April 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Jack Ryan “Running With Wolves”

Season Three, Episode Three

Man, I had forgotten just how good this show was and how it worked since it was gone for as long as it was.  Then something like this comes along, and I am reminded at how good Jack Ryan is at juggling all of the different ways for Jack, Greer, and the others to find out what’s what and deal with it.

See, at this point, Jack is in the cold, so to speak, while Greer is helping in his own way.  The episode finally establishes who the bad guys are:  the new Russian Defense minister and a small cabal of old-school hardliners who miss the days of the Soviet Union.  The young soldier from the earlier episodes, he actually appears to be working against them to help Jack because, you know, setting off a nuke to get your country back is never a good idea.  Also, the father of Czech President Alena Kovac is high up on that list.

Why is a Czech citizen looking to bring back the Soviet Union?  They were a satellite nation!

OK, he gave a reason, but it was the sort of stupid reason short-sighted, nostalgic, and politically powerful old men sometimes give in stories like this.

Instead, the show spotlighted the different ways Jack, Greer, and their various allies can find things out.  Greer can spot an inconsistency in some security tape and get the idea Alena’s head of security is not to be trusted, and he’s smart enough to bring her in without really alerting him.  Of course, I knew the guy was dirty because like ColumboJack Ryan tells me ahead of time who the bad guys.  So, being observant is a good way to go.

Meanwhile, Mike and Jack board a train, but they use a hacker ally to make it look like Jack got on a different train to distract the NSA agents looking for Jack since he’s now wanted for treason.

Wait, how bad did Jack screw up anyway?

Regardless, the episode also shows how much this series can do an action sequence well when a Russian agent attacks Jack on the train and kicks his ass.  Jack can be formidable in a fight, but he’s still mostly an analyst.  He may not be bad in a fight, but he’s not Rambo or something.  He sits behind a desk a lot and figures things out based on data and the like.  Can he trust Luka Goncharov?  Does he have a choice?  He’s got less than a week to stop a nuke and maybe not get executed for treason.

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