Noah Centineo stars in Netflix’s new series ‘The Recruit,’ which has enough charm and quirky moments to make it a one-time fun watch. The series isn’t as great as most people had anticipated, but it’s good enough to overlook the flaws. Or not, for everyone.
‘The Recruit’ Review
Noah Centineo plays the lead, Owen Hendricks, who is the newest recruit to the CIA. He is not an agent or anything, for a starter, but as a lawyer. Well you think he is a going to be the Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman for the agency but that changes quickly.
Langley proves to be too much for Owen too soon, both for him and for us. The seniors, Lester (Colton Dunn) and Violet (Aarti Mann), throw him some graymails, and he jumps right into one big messed-up past CIA case. Too fast, right? We haven’t yet seen him settle into his new office.
“Graymail” letters are written by people who threaten the organization with leaking government secrets if certain demands and favors are not met. Now, not all of these letters are legitimate, but they must check and evaluate each one for potential risks.
Owen Hendricks discovers a letter written by a woman named Max Meladze (Laura Haddock), who is caught and convicted for the murder of a truck driver. We find out why she ended up in prison in later episodes, as the series has a lot of background stories told in flashbacks.
Now, she is threating to release secrets that can cause a lot of problem for the CIA and the government. So, after some digging, Owen decides to meet her to confirm her claims. Soon it becomes apparent that she is actually capable of doing what she wrote in her mail.
Owen is fully into the case, he ends up in Yemen and gets his ass kicked, mainly because he doesn’t know how a CIA guy operates.
That is not it. The recruit, who is just a CIA lawyer, becomes the main guy to solve the case, which has some deeper connections with the agency and the government, as well as a history with Russian mobs. That does sound like a lot on the lawyer’s plate, but making him the guy who is smart enough to navigate his way through is just too exaggerated.
But that is the main theme of the show. So, no complains there really.
It’s not just that the creators portray Owen as a guy who knows what he’s doing, but they also portray him as the show’s Mr English (Mr Bean) in parts. This act of him being both stupid and savvy works in parts for the show. This actually provides some merriment from time to time. However, the novelty and curiosity, or the intended thrills, really aren’t interesting.
In short, the show falters between trying to a modern spy thriller and a cool-and-quirky take on the workings of the CIA.
There are far too many things that are difficult to digest. For example, the asset, Maxine Meladze, who has been rooting in the prison for some time and has access to highly classified documents and a trove of agency secrets, goes under the radar by both the CIA and Russian gangs. It is not like she has a lot of friends.
Even a local gang rival tries to take her out. She survives, of course, for the good of the show.
It becomes clear that Max was not just an asset for the agency but rather her story, connections and missions were part of bigger games, both internal and external. Her connections to the Russian mobs are at quite a high level as well and her own life story has seen quite the complications.
Nonetheless, Max Meladze, played by Laura Haddock, is one character that actually gives the series its dark and rustic, spy-meets-gangster vibes. Though, her chemistry with Owen do not necessarily work out. Even though, that’s what the creator intends to do.
There is a scene in which Own Hendricks is attacked by two assassins and, despite being untrained and stupid, he manages to escape relatively easily. That’s fine. But when he walks out of the river into which he jumped to survive, he discovers not one, but four disconcerting secret service agents. Just like that.
There is so much else that does not make sense. For example, the AI robot case, the case of missiles, or Amelia Salazar, who apparently isn’t looking for anything with Owen, but they end up putting on an act of love, flowers and break-up and all, being professionals and co-workers and what not. Too much. They needed to add some work place spices to the show, understandable.
Centineo is the main focus of the show with his quirky way of talking and looking naive or smart enough whatever the scene demands. His life with his his two room-mates, Hannah (Fivel Stewart) and Terence (Daniel Quincy Annoh), is actually likable. One being his ex-girlfriend. But they kind of ruin that when they try to get them together back towards the end of the show after telling us all this time that they have moved on.
Noah Centineo is freshly off his supporting-role in the superhero flick “Black Adam”, and we also have not forgetten his charming act in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”.
In “The Recruit,” however, he is not at his brightest. He’s not bad, but there are times in the show when he lacks conviction. And it’s not entirely his fault, as the character is just not completely in sync with the screenplay at times.
Should I watch ‘The Recruit’?
Definitely. The show is a fun one-time watch. Go with not expecting great things and you will end up liking ‘The Recruit’.
‘The Recruit’ Cast
- Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks
- Laura Haddock as Max Meladze
- Fivel Stewart as Hannah
- Kaylah Zander as Amelia
- Aarti Mann as Violet
- Angel Parker as Dawn
- Colton Dunn as Lester
- Vondie Curtis-Hall as Walter Nyland
- Daniel Quincy Annoh as Terence
- Kristian Bruun as Janus Ferber
- Byron Mann as Xander Goi
- Linus Roache as Sénateur Smoot
- Tristan D. Lalla
- Pauline Little
- Jamaal Grant
- Michael Lazarovitch
- Sean Tucker
- Katharine King So
‘The Recruit’ Episode Guide
‘The Recruit’ (2022) Netflix action thriller has 8 episodes with each a duration of 50-58 minutes long.
The Recruit Season 2
There is definitely a second season coming for this show. ‘The Recruit’ is currently Netflix’s number 1 show taking over the other hits, Wednesday and Harry and Meghan.
The Netflix are yet to announce the second season but it is most likely seeing the popularity of the show that premiered on 16 December. So lets wait and see.