September 25, 2007 – The Television Series Reaper Premieres on CW
“Sam, I’m not a carjacker. I’m the Devil!”
On September 25, 2007, the television series Reaper premiered on CW. Produced by ABC Studios, the series was put on pause due to the 2007 Writers Guild of America Strike after its tenth episode. Although receiving great reviews from critics, the series was cancelled after its second season, for a total of 31 episodes. It was created by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, and starred Bret Harrison as Sam Oliver, Tyler Labine as Sock Wysocki, Missy Peregrym as Andi Prendergast, Rick Gonzalez as Ben Gonzalez, and Ray Wise as The Devil.
The pilot episode begins on Sam’s birthday, where he is preparing for his long, boring job at the Work Bench. His parents are acting rather suspiciously, wishing him a wonderful birthday “no matter what happens.” His friend Sock arrives at Sam’s birthday, and the two head to their job, which they both hate. Sock plans on taking Sam out to get completely wasted at their usual bar, but Sam isn’t really in the mood, as his parents are acting more weird than usual. Sam also notices other strange occurrences, including oddly behaving dogs, and a string of arsons reported on the news. Sam works with Andi, whom he has a crush on. Although they are good friends, he still can’t get the courage to ask her out. While working, a giant air conditioner falls from a ledge right above Andi, and Sam is somehow miraculously able to push it away. Sock is excited about Sam’s moment of being a superhero, when Sam admits that he didn’t touch it, but was somehow able to move it with his mind.
Andi finds him later and thanks him for saving her life. He then attempts to ask her out again, when a pack of dogs appears, snarling at the pair of them. Sam sends Andi away before the dogs attack, and Sam flees through the aisles of the Work Bench. Having has enough, Sam heads home, when a mysterious person appears in his car, telling him that the saving Andi from the air conditioner event was a gift from him to Sam. He then tells Sam that he is the Devil, and Sam crashes his car into a large trash container. Later that night, Sam gets home to find his dad in the living room, waiting for him. Sam thinks he’s going insane, and his father asks him to sit down to explain everything: before Sam was born, his soul was sold to the Devil, to be taken when Sam turned 21. His parents tried to not have kids, but the Devil was able to trick them. Sam then goes out to meet his friends, although he is not in a party mood. He pulls Sock aside to explain what happened, and at first, Sock thinks he’s drunk.
Sam then tells Sock that he’s going home, and once he gets there, he pulls out a present from Andi from his coat pocket. It’s a special bracelet, and Sam thinks about her when he is surprised by the Devil. The Devil makes a chicken-fried steak in the kitchen while he explains what Sam will be doing for him. Sam is to work for the Devil, capturing escaped souls from Hell, “like a bounty hunter,” and take them to a portal, like the DMV. In the end, Sam will more than likely go to Heaven, and helping do the world some good. The arsons are actually caused by an escaped soul that is now a firefighter, and the Devil provides Sam with a vessel to help him capture the souls. When Sam refuses, the Devil tells him that he’ll take his mother. He explains it to Ben and Sock, bringing the vessel to work with him. The vessel provided is a Dirt Devil, and while Ben and Sock mock him, they realize after they turn it on and it nearly sucks up a truck, that maybe Sam is telling the truth.
That night, the guys go hunt the soul, who turns into flames and attacks them, with the vessel not working. Ben gets hurt in the process, and the three speed off. Ben is taken to the hospital to recover, and Sam feels incredibly guilty for bringing the two along. Andi shows up at the hospital, and Sam refuses to tell Andi how Ben got hurt, as he’s unable to tell her the truth about the Devil. He decides to continue this alone, and finds that there’s been a huge explosion, caused by the Soul. He feels more guilt about the victims, and comes home to find his mother drinking on the porch. She offers to give her life for Sam’s, and he lies to her, saying that everything’s back to normal. He heads to his room, and the Devil transports him to a hockey arena. Sam tells him that he has the wrong guy, and wants to go to Hell. The Devil tells Sam that he gives up too easily, and tells him to investigate first, and find out why the soul is burning things again. The Devil then kills the Zamboni driver to make a point to Sam that he never accepts failure.
Sam heads back to the Work Bench to get Sock, asking for help. Sam thinks that the soul is burning down the same places he did when he was alive, and they head to Sock’s ex-girlfriend’s workplace to find some criminal records. Josie reluctantly agrees, and they find that the soul, Ned Schmecker, died setting fire to his parents’ house. Sam and Sock head back to the Work Bench to stock up on supplies, and wait for the vessel to recharge. They head to the location of Schmecker’s parents’ house, now an elementary school, and find the soul starting his work on setting the place on fire. Although they initially stop him, he gets the upper hand. Sam is able to use his mind to send the attack back on Schmecker, and is able to capture him with the vessel. They take the vessel the next day to the DMV, where the portal is. They head to the portal and drop off the vessel, where he is mocked by the demon there. Sam heads back to the Work Bench and apologizes to Andi, and they make up. The bracelet she gave him is a charm with the Sanskrit word for strength, and when she saw it, she thought of him. The two share a moment before it’s interrupted by the Devil. Sam pulls him aside to talk to him, and the Devil congratulates him on a job well done, giving him another vessel. Sam realizes that he wants to continue the job, helping people, and Ben and Sock promise to be there to help him.