Jack Ryan season 3 review – an intelligent season that needed a fresher finale

By Marc Miller
Published: December 20, 2022 (Last updated: March 3, 2024)
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Jack Ryan Season 3 Review and Episode 1 Recap
Jack Ryan Season 3 (Credit - Amazon Prime Video)


The third season of Jack Ryan at times is suspenseful, intelligent, and pulse-pounding, but was in desperate need of a fresher finale.

We review the Amazon Prime Video series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan season 3, which does not contain spoilers.

One of Prime Video’s flagship series, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan has been a welcome surprise for John Krasinski fans, who has now turned the role of the intellectual government agent into a series that acts as a thinking man’s 24. This season’s first six episodes are suspenseful, intelligent, and pulse-pounding before giving way to your father’s fairly standard and step-by-step spy thriller playbook ending.

What’s not up for debate is Krasinski’s turn this season. It is easily his best yet, and with returning favorites such as Wendell Pierce‘s James Greer, Michael Kelly‘s Mike November, new additions of Tár’s Nina Hoss, and an awards-worthy turn by veteran character actor James Cosmo (Braveheart), season 3 of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan should satisfy die-hard fans and new ones alike.

Jack Ryan season 3 review and plot summary

This season follows Jack involved in retrieving sensitive Russian intelligence from a violinist named Zoya (Ana Ularu). The spy reports that the Russians are working on something that could lead to a world war. It’s called Sokol, an idea born out of a cold war mentality. The Russians are close to completing a nuclear weapon that is impossible to track, even with the most sophisticated United States military radar. During the meeting, she hands him a chip you may find in a cellular phone. Watching his back is Greer, who has taken self-care to heart this season. He has given up alcohol and sweets and even practices meditation to get through the strenuous Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) lifestyle. They have a new boss, Elizabeth (Get Out’s Betty Gabriel). She is an ambitious bureaucrat who has her sights set on moving up the agency ladder.

One of the series’ strengths is adding new characters (and knowing when to let them go). Here you have noteworthy additions with Hoss, who plays the Czech Republic’s president Alena Kovac. She is currently negotiating with Russian defense minister Dmitry Popov (Michael Gor). Why? Please tell me if this sounds familiar — to have his country move back his troops that keep infringing on her country’s borders. This is a tall order, as she leans on her most trusted advisor and father, Petr (Peter Guinness), for advice with Russian hardliners. One like Luka (Cosmo, just terrific in the role here), a mysterious Kremlin operative who used to work for the Soviet Union death squads during the Cold War. To further complicate matters, President Surikov (Mikhail Safronov) has rival factions within his own cabinet looking to restore Russia to its former glory.

Carlton Cuse is the creator of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and the series has developed some awe-inspiring cinematic quality. For one, the scene where Krasinki’s Ryan moves horizontally up a freighter is jaw-dropping. The season premiere episode also has a tense and gut-wrenching chase scene through a densely populated city that reminds you of something ripped from the Bourne series of films. And in true Cuse fashion, a man who has a history of writing great flashback scenes with Lost utilizes this plot device brilliantly in the third season. This doesn’t give the plot context but keeps the viewer guessing about the characters’ true intentions, which is essential in any spy thriller.

Is Jack Ryan season 3 worth watching?

However, while I ultimately will give the series a favorable recommendation, there is a plateau after episode six that seems to run out of steam. Much of the plot is already revealed by then, and different intentions are not all surprising in a genre that uses the same tired cliches. Those are the themes of political power, and we have more in common that unites us than divides us. That being said, it’s the character that keeps you coming back. Like the comic relief of Michael Kelly’s Mike November, who offers the perfect release during any intense scene or scenario. The show also does a fine job of popping up old characters in guest spots, which makes the storytelling fun and similar to reading a Clancy novel.

That being said, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is well worth your time, and you could even consider the final two episodes of the season as bonus content and still walk away satisfied. Krasinski puts his stamp on the second-best version of Jack Ryan in the adaptation’s history. (Harrison Ford will always hold that award). And with the scintillating work by veteran character actor James Cosmo, the third season will ultimately satisfy most fans of the genre and even bring in some new ones.

What did you think of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan season 3? Comment below.

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