While delving into the lore of Jack Reacher, it seemed strange and kind of funny to notice that most well-known everyman heroes in the modern action-crime genre of movies share names that start with ‘J.’ We don’t know for sure whether it is completely arbitrary or whether it implies some intertextual commentary, but one aspect can certainly be pointed out: aside from the initial alphabet of the name, the majority of the protagonists share similar, quite basic characteristic traits, i.e., they’re invariably a mentally unstable stoic loner, a do-gooder with an infallible moral compass and a penchant for fashionable appearance. The character on point, Jack Reacher, the burly happy-go-lucky protagonist of James Grant’s crime novel series, strays from this generic portrayal by being an out-of-time, vagabond wanderer—a knight-errant of sorts, roaming through the drudgeries of Midwestern America and doling out justice as he deems necessary.
Jack Reacher is a relatively well-known name among the reader circle thanks to the immensely popular novel series, and even on live-action media, two Tom Cruise-starrer movies have garnered enough street cred. However, keeping with the trend of adhering to source material authenticity, the character received its best on-screen portrayal through the Amazon Prime series Reacher, starring Alan Ritchson in the lead, who brings the characteristic raw physicality and nomadic vibe to the role. We will take a brief look at the character and discuss what we can expect in the upcoming second season.
Everything You Need To Know About Jack Reacher
Reacher novel series creator James Grant has himself admitted quite openly that the conception of the character was purely commercially motivated, and it shows in the surface-level introduction to the character. Aside from being built like a tank, which makes him stand out, Reacher has every combat, tactical, and weapon skill dialed to the max, thanks partly to his career as a major in military police and his eidetic memory. His standard response to any situation is to take a pretty straightforward, loud, no-nonsense approach, which isn’t to convey that he is an average jock lacking gray matter, as he is knowledgeable about almost everything. His vagrant, extremely minimalistic lifestyle can be either interpreted as his callous attitude or another aspect of his character that separates him from the crowd. As a character, Reacher never grows or changes; most of his adventures follow him visiting small establishments across the United States, righting the wrongs by tackling insurmountable odds, and eventually leaving. However, instead of being identified as stagnant, this trait takes him closer to the Western hero/lone Shinobi archetype, whose personal sense of justice often made them take a stand against the world. Then again, unlike those leads, Reacher is not haunted by a traumatic past or trying to make amends for mistakes; he is prompted to do the right thing just for the sake of it, and therein comes the interesting bit of his character.
Most of Reacher’s misadventures pit him against corrupt authoritarian figures, moguls, or bad guys of various categories as he untangles conspiracies, but the focus is never on the over-the-top world-threatening situations that protagonists like him usually undertake. Instead, his justice prompts him to prioritize individuals over collectives, looking out for the little guy. Despite being an outcast with no ties to the world, he is generous, caring, and considerate. His appearance often befools not only his adversaries but also viewers who are not acquainted with him, as his brawn acts as a metaphor for a near superheroic sense of responsibility for the needy instead of serving as an apparent intimidation factor. Reacher’s benevolence and consequentialism position him right between traditional heroes and anti-heroes, almost like a chivalrous knight remade for the modern era.
What Can We Expect From Season 2?
The first season of Reacher, which was a direct adaptation of the first novel of Grant’s series, “Killing Floor,” revolved around Reacher getting entangled in a murder conspiracy in Margrave, Georgia, which eventually led him to investigate a money counterfeiting racket run by local business tycoon Kliner and his psychopathic son. Joe, the elder brother of Jack, who was also coincidentally investigating the operation previously, had lost his life at the hands of Kliner’s son, and Jack avenges him by putting an end to the racket and killing Kliner’s son at the end of the first season. Aside from some recurring characters, no major element of the first season is going to be carried forward to the second season, which will premiere tomorrow with three new episodes.
An adaptation of the novel Bad Luck and Trouble, the second season of Reacher, which takes place two years after the events of the first season, will explore Reacher’s past life in the army and a personal crisis that will take him through a bloody path of revenge. During his tenure as a military police major, Reacher assembled a special investigation team, the 110th unit, by bringing together selected individuals skilled in various abilities. An otherwise taciturn Reacher had spent some of his best time with his team, as the members shared a strong bond of friendship. Eventually, as members retired from the force, they drifted apart from each other. However, Reacher was in touch with Frances, one of the members of the unit who helped him during the events of his first season as a PI. As the second season begins, a vital member of the group, Calvin Franz, gets brutally killed by an unknown assailant(s), and Frances informs Reacher about the situation using their unit’s specialized code. It turns out that members of the 110th unit are systematically getting taken out, and Reacher assembles a crew consisting of the remaining unit members to take the battle to the unknown assailant(s). The second season is going to be a bloodier, more violent affair, as hinted through the trailer, and the confirmation of a third season already indicates the possibility of this season surpassing even the previous one in qualitative terms.