Reacher Season 2

You don't mess with the special investigators

Jiří Stacho

2/1/20243 min read

That line is repeated ad nauseam.

When Reacher came out two years ago, it immediately became my new favorite show. While this season doesn't hold up as well, it's still a fun ride.

Reacher works best alone. No, actually, scratch that. Reacher works best surrounded by normal people, not fake, discount copies of Reacher. That's why season 1 works much better. Roscoe and Finley don't act overly tough; they're just believable, normal people trying their best. Speaking of Finley, it was nice to see him in a minor cameo, and the brief mention of Roscoe is also appreciated.

Typically, I don't have a problem with a predictable plot as long as it's entertaining, but this season, it's just not as fun and the show focuses on it too much. Reacher and his team constantly explain the plot to us as if we are toddlers who can't possibly comprehend the intricacies of a simple action show. Speaking of action, it is okay but not on par with the first season. Alan Ritchson again kills it as Reacher. He's intimidating and convincing. Reacher's fights are still entertaining, but the other members of the team are quite embarrassing and unbelievable from time to time. The actors do not seem very capable in that regard, especially in direct comparison to Alan Ritchson. The directors try to work around that but the fight choreography is not on point this year.

This season is filled with "professionals," and yet it feels much more amateurish than the first season set in a small town. "Have I ever told you that you're smart, Neely?" "Not nearly enough." The writers must be proud of this exchange, considering they use it in every episode. I guess they think it shows how cute of a team they are. It feels too cheesy and out of place. Forced backstories, such as when the girls awkwardly talk about school dances and wearing heels, are noticeable. The constant remarks on O'Donnell's change from playboy to family man occur at least twice in each episode. Karla Dixon (played by Serinda Swan) is so bland that if she were a spice, she'd be flour. I remember Serinda Swan when she played Zatanna on Smallville, and she had a spark and was intriguing to watch. Unfortunately, her character on Reacher doesn't add anything interesting or unique. If her character didn't exist, nothing would change. The only good addition this season is Russo, played by Domenick Lombardozzi. Even though he's a walking cliché, the actor's energetic performance makes up for it. And that's my whole point. Cliché and predictability are not issues when we have good performances, solid writing, and exciting action. Russo dies way too soon. Because of that, it isn't as impactful as it could have been. Russo had lively dialogues with Reacher, but when he dies, it's more of an afterthought.

Although this season is trying too hard to be serious, there are genuinely funny moments here and there. In episode 6, when Neely catches Reacher with Dixon in bed and tells him something in Spanish, Reacher says she should have used the informal 'tu'. That's a funny little line that came out of nowhere. I love it. Or when Reacher reassures scared kids, saying, "It won't be forever, we just need to kill a few more people." That's the Reacher I want to watch.

There are also some major pacing issues. The majority of this season feels a bit too slow. They use flashbacks to show us the whole story of the 110th unit from how Reacher picked each member to their last case for which the team got disbanded. The last two episodes picked up the pace considerably, and Dixon and O'Donnell were put more on the sidelines, so the season ended on a positive note. They wrapped up quite nicely, although I couldn't help but find it strangely empty at times. Considering all the characters we were meant to care about from Reacher's team, plus Russo's death, it would seem that the payoff shouldn't feel this empty. It shows that the writers failed to make us care about these guys. I never felt attached to anyone other than Reacher. Maybe Russo, but like I said, they killed him off too soon. The other characters don't seem convincing to me; it feels like they are playing a part, which, admittedly, is true, but it shouldn't feel that way. Throughout the season they’re building up a character called AM (Ferdinand Kingsley) as a ruthless and methodical killer who will be a formidable opponent to Reacher. In the finale, he gets shot and that’s it. There’s no payoff for such a build up. Reacher giving all the money to victims and friends is a nice touch.

The ending, where Reacher goes on the bus and leaves the Scooby gang, gives me hope that next season will be closer to season 1 than season 2. I would like to see Reacher dealing with more down-to-earth stuff. So far, only Neely is reported to come back in season 3, and that's good news. No need to see Dixon or O'Donnell anytime soon (or later).

Despite the pacing issues, ridiculous plot, and cheesy dialogue, Reacher season 2 is still worth your time. Alan Ritchson carries the show and elevates it from mediocrity.

Reacher Season 2 - 80% - weaker than S1 but still fun