Everything You Need To Know About ‘Jack Ryan’ Seasons 1 And 2 Before Watching Season 3

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The usual format followed in episodic storytelling is that it starts with the series’ main plot, introduces its central characters, expands it with the help of subplots, and then (hopefully) concludes it in a satisfying way in the final season. “Jack Ryan” does things a little differently. It treats each season as one mission that starts with the first episode and ends with the last episode. There’s no spillover from one season to another. In addition to Ryan, there are some recurring characters. There are some minor repercussions from each mission in terms of the characters’ professional or absconding status. But that’s about it. This week, John Krasinski is back as the titular CIA agent with an all-new covert operation that’s set to go wrong in the most preposterous way possible. However, before signing up for it, if you want a little recap of Ryan’s journey so far, keep reading.


 What Are The Missions Jack Ryan Has Been On?

“Jack Ryan” Season 1 revolved around a terrorist leader named Suleiman. Jack was roped in after finding some suspicious financial transactions from Yemen. The two men responsible for it were brought to a U.S. camp in Yemen for interrogation. But a rescue mission was carried out by the terrorists, thereby bringing Ryan to the realization that one of the captured men was Suleiman. In order to get to him again, Ryan then tracked down his brother, Ali, all the way to the Alps. However, he had to kill him in self-defense. Then Ryan assumed Ali’s identity in a video game to chat with Suleiman (because that was how they communicated with each other without being traced), and Suleiman suspected that something was off. That said, he did learn about Hanin (Suleiman’s) wife and their two girls, and he headed to Turkey with James Greer to get them. They found out that Hanin and the girls were being held captive by Suleiman’s man, Yazid. So, they killed him and took the women to safety. Jack and Greer then carried out a covert op to rescue the President’s friend, Dr. Nadler, from Suleiman but failed to capture him. Eventually, Ryan realized that the doctor was infected with Ebola so that he could pass it on to the President during his welcoming ceremony, get him admitted into a hospital, and then kill him with cesium by polluting the hospital’s air ducts with it. Thankfully, Ryan got to Suleiman in time and prevented the catastrophe from happening.

“Jack Ryan” Season 2 saw the titular agent going to Venezuela to look into an arms shipment via the cargo ship Almetta. That’s where he met up with Greer again, who had also been tasked with investigating the Almetta’s connection to a satellite launch in the South China Sea. Senator Moreno invited the two of them to dinner, and that’s where we learned that Moreno was the one who pulled Jack from the helicopter accident that totaled his spinal cord. We are introduced to Harriet Baumann, who got romantically involved with Ryan to extract important information from him. On their way back to the USA, Ryan and Greer were attacked, and Moreno was assassinated by Max Schenkel. So, Ryan stayed back to investigate the matter and follow up on his hunch that President Nicolás Reyes was the one pulling the strings. That was where they met Mike November, who helped them navigate the complicated mechanics of the South American nation. Ryan then followed a trail all the way to London to apprehend Schenkel, and with some help from Baumann, Schenkel was killed. Realizing that Ryan was getting close to discovering Reyes’s connection with Eprius and the mining of a highly valuable mineral called tantalum, Reyes triggered an anti-US protest. Greer got kidnapped in that chaos. Jack found footage of Reyes’s crimes, which led to an anti-Reyes protest. That gave Ryan the opportunity to rescue Greer and come close to assassinating Reyes so as to take revenge for Moreno’s death. But he was stopped by November, and Reyes’s fate was decided by the mob outside. Back in the USA, Senator Chapin was found guilty of working with Reyes and was arrested by the FBI for his crimes.


Are There Any Characters From The Past 2 Seasons Who Will Show Up In ‘Jack Ryan’ Season 3?

James Greer worked in the United States Navy and then shifted to the CIA. He is divorced and has a son (J.J.) with her ex-wife, Monique. He was stationed in Karachi as its chief. But after a botched deal with the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Pakistani Army, he was sent back to Langley, where he was demoted to the position of Group Chief of the Terror, Finance, and Arms Division. Despite being Jack Ryan’s superior, he shares a pretty amicable relationship with him. He allows Ryan to work freely but never hesitates when he feels Ryan needs to be reeled in because he’s going too deep into a case without any solid evidence. Greer is good with guns and proficient in hand-to-hand combat. He has a persistent heart condition that only amplified during his trip to Venezuela and eventual torture at the (indirect) hands of President Reyes. In Season 3, he’ll be working with Ryan again while trying to convince the CIA that he isn’t a fugitive.

Mike November is the former CIA station chief in Venezuela. I say “former” because, in Season 2, he went out of his way to help Jack Ryan as he nearly got himself killed while investigating illegal arms shipments in the jungle. And he stayed by his side as the country went into a complete state of turmoil due to anti-US protests and then anti-Reyes protests. Also, he was the one who stopped Ryan from killing Reyes. In Season 3, we’ll see him living in a pretty swanky place and helping high-profile private clients with their “dirty laundry.” But then Jack drops by and motivates him to get on the ground again to help him with his unsanctioned covert operations in and around Russia. Savage appeared in Season 2 as one of the soldiers who helped Ryan look for Greer after he was kidnapped by Reyes’ men. In addition to all that, you have Tony Ahmet Demir, a Turkish brothel owner, who helped Ryan and Greer look for Hanin and Suleiman’s daughters. He is back in Season 3 to give Ryan some temporary refuge as he tries to hide from the Russian police as well as the CIA.


What Is Jack Ryan’s Mission In Season 3?

So, there have been many allusions to Russia in the previous seasons. But Season 3 finally takes the narrative there, with the prime focus being on the Sokol Project, which is an endeavor to reinstate the might of the Soviet Empire after its end in the late ’80s and early ’90s. As per usual, Jack Ryan learns about it by following a series of leads. He infiltrates a cargo ship to find some proof on the matter but only finds a Russian insider looking for asylum. The man refuses to give Ryan any information until and unless he is out of harm’s way. Ryan tries to do whatever’s necessary to get the Russian to a safe house. However, the Russian police turn against him, kill the insider and then frame Ryan as a fugitive who’s trying to disrupt the peace of the nation on the USA’s behalf. Simultaneously, global politics takes an ugly turn with the assassination of Russian Defence Minister Dmitry Popov during his meeting with Czech President Alena Kovac at a football game.

As someone who has watched all eight episodes of “Jack Ryan” Season 3, I’ll advise you to manage your expectations before going into this. It is neither as raw as Season 1 nor as sprawling and complex as Season 2. The plot is wafer-thin, which is painfully stretched over the course of eight, badly paced episodes. Both Jack Ryan and James Greer are severely unrelatable, especially Ryan, because he’s essentially an infallible killing machine who can walk out of the most preposterous situations unscathed. The villains are so caricaturish that you can’t even laugh at them. The action is a lot, and there’s plenty of variety in it. However, they lack any sense of tension and emotion. The performances from the cast are weirdly stiff, which is a huge departure from what we got from John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce, and even Michael Kelly in the previous seasons. If you squint, you can see the parallels between present-day Russian politics and the fictional Russian politics in the show. But the whole thing ends up being so contrived just so that the heroes can save the day for the umpteenth time that you can’t help but scoff at the writing. All that said, if you’re a hardcore fan of the series, maybe you’ll be able to look past these issues and enjoy it.


See More: ‘Jack Ryan’ Season 3: Ending, Explained – Who Was The Mastermind Of The Sokol Project?


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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjeehttps://muckrack.com/pramit-chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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