The flashbacks this week on Quantico segue way into the episode perfectly. Kill, aka Deception, picks up pace and puts Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) on the “shoot to kill” list after news that she has taken a second hostage. In the NAT backstory, this episode sees the trainees learning about hostage taking scenarios and we learn how one exercise seriously upsets Alex.
During the flashbacks, it is shown that Liam O’Connor (Josh Hopkins) after offering to help Alex learn the “truth” about the father she shot and killed, is now out to have her removed from Quantico. In the NAT scenes Booth shows that he would rather support Alex than help O’Connor kick her out and Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy) and Alex become close friends.
In the present, Shelby and Alex are not close, after a huge falling out, not covered in flashbacks yet, when Parrish learns the “truth” about her friends parents. Booth is helping Alex, despite appearances to the contrary and Ryan even pushed Simon Asher into not betraying Parrish.
Back in training, the NATS learn all about hostage situations and participate in exercises aimed to teach the trainees teamwork and how to make snap decisions. In the second scenario, a driven Alex, freezes after images of her mother and father replays in her mind. Her inaction gets Ryan shot and then she takes a shot from a hostage. O’Connor tells her off and suggests she leave Quantico.
When Parrish starts to do just that, Booth and Miranda Shaw (Aunjanue Ellis) talk the upset agent in training out of leaving and O’Connor is furious with Ryan. Shaw is busy in the flashbacks, she also talks Nimah out of leaving the experimental “twins as one agent” test she is working on.
Simon comes close to turning Alex over, until Booth intervenes. Asher and Parrish go to Shelby Wyatt’s house, one of many apparently, and the agent comes home. Guns are drawn and the two women reach a stalemate until Ryan shows up and disarms Wyatt. Taking Asher away, Shelby begins fighting Alex and the two have a protracted struggle for control until Parrish finally overpowers the other agent.
In Kill, by the end of the episode Alex is forcing Shelby to tell her about the primer found in her apartment, which is manufactured by Wyatt’s company and Ryan is telling Simon off for almost turning her in. The show still has a few rough edges, for instance the flashback sequences, but the pace is picking up nicely and as pointed out earlier, the backstory is matching the storyline. One problem that still remains is the huge amount of players who have hidden agendas and who are not what they claim to be.
For a show about an FBI devoted to protecting the average American from terrorism from within, an amazing amount of trainees have ulterior motives and secrets that should have been caught. For example, the Mormon chap who shoots himself, and an agent, when Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) bluffed the trainee into believing he had learned about a death he was responsible for.
Another “implied” secret is the one that Shelby Wyatt is apparently hiding about the real story behind her parents death, presumably it is not connected with 9/11 at all. Although this has not been spelled out for the cheap seats just yet.
The actors all continue to deliver, despite the script not following a clear logical progression of storyline. When Alex chooses to leave Quantico after the hostage “deaths” in training, the sudden change in her mood and attitude are illogical. One moment she is “on point” and in charge almost daring her team to keep up and the next she is in tears.
Certainly the file on her father has caused her problems but because of the limited time given each flashback, it is hard to track. The Simon Asher backstory, with analyst Elias Harper picking at the man’s credentials is interesting but also disturbing. Harper comes across as a combination of jilted lover and xenophobic patriotic zealot.
The storyline now has given Alex Parrish the added burden of being instantly shot by the police. This has increased the pressure on her to find who really blew up Grand Central and who is framing her for the terrorist act.
There are some moments of truth in the show. Shelby finding out about Alex shooting her father from Ryan who thought she already knew and the two women bonding in their shared room.
Quantico airs Sundays on ABC. Tune in and see if the series ever gets the formula just right or continues to flounder. Thus far, the show is a little hit and miss but still has potential, see what you think.