Prime Video’s ‘Reacher’ follows the titular character as every season, he finds himself in a different set of circumstances where he has to defeat the bad guys or die in the process. Aided by his nomadic lifestyle, Reacher’s solitude is his only constant companion, and there are very few things and people that he can rely on whenever things take a bad turn for him. There are only a handful of people he trusts and even fewer with whom he remains in enough contact to be there when they call. Frances Neagley is one of those people. Considering how close Reacher and Neagley are, the fans are bound to wonder if there is a romance in the cards for them. SPOILERS AHEAD
Reacher and Neagley’s Relationship Works Because They are Platonic
‘Reacher’ is based on the book series featuring Jack Reacher by Lee Child, in which Frances Neagley is a recurring character with whom Reacher never develops a romantic relationship. The show stays true to the adaptation and keeps things platonic between Reacher and Neagley, which is one of the reasons why the duo have such a great relationship. And it would be better for the Prime Video series if it continues to be so between them. Deviating from the books on this matter would ruin both Reacher and Neagley’s characters.
Reacher has a history of romantic relationships and doesn’t shy away from acting on his feelings. In the first season, he becomes fond of Roscoe Conklin, and they have a brief fling while Reacher is still in town. While Reacher admits that it’s hard to walk away from someone like Roscoe, he still does it at the end of the season. Even though they have the potential to be pretty great together, Reacher is not in the mood to settle down. So, when the bad guys are brought to justice, he leaves the town and Roscoe behind. He has her number, but he probably won’t call her unless he is in the vicinity.
In the second season, Reacher reunites with the 110th, his team of special investigators in the military. One of them is Karla Dixon, for whom Reacher had harbored feelings when they were still working together. He didn’t act on those feelings at the time, even though Dixon liked him back, because he was her superior, and it was against the code of conduct to initiate a romance with his junior. But in the events of Season 2, they’re not bound by that code anymore, and once again, Reacher indulges in a fling, which even Dixon knows will not last. Despite having liked Dixon for so long and genuinely caring about him because she is more or less family to him, like the other members of the 110th, Reacher does not stick around and leaves town once the case is settled.
This pattern proves (if it wasn’t already clear) that Reacher is not the kind to settle down, and he most probably never will. He hasn’t done so in the books yet, and even if the Prime Video series ends while the books are still being written, it is quite likely that the show will leave Reacher still leading a nomadic lifestyle or retiring to someplace that is quiet and far from civilization. It is not in his character to sustain a romantic relationship because it would call for him to settle down in one place. If that happens, Reacher won’t quite be Reacher anymore.
It is because Reacher is not in love with Neagley (and vice versa) that he is able to sustain contact with her. Do Reacher and Neagley love each other and would do anything for one another? Yes, of course. They are, as Neagley says at the end of the second season, family, like the rest of the Special Investigators. It’s true that Reacher and Neagley’s bond is a bit different from what they have with the rest of the team members, but it is because they are very much like each other, which allows them to be respectful of each other’s boundaries.
Reacher and Neagley’s relationship can be defined better as best friends or more sibling-ish than being potential love interests. Neagley never misses a chance to tease him, and Reacher acts more like a big brother towards her, which is also his general attitude for the rest of the 100th, except Dixon. While he doesn’t come off as a sentimental person, he shows his care in small gestures, like not hugging or shaking hands with Neagley because he knows she doesn’t like it, and in grand gestures, like using a portion of the 65 million to pay for her father’s round-the-clock care. Things like this show that he and Neagley care for each other a lot; it only works between them if they remain platonic.