Spoilers ahead for Reacher season 1.
- Reacher season 1 on Amazon Prime Video delivers some of the best fight scenes in any action show, with each episode upping the ante.
- The action sequences in Reacher season 1 stay true to Lee Child’s source material, capturing the essence of Jack Reacher’s character and military background.
- While some action moments stand out, such as the Sasquatch bar fight and the police car brawl, the season finale and the stairwell fight are among the series’ most thrilling moments.
Based on Lee Child’s book series of the same name, Amazon Prime Video’s Reacher season 1 is packed with some of the best fight scenes of any streaming action show around, with each of the series’ 8 episodes upping the ante. The freshman season lifts its premise from Child’s debut novel, Killing Floor. On the whole, the series’ first outing remains pretty faithful to the source material, from incorporating Jack Reacher’s military backstory to capturing his self-proclaimed, post-Army drifter lifestyle. Even so, there’s nothing quite like seeing action sequences play out in live-action form, especially if those scenes involve ex-military police officer Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson).
Previously, Reacher‘s Alan Ritchson worried about the show’s action sequences, fearing he didn’t have the ability to pull off the complex choreography and stunts. Of course, Ritchson’s fears were proven wrong. In Reacher season 1, the titular character goes up against the murderous cops, corrupt politicians, and hired guns of Margrave, Georgia. By the end of the season, it’s revealed that the crimes pinned on Reacher at the start of the series were actually the work of KJ Kline (Chris Webster), a money launderer-turned-murderer. While Reacher season 2‘s action sequences will continue to push the envelope, there’s no doubt that the first outing laid a solid foundation.
10 Episode 3’s Reacher vs. Sasquatch Bar Fight
In episode 3, a string of violent events leads Reacher to gather some intel at a local bar. Now that Reacher‘s Finlay and Roscoe are in danger, the show’s titular protagonist isn’t pulling punches. When Sasquatch (Nicolas Grimes) realizes Reacher’s intent, he confronts Jack. “Find yourself another bar,” Sasquatch tells Reacher. After determining that his opponent is a trained boxer, Reacher makes a joke about the sport before hitting Sasquatch in the face several times. Eventually, he gets the hulking boxer to sing like a bird. More humorous than anything else, the Reacher vs. Sasquatch moment is fun, but it isn’t the show’s best action moment.
9 Reacher & KJ’s First Confrontation In The Restaurant
In episode 5, “No Apologies,” Reacher takes out some frustration on KJ Kline — and for good reason. Ultimately, KJ is the season’s real antagonist, so the restaurant brawl serves as the first of several fights between the two men. The face-off is decidedly one-sided: after KJ insults Roscoe, Jack slaps him across the face — so hard that it sends KJ flying to the floor. After that, Reacher flips the table and fights off KJ’s lackeys with punches and plate smashes. It’s a satisfying sequence, but it’s also too brief to be one of the season’s best.
8 Reacher & Neagley Take Out A Cop Car
Episode 5’s police car brawl outdoes Jack’s take-down of KJ. Neagley (Maria Sten), Jack’s private investigator pal, and Reacher find themselves in the back of a patrol car with some blackmailed cops. The officer in the driver’s seat is tasked with killing Reacher in order to save his family. Said cop starts by shooting his patrol partner in the head, which prompts Neagley and Reacher to take action. The duo kick out the screen that separates them from the officer and, eventually, force him to drive off the road. The tense sequence loses points for being a bit hard to see given the low lighting of the car.
Reacher season 2 is based on Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble.
7 Reacher Refuses To Get In A Trunk
During episode 2, “First Dance,” Reacher meets with Spivey (Patrick Garrow), a crooked prison guard. Unfortunately, the rendezvous is a setup, and Reacher is attacked by two ex-soldiers. At first, the hired guns encourage Reacher to climb into the trunk of their car, but the ex-military cop protests. “It’s too small,” Reacher says. “It’ll be uncomfortable.” After lulling the two ex-soldiers into a conversation, Reacher strikes, deftly handling their punches, guns, and knives with ease. The blend of humor and action helps this sequence stand out, but it still pales in comparison to other season 1 action scenes.
6 Roscoe & Reacher’s Episode 4 Team-Up
In episode 4, “In a Tree,” Reacher teams up with his love interest and partner-in-justice Roscoe Conklin (Willa Fitzgerald). A cop herself, Roscoe is pretty handy with a gun, and this sequence proves just how much she has Reacher’s back. After coming under fire, Reacher and Roscoe split up, with Reacher leading their pursuers down a narrow alley. After killing one of the men, he struggles to fight off the second. An extended hand-to-hand brawl ends with Reacher’s opponent holding him at gunpoint. Thankfully, Roscoe sneaks up and fires a perfect head-shot. A strong scene, this one falters slightly because of Reacher’s missteps.
5 Reacher’s Prison Bathroom Fight Scene
Reacher episode 1, “Welcome to Margrave,” has to establish the show’s present-day plotline and stakes, all while showing the audience that Jack Reacher is at the top of his game. When the ex-military drifter arrives in the small Georgia town, he’s immediately arrested for murder. Both Reacher and Paul Hubble (Marc Bendavid), a local banker who confessed to the crime because he feared for his safety, are thrown in jail. When Reacher finds himself surrounded by a dozen enemies in the prison showers, he warns his enemies about his skills. Given that Reacher gouges a man’s eye out with his bare hands, the inmates should’ve heeded his warning.
4 Reacher & KJ’s Brawl In The Season 1 Finale
While Reacher season 1’s ending is pretty epic, the sequence still isn’t the series’ best action setpiece. Nonetheless, the over-the-top excitement really heats up. Reacher arrives on the scene to save Roscoe and Finlay and subdue KJ. After ramming a pick-up truck through the warehouse that serves as the backdrop for the series’ big climax, Reacher torches the factory with gasoline. Both Finlay and Roscoe get their own impressive, action-packed moments before Reacher douses KJ in chemicals and kicks him into the flames. When Reacher emerges from the fire no worse for wear, it all feels a little cheesy, but in the perfect action series way.
3 When Reacher Goes Full “Home Alone” In Episode 7
Although a tad ridiculous, episode 7 really leans into the comedy-action blend that makes Reacher the ultimate dad TV show. Jack lets it slip that he’s planning to head to Hubble’s house, knowing full well that the corrupt Officer Baker (Hugh Thompson) will send forces after him. In Home Alone fashion, Reacher lies in wait and dons camouflage face paint. When four gun-toting men arrive at the house, Jack Reacher kills them one-by-one, with the final brawl landing him in a swimming pool. It’s a thrilling sequence from beginning to end. While it shows off Reacher’s remarkable prowess, it’s still full of tension.
The first three episodes of Reacher season 2 stream on Amazon Prime Video on December 15, 2023.
2 Reacher Takes Out A Bully In A Prison Cell Fight
While the prison bathroom fight sets the tone for much of season 1, an earlier prison-set brawl fully illustrates Reacher’s character. When an inmate named JD (Emeka Agada) harasses Hubble, Jack reaches his limit and suggests JD knock it off. Obviously, JD doesn’t think much of Reacher; it’s a huge mistake, but the inmate isn’t the only one to do it. The confines of the prison cell paired with Reacher’s hulking frame do a lot to make the character into someone imposing. And even though Reacher takes JD (and, seemingly, his men) out with just a few well-placed hits, the sequence defines the show’s protagonist perfectly.
1 Reacher Season 1, Episode 6’s Stairwell Fight
One of the best action sequences in Reacher season 1 takes place in a stairwell. When Reacher discovers that he’s being stalked, a classic alleyway chase unfolds — complete with Reacher tossing debris in his wake. Eventually, the two clash in a stairwell, trading punches until the thug pulls a knife on Reacher. The quick-witted ex-cop finds a discarded bicycle wheel and uses it to break the thug’s fingers. When even that isn’t enough to stop the onslaught, Reacher turns his tie into a weapon. After wrapping the tie around the thug’s throat, Reacher leaps off the stairwell and uses his body weight to strangle his opponent.
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