Our Death’s Keeper
Luka threatens Alexei when he comes back to Moscow at the start of episode 4 for Jack Ryan season 3. To distract him and make sure Alexei does not suspect him, Luka brands Konstantin as a double agent. He uses his own phone to show Alexei that he was conspiring with Ryan. Luka confronts Alexei about Sokol and it seems the Minister is convinced. Quite the manipulator, Luka! In Budapest, Mike and Ryan discuss Zubkov. Mike tells him that Zubkov lives in a fortified villa and it will be difficult to get to him.
As Rami finds out, Zubkov is an intensely personal and paranoid person. All his client meetings are in public and he hardly meets with anyone at his villa. Elizabeth updates Miller with Ryan’s analysis of what is about to go down. But the boss tries to dismiss it. Is he involved as well? Far-fetched possibility but still one.
When Elizabeth mentions Luka as the source, Miller outrightly calls everything he is saying a misdirection. Despite her insistence, Miller is unmoved about Ryan and wants him in custody immediately.
Zubkov has a right-hand man, Georges, the only man he trusts. Ryan proposes a plan where Zubkov reaches out to Mike for protection because he cannot reach out to Zubkov on his own. Rami hacks into Georges’ phone and discovers a meeting between his boss and Ian van Der Wall, a black market shipper. Ryan gets the location and time of the meeting and will now try to disrupt it. He goes to Ian and says that Zubkov has been compromised. He will be charged with terrorism and threatens that the same will happen to Ian if he helps him.
The meeting is cancelled and Ryan’s plan plays out as he had hoped. Greer breaks into Radek’s house and finds out a picture of him serving under Petr in the army. We have a brief flashback from 1969, where we see resentment among the ranks with what happened to the scientists. Lebedev is shot for disobeying orders by Egorov. We then have a visual of Petr shaking remembering that incident. Was he Lebedev? Seems like it but we will wait before confirming it.
Ryan and Mike abduct Gorges. Greer still suspects Radek and Kovac are worried. She speaks glowingly about Radek. Greer says they must not alert Radek and find out the trail that reaches his bosses. In a meeting in Kremlin, Alexei pushes against Kovac, despite Surikov believing all of it to be unlike the President. Luka tries to maintain a semblance of supporting Alexei in the meeting. He supports the narrative and Alexei uses it to catapult a movement to put missiles to counter those being put near their borders. Mikhail, Surivkov’s Chief of Staff is taken captive. Mike places Georges’ bag in Zubkov’s office and Ryan calls him, while intentionally calling Zubkov to make him come to Mike for protection.
Mikhail has been taken captive by Luka. But the old warhorse tells him the truth. He again creates a ruse n- quite masterfully, it has to be said – to get the truth out of Mikhail. He even makes him sign a confession that Alexei spied on the President. Mikhail does not know who got Popov killed but he does mention Sarhan’s name being taken by Alexei on the phone. He mentions something called “crossbow”, something Luka does not know. He then shoots Mikhail dead.
Greer speaks with Petr at his house. Rami pulls into Zubkov’s house with a car and he leaves it there, as the final nail in the coffin. Mike gets the call for extraction and he directs him to a safe house. It turns out that Petr was actually Radek’s teacher at the University of Defence, not his army instructor.
Ryan lies to Zubkov – just like Luka did – that the Americans have flipped Alexei. Mike tricked Zubkov by providing him with an account number linked to ISIS. So now, they have got him openly supporting terrorism. He gives up the location of the delivery – Matoksa, where it all started. That is where the uranium will be and Ryan tells Elizabeth. Jana calls Radek and tells him the CIA has been inside the house. They’re onto him and it sends him into panic mode. He asks Jana to go to the safe house with their daughter and initiates Protocol A, taking Kovac with him.
The Episode Review
Jack Ryan has truly nailed the mind games in this episode. Without too much violence, we saw how spies really operate. They manipulate, meticulously plan, and collect intel. It is so heartening to see a spy show not relying solely on violence to move the story.
The CIA now have the location of the uranium’s delivery. It all boils down to who will get to it first. The Russians need the uranium for Sokol – without it, there will be no weapon. Tensions have also risen in Czech, where Radek, Petr, and Greer are all walking on eggshells.
But where does that leave Alena Kovac? For some reason, it just feels like she might be a victim of all this. This was arguably the most authentic episode of what the show tries to achieve.