Reacher: The Man Goes Through
January 13, 2024 12:35 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

As the team close in on Langston, two members of the 110th face danger, compelling Reacher to devise a dangerous plan to rescue them. (IMDb)

The team arrive back at Jade East Motel HQ and plot how to get Marlo and her daughter out of town safely. It involves a neat bit of living without leaving a trace: rent from homeowner, pay in cash??, utilities included, short time, and a retired firefighter landlord who saves you from hypothermia and still sends you birthday cards. O'Donnell calls up a driver and pays him a bundle to take them to Buffalo, but first gives some fatherly advice to Jane about letting Reacher have the Clarks bars.

Reacher confronts corrupt Lt Marsh at home after Detective Russo's death and finds him packing to leave town with a duffel bag of cash. Torture by desk kick elicits the news that one of the cop killers is still alive after being mowed down by Neagley's SUV in the last episode. Reacher snags a roll of cash and tosses it to Neagley as they head out to the hospital, now they're square.

At the hospital, Reacher employs a new torture method that makes his desk maneuver look benign. The patient/killer is probably regretting surviving at this point and coughs up another bit of information that Bad Guy AM is arriving--somewhere--at 5 AM to join up the stolen chips with the stolen missiles. Not much but Reacher dispatches him just before another one of Langston's henchmen arrives to do the same. A discreet fight takes place before yet another death, by bone saw this time, unfortunately before he could be questioned.

Interspersed between deaths, are flashbacks to the 110th Special Investigators who defy orders and take down a massive drug operation (another huge shootout that kills all the bad guys) which ultimately leads to the team being disbanded.

Reacher calls Langston to inform him of the kill count and in return, Langston tells him that (SOMEHOW!!! off screen) O'Donnell and Dixon have been captured at the no-tell motel and if he wants to save them from being tortured to death, he'll show up at [location, the piece of information they were missing] to trade places with them. Langston is told that Neagley is dead and Reacher calls in a favor from the senator? congressman? from the opera episode so there is A Plan but the episode ends with Reacher walking through the gate to face Langston.
posted by TWinbrook8 (19 comments total)
Sadly, I think that this is where my affection for my show ended. I thought that the first season of Reacher was excellent: the classic "mysterious man comes into town, is caught up in its secrets, and leaves a trail of bodies setting things right." It was pared down, direct, with a decent mystery. It even had moments of charm.

This season... when it isn't being stupid, it's grim. We've seen Reacher kill plenty, but it's always been in self-defense, or in when defending others. Now he's torturing people for information, threatening to kill innocents, picking fights with cops, and killing hospital patients out of revenge. It's nasty.

I get the feeling that the producers got too ambitious this season: too many characters, too many flashbacks, too many locations. I haven't read all (or even most) of the Reacher books, but surely there was another one like Killing Floor with a smaller scale that they could have used to concentrate on character, dialogue, and plot?
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 1:58 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]

I think this wasn't the best choice of books to do this season. I've read about 6 of the books, but not the one this season is based on. Assuming it's a relatively faithful adaptation of the book, it seems to be a bit of an outlier in that it has Reacher working with a team he's familiar with instead of building a team as he learns who's trustworthy.

But that may be part of the reason they chose this book. I stopped reading the books when the formula never changed. I think a second season based on one of the more formula-bound books would have risked the audience thinking "hey, this is basically the same story as last season but in a different setting."

I personally would have been ok with that. I'm not sure if any of the other books break from formula.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:57 PM on January 13

They spent a lot of time in this episode on flashbacks. That's cool, but time is precious and I'm not seeing how they'll be able to put a nice bow on everything with just 1 episode left.

The sudden catastrophic loss of plot armor on Reacher's friends feels cheap. I don't expect them to survive the finale. I can't make sense of T1000's monologue about how they got caught, either.
posted by spreadsheetzu at 12:30 AM on January 14

T1000 put a tracker on Detective Russo’s car, and it showed repeated visits to the sketchy motel where Team Reacher was staying.
posted by cardboard at 6:55 AM on January 14

That use of Soul Coughing was fucking inspired. Move aside. Let the man go through. Super bon bon. Mass x Acceleration.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:28 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]

The acoustic Heart sing-along was fantastic. I hope to some day be in a room where everyone would know the lyrics to that song.
posted by mabelstreet at 7:06 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]

I had the ex-womanizer turned family man pegged as a rat, am thinking with this episode I was proven wrong.
posted by oldnumberseven at 8:25 PM on January 14

am thinking with this episode I was proven wrong.
Ehhhh I still have him in the rat column. Rats get tortured too.
He was also Very Obviously Making The Travel Plans for mum and gamergal, which I can only assume means they were shipped straight to T1000
posted by coriolisdave at 3:41 AM on January 15

Rat or not, it’s hard to picture Reacher from the books putting up with someone who is such a general dweeb, and it’s been bothering me all season.
posted by ftm at 5:35 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

I think he (O'Donnell) is just a terrible actor. Everything he says sounds so insincere, and the transition from lothario to family man is unconvincing.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:53 AM on January 15

I think he was Very Obviously Making The Travel Plans to give him an opportunity to look loving and fatherly and remind everyone he's a family man with stakes. It's another scramble to humanize the character before their downfall, just like with Good Cop.
posted by spreadsheetzu at 10:28 AM on January 15

That use of Soul Coughing was fucking inspired.

When that song came on, my partner said "oh, that's a great song!" I said "It's where the episode title comes from."

She said "Super Bon Bon?"

Alan Ritchson will now forever be Super Bon Bon to me.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:28 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Bold statement: I think Dixon is going to turn out to be the traitor. She took a shot at convincing O'Donnell to leave just before they got grabbed. I don't think that was an accident.
posted by rednikki at 11:35 AM on January 18

True story. Gonna sound bullshit but it's not.

I was touring a data center on Wednesday. Nice place. They labeled the floors starting with the first available floor where companies can rent space. The floor below that, full of technical equipment, they called "the mezzanine."

The guy giving the tour was a very South Side guy who played a little fast and loose with grammar.

As we finished the tour on floor one, they mentioned they were painting the stairs and we couldn't get back to the lobby that way.

I saw my chance.

"So how do we get back to security?"

And friends, he replied:
"You gotta take the elevator to the mezzanine ."

posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:46 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]

Bad Guy AM is arriving--somewhere--at 5 AM

Oh! Oh wow! THAT’S why all his aliases are AM. Because he does business IN THE AM!

He’s a morning person.

Beyond that though, why is that guy even here? Sure someone has to be buying the missiles, but that could be any nameless goons, like the kite runner goons. I mean I know he’s there to give Reacher a super killer bad guy to face off with next episode. But he’s had squat to do with the story for the whole thing. We just see him slowly, very slowly crossing the country, making occasional pit stops to kill Dr. … Lucky, or give comic books to kids in airports. (?!??) Then suddenly next episode he’s going to square off w Reacher and somehow it’s supposed to have high personal stakes?

And on a totally different topic, what happened to the older black guy in the 110th? Is he accounted for?
posted by Naberius at 11:08 PM on February 1

Older black guy supposedly died a few years back. Neagley mentions it in the first episode when she's giving Reacher a summary of what everyone's been up to.
posted by silverstatue at 11:36 AM on March 2

Assuming it's a relatively faithful adaptation of the book

It isn't, very, at least plot-wise, starting from about the previous episode.

Also I'm pretty sure all the flashback stuff about the 110th's last case is an entirely different book. (Some of the more recent Reacher novels are set during his Army career.)

I'm not sure if any of the other books break from formula.

Kinda not, although like a lot of thriller/crime/detective series I think the appeal is you get a constant character thrown into a variety of different plots and situations. How soon one tires of this formula is of course YMMV.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:37 PM on March 9

Beyond that though, why is that guy even here?

Yeah, that's bad writing. AM is supposed to be the criminal mastermind guy who initiated the whole plot in the first place - a major arms dealer who got wind of the Little Wing project and figured out how to monkey with the production schedule and quality control and record keeping and who to bribe to get 650 of these fancy missiles into his hands for resale without anyone knowing. That was never really made clear.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:45 PM on March 9

A really nice character moment here for Dixon, where she sees Reacher’s and then O’Donnell’s interactions with Jane.
posted by sixswitch at 7:53 AM on March 20

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