As promised, Elizabeth takes Miller’s position temporarily and briefs the President about the situation as episode 7 of Jack Ryan season 3 begins. She reports that the US and Russia are being goaded into a war.
A rogue faction acting independently of the Russian state wants the two countries to face off. Still, the Russian government has responded aggressively. Elizabeth believes that if the US moves to DEFCON 2, it would be a sign of playing directly into their hands. The President trusts Elizabeth’s judgment but still maintains they must peruse alternate direct options just in case.
In Moscow, Luka has set up a meeting with Alexei to get on record his confessions. Ryan is in close pursuit and connected to him via Bluetooth. As Luka moves closer, he realizes it is not Alexei. He is being taken somewhere and Ryan follows the van. He sits outside as Luka uses his cigarette box as a mic to let him know what is going on inside. When Ryan sees Alexei pull in outside the warehouse, he springs into action and uses the backdoor to enter. Alexei confesses he had Popov killed and was working in cahoots with Petr. He gave Luka up to settle their old rivalry but to his surprise, Luka came out on top.
Alexei now wishes to activate “crossbow”. Sokol was a failure and Alexei blames Luka for the same. He departs and gives instructions to have him killed. But before Luka is shot, Ryan intervenes and they together wade off the Russians, albeit with one of them escaping. Greer meets with Vova, an informant, and asks him about Petr. Vova explains that they were called the “clean-up” brigade and would be sent to “clean up accidents”, and at times, reached the spot “even before the accident”. Some of them still hang around online and act like militia. Vova will help set up a meeting with Greer.
Alena sets up a meeting with Alexei but he only agrees to meet in Russia. We then learn it is a distraction and Mike will “do his thing” as she keeps him occupied. Alexei still flags his agenda at the cabinet meeting. The President is unfavorable to escalating their military actions but he is pressured by the general. He agrees to surveillance only and gives strict orders for any action. Alena believes Alexei will face dire consequences when his schemes are revealed. The Minister gives Alena a chance to withdraw from NATO and save her country. But the meeting is less than fruitful in Alexei’s eyes.
Greer goes inside the building where Vova has set up the meeting. To his surprise, Vova attacks him from behind and tries to kill him. Greer gets the upper hand and extracts the answers from him. Antonov ordered the hit. Greer spares Vova, who says “everyone takes orders from someone”.
Elizabeth holds her own in the Oval Office but things are getting tense with Russians springing into action. She calls up Greer, who informs her that the US embassy in Russia is being cleared out. Elizabeth asks for more non-military options but Greer does not have many answers. She asks him to be careful if he is not evacuating.
Greer and Ryan both meet in the park, where someone from the GRU tries to kill them. Luka kills him first. Ryan gives Greer the tape where Alexei confirms he got Popov killed and Greer gives Ryan Antonov’s name. Luka interjects and calls him a good friend. He believes there has been a mistake. Mike is actually tailing Popov’s widow, Natalya. Maybe the Americans want to go public with Alexei’s scheming and want her to do it. He takes her to Alena and Greer, who plays the tape for her. She is furious and Alena says she wants to see Surikov, which she can arrange.
Luka and Ryan go to Antonov’s house to investigate. Some men are already there. They find papers in his house that are workups of every US vessel in the Baltic. Antonov is about to start a war. He has been compromised by Kovac and Petrov. Elizabeth still does not have actionable intelligence and the POTUS moves on from her to his generals. Ryan talks with Elizabeth about his new findings.
Sokol was never about starting a war through nukes. It was all about power – a coup by Petrov of the Kremlin. Luka decides to directly approach Antonov, while Ryan will also be present to avert this disaster. The POTUS once again stands unconvinced by Elizabeth’s intelligence, making the entire mission a huge risk.
The Episode Review
“The past leading the present” was a strong line by Luka that has come to define season 3 of Jack Ryan as it comes closer to its end. The wounds of the past have yet to heal. Actors, who probably had no say back then, are calling the shots now and people like Lebdev and Antonov are taking full control of the country’s destiny.
In spite of the good use of the overall story, there still remains some unfulfilled drama that can be extracted. It still has legs and the finale should be an electrifying affair. Everything has boiled down to human instincts and how well the spies can manage time.