'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' Season 2 review: This time it's personal for Krasinki's Ryan and that's what makes him dangerous
In its opening season, 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' showcased John Krasinski's CIA analyst as a former marine who was also somewhat close to America's real-life superhero.
The political thriller has been one of Amazon Prime's top shows in the past year and the second installment, which is set to release on November 1, is sure to give Apple TV+ shows a run for their money.
Apart from the explosive trailers, season two, in reality, shows Krasinski as a more mature, vulnerable, and emotional action-star. This time, things have become personal and this motive takes him places — this is what makes him dangerous.
The probable reason for giving these layers to the character centers around the plot itself. Co-creators Graham Roland and Carlton Ruse set the tone by dishing out a gripping, dense plot that focuses on a clandestine attempt to strongarm Venezuela with nuclear weapons.
A German agent, Max Schenkel (Tom Wlaschiha), and a suave, formidable German intelligence agent in Noomi Rapace's Harriet Bauman lend to the mystery factor and go on to play pivotal roles over the course of the series.
Season two is explosive, and perhaps that term is an understatement. This adds to the series repertoire of being compelling and thrilling. The action-packed season ensures that it doesn't wantonly blow things up, rather makes sure these actions have a significant effect on each character involved.
This theory comes true when Schenkel crosses paths with Ryan and his US envoy that's touched down in Venezuela to look for a diplomatic solution when they hear news of Russian arms being shipped to the country.
Unsurprisingly, the visit goes awry. Things tilt full-south and blow up, literally, which recreates the RPG scene from Harrison Ford's 'Clear and Present Danger'.
The end result is the death of someone Ryan is close to and gets the attention of the Venezuelan President. The new season has its previous installment to thank for — as the pilot episode in season one fleshes out Ryan's character in detail.
This time, his personal life is a no-show — no Abbie Cornish's Dr. Cathy Mueller or the quiz show that he catches up after work. The attention is solely focussed on telling a a crisp and tight story.
This version of Ryan who operates with a quiet emotional-fuelled rage is great to watch. His PTSD is still an issue as we see him choke up when he sees or experiences something gory, but ensures that he's still got the soldier in him and that's on full display.
There is also this complicated relationship with Harriet, who proves that she can hold her own when it comes to some riveting on-field action. Wendell Pierce's Jim Greer and his relationship with Ryan is explored in detail.
Their argumentative friendship takes centerstage each time they share screen space. Greer teams up with Ryan again after he's dispatched from Moscow.
In Micheal Kelly's Mike November, a CIA agent stationed in Venezuela and Susan Misner as an American ambassador, there are two characters who are pivotal to the narrative and also bring in some light-heartedness to the show, a trait that was missing in season one.
Season two is an excellent watch and the improvement is out there for the world to see. An impressive cast, some mind-numbing action, and a thick and intriguing storyline make this a series worth the binge-watch.
Krasinski does a stellar job as the titular character and is immensely likable. Be it jumping off rooftops chasing baddies, trading blows or standing tall with his hard-worn musculature, he goes on to show he's not superman but comes awfully close to being one.
This was a man who would have probably been Captain America had Chris Evans not been in the picture. However, had there been a Cap in real, he would have been awfully proud of Krasinski's Ryan.
'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' Season 2 debuts on November 1 on Amazon Prime.