In the fifth episode of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, entitled “End of Honor,” we pick up in Paris as investigators in hazmat gear break into the church and get their first look at the carnage from the Sarin gas attack. Cell phones ring off the hook from everywhere – calls from worried loved ones that won’t be answered. Global news outlets confirm 306 dead and broadcast Suleiman’s (Ali Suliman) video in which he takes responsibility, saying he regrets taking the lives of children but that their children are killed every day – and that “Paris was only the beginning.”
Back at Langley, Jack and Greer (John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce) watch new videos that Suleiman’s uploaded, recruitment propaganda put together like music videos – and another video of Suleiman preaching, calling all Muslims around the world to arms. Jack is disgusted by it all, saying Suleiman’s a “f***in’ psychopath,” but Greer says that’s what Suleiman wants them to do – to react emotionally.
Jack flips through photos of the dead in Paris, getting more upset, while Greer keeps a lid on his emotions. Jack says if he hadn’t killed Ali, he could’ve stopped it. Greer tells Jack about an airport worker at Dulles on 9/11 who noticed two guys’ cheap, dirty shoes as they boarded their plane. Something seemed wrong about them, but other than the shoes, he had nothing concrete to go on. The airport worker let the men on the plane and an hour later they crashed it into the Pentagon. Greer says the worker blaming himself for what happened was irrational, just as Jack’s blaming himself is too – “not to mention narcissistic,” he adds. (OHH! BURN!)
In Turkey, Hanin (Dina Shihabi), Sara (Nadia Affolter) and Rama (Arpy Ayvazian) arrive at the refugee camp – a massive tent city housing thousands of people. The registration officer (Kirk Newmann) who takes their pictures tells her the only place they’re going is back to Syria – Turkey cannot accept any more refugees, especially after the Paris attack. Hanin’s clueless, but as they pick up their supplies, she sees the news reports about it and is shocked to see that Suleiman is responsible.
In Syria, Suleiman’s compound has turned into a bustling terrorist training camp. Ibrahim (Amir El-Masry) tells Suleiman that Dudayev (Goran Kostic) and the others are getting nervous, stuck waiting in Paris. Suleiman tells him that Dudayev has to wait for Ali to surface. Then he asks Ibrahim if he’s heard anything about Hanin and the girls. Ibrahim says he hasn’t heard from rapey Yazid yet. Just then, one of the new guys (Younes Benzakour) passes by them. Suleiman stops him, noticing how filthy he is and tells the guy that he has to clean up. Even though he’s poor, he must have self-respect or no one else will respect him. He instructs Ibrahim to get the guy some clean clothes and as they walk off, Suleiman remembers back to his time in France – going on a job interview at a bank. He remembers how hopeful he was but that he was dismissed almost immediately by everyone there because of his race and where he lived.
Back at Langley, everyone’s in a briefing about the Paris attack. Singer (Timothy Hutton) goes over some CCTV footage of Dudayev, detailing his and the other attackers’ histories. Then IT guy Tarek (Mena Massoud) explains how the devices worked to distribute the Sarin gas. The Secretary of Defense (Al Sapienza) is in attendance, saying that he thinks they should just let France handle it – he doesn’t see any direct threat to the US. Greer pipes up and says it’s a “global problem,” not just France’s. The SOD gets salty with him, and Greer gets salty back – Singer steps in to referee.
Jack notices the “End of Honor” video game up on the monitor and in true Jack style, he disregards all etiquette and protocol and butts in, saying they should use the messaging system in the game to try and lure Suleiman out. Ali’s death isn’t public knowledge yet, and Suleiman will want to make sure his brother’s okay. Greer agrees but the SOD scoffs, thinking it’s a lame idea. Director Farnsworth (Daniel Kash) asks if he’s got a better one. The SOD shuts up. And while hiding out in some crappy room in Paris, Dudayev sees a news report about French police still searching for Ali. Suleiman calls him from Syria, seeing the same report and tells Dudayev to get him out.
At Creech AFB in Nevada, Ava (Yani Marin) and Victor (John Magaro) get ready for another day at work. Victor notes an incorrect target on their list – the guy they took out on his way to work. Ava tells him he was “misidentified” – they killed the wrong guy. Victor freaks. Ava says every man in that village has ties to Daesh/ISIS and that they just carried out their orders – but Victor’s not having it.
In Syria, Suleiman gives Samir (Karim Zein) his insulin injection (ah, diabetes and asthma…Hollywood’s favorite plot devices to make kids even more baggage-y than they already are). Ibrahim brings Dr. Nadler (Matt McCoy) to speak with Suleiman, who asks him how the group is doing. Nadler says they’re dehydrated and in need of medicine, exercise, etc. Suleiman tells him to make a list and he’ll make sure they get what they need. Nadler asks about Samir’s diabetes, offering to test him – perhaps he can be treated with oral medication instead of injections. Suleiman politely declines. Nadler then mentions that the group has ransom insurance, which angers Suleiman – “Americans think it’s all about money.” Nadler asks what Suleiman wants with them, but he won’t say.
Suleiman flashes back to France again, to where he and Ali lived in Belleville around 2001. After leaving his crappy restaurant job, Suleiman finds Ali hanging out with some friends. Ali shows Suleiman the gun he just got and Suleiman freaks. He takes Ali up to a park nearby and they talk. As Ali lights up a joint, he says he can’t wait for Suleiman to get them both out of France – but Suleiman says his job interviews are a joke. No one wants anything to do with him as soon as they see his face or find out where he lives. Just then, two cops on patrol start hassling them over the pot – knowing Ali’s carrying a gun, Suleiman starts a fight with the cops in order to keep Ali from getting arrested. He tells Ali to run and while the cops cuff him.
At the refugee camp, Hanin meets with Lance Miller (Jonathan Bailey), a CIA operative undercover as a State Department worker. Hanin requests visas for herself and the girls, and political asylum in the US. Lance tells her visas are difficult to get – only special circumstances, like having information valuable to the government, will get them in. Hanin admits that Suleiman is her husband. Lance asks where he is, but Hanin won’t say – she’s afraid for her son who’s still there. Lance says he can’t just take her word. He needs proof. Hanin balks and takes off, scared – but Lance has a gut feeling about her.
In D.C., Gloria (Victoria Sanchez) calls Jack to tell him that Lance just called her, to tell her about Hanin. Jack asks if she trusts Lance, and she says they trained at The Farm together. He’s been posted at the refugee camp to gather intel. Jack tells her to have Lance find Hanin right away. Jack goes back into the restaurant he’s at only to find that Cathy (Abbie Cornish) has already paid their bill. She sits Jack down to lay out some ground rules. She knows Jack has a lot going on, stuff he’s not telling her. She’s got a lot going on too and doesn’t want to get tied up in some messy relationship. She asks if he’s okay with keeping things casual. Jack seems surprised but agrees.
At the refugee camp, Hanin goes to the local smuggler, Sadik (Yousef Kerkour), asking him to get her and the girls out – to Europe. Sadik says it’s a dangerous and expensive journey. Hanin offers up some of the jewelry she brought but he laughs, saying that’s only enough for one, maybe – she should come back when she has more money. Hanin hesitates, but then reluctantly offers up the rest of her jewelry stacked up on her arms. Sadik nods. Deal.
In Syria, as Suleiman watches the hostages walking around like inmates getting their exercise, he remembers back to his time in prison. Ali came to see him and was shocked to see his brother had converted to Islam. Suleiman told him he finally found a place where he belonged and wanted all Muslims to feel that same sense of belonging. Ali didn’t like it but was just happy to see him. Before leaving, Suleiman told him “peace be with you” – and Ali joked, “Not if she’s been with you first,” which became their secret saying.
In Vegas, while Victor and Ava have breakfast at a diner, Victor tells her their C.O. told him to take some time off to “decompress.” Ava says it’s a good idea, that he should go to Lake Mead and “get some p*ssy and chill out,” which Victor freaks at. He says that won’t solve anything. He then tells Ava about how he wanted to be a pilot – a real pilot. Ava says they are, but Victor disagrees – he says real pilots go to war and put their lives on the line, but all they do is play video games. Ava dismisses that and tells him he’d better get his head on straight – she needs to be able to count on him.
At Langley, everyone’s gathered in a different conference room, where the “End of Honor” video game’s been set up, ready to try and lure Suleiman out. In France, Dudayev’s already on the road into the mountains, and the DGSI’s already deployed around a chalet in Chamonix, where they hope to trap him. Jack starts messaging as Ali – and in Syria, Ibrahim alerts Suleiman, who immediately responds, asking if he’s okay and where he is. Jack gives him the Chamonix address, which Suleiman forwards to Dudayev.
Ibrahim cautions Suleiman that it might be a trap and does a trace on the IP address, which CIA’s already got covered. But Suleiman gets cagey and asks what color the building was that they lived in in Belleville. Panicked CIA workers scramble for the info, coming up with a photo – but it’s old and they have to make a guess. Jack guesses green, which turns out to be right.
The CIA higher-ups cheer when Suleiman responds with “Peace be with you,” thinking they’re golden. But Jack realizes it’s another test – Suleiman’s waiting for the right reply, but nobody has any idea what that is, not even Jack. All he can do is type “And with you” back – but as soon as he does, they’re blown – Suleiman knows he’s made. But Jack stays on the line, saying they met in Yemen. And the higher-ups are floored when Suleiman answers back, “the analyst.”
Suleiman asks if Ali is still alive – and against Greer’s and Gloria’s advice, Jack tells him he’s dead. Suleiman says he’ll find Jack – but Jack replies, “not before I find Hanin.” As the higher-ups have a cow over who the hell Hanin is, Suleiman freaks on the other end and pulls the plug. Jack looks at Greer – the intel from the refugee camp is legit. Greer explains about finding Suleiman’s wife in the camp and Farnsworth orders them to get her out right away.
While Suleiman mourns his brother’s death and Samir comforts him, rapey Yazid (Kamel Yabrouudi) shows up at the refugee camp (okay, sorry, but – WHAAAT??) asking Sadik the smuggler about Hanin and the girls. Luckily, Hanin’s a step ahead – she and the girls are already getting on a truck heading for the smuggling route.
An especially good episode for Ali Suliman and Haaz Sleiman – their portrayals of the brothers are so well done. They bring so much extra depth to the characters, the kind of depth that most stories don’t bother to go to. Again, while you’re always aware of who the bad guys are, you realize that they didn’t start out that way – and that they’re people just like everybody else. Dina Shihabi’s Hanin is also such a highlight – she’s a mother’s strength, desperation and fear all rolled into one.
My other favorite part was Greer telling Jack he was being narcissistic in hoarding all the blame for the attack – oooh! OW! So mean! But so true! Oh, and the sequence of Jack and Suleiman messaging back and forth – loved how tense that was. Good stuff.
Not so good stuff: Jack and Cathy again. Just…ugh. Talk about clunky. All the momentum the story builds up comes to a dead stop as soon as we have to deal with them. And one more thing – rapey Yazid surviving the drone attack is just pure bullsh*t. I mean, seriously, we saw the guy get blown up. At the very least, he would’ve broken every friggin’ bone in his body. His spine would be shattered. But not only is he alive, he’s totally fine except for a few scrapes. Please. That’s just lame. What did you think?