Jack Ryan season 1, episode 1 recap: ‘Pilot’

The pilot for Jack Ryan allows John Krasinski to shine as an action star.

Taking over the role which Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, and Harrison Ford have all played, Krasinski had his work cut out for him in Jack Ryan. Luckily, the pilot does a good job of introducing his version of the character to the audience from the get-go. While the plot hasn’t introduced anything new or compelling to the genre, the pilot is still interesting enough that many fans will be drawn in.

Jack Ryan is sort of an “every-man” protagonist. He’s a bit of a jokester, beloved by his coworkers, watches Jeopardy, and the kind of guy who bikes to work in the morning. Basically, he could be anything he wanted but he chooses to work behind a desk as an analyst. Snippets throughout the pilot tease a mysterious military background as well as a previous career on Wall Street. Nevertheless, he’s been noticing some bank transfers that have raised some red flags and no one seems to be listening to him.

His new boss, James Greer, seems to be the Perry White kind of boss who is perennially grumpy but proud of his staff. He gets off on the wrong foot with Ryan after almost running over his employee on his bike. However, that doesn’t mean Ryan isn’t going to try to impress the guy. The first thing he does is raise his concerns over the bank transfers. Greer refuses to freeze the accounts despite Ryan’s constant pleas that this could lead to the next 9/11.

Ultimately, Jack decides to get the Treasury to freeze the account and jump over Greer’s authority. It’s a move which gets him screamed at by his boss, but Ryan doesn’t mind taking some heat for doing what he believes is right. Of course, he does turn out to be right when Matice, a Black Ops operative, grabs a member of the organization they’re looking for. The government drags Ryan out of a party where he was chatting with Dr. Cathy Mueller.

Greer and Jack fly out to Yemen to interrogate the two suspects who were apprehended. They don’t make much leeway, however, Jack does begin to befriend the bodyguard over some food. This is cut short when a group of armed men attack the bunker and a man who was snuck in as a dead body quietly makes his way through the compound. He kills the first suspect and makes his way to the second but Ryan stops him. It turns out the “bodyguard” is actually one of the high ranking members of the organization.

Jack Ryan sprinkles bits of Suleiman’s childhood throughout the pilot to show why he might hate the United States. The bomb drops terrorized him and his brother, but one finally hit their house crushing his younger brother. There’s no sign of the mother, so it’s safe to assume the event left the two as orphans. Meanwhile, viewers also get to see Suleiman’s present day wife, Hani, as she uneasily tries to appease her husband’s soldiers while they camp out at her house.

Ultimately, the episode ends with Ryan, bloodied and injured, looking out at the escaping convoy. It’s safe the say the two have become archnemesis based on their short interactions. There’s no denying that John Krasinski is immediately captivating in that role which makes it the highlight of Jack Ryan. However, it seems like shows like 24 have already done a lot of the story beats which this show is trying to hit. Amazon has already renewed the series for two more seasons, so undoubtedly it will be a hit for the streaming service even if the pilot isn’t the strongest showing.

What did you think of Jack Ryan? Tell us in the comments below!