Episode 5 of Reacher Season 1 starts with Reacher, Finlay and Roscoe leaving the train station empty-handed. It’s regrettable but they’ve had to leave Molly bleeding out after phoning the cops. After all they can’t be held responsible for this.
On the way back, Reacher stops by the dog owner’s place and notices the poor mutt lying on his side in the yard. Throughout the season we’ve seen Jack helping out this dog, giving it water from the bowl and generally being kind.
His owner clearly doesn’t look after him and eventually Reacher loses his temper. After punching the man square in the nose, he chains him up and takes the dog with them, at least until the shelter anyway.
With Joe and Molly both dead, Reacher is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He stops by the farm on the way out of town, wondering just why there’s so much animal feed. He also notices that same strange grass on the ground too, which links back to Paul. In order to get some answers, Reacher shows up at KJ’s table while he’s in a diner.
After some exchanged heated words, KJ receives several fists to the face for his troubles. However, Kliner Sr. shows up just as Finlay and Roscoe appear with guns drawn. Unfortunately, Teale fires Roscoe for mixing up the files and lying, while the owner of this diner, Earl, incriminates Reacher for starting a fight. The thing is, Kliner won’t press charges. In doing so, that would bring attention to his own business and he can’t have that.
Reacher deduces that the big clue here could be with the gun box given to Roscoe. After checking the box, lo and behold they find a key and that leads them over to the barber’s, Mosley. After all a man going bald doesn’t need a weekly barber’s appointment, right?
It turns out Gray was keeping a whole box of files for Roscoe on this very investigation. Mosley was paid to keep all of this hidden. And those files include… wait for it… cattle. 116 to be precise. And in turn that leads to the animal feed. Turns out Jack was right after all!
Now, when the number of cattle hits 120 then it’s due to be checked by state authorities, with that strange number just under, it would allow all that animal feed to be brought in without arousing any suspicions.
All these financial donations to the town appears to be leverage to use against the townsfolk. After all, buying their loyalty means they’d have to stay quiet otherwise they’d lose financing. So why Margrave?
Well, it seems like Margrave is a great spot for distribution, linked to at least six different states (according to the map they draw on anyway) Essentially they can use this to avoid any police operations. They also realize that Gray didn’t commit suicide – he was clearly murdered.
As they head outside, Reacher encourages Roscoe to harness her anger. This is typified by a flashback of him not doing this, showing up to see a bully at their house and not apologizing for his actions. Anyway, Neagley rings and confirms that she’s got crucial intel, once again speaking in code for Reacher to meet so he can give it out to her.
It turns out the JW on Joe’s note was an EPA investigator called Jimmy Dupree Wilks. He was gunned down in his home though. The FBI determined it was a random robbery but given the murder weapon had a silencer, and nothing was taken from his house, this seems a bit farfetched. The body was also beaten post-mortem which matches what happened to Joe. Everything is starting to connect now.
Not only that, a Memphis cop by the name of Aucoin caught wind of the discrepancies with the Wilks case too. In fact, he was looking into it, specifically through toxic pollutant reports. Either way, Reacher mentions the animal feed to Neagley and she too exhibits the same suspicions about it being odd. “This is why I like you Neagley.”
At the coroner’s, Roscoe searches through Gray’s files and brings up the pictures of his head, and specifically the laceration. The official report is that Gray hit his head but to be honest, he could have been struck with a blunt object too. Zooming in shows micro-lacerations which Jasper deduces looks a bit like a diamond. A diamond, if you’ll remember, that Teale happens to use as a cane.
So Roscoe shows up at the station and immediately smashes him in the face several times. Finlay is livid and forces her out the building. The thing is, Roscoe is definitely going to be a wanted woman if she stays in town, so she’s going to have to lay low for the time being. So naturally, she takes over to look after Charlie and the kids.
Meanwhile, Neagley and Reacher meet a couple of officers, including Aucion, and in turn manage to get themselves a name – “The Viking.” In the police cruiser, Neagley and Reacher communicate with Finlay, who decides to do an illegal search. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that!
Speaking of which, it turns out the officer alongside Aucion is dirty and after shooting his partner, sobs as he promises it’ll be a clean death.
Neagley and Reacher kick the metal screen between them into the officer’s back, forcing him to career off the road and into the lake. As water begins to seep in, the officer confirms he’s been threatened into submission by people with accents but beyond that, he doesn’t have much else to say.
While Neagley and Reacher break free and make it back to shore, Neagley decides she’s going to look into The Viking in more detail and figure out what they know.
As the episode closes out, Finlay breaks into Kliner’s after-hours. As he makes his way to the office, he finds Kliner Sr. with his throat slit. “I guess you’re not pulling the strings.” He says grimly.
The Episode Review
With the puzzle pieces starting to come together now, it appears that someone at Kliner is responsible for this death and I’d imagine it’s probably Teale or even KJ, with the classic father/son trope used. Kliner Sr. is very clearly just a red herring despite everything seemingly linking back to him, but it also leaves an intriguing air of uncertainty hanging over this mystery now.
The action has been decent so far, spread across the season nicely while keeping the investigation and mystery at the forefront of this show. Reacher has been a solid watch thus far and this episode starts to deepen the ties and see how everything is fitting together.
Did Teale really kill Gray? Or did someone use his cane to make it look like he did? And what’s with all the animal feed?