Jack Ryan season 1, episode 1 recap: He’s an analyst

Credit: Jack Ryan - Prime Video -- Acquired via EPK.TV
Credit: Jack Ryan - Prime Video -- Acquired via EPK.TV /

Jack Ryan kicks off with an explosive first episode and we get a good idea of what to expect for the season.

Jack Ryan begins with what seems like a normal day in Lebanon in 1983 until destruction hits. When we first see Jack Ryan, he’s rowing in Washington D.C. and later makes his way to his day job at the C.I.A. James Greer nearly runs over Jack only to have the two of them in the same conference room. Jack introduces himself and winds up talking more than anyone really wanted him to.

We briefly visit Al Mnajeer, Syria, where we meet Sheikh Al Radawan. He leaves Ansor Dudayev at Sheikh Suleiman’s compound. His wife, Hanin, isn’t all too happy about that, but she doesn’t fuss over it much because you can tell that she knows it’s pointless. Later, as she brings the guest some tea, we get a closer look at the weapons state inside the compound.

Back at home, Jack gets a call from his old boss, Joe. He wants to meet up in person to discuss a particular matter. We see some of what he went through as he has trouble sleeping and there’s a large scar on his back. He goes into work early and when he presents Greer with what he’s found, he’s told he doesn’t have enough. However, it looks like Greer is inclined to believe him about the intel he’s found.

More from Amazon Originals

Jack gets a little help from the treasury department to go around Greer. Greer gets a call from Pete Cortwright about the email that had just been sent without his approval. Pete calls back after we see an op in Yemen where two men are grabbed.

Jack shows up at Joe’s fancy backyard birthday party. He wants Jack to give him some information and isn’t thrilled when Jack won’t give it to him. Jack then bumps into his daughter Cathy. Jack’s cover is that he works for the State Department and the party is interrupted by the Coast Guard coming to pick him up. He meets Greer at the airport and the two fly to Yemen together.

Watch Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime Video with a 30-day free trial.

Credit: Jack Ryan – Prime Video — Acquired via EPK.TV
Credit: Jack Ryan – Prime Video — Acquired via EPK.TV /

The two men who were captured were Omar Rahbini and his bodyguard, Sufjan. His number matches the one that made the transfers. Jack ends up talking to Sufjan and learns a little more about him by giving him food and water. He asks him about the name Suleiman and Sufjan mentions that it’s a common name.

The base is infiltrated by a man who was passed off as a head body. He had a rifle stashed on one of the men who was actually dead. A bomb goes off at the front gate, which triggers the alarms. Omar is noticeably terrified when he hears the gunfire. The troops are losing a lot of men and Jack is left behind with Sufjan.

The man who snuck in kills Omar and wants to be taken to Sufjan. Instincts kick in for Ryan even as he takes a pretty bad beating himself. He grabs a grenade and pulls the pin on it to threaten killing them all. Jack puts together that Sufjan is really Suleiman just before he escapes.

Next. Jack Ryan interview: John Hoogenakker. dark

The end of the episode takes us back to the bombing from the opening scene. A young Suleiman got the scars on his hands by living a piece of fiery wood off of his brother. We then see the two in the present day, so we know it’s his brother who helped him escape.

The pilot episode does a nice job of setting up the story while still giving us plenty of action. Had Jack Ryan stayed at the office for the entire episode, it would have set a much different (and probably slightly more boring) tone. I haven’t read any of Tom Clancy’s novels, but it’s clear that he’s set us up with a character who has plenty of history and complexities to him. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the season turns out.