The Night Agent, The Recruit, and the 8 best spy shows on Netflix

The Night Agent. Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland in episode 106 of The Night Agent. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
The Night Agent. Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland in episode 106 of The Night Agent. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

When Netflix released the political conspiracy thriller The Night Agent back in March 2023, the series spent multiple weeks at the peak of the top 10. It’s safe to say viewers loved the show and are looking for even more of the best spy shows on Netflix.

Whether it’s as straightforward as Jennifer Garner or Keri Russell putting on disguise after disguise and going undercover in their hit shows Alias and The Americans respectively, or it’s a series about investigation that merely has its characters digging into mysteries, viewers love putting the pieces together along with the characters.

If you’re a fan of the spy genre, you might have already watched most of the spy shows available on Netflix, but there are others that are adjacent to the genre that are also worth watching. The Night Agent and The Recruit are just the tip of the iceberg.

Best spy shows on Netflix

While we wait for new seasons of The Night Agent and The Recruit, there are plenty more spy shows to your watch list. It’s time to check out some similar shows that are by definition spy shows or have some spy elements to keep you guessing. Luckily, there are plenty of titles at the ready on Netflix, and we’re sharing them below!

The Night Agent

The Night Agent, which is based on the book of the same name by Matthew Quirk, centers on a low-level FBI agent who works in the basement of the White House. When the phone he’s tasked with answering finally rings, he’s thrust into a twisted and winding conspiracy. Gabriel Basso and Luciane Buchanan star in the hit series, and the pair’s chemistry was just perfect. Thankfully, a second season is already in the works for Peter’s next undercover mission.

The Recruit - Netflix shows
The Recruit. Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in episode 104 of The Recruit. Cr. Philippe Bossé/Netflix © 2022 /

The Recruit

If you’re a fan of The Night Agent but somehow managed to miss The Recruit when it dropped in December 2022, then you need to circle back and give the action series a watch. Noah Centineo stars in the series as Owen Hendricks, a newbie CIA lawyer who, like Peter Sutherland, finds himself thrown into the deep end of a dangerous political adventure. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about that season-ending cliffhanger. Season 2 is on the way!

Designated Survivor

When Kiefer Sutherland’s ABC political thriller Designated Survivor was canceled after two seasons in May 2018, Netflix stepped in to save the series for a third and final season. Naturally, when The Night Agent dropped, some viewers probably noticed the parallels: a conspiracy thriller, steeped in politics, the name Sutherland… The connections are there! For more twists and turns in D.C., make sure to add Designated Survivor to your list!


Along with The Recruit in December 2022, Netflix also released the spy thriller limited seres Treason, which stars Daredevil star Charlie Cox. The five-episode series stars Cox as Adam Lawrence, an MI6 agent promoted to the role of Chief just as his past comes back to haunt him and threaten his present. It’s a gripping less-than-five hours of entertainment than any fan of spy shows will enjoy diving into for an exciting weekend binge-watch.


Back in 2018, the British political thriller Bodyguard became a massive hit on Netflix. The six-episode series stars Richard Madden as police sergeant and war veteran David Budd tasked with protecting Home Secretary Julia Montague. While he doesn’t agree with her politics, he works as her bodyguard in spite of his conflicted loyalties. The tense series has all the elements of a spy series, which is why we’re tacking it onto the list. Although the show could have been a limited series, popularity and critical acclaim have led to a second season in the works.

In From the Cold

Netflix released the seemingly forgotten limited spy-thriller series In From the Cold, which stars Margarita Levieva. The series centers on an exposed ex-Russian spy who must also balance the demands of being an American single mother. Also? She’s dealing with a threat from an especially dangerous enemy. Add the eight-episode limited series to your watch list if you missed it when it was released and need something fresh and action-packed to watch.

Netflix shows
The Lincoln Lawyer. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller in episode 207 of The Lincoln Lawyer. Cr. Lara Solanki/Netflix © 2023 /

The Lincoln Lawyer

In 2022, Netflix had a great year for shows in the crime-thriller space. Between The Recruit, The Night Agent, and The Lincoln Lawyer, television viewers who love a good broadcast serialized procedural were spoiled rotten with similar content. The Lincoln Lawyer reopens the world of Mickey Haller with a new actor, perspective, and angle, and fans adored the new series. The two-part season 2 just burned up summer and featured more twists, turns, and spying from the fan-favorite character Cisco. It’s technically a legal drama, but hey, you know you want to watch it!


Rounding out the list of the best spy shows on Netflix, the French mystery thriller Lupin has been a fan-favorite since its premiere on the streamer back in January 2021. Even though it’s a bit different than the political thrillers on this list, it’s still similar in tone and action. The series stars Omar Sy as a thief looking to avenge his father’s death. Lupin has been extremely successful and will return with its third part of new episodes in October 2023.

Which of the best spy shows on Netflix will you be adding to your watch list? 

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