Why Is Netflix’s New Show ‘The Recruit’ So Popular?

“The Recruit,” which was released on Dec. 6, is one of Netflix’s newest action-adventure series. It follows a young lawyer, Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo), who just finished law school and receives an opportunity to work for the CIA. He immediately accepts the offer, but trouble soon follows as he realizes that the CIA is no courtroom. With tons of action, drama, and themes that are relatable to young adults, it makes sense that so many viewers are tuning in.

“The Recruit” begins with Hendricks preparing for his first few days with the CIA. He is eager to start his new career, yet the CIA provides very little training or direction for him, so he must learn to navigate the agency on his own.

Courtesy of Netflix.

Upon arrival, he is assigned the rookie task of sorting through the CIA’s “greymail.” If you don’t know what that is, Greymail is blackmail letters sent to the CIA threatening to release information that poses a national security threat. So, Owen must dig through the graymail and see if they were just empty threats, or if any are a real threat to national security. As he is searching through the letters, he finds one from a woman named Max Meladaze (Laura Haddock), an ex-CIA asset who is currently in prison for murdering a man. In the letter, Meladaze threatens to leak sensitive government information to the media if she is not let out of prison. Hendricks sees her threat as valid and visits her prison in Phoenix, AZ. He agrees to try to get her out and finds out that the secrets she knows are extremely valuable. This causes a lot of action and drama throughout the series, as Meladze helps Hendricks navigate through the CIA better than any of his co-workers.

During the show, Owen is stalked, beaten, tortured and almost murdered multiple times, all in which he had no training for. As I watched, I felt pity for him and the dangerous situations he continuously got put in against his will. Luckily, Meladaze helped him survive several deadly situations.

Courtesy of Netflix.

Despite the series having a ton of intense action that most of us will never experience in our lifetime, Hendrick’s home life is an area to which many twenty-somethings can relate. He lives with two roommates, one of them being his ex-girlfriend, Hannah (Fivel Stewart). It appears clear to the audience and everyone around them that they still have feelings for each other, but do not admit it. Hannah is also a lawyer fresh out of law school and believes from the beginning that Owen is in way over his head. 

The theme of Owen being overwhelmed in a new environment also makes the show relatable to a lot of young adults. Perhaps not at the level of becoming a lawyer at the CIA, but the feeling of unfamiliarity as a young adult can resonate with a lot of young people. Getting out of college, living with roommates, and attempting to navigate a whole new work culture are relatable for people in their 20s. The representation of this feeling is my favorite element of the show. Owen goes through this feeling with ambition and a dose of humor that carries on throughout all of his misfortunes.

“The Recruit” has a cliffhanger ending that leaves fans eager for a second season. Unfortunately, Netflix has yet to announce yet if the series will be returning. But based on the show’s popularity, I think it would be a missed opportunity for Netflix not to continue the series. 

“The Recruit” is available to watch on Netflix.

By Meyshia Lantz

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