Review: Jack Ryan season 2

Prem Chandrasekar, Managing Editor

There are always those shows that are breathtaking and epic the first season but just slump to a more boring, safer second season. Season 2 of “Jack Ryan” follows this exact cliche. 

Season 2 starts off a couple of months after the last season’s final scene, with the titular character Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) and Ryan’s former boss James Greer (Wendell Pierce) crossing paths when Greer investigates a missile launch off the coast of the South China Sea that he thinks Venezuela has something to do with and Ryan finding out that the Russians might have been selling weapons to Venezuela. 

That’s just the beginning. Ryan is also an aide to a senator, and on a diplomatic mission to Venezuela, the senator is assassinated. This spirals into the question of who killed him and why. We figure out pretty quickly who killed the senator, but it’s not until the very end of the season we find out why.

Just like Season 1, there are multiple subplots, but while it was easy to understand which plot was the main one in that season, here it was pretty confusing. I didn’t know which plot was the main plot because every single one of the plotlines seemed like subplots.

There was the “who killed the senator plot”, “why was he killed” and “how was Venezuela involved.” There was also a Venezuelan presidential election going on at the same time, and you guessed it, there was a plot about how that was going. The list goes on and on concerning the number of plots. I will say, though, that all of these plots did tie together at the end. Nevertheless, none of them stood out as the main plot. 

A great spy action-political-thriller needs to include an abundance of action, which was what Season 1 did best. Every episode had intense violence and epic fights, but Season 2 was lacking. It leaned toward the more political side, with most of the eight-episode season having more subtitles translating Spanish to English than explosions transitioning into bloody fights. 

Of course, there were pretty darn good action scenes, such as the fight in the Venezuelan forest or the foot-chase on top of the London skyline (which I think they borrowed from “Mission Impossible: Fallout”), but the frequency of these scenes was far less than the exhilarating first season. 

Overall, I do think that in a more political scope, this season was pretty good, but the show creators definitely took the safer side concerning the action to the point where I wouldn’t call it a true spy-action-thriller.