Yes Quantico fans, the twists and turns continue and we have one more suspect to add to our list. But let’s get down to business and recap some of the key revelations of this week’s episode.
This week’s episode opens with the trainees zip-tied and forced to work together to escape their current state in order to literally “sink or swim.” Alex, who is paired with Shelby, is the first to break free, but in doing so, she cuts herself — a key fact that will come back into play later.
Alex is also given another key to her father’s past as O’Connor presents her with a thick file, but warns her it may not have the answers she wants. She puts it aside for some time, but after a heart-to-heart with Shelby later, we learn that he was one of the most decorated secret agents in history, a fact that tears up the guilt-ridden Alex who reveals to Ryan she shot her father.
The central “past” conflict of the episode comes as Shaw tasks the trainees with coming up with profiles on each other, but things turn testy when each of the students are allowed to see some of the negative comments their peers have stated about them. Shaw explains that the trainees should then vote who the three weakest are in the program and if they don’t, 10 will be cut. With everyone at everyone’s throat (literally in the case of Ryan and Simon), Alex is the voice of reason, rallying the trainees not to turn on each other. But a heated Simon marches into Shaw’s office and hands her a piece of paper, stating it’s for the “greater good.” When he returns, an argument over whether to vote or not leads to the group just about ready to turn. At that point, Shaw reveals that in the history of the exercise, none of the classes have ever turned anyone in and she reprimands Simon, the only person to do so, telling him that one more infraction and he’ll be sent packing.
Other revelations from the past … Shelby’s wiring a large sum of money to an account after being called out on her “late night phone calls.” After Raina goes off on Nathalie, we learn that Nathalie is a mom with a kid who she’s not allowed to see because she’s taking part in the program. Raina and Naima bicker over whether to remain in the program after one’s weakness is exposed to be holding the other back. By the end of the episode, Naima decides to leave. And we see Shaw visiting her incarcerated son in prison, who she reportedly put there.
In present day, we see Ryan being cheered as a hero in the bombing accident, a move orchestrated by O’Connor, and he and Nathalie are serving as his right hand during the investigation. O’Connor is pressured by Deputy Director Clayton, and it’s soon revealed that he’s bringing in Alex’s mother to question her. In the process of the interrogation, we learn that Alex mother, Sita, is quite familiar with O’Connor as he was her late husband’s partner.
Meanwhile, Alex has escaped the police and found her way to Simon at the suggestion of Ryan. She says she doesn’t trust him, but has no choice. She brings the C4 and ignitor found in her apartment and Simon, who has been kicked out of the program, uses his new gig in a tech company to analyze the evidence. It’s discovered that Parrish’s fingerprints are on it, but that cut she sustained in the training exercise resulted in a scar on her finger. Because of that, we now know that the set-up started before she even entered the Quantico training program. Eventually, an alarm is tripped during the research and Simon convinces Alex that he can’t help her unless it looks like he’s under duress. He leads her to safety on film then advises her to knock him out. This is all caught on camera and later comes into play with the interrogation of Alex’s mother.
Shaw manages to elude the officer overseeing her long enough to get a few minutes to speak to Alex’s mom in the bathroom. She tells her not to give up her daughter and offers a pretty convincing argument, that is until she see footage of her daughter knocking out Simon. At this point, Sita reveals that after Alex’s father was killed, she spent 10 years with family in India, but they can only account for 9 of those years because Alex lied about her whereabouts. Eventually Sita is seen making public statements.
Cut to Alex setting up a board of all the trainees to study and Simon, having sold his story to the FBI, now walking in on a misty-eyed agent watching her mom on TV. Alex now appears to trust Simon, but he receives a phone call that he takes in private from Deputy Director Clayton, who tells him to play things slow and to maintain his cover. Oh Simon, who are you and what are your true motivations? He’s the biggest enigma here.
So with that, let’s take a look at this week’s suspect list.
11. Elias Harper – The analyst who was last seen taking a special interest in Simon was barely part of this episode. There was little to suggest anything for him, therefore he falls to the bottom of the suspects list.
10. Caleb Haas – Like Elias, there was little of him in this episode other than his continued flirtation with Shelby. He’s currently a secondary character, but that’s not to say he won’t play a key role moving forward.
9. Nimah / Raina Amin – One twin is driven, the other not so much and their argument leads one to leave the training program. But other than a dislike of the conniving, driven Nathalie, there’s little to suggest their involvement in anything considering the bombing.
8. Alex Parrish – We’re expected to believe that Parrish is being framed, but the evidence is piling up. And she does seem to be the charismatic leader amongst all the trainees and the smartest person in the room, though Simon reveals that the smartest person in the room may have the biggest blindspot. As we see at the end, that could very well be true. So far, everything told in the story leads viewers to believe that Alex is innocent, but what if she isn’t?
7. Nathalie Vazquez – She’s not making any friends among the women in her drive to be top dog. And in present day, she always seems to be in earshot of every directive from O’Connor. But her unwillingness to shoot and secure Parrish in episode 2 makes us think she’s aware that something’s not right and is not part of the overall conspiracy.
6. Miranda Shaw – The FBI assistant director is fully in Alex’s court, helping to spring her back in the pilot and trying to convince her mother that she’s dead sure that Alex is being framed. But how does she know? Yes, she’s pretty astute, but she seems pretty sure and part of the way she may be sure is if she’s behind it and making Alex look more guilty by letting her run.
5. Ryan Booth – The undercover spy is not a real trainee and has been assigned by O’Connor to tail Parrish dating back to her entry into the academy. It appears as though he really cares for her and is only following orders, but he’s definitely complicit in the set-up if not leading it.
4. Shelby Wyatt – She’s currently emerging as Alex’s bestie, even though they tussled this week. And she never fails to remind people that her folks died in 9/11. But her late night phone calls and speaking in a foreign language is definitely concerting and the fact that she’s wiring large sums of money to an account suggests a deeper secret. At present, betting this is a red herring with a secret that has nothing to do with the bombing, but leaves the blonde bombshell looking pretty bad.
3. Liam O’Connor – Shaw’s assistant looked awfully guilty last week and even though he’s leading the investigation into Alex, there’s just way too many red flags for him not to fall far on this list. O’Connor was a partner of Alex’s late father, which he fails to disclose to Alex even though he shares her father’s FBI file. His requiring Booth to keep tabs on Alex also makes him look quite guilty. Is he leading the frame-up or are there higher up forces at work?
2. Deputy Director Clayton – Up until now, this character was not part of the show. But it looks as though Clayton has more of an interest in Parrish’s fate than initially revealed. O’Connor’s boss wants to be kept abreast of all activity, but the big reveal at the end of the episode is that he has the former FBI trainee Simon Asher undercover. The fact that he advises Asher to play it slow and maintain his cover makes us think he’s pulling some strings on this whole investigation.
1. Simon Asher – Friend of foe? Asher helps Alex in her investigation and wins over her trust, but we find out later he’s working for Clayton. This guy is as shifty as they come. We never really saw whether he voted in the exercise in the past or used it as an opportunity to offer himself to Shaw for “the greater good.” Are Shaw, Clayton and Asher working together to save Alex to help in her frame-up? And ultimately, could Asher be fooling everyone, with the pawn being the master manipulator.
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