In A Tree
Episode 4 of Reacher Season 1 starts with Reacher checking Spivey’s body for anything that may be useful in the investigation. Beyond some tobacco there’s not much else to go on. So naturally, he piles the two deceased Spaniards alongside Spivey in the trunk (complete with bone-crunching precision) and answers a call from Finlay.
Finlay has found out that Hubble’s been lying to Charlie; he hasn’t worked at the bank for a year. He’s also got a tip-off about a burnt car found out on the edge of a farm. It seems like someone was hiding it but the rain has washed away the little cover it had.
When they get there, Reacher checks out the vehicle and notices the burning was deliberate. Potentially it was done with an accelerant and a match. They can’t be 100% sure that this is Joe’s car but through some ingenuity, Reacher manages to find the VIN number.
When Roscoe shows up, the pair head to the trunk of the car. There, Reacher confirms what really happened in the small village in Iraq. The kids there were being abused and after saving them from their horrific ordeal, he turned his attention to the adults. He offered them a choice but that didn’t turn out so well, eventually leaving them dead.
The Kliner family clearly used their resources to find this out, but of course they spun it as Reacher killing civilians.
With the past cleared up for now, Roscoe and Reacher work together to hide the bodies, getting a suite near the airport afterwards. Reacher pays in cash; that same wad of money he uncovered from the bodies earlier. Once they make it into the suite, Reacher sets to work making sure the room is completely prepped just incase they’re followed.
Molly Beth has tracked down numerous files but although she’s flying in at 5am, Roscoe chirps up and suggests she get a train to Five Points station once she touches down. There are less cameras and given she’s handing over classified files, it’s in her best interest to keep a low profile. After the call, Roscoe and Reacher end up making love as they find solitude in one another’s pain.
The next day, Reacher and Roscoe head off and visit Mrs Jobling. They’re there to see Pete, but he’s not in. It turns out Pete is actually living in Brookhaven, which gives them their next lead. Showing up to see Judy, there’s no love lost between her and Pete. She actually doesn’t care that he’s dead. Given their lavish house, Judy admits that Pete was involved in some shady business.
Specifically it seems that he was selling air conditioners. Thanks to Reacher’s no-nonsense attitude, she leads them to the air con boxes out in the garage. But yet, there are just boxes and no aircon units. This certainly doesn’t add up to the two lavish houses Pete holds (this one and the one his parents are shacked up in) so Reacher believes this links back to the fake cash for Kliner.
The bills could well be produced in South America and then shipped to Florida. This would then give Jobling incentive to drive down with the air con unit boxes as a cover story to then take the fake cash back to Kliner. That’s the theory anyway but it’s certainly plausible.
Back in town, word about Finlay’s antics at Kliner’s office come back to bite him. Teale is not happy and immediately calls him out and demands he do a deep dive into a whole list of felons. If not? We’ll he’s going to be chucked off the case so for now, Finlay is forced to play ball.
Receiving a call from Picard, Finlay talks to him in code. Charlie and the kids are okay, while Picard needs to leave and hand over his files in person at a secured location. Once there, Jack learns that they’ve got a hit on a Ron Hassey at a motel. Now, this used to be Joe’s alias back in the day so Reacher knows this is all tied together to his brother.
When they get there, it seems the South Americans have got to him first. However, Reacher knows his brother better than they do. After finding a discarded bag in the bins (because after all, a suitcase is where you’d leave the precious cargo right?), he uncovers a hidden note. On this, it details several numbers and a couple of cryptic clues: “Jobling’s Garage” and “Gray’s Kliner File.” However, they don’t get time to dwell as several gunmen arrive and spray bullets in their direction.
The pair run, but Reacher is the target here. With things looking grim, Roscoe eventually shows and saves the day. However, she isn’t happy about Reacher’s obvious emotional reaction to protecting her.
When they head off together, Finlay rings with bad news. He believes that Stevenson may actually be one of the dirty cops. Even worse, he could have recognized Picard’s voice and name too, compromising the whole operation Could he be the one responsible for blindsiding them?
Either way, the trio meet in secret again and try to decode Joe’s note. He never did anything by mistake and those numbers appear to be extra leads that could be linked to the animal feed (which Reacher hilariously keeps doubling back to), the note in the shoe and a number for the Memphis Environmental Protective Agency.
Needing someone he can trust to help dig deeper, Reacher gives Frances Neagley a call. This lady is a recurring character in the books and someone Reacher clearly trusts. Anyway, he relays all the information and sets Neagley to work finding out more.
At the train station, the trio show up just as Molly does. Unfortunately, they lose her at the escalator. Realizing something is awry, Reacher heads down and finds the suitcase on the train tracks, with the files missing. Continuing on, he finds Molly bleeding from the stomach by the side of the tracks. Unfortunately she passes away right there and then, leading them back to square one.
The Episode Review
The halfway point of Reacher starts to deepen the ties between the characters, and there’s a nice undercurrent of humour, just small sprinklings, to help alleviate some of the darker drama we’re wrestling with here.
It appears that there’s a mole in this investigation and whether it be someone at the station or Kliner and his bags of cash, there’s definitely something fishy going on and the case is just starting to take a more convoluted turn with this note.
Quite how all these names and numbers tie into the bigger case remains to be seen but there’s a really nice ebb and flow to this series, balancing out the action and drama beautifully.