It seems that the more things change the more they stay the same. In Quantico, in order to follow the same template as season one, Alex and Ryan are both sent to spook school, aka The Farm. The CIA training camp where both Booth and Parrish are going “undercover.”
The opening episode sticks with the time jumps. Last year the series moved between the academy and present day. Now, in “Quan2co” we are taken from The Farm to “one year later” and back again. It is a little more confusing than the first time around.
There are a new cast of characters as well as some familiar faces. Shelby Wyatt makes an appearance or two as does Raina. Once again it seems that Ryan and Alex are on rocky ground, she returns an engagement ring, and then action moves to a year earlier.
Booth and Parrish are reluctant counter intelligence trainees. Nether of them knew before hand about their mutual CIA connection.
One year later, Booth is attending a world summit; the G20, when the meeting of world leaders is taken hostage by terrorists. This time around Alex is present when a whole load of explosions rock the city in a circular pattern.
She moves to the summit venue as Ryan lies in order to get close to the US president. The goal of the terrorists is to have one of their own pardoned. If the president does not comply they will execute his wife.
Back at The Farm Ryan and Alex learn to lie and how to get information from the other trainees. Alex gets close to the only other female candidate, Lydia. Booth scores 100 percent at lying among other things and Léon comes a close second.
Harry Doyle, a candidate who sounds very English, seems to be a natural.
The group head off to jump from a plane and Alex saves Lydia’s life, with a little help from Ryan. Except Lydia was never in any real danger. It was a test and Alex failed. Unlike the FBI academy training, the CIA does not, apparently, teach team work.
What is clear from the very first day is that the trainees cannot really trust anyone. Lydia, it seems, is Hall’s daughter. She is also a co-intructor.
At the summit, the president agrees to the terrorist’s demands to save his wife’s life. Alex tries to work out what is going on and gets into a knock down, drag out fight with one of the group.
The man she defeats turns out to be another familiar face from her past and he jumps out the window.
Raina acts as translator for the terrorists, who are speaking Swahili, and Ryan gets close to the president. Even after the US leader gives the terrorist’s what they want, it looks like his first lady is still going to be killed.
Alex watches on in horror.
The episode ends with that machete swinging down toward the first lady’s neck as a group of CIA “Case Agents” look on.
Initially the whole thing looks pretty amped up from last year’s action. However with all those classmates in the summit venue something smells rotten in that little scenario.
Could it be an exercise of some sort?
For instance, why are there three boxes with terrorist gear in them outside the room?
Regardless of whether the president’s wife is in for the chop or not, this looks an awful lot like the first season. Training and “after-training” being shown as a “before and after” with personal issues cropping up for Alex and Ryan.
It is close enough to season one that one wonders what sort of training Parrish and Booth will undertake if Quantico gets a third season. Hopefully this sameness will not continue as season two progresses. Thus far the whole thing feels a little “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.”
Although to be fair there is none of the cutesy business between trainees like there was last year.
Quantico airs Sundays on ABC. Tune in and see what you think. Is season two, like Yogi Berra used to say, “Deja vu all over again?”