What Happened to Max’s Daughter? Is She Dead or Alive in The Recruit?

Netflix’s ‘The Recruit’ created by Alexi Hawley (‘The Rookie‘), explores the espionage world through the experiences of a rookie lawyer. The action-comedy series focuses on Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo), a newly recruited lawyer who works for the CIA and crosses paths with the dangerous former agent Max Meladze. As the narrative progresses, viewers learn more about Max and her past. However, precariously little is revealed about Max’s daughter, Karolina. If you are wondering whether Max’s daughter is dead or alive in ‘The Recruit,’ here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

A Daughter in Photos: Max’s Silent Grief

Max’s daughter is first mentioned in the third episode of ‘The Recruit.’ In the series, Maxine “Max” Meladze is a former unregistered CIA asset who collected intelligence for the agency in the Russia and Belarus region. She was married to a low-ranking mafia in the Russian mob known as the Council. However, Max had aspirations and wanted to climb the ladder. Therefore, she killed her husband and became a lieutenant in the Council. From her marriage, Max had a young daughter.

The girl appears only through photographs, and Max does not mention her by name until the eighth episode. Max’s daughter is named Karolina, and she is believed to have died sometime before Max was forced to leave her home country. After arriving in the United States, Max starts a safe house business and keeps a picture of her daughter. Nonetheless, she refrains from speaking about Karolina. Eventually, Max is imprisoned for murder and blackmails the CIA to free her from prison.

Is Max’s Daughter Dead?

After Owen frees Max from prison, she is rehired as a CIA asset by Agent Gilbane. However, Owen insists that Max must be vetted and registered as an asset before she returns to the field to work for the CIA. The CIA conducts a polygraph test during the vetting process to examine whether Max can be trusted. Max is asked whether she has any children, and she replies that she does not. However, Owen is aware that Max has a daughter. Nonetheless, like everyone else, Owen believes Max’s daughter, Karolina, is dead.

Later, Nyland questions Owen about Max’s reliability, and Owen mentions her daughter. Owen’s remarks, combined with the polygraph test result, seem to confirm that Karolina is dead. However, in the final moments of the season 1 finale, a mysterious woman appears after Owen and Max are kidnapped. Max recognizes the woman as her daughter, Karolina. However, Karolina shoots Max, seemingly killing her, before questioning Owen.

The woman that Max calls her daughter first appears in a bar in Prague. She introduces herself as Marta and flirts with Owen. While Owen believes that she is a spy, Marta seems to be a regular woman. However, in the ninth episode, when Owen and Max meet Kirill, a high-ranking mafia in the Council, Marta, aka Karolina, is present at the meeting. She also appears among the assassins who attack General Kusnetsov’s safe house, where he meets Max.

Ultimately, the season finale reveals that Marta is actually Max’s daughter, Karolina. Thus, Max’s daughter is alive, and she lies about Karolina’s fate for unknown reasons. Moreover, with Max seemingly dead, it is unlikely that we will learn the truth about the reason behind Max’s lies. Karolina seems to have turned to the dark side and is deeply involved with the Russian mafia’s activities, much like her mother. Therefore, what new twists and tribulations the revelations regarding Karolina add to Owen’s story remains to be seen.

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