Reacher season 2 will adapt book 11, Bad Luck and Trouble, not book 2. While it might seem strange to skip 9 books, it is secretly a great move.
It’s been revealed that Reacher season 2 will be skipping ahead in the book series to adapt book 11, Bad Luck and Trouble, and that’s secretly a really good choice. As Reacher season 1 was a relatively faithful adaptation of the first Lee Child Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floorit was assumed that the series would continue through the series and adapt book 2, The Trying. However, the showrunner behind Amazon’s ReacherNick Santora, signaled this might not be the case and it’s clear he has bigger ideas in mind.
Reacher season 1 follows Jack Reacher’s adventures as he arrives in the fictional town of Margrave, Georgia. Shortly after his arrival, he was arrested for a murder he could not possibly have committed. In clearing his name and finding the true murderer he employs the skills that he developed in his past life as the Major tasked with creating the US Army 110th MP Special Investigation Unit. While some of Jack Reacher’s backstory was explored through family and military flashbacks, the focus was on Reacher in the current day.
Jack Reacher’s past informs his present, but it took several books for Lee Child to fully flesh out Reacher’s backstory. Book 2, The Tryingfeatured an old commanding officer, Leon Garber, and book 6, Without Fail, included a fellow member from Reacher’s investigation unit, Francis Neagley (Maria Sten, introduced in Reacher season 1). By jumping ahead to adapt Bad Luck and Trouble for Reacher season 2, the Amazon show can more concretely establish Reacher’s backstory early on in the series. Bad Luck and Trouble has a story tied intrinsically to the Special Investigation Unit as past members of the group have started showing up dead and this brings the surviving members back together to solve the crimes and protect themselves. This means that Reacher season 2 can bring back Neagley and introduce a cadre of other important figures from Reacher’s past before continuing with the series.
Reacher season 2 adapting Bad Luck and Trouble also opens the door to a wider array of flashbacks to provide more of Reacher’s history. There have been several prequel books that take place before Killing Floor which explore Jack Reacher’s time in the military. Using the Bad Luck and Trouble plot will make it easier to incorporate elements of these prequel novels in flashbacks.Perhaps most importantly, Reacher season 2 adapting Bad Luck and Trouble next can mean that if and when the Amazon show returns to adapt the earlier books, they will be more meaningful.
eon Garber’s appearance in The Trying comes late in the book and is relatively light, but his death has a huge impact on the story for book 3, Tripwire. By adapting Bad Luck and Trouble before The Trying or Tripwire, the Reacher TV series can introduce Leon Garber in a more important role before his eventual demise in a later season, serving as a final perfect reason why Bad Luck and Trouble is the right choice for Reacher season 2.
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