Jack Ryan season 2 is skipping one of Tom Clancy’s most important stories – specifically, The Hunt for Red October – by adapting one of the author’s other novels: Clear and Present Danger. Over the past year or so, Amazon Prime Video has been making a big push into original content based on famous and notable properties. Jack Ryan was among the first to release through that new initiative, with Hanna and The Boys following up on it this year.
But before Amazon Prime dives into building the worlds of Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time, they’re going back to Jack Ryan with season 2, which is due to release later this year. From the official synopsis and Jack Ryan season 2 trailer that released at San Diego Comic-Con, it’s quite apparent that the series is ditching its Middle East storyline and heading to South America for Jack Ryan’s new mission. While it will certainly be an exciting one, it’s avoiding one of the character’s biggest and most important stories.
Going to South America isn’t a bad idea, but Jack Ryan season 1’s ending was explicitly setting up a Russia-based story arc, with James Greer inviting Ryan to join him in Moscow. Since the original Jack Ryan stories came out towards the end of the Cold War, most of them took place in or around Russia. So setting up Jack Ryan season 2 to tackle a mission in Russia made sense after the series modernized itself with a Middle Eastern storyline. But that no longer seems to be the case.
Clancy’s first novel, as well as the first installment in the colloquially-named Ryanverse series, was 1984’s The Hunt for Red October, which sees the crew of a Soviet nuclear submarine apparently go rogue (though Ryan believes they are trying to defect to the United States). Although it’s now one of many novels in the Ryanverse, The Hunt for Red October quickly became an integral part of modern U.S. literature and is regarded as one of the most influential novels about the U.S. military. It’s also what kickstarted a lucrative franchise for Clancy.
In the TV show, Jack Ryan makes a name for himself by helping take down Mousa Bin Suleiman, but in the novels, it’s because he’s responsible for having that nuclear submarine defect from the Soviet Union. Giving him the opportunity to develop as an operative by dealing with an old enemy like Russia is what would allow him to evolve in more ways than one. But skipping all of that to go to South America – the setting of Clear and Present Danger, another important story in the Ryanverse – seems premature. Jack Ryan, as a character, isn’t at that point yet in the TV series.
Next: What To Expect From Jack Ryan Season 2