Jack Ryan S2 E2

This post analyzes the Amazon Prime television series Jack Ryan using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.


This post will spoil everything about episode 5 from the Jack Ryan television series, so make sure you watch it before reading on.

Check out my analysis for Season 1 if you want more details.

Season 2 Episode 2 Recap

  • Jack goes to the embassy and tells Greer he’s not going back
  • The Venezuelan CPT that betrayed the convoy also goes to the Embassy and is interviewed by Ryan
  • Ryan thinks that Reyes ordered the hit on the convoy
  • Venezuelan soldiers raid a Guerrilla Camp
  • In Tampa Florida, Jeff tries to recruit Bishop to drive a boat for an ‘off the books’ mission
  • Ryan goes to the docks in disguise and is compromised and then rescued by Harriet who claims she was hired as a private detective
  • Venezuelan President tells Jack and Greer that the attack was done by Guerrillas and they have them in custody
  • Reyes knows that Ubarri is thinking about running for president
  • Ryan knows that Bastos attacked the Venezuelan Cpt and killed his family
  • the Venezuelan CPT is found dead in his cell
  • Ryan is attacked in his room, pursues attacker, Greer almost has another heart attack
  • Jack confronts Harriet

The 5 Commandments

Inciting Incident

The Inciting Incident is when Ryan finds out the Venezuelan Captain was bribed to lead the convoy down another route where they could be attacked

Coyne says that the purpose of the Inciting Incident “must arouse a reaction by your protagonist”. So, this information causes Ryan to suspect Reyes of ordering the attack.

Turning Point

The turning point is when Reyes tells Greer and Jack that the attack was conducted by guerrillas. This is a revelation (or false revelation).


The crisis question for Jack is whether Jack stays to confirm this information or not. If he goes, it means either that he believes Reyes or that he has given up finding those responsible for his friend’s death. If he stays, he is openly disbelieving the President of Venezuela (power division) and risking his life to find the truth.


Jack stays and begins investigating on his own.


Jack discovers that Bastos, the President’s chief of security, was responsible for killing the Venezuelan Captain’s family because of the dog bite on his arm and therefore suspects Reyes again.

Value Shift

This value shift is a -/–. The episode begins with Ryan losing his friend and ends with him suspecting the Venezuelan President is responsible for the attack.

Does the Story Work

I think the writers are losing the basics of what make Jack Ryan a great character. He is not an action guy, but can be in a pinch. In this episode we have him going rogue, disguising himself to infiltrate the port. Why does he have a pistol in Venezuela? Where did he get it? He’s not an agent, but he’s running through hotels and the streets with a pistol. To me, it’s very unbelievable.

The story isn’t really hooking me either.

At this point, I’m not sure how to fix the global story, there are a lot of subplots going on, and I don’t really understand how Harriet fits into the whole story. The Crisis Questions aren’t really that strong either.

So far, I’m not really impressed and frankly disappointed. I hope they can turn this around.

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