The Recruit Season 1 Series Review

The Recruit is a very interesting, high-tempo thrilling, and hilarious series.

The Recruit Season 1 Series Review
Owen Hendricks is The Recruit and he has to navigate danger and crisis just on the onset of his career in the CIA. Source: Netflix.

The Recruit is a 2022 Netflix series about Owen Hendricks, a CIA Office of the General Counsel (OGC) recruit who’s tasked with dealing with the legal side of CIA ops. Owen is immediately over his head and has to navigate a slew of dangers including assassination attempts and the deceptions of his first case, a graymail from Max Meladze.

The Recruit Season 1 Review

This post is both a movie review and a summary of The Recruit. That is to say, it may contain spoilers. 

Rock and Roll

Owen Hendricks, played by Noah Centineo, is a lawyer who swings first and then deals with the consequences later. He’s a 24-year-old wildcard who’ll do anything for that adrenaline rush, but also to prove to others that he matters. When he gets into the OGC right off CIA 101 (CIA Basic Training), he’s immediately given the sh*t pile of graymail letters that are sent to the CIA. Graymail is mail that is threatening to expose state secrets if a condition is not met, mostly a release from prison or something of the like.

Max Meladze

While going through the hundreds of letters, Owen comes upon one by Max Meladze, a former asset in the Belarussian/Russian mafia who was arrested in the US after murdering a trucker. Max is in prison and attests that if the CIA doesn’t free her, she’ll expose a slew of state secrets that would endanger the lives of CIA assets (spies) in Belarus and Russia.

Owen and Max in The Recruit Season 1
Owen and Max. Max is a high-level asset who's graymailed the CIA, asking to be released or spill life-threatening CIA secrets. Source: Netflix.

Hip-Pocket Asset

Max Meladze, played by Laura Haddock, is what is known as a hip-pocket asset, i.e. an asset that has not been vetted or documented officially. She’s a manipulative, tough, and murderous woman who’ll do anything to see herself let free by the CIA. Owen is tasked with handling her case and he has to navigate the madness of doing as she asks, if and when he determines that her threat is credible and that she indeed holds the leverage she claims to have.