Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: 1.04 The Wolf

After Hanin's epic escape, aided by Victor's disobedient drone strike, I was excited to see how she and her daughters were faring this episode. But they were nowhere to be seen. Instead Jack and Suleiman returned as the two main characters of the episode. Honestly, I was a little disappointed about this, since of all the characters introduced so far, Jack is one of the least interesting.

Jack and Greer's pursuit of Ali takes them and their French companions into the Alps. A fuel stop and a shoot out later, and both Ali and Sandrine are dead. Sandrine's death marks the second of the season that was caused by a police officer shooting at the wrong person/time. This is a poignant subject considering how much police brutality has been discussed over the past few years so I doubt that this aspect of the deaths is accidental. I'm not exactly sure what might be being said by the inclusion of this in the series, but I am intrigued as to whether or not there will be any more deaths like this in the next four episodes.

Ali's death, while not as sad as Sandrine's, came as a bit of a shock to me. Considering his attachment to his art and his disobedience in episode three, I was hoping he would realise the error in his brother's ways. But now he won't have the chance. Instead, his death will likely only stoke the fire of Suleiman's vengeful rage.

Another unexpected part of the past few episodes is the acknowledgement of France's Islamophobia and racism. So often on television and in film the US is characterised as being racist, while Europeans, or at least the British, are shown as being less so. This recognition of the prejudices held by both society and parts of the police, shows that that really isn't the case. The dialogue between Greer and Lt. Cluzet suggests that the French are incredibly protective of what they consider to be 'French' and that they think immigrants will make France less French.

This builds on what Sandrine said about people either being French or not in an earlier episode. The way this is being framed by the show suggests that immigrants in France can either forgo their heritage and become French, or hold on to their heritage and be an outsider. This is a vast generalisation, but an interesting point to bring up and I hope that it will make people think not only about the prejudices in their own country, but also about how the international perception of a country may differ from how that country actually is.

Suleiman spends the episode taking hostages and overthrowing a war lord. There is little mention of his wife, and he seems unfazed by her absence as he seizes more and more power. It is unclear what he plans to do with the aid workers who are now locked up in his home. But it would seem that his son is beginning to understand that maybe there was a reason behind the women of his family running for the hills.

The episode ends with the attack that Jack has been anticipating since the beginning of a pilot. At the funeral of the Parisian priest, whose murder scene was unexplained until now, a noxious gas is set off. This gas is presumably what is going to get Cathy involved in the case, thus revealing the fact that Jack has lied to her about his job. Her reaction to that is one I am most definitely looking forward to.

Up until this point I have been watching an episode of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan daily and while I enjoy the show, watching it feels like an effort. Part of me thinks that this show would have been more suited to weekly episode releases. Assuming I didn't forget about it after it aired...

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