Jack Ryan Amazon Prime TV Series Season 2 Review

“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” redirects here. For the fictional universe, see Ryanverse. For the fictional character, see Jack Ryan (character). For other uses, see Jack Ryan (disambiguation).

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, or simply Jack Ryan, is an American political thriller web television series, based on characters from the fictional “Ryanverse” created by Tom Clancy, that premiered on August 31, 2018 on Prime Video. The series was created by Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland. Cuse serves as an executive producer alongside John Krasinski, Michael Bay, and Mace Neufeld, among others. Krasinski also stars in the series as the title character, making him the fifth actor to portray the character after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine from the film series. In April 2018, it was announced that Amazon had renewed the series for its second season which premiered on October 31, 2019. In February 2019, Amazon renewed the series for its third season.

My Personal Thoughts and Plot Explained

Jack, Jim, and the rest of their CIA buddies are back with a vengeance in Jack Ryan Season 2, and vengeance is not an exaggeration. The stakes are higher when what begins as a suspected arms deal between Russia and Venezuela quickly turns personal.

We only know Senator Moreno for forty or so minutes, but it’s just enough time for his death to pull us into the story. Knowing his impact on Jack’s life — coupled with the image of Jack crying over his body — makes us simultaneously want to hug Jack and kick someone’s ass.

Season 2’s themes are eerily reminiscent of today’s geopolitical climate. This coupled with John Krasinski’s portrayal of Jack makes us feel like we’re in Venezuela with him. Krasinski IS Jack; he displays such commitment that it makes us straighten up in our chairs as if we are CIA, too.

Jack’s need for vengeance makes him a ballsier protagonist then the analyst we met in Jack Ryan Season 1. He’s not a rule-following boy scout anymore. He asks for forgiveness instead of permission, defies orders and makes a few mistakes along the way.

Jack Ryan Season 2
Jack Ryan Season 2

This is not a pretty season; President Reyes commits atrocities that only grow in brazenness over time. No gunshot, bomb blast or beating is spared; the cameras show it all.

This applies to the many action sequences, too. Most foot chase scenes resemble a Bourne movie, but the rawness contributes to the overwhelming suspense that builds throughout the season.

Every beat of silence or close-up makes you hold your breath because conditions in Venezuela are so dangerous that things could go awry at any time.

Jack and Jim Greer’s partnership is stronger than ever, though. Jack turning down Moscow and Greer’s heart condition do make things frosty, but they are able to put that aside because they know that their dynamic is invaluable.

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Season 2
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 2

Speaking of, it’s a rough season for Greer. Despite his best efforts to appear to the contrary, he is fragile. His capture at the end of episode six adds to the suspense since we know he can’t handle as much as his colleagues.

Greer is frankly too skilled for anyone to accept his statement that it’s “time to move on.” Mike November does eventually accept Jack for the pain in the ass he is, but at the end of the day, he is just not Jim.

Where season one felt like everyone was either “good” or “bad,” Season 2 does a superb job of leaving everyone in the gray. For every good decision, there’s a bad one to even it out. Unless you’re Harriett Baumann, of course, in which case the ratio is about one to five.

Speaking of Harriett, Jack Ryan could benefit from a crash-course in introducing female characters. Yes, the show gives us a strong, noble foil to Reyes in Gloria Bonalde, but Gloria (and Monica Herrera) aside, the show struggles to introduce female characters without first making them love interests for Jack.

Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 4
Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 4

It’s hard to get an accurate read on Harriett because she’s basically a compulsive liar. One minute, she helps Jack, then the next screws him over. Her killing Max is supposed to be heavy and emotional, but “Harry” is so exhausting by that point that it’s hard to care.

It’s difficult to warm up to Lisa Calabrese, too. Calabrese’s introduction is promising; she’s the sharp, intelligent American ambassador to Venezuela.

Five minutes later, though, she is reduced to quirky swearing and banter when November labels her his ex-wife. Allowing the latter title to overshadow the former is disappointing, to say the least.

Season 2 is grittier than Season 1 in that there is a very high body count — two of whom are Jack’s friends.

Matice’s death, however, highlights one of the downfalls of streaming. When new seasons are only released once per year, minor characters and details can slip the mind. The impact of Matice’s death is lost — much like my memory of him from season one. Report this ad

His subplot with Disco, Coyote, and Uber starts slow, but much like the season as a whole, pays off in the end. The moment when the remaining trio liberates the prison camp with Jack and subsequently uncovers Matice’s body is a clutch your pearls, right in the feels kind of scene. Uber’s guilt over his recruiter’s death also makes the group easy to root for.

Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 7
John Krasinski in Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 7

The final scenes of Season 2 drive home a theme that in this day and age is bigger than itself. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in, but standing up comes at a price.

Chapin’s downfall reminds us that however reckless he may be, Jack will never stop fighting for justice and that we should strive to do the same.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Genre Action Political thriller
Created by Carlton Cuse Graham Roland
Based onCharacters
by Tom Clancy
Starring John Krasinski Wendell Pierce Abbie Cornish Ali Suliman Dina Shihabi John Hoogenakker Noomi Rapace Jordi Mollà Francisco Denis Cristina Umaña Jovan Adepo Michael Kelly
Composer(s)Ramin Djawadi
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Carlton Cuse Graham Roland Daniel Sackheim Morten Tyldum Michael Bay Brad Fuller Andrew Form John Krasinski Tom Clancy David Ellison Dana Goldberg Marcy Ross Mace Neufeld
Producer(s) Nazrin Choudhury José Luis Ecolar Robert Phillips
Cinematography Richard Rutkowski Checco Varese Christopher Faloona
Editor(s) John M. Valerio Paul Trejo Sarah Boyd Vikash Patel
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time40–64 minutes
Production company(s) Genre Arts Push, Boot. Platinum Dunes Skydance Media Paramount Television Amazon Studios
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