Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: Pilot
September 3, 2018 9:50 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In the series premiere, CIA analyst Jack Ryan uncovers a series of suspicious transactions that take him and his boss James Greer out from behind their desks into the field to hunt down a powerful new threat to the world. Hanin begins to question her husband's affairs after he brings a mysterious outsider into their home.

Jack Ryan is now played by John Krasinski, mostly known for playing Jim on the US version of The Office, with Wendell Pierce (The Wire) on board as his boss, James Greer.

Based on the character from a series of books strongly rooted in Cold War drama and espionage, this series is reset to the present time, centered on Islamic terrorism. Ryan is still a former Marine, but now with a bit of Wall Street background, and he starts off as an analyst in a group tracking terrorist finances.

It looks like we are going to get to see a whole lot from both sides of this story, as the opening scene is actually centered on Suleiman, the apparent terrorist leader that Ryan discovers.

The whole series is available now, as is the style, but I’ve only watched the first two episodes so far, so I’ve gone with one post per episode, and will probably only post two or three a week while I work through the season.
posted by jimw (14 comments total)
Went in expecting the typical Islamophobia and was not dissapointed.

Jack: I believe his name is Suleiman - means man of peace.

What a mysterious name. But also one of the more popular names throughout the Muslim world. But I guess an analyst for the CIA wouldn't know that?

After that Toby Keith torture scene, I found myself rooting for the Lebanese brothers. Maybe that's the point of it?
posted by iamck at 7:31 AM on September 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

but now with a bit of Wall Street background

This is actually in keeping with the books. Jack made a bunch of money on Wall Street, but then decided to go into the Naval Academy teacher/CIA field, part of the whole "Jack Ryan can do anything" myth built up in the early books before Clancy dumbed down all the main good guys not named Clark or Chavez later on.
posted by Fukiyama at 7:48 AM on September 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Jack: I believe his name is Suleiman - means man of peace.

I figured it was just exposition for the ignorant (read American) audience that the show was created for? What percentage of white Americans do you think knows this little tidbit? 2% ? less?
posted by some loser at 9:28 AM on September 4, 2018

[a]lso one of the more popular names throughout the Muslim world

This is shortly pointed out by a character to Ryan.
posted by WCityMike at 10:14 AM on September 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed the pilot (and whole series). It’s nice to have a protagonist who is both smart and compassionate (and is mostly rewarded for both traits).

Wendell Pierce is a delight as always.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:27 AM on September 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm sceptical of the idea that everyone would routinely refer to a (relatively low-level?) analyst as "Dr. Ryan" on the basis of an economics PhD, but perhaps CIA/military culture is more finely attuned to academic credentials than I suspect.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:43 PM on September 4, 2018

This is actually in keeping with the books.

I should have known that, but it’s been a zillion years since I read any of the books. (I figure they are probably better as distant memories than being revisited.)

In this episode, I thought the reveal that it was Suleiman’s brother that had gone in to save him was really well done. I’m looking forward to the development of their story more than Dr. Ryan’s.
posted by jimw at 9:19 PM on September 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Didn't expect much going in and wasn't disappointed. Will probably not bother watching any more than this first episode because it didn't do anything to stand out and my life is finite.

Must get demoralizing going to casting after casting for roles like "Terrorist #3".
posted by ODiV at 2:32 PM on September 5, 2018

They should have kept it set in the 80's/Cold War.
posted by asteria at 3:02 PM on September 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

I thought it was decent. I do have a question about what the heck two characters had to do with anything but I don't remember which episode they were introduced in, so 🤷
posted by Justinian at 2:51 PM on September 6, 2018

The pilot was slow, and I've never seen TV make so much effort to say SQL, something at least industey standard, and then not write any sort of proper SQL when they show it later in the series. Pedantry aside, Krasinski portrays Ryan as a solid golden boy. They adequately play down enough about him while still doing the Dr. Ryan thing and alluding to his military and wall street success. While ham fisted, the ham is rather high quality - prosciutto if you wish...

Having worked in research as a low man on the totem pole, if someone had a PhD, it is polite and proper to refer to them as Doctor, regardless if you are reporting to them or they are reporting to you. Formalities do vanish at a point, but given the two only recently met - it would be completely in appropriate to refer to him as Mr. Ryan...

Doing this in SQL would be dead boring; and likely require reading through a lot of lines of results in the least fun way possible. Given what they show, he really needs to learn how to use triggers to improve the efficiency of his time.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:34 AM on September 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

> I figured it was just exposition for the ignorant (read American) audience that the show was created for? What percentage of white Americans do you think knows this little tidbit? 2% ? less

Yabbut it doesn't matter when it's white people. My name means "someone who makes brass pieces for saddles and harnesses" but since I'm a white American, it isn't Significant.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:25 PM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

The whole "get in the plane we're going to Yemen" plot device seems like it was lifted directly from the Looming Tower, which was better.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:39 AM on September 14, 2018

I didn't know you could put a pin back in a grenade. I'd be walking around like a dork asking for help with my live grenade.

I'm not gonna watch any more (because of all of it but especially because of the "leave your merit badges at the door [of the torture prison]!" line). If anyone wants terrorism thriller stuff, without the (as in-your-face) Islamophobia, they rebooted Three Days of the Condor as a show with William Hurt and Bob Balaban on some cable channel you can only get on one provider. It's way lower budget than this but fun and its politics are pretty much the opposite.
posted by edeezy at 12:23 AM on December 25, 2018

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