The Prime Video comedy follows an odd couple, “John” (Glover) and “Jane” (Erskine), as they join a mysterious program that pairs would-be spies as couples. As Jane informs John, the Soviet Union used that technique because, in addition to the pleasant company, couples tend to be less conspicuous. For eight episodes, we follow John and Jane as they chase down an untold number of eccentric marks, and with each installment, their relationship deepens (and deteriorates) a little more.
Some of the show’s weirdo side characters stick around for a while, but more often than not, they’re gone before we know it—making their appearances all the more entertaining. That said, which of these A-list interlopers really stole the show? Was it John Turturro as a domineering, kinky art aficionado, or maybe Sarah Paulson as a delightfully clueless therapist? Here, for your perusal, are our Fun with John and Jane Power Rankings, in ascending order from least to most memorable.
This Money Heist star barely got any screen time as John’s ex, Rooney, but she certainly made an impression on Jane when she randomly ran into her and John at a farmer’s market. (Why, oh why, did John have to make it a point to say “hi” before Rooney even noticed him there?!) From our quick glimpse at Rooney, it appears that she’s gotten it all since breaking up with John: She’s been promoted from food stylist to art director, and she’s got an adorable son who loves poking holes in heirloom tomatoes.
But here’s the real question: How many hands does Rooney actually have? According to Jane, she only has one, but John definitely remembers her having two. Cleverly enough, the show leaves that question open-ended; throughout Corberó’s time on screen, we only see one for sure. Then again, Jane also has some “sociopathic tendencies,” so maybe she was just messing with John. What is the truth?!
Alexander Skarsgård and Eiza González
When we first meet these two in the very beginning of the series premiere, it’s unclear what their roles will be—that is, until they both die almost instantly. It turns out that they’re our glimpse at the same “John and Jane” program that later recruits Glover and Erskine’s characters as spies. Their untimely demise serves as foreshadowing about the ominously ruthless organization. (Not for nothing, they also look just a little bit like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, whose 2005 film inspired the series.)
I’m not going to lie; given her masterful comedic performance in Catastrophe, I spent all of Episode 3 waiting for Horgan to let loose in a big scene that never really came. Sure, she was fantastic as Gavol Martin, a cunning businesswoman whose relationship struggles with her husband mirror those that have quickly emerged between John and Jane. But where was her blow-the-ceiling-off set piece? The Italian ski resort where John and Jane were assigned to bug Gavol and her husband’s phones provided a cinematic setting that (apart from a very funny frostbite scene) never quite paid off. I’ll just say this: If I ever found out that my husband declined my kidnapper’s demands with basically no hesitation, I’m pretty sure I’d throw an Emmy-worthy fit, and Horgan would’ve been great at that.
Brangelina’s widely satirized couple’s therapy scenes provided a frame narrative for the 2005 film, and in Episode 6, Sarah Paulson’s appearance as John and Jane’s therapist works as a fitting callback. Paulson fulfills all of the familiar stereotypes, from her soothing voice to the lightly repressed frustrations with her own life that hide underneath. Best of all, however, she absolutely nails the airy naivete required to make her scenes with John and Jane work—like when she says their jobs as “software engineers” are not “life and death.” Oh, Sarah, if you only knew…
Turturro’s casting here is genius; who better to play a weirdo who likes to subjugate cater waiters for fun? In Episode 2, John and Jane must infiltrate a silent auction and inject truth serum into the person who bids highest on “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” by Andy Warhol. The mission goes awry thanks to an unfortunate understanding that foreshadows John and Jane’s communication issues, but the good news is that as our poor, unfortunate serum recipient, Eric Shane, Turturro is both formidable and absolutely ridiculous. As in, he forces John and Jane to get on all fours on the floor and bark like dogs. That said, the best moment in this free-wheeling performance comes later, when an extremely honest Eric delivers a speech to an audience he apparently loathes.
There are worse places than a gorgeous rural cabin to be forced into as a safe house, but Perlman’s character Toby Hellinger finds a way to whine about it anyway. John and Jane’s mission might be to protect Toby from harm, but he’s the kind of target who makes you want to kill him anyway. He’s uncooperative, fakes heart attacks to get what he wants, and worst of all, he’s an absolute baby. Much like Turturro’s casting, it feels like a stroke of genius to bring in Perlman, whose tough-guy characters would have dispatched this wimp in less than an hour. Fun fact: Perlman also happens to be showrunner Francesca Sloane’s father-in-law!
An excessively curious neighbor can be the bane of a spy’s existence, and from the moment John and Jane move in next door to him, Dano’s character—who never gets a name, dubbed only by our central couple as “Hot Neighbor”—is just that. Is he just a snoop, or does he perhaps work for the CIA? Did “The Company” send this guy to keep tabs on John and Jane, or is he really just an obnoxious guy with a dog that likes to eat cat poop? It’s better to leave the answers to those questions a surprise, but know this: In the end, more than anyone, it’s Hot Neighbor who gets the last laugh in this series, and Dano milks every minute of it.
No one could have played Bev better than Coel does in Episode 7. At first, it seems as though she’s just John’s lover. But soon after Jane and her gun pay Bev an unwelcome visit, it quickly becomes clear that there’s far more to this woman than initially meets the eye. If John and Jane aren’t careful, she just might be the death of them. Coel leans hard on her comedic background in the beginning of her appearance, and by the end, she goes full-on action hero. Her guest spot teaches us all an important lesson: If you underestimate the wrong woman, she just may destroy you.
When John and Jane meet Parker Posey and Wagner Moura’s characters—Other John and Other Jane—you can immediately sense their fascination and envy. Other John and Jane seem to have it all: They’re uninhibited, they’ve never failed a mission, and their passion for one another is palpable even through a screen. They’re the kind of couple that sucks you into their orbit, hypnotizing you with their sharp humor and fantastic stories. Even their sneezes seem to have an otherworldly power. Posey and Moura play the part with just the right amount of sauce, keeping us on the edges of our seats at all times. They also introduce one of the series’ funniest smash cuts by dragging John and Jane on an ultra-high-risk mission. If you don’t guess these characters’ final twist from the start, you’ll wonder immediately after it happens how you never saw it coming.