Story Recap – what happened in Reacher season 1?

February 4, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
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This is a story recap of Amazon’s Reacher season 1 and will contain spoilers as it details what happened.

There is a lot of pressure to get Lee Child’s vision right in Amazon Prime’s first season of Reacher. The beloved anti-hero angered its fanbase when Tom Cruise played the 6’5, 250lbs chiseled man of steel that would make Wolverine’s sideburns tremble in fear. The team took Lee Child’s part of writing each episode so seriously, he has been quoted saying this adaptation is as perfect a Jack Reacher to hit the screen as you can get.

Part of that was finding a man who could inhabit the role, not just physically, but as morally complex, intelligent, and who can deliver deadpan wit. They appear to have found that in Alan Ritchson (The Turkey Bowl). However, as we have seen in multiple adaptations of beloved book series, nothing is ever a sure thing. Anyway, we’ve decided to provide a story recap and detail what happened in Reacher season 1.

Story recap – what happened in Reacher season 1?

Episode 1 — “Welcome to Margrave”

Reacher is arrested when he is just trying to eat a piece of Georgia’s best peach pie. All because he walked across an overpass where two dead bodies lay. All the former military policeman wanted to do was visit Margrave, a town known for being the final resting place of a ragtime jazz musician named Blind Blake. Reacher quickly talks his way out of it, knowing the police placing him at the scene of the crime is a total coincidence, and they haven’t done any of the leg work as of yet. Later, they arrest Paul Hubble, who confessed to the crime. Too quickly, Reacher says.

However, this is one of the coincidences that gets jaw-dropping. The first person found was a truck driver for Kliner industries, a local Margrave company. The second is they discovered that other John Doe 40 feet away. He remembers what Finley said about deciding if someone else looks just like Reacher on that tape walking around Margrave. Reacher reads off the report to Detective Oscar Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin), Officer Roscoe Conklin (Willa Fitzgerald), and Jasper (Harvey Guillen). The victim was allergic to latex, and the shooter wore a protective suit to prevent DNA from transferring. The victim broke his arm. In Berlin, Reacher says. The victim had his tonsils taken out. In Seoul, Reacher says aloud.

The second victim is his older brother, Joe.

Episode 2 — “First Dance”

Reacher tells Roscoe that when he and Hubble were placed in prison (during the first episode) when they were jumped by members of the Prison’s Aryan Nation welcome committee, he assumed they wanted to kill him. However, Hubble was the real target. And we now have a third murder, Police Chief Morrison. Now Paul Hubble is missing, and Reacher thinks he is deceased. They gather up Mrs. Hubble and their kids. She goes into hiding with a friend of Oscar’s, FBI Agent Picard.

Episode 3 — “Spoonful”

The episode establishes Roscoe as an innovative, rugged, and driven police officer recruited by the FBI and CIA because, as Reacher puts it, she lacks interpersonal skills. His kind of woman. Another woman who is a Reacher type is special agent Molly Beth Gordon (Laura Jean Chorostecki), who works for the Secret Service. She is returning Officer Roscoe’s call to follow up on Joe. Reacher breaks the news to her that Joe is dead. (It becomes clear to him that she had a personal relationship with Joe). She tells them Joe was director of the office of investigations. He was overseeing an anti-counterfeiting operation. 

They also find out the name of the first victim. Pete Joblin, a trucker for South Freight Shipping, had all his legal bills paid by Kliner Industries.

Episode 4 — “In a Tree”

After killing two hitmen (later found to have been hired and were from Venezuelan special forces), Reacher found another suspect deceased in the trunk of the car. Spivey, the correction office, arranged for Reacher to be killed in prison. Oh, and more importantly, Reacher and Roscoe spend a night of alternative lovemaking before heading out the next mourning to question Joblin’s ex-wife. She tells them she suspected he was involved in illegal activity because he was a truck driver and paid off their house, his parent’s home, and bought expensive items. 

Yet, things are looking up. Molly Beth is arriving at the train station with hard copy files of what Joe was working on. When she comes, they lose track of her. Reacher finds her down the train station tracks and bleeding from a soon-to-be fatal wound. She then passes away in Reacher’s arms, and the files are missing.

Episode 5 — “No Apologies”

Reacher and his loyal former coworker, Neagley, head up to Arkansas to investigate the death of an EPA agent. Someone named “The Viking” was hired to kill them after investigating the dumping of chemicals into a local river. As they are chauffeured around town by the local PD, one of the officers driving pulls his gun out and shoots his partner in the head as Reacher and Neagley watch in horror. The cruiser crashes off the road and into the water below, passing a bridge over a river on the way down.

At the same time, while the lousy guy drowns and they escape, Finley breaks into Kliner Industries to go through the owner’s files. Except, when he enters the office, they find that man is sitting at his desk with his throat cut.

Episode 6 — “Papier”

This episode examines a piece of paper Reacher found in Joe’s belongings. They contact a professor who has quite the story to tell. She was one of two academics studying the effects of MUC — Mass Undetectable Counterfeiting and that 80% of existing US currency is in 100 dollar bills. How? Because the US has the most stable currency on the planet. Joe thought that fake US currency was being shipped into Georgia.

However, Reacher had it wrong. The money was being made in Georgia, not being imported from overseas. The shipping lanes have been closed recently by the Coast Guard, and the Venezuelans want their money. How are they doing it? Taking single dollar bills, chemically altering the cash to get rid of the ink, and reprinting them as 100 dollar bills.

Episode 7 — “Reacher Said Nothing” and Episode 8 — “Pie”

Mayor Teal fires Oscar after Officer Stevenson is killed. He tells Reacher to leave town. There is only one officer left, which means they are the mole. He sets up that white latex kill squad to kill Reacher at the Hubble home. He kills them all, including Dawson Kliner. When Reacher heads over to Picard’s safe house to meet Roscoe and the Hubble family, he finds Oscar surrounded by Agent Picard, KJ, and Mayor Teale, with their guns drawn.

Picard’s former and now deceased partner was The Viking. KJ admits to Reacher that he killed his father, not the hitmen from overseas. He tells Reacher that they are taking Oscar, and he needs to track down Paul Hubble (he is alive!). If he returns them, he will let Charlie and the girls go. 

When Reacher finds Hubble, he gathers Neagley, breaks free Oscar, who is being held hostage at the police station, and they plan an attack on the warehouse where Roscoe and Charlie are being born. They raid the property, killing KJ, Mayor Teale and burning all the money in the process. Reacher leaves Margrave and says goodbye to his brother by burying his grandfather’s military metal near the underpass. 

The Flashbacks

These involved establishing Jack Reacher’s backstory and character traits. Some flashbacks involved him protecting a small town while overseas in Afghanistan. He brought his brand of martial law by killing men abusing children.

Another series of flashbacks involve Jack and Joe as children. Joe was his big brother and told him his brother’s fight was his fight. When the family tries to force Jack to apologize for hitting a General’s son, he refuses and walks away. Why? Bad people have what is coming to them.

The final flashback has Reacher saying goodbye to his mother, who is dying, and showing a rare moment of vulnerability. 

And there you go, a story recap of Reacher season 1 and what happened. What are your thoughts on the story? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Prime.

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