Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: Inshallah
September 13, 2018 10:00 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Jack and Greer fear Suleiman's next attack could be on U.S. soil. They must figure out how to stop him or risk enormous costs.

Bin Laden stayed alive for years hiding out in the mountains and in Pakistan, but Suleiman takes the more service-oriented, hands on approach to his terrorism and flies in to the US through Canada.

Thankfully with the president under quarantine making sure that he didn’t catch Ebola through his earhole, Suleiman has just the place to deploy his next bag of tricks, a bunch of cesium powder. He has a guy who knows his way around the ventilation system of a hospital in Riyadh, which is remarkably similar to Washington General. Jack and Jim are hot on his tail, though, because of course. They know he has the cesium because his guys just left the cargo container lock laying around, the box they opened in the container conveniently left open, and a leaky vial of the cesium for someone to try and snort.

Four months later, the guy who is not John Clark catches up with the one terrorist who had gotten away, and cleans up the last of that mess. Also, after a grueling four months of debriefing, Jack and Jim are finally ready to move on to their next adventure, with Jim being promoted to a position in Moscow, and Jack put in charge of the T-PAIN group, except Jim left him a note that he bought him a ticket to Moscow because CIA officers are just allowed to run around and work out of whatever office they’d like. That’s what provided the inspiration for WeWork.

Cathy is left wondering if Jack is ever going to come home and talk to her about her traumatic experience riding an elevator with a terrorist and watching him get shot.

The post-credits scene where Victor finally goes back for his eggs and finds clues inside about the plot that Suleiman’s half-brother has set in motion in Russia finally ties everything together and sets up Season 2. (Just kidding, we don’t see Victor again.)
posted by jimw (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I got to the end of this episode without realizing that it was the last one. Oops.

This is the episode that could have used the most re-working of the writing. The whole shootout/fight scene in the Metro tunnels was bad, the ticket to Moscow was really bad, abandoning Ebola for Cesium was pretty bad, and the hospital scenes while trying to be frightening were also bad. Which is a shame, because I liked where they were going, but they just didn't do the legwork to wrap it up properly.

Your comment about Victor was spot on, they never showed even a hint of what happened to him after the whole Syria fiasco. They didn't even show how he got home with or without the eggs. (I'm thinking he made a huge lamb omelette.)

I have no idea where they could possibly go with Season 2. Moscow? While I'd have liked that in say 1987, it really doesn't have much to do with today's geopolitical issues regarding how the CIA operates over there. I'd rather they took a look at something here in the US, but I have no idea what that could be.

All that being said, thanks jimw for hosting these threads, I've really enjoyed them.
posted by Sphinx at 11:41 PM on September 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think my overall take on the show is that is well shot and directed, the cast and acting is pretty spot-on, and the writing is almost painfully pedestrian and predictable. When I saw that the last episode was only 42 minutes long, it started to make sense why the show seemed to move so fast and lacked so much depth.

Tom Clancy books are a particular flavor of competency porn that I think the show ultimately failed to capture. I didn’t go in expecting great character development, so the flashes we got of that were welcome. Almost all of the action stuff was competent, at least.

The abrupt end to the Victor story didn’t bother me as much as the lack of any final scene with Jack and Cathy, especially with that “four months later” epilogue and the tease of him running off to Russia with his new bestie.
posted by jimw at 1:50 PM on September 14, 2018

Given new-Greer the line "...and my black Muslim ass will be director of the CIA" is enough to forgive many other sins.
posted by uberchet at 7:03 AM on September 18, 2018

The whole season was 5 hours long, roughly. Which is made up of:
- 2.5 hours of an average early-2000s action movie. Not amazing, but you might watch it on TNT late at night.
- 2 hours of the terrorist version of "House of Cards". This is better but the ending is abrupt and unsatisfying.
- 30 minutes of a bad HBO show about a drone pilot with a guilty conscience. There's some violent sex stuff in the middle to remind you it's premium cable.

All that said, I did enjoy watching Bunk and Jim Halpert together. I'll probably watch season 2.
posted by Gary at 11:42 PM on September 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

I liked this, but I agree with all of the criticisms. I also like Homeland and 24, so i'm probably way too easy to please with CIA/terrorist-hunting shows. I have a very, very well developed suspension of disbelief, which is very necessary here.

I liked Krasinski more than I thought I would. He brings a lot of humanity to the role, far more than most actors have in past films. It felt odd at first but he grew on me a lot.
posted by gatorae at 7:19 PM on February 18, 2019

This had a lot more potential than was realized. There could have been an interesting look into terrorist motivations (Suleiman and slightly remorseful glasses guy), the inefficacy of Western responses (capping SRGG instead of capturing him in the last scene, despite him being unarmed; Victor's whole thing; the impulse to bomb the shit out of everyone rather than put American lives at risk), and the grey morality both sides are dealing in (torture, Tony the helpful Turkish pimp) but it just turned into an evil Islamic baddie hunt in the last episode and a half (with the Ebolafying of the doctors being the Rubicon for Suleiman), with nobody saying anything non-tactical.

But hey, it does say "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan" on the cover.
posted by cardboard at 6:05 AM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

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