The Recruit season 1 ending explained – who is Nichka Lashin?

By Adam Lock
Published: December 16, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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The series really falls apart in this final episode as Owen’s love triangle subplot becomes the focus and the major motive for many ridiculous decisions. Love is doing all of the heavy lifting in this implausible storyline. Although that crazy twist ending hints at a larger story to explore.

We recap the Netflix series The Recruit season 1, episode 8, “W.T.F.I.O.H.,” which contains spoilers and explains the ending.

The Recruit started as a quirky and tense spy adventure series involving a lovable rogue in Noah Centineo’s Owen Hendricks, but as the show has progressed it spiraled into a more romantic-tinged espionage caper instead. The romance angle comes from two specific relationships. Owen is still hung up on his ex-girlfriend Hannah (Fivel Stewart), and yet he has strong feelings for the murderous Maxine Meladze (Laura Haddock) as well. In the season finale, “W.T.F.I.O.H.” (I’m guessing this is: Who the F*** is Owen Hendricks?), Owen’s love triangle somehow gets mixed up in this deadly world of Russian Intelligence.

The Recruit season 1, episode 8 recap

The mission to acquire the bribery money has gone sideways and an American agent has ended up dead. Lester and Violet are the first on the scene. Lester quickly scrubs the hotel room and gathers up all the evidence into a suitcase and bags. Violet is on hand to help him flee this crime scene, just as the police show up.

Meanwhile, Owen and Meladze have escaped on a coach and are headed for Germany. Owen’s still in shock after finding Xander dead. He blames Meladze for the death, but she doesn’t think Kirill would have acted that fast. She believes an assassin was sent to kill them and Xander just ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They now have a target on their heads. Owen turns on his phone to see if he’s had any messages and Meladze hurls it out of the window.

All the CIA players in the scheme meet for an online briefing. This introduces us to Nyland’s boss, played by Nathan Fillion (Castle), who wants to shut down the failed operation. Gilbane manages to persuade him to do otherwise, mentioning Meladze’s value as an asset. He gives her twenty-four hours to find the asset or the operation is to be terminated.

Owen swipes a nun’s phone and Meladze uses it to call Gilbane. She confirms that they are safe to still rendezvous in Germany. Then Owen uses the phone to take photos of Meladze’s notebook, the one that he stole earlier. He calls Janus and passes on the Russian Intelligence he’s just found inside it. This information may save Janus and Owen from their current scandal. Owen and Meladze then drive to Gilbane’s base. She tells Owen along the way that Gilbane is using fake assets to pocket CIA money, information they can use against her in the future. On their arrival at the base, they are handcuffed and taken as prisoners. Gilbane doesn’t trust them after Xander’s death.

After stumbling onto the crime scene, Hannah and Terrence are worried about Owen’s safety and tell Violet what they know down at the consulate. Hannah uses her mother’s powers in the White House to find out about Owen’s location and whether or not he is still alive. This alerts Kevin Mills, who is informed that somebody is snooping around where they shouldn’t be. He confronts Nyland on the matter. Nyland brings it up in his next meeting, ordering Owen to remain radio silent from now on. This second meeting brings up some fresh information. They are updated on Xander’s death and the possible motives. Then Lester name-checks Marta as Nichka Lashin, the woman who tried to seduce Owen in the hotel bar, someone who is clearly tied up in all this chaos.

With the mission still operational, Gilbane organizes the meeting with Lev. They travel to this wintry location in a truck that contains a mobile ops center, where they can watch an aerial feed of the place via a drone in the sky. Gilbane and her troops then head out on foot to make sure everything is ready, locking the perimeter. Meladze is nervous about the transaction and kisses Owen before leaving. The rookie lawyer listens to the transaction, before exiting the truck to take a leak.

Owen sees a convoy of Russian vehicles pass him by and tries to warn Gilbane that it’s an ambush. Meladze is shot at, but Lev thinks this is all her doing, that she’s planned this ambush herself. A shootout follows, Gilbane and her troops fight against Lev’s team and an unknown Russian convoy. It’s chaos, and of course, Owen throws himself bang into the middle of the battle. He takes a Russian’s gun and works his way over to Meladze. In the middle of the shootout, Owen notices Marta/Nichka, who then tries to kill him too. Owen runs off, heading to Meladze’s aid. This is where things really start to fall apart, as Owen (against type) kills a man to save Meladze’s life. Meladze tells Lev that this wasn’t her doing, but he doesn’t believe her, so she kills Lev too.

The Recruit season 1 ending explained

Owen and Meladze escape in a car and drive for Prague. Meladze asks who was shooting at them and Owen name-checks Nichka. Meladze admits that Nichka is the one who has been pushing the Council to have her killed all along. Owen is obviously in shock after killing a man and surviving a full-blown shootout. He asks to exit the car, but Meladze won’t stop driving. Owen jumps out of the moving vehicle and Meladze rushes to his side. Owen quits and starts to walk off, away from the criminal. Meladze pulls her gun on him though. Owen finds this highly amusing, realizing that he’s sacrificed so much for a woman that would rather kill him than let him go. Owen states that he tried to save her, but she’ll never change. He realizes that he’s a selfish person, who has hurt the people who care about him the most.

The lawyer ignores Meladze’s threats and continues to walk away from her. Meladze can’t bring herself to shoot him and lets Owen leave. He calls up Hannah, who happens to be in Prague herself, how convenient. They plan to meet at the War Memorial. The two are reunited, but seconds later, Owen is kidnapped and taken hostage. He wakes in a cellar, tied up, with Meladze also tied up opposite him. Nichka walks over to them. Meladze calls her Karolina. Looks like Nichka is Meladze’s daughter. Nichka then shoots her mother dead and asks Owen why he has been running around with her mother all this time.

What did you think of the Netflix series The Recruit season 1, episode 8, and the ending? Comment below.

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