Reacher Season 1 Ending Explained: What Was Happening In Margrave?

Alan Ritchson as Reacher
(Image credit: Amazon)

SPOILER WARNING: The following contains crucial details about the ending of Reacher Season 1. As Jack Reacher says, “Details matter,” so make sure you are caught up before reading on.

Author Lee Child’s iconic character Jack Reacher is back and bigger than ever, which is not an exaggeration. In the Amazon Prime original series, the 6’3” Alan Ritchson leads the Reacher cast as a virtually perfect match as the gruff, rambling, former MP - especially in comparison to Tom Cruise in the Jack Reacher movies, which fans of the books were very quick to point out.

Adapted from Child’s debut novel, Killing Floor, the premiere season of the TV action thriller sees the title character wandering into the small town of Margrave, Georgia, initially driven by his love for the blues until he is accused of murder, setting on a search for vengeance, justice, and a slice of peach pie. Does our hulking hero find all three by the Reacher Season 1 ending? We will answer that question and more about the resolving events, starting with a basic breakdown of the finale.

Alan Ritchson on Reacher

(Image credit: Amazon)

What Happened At The End Of Reacher Season 1

In the penultimate episode of Reacher Season 1, Jack Reacher manages to put all his clues together and figure out how Mr. Kliner (Currie Graham) has been able to run his counterfeiting scheme in Margrave, Georgia, for criminal organization in Venezuela so elusively. The crooked businessman reprinted used $1 bills into $100 by washing off the original ink with chemicals that they had been dumping into a local river, which put them hot on the trail of the Environmental Protection Agency. They later figure out that cow feed is an effective chemical cleaning agent, which explains why Kliner was purchasing so much in bulk.

After Reacher and Captain Oscar Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin) find the evidence they need, they are intercepted by Kliner’s son, KJ (Chris Webster); Margrave’s crooked mayor, Teale (Bruce McGill); and Finlay’s once-trusted colleague, Picard (Martin Roach); who accompanies Reacher on a trip to find Kliner’s reluctant accountant Paul Hubble (Marc Bendavid), who skipped town as soon as he had the chance. The former banker’s wife, Charlene (Alan Ritchson’s former Smallville co-star Kristin Kreuk) and daughters, along with Officer Roscoe Conklin (Willa Fitzgerald), are being held hostage at Kliner’s warehouse. After finding Hubble and rescuing Finlay from Officer Baker (Hugh Thompson), Reacher teams up with them and his friend Frances Neagley (Maria Sten) to storm the warehouse, rescue Conklin and Charlene, and keep a promise he made in an earlier episode to burn this criminal operation to the ground… literally.

Chris Webster on Reacher

(Image credit: Amazon)

Who Killed Reacher’s Brother And Why

Reacher’s involvement with taking down Kliner’s operation was especially personal for him as it began, just moments after his arrival in Margrave, with him accused of a murder that turned out be his older brother, Joe (Christopher Russell), whom he was once close with but had not spoken to in years. Upon further investigation, he, Finlay, and Conklin learn that Joe was the head of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Counterfeiting Division and came close to uncovering the shady business in Margrave, which made him a target.

The one to pull the trigger in order to protect his father’s business turned out to be KJ, who had already gotten off on the wrong foot with Reacher long before admitting to killing his brother at the start of the Reacher Season 1 finale. Of course, KJ was also willing to kill his own father as suspicions began to arise around him, too, so it is clear he also had a homicidal touch. Unfortunately for him, so does Reacher (when he feels it is deserved), who kept another promise he made in Episode 1 to “find everybody responsible” for his brother’s death, “and kill every last one of them.” He executes this goal on KJ the same way he does to Kliner’s warehouse: with fire.

Marc Bendavid on Reacher

(Image credit: Amazon)

How Paul Hubble Was Involved In The Crime

Joe Reacher actually had some help infiltrating Kliner’s counterfeiting scheme from the inside, courtesy of Paul Hubble. That is actually half the reason why he would immediately take the rap for Joe’s murder when Finlay questions him about. The other half is to keep himself and his family protected from the wrath of his boss, Kliner.

In Episode 6 of Reacher, “Papier,” Charlene “Charlie” Hubble confesses to Conklin that she knew her husband was helping Kliner launder money for the counterfeit scheme, but added that it was never of his own free will. Kliner blackmailed Hubble into joining the operation by threatening to literally nail him to a wall and feed him his own castrated testicles if he did not concede, which is why he was sure to skip town as soon he and Reacher were released from jail while still under suspicion. However, Reacher managed to track him down so he could help save his family in the end.

Willa Fitzgerald, Alan Ritchson, and Malcolm Goodwin on Reacher

(Image credit: Amazon)

What Happens To Roscoe And Finlay 

After saving Hubble’s family and the town from the shady business going on behind the scenes, Conklin tells Reacher that she intends to stay in Margrave and bring things back to the way they were when her family founded the town. Before saying goodbye, Reacher tells her that she might be a perfect fit for mayor considering the dirty SOB who last filled that position reached a bitter end during the storming of the warehouse. Taking Teale’s place would actually be the ultimate way to get back at him for murdering her fatherly mentor, Detective Gray.

As for Finlay, he has no intention of staying in Margrave much longer, having finally mustered up the courage to move on from his wife’s untimely death with Reacher’s help. With his new dog, Jack - whom he and Reacher rescued from his abusive owner -- he plans to retire from police work and return to his hometown in Boston. For being supporting characters, he and Conklin are given the most endearing and evolutionary arcs of Reacher Season 1, while the title character still remains the same.

Alan Ritchson on Reacher

(Image credit: Amazon)

Does The Finale Set Up Reacher Season 2?

With Feds in town hoping to ask him a few questions, Reacher finally has a taste of Margrave’s famous peach pie, buries his grandfather’s medal of bravery at the site of his brother’s death to award his heroism, and essentially ends Season 1 the same way he began it: wandering off to somewhere new. Where that is will probably remain anyone’s guess, including his own, until the confirmed Reacher Season 2 premieres.

Jack Reacher finds himself in a new place with a new life or death situation on his hands in each installment of Lee Child’s ongoing book series - the chronology of which is slightly out of order. Not to mention how showrunner Nick Santora and the writing staff could shape the source material however they see fit, meaning the plot of the second novel, Die Trying, might not necessarily be the plot of second season. So, who knows what is next in store for former Titans star Alan Ritchson as Reacher?

If anything, I just hope to see more of Maria Sten as Neagley, who was never even a part of the original novel, Killing Floor, but a welcome addition to Reacher Season 1. However they can fit her into the next season no matter what story inspires it will be well-rewarded.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.