Reacher is the greatest show in ten-years! In fairness, I’m a fan of Alan Ritchson (Titans) and Malcolm Goodwin (iZombie). These men have deserved a series for A WHILE!!! It’s great to see talented people have success. It’s how it should be. It reaffirms the power of great art; it can’t be stopped. Thomas Vincent, the director, appears to be on the arthouse side. I was stunned to find out that an arthouse director pulled me into this action packed show by my proverbials. Nick Santora wrote this pilot perfectly. I was pulled deeper into every scene. We need to work on new adjectives to describe how good this show is.
What makes a great Pilot? It has to establish all of the characters, immediate danger/conflict, a mythology, and show not tell. This show had barely any exposition at all. I haven’t seen that done in years. In a time, when lazy writing is the norm, this show tosses all of that aside. Alan was born to play this part. I will get into this deeper later on, but he has the most believable portrayal of a Veteran since Battlestar Galactica. Someone helped Alan act like us and he did a great job of it.
“Welcome to Margrave” opens with Jack Reacher walking toward a diner with no obvious possessions. Reacher is rapidly arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and he’s pulled into this town’s intrigue and bodies are dropping. He walks with some discomfort, which is clear in the pilot until the last scene. Why was this important? Veterans always kind of feel a little naked because we’re permanently out of uniform. We never really get over it. We’re always just a little fish out of water.
Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin) the chief detective has no idea where to begin to solve these murders. The town is just 1700 people in there are two people dead by the end of the pilot. Finlay discerns that a local business accountant Paul Hubble is involved and tries to get him to talk to Reacher by locking them both up at the local prison. However, unknown to Finlay, someone wants Reacher and Paul dead. Let’s take just a moment to offer some respect to the writer and director for opting for the hard road of storytelling. They’ve set all of this conflict up without an exposition fest -that takes talent and discipline. It also leads to the greatest fight scene I’ve ever seen. Not since the Titans “Pilot” did I see a fight scene of this caliber. It topped it.
This show has heart, violence, mystery and intensity. Reacher discovers that the second body is his brother Joe. His physicality changes; he’s more relaxed in both speech and walking. Why? Because now Reacher has a mission: Revenge. Alan Ritchson pulled this transformation off brilliantly.
I have to also discuss Malcolm Goodwin as Finlay. His marriage is failed and now his career is a mess because this town is confronted with two murders in two days. His performance is like a pressure cooker; he’s trying desperately not to explode. I loved it.
I highly recommend this show. It should be picked up immediately!