THE RECRUIT: Alexi Hawley on the Season 1 Finale Cliffhanger, That ROOKIE Special Guest, and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE RECRUIT: Alexi Hawley on the Season 1 Finale Cliffhanger, That ROOKIE Special Guest, and More

December 23, 2022 by  

The Recruit season 2 spoilers

The Recruit. (L to R) Laura Haddock as Max Meladze, Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in episode 107 of The Recruit. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for season 1 of THE RECRUIT.]

While season 1 of THE RECRUIT largely focused on Owen (Noah Centineo), a young lawyer who joined the CIA and his very crazy first few weeks on the job, a lot of his tension is with a former asset, Max (Laura Haddock), who is now threatening the agency.

The duo are forced to work together, and occasionally get close…but still can’t quite trust each other. And by the finale, when the two are at their most fractured, a final twist was in store: Max was shot in front of Owen—by her own daughter. (Whom Max claimed, repeatedly, was dead.)

But is everything as it appears? THE RECRUIT creator Alexi Hawley shares some insight with Give Me My Remote into the big cliffhanger, how the writers might handle season 2, that special THE ROOKIE guest star, and more…

Max certainly seemed in a very, very bad spot when the season ended. How did you come to the decision to close out the season with possibly killing her, and how will that shake up a possible season 2?
Max is such an amazing character and Laura Haddock did such a brilliant job playing her, that the idea of shooting her, of ending on that note, is incredibly powerful and dramatic.

Somebody asked me the other day about the “bravery” of cliffhanging like that when you don’t know you’re gonna get a season 2—which we [don’t know yet]. But I just feel like you always have to do the thing that’s the most dramatic and the most sort of unexpected. Also, honestly, once you have that scene with her pointing a gun at him outside and then she’s like, “The lawyer’s a problem”—he’s about to sell him out, there is no redemption. It just felt like such a complete story to get you to that point where shooting her was so powerful, that I’m like, we have to do it.

The last five minutes of the finale, just personally, I feel are the best five minutes of television I’ve ever done. I think you have to—in the same way that GAME OF THRONES, when they cut off Sean Bean’s head, as an audience, we weren’t expecting that; he’s the star of the show. He’s the good guy.

Not tipping [my hand about] whether it’s a fatal shot or not, but ultimately you have to make that dynamic decision. It just feels like we’d be cowards if we didn’t go for it.

In success, do you imagine season 2 picking up where we left off, or with some sort of sizable time jump?
You definitely have to pick up right where you left off. I think the joy of the show is that the first season takes place over two weeks, maybe? And so he’s still brand new. I think a time jump, a big time jump, would sort of undercut the fact that he’s been through a ton of s—, but he’s still doesn’t have time to process it before, in theory, you throw him right back into the well with a new greymail coming in or something like that.

The Recruit season 2 spoilers

The Recruit. Nathan Fillion in episode 108 of The Recruit. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

The finale had a cameo from Nathan Fillion, who you’ve worked with on THE ROOKIE and CASTLE. How did he end up a part of THE RECRUIT world?
I called him, because who better? Having the director of the CIA show up at the 11th hour in this series—which had some phenomenal guest stars like David Denman—[the question was] who could possibly just walk in and own the room? And it’s definitely Nathan.

So I called him, and he said, “yes,” before I even finished asking. But what was so funny was we shot his stuff all on green screen, in LA, at the end of a ROOKIE day—[director] Bill Roe shot it for us and we set up the lobby with a big green screen and a conference table behind him. And Nathan was just so excited that he got to curse. I mean, he’s been doing network television forever…and he was so thrilled to play a character who was just like, “Who the f— is Owen Hendricks?!” Just to be an asshole was really great. and I’m just forever grateful that he said yes, because he just owns those scenes. It’s great.

If the show returns, is the plan for Nathan to reprise the role? Or was that a one-and-done cameo in your mind?
We want to see the director again at the CIA. So yeah, we definitely would want him back, if we can make it work with the schedules, because obviously he’s got a full-time job right now. But we got him out for THE SUICIDE SQUAD; it’s always possible. That’s the joy with THE ROOKIE—it really is a true ensemble, even though it has a big TV star. With THE SUICIDE SQUAD, we just crafted a couple of episodes where the storylines were fairly contained, and you could shoot them all in a couple of days…and then he gets two weeks to go do his thing. And, yeah, I know a guy who can arrange an easy schedule for him.

If THE RECRUIT gets renewed, do you imagine having to juggle it, THE ROOKIE, and THE ROOKIE: FEDS simultaneously?
I don’t think it’s possible to [avoid that]. Obviously, Noah is already a star; I think this show will very much redefine him and catapult him…he’s so good in this. He’s just so captivating and charming, and, like Nathan, willing to play the butt of a joke or to fall down, which so many leading men are not.

So, yeah, I think ultimately they’re going to be in production at the same time. ROOKIE and ROOKIE: FEDS are in production nine to 10 months out of the year…usually in network television, as a showrunner, you might get a week off between seasons. We’ll see. I mean, it’s a high-class problem. It’s my own fault. So I can’t complain. But I am running FEDS with Terence [Paul Winter] and so he definitely takes a big load, and it helps.

Anything else you want to share about making the show?
There are stakes, bad things happen–it’s not just a comedy. But at the same time, it’s really funny. And so especially in this day and age, after the last five years that we’ve been through, and how hard it continues to be, when people are staring at 1000 choices, you’re like, “Oh, that looks fun. That looks like I’ll go on a ride.” I definitely feel a responsibility to do that.

I mean, you started off the show with Owen singing Taylor Swift while peeing in the snow…so the humor is definitely apparent from minute one.
The thing that’s great about that is she has to personally approve the usages of her songs, and so she must have had to watch that clip of him peeing in the snow, singing her song. And I love that she did that and had to say yes to it; like that’s awesome. The way I pitched that was ultimately it’s Eddie Murphy in 48 HRS. It’s just that sort of iconic opening—you’ve never, especially in a spy thing, introduced your hero having a pee in the snow, singing Taylor Swift.

THE RECRUIT, Now Streaming, Netflix


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