At the end of the first reacher episode, a man’s titular mount said he would find everyone responsible for his brother Joe’s murder “and kill them all”.
So… did he do that?
Heading into the eighth and final episode of the Prime Video adaptation, titled “Pie,” KJ, Mayor Teale, and filthy FBI Agent Picard had a close look at Reacher and Finlay. (As Picard would explain, he did warn Finlay not to take Markgrave’s job, and he assumed the investigation would fail before the cop and bum got too close to the truth.) Venezuelan customers get cranky – KJ corrects him on one point. It was KJ that Kliner Sr. (as well as truck driver Joplin, and Joe’s Secret Service contact, and Joe himself). And yes, Reacher, Finlay and Roscoe will all die too, at which point the mayor will keep the filthy business going as a case of the crooked Reacher brothers’ plan gone awry.
But first, Reacher must locate Hubble so KJ can tie up that last loose end. Once Reacher does and Picard passes the good word (before 6 a.m.), Charlie Hubble and her daughters (who are currently being held at the Kliner Industries money-laundering facility) will be released.
With Picard as his gun-wielding babysitter, Reacher insists they stop so he can spend some time reading a card and thinking. By doing this in the restaurant (and using a non-lethal piece of chalk), Reacher draws a series of perimeters – around Margrave, around Atlanta, and around Augusta. He explains that Hubble didn’t want to go too far at first and chose Atlanta, but then he got cranky about too many people around to see him. When he considered Athens (where he and Charlie visited UGA), he settled on Augusta – close but not at close, plus, you know, golf! When a waitress brings Reacher his coffee and pie, he “accidentally” knocks over the first, using the commotion to put a fork in his pocket, which he then casually pokes into the rear tire of the car, which ultimately caused a flat tire. Reacher stops to get a spare and goes for one of the many weapons in his trunk, but ends up in a ‘tie’ with Picard. He then leads them through a mutual disarmament/ceasefire, only to trick Picard and shoot a bullet into him.
Reacher finds Hubble in a 1) cheap motel that 2) is within walking distance of the bus station, 3) wouldn’t question his lack of ID, and 4) where he signed up as one of the Beatles, and they had to go back to Margrave . Along the way, Reacher explains that Paul’s “treasury contact” was in fact his brother Joe. Paul, in turn, tells how when the Venezuelans started to get anxious (and after Joplin was executed before his eyes for skimming), he called the federal tipline and was put in touch with Joe. Once back in Margrave, they stop at Hubble’s house so Reacher can grab the (dead) Dawson’s truck, which he later uses to drive into the police store (after Finlay texted “DUCK AND COVER”). Neagley then saunters in to meet the gang and join the fight.
After staking out the Kliner Industries loading dock area, Neagley quietly takes out two guards with long range shots and Reacher sneaks into a third. Reacher dumps a gas-powered water cooler at the foot of a loading dock door, instructs Paul to concentrate fully on finding his daughters and getting them to safety, and then has the “de-seconded” Finlay have the honor of “Flavor” to visit. Country one last time” by lighting a cigarette and starting a small inferno with it. In the ensuing commotion, Reacher, Finlay and Neagley crawl through one door, while Paul uses a higher one. Paul quickly sees his wife and calls out, pointing him to where their children are being held; he then makes a straight line to the office area and frees the girls, knocking off a goon along the way.
Neagley finds high ground on a catwalk and goes about picking goon after goon, while Reacher and Finlay mow down several others. Reacher also frees Roscoe and Charlie, the latter of whom joins her husband and children outside. Ultimately, the skirmish comes down to Roscoe vs. Mayor Teale (the man who killed her father figure)… Finlay vs. Picard (the Fed who betrayed him and survived Reacher’s gunshot)… and Reacher vs. kj. Finlay scores the first W, sticks his finger in Picard’s gunshot wound, then crushes the G-man in a hydraulic press. Roscoe is next, who struggles with Teale until she cuffs him to a railing and, just because he forced her, blows his brains out with the Desert Eagle. She, Finlay, and Neagley then run out of the increasingly smoky area, only to realize Reacher is still inside.
Reacher (and we) suffer as KJ spins some sort of symbolic yarn about a time where he walked and killed a rhinoceros while on safari, until Reacher distracts his enemy and then tackles him. Reacher dips KJ in a vat of the cash detergents before kicking him in the direction of some flames, which the grubby boy immediately consumes. Moments later, we and the others from outside see the place explode, but Reacher certainly casually emerges from the smoky haze to receive a big old kiss from a relieved Roscoe and declare, “It’s over.”
The morning after, Neagley texts Reacher (by Roscoe’s bed) that she’s back in Chicago, then he crushes that burner phone in his hand. As for the French War Medal he carries, Reacher flashes back to the moment when he (in military attire) and Joe visited their dying mother, first reminding each other that “whatever happens, we don’t cry.” Seeing her visiting sons, Josephine reminds Joe that he doesn’t have to “solve all the problems in the world,” that “some” is enough, while Reacher must use his great strength to “do the right thing.” (She then reveals that she knew all along that it was Reacher who beat up the Okinawan bully, and that Joe “drive” him by taking on the rap. Knowing that their sons were defending a “special boy from torment” , they were, and their father never dared distract them from such a pure nature, she explains.) Afterwards, she privately with Reacher gives him his grandfather’s French War Medal, which was awarded for “courage in the face of danger.” Because, she tells Reacher, “It takes courage to do the right thing.” Then, back in a taxi, Joe says to his brother, “Now you can cry.” And he does.
In the epilogue, Roscoe warns Reacher that the FBI will want to ask him some questions, and she knows he hates questions — just as much as he hates hanging out. “It’s just who I am,” he explains, comparing himself to the age-old kind that would wander while others stayed by the fire. “But if anyone could force me to stay close to the flame, it’s you,” he tells her. Roscoe hands over a Clark Bar wrapper with her numbers on it and insists on a call if Reacher is ever back in these parts. As for the future for Roscoe? Reacher proposes to run for mayor, and after she’s digested it, she says, “Wow, that’s not a half bad idea.” Later at the restaurant, Reacher finds Finlay, who says he’s already told the FBI that he has no idea where Reacher is. Finlay thanks Reacher for helping him see what was going on in his home town, then reports that he’ll be returning to Boston soon – and hopefully live a life after “turning” too long. Reacher finds out that Finlay named the dog they rescued “Jack” (since Reacher didn’t use that name!), and then he finally gets to taste the best peach pie, and it’s…? “I’ve had better,” he winks at Finlay.
After burying their grandfather’s medal where Joe was killed, Reacher is finally allowed to hitchhike on the highway while “Travellin’ Man” plays….