Sunday, November 3, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jack Ryan' - Jack Races Against the Clock to Save Greer While Reyes Moves Up the Election in 'Dios y Federación'

Amazon's Jack Ryan - Episode 2.07 "Dios y Federación"

The election in Venezuela is moved up. Jack and Mike fight off a raid at the CIA safe house while Greer is interrogated. The Ubarri family must decide to flee or face Reyes.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's Jack Ryan.

"Dios y Federación" was written by Graham Roland & Carlton Cuse and directed by Dennie Gordon

It's horrifying and despicable to watch as government leaders rail against corruption when they are actually the focal points of such corrupt motives within their countries. The people at the top of governments are the ones who set the tone throughout the entire organization. If the leader has corrupt intentions, then his underlings will also embrace these shady and immoral motives in the hopes of impressing him and getting ahead. If a leader leads with morals, then it comes with the message that every action should be able to withstand even the smallest amount of scrutiny to prove it was all above board. This is simple politics. But again, a message of anti-corruption is so popular throughout the world. Those words can be hollow like they are with Reyes. When Gloria speaks, her followers actually hear her passion and understand that she will actually do something to make their lives better. With Reyes, it's a campaign run by intimidation. He has the soldiers at his events forcing the crowds to cheer and be overly enthusiastic. He sends soldiers to set fires in his home community to send the message that they cannot betray him. He also assigns more soldiers to Gloria's security detail. People who will be monitoring her every single move as the election has been moved up to the following day to ensure that no more corruption or outside interference takes place. And yet, it's all done with corrupt intent. Reyes sees moving up the election as the only way to ensure his own victory. It's a celebration where he no longer fears or stresses what could happen. He feels invincible to the point where he is more than willing to kill his childhood friend and current political advisor Miguel. Now, this friendship has mostly just been explained to the audience. Miguel constantly points out how Reyes has lost his way. And yet, the audience has basically understood that Reyes has always been like this. A person would have to be delusional to believe he was anything else. He still maintains power and influence though. He has made it to the top of the government. He encourages corruption because it benefits himself. Sure, it's miraculous and uplifting to learn that Gloria's husband is still alive. There was enough reason for Gloria to keep hoping for the best despite the bleak misgivings of what probably happened to him. But that too is an understood nature of this political reality. If a person speaks out against the government, then there is the genuine threat that they will disappear and be forced into a prisoner's camp. They have been kept alive until now. It's only through the threat of outside exposure of such bold human rights abuses that Reyes orders their executions. That puts an immediate clock on Jack's ability to save Greer and rescue the innocents just trying to speak truth to power. He just has to learn that Greer is in captivity, team up with Marcus and the other soldiers in the jungle, and pay off a mercenary crew to provide tactical backup. It means he arrives to a world where Venezuelan citizens are already being killed and Greer is no where to be found. This season has conditioned the audience to be worried about Greer's survival odds because of his heart condition. That was unlikely to be the reason for his death. But this moment is all about how Jack would react to such news. He doesn't want Greer to die. It's his personal responsibility to ensure that he doesn't. And yet, Reyes is in power and Greer remains at his mercy. The President of Venezuela doesn't care if yet another American dies in his country. He only cares about what will keep him in power and a direct beneficiary of the valuable resources that are on the verge of drastically changing the economics of Venezuela. Jack Ryan poses a threat but James Greer is the one praying to Allah for salvation. They are viewed as the noble heroes even though they too have done some despicable actions this season to get what they have wanted. As such, it's hard to look at them as the noble protagonists the show forcefully wants the audience to view them as. Sometimes, that awareness is key and necessary. Other times though, it's just something casual to be forgotten about.