Here’s a review of the second season of the Amazon Original Series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Television. The 2-disc edition releases August 4th, 2020 and is available from Amazon.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is one of the more popular streaming series on Amazon Prime. The show stars John Krasinski as the infamous novel character Jack Ryan who is moved from a CIA desk job into the field. In Season One, Ryan is just getting his feet wet (well, not exactly as he has former military experience in the Marines), but in Season Two he is brought into a hornet’s nest of government corruption in Venezuela. His interest in the region is exacerbated when his friend Senator Moreno killed in an ambush.
Ryan makes a lot of mistakes in this season, some of them costing the lives of others. His supervisor in Venezuela, Mike November, often reminds Ryan that this job is not a selfish one, and that whatever he does affects the rest of the team. At one point in the story the entire CIA headquarters needs to be evacuated because Ryan made an ill-advised decision. In the big picture though, it seems all of Ryan’s actions were justified when considering the end goal of finding out who killed Senator Moreno and where the real corruption is stemming from.
Michael Kelly (House of Cards) and Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) are among new cast members who join Krasinski and Wendell Pierce for the second season. Kelly and Rapace are both well-casted in this season as the characters Mike Kelly and Harriet Baumann, respectively. The second season would not be nearly as intriguing without Kelly and Rapace, as the depth of Jack Ryan and John Greere’s characters seem to be exhausted.
Some of the script seems a bit outrageous, for example when Ryan and a small American operative group infiltrate the palace of the President of Venezuela. Wouldn’t the leader of a South American country with a population of 30 million have some better protection in place?
Season Two is a little bit slower-paced than Season One, but the layers of plot twists and character reveals keep it entertaining. The action scenes are also worth waiting for, especially the shootouts and chase scenes. There’s a scene in which Ryan is running along the tops of buildings after the assassin Max Schenkel (Tom Wlaschiha) that’s some really great camera work and reminiscent of recent Bond and Bourne films.
The real hero in the second season is actually John Greere, who comes to the aid of Gloria Bonalde (Cristina Umaña) — the political challenger to the corrupt Venezuelan president Nicolás Reyes (Jordi Mollá), and gets beaten and caged when he is betrayed by a member of the police force tasked with escorting him out of the country.
There is a lot of Spanish spoken in Season Two of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, so much so that the show should be described as bilingual. In this regard, the episodes may be enjoyed much more if you either speak Spanish or don’t mind reading subtitles. Heck if you don’t speak any Spanish and want to learn, the dialogue in the show is simple enough to pick up a phrase or two.
As we reviewed after the first season premiered, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is actually available to stream in higher quality Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range on Prime Video. Unfortunately, there isn’t a 4k Blu-ray Disc available for either season. We have to say though, that the Blu-ray does render a pretty darn good picture in comparison to streaming on a 4k TV. And, looks much better than streaming on a PC or mobile device that may have higher resolution than 1080p. In Ultra HD on Prime, however, there are a few moments when HDR really enhances the image and the video is sharper most of the time. You know what they say though, sit further away from the TV and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
While the Blu-ray only offers 1080p resolution it does provide the highest quality audio for home viewing with Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1. The action scenes bring out the best of the sound mixing in the series, as gun shots explode in different locations with multiple speakers and explosions shake the room through low end subwoofers. When the team escorting Senator Moreno is attacked, the sounds of gunfire reverberate through the streets. In the jungle scene, after Jack Ryan’s decision to stay longer to search through shipping containers leaves his team member Marcus Bishop (played by Jovan Adepo) stranded, we hear the ambient noises of wildlife warning of hidden dangers.
Why buy the second season on Blu-ray? The bonus features! The Blu-ray edition includes exclusive deleted scenes from several episodes that you can’t see on Prime Video. Some of the clips are really short and almost fruitless to include, others provide additional backstory and context to the characters. One scene titled “Assassinating Reyes” presents a shocking twist during a rally for President Reyes that may have made the seventh episode even better. The 2-disc edition does not, unfortunately, contain DVD or Digital copies.
If you got hooked on Season One, Season Two of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan has just as much to offer. The addition of characters Harriet Baumann and Mike November are almost essential for the success of this season. Without them, and perhaps the characters Marcus Bishop and Gloria Bonalde, Season Two would just be a recycle of Season One. Not that it would be a bad thing, but the introduction of new characters, like the book series, keeps the world of Jack Ryan exciting. The end of the second season doesn’t really leave much of a cliff hanger, so we’ll have to wait until Season Three arrives (hopefully fall 2020) to see where the writers are going with the series.