What Happened to Cathy Mueller in ‘Jack Ryan’ Season 2?

Actress Abbie Cornish is conspicuously absent from the Tom Clancy adaptation this time around

Last Updated: November 10, 2019 @ 10:25 AM

(Some spoilers ahead for season 2 of “Jack Ryan” on Amazon Prime Video)

The second season of “Jack Ryan” is 99 percent totally solid, but it’s got one major quirk that can be pretty disorienting for fans. That quirk being the complete absence of Cathy Mueller (Abbie Cornish). And by “complete” I mean she is neither mentioned nor even alluded to in any way. Jack is single, and as far as this season is concerned, Cathy never existed. It’s weird.

Cathy was Jack Ryan’s (John Krasinski) love interest in the first season, just as she was in Tom Clancy’s novels. In the books, in fact, Cathy and Jack ended up getting married and having kids and all that — and she’s the First Lady when Jack is elected president. So pretty much everyone figured that Cathy, and thus Cornish as well, would be a mainstay of Amazon’s series.

I was certainly surprised, then, when I watched screeners of the second season last month, to discover that not only is Cathy not in “Jack Ryan” season 2, but she’s never even referenced. This led to some confusion on my part early on when Jack sleeps with another woman, and then later on says he’s single. What happened with Cathy? I guess they just broke up between seasons? And Jack just isn’t gonna talk about it?

It’s even more perplexing when you try to scour the internet for an explanation for Cornish’s absence, because it’s tough to find any kind of notice that she wouldn’t be back for season 2, or any comment on why. If I had to guess, I’d say that Cathy’s absence was a creative decision, since Jack Ryan spends just about the entire season outside of the United States, and it’s not super obvious where Cathy would fit in this story beyond just being the worried girlfriend who Jack has to check in with every couple episodes.

But that wouldn’t explain why Jack is single this time or why everybody just pretends like Cathy never existed. I think that’s what’s oddest about her absence. They didn’t write her out of the show — she’s just not there, and everybody who is still around acts like that’s perfectly normal.

Fortunately, despite this weirdness, “Jack Ryan” season 2 is still far superior to the first season. It’s good enough that once it clicks in your brain a few episodes in that Cathy really just isn’t gonna show up it’s not too hard to get past it. But it’s still weird.

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