Reacher Season 3 Will Fix A Problem That Has Plagued Alan Ritchson’s Hero From The Beginning

If Reacher season 3 sticks to the source material, one key scene will fix a common complaint about the main character. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books have been bestsellers for over 20 years, but it took the hulking avenger a long time to make his live-action debut. Even then, Tom Cruise was not ideal casting for Reacher in his two movie adaptations, because while he embodied the character’s spirit, the physique just wasn’t there. Amazon’s adaptation corrected this by casting Alan Ritchson, who in terms of looks and persona, feels like he walked right out of Child’s novels.

Amazon’s Reacher has been an enormous success for the streamer, with the first two seasons adapting Killing Floor and Bad Luck and Trouble respectively. It is fair to say the first season was better received critically, however, with audiences missing the characters of Roscoe (Willa Fitzgerald) and Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin) in the second series. The upcoming Reacher season 3 will adapt Persuader, where the title character goes undercover inside a criminal organization to track down an old enemy.

The Paulie Fight Will Fix A Recurring Issue With Reacher’s Fight Scenes

Season 3’s Reacher vs Paulie fight will be a standout battle

Alan Ritchson glares menacingly, his face bloodied, in a scene from Reacher season 2

Reacher and Paulie’s rivalry reaches a boiling point later in the book with the two having a vicious brawl, and one where Reacher is the underdog throughout.

Arguably the most loathsome character in Persuader is Paulie, a sadistic, steroid-abusing bodyguard. Reacher and Paulie take an instant dislike to one another, with Jack having to avoid raising suspicion while carrying out his assignment, and resist the constant temptation to just shoot Paulie. Reacher and Paulie’s rivalry reaches a boiling point later in the book with the two having a vicious brawl, and one where Reacher is the underdog. It would be no fun to spoil who emerges the winner, but season 3’s Reacher vs Paulie brawl will address some complaints about the former’s invincibility.

Ritchson was already a walking tank when the series began, and has only gotten bigger since. Naturally, this has made it difficult to fear for Reacher whenever he gets into a fight since he tends to demolish any attackers foolish enough to try. This was especially evident during Reacher’s season 2 finale, where even his climactic fight with Robert Patrick’s villain felt completely underwhelming.

The hero winning a fight might be a given in pretty much every action movie or show ever produced, but the lack of stakes or tension in many of these fights has become a recurring issue. This is what will make Reacher season 3’s big battle so shocking, since it will be the first time Ritchson’s character looks like he could die, no matter how hard he fights back.

Reacher’s Invulnerability Is A Blessing & A Curse For Amazon’s Adaptation

The power fantasy of Amazon’s Reacher is part of the funAlan Ritchson as Jack Reacher in a Diner in Reacher Season 2

By design, Jack Reacher is a mythic figure who is often the smartest, the bravest and the most heroic at any given moment. He’s shaped like The Incredible Hulk despite seemingly never working out and has escaped death about as often as James Bond. Amazon’s series has had fun with this power fantasy aspect, and it’s immensely satisfying to see Reacher outthink and outpunch the various bullies and assassins he comes across.

After two seasons of Jack being untouchable, however, Reacher’s third series is smart to mix things up in this department. As the second series proved, Jack breezing through most of his battles gets repetitive, and while Persuader is smaller in scale in story terms, Paulie will easily be his toughest bout by far. Reacher’s invincibility needed to be pushed back on, and this sequence will prove to viewers that Reacher is still a human being.

Paulie Might Create A Reacher Villain Problem Moving Forward

Reacher’s Paulie fight could tip the scales in the other direction

(Alan-Ritchson-as-Jack-Reacher)-from-Reacher-2Custom Image by Yailin Chacon.

Part of the surprise involved with this fight is that it’s bizarre to see Reacher so vulnerable, and even admitting to himself that he’s about to die. It’s a great subversion, but not one that Reacher season 4 and beyond needs to keep reheating for dramatic effect.

Reacher season 3 will be the first time the show has introduced an antagonist who is not only as big as the main character, but even bigger. There is no reason to think the Reacher vs Paulie brawl won’t be the action highlight of the new season, since it definitely is in Child’s book. This will be the fight that will get audiences talking, but Reacher showrunners might think every season needs a Paulie-sized threat, no matter what book they adapt.

This could mean every season past Persuader will feature a battle between Reacher and another hulking foe, but this trick can only work so many times. Part of the surprise involved with this fight is that it’s bizarre to see Reacher so vulnerable, and even admitting to himself that he’s about to die. It’s a great subversion, but not one that Reacher season 4 and beyond needs to keep reheating for dramatic effect. There are plenty of great villains in the novels who are nothing like Paulie, so the fourth series would be wise not to repeat the same beats.

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