In the fourth episode of the first season of Dead Like Me, George tries to exploit a reaper loophole, and discovers what happens when she does. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Dead Like Me.
So, this was a strange episode, but boy, did it pack a punch at the end.
- It took me a bit after finishing “Reapercussions” to figure what, if any, theme was tying the narrative together. I had to look to the gloriously funny title to realize it was right there the whole time. We can’t fight the ramifications of our actions. From the tiny to the enormously large, everything we do affects someone or something else, and trying to fight that is an act of absurdity.
- Of course, the main story here is George learning that it is possible for a person to unknowingly change their fate. When someone doesn’t show up for their death appointment, Rube informs her that every so often, an appointment is “rescheduled.” For George, it’s information that infuriates her. Why couldn’t she reschedule her own appointment? Instead of viewing this as simple cause and effect, she takes it personally, vowing to “reschedule” her next appointment for a soul. You can tell she’s trying to imitate Betty when she speaks to the CEO. Like, she tries to be smooth and convincing, but she’s not nearly as good as Betty is. Granted, the ridiculous lie she makes up works, but I think that’s less because of her effectiveness and more because the man was already in a bad disposition.
- George really looks up to Betty, doesn’t she? She does! She wishes she was her. Actually, it’s not just that. She rants at Rube for his apparent ease at accepting the rules, and that’s really what this about. Why does everyone around her seem so comfortable in the world they’re in?
- (OH GOD, THEY’RE NOT. Oh god, ROXY, MY HEART IS EXPLODING.)
- So she pulls it off. She keeps her appointment from showing up at his scheduled time, and his death is actually rescheduled. Well, shit! That can’t be it, can it?
- Of course not, there are still more than twenty minutes left in this episode. Oh god, what did Georgia do?
- In the midst of this, we see how George deals with Delores and Crystal at Happy Time while Rube and Mason deal with the ramifications of their actions. Initially, I wasn’t sure how these were connected to anything. But I think that’s the point in a way! Rube has to learn that he can’t say he wants to kill a baby while he’s in an airport. Mason cannot smuggle drugs in his rectum. (MASON, YOU ARE AN ADULT. YOU’VE BEEN UNDEAD FOR LIKE 40 YEARS. SURELY YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT A TERRIBLE IDEA THIS IS. Oh god, it’s Mason we’re talking about. Of course he doesn’t get this. In some ways, he’s more immature than George.)
- I’m fascinated, then, by how much time Dead Like Me is spending with the Happy Town plot. I kind of love Delores because she’s found a way to exist in that corporate environment. I’d be interested to see what she’s like outside of work. It’s not that I believe she’s that much different than she is in the office, but there has to be some sort of facade she puts up. What is it? And why? Regardless, George has to learn that the dynamic in the office is also susceptible to her actions, too! There are repercussions to her alliance with Delores OR Crystal.
- Of course, most of the “war” with Crystal is played for laughs. My god, they picked the perfect actress for Crystal. Her facial expressions alone are goddamn glorious, you know? I’m curious to see how an “alliance” with Crystal will help George.
- So, back to the main plot: George’s rescheduling has a disastrous result when hundreds of users of a fat-burning ab exercising all die because George prevented her assignment from reading a crucial safety notice. It’s the universe correcting itself in a way. Her actions affected the world in a terrifying way, one that pisses of Rube. UNDERSTANDABLY SO. But it also establishes the idea that the gravelings will revolt if their work is interfered with. That’s kind of terrifying. Ugh, they creep me out so much!
- My favorite part of “Reapercussions,” though, comes in the revelation that all the bad luck following Roxy is not George’s fault. Initially, I thought the gravelings were so pissed at George that they were taking it out on the entire group. BUT THEN IT’S REVEALED THAT ROXY ENJOYED A GUY SHE GAVE A TICKET TO SO MUCH THAT SHE RESCHEDULED HIS DEATH AS WELL. OH MY GOD. I love that Roxy is initially presented to us as this no-nonsense, tough-as-nails woman, and now we’re getting to see the emotional complexity that she possesses. I love it. IT’S GOOD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
- So, was Rube preparing dinner for the list delivery person as an apology for what George and Roxy did? Does he just want to meet them? I’M CURIOUS.
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