So, having Amazon Prime, and having had it recommended to me by someone whose taste I generally appreciate, I decided to semi-binge REACHER this week, the adaptation of the Lee Child character of the same name. Reacher is an ex-Army major who headed a Special Investigations unit in Iraq. He’s kind of a cross between Sherlock Holmes and The Terminator, and he is arrested for the murder of two men, one of whom ends up being his own brother.
Oh, Reacher. There is SO MUCH to like about this show. The pacing is excellent, building tension and maintaining suspense. The characters are well-developed, portrayed by a wonderful cast. Alan Ritchson plays the title role like a laconic Chris Evans if he looked the way Starlord wanted to when he met Thor. Malcolm Goodwin is essentially reprising his brilliant role from iZombie, but played straight, and he’s his own variety of cultured badass. Willa Fitzgerald’s Roscoe Conklin is dangerous and sexy as hell. The dialogue is clever to the point of brilliance. To take one of my favorite examples:
Town punk: “You’re about to get your ass kicked.”
Reacher: “No. I’m about to break the hands of three drunk kids.”
Town punk: “There’s four of us.”
Reacher: “One of you has to drive to the hospital.”
Three broken hands later
Last punk: “I know where the hospital is!”
But then we get to the gaping, gaping problem. Which is, for want of a better way to say it, the way the world works. We are asked to believe that Joe Reacher is an agent of the Secret Service. Not just an agent, though, but the director of the entire anti-counterfeiting branch (which is, of course, one of two things the Secret Service absolutely specializes in), and he’s taken this case himself.
As it develops, Joe was chasing down a huge counterfeiting operation inside the United States. We are asked to believe:
1) That Joe Reacher had NO subordinate agents working for him on this.
2) That when Jack and some city police officers call the Secret Service to report this to another agent, that agent immediately tells them all about what Joe was doing, and is willing to bring them his private files. Because apparently, security clearances aren’t a thing.
3) But most of all, that when a Secret Service director is murdered, and THEN another Secret Service agent is murdered, Homeland Security’s reaction is apparently nonexistent. They just… don’t react.
It is a testament to just how good this show is that this does not ruin the entire thing for me. I have quit watching lesser shows in the middle for this kind of bullshit. I’m sorry, but the idea that criminals or foreign nationals could simply murder a law enforcement officer of this rank to zero reaction from the federal government is almost equivalent to Pearl Harbor being bombed and the United States ignoring it. They just couldn’t do it, at least not without serious justification.
Anyway, despite that, I’m hooked. This is the first show since Stranger Things I’ve binge-watched this fast. Hope Season 2 is even better.