Amazon Prime Show: Jack Ryan (Season 2)

I found an old thread about the original season; but did I miss one for season 2?

Who’s watching? What do you think?

The wife and I binge watched it over a couple of days. We obviously enjoyed it. :slight_smile:
It’s been years since I’ve read any of the Jack Ryan books; but I might have to read through them again, especially since I’m sure I didn’t read every one.

I watched it. Thought it was great!

Spoilers OK? Otherwise I’ll just say I was encouraged by the first episode, discouraged by the second, and now have lost interest.

I was really disappointed, but I gather my reaction is not typical. Most people seem to have liked it.

What was disappointing about the show to you?

The whole season relied on assassinating a US senator because otherwise there was a chance he might discover Venezuela opening some mines.

Not sure I bought that.

Uber’s incredible stupidity bothered me too.

It was alright as a popcorn show, but I am a bit surprised at the level or praise both seasons have gotten.

I agree that this and

The subsequent multi-day search through the jungle for him

were the worst part of Season 2

I liked it, sorta. But it was far worse than the first season.

Where the first season was methodical, and somewhat logical, this seemed color by numbers. The first season had the B plot actually matter, where the Suiliman’s wife and the adventures of the brother actually tied into the story. Here, the B plot of going missing through the jungle accomplished zero. It was like getting caught in a cougar trap a la 24.

The overall plot was poor - there was no indication that the senator would have discovered anything. He seemed overall pretty unaware of what was happening, and they didn’t indicate he had some suspicion either so assassinating him made no sense.

The climax of storming the presidential palace was also way over the top. In a show that seemed much more grounded in realism and pragmatic actions, storming a presidential palace was simply nuts. Hey uh, we’re going to take an unscheduled detour…okay. And we’re going to go murder a bunch of people in the President’s building. Okay. While a party is going on. During an election. Without any planning. That part was pretty eye rolling.

There was no in-story explanation for that, was there? It really was just a plot device to give the other US soldiers something to do in the next few episodes.

I’ve only watched the first few episodes, and I haven’t gotten to this part yet, so I guess it’s OK to talk about what I have seen, and why I didn’t like it.

And the Uber situation was one big reason. When weedy beard guy first showed up trying to recruit Uber for a shady caper, I assumed he was a drug smuggler or some other kind of criminal. I literally couldn’t believe it when he turned out to be a government agent.

Here’s a secret US government mission to a foreign country. There is presumably no official cover, so it will have to be meticulously planned, and the personnel will have to be carefully selected and trained together, so they can trust each other and anticipate each other’s moves if something unforeseen happens.

Instead, it’s like a bunch of casual acquaintances going on a spur of the moment hunting trip. They ask Uber if he wants to go along, telling him absolutely nothing about it except it involves boat driving and Spanish, and they don’t even know whether he’s going to go with them until literally five minutes before the plane takes off. What if he hadn’t shown up? They were dropped in the middle of the ocean with a leaky boat, and Uber was the only guy who knew how to fix it. I guess they all would have drowned if he hadn’t changed his mind at the last minute.

Now that he has shown up, how is he supposed to function with no briefing, let alone training specific to the mission? Only one guy on the team even knows him, and nobody has any recent knowledge of his skills. The comments above imply he acts stupidly and gets lost in the jungle. Well, duh, you grab a guy out of suburbia and drop him in the jungle with no warning or training, what do you expect to happen?

I haven’t seen the show, but I get the impression it was loosely based on Clear and Present Danger. Correct?

I didn’t care much for the movie, but it was far more realistic than the novel in terms of commandeering Air Force and Coast Guard assets, and other things US service personnel would be crucified for.

Other than the murky off-book South America theme, not really.

I am also in the disappointed camp. While I enjoyed Season 1, the second season just needed more suspension of disbelief and more ignoring of stupid actions than I am willing to do.
The whole Uber guy being recruited and then getting lost thing was already mentioned. Also the storming of a Presidential residence of a foreign nation during a party ( I mean if you really want to keep Reyes in power, that would be the best way to do it, it would actually validate all the things that he blamed the Americans for)
Even more than that was the flat characterization of everyone involved. Presidential candidate that makes sandwiches for everyone including her driver to show that she is a good person vs president killing his best friend by slitting his throat in the presidential residence (how did he think that he would get away with that?)
The whole Tantalum thing is also sorta stupid. I mean there is absolutely no easier way to make money than if you are the head of state of a country which has only semi-reliable safeguards against government corruption. He could have easily created a government owned mining company and then diverted a substantial amount of money into his own coffers.
It would also almost certainly have secured his reelection.

Last season did a nice job of introducing characters and being true to the spirit of Clancy, if not to a specific book. Jack Ryan was a “boy scout” and he wasn’t a field agent. He had a knack for putting pieces together, and for the most part, he thought his way through problems. He could handle getting into the field when needed. As noted above, the threads introduced through the season all came together.

Season 2 - Jack the analyst boy scout is now Jack-007. Instead of having Cathy at home, he’s picking up chicks in bars. Apparently, he’s sooooooo good at it that agents of other governments will help him out after he’s blessed them with a night at Casa Ryan. There are secondary characters, but, hey, so what? Last season, Suleiman’s wife and children tie directly back to the main story, and we get to see what happens to them. This season, the general’s wife is around quite a bit, but in the end, we never learn what happens to her.

Uber, Og help him, was clearly (heh) meant to be a call back to Clear and Present Danger, but they never picked up that thread. In the book, Ryan is so committed to doing the right thing that he runs a rescue operation for US soldiers stranded by an off the books op. He even ends up supporting one of the families. Ryan (book Ryan) would never leave someone behind. This Ryan did. I expected the story to loop back, as a teaching moment for Ryan, but it never did.

Why did the prison camp even exist? If you’re going to disappear someone, wouldn’t you just kill them? As soon as the camp was found, they started killing prisoners, so what was the point of the camp at all? There’s no evidence that the families knew the prisoners were still alive, so they weren’t hostages. It was bullshit.

Also, as mentioned, what the fuck was the last episode? I could see some sort of covert extraction of the stranded agent. Instead, we get a one helicopter invasion of a foreign power. Sure. Why not? :rolleyes: It was the spy movie version of “let’s throw a play in the barn!”

It was Bond+24, without the jokes or style. I thought it was horrible.

Reading these posts makes me realize that Season 2 actually wasn’t good at all. I guess I was just enamored with John Krasinski (?) and the character of Jack Ryan. Now I’m annoyed that the season sucked :frowning:

Crap, dude, sorry. :frowning:

I do really like John K. as Jack Ryan. I just hope Season 3 is a bit closer to Clancy.

I hope so too.

Visually the season looked good.

I was also disappointed that the shooter was dispatched so easily. They built him up, along with the German spy lady, and then nonpayoff. Having the president be the bad guy behind it all was so simple.

The fact that the end reveal was just some random throwaway phone nber search was also quite lame and contrived.

All the detective type work that was shown in the first season was swept aside this time for getting a portfolio of incorporation documents. Really, they just showed up and then case closed.

The side characters were especially thin. I think the wife of the president was also the sister of his top aid, but I couldn’t tell and I don’t think it matters. Their characters were of no consequence. I mean, in season 1 there was the drone pilot but at least that was a bit interesting.

It’s even worse than that:

He just walks off for no reason. He’s on the mission guarding the boat and is told they might need to leave in a hurry so be prepared to get going as soon as the team returns… and he just walks off. Then he gets lost and some random child steals his gear. And he doesn’t attempt to navigate back to the river and follow it down stream. It’s just really bad.

Also, lets say the senator does find out. So what? Even if it’s super illegal secret mining, Venezuela would just tell the US to fuck off and then go on ahead mining the Tantalum.

I think the previews/1st episode promised a far more interested/entertaining story than we actually got.

The idea of a new Cuban Missile Crisis but with Venezuela seemed like a great set-piece for a classic Clancy espionage/action plot. I can imagine Jack Ryan tailing trucks with a geiger counter or CIA forces opening a shipping container and finding a nuke inside. Instead what we got was a completely unnecessary trip to London and some idiots getting lost in the jungle for three episodes, it really does seem like the middle 3 episodes in the season could have been written out entirely.