When did Mephistopheles become so cool? If you’ve had the opportunity to watch the new show on CW called “Reaper,” you would know what I am talking about. If not, then get on board for an enjoyable ride into the shadows of the world of Hell Inc.
To give you a bit of synopsis of “Reaper,” it is about a slacker named Sam whose soul was sold to the devil by his parents before he was born in order to save his dad’s life from a terminal illness. Sam does not learn his fate until he turns 21 and then his life changes forever…
I know what you are thinking. If Sam’s soul is the property of Satan now that he’s 21, then his fate has already been written — permanent residence in the eternal flames of Hell. So, what is left?
Well, business has been booming for Hell for quite a while and right now Mephistopheles has a few more souls than he can handle which is creating opportunities for souls to escape back to Earth. The devil puts this way, “We were unprepared for the influx. I blame myself.”
Now being the good businessman that he is and having street cred as the ultimate evil Satan cannot have these souls escape; it would be bad PR and business. So, instead of condemning poor Sam to Hell, he makes him an employee – the Reaper, a bounty hunter for Hell. Sam’s mission is to round up all the lost souls that escape Hell and return them back. If he doesn’t…well consequences at the hands of Mephistopheles would be grave.
Now, Sam’s job is not as simple as it sounds. He is going up against souls with supernatural powers that are pure evil without any real powers of this own. To help him with his task, Satan provides poor Sam with a “vessel” that changes depending on the job or soul that he has to capture. In the first episode, the vessel was of all things a Dirt Devil mini-vacuum, and in the second episode, it was a radio controlled car.
Yes, it sounds silly and yeah it is, but believe it or not these “vessels” do the job in capturing these escape souls. Once the soul is collected they must be deposited at the nearest gateway or opening to hell…the DMV. As Mephistopheles explains it, “anywhere that seems like on Earth is hell on Earth” and he could not be more on the mark about DVM. Mephistopheles puts it another way, “Drop off a fugitive, renew your license. I’m all about the perks.” Sam is not alone; he enlisted Sock and Sam co-workers and friends from the big box discount store The Work Bench to help fulfill his job obligations. What a recipe of great fun, laugher, and far out adventure!
The true charm of the show is the writing and the cast. Show creators Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, Tom Spezialy, and Mark Gordon provides the audience with a touch of comedy and light adventure with a mixture of satirical commentary about the uninspired youth of today sprinkled in.
Ray Wise steals the show as the devil! Wise plays Mephistopheles like a warped, comic CEO whose goal is not to punish Sam but be his mentor. Wise’s delivery is dead pan and not too over the top. As a viewer you can’t wait for him to make his next appearance. The rest of the cast Sam (Bret Harrison), Sock (Tyler Labine), Ben (Rick Gonzalez), and Missy Peregrym provide great performances with the ability to carry the show without needing Wise in every scene.
With two episodes under their belt, let’s hope that Sam doesn’t fall down on the job. Getting “fired” by Mephistopheles would not be pretty!