Running With Wolves
Mike follows Zoya Ivanova from episode 1, at the start of this chapter for Jack Ryan. Ryan is in her house but she already knows. She even knew she was being followed by Mike. Her cover was blown when the operation went sideways.
He beseeches to her moral conscience and she agrees to set up a meeting but not until she escapes Vienna. Mike asks Ryan to call someone at the agency to make sure that he is not in danger.
At the US Embassy in Rome, an FBI Extraterrestrial Squad scampers for clues to get to Ryan. They are charging Ryan with the violations of Espionage Act – i.e., they are calling him a traitor. Elizabeth asks Tristan to track down Zoya and get Ryan’s contact. She feels ambushed and calls Greer with the information. She asks him to buy some goodwill with Kovac.
In Moscow, we see Popov’s wake being held. The entire cabinet is there, including Luka. Radek is awakward about Greer’s unannounced visit. But Kovac says she trusts him fully. He reveals that Surikov and Popov talked about not alienating the Czech by moving further into Eastern Europe.
Popov was indeed a supporter of Kovac all along. Alexei, though, is a hardliner. He has moved the troops to the Slovakian border. Greer jumps Kovac with the urge to act now and move the NATO missiles. She is upset with the suddenness and accuses the CIA of playing God.
Petr has a meeting with two supporters of the regime, Sarhan and Levan. The former expresses doubts over Alena’s leadership skills and mentions Ryan as a problem. But Petr reassures him that “everything is on course”. Elizabeth informs Harris, the guy overseeing the FBI squad, that Ryan is in Vienna. She still maintains that he is not a traitor and all doubts will be cleared once they get him and bring him in. Cahill says that she thinks it was the Russians behind the assassination.
Greer gets a call from Tristan, whom he is bribing for intel. He learns Ryan is in Vienna. Ryan is confused about Popov’s killing. He was the one who pushed the INF treaty between the US and Russia. Alexei is the only one who stood to benefit from Popov’s death. Greer makes Mike’s connection and calls him. He talks with Ryan and tells him about the FBI agents.
Ryan mentions his theory to Greer and he informs Ryan about Konstantin. At Petr’s get together, one more guest arrives: Alexei. Did he know about Popov in advance? The reason why they want NATO missiles on Czech soil is to activate the Sokol project. That is what Sarhan is funding and apparently Petr wants too. He wants Russia to become the greatest nation in the world again.
They must capitalize on their only chance to become “great again”. The four then depart into the night to hunt wolves. Greer reviews footage from the stadium but it is futile. Until, he sees Radek separating from the pack as they head toward the tunnel. He asks to be given permission to see the insides of the stadium. Mike and Ryan get on the metro and Rami hacks into the CCTV system to distort the images.
The Americans chasing Ryan will be distracted and give him some extra time. Konstantin ambushes Ryan and Mike on the train. He asks Ryan at gunpoint about Luka’s identity. But Ryan is clueless that Luka is the source.
In a strange turn of events, Luka shoots Konstantin and says that they have little time to stop Sokol. Kovac meets Greer in the stadium. He says that Tibor was just the pawn. He sheds doubt over the deal that Kovac was making. someone in her inner circle did not want her making that deal. Greer wants Kovac to visualize the incident for him. She realizes that Radek was not with her when Popov was hit. Greer thinks Radek killed Tibor and might be their man.
As expected, Petr kills Sarhan and lets the wolves have him. He cannot risk the deal getting affected. Luka says that Russia does not want war but a faction of rogue Russians are out to wage nuclear war. They want to restore the Soviet Union. The faction does not have the uranium yet and the man at the top of the list to provide them with it is Levan. Luka reveals that the faction made a third trip to Kazakhstan this month and that they are going to Budapest to arrange a meeting with Mike, who is one of his clients.
Elizabeth and Harris wait for the train to arrive. Ryan calls her and tells her about the cabal, headed by Alexei, acting independently of their government. The two nations are being baited into a war. Ryan asks Elizabeth to trust him. Petr walks in and tries to dismiss Greer’s theory. But Greer is adamant. Kovac reveals she has given the green light to NATO.
The Episode Review
The twists and turns finally reveal a cabal wanting to restore the lost glory of the USSR. Standard marks for originality but Jack Ryan has now shown all its cards. The plan is clear and it is only a matter of who gets to the bait first.
Krasinski is surprisingly having lesser screen time and season 3 has, until now, played out proportionately. This time, the ensemble is acting like one and is getting closer to a resolution in the story based on collective input.
This episode highlighted that and uncovered Petr as the mole inside the circle. Alena’s own father wants to use her as a puppet but is caught between his love and patriotism. The narrative is becoming interesting but the good guys are always a step behind the bad guys.
It will take a genius to figure out Petr’s the one calling the shots and I wonder who can it be…