The Recruit (American TV series)

The Recruit is an American spy-adventure television series created by Alexi Hawley for Netflix. The show follows Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo), a CIA lawyer who becomes involved in massive international conflicts with dangerous parties after an asset tries to expose her relationship to the agency. The series was released on Netflix on December 16, 2022. In January 2023, the series was renewed for a second season.

The Recruit
Created byAlexi Hawley
Music byJordan Gagne
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
  • Hadi Nicholas Deeb
  • Agatha Barnes
  • Marc David Alpert
Production locations
  • Damien Smith
  • Adrienne McNally
  • Sang Han
Running time50–58 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16) –
present (present)



Fledgling lawyer Owen Hendricks, who has just started working for the CIA, has his life turned upside down when he encounters an Eastern European asset who threatens extortion if she is not freed from prison. As her long-term relationship with the CIA is revealed, he becomes entangled in convoluted international politics. Hendricks negotiates with the asset and finds himself at odds with menacing individuals and groups, risking his life as he tries to fulfill his duties.

Cast and characters



  • Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks, a newly hired CIA lawyer
  • Laura Haddock as Max Meladze, a former CIA asset who is in prison for beating a shady trucker to death
  • Aarti Mann as Violet, Owen's co-worker who messes with him
  • Colton Dunn as Lester, another co-worker of Owen's, and Violet's partner in crime
  • Fivel Stewart as Hannah, Owen's roommate and ex-girlfriend
  • Daniel Quincy Annoh as Terence, Owen's other roommate and friend
  • Kristian Bruun as Janus Ferber, Owen's overstressed colleague who reluctantly helps him out
  • Vondie Curtis-Hall as Walter Nyland, Owen's boss and the CIA's general counsel
  • Teo Yoo as Jang Kyu (season 2)[1][2]







Each episode of The Recruit bears CIA-like initials in its title. The codes, which are not unlike the multitude of initials for different divisions and projects that Owen Hendricks must understand in his role within the agency (codes Owen acknowledges at one point he has trouble keeping up with), represent a line of dialogue from their respective episodes.[4][5]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"I.N.A.S.I.A.L."Doug LimanAlexi HawleyDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "I'm Not a Spy, I'm a Lawyer"
2"N.L.T.S.Y.P."Doug LimanAlexi HawleyDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "Never Let Them See You Pucker"
3"Y.D.E.K.W.Y.D."Alex KalymniosAlexi Hawley & George V. GhanemDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "You Don't Even Know What You Do"
4"I.Y.D.I.A.A.C."Alex KalymniosAmelia RoperDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "If You Do It as Anderson Cooper"
5"T.S.L.A.Y.P."Emmanuel Osei-KuffourHadi Nicholas DeebDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "That Sounds Like a You Problem" (Technically, Owen says, "Wow, sounds like a you problem".)
6"I.C.I.N.C."Emmanuel Osei-KuffourNiceole R. LevyDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "I'm Clenching, I'm Not Clenching"
7"I.M.F.T.B.S."Julian HolmesMaya GoldsmithDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "It's My First Time Being Sexpionaged"
8"W.T.F.I.O.H."Julian HolmesAlexi HawleyDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)
Title meaning: "Who the Fuck Is Owen Hendricks?"





It was announced that Netflix acquired an unnamed espionage drama on April 28, 2021, with Entertainment One backing the production.[6][7][8] Dubbed Graymail, the project was created by Alexi Hawley, executive producer of several popular procedural drama series, such as Castle, The Rookie, and its spin-off.[6][7][9][10] Hawley again served as executive producer as well as showrunner. Alongside Hawley, Noah Centineo; Doug Liman, Gene Klein, and Dave Bartis of Hypnotic; and Adam Ciralsky and Charlie Ebersol of P3 Media also joined the project as executive producers.[11][12][13] The project was set as an eight-part one-hour television series.[8][12][14] It was unveiled on September 28, 2022, that Hawley, George Ghanem, Amelia Roper, Hadi Deeb, Niceole Levy, and Maya Goldsmith served as the series writers. Meanwhile, Doug Liman, Alex Kalymnios, Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr., and Julian Holmes directed the episodes.[15] On January 26, 2023, Netflix renewed the series for a second season.[16]



When the production was announced on April 28, 2021, Centineo was unveiled as the lead character of the series.[6][8] More castings were revealed on November 12, 2021, with Aarti Mann, Daniel Quincy Annoh, Vondie Curtis Hall, Kristian Bruun, Laura Haddock, Colton Dunn, and Fivel Stewart joining the main cast.[11][12][14][17] In addition, Byron Mann, Angel Parker, and Kaylah Zander were also announced in recurring capacities.[11][12][18] On December 19, 2023, Teo Yoo was cast as a new series regular for the second season.[1] On January 25, 2024, James Purefoy, Brooke Smith, Devika Bhise, Felix Solis, Young-Ah Kim, Do Hyun Shin, Sanghee Lee, Omar Maskati, and Alana Hawley Purvis joined the cast in recurring capacities for the second season.[2]



Principal photography for the first season took place in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec and Los Angeles, California, on October 25, 2021,[9][10][18] and wrapped on March 28, 2022.[18] Filming for the second season began on January 4, 2024, and is taking place in Vancouver, Canada, and Seoul, South Korea.[19]



The Recruit premiered globally on Netflix on December 16, 2022.[13]



The series was promoted during Netflix's TUDUM Global event on September 24, 2022, on YouTube.[17][13][20] Additional info, including its release date and official title, were unveiled at the official website of the event.[13][14][21][20][22][23] The first official trailer for the series was released on YouTube on November 16, 2022.[24]



The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 68% approval rating, with an average rating of 7/10, based on 31 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "The Recruit may not be the freshest chip off the old block, but it employs Noah Centineo's considerable charms to highly watchable effect."[25] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the show a score of 59 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[26]

Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the series 3 out of 4 stars and said, "Noah Centineo makes a likable lead on the flashy, funny series."[27]


  1. ^ Known as Entertainment One for the first season


  1. ^ a b Brew, Caroline (December 19, 2023). "'Past Lives' Star Teo Yoo to Join 'The Recruit' Season 2 Cast". Variety. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Petski, Denise (January 25, 2024). "James Purefoy, Brooke Smith, Felix Solis Among 9 Cast in Season 2 of Netflix's 'The Recruit'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  3. ^ O'Rourke, Ryan (December 16, 2022). "The Recruit's Creator Alexi Hawley Explains That Season Finale Cameo". Collider. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  4. ^ Gaudens, Reed (December 16, 2022). "The Recruit episode titles: What do the acronyms mean?". Fansided/Netflix Life. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  5. ^ Harris, Raquel "Rocky" (December 16, 2022). "Laura Haddock Says There Were '3 Different Versions' of Max's Storyline for Netflix Series 'The Recruit'". TheWrap. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 28, 2021). "Noah Centineo to Star in Netflix CIA Series from Alexi Hawley, Doug Liman & eOne". Deadline. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 23, 2022). "Alexi Hawley Inks Big New TV & Film Deal with eOne". Deadline. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Zorrilla, Mónica Marie (April 28, 2021). "Noah Centineo to Headline Netflix Espionage Series from 'The Rookie' Creator Alexi Hawley". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Production Weekly – Issue 1268 – Thursday, October 14, 2021 / 139 Listings – 32 Pages". Production Weekly. October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Graymail". Production List. Film & Television Industry Alliance. September 13, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c Zorrilla, Mónica Marie (November 12, 2021). "Noah Centineo's Netflix Spy Drama Adds Series Regulars and Guest Cast". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d Petski, Denise (November 12, 2021). "Noah Centineo's Netflix CIA Drama Series Sets Seven Series Regulars". Deadline. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c d Cordero, Rosy (September 24, 2022). "Noah Centineo's Netflix CIA Series Titled 'The Recruit'; Premiere Date & First Look Photo Revealed at Tudum". Deadline. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  14. ^ a b c Oganesyan, Natalie (September 28, 2022). "Noah Centineo Is a Spy in The Recruit Images for Netflix Series". The Wrap. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  15. ^ "Breaking News - Netflix's "The Recruit" - Official First Look Debut |". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (January 26, 2023). "Noah Centineo's 'The Recruit' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  17. ^ a b Warner, Sam (September 27, 2022). "Black Adam's Noah Centineo reveals new Netflix series and air date". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  18. ^ a b c Moore, Kasey (September 24, 2022). "'The Recruit' Noah Centineo Netflix Series: Everything We Know So Far". What's on Netflix. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Bitran, Tara (January 25, 2024). "Everything You Need to Know About The Recruit Season 2". Tudum (Press release). Netflix. Archived from the original on March 24, 2024. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  20. ^ a b Shafer, Ellise (September 24, 2022). "Noah Centineo Reveals December Premiere Date for Netflix Spy Drama 'The Recruit'". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  21. ^ Mboho, Edidiong (September 28, 2022). "'The Recruit' Images Put Noah Centineo & Laura Haddock Front and Center". Collider. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  22. ^ Thao, Phillipe (September 25, 2022). "Noah Centineo's Next Mission, 'The Recruit', Begins on Dec. 16". Netflix. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  23. ^ Romero, Ariana (September 28, 2022). "Noah Centineo Is All Suited Up in New 'The Recruit' Photos". Netflix. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  24. ^ Gaudens, Reed (November 16, 2022). "The Recruit starring Noah Centineo release date, cast, synopsis, trailer, and more". Netflix Life. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  25. ^ "The Recruit: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  26. ^ "The Recruit: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  27. ^ Reoper, Richard (December 16, 2022). "'The Recruit': New guy at the CIA hits the ground running in your next action-packed Netflix binge". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 17, 2022.[permanent dead link]