The Terminal List, staring Chris Pratt and Constance Wu, is based off the book series written by Jack Carr. After losing 12 of his men, Navy SEAL James Reece returns home. Not long after this return stateside, he discovers that the war did not stay downrange.
I thought The Terminal List was really well done, and a tv show that I thoroughly enjoyed. The mix of action and thriller made The Terminal impossible to turn off. I watched a large part of this show between two sittings, as once I started I couldn’t stop. For anyone with Prime Video, The Terminal List is worth watching.
While this is a very different type of character compared to who we usual see Chris Pratt as, he did a wonderful job as James Reece.
Should You Watch The Terminal List?
As I just mentioned above, absolutely yes. It’s a wonderful TV show that is just jam packed with suspense and action. There is quite a bit of cursing and violence, he goes around removing people from a list, but it isn’t anything insane. The mature content adds to the intensity of the show, and it doesn’t shy away from blood or gore.
I really enjoyed the characters in Season 1. James Reece undergoes such major life changes throughout the first two episodes, but he doesn’t really change who he is. He’s a very disciplined, calculated man, and that shines through in many situations. He’s also a good person, which is something that could have been tossed aside with very little judgement from me. The consistency in his character was really well done, and it glued the show together.
Constance Wu’s character, Katie Buranek, is a journalist who gets really deep into James’ story and that of his lost men. Katie is the best example of character development in The Terminal List, becoming a drastically different character by the end. She learns from her experiences chasing this story, and she grows a lot.
The goal of any “based on a book” piece of media should be two-fold. Firstly, it needs to be able to stand on its own and have its own audience. Check. I have never read or picked up a Jack Carr novel, and I still loved this show. I felt like the show made sense, the plot moved along well, and I don’t need to go to the book to fill in plot holes.
The second piece is it should bring some attention to the book or books. In the case of The Terminal List, it’s a series of 5 released books with a 6th on the way. After watching Season 1, I have picked up the first three books in the series and can’t wait to read them. The show was awesome, so it will be interesting to see if they compare at all. I’ll add that to this review whenever I get to the book.
The Terminal List contains a lot of action and quite a few interesting scenes. I loved the intro, the music and visually were really cool, and the rets of the show emulated that tone. Just due to the nature of our plot, the type of action we got was always changing. The operation in Syria to begin the show was detailed, and I really enjoyed the way it wasn’t just a gun fight immediately. You can tell our actors went through some training with Navy SEALs, and I think it really paid off.
The intensity and the attention to detail is a very common theme throughout all 8 episodes. On first glance, everything seemed to line up and we didn’t have any plot holes. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something would have to totally derail that train of thought. Usually not in a quiet way either. That may have been my favourite part, the fact that the goal posts were always moving. It felt like I could always see the finish line, and it kept me hooked. I spent the first couple episodes trying to figure out where this plot could possibly go to make it 8 episodes, but by the end the set-up paid off in gold.
Overall, this is a really good tv show. My first experience with an original on Prime Video was definitely a positive one and I recommend everyone goes and watches The Terminal List. Chris Pratt is incredible in this role, and it became a show I couldn’t turn off.
What was The Terminal List’s best episode?
I loved episode 6. That would be the best episode in my opinion. The journey through woods is a mentally gruelling one, and we get to see James at his worst. We also get to see that his worst is still a lot better than most. There are two points in this episode that really enforce that James Reese is not a bad man, regardless of what happens to him. While the FBI is pursuing James through the forest, he gets an opportunity to kill one of the private operators. Instead he places the bullet on the rock as a signal “he had the shot”. This scene did a ton for James’s character, as did the mudslide. James triggers a mudslide to escape capture, taking Mac down with him. Instead of escaping into the river, he stays to make sure she is still breathing. The humanity still present in the face of losing his freedom was incredible.
What is next for The Terminal List?
I believe we are getting at least a season 2. Based on the way the show ended, I had very little faith in a season 2 and was actually disappointed. After looking into the book series and discovering the series is actually 5 books long, I would not be surprised to see James Reese again. While the show does come to a decent close if this the only season, there is a lot more story to tell and probably lots more money to be made based on audience reactions.