Twists, betrayals, a huge gunfight, and an ending that may make you teary-eyed caps off the end of “The Recruit” season 1.

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Twists, betrayals, a huge gunfight, and an ending that may make you teary-eyed caps off the end of “The Recruit” season 1.

Aired (Netflix) December 16, 2022
Episode Title W.T.F.I.O.H.
Director(s) Julian Holmes
Writer(s) Alexi Hawley
Noted Characters
CIA Director Nathan Fillion
Lev Orlov Gregory Hlady


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Your Care Is Only Making Things Worse – Hannah, Mei, Terence, Violet, Lester, Kevin

Hannah is really worried about what is going on with Owen, and because of that, she ends up on Violet’s radar. But, with Violet unable to match wits with Hannah enough to get dirt on Owen, she sticks to what Hannah wants, which is information. Which she has none, and with Lester removing all traces of Max and Owen from their room, the local police won’t have any information either.

Thus leading to Hannah calling in that favor her mom, Mei, owes her, but rather than this be a clean favor for a favor deal, Mei extracts a favorable term. One in which Hannah will move out of Owen and Terence’s apartment for information. Hannah doesn’t like this deal but accepts it for peace of mind. Something Terence doesn’t have for, with being around that many cops, and the CIA, he is grossly uncomfortable. After all, he doesn’t have the wealth to buy two first-class tickets halfway across the world, he’s Black and also gay. The combination doesn’t make dealing with legal entities in a foreign country a comfortable experience. Which leads to an apology from Hannah for not thinking about that.

But, while Hannah is screwing up more and more due to her impetuous actions, for Owen’s sake, she gets her answer that Owen is safe. Granted, at the cost of Nyland getting an in-person chat from Kevin, which puts Owen in even more hot water, but at least she knows Owen is safe.

Salvaging The Operation – Dawn, Owen, Max, Lev, CIA Director

Owen’s multiple screw-ups lead to the CIA director to wonder if the operation should be called off. This, for Dawn, isn’t something she wants on her record since, with Xander gone, her main competition for the Moscow post is gone. So with everyone on the same page after Owen and Max reach Dawn’s safe house, the mission moves forward. Albeit with many involved agreeing if this continues to go south, eliminate all liabilities, which means Max and Owen.

But, at first, it seemed like Max was going to salvage things. She and Lev were having a contentious meeting with thinly veiled threats, but there was conversation. But then an unknown group, seemingly after Max, shows up, and bullets start flying. Lev thinks this is an act against him, so Max is forced to pull a hidden gun and start firing.

As all this happens, Dawn’s team are not moving in as you’d expect, but Owen is. In fact, Owen is the first on the scene, knocks out a man or two, and even has his first kill. This act saves Max and leads them to be on the run again, but not before Max kills Lev for she knows he’ll never believe she didn’t cause the chaos, so what use is he? She wants to get home and not have to escape like last time.

Mommie Dearest – Dawn, Owen, Hannah, Owen, Max, Marta, Janus

Owen is done. The thrill of being in over his head is over. Damn what Janus said, Owen would rather be blacklisted than traveling every other day, barely having any sleep, and be in constant life-or-death situations. Max may have adjusted to that life, but, like Hannah, Owen has no desire to be stuck in a job he hates. Janus is the ghost of CIA future, and clearly, things don’t get better.

Max pointing her gun at Owen
“Max,” The Recruit, “W.T.F.I.O.H.,” directed by Julian Holmes, 2022, (Netflix)

This news Max doesn’t accept. She even pulls a gun on Owen because she knows he is the only one she can trust to have her accomplish her goal. After all, he got her out of prison, out of America, and outside the issue at the bank, he has likely been the most consistent and reliable person she has known – ever.

But, with being unable to kill Owen, Max calls Dawn and says he is a problem, which is one way to get him back on board. Max tried to appeal to him, and that didn’t work, so now Dawn, who needs this mission to go perfectly, can force the issue.

At least, that was the plan. When Max thinks Dawn has shown up to pick her up and then go get Owen, she is duped. As for Owen? With Hannah getting a mysterious text that Owen is in Prague, rather than going home as her mom wanted, she goes to Prague because she needs a real conversation with Owen about their future and relationship. Sadly, while he does get a short chat with her on the phone, no sooner than they are face to face, Marta kidnaps him and reveals herself, in a dingy dungeon, to be Max’s daughter. And after she shoots her mom, killing her, she begins to interrogate Owen – which ends the first season.

Things To Note

  1. Owen finds a way to handle the situation he and Janus are in by using the information he took from Max’s notebook and creating an opportunity for Janus to get the information. With that, he’ll make a soldier a hero, and he, Janus, someone with a notable gain of intelligence that could relieve his stress. As for Owen? Maybe Janus may look at him the way Lester does?

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How old is Marta, and how old is Max?
  2. What’s the level of trauma Hannah is at now?
  3. Who texted Hannah that Owen was in Prague? There isn’t a character on this show whose first initial is B.

What Could Happen Next

  1. Owen becoming the operative he was always meant to be and trying to turn Marta into an asset for the CIA


Notable Performances or Moments

Max Being Unable To Kill Owen

Max has held “The Recruit” down throughout the season by giving us everything you’d expected and more. Is she an eastern European mobster turned double agent? Yes. Does she have a backstory clearly made to gain sympathy? Absolutely.

However, while many actors rest on what’s written on the page and deliver something generic, performance-wise, that’s not the case with Laura Haddock. Just in the scene Owen is walking away, and you see Max torn between shooting him and threatening him, yet being unable to kill him because she loves him? It is devastating to watch.

Here is someone who only knows survival, losing the one person who made an effort to make her life easy. And they can walk away. There is no pain in their eyes, no struggle, they are done. The abandonment, the fear of having to carry all the heavy load by yourself again, is packed into one scene with the type of performance many may not expect in a show like this.


They Killed Max!

Owen, Max and Marta after Marta killed her mom
“Owen, Max and Marta,” The Recruit, “W.T.F.I.O.H.,” directed by Julian Holmes, 2022, (Netflix)

It’s one thing to kill Xander, but Max was a character who gave the show heart. On top of that, she had the most developed character of the entire cast. So to kill her off is jarring and really makes you wonder, besides Owen and maybe Hannah, could anyone end up dead?

Marta’s Potential

Being that Owen is trapped behind enemy lines, and Marta killed her own mom, so comes the question of how will Owen talk himself out of a bad situation? Will he end up Marta’s boy toy? Someone who likely spends season 2 re-educating Marta on who her mom is? Maybe becoming an operative by force, since clearly he is far too drawn to danger?

There is so much that could be done, and we’re giddy over what may happen.

On The Fence

An Ending That Makes Everything Not Max-Related Forgettable

Janus’ situation has long lacked oomph. But, I’d submit, between Marta and Max, most suffered from lacking the same energy and investment. Terence should be mad that Linus got involved in something that got someone killed. Amelia continually finding herself involved with Owen’s mess, sucked in like Hannah clearly is, should be played upon.

Hell, I’m still waiting on Violet to become more than Lester’s sidekick with a chip on her shoulder. But, alas, by the end of the season, you see where the investment is and who is made to simply play off.

Owen barely surviving a gun fight
The Recruit: Season 1/ Episode 8 “W.T.F.I.O.H.” [Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
“The Recruit” delivers the kind of season finale that requires you to get up from where you are sitting and walk around to process what you just watched.
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Max Being Unable To Kill Owen
They Killed Max!
Marta’s Potential
An Ending That Makes Everything Not Max-Related Forgettable

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