Reacher: Season 2 Review

Reacher: Season 2
When a member of his former US Army unit is murdered, Reacher (Alan Ritchson) reunites with three of his ex-teammates to investigate.

by Amon Warmann |
Published on

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Episodes viewed: 8 of 8

When Reacher burst onto televisions last year, the small-screen setting proved to be exactly what Lee Child’s brawny hero needed. Across eight episodes, the character was given the necessary time to get into all those important details (they matter!) of a local conspiracy, punching his way through all manner of bad guys en route to finding the truth. The second season offers more of the same but better, with a keener sense of episode-to-episode propulsion that makes for compelling viewing, even when the titular hero isn’t on screen.

Reacher: Season 2

But make no mistake: the big guy is the biggest reason why Reacher works. Alan Ritchson is even more comfortable in Reacher’s skin this time around (the one exception being when the man mountain is forced to run in a hilariously uncomfortable-looking suit). Ritchson delivers dialogue with a knowing tone that helps keep things on just the right side of ridiculous. Indeed, the amount of material dedicated to painting Reacher as a terrifying behemoth makes this a far funnier eight hours than what’s come before.

This sophomore season works better than the first.

To that end, key to why this sophomore season works better than the first lies with the ensemble surrounding its star. Neagley (Maria Sten, reprising her role from the first season), O'Donnell (Shaun Sipos) and Dixon (Serinda Swan) are all capable in both brawn and smarts — the action is at its best when they’re working as a team, and the central mystery of who is killing their friends, and why, befits their Sherlockian talents. But it’s the history they share as members of the same unit that’s the not-so-secret sauce here. Whether it be in smartly deployed flashbacks or present-day chatter, the banter rarely stops flowing. Their back-and-forth also unlocks some hitherto unseen shades of Reacher, as he reconsiders his loner lifestyle in contrast to his more successful friends.

Ultimately, at its core, Reacher is — like its titular hero — pretty simple. It’s about a highly skilled good guy with a set of unrelenting principles trying to do the right thing even in difficult circumstances, and as entertainingly presented here, that’s a character who’s easy to root for. “There’s a part of me that thinks you’re the only one out of us who’s got it all figured out,” O’Donnell says to Reacher at one point. On this basis, the series has things pretty figured out, too.

A brawnier, funnier, and more potently entertaining season than its inaugural outing. No wonder Season 3 has already been greenlit.
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