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Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan is a 2018 spy drama on Prime Video, based on the character of the same name by Tom Clancy. It is produced by Carlton Cuse (Lost), Michael Bay, and John Krasinski, the latter of whom stars in the title role.

Jack Ryan (Krasinski) is an ordinary CIA analyst who, after noticing some questionable financial transfers, is thrust into international espionage, taking him from his desk job and into serious life-or-death matters — such as a growing threat in the Middle East who's planning a large-scale act of terrorism on the United States. Jack later tackles emerging conflict in Venezuela, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Wendell Pierce, Abbie Cornish, and Peter Fonda also appear in supporting roles. Jack Ryan is notable for featuring the fifth live-action portrayal of the character (Krasinski), following turns by Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger), Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears), and Chris Pine (Shadow Recruit). It's also the first television series based on the character.

Two seasons have aired via Prime Video. The third season was released on December 21, 2022 via Prime Video worldwide.

Afterwards, Amazon reported a fourth season will be produced after the third season ends. Production has started on February 2022 in Croatia. It was later confirmed that the fourth season will be the final one, with a spin-off series headed by Michael PeŮa set to serve as a continuation as Ding Chavez.

Head here for the character page.

Jack Ryan contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Distillation: Much like Shadow Recruit, this series isn't based on any particular book of the Jack Ryan franchise.
    • The first season takes elements of Executive Orders (Ebola), The Sum of All Fears (smuggling of the weapons), and the Jack Jr. books (financial analyst).
    • The second season borrows heavily from the plot of Clear and Present Danger and the console version of Rainbow Six 3 (corrupt Venezuelan president).
    • The third season has a Russian defense minister named Dmitriy Popov, who has the same name with an ex-KGB agent in the novel version of Rainbow Six.
  • Adaptational Job Change:
    • Jack, in this series, left a lucrative Wall Street job to join the CIA because of a strong sense of duty. In the books, Jack pursued a career in academia (teaching history at the US Naval Academy) after becoming independently wealthy on Wall Street and had to be actively recruited by Greer to become a CIA analyst. This version of Jack also spent longer in the Marines, whereas his literary counterpart was injured and given a medical discharge almost as soon as he was commissioned.
    • In the books, James Greer is a career sailor who moved laterally into the CIA. In this series, Jim Greer is a career CIA officer.
      • Greer makes a comment very late in season 2 where he alluded to being no stranger to US Navy food, so his past as a sailor is potentially intact though downplayed.
    • Cathy was an ophthalmic surgeon in the books, but an infectious disease researcher in this series.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A female terrorist who reluctantly dons a suicide vest has a last-minute change of heart and begs the French police to help her. The first officers to see her try to listen, but a third instinctively shoots her dead instead, which ironically makes her let go of the dead-man switch she is holding and sets it off anyway.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Max Shenkel has a daughter, and his relationship with Harriet Baumann has sexual overtones, yet when seeking a patsy, he limits his search to gay men and doesn't seem to require much acting to seduce one. It's never clear what his sexuality is.
  • Angry White Man: One of the French cops turns out to be Islamophobic who thinks that Muslims are taking over the country and trying to force their ways on the French people. Finding out that the guy he is riding with (Greer) is a Muslim makes him shut his mouth.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Ibrahim apologizes to a Muslim woman when he bumps into her while walking out of a restaurant he just left a bomb in. He comes across her still-alive, badly burnt body in the hospital later and can't bear to look at her.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Ryan managed to contact Suleiman through a video game chat system claiming to be his brother, which Suleiman saw through using a particular phrase they would share with each other. But he didn't get off the chat immediately and Ryan was able to press forward given their previous encounter. Once Ryan brought up knowing that Hanin left him, THAT made Suleiman immediately disconnect, which confirmed the story they had of Hanin at a Turkish refugee camp.
  • The Atoner: Tombstone the drone operator. Episode 3 shows his general guilt over killing targets from afar, yet the very laws of probability seem to conspire to reward him more and more for it. Later, he has a breakdown upon finding out that one of his kills was a family man misidentified as a terrorist. This drives him to seek out the man's family so he can pay reparations to them.
  • Batman Gambit: Ryan starts to piece together that Suleiman's strategies tend to be low-scale but precise acts of violence, all so he could capitalize on larger gatherings in predictable locations for a bigger attack. This was demonstrated in a Paris attack, where a priest was killed in what seemed to be a random mugging but only so they could drop a bioweapon in a packed funeral. He pulls off a multi-part strategy in the finale, letting go of hostages contaminated with ebola so that the President of the United States would get contaminated. With many government members in quarantine at a hospital, he then had a restaurant in DC bombed near that hospital so that the ER would be swarmed and he could sneak a dirty bomb in the ventilation system. Although, in this case his methods had become predictable to Ryan, who quickly caught on that the hospital was the main target.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • How Greer finally puts Yazid down.
    • Harriet also does this to Max Schenkel in Season 2.
    • And in the S2 finale to Bastos courtesy of Bishop.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Jack goes behind Greer's back to freeze a bank account suspected to be Suleiman's, after Greer continues to stall on even believing Suleiman exists. Greer then reveals he did agree the account was worth investigating, but he would have preferred to let it keep going a while until they could get eyes on the whole terror network and mop them up in a single swoop. Jack retorts that Suleiman could well be able to launch his attack before they could do that, and it's clear that there's no easy answer to this kind of situation.
    • Terrorist Suleiman is introduced sympathetically as he and his brother were victims of a bombing raid as children, which also saw the death of their mother and immediate family, and he's later subject to discrimination.
  • Cain and Abel: Of the non-literal variety with childhood best friends Reyes and Ubarri when the former slits the latterís throat.
  • Calling the Cops on the FBI: While on his way to meet an informant in Moscow, Greer suspects that the man and woman walking behind him might be Russian counter-intelligence agents following him. He approaches a pair of Russian uniformed policemen and reports that he saw the man hit the woman. While the cops talk to the pair, Greer slips away.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Swiss Army knife Jack is given for his birthday in the first episode of Season 2 is later used by him to fend off an assassin.
    • Max buys a hair pin on a whim in Venezuela. Later in the series, he gives it to his daughter. She eventually uses it to defend herself.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In season 1, Jack gets into a relationship with Cathy Mueller, his eventual wife in the books. In season 2, Jack has a one-night stand with another woman and unambiguously states that he is single. There is no reference to Cathy's existence at all (though to be fair, Cathy is the one wanting to keep the relationship casual during Season 1).
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Greer is meeting with an informant in a Moscow hotel and the guy suggests that if the authorities burst in, they claim that they are gay lovers. This would get them into trouble in Russia but not as much as espionage and treason would. Greer does not think much of the suggestion since if the FSB is onto them, a lie like that is not going to save them.
  • Continuity Reboot: Jack Ryan isn't connected to any other adaptations featuring the character nor any of Tom Clancy's novels.
  • Da Chief: Greer as head of TFAD, and in turn his CIA superiors. In season 2, Mike November plays this role as Caracas Chief of Station, in addition to Frank Whaley appearing as the Moscow CoS for a single scene in the premiere to chew out Greer. S3 features Wright as Rome Chief of Station, with Miller introduced as CIA director. The former is eventually promoted when she exposes the latter's incompetence to the Vice President, then she's personally inducted into the position by the President.
  • Dare to Be Badass:
    • Greer gives Jack a number of these to push Jack away from a desk job and out into the field and to be more willing to make life-and-death decisions.
    • In Season 2, Matice bawls out Bishop for wallowing in self-pity after washing out of BUD/S and goads Bishop into joining him on a black operation.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Jack and Greer are well aware of how each other clearly have one, with Jack's helo crash that nearly crippled him and continues to haunt him and Greer's misdeed that left him with this dead-end assignment.
  • Darker and Edgier: Previous adaptations of the Tom Clancy books were PG-13 political thrillers, intense at times but not graphic (except for Patriot Games, at least). This series has significantly more mature content with swearing, violence and nudity.
  • Dating Catwoman: A low scale, unintentional version. Jack and Cathy start dating and it gradually becomes more serious, but Ryan, as per the nature of his job, is vague about what he does. At her job, Cathy identifies a foreign strain of ebola and, against suggestions from colleagues, sends out an e-mail warning about an outbreak. This catches the attention of the CIA, who bring her in as a specialist. Ryan ends up being the one to question her and explain the terrorist connections, which was not a pleasant surprise for either of them. They have a fight over how truthful he has been, particularly since this was only days after they first had sex, but they reconcile shortly after as Ryan can now be a little more open about what he does.
  • Defiant to the End: Al-Radwan curses and insults Suleiman as Suleiman beats him into a coma.
  • Dirty Business:
    • Jack quickly discovers that stopping Suleiman might require him to be morally "flexible" and make compromises.
    • During their mission in Turkey, Jack and Greer hire the services of a Turkish mobster who has the criminal connections to help them navigate the people smuggling network so they can locate Hanin and her daughters. As a result, they become accessories to two murders committed by their contact. However, the mobster's help is completely necessary, and if they did not hire him, Hanin would have been raped and killed. In addition, Greer is forced to kill a man in cold blood as the only way to keep Hanin and her daughters together.
    • Jack has to lie to his friends and his new girlfriend because he is not allowed to tell them that he works for the CIA.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: A little over the first half of the second season sees Max Schenkel as The Heavy in a Big Bad Ensemble with Reyes.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Suleiman buys the loyalty of the men of his boss Al-Radwan, who hasn't paid them in months and is generally less charismatic and competent, becoming the leader of their local militia and terror cell.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The final season ends with Jack and company taking down the terror threat from the border and exposing a Senator for having ties with a Myanma-based triad gang. Jack decides to spend time away from government work even though he's advised to try and run for officce.
  • Election Day Episode: A Season 2 subplot builds towards the Venezuelan presidential election held on the season finale.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Suleiman and his brother Ali were set on their path in their childhood when both were severely injured in an indiscriminate American carpet bombing, and have plenty of warm friendship moments. Suleiman also has a wife and three children, and relations in France. The series proves to be a Deconstruction ó Suleiman's activities end up leading to his brother dying and his wife and daughters doing everything to get away from him, while he meanwhile attempts to turn his son into another terrorist. He also orders his brother to kill a foster family they once belonged to in order to leave no witnesses behind, though Ali can't bring himself to do it.
    • Max Shenkel, now a remorseless assassin, sacrificed his legitimate career for Harriet, and he also maintains contact with his daughter.
    • Nicolás Reyes also has a loving relationship with his family.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Al-Radwan survives his beating at Suleiman's hand, but it leaves him in a state of constant pain and by the end of the first season he is unable to do anything but moan in pain.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Parodied. Ali receives a bagful of white bricks and he jabs a knife into one of them to check its contents. Instead of drugs, however, the bricks turn out to be stacks of SIM cards.
    • On another occasion, a worker unwisely uses this technique on mysterious blue powder he found in a shipping container. Days later he dies from radiation poisoning, as the powder was material for a dirty bomb.
  • First-Episode Twist: The "bodyguard" captured along with Suleiman's agent is in fact Suleiman himself.
  • Forensic Accounting: Jack's job as a CIA analyst has him looking through records of financial transactions and looking for anomalies. The plot of the series is kicked off when Jack discovers a number of suspicious money transfers from France to a bank in Yemen. A large part of the investigation involves tracking the money to its source and determining what the Big Bad is going to use it for.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Greer is reading through Jack's file, sharp-eyed viewers will notice that it's riddled with spelling errors like "God Conduct Medal", "Certificat of Appreciation", and "Riffle Qualification".
  • Grave Robbing: How Suleiman and his brother got their sample of vaccine-resistant Ebola, by stealing a corpse from a victim of the virus.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • Invoked in the final episode, when Jack shouts "I have your son!" at Suleiman. This causes Suleiman to look back at Jack, giving his position away and allowing Jack to shoot him dead.
    • Jack takes this up a notch in season two by kidnapping Shenkelís daughter.
  • I Was Never Here: Most of the events of the first season did not officially happen. This is lampshaded in the second episode where the events in Yemen are covered up and it is stated that officially, no American soldiers were in Yemen and none were killed there.
  • Insistent Terminology: Jack wryly tells Cathy that he's a CIA officer, not an agent.
    Jack: The movies get that wrong all the time.
  • Ironic Name: It's noted that "Suleiman" means "man of peace."
  • It's All About Me: Suleimanís motives are ultimately implied to be rather childish and self-serving. Itís true that he got a real raw deal in his life, but his reasons for becoming a terrorist mastermind are slowly revealed to be less ideological and more a desperate desire to feel important. It comes off that heís just lashing out at all of western culture because he feels it has wronged him personally and so everyone associated with it is held responsible for his woes.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Ibrahim, the Evil Genius of the Suleiman cell, manages to get out of America after the rest of the terrorists are killed, but 4 months later, Mattice tracks him down and executes him anyway.
  • Lecture as Exposition: One of Jack's first scenes in season 2 is lecturing a class about how Venezuela is the biggest threat to peace in the world. Sure enough, the season is all about Venezuela.
  • Loophole Abuse: In the series finale, Ade cuts a deal for his work aiding terrorists in exchange for immunity. When Elizabeth has him arrested, she points out the deal gives immunity for anything connected to the CIA but she has no control over what the local D.C. homicide detectives do.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: One reading of the ending of "Black 22": Hanin insists that God will protect her and her daughters, as long as they keep moving. Later on, Victor, guilt-ridden from the numerous people he has killed as a drone operator, witnesses Yazid attempting to rape Hanin, and decides to kill him despite orders not to engage. Hanin dusts herself off, gathers her daughters, and reiterates her previous statement that God would protect them. Victor, on the verge of being arrested for his actions, is given a reprieve as his commander receives another phone call, implied to be the kill order for Yazid. Divine intervention, or just Victor's atypically good luck?
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Ryan blames himself for the crash that killed his Marines. His squad was sent to evacuate a family targeted by the Taliban; he took on an extra passenger, an orphan boy from the village; the boy was a suicide bomber and took down the helo, killing everyone except Ryan.
    • Greer's last mission before being Reassigned to Antarctica was the recruitment of a high-ranking Pakistani official to work as a spy for the US. Greer misread the situation, acted too quickly, and the target threatened to turn Greer in to Pakistani security forces. Rather than risk being captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the Pakistanis, Greer stabbed the official to death. This tanked Greer's career and left him haunted by the guilt of murdering a man and orphaning his children simply because the guy did not want to betray his country.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Played with. Jack takes Cathy out on a date to a restaurant. Her glass is slightly chipped, so Jack calls the restaurant's owner over to complain. Things quickly escalate and it looks like the two men are about to start throwing punches. Cathy is quite unimpressed by Jack's macho posturing over damage to a wine glass. Then it is revealed that the restaurant owner is actually an old family friend of Jack's and the two men are actually just teasing each other. Jack introduces Cathy to his old friend and she is very amused by the entire situation.
  • Noble Demon: Tony, the pimp from Episode 6, is a vile and reprehensible businessman who regularly beats and even rapes women. And yet, when Greer dangles some cash in front of him, he works his ass off to earn it. At the end, even Jack (to say that he loathes Tony is an understatement) had to bite the bullet and begrudgingly acknowledge his help was invaluable, paying the man the rest of the promised money. Though no way in hell was he going to say "thank you."
    • He finally got that sincere gratitude from Ryan in S3 when he once again put a limb on the line for Ryan, hiding him from a Russian assassin sent after him.
    Ryan: ...and Tony? Thank you.
    Tony: (...) You're a brother. (waves it off)
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Nicolás Reyes bears more than a passing resemblance to Nicolás Maduro, the currently disputed President of Venezuela, who also has been accused of silencing political dissidents, creating a humanitarian/economic crisis, and so on. And both end up losing an election to a democratic, U.S. friendly candidate despite heavy election tampering. Unsurprisingly the series is Banned In Venezuela.
  • Origin Story: The series has been described as one for Ryan, which follows him from his early days as a CIA desk jockey to the super-spy he's known to become. When the series begins, he's only been an analyst for four years.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Marcus Bishop has an inadequacy complex due to other members of his family having long and illustrious military careers while his own, in his opinion, doesn't match theirs.
  • Passing the Torch: With his heart condition worsening, Greer does this to Ryan at the end of the second season, telling him that as much as Ryan may enjoy the safety of a desk job, the field needs someone as good as Ryan to do the hard work.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Exaggerated, to the point they actually try to justify it, when Greer tells Ryan to try and crack Suleiman's phone, despite both of them knowing that the Agency's professional crackers and their computer algorithms have failed on the grounds that everyone, including terrorist masterminds, resorts to personal passwords for their important information. Sure enough, his password is his prison number.
    Greer: Every password is personal to the person that creates it.
  • Private Military Contractors: A group of multinational mercenaries is in league with the conspiracy in season 2. Jack eventually manages to hire them to switch sides.
  • Professional Killer: Max Schenkel is a former German secret agent turned professional hitman.
  • Put on a Bus: Jack's girlfriend Cathy disappears between the first and second season with no explanation or reason given. She's never brought up, and a comment from Jack stating he's single in a bit of dialog is the closest they get to an explanation.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Agent November, Ambassador Calabrese, and Senator Chopin in Season 2. Genre Savvy viewers will realize one of them has to be the Mole in Charge. Itís Chopin.
  • Red Herring:
    • In Season 2 Mike November, the head government agent for the US working out of Venezuela, helps Jack Ryan and James Greer in their mission to find out who killed Senator Moreno and investigate President Reyes. However, there are many scenes and actions that hint he might have a hidden motive for helping and prove to be Evil All Along. This becomes more apparent after Jack discovers that Reyes didn't have Moreno killed. Not to mention the character is played by actor Michael Kelly who is known to play villain roles. However, he is proven to be Good All Along. He ignores his orders to help Ryan more than once and to later save Greer, and he keeps Ryan from making a career ending mistake during the final episode. The true Hidden Villain in Season 2 turns out to be the seemingly supportive Senator Chapin who had Moreno killed because he was close to exposing his corrupt practices with President Reyes in Venezuela.
    • Early in Season 2, Ubarri is implied to be the Evil Chancellor or even a potential Starscream. Really heís a Token Good Teammate at best and Even Evil Has Standards at worst.
  • Reflexive Response: Jack pulls one of these in the final episode. Specifically, he's looking for Suleiman in a subway station crowded with Washington Nationals fans, and Suleiman has disguised himself in a Nationals cap and flag. But when Jack shouts "I have your son!" in Arabic, Suleiman can't help but turn his head. This lets Jack get a bead on Suleiman and shoot him dead.
  • Remember the New Guy?: In season 2, Jack is revealed to be best friends with a United States senator who was also his commanding officer in the military. This is the first we hear of him.
  • Running Gag: Jack bulldozing his way into conversations way above his pay grade. He finally goes as far as doing it to the president, to which Greer simply moans, "Oh sweet Jesus!"
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Senator Jim Moreno is killed in the first episode of the second season to kick off the plot.
  • Sacrificial Lion:
    • Sabine and Ali's deaths halfway through the first season are when things really get serious.
    • Ditto for Matice in season two.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Subverted. Joe Mueller is planning on making a large investment in a South Korean company and is worried that an escalation of tensions with North Korea will negatively affect that company. His old employee and friend Jack Ryan works for the State Department, so Joe asks him to give him heads up on any changes in US government policy on North Korea. He even offers to cut Jack in on the deal. Unfortunately for Joe, Jack does not actually work for the State Department, and if he did, he is too ethical to actually divulge such sensitive information.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In season 2, the whole subplot about Miguel Ubarri's growing rift with President Reyes goes nowhere. Ubarri is never motivated enough to take action against Reyes, and Reyes murders him without repercussion. Ultimately itís just Padding.
  • Shout-Out: The couple that Victor meets while he's trying to gamble his money away at a casino introduce themselves as Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois. The fact that they're using the names of fictional characters (and well-known fictional characters at that) is an early hint to their sketchiness.
  • Something Only They Would Say: When the CIA figures out that Suleiman and his people are communicating through video game chat programs, they try to set a trap by posing as his brother Ali. Toward the end of the exchange, Suleiman says "Peace be with you," and realizes that they're impostors when they don't respond with Ali's usual quip, "Not if she's been with you first."
  • Springtime for Hitler: A drone pilot named "Tombstone" spends much of his subplot in episode 3 trying to get rid of the 104 dollars he earned through dark bets as to who could score a kill in his group before their shift was up (in single increments per kill. Do the math). Trying to gamble it away doesn't work, as he inexplicably manages to win over $30,000 at roulette. When it looks like he's about to be robbed by a high-roller couple who are into cuckoldry, they just leave him with his blood money after they're done fulfilling their fetish. Ultimately, he makes peace with his many impersonal murders when he uses the drone to hit Yazid, accepting his new dollar with grace.
  • Suddenly Bilingual: Played for Drama. Right at the end of each series, Jack will suddenly shout a critical phrase in his opponents' native language after spending the rest of the series silent in front of foreigners or requiring translators to get his point across. In Season 1, he shouted, "I have your son!" in Arabic to Suleiman, while in Season 2 he roughly interrogated a Venezuelan soldier in fluent Spanish: "Where's the American?!" (regarding Greer's whereabouts, who was captured earlier). Season 3 has Greer busting out near-perfect Russian to unnerve Petr Kovac, whom Greer was already suspicious of. Somewhat justified since he spent the entire Season 2 as Deputy Station Chief of Moscow, and he's already fluent in Russian by then.
  • Truer to the Text: The season 2 premiere sets Ryan and Greer on a path closer to their characterizations in the books and original film trilogy. Much to his chagrin, Greer discovers a heart condition that threatens to have him Kicked Up Stairs from doing ops, becoming a Non-Action Guy. Ryan is introduced giving a lecture on international security studies and working as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill, foreshadowing his future as a professor and eventual move from the CIA to the White House.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Max Schenkel kidnaps a man's sister and forces the man to do his bidding. We never find out what happened to the sister.



Jack's tortured with electricity through battery clamps while his feet are over water.

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