What a tangled web Quantico continues to weave! When we last left our on-the-run Alex Parrish and her growing network of believers, Nathalie Vazquez had gotten wise to boyfriend Ryan Booth‘s ruse and was ratting him out to the head of the investigation, Liam O’Connor. Parrish, meanwhile, learned the truth about Shelby‘s tryst with Deputy Director Clayton, as did his son, Shelby’s onetime flame Caleb Haas. The end of the episode also revealed that Nimah (or is it Raina) was spotted at Grand Central hours before the explosion. Where will this week lead? Let’s find out:
The Past: This week’s exercise finds the NATS using their skills in their first exam, being put to the test to see who will act accordingly. However, one slip may result in expulsion from the program. Everyone gets a blank piece of paper with the exception of Nathalie’s hookup Brandon, who flips and thinks that means he’s out. Brandon has a meltdown when it’s revealed to the group he didn’t get a paper and as soon as he leaves the AC is turned off and alarms begin to sound. There’s a countdown clock found under Brandon’s chair. Some of the NATS start freaking out trying to escape the room, while Alex and several key members feel this is merely an exercise. After questioning Nathalie and looking through surveillance, they NATS find that Brandon has left what appears to be a bomb with a countdown under the podium in the classroom. Elias suggest Simon to disarm the bomb. Simon disarms the bomb enough to unlock the doors, but when the first person leaves a secondary trigger speeds up the countdown. Elias suggests that everyone get out and he runs. Ryan, Simon, Shelby, Alex and Nathalie remain. Caleb and Raina stay as well as the final seconds tick down. It turns out it wasn’t a real bomb and Shaw greets them with a congratulations for completing the mission and sacrificing themselves. It turns out that Brandon’s ruse was part of the exercise, which upsets Nathalie. Simon walks in on Elias packing his things and preparing to leave, feeling as though he failed for deciding to run. They share a parting kiss.
Elsewhere, Shelby unexpectedly meets Deputy Director Clayton for the first time when she’s scolding Caleb for missing a hookup and not realizing someone else is in the room. And Clayton tries to bribe Caleb into failing and dropping out of Quantico. Shelby later learns that Clayton did want his son to fail and he reveals that Caleb is a greater danger to those around him than he lets on and that he had to save his son’s life and those around him in the past. The exercise proved to be Caleb’s graduation, but because of his exemplary actions, he’s bumped back from an analyst to a NAT.
And Alex bugs O’Connor’s office and learns there may be more to Ryan’s surveillance detail of her than she first realized. He eventually reveals that Chicago was a blown sting and he took the fall for O’Connor. As a result, he was at the mercy of O’Connor’s desire to track Alex Alex eventually goes to O’Connor and removes all the bugs from his office in front of him. She makes him a deal that she’ll stop looking into her father and forget everything she knows if he’ll give Booth back the career he worked so hard for. But if not, she’ll keep digging until she finds out what O’Connor and Clayton covered up in Chicago. O’Connor reinstates Ryan, but he’s not sure he wants to accept.
And Shaw frees Simon after he learns of the twin twist initiated by the director. Shaw eventually buys Simon’s quiet with allowing his probation to be struck from his record. Raina tells Shaw that she needs to put trust in the other NATS that they can keep the secret, for if there’s no trust, how can they continue? So she eventually lets everyone in on the twin project.
The Present: Simon and Alex argue over whether or not the appearance of Nimah or Raina at Grand Central was coincidence or proof of their involvement. Apparently no one has heard from either in months. Simon reluctantly agrees to help Alex find the twins. When they find Raina, it’s revealed that Nimah has been missing their “swaps.” Apparently the twins have infiltrated a terrorist cell across the street from the apartment where they find Raina. With heat seeking goggles, they’re able to ascertain that Nimah is inside the house. They manage to swap Raina for Nimah, with Simon grabbing Nimah as soon as she exits for some major questioning. It turns out that Nimah had gotten close to the leader of the cell, and while he did not pull off the bombing, he was about to confide in her what the next target was. She was awaiting his return, but unfortunately Raina, who had not warmed to the cell leader, was now undercover with him.
Meanwhile, Shaw tips Ryan off to where he might find the twins and warns him that they may not be the people he remembered. All this goes down while they’re being surveilled by O’Connor and Vazquez. Nathalie confronts Ryan and Shelby about their deception, but gives them an hour before she reveals their whereabouts. However, the truck they leave in is lo-jacked so Nathalie can track them. Ryan and Shelby arrive at Raina’s place, but the bad news is that they’re cover is blown, so Ryan, Shelby, Simon, Alex and Nimah plot to free Raina before the FBI comes down on them.
The FBI, led by Nathalie, captures Shelby and Simon, while Alex and Ryan in another room narrowly escape. Hearing sirens, the cell across the street start a gun battle and shoot Ryan in the gut. Meanwhile, the cell leader also takes a bullet in the gut from Alex.
Nathalie has Ryan and Alex at gunpoint and Alex says she can take her in but Ryan needs help. Rather than arresting them, Nathalie allows them to flee.
And that’s it for this week… Now let’s take a look at the suspect list.
12. Elias Harper – Appears to be true blue in his vision, but not his convictions after failing this week’s exercise. This may be the last we see of Elias and there’s been no real indication that he’s in any way involved.
11. Alex Parrish – We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Anyone who is guilty is not going to the lengths that she’s going to in order to prove her innocence. For her to actually be guilty at this point would prove to be one hell of a twist.
10. Ryan Booth – He’s done everything possible to help Alex, including getting shot twice within a few days time. All of his past actions seem to have been motivated by people pulling his strings. However, we haven’t really uncovered all his secrets yet, have we?
9. Nathalie Vazquez – She loves Ryan and has twice been willing to let Alex slip away, all in the name of love. She’s hard nosed and probably a bit bitter about being left out of the loop. But we still don’t really know her backstory and what the deal is with the fake scar.
8. Raina Amin – The lesser committed of the two sisters is doing her job, but not going to the lengths that Nimah is in order to gain the trust of the terrorist cell leader. We have little reason to believe after this episode that she’s been turned.
7. Miranda Shaw – By all accounts, she appears to be the only administrator who believes Alex to be innocent. And it’s looking like she’s out of the loop on whatever incident Clayton and O’Connor were involved in that Booth is taking the fall for. However, it appears as though she’s gotten wise to it in present day, as her estrangement from O’Connor is noticeable.
6. Shelby Wyatt – We do know the bomb came from her parents company. We do know she’s connected to both Caleb and his dad. But anyone helping Alex at this point when they could easily turn her in suggests that they’re not the major player.
5. Nimah Amin – She talks a good game given the short amount of time she had to spill her intel, but how much stock do you put in what she had to say? It’s a feasible cover story that she had to stay in to get close to the leader, but if turned, she’s smart enough to cover her tracks.
4. Caleb Haas – What exactly did Caleb do in the past where his father had to save his life and those around him? What exactly is he capable of? Present day Caleb seems focused on the game and wanting to prove himself competent on the job, regardless of dad’s second guessing. But is there more, like say something similar to what Shaw’s son is going through, in Caleb’s past?
3. Deputy Director Clayton – He’s a bad dad. He cheats on his wife with his son’s girlfriend. He was in someway involved in what went on in Chicago that Booth took the blame for. But his early employment of Asher suggests that he too probably feels Alex is innocent and wants to see what she turns up before swooping in.
2. Simon Asher – He’s proved loyal to Alex and a key figure in her continued ability to investigate the crime at hand. He’s heroic, but ultimately sneaky and has so many secrets it’s hard to keep track. The Clayton directive in early episodes to play it slow suggests that he could still turn on her. And wouldn’t it be the biggest deception of all if he managed to play all sides while being the mastermind?
1. Liam O’Connor – Now we know that not only can Alex bring him and everyone down if she discovers the truth about her father and keeps digging, but she’s also aware that he and Clayton were involved in a mission gone wrong in Chicago. Here’s a man with a lot to lose and the sharpest tool in the shed ready to peel back the layers of what he’s done.
So whodunnit? Let us know your guesses as to the culprit in the Quantico comments section below.