In this third episode of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, we pick up where we left off in Paris. Jack (John Krasinski) walks into what’s left of the apartment, where Capt. Sandrine (Marie-Josée Croze) identifies some of the dead as local jihadists. Jack finds one of the SIM cards on the floor, confirming his theory about using the money-transfer app. He walks into the kitchen where he sees Greer (Wendell Pierce) praying over the dead girl wearing the suicide vest. Both Jack and Sandrine are surprised that Greer is a follower of Islam, but say nothing.
Meanwhile, in the Braideej area of Syria, a Muslim man shows his son how to pray and then heads off to work on his moped, carrying a rifle on his back. But he only gets a short way out of the village when a drone strike takes him out – the pilots thousands of miles away at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Ava “Riotgrrl” Garcia (Yani Marin) and Victor “Tombstone” Polizzi (John Magaro) check their work before withdrawing from the area. Ava gives Victor a dollar bill for his good shooting – but Victor’s none too pleased with what he’s done.
Back in Paris, Sandrine tells Jack and Greer that they managed to recover a cell phone and a bloody shirt. Lt. Cluzet (Stéphane Krau) shows up with Suleiman’s prison record. Jack recognizes the only visitor he ever had as the guy he just chased out of the apartment – Suleiman’s brother, Ali (Haaz Sleiman). Sandrine says the address he gave on visitation records is in a Muslim neighborhood known as “The 93.” While she and Cluzet leave to form another strike team, Greer chastises Jack for not taking the shot at Ali when he had the chance, even though Jack tells him there were too many civilians in the way.
In Syria, Hanin (Dina Shihabi ) secretly meets with her Uncle Fathi (Chadi Alhelou), who gives her a set of passports. Grateful, she tries to pay him but he won’t accept it, saying he did it for her and the kids, not for the money. Hanin goes home and stuffs the passports into a jar in the kitchen. Oooh…bad move, girlfriend. You don’t just stick important stuff like that in a jar. You need a secret-compartment-in-a-wall type thing with a biometric lock and ten layers of encryption — because of course, somebody sees her do it (I assume it was good ol’rapey Yazid).
In Paris, a wounded Ali sleeps on a couch while a few kids mess with him. The kids’ father, Omer (Hassam Ghancy) shoos them away and gives Ali some clean clothes. Omer sees Ali’s drawings and pulls out an old photo album with Ali’s old drawings and photos of Ali and Suleiman when they were kids. Omer talks about Ali always wanting to go to the Musée d’Orsay to see the Van Gogh paintings – did he ever get to go? Ali shakes his head with a sadness that implies the knowledge that he probably never will.
In Vegas, drone pilot Victor’s at home boozing and popping pills as he pins his latest dollar on a wall full of dollars. He finds he can’t sleep, so he takes all of the money off the wall and goes to a casino to gamble it away. The roulette dealer doesn’t want to take defaced money, but another player calling himself Stanley Kowalski (the super-awesome and hugely underrated Lee Tergesen) convinces him otherwise. Stanley introduces himself and his wife Blanche DuBois (Cynthia Preston) to Victor – who, of course, is too young and drunk to realize the couple’s using character names taken from A Streetcar Named Desire. They booze and gamble away – but Victor turns out to be extremely lucky, winning almost thirty thousand on Black 22.
Back in Paris as Jack rides along with Sandrine to the 93 neighborhood, he wonders aloud how Suleiman could have been radicalized when he was a college graduate with a business degree. He made good, he got out – so why did he throw it all away? Sandrine says there’s a whole generation of Muslims who have grown up in France and have no prospects – and that unlike in America, where one can be many nationalities and still be American – in France it doesn’t work that way, and a degree doesn’t change how the world sees them.
Cut back to Vegas, where Stanley and Blanche get a plastered Victor back to his place. They put on some INXS (more 80’s music – love it), have yet another drink and then Stanley watches Blanche seduce Victor and screw him right there on the couch in front of him. Then immediately afterwards, Stanley takes off his belt and starts beating the crap out of Victor with it. Victor offers Stanley all the money he won, but Stanley won’t take it – he says Victor earned it, and leaves. Okay, sorry, but WTF was all that about?
Back at Omer’s place, Ali finds an old video game called “End of Honor” and pops it in the console, using the game’s messaging feature to contact Suleiman back in Syria. Suleiman tells Ali he has to get out of Paris and get to the rendezvous point – and leave no witnesses behind. Ali is stunned that his brother would order him to kill not only Omer, who’s been a good friend – but also his two young sons. Ali reluctantly prepares to do it, but listening to Omer and the kids chattering happily in their kitchen makes Ali hesitate all the more.
Our heroes arrive at the 93 neighborhood and the Parisian cops start canvassing, showing Ali’s photo to everyone. And while Greer accompanies Lt. Cluzet to the local mosque, Sandrine asks Jack why he joined CIA when he knows what terrible things they do. Jack says he has a much better chance of changing things from the inside. Sandrine asks what he does, exactly, and when he tells her she says he seems to like the field an awful lot for a guy who sits behind a desk all day. She tells Jack she thinks he’s “a wolf who plays at being a sheep.”
At the mosque, Greer questions the Imam (Jacques Bassal) but gets nowhere. He spots a young boy named Malik (Mathys Clodion-Gines) watching them and questions him next, showing the boy Ali’s photo. Malik says he doesn’t know him but it’s obvious the kid’s lying. Greer tells Malik that he’s not in trouble but that it’s important to tell the truth. Then cut to the cops busting into Omer’s apartment, where they find Omer and his sons huddled in the kitchen – terrified, but still alive.
Back in Syria, Suleiman plays Monopoly with his kids and they all convince a reluctant Hanin to join in. Suleiman even saved Hanin her favorite piece – the shoe. For a while, they all have fun together as a family – but then Suleiman starts telling the kids the story of how he met Hanin. She was only sixteen at the time when he was coming back from fighting the coalition forces in Iraq. A man picked him up after his car broke down and took him to his house, where he met his daughter – Hanin. Having no money, her father offered Hanin to Suleiman for the night.
While listening to all this, Hanin looks worriedly at her oldest, Sara (Nadia Affolter) – desperately wanting to avoid the same fate for her. Suleiman says he didn’t accept the offer that night but took Hanin away the next day and married her. Then he says that they have no secrets from each other, as he walks over to the fireplace and pulls out the jar that Hanin hid the passports in. And all Hanin can do is watch in horror as he burns them.
Back in Paris, while Sandrine questions Omer, Jack finds the photo album with a note stuck inside that says: “Thank you, old friend.” He overhears Omer’s kids arguing over the video game, and he asks the kids who was playing it last. The kids say Ali was playing it – and of course, Jack being Jack, he immediately knows what Ali was doing.
That night in Syria, Hanin puts on every piece of valuable jewelry she has and gathers up the kids to make a run for it. But her son, Samir (Karim Zein) refuses to leave without Dad and runs away from her to go tell him. Panicked, Hanin grabs the girls and bolts outside, where a car’s been stashed for them. Sara is surprised to learn that her mother knows how to drive as they leave the compound. Samir interrupts his father’s lecture to his followers to tell him Hanin’s left – and a furious Suleiman sends Fathi and rapey Yazid to bring them back.
Back in Paris, Sandrine grills Omer some more after they find out Ali used the video game to message Suleiman. Omer swears he has no idea where Ali went – he just let him take his car. Meanwhile, it’s the next morning in Syria, and Hanin’s stuck on the side of the road with an overheated engine. Even though she’s as afraid as the girls are, Hanin assures them that God will protect them as they grab their stuff and start walking to the nearby village.
Cut to DGSI (French Intelligence) headquarters in Paris, where Sandrine’s managed to use Omer’s car’s VIN number to track Ali. He’s heading for the Alps, and she’s ready to get a team and intercept him – but Greer and Jack advise against it. They tell her it’s more important to follow Ali and find out who he’s going to meet. Sandrine wants payback for her dead officers – but Jack assures her that whatever Suleiman has planned will be far worse than the apartment explosion. She reluctantly agrees to keep following him for the moment, but makes sure they know she won’t let Ali get across the border.
Meanwhile, Hanin and the girls arrive in the village – Hanin sends Sara and little sister Rama (Arpy Avazian) to go get some food while she tries to hire a cab. But when she approaches the drivers and asks, none of them will risk going to the border. And as Sara’s buying their food, she spots Fathi and rapey Yazid driving around looking for them.
And back at Creech AFB, it just so happens that Victor and Ava are watching the same village from the drone. They pick up on the car, one they haven’t seen before that’s way too posh to be local. Victor snaps a shot of Fathi on the drone’s camera and runs it through the databases – and he pops up as a person of interest, but is marked surveillance only.
Just then, rapey Yazid spots Hanin and the girls and drives after them. Knowing that something terrible is about to happen, Victor alerts his superior, Capt. Whitmore (Andy McQueen), requesting permission to engage. Whitmore says no, but Victor demands that Whitmore run the request up the chain of command.
Yazid ties up Sara and Rama in the back of the car while Fathi corrals Hanin. She begs him for their lives, but he says he just needs time to get rid of rapey Yazid. Hanin tells Fathi to kill rapey Yazid and blame it on her. But before Fathi can make a move, he takes a fatal gunshot to the chest.
Victor and Ava watch in horror as rapey Yazid drags Hanin away to do what he does best. Whitmore tells them they don’t have permission to engage – but Victor, clearly having had enough of the bullsh*t, fires anyway and boom! No more rapey Yazid. Whitmore tries to have Victor arrested for disobeying a direct order and violating the rules of engagement – but after another phone call, it seems the higher-ups aren’t interested in arresting him. Pissed, Whitmore storms out of the trailer – while Ava congratulates her wingman for doing the right thing and hands him another dollar.
Unaware of just who it was that saved them, Hanin jumps into the car and just before they speed away, she tells the girls: “See? I told you…God would protect us.”
While it’s kind of a bummer to have so little of Jack in this one, on the other hand, what they gave us was incredibly exciting, especially at the end there with Hanin trying to get out of the country with her daughters. Dina Shihabi definitely gets the MVP award for this episode, as well as Haaz Sleiman’s Ali, for showing such depth and sadness in his character. Just that little shake of his head when Omer asks him about the Van Gogh paintings is so telling, and you feel terrible that his life has gone so far off the rails from what he wanted it to be. Good stuff. But I’m still wondering what the heck was up with our poor pilot Victor getting so incredibly scammed by Stanley and Blanche. I mean, you know they’re setting him up for something much worse – but what? I’m curious to see. What about y’all?