Joe’s Killer & Margrave’s Counterfeiting


  • Reacher season 1 is a faithful adaptation of Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel, setting up a continuation in season 2.
  • The season 1 ending reveals the identity of Joe Reacher’s killers and uncovers a complex counterfeiting operation in Margrave.
  • Reacher leaves Margrave due to his wandering nature and bids farewell to Joe by burying their grandfather’s medal, setting the stage for future storylines.

The Reacher season 1 ending is action-packed and emotional, but some of the details and motivations may still be left unclear. Reacher season 1 is a relatively faithful adaptation of Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor. Two of Child’s books from later in the series were previously adapted into movies with Tom Cruise playing the lead in Jack Reacher (2012) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016). That said, the Amazon Prime Video series is far more faithful to the books and the characterization of its titular character, setting up Reacher season 2’s story for a continuation of this.

Related: Reacher Season 2 Villains Explained: Why Reacher’s Team Are Being Killed

Reacher begins in the town of Margrave where the character is arrested for a murder he did not commit, thus working to clear his name. The investigation reveals shocking ties to his brother, a huge counterfeiting operation in Margrave, and corruption that goes all the way to the Mayor, Grover Teale, and the town’s mysterious benefactor, Kliner. Reacher season 1 ends with the character leaving Margrave having cleaned out the town’s corruption, burnt the counterfeiting operation to the ground, and exacted vengeance for his brother’s murder. Here is Reacher season 1’s ending explained in full and how it sets up a continuation ahead of Reacher season 2’s trailer.

Reacher season 2 will adapt the 11th book in Lee Child’s series, Bad Luck and Trouble, as opposed to going onto the 2nd book. As such, the series will jump forward, skipping nine stories from the source material.

Who Killed Joe Reacher?

Young Jack and Joe walk in Reacher

The murder of Joe Reacher is what keeps Jack Reacher involved beyond simply wanting his name cleared so he can get out of town and move on with his life. Before he has even seen the body and discovered its identity in Reacher episode 1, “Welcome to Margrave,” Reacher deduces that three men must have been involved in the murder based on how the body’s autopsy was described to him; The kill shot came from a calm and professional shooter, someone who was “unhinged” beat the body after Joe was dead, and a third person was responsible for the ineffective job of hiding the body.

Related: Reacher Season 2 Has Already Solved Amazon’s Main Character Replacement Problem

In the Reacher season 1 finale, Reacher’s suspicions about the three-man team and their identity are confirmed. Mayor Teale and Kliner Sr. had most of the town under their thumb in one way or another, but it was Kliner Jr. who was behind the murder itself. KJ was the triggerman who killed Joe Reacher and tidied up his bullet casings. His friend Dawson was the one who beat the body after Joe was dead. This left Chief of Police Edward Morrison, uncomfortable about his involvement and eager to get out of the area quickly, to hurriedly hide the body with a wayward slab of cardboard.

Reacher’s Counterfeiting Operation Explained

Reacher Paul Hubble Venezuela

At the heart of all the murders in Reacher season 1 is a complex counterfeiting operation that operates out of Margrave, Georgia. While Reacher quickly identifies that there is likely a counterfeiting project underway in the town, he has several miscalculations throughout the series about how it operates exactly. The Kliner Foundation creates obscene amounts of fake currency and uses it to drive the economy of Margrave. The paper used for the banknotes is explained as the hardest part to come by in Reacher as it is revealed that Joe, Reacher’s brother, had locked down all of the manufacturing processes to ensure none could be created or stolen.

However, all denominations of notes in United States currency are the same size. As such, the counterfeiters found that they could wash $1 bills clear of their ink before reprinting them as $100s. However, the criminals were forced to use the 1990 version of the $100 bill that predated the introduction of magnetic strips used to identify the currency denomination in all notes higher than $2. They could then ship the bills to Venezuela to be used in black market trade as U.S. currency is considered stable for those purposes. Paul Hubble was responsible for making the money, pushing it through the Kliner Foundation in order to appear legitimate.

Throughout Reacher season 1, some odd additional details are provided to help explain Margrave’s counterfeiting scheme. They had originally been using the chemicals to clean the bills in another town, yet the runoff from their counterfeiting caused extreme pollution in the town of Chester and they had to close up shop to avoid being discovered. When they set up in Margrave, they used ground animal feed to soak up the spent chemicals so that they would not be discovered in the same way again.

The Coast Guard near Margrave had been cracking down on the movement of illegal goods, meaning that the counterfeiting operation could not ship out any of their fake $100 bills for a sustained period of time. As a result, this was causing tensions with the Venezuelans, leading to retribution aimed toward people related to the operation. In Reacher season 1’s ending, Reacher not only kills all those involved in the process but also burns their warehouse to the ground, taking the chemicals and all of the stockpiled fake notes with it.

Why Does Reacher Leave Margrave And Roscoe?

Reacher Leaving Margrave

Throughout Reacher season 1, one of the standout aspects is the rapport and relationship between Reacher and Office Roscoe Conklin. While it seems like their relationship might continue after the Reacher season 1’s ending, Jack Reacher leaves town instead. During the show, he explains his belief that there are those who stay by the fire and those who wander, deeming himself as the latter. This is underscored by the use of blues songs in Reacher that relate to this tradition, such as Blind Blake’s “Police Dog Blues.”

In Killing Floor, Reacher provides more insight into his decision to leave Margrave rather than stay with Roscoe. Reacher explains that he cannot stay and asks her to come with him, leading to her subsequent decline. Reacher reflects that the fallout from the investigation would keep him tied up for at least two years. Concerning Roscoe, she reveals that she is planning to run for mayor. While Reacher considers staying for her, he recognizes that they want different things. In the Reacher season 1 ending, some of this explanation is delivered to Finlay instead, with Finlay covering for Reacher so that he doesn’t have to be interviewed.

Why Reacher Buried The Medal For Joe

Reacher Season 1 Ending Bury Medal Joe

Before leaving Margrave at the end of Reacher season 1, Reacher visits the site where Joe was murdered by KJ and buries the medal that their grandfather received for bravery in the face of danger. Throughout Reacher season 1, flashbacks show that their mother always asserted that Joe would try to solve all the world’s problems while Reacher was a strong person who had the bravery to do the right thing. When Reacher buries the medal, he says “It takes bravery to solve the world’s problems. too, Joe.”

This scene allows Reacher to acknowledge that their mother was not always fair in her characterization of them and it serves as a farewell for Reacher in realizing the importance of Joe’s example in their youth. Interestingly, this is not included in Killing Floor, where Reacher has a funeral arranged that he is not present for. Reacher then asks that Joe’s ashes be scattered at the spot where Reacher‘s Blind Blake had once played so many years before.

Will Roscoe, Finlay, And Neagley Appear In Reacher Season 2?

The Reacher season 1 ending hints at the futures Roscoe and Finlay will have once Reacher has left town. Roscoe will run for mayor, while Finlay plans to quit the force and move back to Boston. Based on the Jack Reacher books, it is unlikely that either of these characters will appear again in the Reacher TV series as they are not featured in any of the later novels, despite Roscoe giving Reacher her phone number in both versions of the story.

Since the release of Reacher season 1 and in the wake of Reacher season 2 being greenlit, showrunner Nick Santora has spoken to Collider where a potential return for Finlay and Roscoe was mentioned. Santora was asked whether he and his team debated bringing back Finlay and Roscoe due to how well-received the characters were. In response, Santora stated:

” I love the characters of Finlay and Roscoe. If there was a way to organically have them somehow pop in once in a while into Reacher’s life, wonderful. But we’re not gonna force anything and we’re not gonna do anything that messes up the lore of Reacher. Reacher can’t run around the country with his rag-tag team of crime fighters. That’s not Jack Reacher. I know, for a fact, that Lee Child would say, ‘Nope,’ and I would say nope too. We have to be honest to the book series.”

Reacher season 1 also introduces the character of Neagley. Neagley does not appear in Killing Floor but does appear in several later books. Reacher season 2 has been confirmed to adapt Bad Luck and Trouble, a story in which Neagley appears. Reacher has presented her as an equal to the series’ central character and one who can help him out regardless of where the two of them are in the country. While Roscoe and Finlay will not return, Neagley was instrumental to Reacher season 1’s ending and will appear in season 2 to maintain a connection to the former beyond the titular character himself.

#Joes #Killer #Margraves #Counterfeiting

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