Jack Ryan season 2 premiere review: Assassination in Venezuela

Jack Ryan

The Jack Ryan season 2 premiere on Amazon wasted no time in showing that for the title character, there is no breathing room in Venezuela. He’s there, he is trying to find his footing, and he better be prepared for carnage at just about every turn.

Also, he’s in for so much more than he ever bargained for. Ryan arrived in the South American country in the premiere in order to investigate an arms-trade deal, one that had connections to numerous countries and one that could lead to many lost lives. What did he find instead? Think in terms of a dead Senator in the closing minutes, and also quick questions about whether or not a dictator is so desperate to seize power that he is willing to cause chaos within his own country.

The assassination at the end of the episode is a key part of what stands out within the premiere, alongside the closing image of a choked-up Ryan having to make a phone call that he doesn’t want to make on top of the embassy rooftop. What you realize in those closing moments is that while Ryan may be equipped to do this job, that doesn’t mean that he’s used to it. All of his trials and tribulations in season 1 have failed to prepare him for other parts of the world — including a country where everyone has a lot of dangerous stuff to lose.

The stakes in Venezuela for the government were laid out in the early going — this is a mineral-rich country who can control so much more than just within their borders. That, ironically, is what brings Greer there. He’s able to link a satellite crisis to the country and, soon after that, he found good reason to leave his post in Moscow — sure, that’s one of the most-prestigious places for anyone in this field, but at the same time there was a different calling. Also, Greer had some health issues rising to the forefront. His role within the premiere was separate somewhat from Jack — we wouldn’t quite call them ships passing in the night, but they were in the country with different missions.

Yet, this is where things get interesting — those missions look to intersect. Someone within this country is desperate to cause panic and carnage on a much larger scale, whether this be a world leader trying to assert power or someone willing to create a conspiracy. With the assassination in mind, we’ve reached now a tipping point — there’s no coming back from this quickly at all.

CarterMatt Verdict

The season 2 premiere takes a little bit of time to get going, and there are some parts of it (Jack’s romantic rendezvous) that feel superfluous and could have been presented in other ways. Jack is still at times a detached lead who is hard to get to know, but there’s no denying that the case feels relevant and the action and drama are both fairly top-notch across the board. This is a heck of a foundation … let’s just hope that it leads to a heck of a season.

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What did you think about the Jack Ryan season 2 premiere overall?

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