He’s neither a suave James Bond nor the ruthlessly efficient Jason Bourne. Instead, John Tavner, the intelligence operative at the heart of Amazon’s “Patriot,” is a spy defined by who he isn’t.

The emotionally damaged American agent finds himself in familiar spy terrain, enmeshed in dangerous undercover work as a “non-official cover,” as the critically acclaimed and darkly funny drama returns to for an eight-episode second season Friday.

“He defies the action hero, the idea (that) they can do anything and they’re the best at everything. He’s not an action hero at all,” says Michael Dorman, who plays the spy who would rather be a folk singer.

John’s reluctance and offbeat nature aside, “Patriot” checks off many boxes of the spy genre. It tells the story of a secret mission — John takes a cover job at a Milwaukee piping company with an overbearing boss (Kurtwood Smith) — to prevent Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb. (The plan goes woefully awry.) Shot primarily on the streets of Paris, the second season also conveys the genre’s international allure. 

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