Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: 1.05 End of Honor
This episode opens to a church full of bodies. The camera doesn't get too close to the corpses, so many of them look as if they are asleep. It isn't until later, when Jack shows Greer pictures from the attack, that we are shown the bulbous eyes and mottled skin of the victims. This was very effective; while the still photos can show the individual terror of each victim, it doesn't capture the magnitude of the attack in the same way as the panning cinematography in the opening scene. It also means that both instances have an impact.
Another addition to the church scene that I like was all of the phones going off in people's hands and on the floor. It gave an idea of how connected people now are. The people trapped in the church tried to call their loved ones as they died, which is both incredibly morbid, and heartbreaking. Then there are the phones that are left on the floor or on chairs, these people assuming the worst. All of this is very effective in showing the cruelty and ramifications of the attack.
Another aspect of this episode that is especially effective is the flashbacks to Suleiman's life in Paris in the early 2000's. They are frequent enough to provide a coherent story, but also sparse enough so as not to overpower the rest of the episode. One thing about the flashbacks that surprised me was Suleiman's conversion to being a more devout Muslim whilst he was in prison.
Whilst it has been made obvious that his faith is very important to him, the inclusion of the death of his family in the pilot always made me think that Suleiman's overall motivations weren't to do with Islam. But this episode would suggest otherwise, making me intrigued to get a confirmation of exactly what his motivations are.
Meanwhile Hanin and her daughters have successfully arrived at a refugee camp. The relief I felt at this was quickly squandered as her request for a US visa was denied, making her go directly to someone in the camp who could sneak her and her daughters into Europe. The journey ahead of them, if they even make it that far, isn't going to be easy, for the characters or for viewers to watch. But it might be a good thing. A representation of the danger that is faced by refugees trying to get to Europe isn't pretty, but it is a reality for so many, and we can't forget that.
We also return to Nevada, and to drone pilot Victor, who is still having doubts about his job. When he finds out he killed the wrong person, his partner tells him that it wasn't his fault because he was just following orders. Which brings up the questions of the morality of his work and the extent to which obedience and trust in authority should go. For a show who titular character is an ex-marine and currently works at the CIA, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan is very critical of unquestioning obedience, and of the ways on which the military and police forces operate. Which isn't a bad thing; it actually makes for quite entertaining and thought provoking television.
Once again Jack is probably the least interesting aspect of the episode. For me, his story only serves to tie the rest of the strands together. Now I am just waiting for Cathy to be brought into the fold, as well as hoping Hanin and her daughters are caught by Jack and Greer before they are taken back to Suleiman or they drown in the Mediterranean.