The second season of the Prime Video original series lacks the nuance of the first season but makes up for it in bone-crunching action
Story: Jack Reacher, played by Alan Ritchson, receives news of the murder of his friend and former colleague in the army. He heads to New York, and reunites with former comrades, to investigate the murder, only to stumble upon a sinister conspiracy. As one would expect they become targets for execution by a mysterious evil organisation.
Review: The first three episodes of Reacher season two, feature a noticeable dip in quality from the universally acclaimed season one. Based on Lee Child’s novel, Bad Luck and Bad Trouble, the series has put significant emphasis on showcasing the physical prowess of Alan Ritchson as Reacher. It is one of the fundamental aspects of his character profile and the creators of the show have delivered on that front spectacularly. Be it intimidating henchmen with his sheer size, breaking bones, or his involvement in gun fights Reacher is thoroughly convincing. Fortunately, the plot becomes more engaging from the fourth episode, albeit relying on familiar tropes. It also provides insight into Reacher’s character as a man who commands unwavering respect and loyalty from his former colleagues.
Maria Sten, who reprises her cameo role as Neagley from the first season, is one of the main characters in season two. However, she is at times relegated to the background with more emphasis on Serinda Swan’s Karla Dixon and her romantic involvement with Reacher. Shaun Sipos, who plays the wise-cracking David O’Donnell, is also given reasonable character development over the course of the eight episodes. But the stand-out character in season two is Domenick Lombardozzi as the NYPD detective Gaitano "Guy" Russo. Russo who plays a righteous and honest cop is the antithesis of Lombardozzi's character from The Wire.
Silo star Ferdinand Kingsley takes on the role of a ruthless assassin and mercenary who appears to kill witnesses even when it is not entirely necessary. In retrospect, the same could be said about the protagonists who end up dropping more bodies in the space of a few weeks than most fictional serial killers manage in their lifetime. It could be argued that Kingsley’s character has no qualms about murdering innocent civilians, whereas Reacher and his team target just the ‘bad guys’. One might speculate that Dexter Morgan would thrive in Reacher’s team.
The season finale encapsulated the core essence of the series – high-stakes action sequences, a few plot holes, and a thoroughly satisfying set of events where the villains find their comeuppance. Robert Patrick as the quintessential antagonist may be a little too generic, but the veteran actor executes the role to near perfection. The final episode hints that Reacher may have undergone a journey of self-discovery after reuniting with his ex-colleagues and that he may have found a new family in them. Prime Video has announced a third season for the series, with fans already speculating which book showrunner Nick Santora will adapt.
Verdict: The second season of Reacher is a more expansive entry with more action and a bigger threat – one that threatens the future of contemporary society. Alan Ritchson continues to be an inspired casting choice to slip into the role of one of Lee Child’s popular characters. However, the second season lacks the nuance of the first season and leans on the idea that more action equates to more entertainment.