Carlton Cruse and Graham Roland have brought Jack Ryan (John Krasinski), Jim Greer (Wendell Pierce) and Matice (John Hoogenakker) back together for more spycraft in season two of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.
This season takes the series to South America. Ryan and Greer follow separate leads to the same plot that is unfolding in Venezuela. They must navigate both the lush jungles and the shifting political situation in their search for the truth. The investigation quickly becomes personal for Ryan when he loses a friend.
Ryan and Greer are both helped in their investigations by Mike November (Michael Kelly), the Chief of Station in South America. Harriet Bauman (Noomi Rapace) is a German spy who is helpful only when it fits with her own agenda. On the other hand, their efforts are considerably hindered by Max (Tom Wlaschiha), an assassin for hire, and by the unstable politics of the country.
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The locations are very visually appealing, particularly in the segments following Matice. He has assembled a group of men, including Marcus Bishop (Jovan Adepo), to navigate the waterways and gather information for Ryan and Greer. The men become separated and must work to find one another, struggling through the dense jungle and dodging groups of soldiers and armed mercenaries. These scenes were shot in the jungles of Columbia, lending a convincing note of realism to the action-packed jungle sequences.
Cruse and Roland have included significant character development this season. Ryan and Greer are facing personal and professional crises as they work to resolve the situation in Venezuela. They are severely challenged. Not every step leads them in the right direction, so we see how they deal with setbacks and outright failures, with obstacles that cannot be overcome. While it may be frustrating for an audience accustomed to seeing Ryan and Greer succeed every time, it is also good to see how they are able to come back from a loss.
While some of the situations our heroes find themselves in may seem a bit contrived, and there are moments when it feels that a familiar player is playing out of character, it is a satisfying season overall. By the end of the final episode, Ryan and Greer are clearly ready for what season three will bring them.