Jack Ryan Season 4 Ending Explained

Jack Ryan's streaming journey comes to an end with season 4 on Prime Video. Or does it? We break down the series finale here.

John Krasinski as Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
Photo: Attila Szvacsek | Prime Video

This article contains spoilers for Jack Ryan season 4.

Superheroic CIA analyst Jack Ryan is one of author Tom Clancy’s most iconic creations. In addition to spawning a whole “Ryanverse” in print, Jack has been played by some of Hollywood’s most prominent heavy hitters including Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine.

With the release of Prime Video’s Jack Ryan season 4, however, one actor can now comfortably claim to being Jack-ier than the rest. This season represents John Krasinski’s (The Office) fourth and final time embodying Jack Ryan’s very big shoes, giving him at least two more Jack Ryan adventures over any other actor. Still, someone else will inevitably take over the Ryan reigns one day as this season marks the end for both Krasinski’s depiction of the character and the series known as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan overall.

So how does the story of Krasinski’s Jack Ryan come to an end? Read on to find out!

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What is the Triad?

Say what you will about Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Seriously, do it. It’s equal parts entertaining and laughable C.I.A. propaganda), but one has to admit that the show knows how to develop compelling, if outlandish geopolitical storylines. The first season of the show deals with Islamic extremist terrorism. The second season covers a corrupt election in Venezuela. The third returns to Clancy’s Cold War roots in Russia. Now this fourth and final season confronts a threat with many elements across the globe.

It’s all quite complicated but to explain it as succinctly as possible, this season Jack discovers a conspiratorial element within the CIA that seeks to establish an enormous worldwide crime syndicate called The Triad by moving illicit materials from Myanmar to Nigeria to Mexico and eventually into the United States, using the cartel’s resources to create a global market for crime. As the season’s trailers helpfully describe it, the scheme combines “the drug cartel with a terrorist organization.”

That’s spooky, to be sure, but also no big deal with a hero like Jack Ryan. Together with his old allies Jim Greer (Wendell Pierce), Mike November (Michael Kelly), and new ally Domingo Chavez (Michael Peña), Jack is able to neutralize most of the “proof of concept” threat in Myanmar before it takes off for Mexico. But while Team Jack destroyed all the triggers for the various bombs, the original “five packages” still made it out. That brings Jack and company back to the U.S./Mexico border where they use the border’s meticulous record-keeping to determine which Toyota trucks are heavier than they’re supposed to be.

After an obligatory gun fight, Jack identifies the offending trucks and disconnects the bombs from WiFi before they can be remotely triggered. Day saved!

Who Was a Secret Bad Guy?

Like most great spy stories, a season of Jack Ryan wouldn’t be complete without a mole reveal. Befitting its status as a final season though, this batch of episodes features significantly more than just one secret bad guy. Basically every character who is new to this season of the show is revealed to have some sort of nefarious motive (aside from Peña’s Domingo).

The melding of a terrorist organization to the cartels to create a worldwide crime syndicate requires a lot of participation from the folks across the world. And they get a hell of a lot of participation. The “secret bad guy” list for Jack Ryan season 4 includes:

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Former CIA Director Thomas Miller (John Schwab)

Thomas Miller was the CIA director prior to Jack ally Elizabeth Wright (Betty Gabriel). He even turned up in season 3 episode 1 briefly to shut down Jack and Elizabeth’s superior nuclear detective work. Well, it turns out that Miller’s obstinance could have actually been obstruction. He was a part of the “Operation Pluto” project within the CIA that used field assets to do the bidding of the villainous Triad. When Domingo Chavez discovers Miller’s involvement, Bill Walters kills him and stages it as a suicide.

Former Operative William James Tuttle a.k.a. “Bill Walters” (Michael McElhatton)

Played by Game of Thrones’ Roose Bolton actor Michael McElhatton, Bill Tuttle (originally using the name Bill Walters) formerly operated within the U.S. government before going solo to work with the Triad. He even works out of a WeWork style office spot where he gets sent correspondence by terrorists and cartel members. Walters ends up being the easiest spoke in the Triad wheel for Ryan and Greer to find and exploit.

Philanthropist Zeyara Lemos (Zuleikha Robinson)

At the top of the Triad pyramid is wealthy philanthropist Zeyara Lemos. She ends up being a “secret bad guy” because she initially presents herself as a benign ally to Jack Ryan’s girlfriend Cathy Mueller (Abbie Cornish) before eventually revealing that she is merely using her as collateral.

Nigerian Lobbyist Adebayo ‘Ade’ Osoji (Okieriete Onaodowan)

A crucial part of The Triad’s plan for global criminal dominance is having access to Nigerian ports. That’s where U.S.-based Nigerian lobbyist “Ade” comes in. Following the assassination of Nigeria’s president by potential CIA assets, Ade loops himself in with Director Wright to help her deal with the political fallout. As she comes to find out, however, it’s all a ruse to still try to keep the CIA in line.

Ade’s village was assisted by Mormons when he was young, which is how Wright works out that he was associated with Miller, who used a Book of Mormon as a message decoder. Wright has Ade sign an immunity agreement to get Jack’s location and save him but then later lets the local police department do its thing in arrested Ade for the murder of Miller.

Senator Henshaw (Derek Cecil)

Thanks to actor Derek Cecil’s superb “don’t trust me” face, Senator Henshaw is perhaps the least surprising turncoat revealed in Jack Ryan season 4. Still, the show waits until almost the very end to pull off the twist. When Jack is summoned to Congress to answer for the CIA’s crimes, he uses the opportunity to reveal that the corrupt Senator Crenshaw helped get the bombs to the U.S. border, either wittingly or unwittingly. Remember kids: always trust the CIA over your elected officials. Jack Ryan says so.

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Is The Domingo Chavez Spinoff Still Happening? 

One of the big, albeit unspoken, mysteries in Jack Ryan‘s final season revolves around new character Domingo Chavez. Domingo “Ding” Chavez is a fairly major player in Tom Clancy’s Ryanverse, popping up in many novels and even some other adaptations. As such, the show bringing Ding into the fold with a reasonably big name attached to play him in Michael Peña was treated as noteworthy when announced. So noteworthy, in fact, that Domingo was supposed to appear in both Jack Ryan season 3 and season 4 and receive his own spinoff per Deadline.

Weirdly though, Domingo did not pop up in the season 3 finale as planned and Amazon has never further commented on the potentiality for a spinoff involving the character since. While Domingo is a welcome and interesting addition to season 4, very little about the character screams “spinoff” either. Ding’s story largely concludes with the season’s final episode in which all of the men who exploited he and his team’s patriotism are either dead or in jail.

Real Tom Clancy heads know that Domingo is a big part of the writer’s iconic strike team Rainbow Six (featured in many video games). Any subsequent exploration into the Ryanverse for Prime Video would likely involve that team but we’ll just have to stay tuned for updates.

Will We See President Jack Ryan One Day?

Amazon’s iteration of Jack Ryan can’t end for good until it tosses off one last Easter egg for fans. In the series closing moments, Jack’s friends Greer, Ding, Mike, and Wright all muse that he did so well in the Congressional hearing that the president is going to ask him to run for president one day.

“Not a chance in hell,” Jack responds.

Of course, there is quite a good chance that Jack will not only run for president one day but win. In Clancy’s novels, Ryan is actually elevated to the presidency through a wild “everybody dies but we have a designated survivor” situation in 1994’s Debt of Honor. Later on, he wins a proper presidential election in the lead up to 2001’s The Bear and the Dragon. Even if we don’t get any future seasons to confirm it, it’s probably reasonable to assume the Krasinski’s Jack Ryan goes the way of his book counterpart and occupies the Oval Office.

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All six episodes of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan season 4 are available to stream on Prime Video now.