Welcome to episode two of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, titled “Convergence.” As usual, tons to get through, so let’s go:
Jack (John Krasinski) shows up at work at Langley and recruits tech guy Patrick (Adam Benett) from his old office at TFAD (Terror Finance and Arms Division). They go back to Jack’s office, and he has the guy mine through old files to find anyone involved in Operation Pluto.
Apparently having found his way back to Myanmar, Chao Fah (Louis Ozawa) and Soe Wai (Robert Ristic) go to see Tin Tun (Jim Lau) to find out what to do and get into a pissing contest over who’s got more power. Chao is the new blood; Tin is the old. Tin orders him to stay put, but Chao insists on going home since his wife has no idea he’s still alive after the Mexico shootout.
Jack and the tech guy find a profile for Ding Chavez (Michael Peña), and Jack tells him to pull everything they have on him. Then he leaves and runs into Wright (Betty Gabriel), who wants his help on her opening statement to the Senate Committee. Jack says he has to take care of something else first. He gets in his car and finds a newspaper with “Fork Park” written on it.
Chao goes home and warns his wife Kyi Fah (Jacelyn Parry) not to talk, implying that the house is bugged. Chao gives his little daughter Bennu (Ryn Greenwell) a plush bunny she can tell all her secrets to. He tells her that if anyone asks, they didn’t go to the airport; they went to the doctor because she was feeling sick.
Jack shows up at the ballfield at Fork Park and meets Ding. Jack tells him the money for Operation Pluto is gone. Ding goes to leave, saying he has no use for him then. But Jack asks about Miller (John Schwab), and if he reported to him. Ding says they were run by a guy named Walters (Michael McElhatton) who he thought was CIA, but apparently wasn’t. Jack says Ding’s probably the most dangerous operator the CIA’s ever had and needs his help to figure out “how deep Miller’s rot goes.” Ding suggests they grab a bite.
Chao Fah goes to see their local doctor and tells him to say that Kyi Fah and Bennu came to see him because Bennu was sick. Chao vaguely threatens the guy before taking a phone call and tells whoever’s on the other end that he’s going to talk to Miller.
Ding tells Jack about Chao Fah, the Silver Lotus Triad, and how he embedded himself in the Marquez cartel with the help of his cousin, Rodrigo Marin (Rodrigo Carrico). Ding says whoever was running their team in D.C. was in the Triad’s pocket. Ding also tells Jack about Chao Fah and how he’s trying to get himself and his family out. But Ding has no way of contacting him. Ding says he’s going to get to Miller to find out what’s really going on.
Jack tells him to let his guy take care of it instead — his guy, of course, being Greer (Wendell Pierce). He finds Miller hanging out at a bar somewhere. Awkward small talk leads to Greer asking about Operation Pluto, at which time a spooked Miller takes his leave. He says if Greer brings it up again he’ll make sure he and Jack “take the fall for it.”
Meanwhile, at a place called only “Undisclosed Location,” our ol’ buddy Mike November (Michael Kelly) is trying to see how long he can stay underwater at some hot springs-type place. While the locals are all weirded out by his awesomeness, Mike answers his “Ride of the Valkyries” ringtone to take Jack’s call.
Meanwhile, the mysterious Mr. Walters is in the middle of his granddaughter’s recital when he gets a call from Miller, who tells him about Jack and Greer looking into Pluto. Walters coldly warns him not to call again “until it’s official.”
Miller goes home and logs into some foreign banking site, where he takes down the numbers of a bunch of transactions which turns out to be a code. He calls Chao Fah who’s all like, what the hell’s going on? Miller says Chavez has gone dark. Chao says he was nearly killed in Mexico and that the Triad thinks he’s responsible. Miller says it was Jack who shut the operation down. Chao says to turn the op back on or get out of there.
Just as Miller says, “I don’t even know if Chavez is alive,” Chavez answers from behind him, “I am.” Ding takes a swig of Miller’s scotch and shows him the dog tags of his dead men, telling Miller he’s the one who killed them. “Read their names,” he says, but when Miller goes to grab the tags, Ding smacks his hand away saying he doesn’t even deserve to touch them.
Ding tells Miller he’d better get in contact with Jack, tell him everything and do whatever he says. Miller asks what then, and Ding’s like, well, what were you gonna do with me after the project was over? Once he leaves, Miller texts Mr. Walters that it’s definitely official.
Jack meets with Wright and tells her about Ding. She says they have to let someone else know – President Bachler (David Badella). They tell him about Ding, Pluto, Miller and how he’s an asset to the Triad. Jack tells him that Miller was using Ding’s team to eliminate the Triad’s competition. And that the Triad plans to use the Marquez cartel’s infrastructure for their own benefit.
Jack says that the Triad’s plans are far worse than drugs. They’re after convergence – fusing the cartel with a terrorist organization. Wright says the Triad’s creating an open market, where with their resources and the cartel’s access to America, they can move anything and everything, from weapons to suicide bombers.
Jack says their best bet is to get Chao Fah on their side. But in the meantime, if anything about the operations gets pinned on Wright, Jack says for the Prez to blame him instead. The Prez then talks to Wright privately about meeting with the new president of Lagos to send the “right message” that the CIA director no longer sits in “an ivory tower.”
Jack gets a message to meet Miller that night and Jack tells Ding, who says he won’t go because if he does he’ll kill him. Meanwhile, Wright calls Ade Osoji (Okieriete Onaodowan) and asks if he would join her on the trip to Lagos as an advisor. He coyly says he’ll think about it. Wright just as coyly says sure, I’ll give you a few hours. She then heads to the confirmation hearing and gives her speech, talking about her growing up in multicultural Queens and being in the middle of conflicts that she wanted to be able to mediate.
Meanwhile, Jack’s at the park meeting with Miller, who tells him to turn Pluto back on. Jack says he won’t put Ding right back where he was. Miller says he was promised results if certain targets were eliminated – bigger busts, lower crime rates. And those results were delivered. Miller asks Jack who it is he thinks he really works for, and when he responds, “the American people,” Miller looks like he’s ready to puke.
Jack says he can help him, just put him in contact with who’s really in charge and Miller’s like, yeah right, I’d be dead as soon as I made the call. Jack refuses to turn the op back on and says that whoever’s in charge if it goes as high as Miller says, is probably already watching them. Somehow not realizing this already, Miller takes off. Ding calls Jack and says since his way didn’t work, he’ll try his way.
Meanwhile, Wright’s voice talks about how the CIA is a “weapon of peace” which she’ll wield through transparency and honesty. She says the cynicism and greed that are taking over the world are trying to do the same at the CIA and she promises, “Not on my watch.”
A spooked Miller goes home and starts packing up only to be choked out by Mr. Walters, who forces him to swallow a bunch of pills and booze before injecting him with some drug. By the time Ding gets there, Miller’s dead.
Wright finishes her speech by promising that there are those like herself, who will not give up and work tirelessly to keep the American people safe.
Jack and Greer get to Miller’s place only to find Ding there, saying they’re too late. “Now they’re gonna come for me,” he says and then walks off.
Standouts for this ep include Louis Ozawa, whose Chao Fah has a terrific ability to simultaneously be a bad guy and a good one. Ozawa had opportunities here to play both “cold as ice” and a loving father and did both well. And managed to be super cool at the same time. Well done.
Michael Peña’s Ding Chavez also continues his super-coolness. That scene with Miller and the dog tags was awesome. And Betty Gabriel gave another great performance with that speech. And the juxtaposition of her well-intentioned promises over the evil deeds being done was a nice touch.
But all that pales in comparison to the fact that hey! Mike November’s back! Woo hoo! I so want a spinoff with him. I’d totally watch that.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is currently streaming on Prime Video.