January 31, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Jack Ryan “Black 22”

Season One, Episode Three.

I’ve mentioned already that I appreciate how much Jack Ryan has shown smart people doing smart things.  Jack does a bit of that here as he figures out Ali is contacting his brother through a video game’s chat feature.  But there were two other things that jumped out at me here, one for the better and one for, well, I suppose the worse.

On the side of the worse, a good chunk of this episode follows around an American drone operator living out of the Las Vegas area.  He wins a lot of money at the Roulette table, takes home a strange married couple, and seems to be if not an alcoholic then well on his way.  Normally, spending this much time with a new character means said character is being set up for big things down the road.

But, aside from his actions at the end of this episode, I’m not sure we’re going to be seeing much more of this Victor guy.  He just doesn’t seem like the type, if for no other reason than he is literally far removed from all the action.  His role is important for the end of this particular episode, but unless the drone pilots become regulars, I don’t see why we had to spend so much time with Victor and his weird night with Blanche and Stanley.

Here’s a hint, folks:  do not take home a couple clearly naming themselves after characters from a Tennessee Williams play.  That just never ends well.

Oh, the thing Victor does is use his drone to take out a guy trying to rape Suleiman’s wife Hanin.  She finally had enough of her husband hanging around with terrorists and opted to take the kids and leave.  Granted, her son refused and told dad, but her daughters went with.

The other thing I liked is how the show is humanizing the villains.  Too many shows and movies would just paint them as unrepentantly  evil.  Here, well, we see Suleiman tell a lovely story about how he met Hanin, but then he tosses her passports in the fire, so maybe it isn’t so lovely.  By contrast, the wounded Ali stays with a non-terrorist friend in Paris for some medical care, and when ordered by his brother to kill the man and his three kids, we can see the conflict on his face.

Then when Jack and Co. catches up to the doctor’s place, we find the guy and his kids are frightened but still alive.

See, that’s good storytelling.

You know, when we aren’t hanging out with a drone pilot for some reason.

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