How Jack Ryan and Cathy Mueller Tie Into The Terror Plan
Jack Ryan is also the origin story of the hero's love affair with Dr. Cathy Mueller (Abbie Cornish), who is destined to become his wife. Cathy Ryan was a surgeon in Tom Clancy's novels and in the prior movies, but in this version, Cathy is a highly-regarded epidemiologist who works at Washington Memorial Hospital. Her prior work with a particularly violent strain of the Ebola virus in the Middle East ties directly into Suleiman's plans, as the bodies the terrorist exhumed were the same ones Dr. Mueller studied and wrote research papers about.
Cathy spends most of the season wondering about Jack, who disappears for days at a time despite his claims he has a boring desk job at the State Department. Cathy realizes the truth about Jack when the U.S. Army brings her in for questioning about the nature of the Ebola she researched. Ryan and Greer join the interrogation and are introduced as CIA agents, which blows Jack's cover and tests his burgeoning relationship with Cathy. Jack and Jim question Cathy about whether the Ebola strain could be weaponized, but their investigation proves to be too late to save President Pickett from exposure.
As the leading expert on the Ebola strain, Cathy becomes the President's physician. Though Dr. Nadler is fatally exposed, somehow the Commander-in-Chief was spared the worst of the virus and looks to make a recovery. However, their lives are threatened when Suleiman mounts his attack on the hospital. The Secret Service planned to only evacuate the President and members of his administration, but Cathy pulls the fire alarm to put the entire hospital on alert. She then finds herself in an elevator with one of Suleiman's men, but Greer spots them and kills the terrorist before the nuclear gas bomb is detonated in the hospital.
Jim Greer's Set Up Brings Jack Ryan Back To Russia In Season 2
The character altered the most from Tom Clancy's books is Jim Greer. A far cry from the version played by James Earl Jones in the films, Jack Ryan reimagines Greer as the former station chief in Karachi who was demoted into 'an office job' as division chief of T-FAD. Greer is now also a practicing Muslim; he converted when he married his now-estranged wife. Greer takes advantage of Ryan's secret desire to get into fieldwork and leads him into the messy world of operations, where Jim is repeatedly frustrated by Jack's resolute 'Boy Scout' mentality and his unwillingness to bend to the shades of grey required in fieldwork. Despite their prickly working relationship and mutual dislike (another big change from Clancy's original vision), Greer begrudgingly becomes Ryan's mentor.
Their success in stopping Suleiman opened doors for both men. Greer received a promotion to station chief in Moscow and he's thrilled to leave the politics of CIA headquarters behind. In turn, Ryan is offered Greer's vacated post as T-FAD division chief, but he hesitates because the former analyst's heart now belongs to fieldwork. Luckily, Greer left his protege an out: an invitation to ditch the office and join him in Moscow, which Ryan jumps at.
It makes sense for season 1 to utilize a Middle Eastern threat to help modernize Jack Ryan, but season 2 making the leap to Moscow is an exciting development for longtime fans and brings the series even closer to classic Tom Clancy. The movies began with Cold War geopolitical intrigue in The Hunt For Red October, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit also set its reboot in Moscow. The series looks to fuse the best of those worlds, and fans hope for the possible reintroduction of characters like Red October's Captain Marko Ramius or Shadow Recruit's Viktor Cherevin.
Relocating its setting to Russia reembraces Jack Ryan's well-established past while setting the stage for the American hero's new adventures taking on a classic adversary. Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan will now continue Jack's evolution as a CIA operative with a new international flavor, while also surely weaving in political scenarios relevant to real-life issues today, which is an enticing prospect for season 2.
Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan season 1 is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.