Welcome to episode four of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, titled “Bethesda.” So much to get through, as usual. Ready? Let’s go:
Starting with a sweeping view of the beautiful Croatian coastline, we follow Jack (John Krasinski), Mike November (Michael Kelly) and Ding Chavez (Michael Peña) through the streets of Dubrovnik. They arrive at a house and Mike shows the doorman a card which grants them entry. Supposedly the place is a hotel, but the guys can’t help but stare as a hot blonde in lingerie walks by.
Then the receptionist welcomes Mike back. Mike asks for Katerina (Katarina Cas) and says to tell her it’s urgent. Jack’s like, “Welcome back?” and Mike’s like, dude, when I got fired from CIA, I took it hard. Don’t judge.
Katerina shows up and brings the guys up to her room. Mike tells her he needs to get to a gangster and all-around great guy named Josip Olafsky (Visar Vishka). Katerina’s like, yeah, right. That’s only sort-of impossible. Jack tells her they’re looking for someone working for the Mexican cartel. Katerina tells him Olafsky isn’t a drug dealer. He deals “in dreams.” That’s what The Marketplace is all about – buying experiences. And Katerina says it’s impossible to get in without Olafsky’s invitation. She shows them the door, but Mike tries again, saying they’re trying to stop him from hurting anyone else.
Katerina says the other girls have invites, and she’s surprised his friend didn’t tell him. Mike’s like, what friend? She says his crazy friend who’s been living in the harbor on this huge yacht. And Mike’s like, oh, that friend. He meets the guys outside and says he knows who has an invite – and it’s somebody Jack knows too.
Back at the CIA, awkward Patrick (Adam Bernett) goes to Greer (Wendell Pierce) with a huge stack of paperwork. He’s gone through all the businesses that have gone through the Biz Hub space and there’s only one that might be a lead, a company called Southwest Petro. Greer’s like, so? And Patrick reminds him of what he said: that CIA has no imagination when it comes to naming shell companies.
Greer brings up Mainland Renewables, which the recently deceased Miller (John Schwab) used for Operation Pluto. Greer’s not seeing a connection, but Patrick says the dissolution of Southwest was filed the day after Miller left CIA. And the articles of incorporation name someone called Dominic Sanderson, in Bethesda. So guess where Greer’s headed.
Back from Nigeria, Wright (Betty Gabriel) meets with Senators Henshaw (Derek Cecil) and Jennings (Nancy Lenehan). She tells them they’ve got a temporary peace between President Okoli (Joseph Mydell) and warlord Ekon Ameh (Hugh Quarshie). Henshaw asks what the price was, and Wright says she’s helping them pursue a common enemy. The Senators tell her that “some of the committee members” believe Wright’s distracted by all this, and not concentrating on the confirmation hearings. Wright says national security takes priority. Which makes sense of course, but Henshaw says it also means she’s basically another Jack Ryan.
Wright says, “High praise in my world,” and Henshaw replies that they’re not talking about her world. They’re talking about his. Ooh. Henshaw says she must understand that a lot of the committee members are up for re-election (including himself). And that their constituents are unhappy about the United States’ over-involvement in other parts of the world.
Wright’s like so, what, we’re just supposed to forget about our allies? And Henshaw’s just like, I’m just letting you know how Senators think. He tells her that getting rid of Jack was a good start, but he’s left a big trail behind. One that she needs to avoid if she’s going to be confirmed.
Afterward, she walks-and-talks with Jennings, and Wright’s like, you didn’t think I could handle that on my own? And Jennings says she was there to show Henshaw just how many committee members want to see Wright approved. But Henshaw’s fear is real – fear of change. Wright asks what she should do, and Jennings says for her to do “what’s necessary for the country…but also for yourself.”
In Myanmar, Chao Fah’s (Louis Ozawa) in Tin Tun’s (Jim Lau) office, waiting as he’s on the phone with “the powers that be.” He gets off the phone and tells Chao they want to see him in Geneva, Switzerland. Tin Tun will be going to Dubrovnik instead. Chao remains cool, though this really screws things up for him. He asks how long he’ll be there. Tin Tun’s like, well, there are two options – and “both require you pack light.” Oof.
At a marina in Dubrovnik, we see Ding acting drunk, stumbling his way around. He tries getting on one of the yachts, but the two heavies with guns suggest he turn his butt around. Then Jack and Mike come up behind them, also with guns. Ding’s like, it’s my boat now, b*tches!
The guys search the posh-as-hell yacht and find none other than Levan Zubkov (Ivan Mathias Petersson) in the middle of some naughty S&M fun with some hookers. You might remember Zubkov from last season, the goofy arms dealer guy. He sees Jack and Mike and is literally like, NOOOOOO!
Later, while still in his undies and leash and collar, he tells the guys there’s no way he’s helping them because Olafsky’s insane. Mike’s like, really, man? Given what happened last season you’d think you would’ve learned your lesson, but no. You’re right back in the arms dealing racket. Zubkov’s like, nope, I don’t do that anymore.
Ding’s patience runs out and he steps up to Zubkov, puts a knife to the inside of his naked thigh and says, “One minute.” Zubkov’s like, huh? And Ding’s like, “You’ll be dead in one minute.” Zubkov looks to Mike for help, but Mike just shrugs. Ding pushes the blade in deeper and Zubkov admits he’s basically a pimp for Olafsky. And Ding’s like, so you’ll get us in to The Marketplace then.
Back in D.C., Greer heads to Bethesda and talks to Dominic Sanderson’s mom (Maureen Hibbert), who thinks Greer’s a football coach looking to recruit him. Greer goes along with it, saying he’d just like to see how Dominic’s doing. And Mrs. Sanderson’s like, wait, what? Her attitude completely shifts, and she tells Greer to get the hell off her porch before she calls the cops. He does, but also makes sure to steal some of her mail before leaving.
In Dubrovnik, the guys (including Zubkov) meet up with Katerina, who’s agreed to help if CIA helps her and her girls “disappear forever.” She points to Zubkov and is like, he knows more than he’s telling. She knows that he knows about the big, big, high-level deal that’ll be going down. She says Zubkov can take one of them on his invite and she’ll get the rest of them in.
Back at CIA, Wright has a meeting with Ade Osoji (Okieriete Onaodowan). Knowing he’s got experience as a political strategist, Wright says she needs some advice. He’s like, oh, Henshaw. Wright confirms that Jack has vacated his position, but that even though they’re “very different creatures,” they share the same mindset. “If I’m thinking it, he’s out there doing it,” she says.
But she also admits that Jack’s big, bad reputation is still making things problematic for her as far as getting confirmed. Osoji tells her that her getting the job of Director will “shake this whole place to its core.” But he also guesses that Henshaw has already given her some advice. And he says that his advice – is to follow that advice.
Back in Dubrovnik, the guys do some recon on Olafsky’s place. It’s an old monastery that has a cave system underneath. Zubkov says even if they get in, they’ll never find their way out. Zubkov tells Mike he’s being stupid, and Mike’s like, yeah, well, the only reason you’re breathing is because you’re now a CIA asset. Oh, and you’re welcome, by the way.
While Chao Fah arrives in Geneva, Tin Tun arrives in Dubrovnik. While Tin Tun gets into one of a fleet of shiny Mercedes, Chao gets led to the office of the power that is. And who do you think walks in to meet him? None other than Zeyara Lemos (Zuleikha Robinson)! Dun-dun-DUN!
Jack takes a minute to do the touristy thing, snaps a photo of the gorgeous Croatian coast and sends it to Cathy (Abbie Cornish). She’s about to get on a plane but says she wants to hear all about it when he’s back. Then Chavez calls and says it’s time to go.
Back in Bethesda, Greer arrives at a long-term care facility where the bill he stole from Mrs. Sanderson came from. A nurse points him to Dominic’s room, where he finds a comatose young man on life support. Curiouser and curiouser. But as Greer leaves, who should be watching him but the mysterious Mr. Walters (Michael McElhatton). He makes a call to somebody saying he’s leaving the hospital.
Back in Geneva, Zeyara tells Chao that Tin Tun thought both he and the now-deceased Soe Wai (Robert Ristic) were “inadequate.” But she knows Tin Tun is visionless, which is why she chose Chao to design the Triad’s network. She says that both she and Chao, people who’ve come from nothing and survived horrible things, are the only ones suited for power. She says she sent Tin Tun to handle The Marketplace deal because “it’s a simple task backed by violence.” That’s what Tin Tun’s good at. But Chao is ready for more – as in, he’s taking over the whole Myanmar operation.
As a spiffed-up Jack and Ding board the yacht, Ding says how much he likes Mike. Jack’s like, yeah, he likes you too. Not sure that’s a good thing. He then asks Ding if he thinks Chao’s intel is good enough to prove that they’re right about the whole convergence thing. Ding’s like, you gotta let that go, man. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about surviving. And he knows Chao’s intel is good because Chao’s risking his life to save his family.
Greer calls awkward Patrick and tells him about Dominic. He tells Patrick to give Wright the general rundown while he tries to find out more. But just then, Mr. Walters rear-ends Greer’s car on a bridge. When he gets out, Mr. Walters stabs Greer in the gut. Yow. But Greer shows him what a bad MF-er he is when slashes Walters right back and makes a run for it. Before Walters can get a shot off, Greer actually hops the guardrail and jumps into the water. Hard. Core.
Mike and Zubkov arrive at The Marketplace, and Mike tells a visibly nervous Zubkov he needs to calm down. Zubkov’s like, you’re gonna get me killed. And Mike’s like, yeah, hopefully. They head upstairs where Mike sees all manner of drugs, weapons and women on display and available for purchase. Truly horrifying.
Meanwhile, the yacht arrives down below and Katerina rounds up the girls. As the security guys pat them down, Ding and Jack spring up and shoot them. Katerina gets the girls back in the boat and Jack tells her to go anywhere they want. Katerina just says for him to get Mike out safely.
Tin Tun and his security posse show up. Mike spots them (but he thinks it’s Chao) and radios Jack, who’s on his way up through the caves with Ding. Mike follows the posse and Zubkov reluctantly gives up his passkey to get past the huge security guy. They get inside the private room and Mike overhears that Chao isn’t actually there.
So the deal Tin Tun is making with Olafsky is for five “triggers” that have already been assigned their “destinations.” So you can probably guess what that’s about. Then Mike swoops in and tries grabbing one of the triggers, and everybody’s like, WTF?
Mike’s just like, well, these are for sale, right? I mean, it is The Marketplace after all. Olafsky looks at Zubkov like, you know this guy? And Zubkov just stands there like the dope he is while Mike grabs the case and punches Olafsky in the face. Then it’s all chaos and gunfire as Olafsky’s guys grab Mike. Jack and Ding try to make their way to him, and Ding leaves Jack to go grab one of the weapons for sale. One of the REALLY BIG weapons.
Olafsky, Mike and Zubkov hide in a room and Olafsky pulls a gun on them, asking WTF is going on. Mike pulls a fast one and tells Olafsky it was all Zubkov’s idea and he’s a CIA asset. And while Zubkov’s blubbering away, Mike pulls another fast one and gets the gun away from Olafsky.
Jack’s on his own for a bit, taking out more baddies on his way to Mike. Just as he’s starting to get a little worried, Ding reappears and fires off the big, bad grenade launcher that he grabbed. It goes off like a bomb, shaking the whole place. Needless to say their path is cleared.
Jack takes a look at the trigger and asks Olafsky what’s on the other end. A very calm Olafsky says it’s “a way to change the world.” Ding opens the window, it’s their only way out. Olafsky tells them their families will be dead within a week. And without a moment’s hesitation, Mike shoots Olafsky in the head. Whoa.
Ding makes sure to take a selfie with Olafsky before they all jump out the window and start skidding down the tiled roof in their dress shoes. Somehow they all magically manage to land on the ground without breaking their legs or ankles and take off. Tin Tun’s posse chases the guys as they make their escape, but they manage to get to the coast. They have to jump into the water, where Katerina picks them up in a boat.
In Geneva, as Zeyara and Chao wait for their swanky Uber, Chao gets the photo of Ding and Olafsky, with the text: “See you soon.” Uh-oh.
Greer gets himself to the hospital, where awkward Patrick tells him they’re checking out the knife. Greer says it’s the kind that Special Forces use and to check the blood sample with military databases going back thirty years or so.
An unhappy Wright shows up then and Greer tells her that it was Chao Fah running Ding’s team for the Triad. Wright’s like, but how does this connect to CIA? He tells her about the shell companies Miller started and Dominic Sanderson. He tells Wright they have to help Jack get Chao out.
But Wright’s like, no way. If the Committee finds out she aided another black ops deal with Jack involved, it’s over for her. Greer snaps, “Spoken like a true politician.” Ouch. Then he immediately apologizes, saying he does understand that she has to “play the game” now.
Meanwhile, the guys are getting a minute of much-needed rest on Zubkov’s yacht which is hauling ass through the Adriatic Sea. Then Marin’s phone starts going off with notifications of deposits being made by Chao Fah. A seemingly random bunch of transactions of random amounts. But of course, Jack realizes the numbers are actually coordinates.
MVP awards definitely go to Mike and Greer. They got to show how they’re both fighting the bad in the world from two very different standpoints. One within the confines of the law and the other with no constraints at all. While I still don’t agree with their handling of a lot of things, I give this episode’s writers kudos for bringing some truly unexpected moments of badassery for both of them. When Greer takes that blow to the gut and jumps off the bridge, man. And Mike’s extreme, I’ll-do-whatever-I-need-to-do attitude had him ping-pong-ing all over the place, adjusting to the situation by the second, with every decision crazier than the last.
But when he made the decision to kill Olafsky – wow. That showed that Mike isn’t just some mercenary. He’s a sin eater. He’ll take on that kind of moral burden if it means there’s less evil in the world. That’s a character we definitely want to see more of. I don’t know where Rainbow Six is in its development, but how cool would it be to add Mike to that team? Or, like I’ve said before, to give him his own show. With this series ending, that would be a terrific gift to the many loyal fans.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is currently streaming on Prime Video.