How Did Chao Fah & Chavez Know Each Other In ‘Jack Ryan’ Season 4?


America’s hero, Jack Ryan, is back with another season to protect the citizens of his country from a group of conspirators who want to unleash havoc. The major conflict of Jack Ryan Season 4 revolves around a terrorist organization called the Silver Lotus Triad that wants to gain trade access to American soil so that they can fulfill their ulterior motives. The first two episodes of Season 4 haven’t clearly defined these motives, but we can speculate that Burmese ganglords want to smuggle explosives into the country.

The first episode introduces us to a shady ganglord named Chao Fah Sein, who is one of the heads of the operation of the Silver Lotus Triad. Chao Fah is in charge of the Wukong Palace Casino in Shan State, Myanmar, under the guise of which his syndicate smuggles drugs and weapons to other South Asian countries. At the beginning of Jack Ryan episode 1, it is revealed that the syndicate is planning to expand its trade routes all the way to Mexico and America. Chao Fah is in talks for a potential convergence between his syndicate and the Mexican cartel that is run by Marquez. The Marquez cartel owns a trade route to America, and they believe that a potential partnership with the Silver Lotus Triad will help them procure pure-quality drugs with an uninterrupted supply.

As the episode begins, we come across a secret operation in Lagos where a strike team eliminates Nigerian President Udoh. It is implied that Chao Fah had a hand in the murder of the president, as Udoh might be an obstruction in the shipping routes between Burma and Mexico. Udoh’s opponent, Ekon Ameh, is a known gang lord, and we believe that Chao Fah or his syndicate has already forged an alliance with him. In this way, the Silver Lotus Triad gets clear access all the way from Burma to Mexico.

Chao Fah wants to make Marquez the sole distributor of his drugs; however, it seems like he has other motives as well. He constantly speaks of loyalty and identity with his son, and while he is away in Mexico, he instructs his wife to take a flight out of Burma. Maybe Chao Fah was willing to double-cross his syndicate, but things didn’t go as planned, and he had to return from Mexico with empty hands. We soon find out that Thomas Miller, the ex-CIA director, had been secretly contacting Chao Fah through a burner phone. Chao Fah had made small transactions to a bank account, where the digits of the transaction were actually the phone number through which Miller could connect with him. However, there’s something that confuses us: why did Chao Fah contact Miller? We believe they were all a part of Operation Pluto, a secret operation that was green-lit by the ex-CIA director. So maybe Chao Fah cleared the shipment trade to gain the loyalty of the Silver Lotus Triad so that he could arrive in Mexico to finalize the deal.

On the other end of the globe, Domingo Chavez, an undercover CIA operative, gained the trust of the Marquez cartel by eliminating their competition and establishing their monopoly. Chavez had promised protection to his asset, Chao Fah, and thus he wanted to extract him safely after his arrival in Mexico. This might be the reason why Chavez wanted Chao Fah to meet Marquez alone. It might be a part of his plan to take Chao Fah and his son to a safe location while his wife and daughter were already on their way out of the country. But things didn’t go as planned.

In America, Jack Ryan found out that the weaponry and equipment used by the strike team during the assassination of Nigerian President Udoh belonged to the CIA. In a closed session, the Senate Intelligence Committee directed the acting deputy director, Ryan, to investigate the matter, as the CIA, under no circumstances, should influence the politics of the world until and unless it threatens the lives of American citizens. During the investigation, Ryan and James Greer came across nine operations that they weren’t able to comprehend. In order to expose the operation in Lagos, Elizabeth Wright, the acting director of the CIA, approved Ryan’s request to shut all nine operations down and cut off their funding.

Ryan’s action did expose a series of lies and conspiracies revolving around the secret operation, but it also led to the deaths of seven undercover agents. In Mexico, a corrupt cop named Morales sought a bribe from Chavez after he found out about the shipment through which Chao Fah was coming to Mexico. Morales wanted money to turn a blind eye, and Chavez agreed to pay. He planned to pay Morales with the funds he had been receiving from the CIA. It was revealed that Chavez was also a part of Operation Pluto. When Ryan closed it down, the money that should have been received by Morales never arrived. Instead, he found that the account had been deactivated. In a fit of rage and feeling betrayed, he might have shared the intel with Mexican intelligence.

Mexican border military forces attacked the dockyards, where Chavez lost seven of his precious men while Chao Fah had to run for his life and somehow returned to his country, where he made sure that none of his people would find out about his wife and daughter’s visit to the airport. So what was Chao Fah hiding?

According to Chavez, Chao Fah had found out that the Silver Lotus Triad had a mole inside the CIA, who, as implied in the first two episodes of Jack Ryan, could be Thomas Miller. Miller had started some secret operations through which he was paving the way for the Triad to get access to America to smuggle whatever they intended to. However, Miller believed that through these operations, he was actually eliminating the drug lords. It can be theorized that either Miller was never the mole that Chao Fah was talking about or someone tricked him into working as the mole without his knowledge. The Triad had been planning to smuggle something deadlier than drugs, and perhaps more will be revealed about it in episodes to come.

However, there is one confusion there. If Chao Fah knew that Miller was a mole, why did he contact him at the end of Jack Ryan Episode 2? Or was this call made so that no one would suspect Chao Fah? Chao Fah had been playing it safe throughout the two episodes, and his syndicate is already aware of Miller’s involvement; hence, we can back up this theory. The second question that we might get an answer to in the next episodes is: who was Miller working for? Who is this cold-blooded assassin called Walter? What is the larger conspiracy at play, and how will Jack Ryan be able to stop the culprits before they harm his country? We eagerly wait for these answers in the episodes to come, but if you have any theories about what they could be, please do share them with us.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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