If you’re like me you just can’t help yourself when it comes to binge watching a streaming offering to completion. Besides HBO’s The Last of Us, Disney’s The Mandalorian, and CBS’s Picard, I think I pretty much binge just about everything. So when social media started highlighting The Night Agent and The Recruit, it was on. Besides the subject matters of FBI, CIA, terrorists, and espionage, there’s the hotties of Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland in The Night Agent and Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in The Recruit. They made the shows very pleasing to watch. But just like in porn, we watch for more than just the visuals, we watch for the plot, right? Here’s a quick review of the Season 1 offerings for both series.
The first victim of my binging was The Night Agent. For both of these, I did zero prep work beside drooling over the leads and their pictures. Had we seen Gabriel Basso before? I had never watched the Showtime series The Big C and don’t remember him in the 2011 science fiction film Super 8, which I loved. He was also in The Kings of Summer, but that was ten years ago in 2013. Basso is all grown up now.
Plot – The action level of The Night Agent kept the show flowing nicely as there were not too many slow parts but there were some down notes when some of our more liked supporting cast members were eliminated by the henchmen. I’m not sure why they made Phoenix Raei’s hitman Dale functionally impotent. Maybe he had to be broken in some way as his hitwoman girlfriend Ellen played by Eve Harlow seemed to be mentally broken. In talking with other viewers, some said they were lost a couple of times as the guilty finger pointing was going back and for and back and forth, but that is what kept it interesting. There were a couple of times, like when they were trying to figure out who the Osprey was that the show did yo-yo when it should have just moved on. The stretching of finding out who the Osprey was felt like they introduced the term too early and needed to tarry it through too many of the episodes.
Related Post: Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘The Night Agent’s Gabriel Basso
Acting Cheers – Who made the show? He’s just not very good looking but Basso was believable in his role and he carried the show. He was believable as the dedicated government agent, protector, and honest man. It interesting as in the interviews, he’s more of a dumb jock kind of guy and that scruff just makes you want to throw him down. Luciane Buchanan as Rose Larkin was as well impressive in helping to carry the cast and show. When the show introduced here, I was not sure how many episodes she was going to last, but they built Rose as a necessary tool to help Peter make it to the finish line. She was a modern day Bond girl with something to add to the intellectual plot, not just the aesthetics.
For other Acting Cheers, I enjoyed Sarah Desjardin as the Vice President’s daughter Maddie Redfield. The President played by Kari Matchett was a pleasant surprise.
Acting Jeers – I thought that the two main Secret Service Agents, D.B. Woodside as Erik Monks and Fola Evans-Akingbola as Chelsea Arrington, did meh with the roles they were given as there was no depth of emotion, but was that the call of how the agents should have been played? Possibly. It was just they used the same voice and same energy throughout. But one portrayal that was even more flat was that of Hong Chao as Diane Farr as her character would be more forceful or caring or informative or off on a volatile tangent, her energy and voice just did not have much of a range and much of those emotional swings came out too similar. It was hard to watch.
Hopes for Season 2 – It doesn’t matter to me of Rose is back or not. Their chemistry was great but I’m here to see Peter grow and become more than how he started at the beginning of Season 1. He’s already better, but he has a great deal more to accomplish. We see him flying off into the sky and leaving Rose behind. Will that be the case? I need there to be a stronger supporting cast as most are forgetful and a handful are ones I want to avoid in future projects. Yes, Basso was the star, but the series could have been so much better if there were a couple more strong actors to round out the show.
The Recruit had to live up to my happiness with The Night Agent. Would Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks beat out my acclaim of Basso as Peter?
Plot – I was a little astonished that a CIA agent did not have a gun! But then again, Owen was not an agent but a lawyer for the CIA, he was just doing agent-sized things sporadically as he thought that was what needed to occur. He was a little reckless as he would just fly off and blindly trust others that seemed happy to haze him and if he died in the process, oh well. But when he was cornered, Owen would turn on his lawyer brain, which was his substitute for a gun, and he would hit the target. It was believable most of the time. I don’t know what they did to Laura Haddock to make her into Eastern Block spy Max Meladze, but her gritty, ridden hard and put away wet look, bravo to the make up department. The pairing of these two characters were like that zipper on your old winter jacket you haven’t worn in a decade. It’s a little forced and then all of a sudden it fits and works. There was still some tension present, but after that closing scene of Season 1, this relationship may not be a problem anymore.
Acting Cheers – Centineo had a great deal more lines in this role than his appearance in Black Adam. He carries The Recruit well on his back. He is believable as the 20-something that is trying to figure out that he may need to grow up and not fly by the seat of his pants when it comes to international espionage or his ex-girlfriend home… but he’s not there yet. Max/Haddock was a rough pill to swallow as just like Rose/Buchanan in The Night Agent, we did not know how long Max was going to be around. Was she just there to get the story going or would she stick around. Thank goodness Haddock is enjoyable to watch as I did find myself wondering about Max when she was not in an episode for a while.
Unlike in The Night Agent, I found the supporting cast in The Recruit to be epically amazing. Even the throw away foreign agents we saw in Europe, I wanted to follow then and learn more about them. I am not sure we were given a poorly played person in Season 1. If they were quirky, they were played quirkily and it worked. Colton Dunn as Lester and Vondie Curtis-Hall as Walter Nyland had me saying aloud, “Oh cool!” when I saw then come onto the screen and both portray their characters well. Nathan Fillion as the CIA Director was a late addition to the cast in the first season so we shall see how he will do in Season 2.
Acting Jeers – I’m not sure I experienced any sour notes when it came to the acting in The Recruit. No one is Oscar/Emmy/Tony worthy with their performances, but all were strong, believable, and played their characters well. Once again, we will see about Nathan Fillion, but for the other actors, I look forward to seeing everyone return, well, except the ones that died.
Hopes for Season 2 – The Recruit left us with a cliff hanger where The Night Agent broke efficiently and left us not knowing what would be in Season 2. So for S2 for The Recruit, we’re hopefully going to continue where we left off. Will all the main characters return, somehow? Or will one be replaced by a younger version? Do we want Owen to find himself and grow up a little or do we want him to remain that 20-something semi lost boy? Will he move from spy-ish lawyer to lawyer-ish spy?
Who’s on Top? –
Season 1 offerings from both series were entertaining and kept me wanting to hit <next episode> every time until I was done. I was able to give The Recruit more of a rest and took 2 days to complete where The Night Agent, I just pushed right through. Even though I had more eye rolls at the acting in The Night Agent, it held me to the couch wanting to complete the journey with Peter and Rose.
And I think if I had to choose, I would love to have Gabriel/Peter as my government employee as he was a protector, fair, caring, and just so very yummy.
I wouldn’t kick Noah/Owen out of bed either, unless it was onto the floor to just keep going. Peter was more of a long term companion, still hot, still muscled, but Owen is more of that 20-something that yes, he’s hot, dumb, fun, and full of himself. It would be good, and I don’t mind playing the daddy at all, but I feel it would get kind of tiresome to watch him come full circle over and over again and not get to where he needs to be.
And we do need to see more skin of each of them in Season 2, agreed? To hold you over until we get it, here’s a vid of Noah from about 3 years ago. Make sure you pay attention around 0:47.
So who are we rooting for? Who do we want to take to bed? Who would we marry? Which one will you want to see their Season 2 first and which one is sloppy seconds?
2 thoughts on “Could Netflix Improve On Basso’s Agent & Centineo’s Recruit?”
Gabriel Basso is not attractive?
Were you dropped on your head as a child?
Proclaimed as slicker than slick, engrossing and thrilling, The Night Agent is a must see and must read for espionage aficionados. It’s indisputably one of the best FBI thrillers ever and Shawn Ryan’s The Night Agent is comfortably a five star production. It’s based on Matthew Quirk’s spy novel of the same name which also has splendid reviews. The book is a suspenseful, cloak and dagger page-turner about an FBI agent on a hazardous mission to uncover a mole in the White House. It’s a chilling nail-biter to the finish, whether watching the ten episodes comprising Series 1 on screen or reading the book.
If you liked Bill Fairclough’s epic fast fact based spy thriller Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series about Pemberton’s People in MI6 you should like this no matter what the format. In real life, Fairclough was one of Pemberton’s People in MI6 and worked with the CIA, real SAS Rogue Heroes and other ungentlemanly officers as explained in a news article dated 31 October 2022 available from TheBurlingtonFiles website. Once you are irretrievably immersed in both worlds, The Night Agent and The Burlington Files, will enchant and entrap you!