Season 3 of Jack Ryan opens in 1969, Matoska USSR. There is a setback in the launch vehicle due to manufacturing defects. Russian scientists say that another 6 weeks is needed. General Kuznetsov does not give away his true emotions and lauds them for their work. He then instructs Luka to “completely shut down” Project Sokol. Luka orders the guards in the truck to kill everyone inside.
Present Day, Rome. Braeden, the operator for Ryan, guides him through security in a posh hotel. In an open terrace party, Jack Ryan greets Russian Minister Zoya Ivanova. Ryan is investigating the Sokol project. Zoya reveals that it was founded during the fall of the USSR. It was to develop an undetectable small-field battlefield nuclear weapon. The project has restarted & they have already developed the weapon. She then shouts in Russian for escorting Ryan out to maintain appearances.
James Greer, now working the desk job, makes fun of Ryan for being kicked out. In Moscow, there is a discussion on the placing of missiles in Czech Republic. President Kovac is sending them a message. Goncharov suggests to Directer Pushkin that they keep their enemies close & not react rashly.
In Prague, Kovac prepares for Russian Minister Popov’s arrival. She instructs David her aide, to flood the castle where they’ll meet with media & reporters, despite the Russians asking for no press. She meets with her father, Petr, and asks him for advice. The Czech population is divided over Kovac & NATO. Petr says that she must try to sway their confidence in her.
Ryan asks Tristan to decrypt the card that Zoya gave him. It has information about a location somewhere in the Crimean Peninsula but not the exact spot. Ryan presents his findings to the Agency. “Seven Days to the Rhine” might have potentially started. It is the Russian doomsday plan to take a controlling position in the West. If that’s the case, many dominoes will fall. Elizabeth, Ryan’s senior, says that Ryan’s thesis is yet to be proved. If a pin is dropped, they will reassess.
Kovac & Popov have a faceoff in front of the press, where the former says that she will reject NATO’S offer to place missiles if Russia stops incursions into Ukraine. Popov is angry & threatens Kovac to tread lightly.
Ryan gets the exact location & Langley springs into action. The weapon left the port yesterday but there is skepticism from the higher-ups. Director Miller sanctions a SOG team to investigate and report back. Ryan is a part of the team. They investigate Cargo 6-B on the ship in a covert operation. In it, they find a Russian scientist, Yuri Bashkin, who claims he built Sokol. The team is discovered before they can leave & one of them is killed. Someone has sent Bashbin to the CIA for a reason, Ryan believes. Elizabeth instructs Reyon to drop off Yuri at the Greece port. Ryan is advised to play it by the book. Elizabeth is sceptical but Greer reassures her that Ryan is a capable operative.
Yuri confirms the weapon is invisible and asks for asylum until he can talk more. A Russian truck ambushes them on the beach but Ryan saves Yuri in the crossfire. They are chased & Ryan is given an address for the safe house. Popov & Kovac attend the football match between the countries. She implies the Russians & Czech must stay close to wade off the Americans. Unbeknownst to them, a sniper is stationed just above them. He kills Popov. Jana, whom we earlier saw at the bar with Tibor, escapes with the sniper. Tibor is misinterpreted as the shooter by someone in Kovac’s security and shot dead.
Ryan & Yuri are chased through the city but manage to escape. But not for long as Yuri is injured by the Russian attackers. He is eventually shot dead & Ryan is outnumbered. He escapes from the scene. He phones Tristen on the card & learns about Popov. The seven-day theory has started & the nuke will be the last step. Ryan is now being made the “fall guy” unless he comes to the safe house. Greer warns him in Arabic but no one knows what he will do. Elizabeth burned Jack to save face with the Greeks, a political move that sweeps the rug off his feet. Ryan is now on his own.
The Episode Review
What a frenetic start to the season this was! Krasinski and co. wasted absolutely no time in setting up the central plot & introducing the influential players.
There was not one but two high-caliber shootouts, although history tells us there are bigger things in the offing. Fans were also treated with stunning visuals from Rome, Italy.
It seems like the story will spill into Athens & possibly some other picturesque foreign lands too. So of course, there is more of this to come! Solid story progression with simple plot mechanics characterized episode 1, reminding us all why we can binge-watch this spy thriller