Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: 1.07 The Boy
Now that Hanin and her daughters have been brought to America, her son is the only one left within Suleiman's reach. Over the course of this episode, the relationship between Samir and Suleiman is further explored, as is the process of radicalising children. When Hanin first ran away, Samir refused to leave, saying he wouldn't leave without his father. Part of the reason for this may be because he is male, so didn't experience the same harassment that Sara did, but it is also because of his youth. It is said that Sara is 14, meaning Samir is younger than that.
At that age, the majority of your understanding of right and wrong comes from what you have learned from your parents, especially when you have lived a life as isolated as Samir. This isn't to say that children can't be discerning enough to see when their parents are in the wrong, but Samir is portrayed as looking up to his father. So it isn't much of a surprise that, in this episode, we see him join the rest of Suleiman's men in shooting an assault rifle at the sky.
Seeing this on screen made me feel a little sick. For a child to have that as his normality is terrifying. While this doesn't go all the way to showing Samir's indoctrination into his father's way of thinking, it does show it beginning. But hope for Samir to have a different future isn't lost, as he still obviously cares for his mother and sisters. I am interested to see how his story is going to be dealt with going forward, and whether or not he will choose to stay at his father's side.
Sara contacts Samir to tell him that she is alive through an online chat in a video game. This is another instance where I was looking at the screen in utter disbelief. If Sara and her family were in a safe house, they wouldn't be allowed any contact with the outside world, let alone internet connection. There is no justification given for this oversight, and the CIA knowing that Suleiman has used video game messaging boards in the past makes this even more unbelievable.
This episode also sees Cathy finally being brought into the loop as to what Jack really does for a living. She eventually forgives him for his dishonesty, and I am looking forward to her further involvement and help with the impending Ebola outbreak. An outbreak that is going to start because of the recently rescued doctors.
The second Suleiman offered to aid his captives, I was suspicious. After what he had done in Paris, there was no reason for him to show them any kindness. But to infect them with an incurable virus and then send them back to their home countries in order to create multiple outbreaks, is just diabolical. If there was any sympathy that anyone still felt for him before watching this episode, I am betting that it is now gone. His actions confirm both his hatred of the West, and his commitment to his cause.
In some ways this is another instance of something unbelievable. Surely any hostages who were in a foreign country consuming who knows what for such a long time would be quarantined and fully tested; if not before entering their home country then surely before meeting the President?
There is only one more episode left in this series of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan and I am really hoping that the final episode goes out with a bang and not a fizzle.