Created by Alexi Hawley, the 2022 Netflix spy thriller “The Recruit” strikes a balance between the appropriate amount of realism and the gimmicks of a commercial project that are merely added to increase the entertainment value. Often, we see that when the mounting of a project is so huge, the makers get carried away and put all their effort into creating high-voltage action sequences rather than a strong narrative that keeps the audience intrigued. Noah Centineo has landed himself a role of a lifetime, considering he not only gets to play the protagonist, Owen Hendricks, in a series that is backed up by some astute writing but also the end of Season 1 made sure that his association is going to be carried forward in the upcoming seasons. He greatly benefits from his co-actors, especially Laura Haddock, Fivel Stewart, Arti Mann, Kristin Brunn, and Colton Dunn, who put up an amazing show and elevated the overall impact of the series. So, let’s see where Season 1 of “The Recruit” left us and what we could expect from the upcoming seasons if there are any.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Who Kidnapped Max And Owen?
When the sanctions on Max’s bank account weren’t lifted, she and Owen weren’t left with much of an option. They tried to coerce Markus Fischer, an employee of the Bank of Geneva, into letting them access the account, but even he couldn’t do anything about it. Max had to resort to her plan B, and she asked Markus to let her access her safety deposit box. She didn’t have any money there, but she did have something that would help her gain leverage and negotiate with Kirill, the mafia ringleader. For years, Kirill was on the hunt to find the man with whom his wife was having an affair. That man was none other than the CIA case operator/officer, Xander Goi, and he didn’t live long after Kirill got a whiff of his affair. Max knew how the espionage world worked, and she was entertaining the possibility that maybe the killer would have come to kill her and Owen, and Xander, unfortunately, was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. So, Max and Owen went underground until they knew that nobody was tracking them down. All this time, a mysterious woman named Nichka Lashin, who was believed to be a Russian mafia enforcer, was keeping an eye on the proceedings.
In Geneva, too, she had met Owen and told him that her name was Marta. She had tried to woo him, but Owen saw through her intentions and believed her to be an intelligence agent. The CIA believed that she was responsible for the death of Xander Goi, but as it was an independent issue with no connection to Max’s case, nobody followed up on her. Max was about to meet Lev Orlova and buy her way back into her country. Kirill had paid on Max’s behalf in return for the information she had given him. So, everything was set, and Max was getting hopeful that her dream of returning to her homeland might become a reality very soon. Dawn Gilbane had rigged the entire place when Max had gone inside to make a deal with Lev when unexpectedly, a gang of Russian Mafia arrived at the scene and started open firing. Lev thought that Max had betrayed him, and so his men attacked Max. Max had no clue what was happening or who those people were. Owen, who was asked to sit on the sidelines, couldn’t stop himself and jumped into action. Max killed Lev, but before doing that, she told him that she hadn’t betrayed him. Max and Owen once again made a near escape. Owen’s mental condition had taken a toll, and not even in his worst nightmares had he imagined that he would actually end up killing another human being. He asked Max to stop the car, as he just wanted to end his nightmare and go back home. Max pointed a gun at him and warned him that if he decided to leave her, she would be compelled to kill him. Obviously, Max was not going to do that, as she had become emotionally attached to him. It was quite unlikely for a ruthlessly pragmatic CIA asset to show this kind of vulnerability, but the unthinkable had happened.
When Owen left, Max informed Dawn Gilbane about it, and the very next moment, we saw a car approaching her. Max thought that it was the CIA, but it wasn’t. Owen, on the other hand, had called Hannah, and he had decided to go and meet her. But before he could do so, he got kidnapped, and Hannah witnessed the whole thing happening in front of her eyes. Max and Owen had both been kidnapped by Nichka Lashin, a.k.a. Karolina, Max’s daughter, who was assumed to be dead all this time. Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger, and we never got to know how Karolina was still alive when Max had told Owen earlier that she had lost her. Max’s past life was like the debris from a building that had been demolished and broken into fragments. But hidden beneath the rubble were truths that had the potential to destabilize any regime, be it Russia or the United States of America.
Is Max Dead Or Alive? Why Did Karolina Shoot Her?
Though Karolina shot Max, it could be possible that she survives her injuries (and we hope it’s true), and we get to see her once again in “The Recruit” Season 2. But if Max does die, then definitely the makers will show us how she climbed the food chain in Russia and created her strong network. We hope that we get to see Max once again in Season 2 because there is so much more left to explore. She was the kind of person who never let her emotional side show in front of others. She considered emotions a sort of frailty, and even if she did feel something, she hid it under her stoic and restrained demeanor. We would like to see what she exactly felt about Owen and if she actually harbors a dream of having a future with him. If Max survives and comes back to the field, it could be possible that Owen becomes her handler, and they both keep working together, as they undeniably have a good working equation.
As far as Karolina is concerned, there could be two possibilities: Either Max knew that she was alive and she faked it in front of Owen, or maybe she also believed that her daughter had been killed years ago. Now, if Max knew about it, then the biggest question that arises is why she couldn’t foresee that kind of situation arriving. If Max was the kind of person who was always a step ahead of others, then how could she not know what her own daughter was capable of? That is why we are more inclined to believe that Max didn’t have any clue that Karolina existed. The way Karolina shot her own mother gave us evidence of how much hatred she had for her. Karolina might have some very strong reason to believe that her mother had done something that was unjustified. Maybe she blamed Max for killing her father, or maybe she might have been brainwashed by mafia bosses like Kirill. It could have been possible that she was made to believe in a narrative that wasn’t exactly true. Owen’s fate lies in Karolina’s hands, and it is possible that she emerges to become one of the prominent antagonists of “The Recruit” Season 2.
Will Owen leave the CIA in “The Recruit” Season 2?
There was a thin line of difference between being a psychopath and a survivor, and Owen knew that if he stayed in the CIA any longer, he would actually cross that. Such was the culture of the organization that it was inevitable for one’s mental health to be affected. Owen had made up his mind that he didn’t want to prove anything to anybody else in his life. He wanted to go back home, but little did he know that he had been entangled in the cobweb and that there was no way out of it. He wanted to stop working for the CIA, but maybe it was a bit too late for him to back out now. He knew a lot of state secrets, which is why he was not left with the option of not working for the organization. The moment he had discovered that graymail and decided not to ignore it, he should have known that he had sealed his fate. He was kidnapped by Karolina, and in “The Recruit,” Season 2, we would get to witness how he manages to escape from her captivity and save his life. He will probably become like Max and other operatives, as there is no other way to survive amidst such chaos. There is also a possibility that we might see Hannah join the CIA in Season 2. She was the only witness who had seen Owen getting kidnapped, and so even if she didn’t want to work with the CIA permanently, we would definitely see her working alongside them, as she still would want to save Owen. In Season 2 of “The Recruit,” we might see her getting back with her ex-boyfriend, as clearly she hadn’t moved on even after so much time had passed.
From the General Council of the CIA to the White House Chief of Staff himself, everybody had some or other information that they were hiding from the others. Dawn Gilbane was running ghost assets and was responsible for the embezzlement of funds. She wanted to become the chief of the Moscow region one day, and to achieve that, she was ready to do anything. Owen knew that to coerce Dawn into doing something, all he had to do was to tell her that he knew about her corrupt practices. Dawn and her men were probably the nearest to where Owen and Max had been taken by Karoline. In Season 2, we might see Dawn leading her forces on a mission to rescue Max and Owen from the hands of the Russian Mafia. We hope that Netflix announces a Season 2, as “The Recruit” was a thoroughly entertaining series that still has a lot more to offer.