Jack Ryan season 1, episode 3 recap: ‘Black 22’

“Black 22” slows down any momentum Jack Ryan had in the first two episodes for various subplots.

The third episode of Jack Ryan spends a lot of time following some of the supporting cast compared to the previous two. While Ali’s and Hanin’s storylines make sense for the plot, a chunk of the drone pilot’s arc could have been stripped.

Opening up with Jack and the French police surveying the scene of the bomb, they’re all upset by the destruction. Greer calls out Ryan for pulling his weapon but not taking the shot when he had the chance. Meanwhile, Sandrine gets ahold of Suleiman’s prison file which shows he’s a highly educated individual who’s life fell off track after one assault charge. They realize Ali is Suleiman’s younger brother and go to the heavily populated Muslim distract of Paris to look for him.

However, it turns out Ali actually has some allies in Paris who aren’t part of the movement. He hides at Omer’s house, where he’s stitched up and stared at by Omer’s kids. Based on their interactions, it seems like Ali might have been raised there following the death of his parents. On the ground, the Intelligence team isn’t having much luck trying to track down Ali. Sandrine points out the racism in France has often prevented Muslim citizens from climbing out of poverty, even for those like Suleiman who got an education.

While hiding out, Ali gets in contact with his brother through a video game chat. Suleiman requests that he go to the rendezvous point and insinuates he expects Omer and his entire family to be killed before they can give any information to the police. It seems like the first time Ali hasn’t followed through with his brother’s orders because he chooses to leave them unharmed before taking a car.

He’s not the only one who is trying to escape Suleiman’s control on Jack Ryan. Hanin has tasked her Uncle Fathi with acquiring passports for her and the kids to escape the country. He does as he’s asked, but someone still manages to alert Suleiman. He warns her of the consequences if she tries to escape, but during his story of how they met, it’s clear that Hanin will do anything to save her children. Sara is around the age in which she was married off, and Hanin probably has a fear that one of the soldiers will claim her as his future wife.

Unfortunately, their escape is cut short by Samir, who refuses to go anywhere without his father. The girls make it to a car and drive as far as they can get before making the journey to a town on foot. Suleiman sends Fathi to track her down as well as another soldier, probably to ensure that Fathi doesn’t betray him. The two catch up with the women in the village despite Hanin’s best attempts to keep them safe. However, when one of the soldiers attempts to rape Hanin, the droid pilot is able to shoot him from above and allow the women to escape safely.

So how exactly did the pilot get to a point where he decides to intervene? Jack Ryan attempts to explore the detached mindset of a pilot who countlessly spies on other people’s lives and kill enemies from overseas. His copilot gives him a dollar for every successful kill, and he currently has 107 dollar bills on his walls. This is where Jack Ryan makes a weird turn with this subplot. Why couldn’t they just cut to him drinking or gambling quickly to get to the same endgame? This guy is unhappy and he wants to feel something. The sex scene between the married couple which ends in a beating just felt uncomfortable and out of place.

Meanwhile, Sandrine agrees to take Jack on a ride in an attempt to track down Ali one last time. They have his GPS coordinates, and Ryan discovered the brothers communicate via this game. Basically, episode four will probably pick up with the main mystery but “Black 22” just felt like a detour.

What did you think of this episode of Jack Ryan? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!