‘Quantico’ Whodunnit, Week 2: To Follow the Evidence Or Trust Your Gut

PRIYANKA CHOPRA
There are plenty of new shows popping up on TV, but none so far offer the juicy mystery that ABC’s Quantico has given us. With a whole host of fit, attractive young twentysomething FBI trainees, at least one of them is responsible for a major bombing. The star of the show, Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra), awakes at the site after the bombing and is quickly rounded up as the most likely suspect. But it appears to be a frame job and the FBI’s assistant director Miranda Shaw (Aunjanue Ellis) springs her and the true hunt to find the perpetrator begins.

PRIYANKA CHOPRA, ANTHONY RUIVIVAR

Each week, we’ll take a look at the suspect list and attempt to figure out where the series is going and who might be the most likely to have launched the terrorist action.

This week, we learn for sure that Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin) is actually an undercover agent, although Liam O’Connor (Josh Hopkins) downplays having knowledge of it. Shaw believes he’s there to check up on her. We also learn that Shaw is behind the “twin” scheme featuring Nimah and Raina Amin (Yasmin Al Massri).

QUANTICO - "America" -- Alex is on the run and must outsmart Liam and his team to get into her apartment for anything that could help clear her name. Meanwhile, in a flashback to Quantico training, the NATS are tasked with finding a needle in a haystack while looking for potential threats to national security, on "Quantico" SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4 (10:01--11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Phillippe Bosse) YASMINE AL MASSRI
QUANTICO – “America” — Alex is on the run and must outsmart Liam and his team to get into her apartment for anything that could help clear her name. Meanwhile, in a flashback to Quantico training, the NATS are tasked with finding a needle in a haystack while looking for potential threats to national security, on “Quantico” SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4 (10:01–11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Phillippe Bosse)
YASMINE AL MASSRI

We’re also introduced to two new characters — Nathalie Vazquez (Anabelle Acosta), who appears to be gunning for Alex as the top recruit, trying to outdo her at every turn. And there’s Elias Harper (Rick Cosnett), a gay analyst who takes a shine to Simon (Tate Ellington), but starts to notice something is off.

QUANTICO - (ABC/Phillippe Bosse) ANABELLE ACOSTA, JAKE MCLAUGHLIN
QUANTICO – (ABC/Phillippe Bosse) ANABELLE ACOSTA, JAKE MCLAUGHLIN

In modern day, we learn that O’Connor’s interest in Alex may have gone beyond having Booth tail her as Shaw reveals that O’Connor both fell in love with her and was rejected by her. And later in the episode, Alex and Nathalie have a full-on brawl when Nathalie finds her at her apartment. The biggest head-scratcher of the night is when Alex tells Nathalie, “Why would I shoot the man we both love” before disarming her and handcuffing her to a pipe on the roof so she can escape. Are we to assume Booth or O’Connor?

Elsewhere in the episode, Caleb (Graham Rogers) returns after undergoing the trauma of seeing a fellow cadet kill himself the week prior. This time he’s an analyst and of course the sparks fly between he and Shelby (Johanna Braddy). For now, there’s plenty of annoyances between the two, but you can see where this is going. Also, Harper uncovers that Simon’s not what he appears, revealing a secret with his glasses and digging into his supposed time in Gaza. The episode ends with a few other little secrets — Caleb has a fake Facebook page, Nathalie has a fake scar behind her ear and Shelby speaks in a foreign language telling the person on the other end of the phone line that they weren’t supposed to contact her.

QUANTICO - (ABC/Phillippe Bosse) GRAHAM ROGERS, RICK COSNETT, JOSH HOPKINS
QUANTICO – (ABC/Phillippe Bosse) GRAHAM ROGERS, RICK COSNETT, JOSH HOPKINS

So let’s look at the 10 central characters introduced so far and rank least likely to most likely.

10. Miranda Shaw – The FBI assistant director helped Alex escape and seems to be the only person to believe she’s innocent. There’s little so far to suspect she’s the person behind the bombing, though the quickest way to throw someone off your scent is to back the patsy.

9. Elias Harper – We’ve just been introduced to the analyst, and there’s little yet to tie him to the case. All we know so far is that he’s beginning to sniff out Simon’s backstory.

8. Caleb Haas – He may be cocky and unlikeable, but the screw up does not seem like the mastermind of a terrorist plot so far. His family history of service would also likely rule him out. In week two, we just feel bad for the guy, but don’t suspect him yet of anything.

7. Alex Parrish – We’re led to believe by the way that the story is told that she is innocent and being framed for the bombing. But given that part of the episode focused on a training exercise where Alex was the only one who figured out that all leads were false and the lesson being that you need to go with your gut and not always trust the evidence, should we be picking up that how things are presented is not necessarily what is going on? Do we have an untrustworthy narrator?

6. Shelby Wyatt – So far, the blonde who lost her parents in 9/11 has not shown much in terms of her motivations. But the foreign language phone call will raise some eyebrows. While she may be guilty of sparking up some tension with Caleb, we’ve seen little else to suggest her of anything. But maybe things are just a little too perfect here.

5. Nimah / Raina Amin – Does anyone else suspect something amiss with the twins? Simon might be close to figuring them out, but nobody else has picked up on the fact that they’re two people yet. It could be a good ploy to have one of them be the terrorist while the other one is not part of the plan at all.

4. Nathalie Vazquez – The go-getter has shown her jealousies of Alex in her first episode and that could lead her down a dark path. But her hesitancy in arresting Alex is noted and something obviously struck a nerve and perhaps opened the door to an ally. It could go either way.

3. Ryan Booth – So he was chosen to spy on Alex and get close to her. He’s also an agent going undercover. He offers to help Alex at the end. Yes he went into her apartment. Yes he was shot there. Did he frame her or walk in on the person who was? How loyal is he to O’Connor? As of this episode, we’re guessing he’s guilty of something, but probably answering to O’Connor for most of his actions.

2. Simon Asher – Simply put, everything about this guy is suspicious. He’s gay, or is he? He’s Jewish, or is he? He went to Gaza, or did he? Even his glasses are fake. Who is this guy and how did he get in? If the twins don’t figure him out, looks like Elias will? And he seems just the right amount of awkward to be unstable if backed into a corner. But awkward and unstable could just be a big red herring secret and not the real bomber.

1. Liam O’Connor – What is he up to? He had Booth ready to follow Alex before she even entered the academy. He’s aware of her father’s history. He apparently had some issues that almost led to his dismissal and was almost out of the agency before Shaw rescued him. And the little nugget of him falling in love with and being rejected by Alex sure makes him look bad. Right now the fearless leader looks like the top suspect.

It’s a long season and Quantico appears to be a big hit for ABC, so expect many twists and turns to come. Look for Quantico airing on ABC on Sunday nights at 10PM ET/PT.

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