Quantico: Found – Dark Web to the Rescue

YASMINE AL MASSRI, PRIYANKA CHOPRA, JAKE MCLAUGHLIN, JOHANNA BRADDY, TATE ELLINGTON, JACOB ARTIST

In Quantico this week, Found sees Alex pulling out all the stops and turning to the dark web  in a self rescue attempt. After learning that the FBI put out a shoot to kill order, Parish holds on to Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy).  This episode attempts to tie up a lot of loose threads as well as intertwining the multiple threads that creator Joshua Safran has woven throughout the series thus far. 

At the start of the episode, the government agency has upped the ante by having the media castigate Alex. Newspapers have her picture on the front page and have coined the name “Jihadi Jane.” A mockup of what looks suspiciously like a FOX news desk has a news personality calling for “Jane” to be caught and punished.

It is easy to get behind Alex in her struggle to prove her innocence.  By the time the end credits roll, there is one more member of the “Parish is innocent” brigade marking up a total of four FBI agents (if indeed Simon is still with the bureau, that was a bit shakily explained last week), Miranda, Ryan, Simon and now Shelby.

In Found, as in each episode, the plot jumps backward and forward with the show following the NAT’s progress and tries to marry up the backstory with the intense journey the Alex faces now.  Caleb and Shelby finally “happen.”  Clearly, however, the act of coitus seems to mean little to Haas, who deserts Wyatt after their session to miss the bus back to the academy.

The trainees are sent  out into the field in their latest assignment, ironically it is all about going undercover, and each NAT is given a legend to portray and must convince Liam O’Connor and Miranda Shaw. After succeeding, they are sent to a DYKSTRA convention and tasked to get a meeting with the company’s CEO.

Just before the trainees are to enter the latest test, they are forced to switch identities. Caleb haunts Shelby, he is under the impression that she turned him in for illegally using the FBI gun range, making her fail repeatedly. Nimah and her twin have to do double duty as Miranda forces them to approach the task “for real.” Each twin changing over on an hourly basis.

Nimah wins the meeting with the CEO and Ryan, Alex and another NAT all win by getting the invite to meet the company head as well. Booth and Parrish celebrate by continuing their role play and presumably they have a repeat of their pre-Quantico car fling.

Simon is uncovered by Elias, he meets Mark the “boyfriend” that Asher has been using to bolster his claim to be gay.  After the test, Simon confesses to Harper that he is dangerous, a charge made by Elias at the convention.  Apparently Asher did some pretty awful things working for Israeli intelligence.

MAXWELL EDDY, TATE ELLINGTON

This is presumably the beginning of Simon’s fall from grace and “dismissal” from Quantico.      Another thing revealed in the flashback sequences has Miranda tasking Booth with learning what O’Connor has against Parish. Later on, she picks her former lover’s brain over drinks and learns that Alex has “something over the bureau.”

Shaw then tells Ryan to drop his investigations. In the present, Shaw has obviously changed her mind as she helped Parrish to escape.  The “Unknown” from the dark web reveal that Alex had ties with terrorism via friendships she made during her “missing year.”

After reaching out to the “dark web” (who put Parrish  “on trial” before airing a live interview) Alex raises questions over the FBI’s version of events and goes into hiding with the subversive group’s help.   The two who help Parrish  also provide her with fake identification and offers of further help.

At long last Quantico has stepped away from the overt  “terrorist  under every  bed” drill  and is now headed toward a more personal vendetta against the new FBI agent.  The show does still have that sense of terrorism paranoia  (that the most tangible threat to the great US of A is from within rather than without) but at least the frantic flag waving has calmed down a bit.

Audiences who watch this crime/mystery who possible tuned in to watch USA network’s Mr Robot, or indeed just reads the news (re:Anonymous or WikiLeaks, et al) will notice something far more disturbing than the creator’s theme of bombers hiding behind the neighbor’s bushes.

The dark web is something that exists, although it is specifically the haven of hackers and those nefarious types who want to drain your bank account, and requires a special type of software to access, apparently. Either way, hacking is the theme behind the USA series, a cracking show, and it is a trifle unsettling to see this “world” pop up on another television show.

Scary internet realities aside, the flashbacks are starting to “catch up” to now. The present has seen some huge changes. Shelby actively dislikes, or hates, Alex because of something she learned about Wyatt’s family. Simon is out of the bureau (Or is he?) Miranda is no longer  in charge, Liam is.  Vasquez and Booth are an item and Nimah is nowhere to be seen.

JOSH HOPKINS, AUNJANUE ELLIS

Thus far, especially after this episode, clues are beginning to point to Caleb as the terrorist who set Alex up. Look back at the man’s time as a NAT. Prior to his pushing a fellow trainee to kill himself and another member of Quantico staff, the man was rubbish…At everything. Even with the backstory of his parents “buying” his way in, or his sister’s intervention to make him an analyst. Haas was “too bad” to be true.

His behavior with Shelby shows a deficit of emotional connection apart from the physical. Caleb Haas is suspect number one with Liam O’Connor being all too ready to throw Alex to the wolves, initially, and then into the firing squad. One gets the impression that with Liam, it all ties back to Parrish’s father.

Chopra continues to do well in her role as wrongly accused terrorist and her character keeps proving just how clever she is. The whole “Hunchback of Notre Dame” riff with Parrish’s dark web rescuers using the local Mosque as “Sanctuary,” in order to keep the authorities from storming the place and capturing Alex, was a nice touch.

Quantico airs Sundays on ABC and is slowly but surely upping its game.  While the series still has a way to go, it starting to come together. Tune in and see who is setting Alex Parrish up.