The Recruit (Season 1): Known for his role in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before film series, Noah Centineo leads the new ‘The Recruit.’ This new spy adventure series, streaming on Netflix, takes him out of his rom-com persona and infuses him into the grim world of CIA operations. He plays the character of Owen Hendricks, a 24-year-old lawyer who lands a job at the agency just after getting graduated from law school. Instead of securing a position in a more comfortable job, he chooses the challenges of the unpredictable nature of the CIA. Created by Alexi Hawley, it presents a fun ride through the inner workings of the agency in an insightful manner.

The Recruit (Season 1) Recap:

The Recruit Season 1 begins with Owen Hendricks, a fresh graduate from law school who happens to get a job at the General Counsel division of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. Upon reaching his workplace, he tries to figure out the way the place works as any other person would. However, it does not appear to be an easy ride for him since everyone seems to be trying to keep him away from being comfortable in the new work environment. As a new recruit, his senior coworkers assign a laborious task for him to go through several files consisting of letters from people who threaten to expose sensitive details from the agency intel. While he sees it as a clear case of extortion, the job still requires him to go through every individual letter and decipher whether the claim has any value or not.

While scouring through them, he stumbles upon the document of Max Meladze (Laura Haddock), whose claim of a classified mission seems legitimate – since it uses acronyms that a regular person will not know. He presents his case to the head of the CIA- Walter Nyland (Vondie Curtis-Hall), who allows him to follow the lead and understand what she knows. At the moment, Max is locked up in prison for beating a shady trucker to death. Owen goes to meet this former asset. She demands exoneration from the agency and reveals the location of her incriminating documents. While retrieving them, he gets attacked by two Spanish goons for the bag of money he finds, which he manages to hide from them.

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After this kerfuffle, Owen is hesitant to help Max any further. He returns to the headquarters and, upon seeing people within the CIA trying to pull him down one way or the other, decides to help Max. He tries to see if there are any documents connected to her in their database, but even after thorough research does not find anything. He is a rookie agent and ends up sharing details, which he learns, he should keep to himself unless required to be shared. Basically, no one wants to be part of someone else’s grunt work. At the motel he stays at, for the time being, he meets Kelly, who tells him about her father’s death.

Max saves herself from an attack from the Spaniards inside the prison, after which she tells Owen to make peace with them. He asks about the subpoena he received, and she advises sharing some dirt (negative information) on the person to let him take it back. The Spanish goons from before taking him hostage, and he takes them to the money. In the office, Violet (Aarati Mann) and Lester (Colton Dunn) lead him to Amelia (Kaylah Zander), who they say, will help him with his mission. But she wants him to date her in exchange for the favors she does for him. He sees no other option and agrees to it. Later, he thinks of looking through the files with minor spelling errors with Max’s name (seeing that his name was misspelled on an official document as well). He then discovers a bunch of files through which he learns about Max’s old officer – Xander (Byron Mann) and goes to meet him. He tells about her knowledge of valuable intelligence.

On his way back to the airport, he is attacked, which is why he jumps into the river to save himself. After climbing out of the river, paranoid, he gets back to Virginia, where Nyland orders him to oversee Max’s prison transfer. However, she does not want to be transferred to a better facility but to be freed from imprisonment. He asks Alicia for help, who mentions speaking with the Attorney General. During Max’s court trial, Owen learns that it was she who brutally murdered Kelly’s father. However, she did it because of him abusing her tenant at the time.

Owen goes to Beirut for one of Lester’s missions, and while being on a learning curve, he still manages to intimidate the person that they are supposed to confront. He and Lester start to bond because of this help. He later sends a request to the Attorney General for Max’s release, who thinks it is a prank. He clarifies her being a threat and he agrees to it. Meanwhile, Meladze figures out who her case officer was and sends Xander a threatening message. Since he is rising up the ladder and is being known by people of authority quite soon, others start getting jealous. Violet is one of them, who asks for more challenging work, and gets an AI case passed on from Owen. She thinks he is purposefully trying to sabotage her career.

The Recruit. Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in episode 105 of The Recruit. Cr. Philippe Bossé/Netflix © 2022

Nyland orders Own to drop his idea of negotiating a deal with the Attorney General to free Max since they want to use her as an asset. Owen tells the same to him, noting that he does not his help anymore. The general takes it the wrong way and becomes another addition to Owen’s set of enemies. Since Owen learns about an eyewitness of Max killing Kelly’s father, he decides to get meet him, and Max orders a hit on them during their meeting. Since he enters the witness protection, the charges against Max are dropped, and she is freed the same day.

She then meets the Spanish goons to cut a deal with them as her plan to return to the Russian Mafia. But her plan backfires when the Spaniards try to kill her instead. Meanwhile, Kevil, the chief of staff, asks to meet Owen in regard to who revealed his secret identity as ‘not Bob’. While the young guy does not want anything to do with Max anymore, he is forced to work with her again. As per Nyland’s orders, he goes to retrieve Max in Geneva and ends up booking an expensive suite for her perusal. He uses Hannah’s (his ex-girlfriend & current flatmate) credit card for the transaction. She gets suspicious of what he is up to due to the huge bill.

While she tries to seduce him, he does not entertain it. She opens up to him about herself and about her failed marriage and daughter. Then the next day, she gives him a new pair of clothes and tells him to help her with her transaction with the Spaniards. During this time, Dawn Gilbane (Angel Parker) keeps an eye on them since she wants Max to be successfully brought back as their asset. At the time, Xander is also in Geneva and keeps keeping an eye on them. But Max does not let him succeed in it. Meanwhile, a woman named Marta tries to seduce Owen, who rejects her proposal, thinking that he is sexpionage-d (espionage with the offer of sex) by this spy.

Marta keeps an eye on him and Max in the restaurant, who later fights a Russian spy sent by a mob boss named Kirill. She later gifts Owen a watch as a gesture of love. Only much later does it come across as a tool for her to keep track of him. She reveals that Xander slept with Kirill’s wife and decides to use it as leverage as a way to free herself. The next day, when they go to the bank, Owen realizes that he made a mistake in understanding the time zones are reached there at the wrong time. While her account gets blocked, they use her safety deposit box. He then gets photographs from her that show Xander sleeping with Kirril’s wife. On the same night, Xander gets killed.

Outside this restaurant, Owen notices Marta seeing all of this. At the same time, Owen’s roommates – Hannah & Terrence (Daniel Quincy Annoh) reach the restaurant and see this in person. While Owen and Max are on the run to Germany to Gilbert’s base, she throws away his phone so that they do not get tracked and their mission is not sabotaged. However, Hannah, who comes all the way to this part of the world out of concern for Owen, calls her mother to help him get out. She then calls ‘not Bob’ to help with it, who goes to meet Nyland to question this. He is baffled by the amount of connection this young lad has in such a short span of time.

The Recruit (Season 1) Ending Explained:

Does Max manage to save herself in the end?

Max gets hold of a phone and calls Gilbane about their whereabouts. Meanwhile, he calls one of his associates and tells him that he will send some images that have information about high-level Russian intelligence. These are just photos of a diary that he found in Max’s deposit box from the bank. He decides to use them to save himself and his associate from any blame. This associate plants it in such a way that neither is implicated. Upon reaching Gilbane’s place, he and Max are taken hostage by her. Max reveals the Gilbane that the reason for Xander’s death is his affair with the killer – Kirril’s wife.

During their calls with the Virginia office, Owen learns that Marta is actually Nichka – who is a Russian spy. Soon after, Gilbane decides to use Max for a meeting with a Russian named Lev. They decide to bribe him to do their work which is crashed by a shootout by Nichka and her people. Owen decides to go in to rescue Max and kills a Russian agent during the encounter. They both manage to escape this hellhole successfully. However, he has killed a person, which takes a huge toll on him. He also feels that he has had enough of the mess of the CIA and decides to quit the agency.

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The Recruit. Laura Haddock as Max Meladze in episode 101 of The Recruit. Cr. Philippe Bossé/Netflix © 2022

Since he does comply with her orders, Max points a gun at him and threatens to kill him. He regrets that he thought of saving this person, who ended up backstabbing him in the end. Hearing these thoughts of his, she feels guilty and does not fire any bullets. Hannah, who happens to be in the same city at the time, is about to meet Owen. Right at the moment when they are at the crosswords, he is again taken hostage by Nichka’s people. Later he wakes up in handcuffs in a room along with Max. That’s when Nichka walks in and reveals that she is, in fact, Karolina, Max’s daughter. She then shoots Max dead and asks Owen about his relationship with her mother. Max does not manage to save herself in the end, and it is yet to be revealed what happens to Owen.

Will there be Season 2 of The Recruit on Netflix?

The first season ends on a cliffhanger note, which makes it highly likely that Season 2 is highly likely for The Recruit on Netflix. However, there is no official confirmation as of yet about this news. Regardless of that, there seems to be a strong probability of another season since they are more mysteries yet to be unraveled and more relationships that are yet to be potentially explored.

The Recruit (2022) Review: 

The Recruit attempts to bring a fresh perspective to look at CIA operations by not only showcasing the officers as pure angels and conveying a wide range of internal politics that occurs within their organization. Based on their personal interests and career growth prospects, these people also try to sabotage the work of others who they are ideally supposed to accompany.

While one of the agents is having a panic attack, he notes how people who decide to leave because of the constant anxiety are also looked at as targets to put the blame on afterward. Such scenes are simultaneously hysterical & intense in their depiction.

Owen, who is a ‘new fish in the pond’, tries to move through his early days in the CIA with the approach of ‘fake it till you make it.’ He showcases a sense of fake bravado that seems to be borrowed from an image of how he has envisioned the ways people from such covert government agencies talk. Sadly, for the most part, Noah Centineo, as an actor, seems to be serving a parody of his character when he tries to perform this act of faking.

It reminded me of a guy who made a video of a person behaving in his office, assuming it to be the sets of Succession! There is infinite likeability about Noah’s personality but no believability about his character being a CIA agent. The season that follows Owen’s chaotic journey is simple to follow. Still, the element of mystery is dealt with in a wishy-washy manner, which makes you lose interest in the narrative much early in the journey.

Read More: Dead To Me (Season 3): Recap, Review, and Ending Explained

The Recruit (Season 1) Trailer

The Recruit (Season 1) Links: IMDb,Wikipedia
The Recruit (Season 1) Cast: Noah Centineo, Laura Haddock, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Aarti Mann, Kaylah Zander, Fiver Stewart, Colton Dunn
Where to watch The Recruit

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