Culture Magazine

Jack Ryan, the Ending of Season Two [Media Notes 17]

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
I think I’m done with The King (4 posts!) so I restore this topic to its original purpose, quick notes.
Jack Ryan, as some of you know, is a TV show currently streaming on Amazon. It’s in its second season and is based on a character created by Tom Clancy. Harrison Ford played Ryan in two films & other actors have done him in other films.
He works for the CIA but is not a spy; he’s an intelligence analyst. That is, he’s got a desk job; he’s not a field agent. But things happen and he’s forced into the field, where he handles himself well. Of course.
While he’s not a James Bond dapper dresser womanizer gambler man of high style and international intrigue, without Bond, no Ryan, or any number of other espionage adventurers. Not a hint of le Carré in this universe.
So, season 2 is set in Venezuela, which is ruled by a corrupt president. Among other things, he’s disappeared a number of political rivals. One of them is an interior minister (?) who is the husband of a woman who is running against the president in the current election. This that and the other happens. Spoiler ahead. We’re at the end. What happens? The husband is found, alive, in a camp along with other prisoners, many of them just executed and tossed in a hole. She wins the election – the bad president is shot (I forget who did it) – and she is reunited with her husband. The end.
That’s what interests me, a married couple is reunited at the very end. The husband played no role in the season except for being missing and then found. The woman, she gets more screen time, and at times we fear for her life and her daughter’s life. But that’s pretty much all she does. She doesn’t drive the action.
Of course we’re happy for them. But it’s just a bit peculiar that, in effect, all this action takes place for the purpose of uniting this couple. Oh, I know, that’s not how the story is framed and presented to us. The action happens because dangerous things are going on in Venezuela and things must be set right. Wouldn’t it have been enough to have gotten those things straightened out? Why add in the reunion of this couple? What role does that play in the behind-the-scenes mythos?

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