Review: Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 8

The success of any show depends more on how it treats its characters than what it does with the story. I have always believed that even a simple story can become magnificent if you know what you are doing with your protagonist. Luckily, while watching the second season of ‘Jack Ryan’, I felt that the writers must have been in agreement with this thought process. While the first season was our introduction to their version of Tom Clancy’s beloved spy figure, the second season was about building his character. In terms of the storyline, they have done a great job setting the plot in a politically unstable country, throwing a hint of conspiracy, a dangerous assassin added to the mix, and some high-octane action sequences. But what this season excelled at most was bringing out the vulnerabilities and the strengths of Jack Ryan.

Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 8 Recap

The final episode of the season brings the story full circle and we come to know who was truly running the show. Previously, Greer had been captured by Mateo, owing to Jose’s betrayal. Jack and Mike discover that he has been taken to the secret prison camp. They come up with a plan to rescue him, which involves them making a deal with the man whose finger Greer had chopped off. Thankfully, money heals those wounds and they enter the camp just when the prisoners are being killed off. They discover Matice’s remains and come to know that Greer has been taken away. While helping the prisoners, Jack records a video of the place and sends it to news agencies. Meanwhile, anticipating his defeat against Gloria, Reyes had rigged the elections. As the video catches fire, he tries to shut down the voting and declares himself the victor. But by now, the citizens know better.

By the last episode, Jack succeeds in getting the justice he had been fighting for in the entire season and also uncovers the one mystery that had lingered since his visit to London. The penultimate episode had set the stage for the final showdown and the finale delivers on it impressively. In a matter of eight episodes, the show takes the character on a journey that consumes his mind and soul. He is driven by revenge and won’t leave any chance to jump on the clues that he has. In the previous season, Jack’s confidence had been built. His obsession with solving the case had been applauded and he had all the help he needed. There were no red tapes; there were no lines he couldn’t cross to save the world. This time, however, it is personal and him crossing the lines, time and again, is considered a bit selfish on his part because he is putting others in danger. Mike’s comment that this behaviour will make him a loner is not ill-founded. What remains to be seen is if the next season will challenge this standing.

Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 8 Review

The second season is definitely an improvement in comparison to the first. In many ways, it also provides a necessary shift in Jack’s storyline that would eventually push him towards serious espionage. His basics are being covered; connections are being built; the reputation is already earned. It also serves as an attack on the “invincible” image of the protagonist. The deeper he dives into this world, the more he has to lose. In fact, the chain of events in this season begins with a loss and ends with one too, though not as literal as the previous. The heavy political themes also prove that the writers of ‘Jack Ryan’ are willing to take the CIA analyst to places he has never been to before, not even in the books. This daring has paid off wonderfully this time, and we can only imagine what the next season brings for us.

For the people who loved the previous season, Ryan’s adventures in Venezuela will be a joy to watch. The show is one-upped on every level. Danger, thrill, action, character build-up, loyalties and betrayal- there is everything you could ask of a good espionage drama. The casting is an added advantage and bringing in actors like Noomi Rapace, Jordi Molla, Michael Kelly and Tom Wlaschiha promises that the show will be a pool of talent. John Krasinski is best known for playing the goofy Jim from ‘The Office’, and Jim’s fans can see a faint hint of him in Jack, especially because both the characters are in the image of an everyday man. But the increasing gravitas of Jack’s storyline is chipping away at that. This means the third season will be more intense than this one, which only elevates our anticipation for it.

Read More: Jack Ryan Season 2 Episode 2 Review