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Jack Ryan Season 3 Echoes The Hunt for Red October

CBR 1/24/2023 Carlos T. Lopes
© Provided by CBR

The following contains spoilers from Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Season 3, Episode 8, “Star on the Wall,” now streaming on Prime Video.

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels inspired a number of films before the Prime Video series. The character's first film appearance was in 1990's The Hunt for Red October, starring Alec Baldwin as Ryan in a race against time to avoid nuclear war. In bringing Jack Ryan's third season to a close, the TV series paid homage to The Hunt for Red October and the character's roots.

While Clancy is a popular pick for adaptations, The Hunt for Red October was a particularly memorable action film. The plot was timely, since 1990 was near the end of the Cold War. Clancy's 1984 novel was detailed in depicting the battle between Russia and the United States, while never dismissing the political side of the conflict. The movie version accentuated strategy over spectacle -- much like Jack Ryan Season 3 did as the TV incarnation of the character scrambled to stop World War III.

RELATED: Jack Ryan Cast Discusses Higher Stakes & Going Rogue in Season 3

Similarities Between Jack Ryan Season 3 and The Hunt for Red October

Replay Video

In The Hunt for Red October, Soviet captain Marko Ramius went rogue and directed his submarine Red October toward the United States -- equipped with stealth technology which made it virtually invisible. Ryan worked against the clock to understand his motives and support negotiations. In Jack Ryan Season 3, the title character worked with his team on an undercover mission against old Soviet Union radicals who sought to reinstate the political tensions of the Cold War and provoke another global conflict. In the season finale "Star on the Wall," Ryan found himself aboard the USS Roosevelt and had to communicate with his Russian counterpart in order to prevent the conflict, as the character did with Ramius in the film.

The Jack Ryan finale's high stakes echoed the film, as Jack was initially the only one willing to work towards a peaceful solution in both versions. The TV series also updated the stealth technology to modern standard so that the finale was a cat-and-mouse game. The political beats were also there. While the film considered the consequences of Cold War tensions, the series reflected on the current state of the world's superpowers, including the current conflict in Ukraine.

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How John Krasinski's Jack Ryan Channeled Alec Baldwin

Both Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski gave great performances as Jack Ryan. However, the character's environment changed after The Hunt For Red October premiered. Action heroes evolved after the success of Jason Bourne, and Prime Video's Jack Ryan made its title character much more relatable. However, Krasinski also reflected Baldwin's take on Ryan by making similar choices throughout the season finale.

Baldwin played Ryan as someone whose hunches, based on a moral compass, led to decisions that avoided the war. Krasinski completed Jack Ryan's journey by having the character similarly use his brain and deductive resources to solve the situation at hand. Krasinski's Ryan is a more fully developed character, and "Star on the Wall" recontextualized The Hunt for Red October's plot and themes for a more modern audience. But by introducing those similar elements, the episode brought Jack Ryan full circle.

Jack Ryan Season 3 is now streaming on Prime Video.

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