What to Expect from Reacher Season Three

While season two of Reacher, Amazon Prime Video’s adaptation of the popular book series by Lee Child, concluded three weeks ago I have only just finished what was a good, if somewhat uneven season of television. While many shows have languished in delays due to the industry strikes last year, Reacher has been lucky enough to avoid such problems, as they are already in the process of filming its third season in Toronto, so let’s go over what we already know, and I what I hope to see from this upcoming season.

Perhaps the most notable piece of information we have about Reacher season three is that it will be based on the seventh book in the series, Persuader. According to its official logline, “Reacher must go undercover to rescue an informant held by a haunting foe from his past.” I will avoid going any further to avoid spoilers, though with that being said, the show has been unafraid to deviate from the source material where necessary – as should any adaptation worth its salt – and confirmation of Maria Sten’s return as Frances Neagley proves as much, given that the character does not appear in the novel.

Speaking of the cast, last week two new actors were announced to appear in the upcoming season. Legendary Brat Pack member Anthony Michael Hall has been cast as a character named Zachary Beck, “a formidable and successful businessman” whose rug import company Reacher suspects is a cover for an illegal operation. In keeping with the second season, which hired veteran Terminator 2 actor Robert Patrick as its big bad, it seems likely that Reacher will continue to bring in heavy-hitting performers, an essential factor at this point considering the Alan Ritchson’s consistently excellent performance as the show’s titular character. The second person to be cast, thus far, is British actress Sonya Cassidy, who will play Susan Duffy, “an extremely intelligent and tough DEA agent from Boston with a sharp and sarcastic sense of humor”, which is Reacher’s type pretty much to a tee, so it’s safe to assume that Duffy will be the latest love interest in the show. Given that she’s from Boston, there might even be a connection to Reacher’s friend and ally from season one, Oscar Finley (Malcolm Goodwin). 

Regarding what I would like to see from season three, it comes down to my biggest complaint about Reacher over the course of its first two seasons, which is that the mysteries at the heart of each story arc are often predictable, to the point that even the simplest application of Occam’s razor could yield the correct answer, which is not good. Who’s the actual villain at the centre of the murders in season one? The perpetually creepy, clearly unhinged KJ Kliner (Chris Webster) of course, son of the town’s dastardly industrialist and thinly veiled red herring. For season two they don’t even try to hide its primary villain, Shane Langston (Robert Patrick), which is fine, except the writers desperately want us to believe that Reacher’s old squad mate, Tony Swan (Shannon Kook), is in on the evildoing, even though it’s clear that he’s as innocent as he is dead. And don’t even get me started on A.M., who is initially a captivatingly unscrupulous mercenary, thanks in no small part to a Ferdinand Kingsley debonair but unsettling performance, though by the finale it’s clear that he is just a disposable plot device intended for nothing more than narrative padding and a fleeting moment of catharsis.

Writers for the third season could do with reflecting on the storytelling of the first two and try to deliver a narrative that is less burdened by cliché and half-baked attempts at mystery. It would also help if Reacher’s heroic supporting cast were a little more compelling, as Dixon and O’Donnell, played by Canadian actors Serinda Swan and Shaun Sipos respectively, pale in comparison to season one’s Finlay and Roscoe (Willa Fitzgerald), though Domenick Lombardozzi’s Gaitano Russo was a particular standout in season two, and the show as a whole.

There is no release date set for Reacher’s third season as of yet, and while late 2024 would be the earliest, early 2025 is more likely.

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