‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ Season 3: Recap And Ending, Explained – Who Killed Russian Minister Dmitry Popov?

“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” Season 3 shows Jack Ryan trying to avert war while escaping from the laws of his own country. He is convicted of treason, but will this stop him from doing what’s necessary? With his friends Jim Greer and Mike November, Jack goes on a run across Europe to prevent a catastrophe that can have long-term consequences. The new season brings new conflicts for our protagonist. This time, it is America’s sworn enemy, the USSR. It was working on Project Sokol, which involved manufacturing a nuclear weapon invisible to all radars. The program has been reactivated, and the weapon has been developed. The location of the weapon is unknown. If it comes to fruition, it will bring about a war between Russia and America. Project Sokol itself is based on a Russian war game called Seven Days on the Rhine. It involved the use of assassinations and misinformation, followed by a limited nuclear strike, to create chaos in its neighboring countries. This would be followed by a land invasion.

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Spoilers Ahead


Project Sokol

Ryan has been stationed in Rome, Italy. He secretly meets Zoya Ivanova, Minister Counselor with the Russian Embassy in Rome, who tells him that the missile has been built and is being moved. She also gives him a SIM card. Jack tells the news to Greer. Later, Jack returns to the US Embassy in Rome. Jack gets the SIM card analyzed and finds out that it has a single-source send/receive system. Whoever is on the other end of the SIM will be able to send a pin that only this particular SIM card can read. The card also has a mapping program that allows them to track the nuclear material that will be used inside the Sokol missile. Jack and Jim convey the Sokol intel to Elizabeth Wright, COS, US Embassy, Rome. However, Wright isn’t convinced of the Intel because it has no proof.

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In Moscow, Russia, President Surikov is told by his defense minister’s aide, Alexei Petrov, that NATO is moving weapons into the Czech Republic, and thus they need to respond. However, advisor Luca Gocharov tells Surikov to just keep their eyes and ears open for the time being. Meanwhile, Russian defense minister Dmitry Popov is about to meet Czech Republic president Alena Kovac over the very situation. Russian Defense Minister Dmitry Popov meets Czech Republic president Alena Kovac in Prague to talk about the recent updates regarding NATO having offered the Czech Republic to outfit one of its launching stations for its missiles. She says that she will decline NATO’s offer if Russia ceases its incursions in Ukraine, which would stop the Czech people from feeling the requirement of NATO protection. Popov doesn’t like it and warns her of her actions before leaving.

The phone in which Ryan had put the SIM card Zoya gave him pings. This means that someone has pinpointed the exact location of the nuclear material. It shows a ship that was last seen at the port of Sevastopol, Crimea. They will have to get on board to find out if it’s true. The CIA director, Thomas Miller, authorizes a team of four, including Jack, for the mission but only for confirmation. They breach the ship heading to Greece and find a Russian scientist, Yuri Bashkin, who helped build the Sokol missile, trapped inside a box. On the way out, they are seen by Russian guards on the ship, who fire at them, but they manage to escape unharmed. What’s weird is that the scientist was told that Americans would pick him up before the ship reached its destination. This means that someone sent him to the CIA for a reason. Jack conveys this intelligence to Wright and Jim, who have been keeping track of their movements since the start of the mission. Wright sends Jack coordinates for a drop on Greece’s coast, from where he and Yuri will be taken to a safe house in Athens. Unfortunately, both are ambushed at the shore, and the agents who were there to take them to the safe house are killed. Jack and Yuri manage to escape in a car and reach Athens. Unfortunately, trouble isn’t over as Jack sees a car following them. One of the men ultimately shoots and kills Yuri, but Ryan makes it out alive, killing a cop in the endeavor. He contacts Wright, who tells him that the Greek government has declared him a threat as he entered the country illegally to kill a Russian national (Yuri) and killed one of their own. Jack realizes that Wright is trying to make him take the blame and be the bad guy. Jim is present with Wright and tells Jack not to surrender. This means Jack is on his own, with his only possession being the SIM card. The next day after the meeting, Russian Defense Minister Popov is shot in front of Alena during the opening of a football match in the Czech Republic. The assassinations have begun. The Sokol Project has been initiated.

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The Russian Scientist

The CIA director, Miller, is not happy with Wright for letting Jack into Greece and tells her to give him regular updates. Jim and Wright set out for Greece. Upon arrival, Jim recognizes the blonde guy at the Grecian Police Department in Athens. However, the guy isn’t police but from the Russian embassy; Konstantin Vyatkin is someone Jim had worked with in the past. Unbeknownst to him, Konstantin is the same guy who killed Yuri and tried to kill Jack after they landed in Greece. Meanwhile, a red notice is issued against Jack Ryan by the Russian Embassy. Jim and Wright arrive at the US Embassy in Greece. Realizing that Jack may have headed to one of the contacts the US Embassy has in Greece, they look up the database and come across Tony. Jim immediately recognizes him from their meeting some years ago in Syria. Wright decides to visit Tony. She has been keeping tabs on Jim’s phone as well, in case Jack contacts him. Later, Petrov gets a call from Alena’s Head of Security, Radek Breza, confirming the death of the sniper who was paid by him to kill Popov. Petrov is made the new defense minister of Russia, who then cancels the deal with Alena that Popov had made advances toward and has been allowing troops to move into Ukraine. It is only a matter of time before the troops reach Eastern Europe. Alena tells her father, Petr Kovac, her most treasured advisor, about it. He tells her to do what she thinks is best. She decides to go ahead and allow Israel to use the Czech base for its missile testing. Petrov meets Luca and asks for his help with a relentless American intelligence officer.

In Moscow, Russia, President Surikov is told by Petrov about the failed attempt by the CIA to extract a Russian scientist. He holds America responsible and wants action to be taken. However, Surikov decides to wait. Later, Luca tells Petrov that it wasn’t the Americans who killed Popov but someone else on the inside. In Prague, Czech Republic, a CIA representative from the US Embassy, Officer Marie Cahill, a friend of Jim Greer, arrives at President Alena Kovac’s office, assuring her that America had nothing to do with the assassination of Popov and requesting access to the football arena’s CCTV footage. Ryan arrives at a safe house and finds Tony (the brothel owner from “Jack Ryan” Season 1). Tony helps Jack hide from Wright and Jim, as well as the Greece police. Jack then calls for Mike November, who arrives in Greece. Wright sends Jim to Prague after realizing that it was Jim who sent Tony’s address to Jack. He is to keep a check on President Alena.

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The Surprising Compromise

The US Embassy in Rome, Italy, is being raided by the FBI, led by Officer Scott Harris, for Jack Ryan under order from the US NSD (National Security Division). Jack Ryan has apparently violated the Espionage Act. Jim arrives in Prague, Czech Republic, to meet with Alena. He tells her that the NSA has transcripts of Dmitry Popov’s phone calls with Surikov. He advised the President to not alienate the Czech Republic through Russian incursions. Alena and Popov were on the same page all along. The new defense minister, Petrov, however, is a different ballgame. Jim tells Alena that she should let NATO in for safety. Later, Jim finds out that Jack is in Vienna and calls him. Jack tells him about his doubts about the assassination and how he feels it was planned. After receiving the details of the meeting he had asked Zoya to set up for him, he heads to the location, i.e., a train to Budapest. Inside the train, he meets Luca Gocharov (Zoya’s source), who tells him that the nuclear missile has uranium and it’s already on the move. Wright and the FBI arrive in Vienna, Greece, to intercept Jack but fail, thanks to Mike’s aide, who changed the platform number and destination as captured by the CCTV cameras at the station.

Alena’s father, Petr, meets Levan Zubkov and Sarhan Lichkin at his house and assures them that their plan is on course. Later on, Petrov arrives there as well, asking Petr to convince Alena to let NATO in so that their project can succeed. Petr is working with Petrov on Project Sokol. Jim shows Alena the CCTV footage from the football arena, which shows a car with the supposed killer and a woman entering the parking lot. Alena also remembers that Radek wasn’t with her during the chaos right after the assassination. This is when her father, Petr, also arrives there. Jim tells her that Popov’s death might have been an inside job. Alena reveals that she has permitted NATO to move in with their missiles.

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Alena Is Taken

Wright is at the US Embassy in Rome, Italy, where she tells CIA chief Miller about Ryan’s plan and that he has been in contact with a HUMINT source, Luca Gocharov. However, Miller tells her that he wants Jack Ryan in custody. Jack and Mike track down the Russian guy named Levan Zubkov, another clue provided by Luca, by using Zubkov’s right-hand man, George Mercier, as bait in Budapest and forcing the location of the uranium out of him. The element is on its way to Matoksa, Russia. Jack shares the intel with Wright.

With his wife and child away, Jim breaches Radek’s house and finds a picture of him with Alena’s father, Petr. Alena’s father is Russian. He mentions his doubts to Alena but says that it is too soon to charge Radek as a threat as they would lose the chance of finding out the people Radek is working with or for. Later on, Jim meets Petr and tells him about the danger Radek seems to possess, and since Petr taught Radek at the University of Defense, he would know Radek’s views. Petr tells Jim that Radek was anti-Russian but wanted to pass the NATO language test, so he took up Russian. After Jim leaves, Petr calls up Petrov and tells him to ensure that the uranium reaches its intended destination. Radek’s wife returns home and realizes that their house has been breached. She calls Radek, who is at the Čáslav Air Base, where Alena is meeting with NATO and tells him about it. He declares a compromise and takes Alena with him in a car to “safety.”

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A Mirrored Nuke

Levan Zubkov is arrested by the CIA, led by Wright, from Hungary, Budapest. A team of four, including Jack and Mike, are in Matoksa, near a factory that is supposed to be the hiding spot of the uranium. Inside, Jack encounters Luca, who tells him that the only way to find the source of the uranium, now made into a warhead, and trace the USSR is to follow it and not prevent it from reaching its destination. Sokol is just a small part of a larger plan. Jack and his team try to stop Luca from escaping with the warhead but fail. They are then extracted from the location by helicopter. Jack informs Wright about Luca, after which he receives a Czech Republic location on his phone. Jack and Mike get off the chopper in Kotka, Finland. Back in Italy, Wright is taken off duty by the FBI. While waiting for their flight to Prague, Jack, using a laptop they had recovered from the facility in Matoksa, finds that Sokol is mirroring an American nuclear device so that when it goes off, the world will think that America did it.

Alena is in Radek’s car in Prague, Czech Republic. Jim and his team find the vehicle heading outside Prague through a traffic camera. Radek’s last phone call was to Alena’s father, Petr Kovac. Kovac also has an address in the area toward which the car is headed. Jim decides to head there as well. Radek brings Alena to her father’s safe house and locks her in a room. He then takes position at a distance from the house, waiting for Petr to arrive. He has realized that Petr is in talks with the CIA (Jim) and has thus taken Alena as bait to lure Petr in. Alena, who has already managed to free herself from the room, finds her father, who kills Petr in front of her. She realizes that it was her father who got Popov killed.

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Casualties

Jack and Mike land in Prague, Czech Republic, where they are received by Jim and Marie Cahill. They all arrive at the US Embassy. While trying to deduce where the plane with the warhead could be, the FBI shows up at the embassy. Ryan has to escape. With Mike’s help, he deliberately gets caught by the Czech police before the FBI agents get their hands on him. The FBI can do nothing, as they have no jurisdiction here in the Czech Republic. The FBI returns to the US embassy intending to arrest Jim for assisting Jack. Jim tells FBI Officer Harris about Jack’s plan to foil Sokol’s objectives. His team further finds out Petr Kovac’s real name, i.e., Petr Lebedev, who was a member of the USSR and was presumed dead in 1969. The very next moment, they get the news that the NATO air force base has been put on high alert. The uranium warhead is brought out of a plane at Mlada Boleslav. From there, it is put in a truck, and it leaves for Čáslav Air Base.

Jack is brought by the Czech police to Alena, who he tells everything about Sokol. After finding out that a NATO convoy is en route to Čáslav Air Base, Jack realizes that the people behind Sokol don’t intend on using the warhead, which would be too soon and too fast, but make it seem like a nuclear accident and thus put the blame on America. They locate the NATO convoy, and Jack and Mike get on a chopper. With the chopper nearing the convoy, Jack warns the officer in charge of the convoy of a truck carrying nuclear cargo that is heading in their direction. The whole situation is being overseen by Jim and Ambassador Cahill’s team from the US Embassy, as well as Alena and other officers from the presidential office. When Alena tells Ryan that Nymburk, a town of estimated 20,000 people, falls on the way to the Čáslav base, it becomes clear that the warhead was never supposed to be detonated at the base but in the town as it would cause casualties. The truck has been located. Jack is able to ambush the truck inside a tunnel, where it detonates after hitting an empty truck positioned strategically by the officer leading the convoy, thereby avoiding the deaths of thousands.

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Luca arrives at Petr’s house and finally confronts him. Later on, when Alena arrives at the location, thanks to Radek’s wife, whom she had brought to her office and pressured, she finds her father wounded and Luca standing. She knows about Luca from Jack and thus asks him to leave the room to her and her father. She comes outside a few minutes later and tells Luca that her father didn’t make it. Jack, Mike, Jim, Alena, and Luca get on a plane at the Ostrava airfield in Prague. However, all is not over, as Luca tells Ryan that NATO moving nuclear weapons will not be taken lightly by the Russians, especially Petrov, who will respond very soon.

Wright is in Washington, DC, where she approaches General Ramos for help. She gives him the video footage she received at the CIA reception. When the US Vice President learns of the entire situation that could have been averted, he questions why. That’s when General Ramos plays the video that Wright gave him. It showed Jack Ryan being chased by the FBI under orders of CIA chief Miller who, rather than analyzing the situation, was bent on catching Ryan by any means necessary. The Vice President orders Miller to be removed and gives Wright control of the mission. Jack is in Moscow, Russia, following Luca, who is in a car that will take him to Minister Petrov. At the warehouse, after Petrov admits to Luca that he got Popov killed and leaves, Jack saves Luca from being killed by Petrov’s men.

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Jim reaches out to one of his sources in Moscow, Vova Litishenko, and tells him to set up a meeting with the men from Petr Kovac’s organization. After receiving the address from the source, he arrives there and gets attacked by the very source. After managing to throw him down the stairs and wounding his leg, Jim gets the name Rolan Antonov, the guy who sent him to kill Jim. Alena sets up a meeting with Petrov. However, he asks her to come to Russia. Petrov manages to prepare the Russian troops, showing that US forces are on high alert, but the Russian President allows no movement without his consent. When Petrov meets Alena, he tries to threaten her by removing NATO from inside her country, but Alena remains unmoved.

US President Charles Bachler is told about the whole situation by Wright. Bachler tells her to keep him updated. Later on, she calls Jim for an update but finds out that the US Embassy in Moscow has been expelled. Jim then meets Jack and Luca. Jack gives Jim a drive that has an audio clip of Petrov admitting that he got Popov killed thanks to the packet of cigarettes that Luca had on him that had a bug inside. However, when Jim gives them the name of Rolan Antonov, who sent a man to kill him, Luca says that it isn’t possible because Rolan, a Russian Naval Captain, is his friend. While Luca and Ryan decide to pay Rolan a visit at his house, Jim and Alena meet with Popov’s wife, who is brought to them by Mike. Jack and Luca find documents proving that Russia is about to launch its most dangerous warship, the Fearless, towards the US. Meanwhile, Mrs. Popov listens to Petrov’s audio and offers to help Alena by arranging an unofficial meeting with President Surikov. In a meeting at the White House, Wright tells President Bachler that Russian Naval Captain Rolan Antonov has been manipulated by Petrov and Kovac to command a fully armed vessel. After the meeting, Wright calls Jack only to find out that he found written orders about an attack on Antonov’s house, which came from the Russian government. However, the order wasn’t signed by the President but by Petrov. The warship is headed toward the Baltic Sea, as is Jack.

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‘Jack Ryan’ Season 3: Ending Explained – Is Jack Able To Avert The War?

Jack is picked up near Narva, Estonia (Russian Border) by a group of US Marines on a chopper that is headed towards the Baltic to get him on board the USS Roosevelt that is on its way to take on Kremlin’s The Fearless. Meanwhile, Luca is already aboard The Fearless and meets Antonov, who takes him prisoner. Ryan manages to get onto the USS Roosevelt and tells the captain that his ship is about to go into a fight that does not concern Russia at all. After finding out that the order to let The Fearless set sail was given by Petrov, President Surikov orders Petrov to call back the warship immediately. Minutes later, Petrov arrives at the Kremlin war room to speak to the generals but without the President, calling for a vote to remove Surikov from his presidency.

Later on, while Alena and Mike approach President Surikov and tell him that it was Petrov who got Popov killed, Jim reaches out to Petrov, trying to offer him a safe haven, saying that his plan to take Russia and the US to war will fail. He was just stalling Petrov while Alena and Mike were filling Surikov with the information. Surikov orders Petrov to be killed, and that’s exactly what happens when Petrov comes out of the room where he spoke with Jim. Petrov was shot to death. Inside The Fearless, Luca manages to persuade the soldier guarding his cell to believe that his Captain Antonov is lying. Antonov is ultimately arrested by his subordinates. And thus, the war is averted. Mike goes back to Greece. Jack and Jim return to Washington, DC, where they are given medals by the CIA’s new director, Elizabeth Wright, as appointed by US President Bachler.

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Episode 8 of “Jack Ryan” Season 3 ends with Luca being taken into custody by some guy who seems like the USSR, or at least that’s what his words to the guy who knocks on his door mean. Will they kill him? That would certainly be less painful than endless torture. However, his aim has been achieved, so he is at peace. Russia and America become better allies, and it is unlikely for the two countries to point fingers at each other without a proper conversation. As for Jack and Jim, the former is, for the time being, in Rome, Italy, unless the latter, who is still COS Moscow, decides to bring him over.


See more: ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ Season 2: Recap & Ending, Explained – Who Killed Senator Moreno?


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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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