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News Article

Television Tourniquet: We Rip Open 'Reaper' -- Episode 2.6

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Reaper Episode 2.6 "Underbelly"
Written By: Jeff Vlaming
Directed By: Stephen Cragg
Original Airdate: 7 April 2009

In This Episode…

The Devil sends Sam to a tiny country town, Dove's Hollow, for this week's reap – a soul transformed into a giant tentacled beast that lives in an abandoned mine.  Sam decides to bring along his buddies, get the reap out of the way first thing, and enjoy a weekend getaway.  Andi, Sock, Kristin, and Ben all tag along.  Nina stays home because Ben is getting too clingy for her and she needs some space.

The gang arrives to find Dove's Hollow a virtual ghost town.  The few locals all have a creepy Andy Griffith vibe.  Sam is immediately uneasy and decides that this reap isn't worth it, he wants to go home.  Problem: his car has been impounded so they are stuck there at least until morning.  There are only three hotel rooms in town: one for Sam and Andi, one for Ben, and one for Sock and Kristin.  When Sock gets to their room, he notices a rollaway bed.  When Kristin isn't looking, he heaves it out the window so the two have to share a bed.  Kristin is furious and offended, and Sock feels terrible.  Luckily Kristin has a change of heart and the two finally get it on.  Sock's bliss is interrupted with his sudden arrest – the cot he threw out the window landed on the Sheriff's car.

Kristin feels ashamed for giving Sock her virginity, and Andi – who is still uneasy with the whole "dating the son of Satan" thing – is all too eager to leave too, so the girls leave town.  Meanwhile, Nina is headed the other way.  After going 24 hours without speaking to Ben, Nina desperately misses him and drives out to Dover's Hollow to surprise him.  On arriving in town, the first place she thinks to look for the boys is, of course, the bar.  She and the creepy bartender smell the evil on each other, and suddenly the bartender devours Nina. 

Ben and Sock devise a plan to bust him out of jail, so Ben heads into the bar to find an axe.  Instead, he finds Nina's purse.  Before the bartender can get him, he explodes.  Turns out the Sheriff came in in the nick of time and shot the bastard.  He explains to the boys that all the townspeople are really tentacles disguised as people, and that he has devoted his life to keeping tourists away from the creature's slimy grip.

The boys head to the mine to vessel the soul.  Ben has something of a death wish for losing his beloved Nina.  The creature sucks him into the mine, but is quickly released – Ben had the vessel on him.  But when they deliver the vessel to the sheriff, he is surprised to see them alive – he phoned ahead so the monster would be ready for them.  He didn't actually expect them to be able to slay the monster, nor did he want them to – he is in love with the creature and devoted his life to making sure that he and the creature could have their privacy.  But now, of course, the sheriff has to kill the boys.

A chase ensues, and Sock and Ben hide.  Sam ends up outside the mine with the sheriff, who is about ready to pull the trigger.  Nina, in demon form, flies out of the mine and tackles the sheriff.  Sam insists that she not kill the sheriff – "We don't kill people, and his life will be worse without the love of his life."  She buys it, lets the sheriff go.  Turns out that, as a demon, Nina can't be digested, but she did get "a good exfoliation."

Status

Devil is unsettlingly proud of Sam.  Nina thinks that because Sam would rather the sheriff live in misery than die quickly, that he has some evil in him.  Sock tells Kristin that sex isn't shameful, and she must forget the teachings of her culture that told her so.  She relaxes, and the two are off to celebrate – when their parents arrive home from their extended honeymoon.  Andi, unable to deal with the knowledge of who Sam is, dumps him.

Dig It or Bury It?

This episode just dragged on.  It got a little better towards the end, but I just didn't care.  It is sad, because this show has so much potential.  The cast is really good – they have a great dynamic.  The plot is fantastic, and the show has a wonderful goofiness about it that is just endearing.  But the scripts themselves are just so slow.  I am starting to think it is a pacing issue.  And the few tentacle effects in this episode were embarrassingly bad.

Vessel… To Hell!

This one was pretty bad-ass: a hand grenade.  The Devil even tells Sam this one will be a piece of cake.  He doesn't even have to get near the creature, just lob it at him.

Funny Devil

This episode was dull, so the giggles were few and far between.  But one occurs when Sock gets rejected by Kristin.  He sits at the bar, drinking away his sorrows, and he orders a wine cooler from the bartender, but asks that he "put it in a beer bottle."  The bartender's response: "One manly wine cooler, coming up."  Talk about a paradox.

Prophecies

Another love-fest next week with Sam trying to win back Andi, and Sock wooing Kristin.  You can bet Ben and Nina are going to be lovey-dovey as well.  Puke.  The only remotely interesting thing was a brief mention of a "decaying body."  But you know it won't be nearly as cool as you want it to be.

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