Jack Ryan S3’s warhead storyline echoed a similar, more deadly one in The Sum Of All Fears, although making it better for various reasons.

Warning! SPOILERS about Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan season 3 ahead.Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan season 3’s themes echoed various previous Jack Ryan movies, but one storyline in particular took from 2002’s The Sum Of All Fears and made it better. Although Amazon Prime Video’s Jack Ryan features the titular character in a different point in his life and career compared to The Sum Of All Fears’ Jack Ryan, the core of both stories included developments where rogue factions with close ties to the Russian military try to upend the world’s order. These similarities give Amazon Prime Video’s Jack Ryan a chance to develop one storyline echoing The Sum Of All Fears without letting it end in tragedy.


Based on the book of the same name by Tom Clancy, The Sum Of All Fears sees Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) seemingly at the start of his career, differently from where Jack Ryan season 3 has its main character (John Krasinski). Working as a reboot and distancing itself from previous Jack Ryan films, The Sum Of All Fears both sets up Ryan’s career change leading him to work with high ranking officials and introduces part of the original story from Tom Clancy’s book. Indeed, Baltimore’s Super Bowl nuclear explosion in The Sum Of All Fears mirrors the book’s events, but it also has a facsimile in Jack Ryan season 3 episode 6’s controlled detonation.

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How Jack Ryan Season 3 Did The Sum Of All Fears’ Story Better

John Krasinski as Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Season 3 Episode 6 and Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears

Jack Ryan, season 3, episode 6, sees a more experienced Jack Ryan than Affleck’s version in The Sum Of All Fears, therefore when he realizes where the rogue Russian faction seeking to re-establish the Soviet Union intends to detonate the warhead, he actually manages to neutralize Sokol’s first step by having the nuclear weapon detonate in a tunnel rather than in an inhabited town. Ryan’s timing and plan essentially prevent any loss of life aside from the attacker’s, making Jack Ryan season 3’s explosion a more rewarding end to the storyline. Instead, The Sum Of All Fears makes the ordeal much more chaotic, as the attack isn’t expected and it also goes ahead.

The format of Prime Video’s Jack Ryan also plays into the storyline’s success, as the threat was built throughout Jack Ryan season 3 episodes 1 through 5, culminating in episode 6’s foiled attack. The Sum Of All Fears lets the attack happen the way the rogue faction intended, causing a considerable amount of deaths and almost plunging the US and Russia into nuclear war. This makes Ryan’s plan much more chaotic and rushed as he fights against US high officials wanting to start a war against Russia while simultaneously trying to convince the Russian president not to do just the same.

Why The Sum Of All Fears Was Ben Affleck’s Only Jack Ryan Movie

Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears

As The Sum Of All Fears introduces Ben Affleck’s version of Jack Ryan while also taking some storylines from the original Tom Clancy book, it makes the film easily stand on its own. Indeed, as the plot to lead the US and Russia to war is thwarted and Ben Affleck’s Jack Ryan’s involvement ends with the foiling of said plot, there is no need for a follow-up movie. Tom Clancy’s book deals with Jack Ryan towards the end of his career as CIA director, so a sequel to The Sum Of All Fears couldn’t have closely followed the books in order, as they portrayed an entirely different Ryan.

Additionally, it also didn’t help a potential sequel that The Sum Of All Fears released less than a year after 9/11, thus possibly being perceived as insensitive considering a big storyline involved a deadly attack on US soil. The Sum Of All Fears wasn’t the last Jack Ryan reboot, but its mixed critical reception that also didn’t view Ben Affleck’s Jack Ryan particularly positively didn’t help stop the franchise from reintroducing the titular character in a different setting. Whether Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan will be the final Jack Ryan product for some time or not, season 3 definitively did justice to The Sum Of All Fears.

Next: Did Tom Clancy Create Jack Ryan’s Mike November?

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