‘The Recruit’ Season 1, Episode 2: Recap & Ending, Explained: What Did Owen Find Out From Case Officer?

Previously in Episode 1 of “The Recruit,” we saw Owen being subpoenaed by Senator Smoot, and then he discovered a greymail from Max Meladze threatening the Agency with leaking all confidential information about their clandestine activities unless the CIA cleared her criminal record. Owen discovered that Max Meladze was a hip-pocket asset with Russian intelligence, but because she didn’t have any files or ID in the CIA, it was difficult for Owen to get to know the case officer, but soon after his encounter with Max, he discovered that his handler was Not Bob, which was the code name of an agent who was now working for the President of the United States. 


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Max End Up In The US?

Episode 2 opens in Minsk, Belarus, set five years earlier when Max Meladze was a CIA double agent working from Belarus. We witnessed her communicating in crypto language with a Russian general who was scheduled to attend a council meeting. One of the agents, who appeared to be Max’s friend, told her that the council was held to discuss her because the Belarus intelligence had discovered that she was working as a double agent, but Max’s case officer informed her that the Russians still didn’t know that she was working for the CIA. However, the Obshchak (an umbrella organization of criminal groups) had put a price on her head and some of them were out there to kill her. Soon after the talk, Max discovered that two goons were approaching her, but after a long chase, Max managed to ultimately knock them down and flee. She asked her case officer to assist her, but he could only persuade the agency to take her from Belarus and relocate her to the United States, even though she didn’t want to go. But she didn’t have much choice, so she came to the United States and tried to communicate with the CIA, but no one listened to her. Five years later, in Owen’s timeline, Owen awoke to find the Senator had issued an official letter stating that he had subpoenaed him. He also found his name was misspelled in this notice. Hannah and Terence, Owen’s roommates, tried to persuade him that the way he was handling the case was unsafe since he was working for a client he couldn’t trust. Owen recognized he was in a difficult situation since he had been subpoenaed, for which he may face jail time, and he was now working with people he couldn’t trust. He remembers the bag he had concealed in a parking lot’s locker, and he had to get it. But on his way to work, he received a call from Max, who evidently had a cellphone in prison and had already stalked Owen on social media. Max had called to ask where he had kept her suitcase, and Owen had refused to tell her because first, he wanted to learn the confidential information that she had been hiding and for that he wanted to fly to Phoenix right away, but Max advised him not to unless he was going to get her out of jail. Otherwise, all the confidential info would be transmitted to CNN by her. As Terence recommended, Owen went to the records department to learn as much as he could about his unreliable client, Max Meladze, but the system took a lot of time to access the data, so Owen had to return to his office. Violet and Lester met with Owen to learn about his love life, which Owen refused to discuss, but Violet informed him that in this Agency if he formed a close relationship with any other colleague, it would be beneficial for him to gather information; otherwise, no one wanted to know other people’s clients’ information. Owen informed them that if he decided to start dating someone from the office, he would notify them first. Owen now had to attend his first staff meeting, where he discovered that everyone was speaking in code language about their separate cases, but when it was Owen’s turn, he botched up by revealing information regarding assets and Russia without utilizing crypto language. Nyland advised him to be more cautious in this regard.


Why Did Talco Attack Max?

In Arizona, Max was attacked by a fellow convict dispatched by drug dealer Talco, one of the guys that chased Owen down in episode 1 to retrieve the bag. But Max stabbed her to defend herself, and both of them were taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, Owen learned through Janus that he needed to locate Max’s case officer in order to learn her actual station. When he learned that Max had been clobbered by a prisoner in Arizona, he assumed that the CIA had hired someone to kill her, but Nyland confirmed that the CIA had nothing to do with it, and thus he had to fix this matter because the longer he waited, the more dangerous it would be for him because the Senator had already been scheming to have Nyland resign, so he had nothing but terror in his mind. Owen came to Arizona only to discover that it was not the CIA but Talco who was chasing the bag of money, so Max advised him to make peace with Talco, as he was also after him to know where he had kept the bag. Owen also learned that Max wasn’t just a regular asset but that she knew a lot more about politics when she told him why he had been subpoenaed by the Senator. She informed him the Senator was plotting to learn anything about Nyland’s actions from Owen and that if Owen informed him, the subpoena would be rescinded. Owen was staying at a hotel in Arizona when he encountered Talco, who then grabbed and tied him up. He threatened to drill his leg if he didn’t tell him where the bag was. So Owen told him the truth, preventing him from mutilating his leg. Owen drove Talco to a parking lot where he had stored the bag, but on the way, he asked how he knew Max, to which Talco said that Max created a niche business when she moved here, but she took all the money that didn’t belong to her, so now he would either take the money or murder them both. Owen handed him the money in the parking lot, but in return, Talco snatched his rented car, and Owen couldn’t do anything since he didn’t want to die. He returned to Langley and spoke with Hannah, who told him that she was worried about him, but from their conversation, Owen remembered that his name was misspelled in the subpoena letter, which means that this Agency kept misspelling these names, so it’s possible that Max Meladze’s name was misspelled from the beginning, and that’s why her file wasn’t available in the archives. He returned to the records department and handed the operator a page with 100 different spellings of Max Meladze. Owen requested Violet’s assistance with the information regarding whether Max Meladze’s case could be transferred to the federal so that her records might be cleared if necessary, but Violet paired him up with Amelia, who was single and looking for a date. Owen approached Amelia in this respect, and Amelia told him that as an AUSA, she had ties with Main Justice, where her acquaintance A’Nyah could alter Max’s case to be federal, but in exchange, Owen would have to date her, and their relationship would be entirely “no-strings-attached.”

What Did Owen Come To Know from The Case Officer?

Finally, some files from the records department had arrived, but some of the papers were difficult to read since many details had been blacked out, but the name of her case officer was visible. Owen learned that her case officer was now in Vienna, and he had to go see him. With Nyland’s approval, Owen began looking for his black passport, which Violet had never given him. If Owen had informed Nyland of this behavior, it would spell trouble for Violet. So, Lester and Violet were left with no choice but to assist him in creating a false cover identity. With the name Lance Millerman, a temporary legal attache for the States Department, Owen landed in Vienna. But as soon as he got there to meet with the case officer, Xander, numerous US counterintelligence agents began to pursue him. As a result, Xander called him and informed him that, due to his lack of knowledge of counterintelligence, he was still vulnerable to these cases. Owen arrived at the embassy after being instructed to head there. He spoke with Xander, who appeared to be maintaining some secrecy regarding his encounter with Max, and he was told that Max was an unscreened asset who had connections to elite Belarusian and Russian politicians in the past. She also used to handle other assets, which meant that Max was very knowledgeable about the other Russian and Belarussian spies who worked for the CIA. Owen urged Xander to hand over all the documents and information about Max Meladze because he believed it would be risky if Max knew such secrets. In between exiting the building and boarding a taxi to the airport, Owen called Max to notify her that he had discovered the data she had allegedly possessed. However, in the meantime, Owen learned that the cab driver wasn’t actually a cab driver but an assassin who finally attacked him. Owen jumped from the car and ran into the streets while Max was still talking to him on the phone and giving him advice on killing her off, but he soon discovered that he was surrounded by the assassins and had no choice but to jump into a lake in the freezing Vienna weather. He managed to avoid being killed on this journey, but the mystery of who ordered those individuals to kill Owen still stands. Why, even if that counterintelligence were there in Episode 3, would they approach Owen? Let’s find out.


See more: ‘The Recruit’ Season 1, Episode 1: Recap And Ending, Explained: Who Was Max Meladze?

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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