recaptured for him are bad, so technically Sam is doing God’s work. Wouldn’t it be weird if Satan turned out to be God? Wait. Then Sam would be Jesus. Never mind.
    + I don’t know who’s going to die, but I hope no one trades their soul to revive them.

  • Ben

    Great show and I will hate the delay until the new season. The show would do better on another network. People just don’t watch the WB (except us Reaper fans). I will miss Lucy Davis as Sarah, but I won’t be surprised to see her come back as an escaped soul (since she will get killed by someone sooner or later for her bad behavior). I love seeing Christine Willes on the show. Gladys is so different from her Delores Herbig character on Dead Like Me, but she really is great in the screen time she gets.

  • Rebel_Joo

    the thing about Sarah is that, unless she is taken care of by the season finale, she will be back in some fashion for next season. as much as i liked her in “Shaun of the Dead”, Lucy Davis didn’t capture a good characterization. just as long as the Tony storyline continues, my faith in this show will follow.

  • Brucifer

    If The Devil is Sam’s dad it raises the rather icky possibilty that Sam has committed incest.

  • Twitter

    Excellent news on the renewal!!
    I am a fan at the alter of Reaper, but the one thing I don’t like is what a commenter above pointed out: Andi is going in the wrong direction.
    I really don’t like the way she insulted Gladys upon first meet, and the way she thinks catching souls is “fun.” If she isn’t going to be in a little awe and fear at the souls and their powers, why should we? And she isn’t funny like Sock or endearing like Ben. I don’t think she deserves a place at the table.
    I liked her much better when she just worked at the Bench and grounded our characters there.

  • cimagato

    I will miss this show until it gets back, but am thrilled that it’s coming back. The characters are terrific. Who couldn’t ask for better friends than Sock & Ben? Good subplots for them as well. Tony’s cool & I hope he sticks around. Unlike a lot of other commenters, I like what’s happened with Andi. We need more strong, independent, yet loving women onscreen.
    I dont know how I feel about the Devil-father twist for Sam. It seems too contrived, but it would explain a lot. But that’s why I wonder about it. Can’t wait for next week & happy it’s the season not series finale. Keep it up, CW–you may have a network yet!

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