B

Reaper: "Underbelly"

B

Reaper

"Underbelly"

Season 2, Episode 6

Well, thank god that's finally resolved. Of all the many sub-plots and unanswered questions floating around in the land of Reaper, there's only one that's really bugged me. And that one was, will Sock ever get to have sex with his step-sister Kristen? For so long I've waited (at least a month), and I've done my best to ignore the theories floating around the net, to remain unspoiled--and tonight, that patience was entirely rewarded. The answer was revealed.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen: Sock did get to have sex with his step-sister Kristen.

Sigh. For a show with such an easy-going style and often terrific comedic instincts, it's sad to see them bogged down by something as lame and uninteresting as Sock's pseudo-incestuous love life. It's a plot line slightly more amusing then the Ben/Sara con from last season, but there's something--off--about it. Like it's violating some kind of comedy rule; guy's like Sock should never get to sleep with the objects of their obsession. Seeing him all resplendent and shirtless the morning after was not something I ever wanted to see.

Other than that, "Underbelly" was pretty good. Interesting set-up for the Soul of the Week: Mordecai Nash, who in life lured people to a silver mine and then killed and robbed them, has escaped from hell to live a long, nasty life as a tentacle monster inside a mine in the town of Dove Hollow. The Devil sends Sam there with a hand grenade vessel (sweet!), even encouraging his "son" to bring along Andi and the gang. As Sam should've learned by now, any time the Devil suggests something that sounds like it'll be nice, it'll turn out the opposite; and of course, Dove Hollow turns out to be a whole town full of screwed up monsters. Even worse, it puts an even further strain on Sam and Andi's relationship, while giving us the consumation of Sock and Kristen's unspeakable passion.

Even Nina and Ben are having their problems. Ben's a clinger, which makes Nina kind of "want to rip out his internal organs, and show them to him." Pure sitcom silliness, of course (but then, so is every romantic relationship on the show, right?), but as always, I like the ambiguity that Nina represents. In a way, she's indicative of one of the show's greatest strengths; funny, sweet, cute as hell, but, y'know, there's still that whole demon thing. Like prepping a llama for lunch, that sort of thing. Or kissing Sam because she's convinced that his act of mercy at the end was actually evil, and that kind of turns her on. So far, Reaper has kept things light and I've been enjoying that; but every so often, it'll show it has a dark side, which we could definitely use more of.

Take Sam. This episode, he does everything he can to make Andi happy, take care of the tentatcle demon, and make sure no humans are killed in the process, and he still gets accused of going bad. He tries to have a romantic picnic with Andi, and when he realizes he forgot a corkscrew to open the wine, he does his best to open it with his mind--which sort of freaks Andi out. Maybe she has a point. After all, Sam does inadvertently blow up the whole bottle when he goes into a rant about how the Devil is screwing with his life. Thing is, her reactions still seem too much a writerly conceit. Like, we have to screw around with our hero, and he's basically a decent guy, so what else is there for his girlfriend to get upset about? So upset that by the end of the ep, she's decided she has to move on. Or at least that's what Sam thinks; "Underbelly" ends before he gets an official answer.

Love, as always, sucks. The sheriff of Dove Hollow found out--after doing his best to protect the locals from the Mordecai demon, he eventually swapped sides and actually starting dating one of the demon's human puppets. (Quoth Sock, "Dude, you're banging a tentacle.") Now he's got nothing but shame and a few bruises to show for it. Sock and Kristen have finally declared their (shudder) passion for one another, but wouldn't you know it, their parents come home just in time to stop some sex-havin' before it starts. Nice to know that sub-plot is still kicking. And of course, Sam and Andi and the Devil, which presents some real uncomfortable geometry for all involved.

I'm still not sold on Sam being evil, and it would be nice if things got a little be nastier at some point. But at least Nina and Ben are still together, right?

Grade: B

Stray Observations:

  • Sam: "Maybe I can sweet talk the Devil into letting this one go." Really? Has that ever worked?
  • Sam: He's trying to kill us! Devil: "Yeah, him and his perfect town. Just like a David Lynch movie." Heh.