What happened to Luka in Jack Ryan season 3?

December 27, 2022 (Last updated: 5 weeks ago)
M.N. Miller 1
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What happened to Luka in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan season 3? We discuss the character and their role in the third season.

One of Prime Video’s flagship shows, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, has completed its third season. The series has been a solid producer for Prime Video. Even a welcome surprise for John Krasinski fans when he took over the classic Clancy character. He has taken the role of the intellectual government agent into a series that acts as a thinking man’s thriller.

However, the breakout character of the third season is Luka, the hard-boiled Kremlin operative that is one of the last remaining relics of Russia’s connection to the Cold War. The man who plays him is veteran character actor James Cosmo (Braveheart).

The performer, who has been acting in film and television since 1966 (including a well-traveled voice acting career), finds the heart in what could have easily been a cliched character. However, combined with strong writing, a sign of a Carlont Cuse series, Luka is actively complex, as you see through flashbacks why the Russian operative is looking for the honor. Or, as he calls it, “He may not have lived his life with honor, but perhaps he has done enough to die with it.”

Who is Luka in Jack Ryan season 3?

Luka’s last name is Goncharov (or, is it?), known as a Russian spymaster. He was a former officer in the Soviet Union’s Red Army and led an ultra-secret yellow hat squadron. A group of soldiers who wore yellow berets was a death squad that eliminated issues for the Soviet government, including killing off their citizens and government employees.

What happened to Luka in Jack Ryan season 3?

In flashbacks, we see Luka as an officer in the Red Army during the Cold War. His commanding officer orders him to dispose of a secret Russian government program called Sokol. A government project is looking to create a nuclear weapon undetectable by radar in an area called, Matoksa. After he gives the order and the entire research staff working on Sokol is killed, he takes personal items from each desk to notify the families of their “accidental” deaths. However, he comes upon an apartment where a scientist survived because he never went to work that day. We presume he let the scientist live because the program was brought back 60 years later.

Luka does not just work at the Kremlin; he is the Kremlin. He begins to leak information from Russia to Jack Ryan. He reveals his true intentions during the current season’s third episode, “Running with Wolves,” after pretending to hunt Ryan down at the request of the acting Russian defense minister. It turns out Luka, a notorious thorn in the side of the CIA for years, is committing treason. Why? Because the reason Sokol was destroyed in the first place is that the program has become too dangerous to continue. It was a mistake Luka did not want to repeat.

However, Luka double-crosses Jack by delivering Sokol to the man behind the revival of Sokol and operation crossbow – a plan to change Russian leadership at the top. To replace their president with defense minister Dmitri Petrov. The man behind both operations is Petr Kovac. The father of the current Czech Republic. He used to be in Luka’s death squad, but when he questioned the sanity of killing their Russian people, he was the host and presumed dead. He escaped to the neighboring country, stole the identity of a Czech citizen, and groomed his daughter to take a high-ranking political position to gain access to restore mother Russia to its former greatness.

That includes making it look like the Sokol bomb was American-made. This will trigger a world war between Russia and America. Luka helps track down the bomb, Jack sets it off in a safe location, and Luka tracks down Petr. He rectified his mistake years ago and handed him over to the Czech authorities instead of killing him. The last act of heroism is Luka climbing on top of a Russian warship. Why? To kill the admiral who used to work for him, who is part of the last act of Crossbow. His name is Antonov, and he is going to fire on an American warship without provocation or approval. Luka convinces the second in command to let him out of his cell and arrest Antonov before he fires a second torpedo. (American countermeasures intercepted the first).

Is Luka dead or alive in Jack Ryan season 3?

Whether Luka is dead or alive is left for debate after season 3. 

Luka returns home, makes some tea, and senses someone is at his door. He opens it, and a Russian agent, who looks frightened, is standing at his door. Luka calms him by reassuring him he won’t give him any trouble. The last time we see Luka, he is walking into the Kremlin. Now, looking back at how Hollywood treats Russian traitors and prisons, we can assume if Luka is not killed, he is fighting off Demodogs with Jim Hopper, getting quick execution like Nina Sergeevna, or real heartbreaking situations like in the documentary Navalny that I don’t want to even think about.

Either Luka is killed immediately when he walks through those doors to work with the CIA, or he is suffering a cruel retirement in a Siberian prison. However, with Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan frequently bringing back characters in unexpected ways and times, I won’t count Luka out.

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1 thought on “What happened to Luka in Jack Ryan season 3?

  • December 30, 2022 at 4:45 am
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    In several Tom Clancy novels, the character of Luka has some close parallels to a deep cover spy in the Ministry of Defense, code-named “Cardinal”. In that book, “Cardinal of the Kremlin,” Cardinal is eventually discovered by the Russian government. In a series of twists which I won’t reveal (read the book!), upon his death he is buried with honors at Camp David (!) and if I’m not mistaken, there is a reference to an honorary star at Langley in a memorial not visible to the public. Krasinski has remarked that the Jack Ryan series pay homage to Clancy’s novels; while Season 3 clearly has elements of “The Hunt for Red October,” I also think he is referencing the above as well.

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