Quantico: Clear – Melt Down (Review)

Quantico: Clear has the voice on the cell putting Alex, and Natalie, in the right spot to get information that the terrorists want.


Quantico: Clear has the voice on the cell putting Alex, and Natalie, in the right spot to get information that the terrorists want. Parrish runs hard to catch the unknown assailant but her mission ends in a melt down when one friend is killed and another threatened.

This episode has the best backstory relationship with the current events in the series thus far.  With the flashback sequences of the NAT’s going through their new integrated training program new alliances are forged and the training itself is pertinent to the current episode.

Not all the Quantico training sequences were so clear cut.  With the emphasis on “turning” someone to become an informant, along with the “Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator” the trainees learn about how to influence a target. Trust, vulnerability and the fact that both sides want control make this quite appropriate while still maintaining a level of mystery.

Alex starts back at the bureau, but in a greatly reduced capacity as the new leader to the anti-terrorism group is Ryan Booth’s ex Hannah Wyland who has no love for Parrish.  Natalie and Alex are in the building when the latter gets a phone call from the terrorist as she  talks to Hannah (Eliza Coupe). The terrorist   tells Alex  to get a information from an internal server.

Sidenote: Fair enough, this is television and the medium moves quickly with a lot of set up done daily but…The scene where Alex gets Hannah’s thumbprint felt a little too “Shades of Blue” in the area of camera gaffes. The “thumbprint” left on the phone, had either already been “dusted” or Hannah Wyland’s hands are filthy…No wonder Booth left her.

The new class and Alex’s group are “bonding” very slowly back at Quantico and the message is that they need to learn about each other and work as a team; “leave the animosity behind.” Caleb and Shelby are working the “half-sister” scam and Iris Chang (Li Jun Li) pays attention and learns about the issue. Later, she will step in and offer Wyatt (Johanna Braddy) assistance. 

At Quantico, the upper class has introduced an eclectic group of “newbies” to the plot. Chang, Drew Perales (Lenny Platt), former pro football player and the somewhat odd, Will Olsen (Jay Armstrong Johnson) who, as one other trainee pointed out, has more in common with Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man than an FBI agent, are the most visible. 

Sidenote: Olsen is clearly either autistic or at the very least almost consumed with OCD type tendencies. Both these would make it seem that as an agent in the field Olsen would be a poor fit. It is interesting to note that the actor bears more than a passing resemblance to “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin, who plays the uber intelligent Chekov in the “reboot” of the franchise. Olsen even talks a little like Chekov sans the “w-ariable” Russian accent…


The training sequences reveal that new allegiances are being formed and that Vasquez gets released from training to fight for custody of her daughter.  Apart from adding an emotional tag to the character, setting the viewer up for her upsetting death later in the episode, it serves as a reminder of the Alex v. Natalie competition that began in the early days of training.

In the present, Alex and Natalie team up to get the information and Vasquez inserts a worm that will track the terrorist and release her from the bomb strapped around her waist. Back at Quantico both Alex and Chang officially fail the “turning” exercise. The “targets” at the bar were all FBI agents who were there to “turn” the NATS.

Back at present day Natalie and Alex follow the signal to catch the terrorist and the two find a laptop with the information sent by the two agents earlier. Parrish’s phone starts to ring and then stops, this happens a few times and she moves outside the building to get a better signal.

As Alex answers her phone, the laptop flashes the same message  that she receives via her cell:

“You didn’t listen.”

The laptop explodes and Natalie Vasquez dies after shouting a warning to Alex.

During  the final flashback, where Miranda warns the NATs that those closest to them can hurt them the most, Natalie and Alex have a fond exchange before the former goes to get her daughter:

Vasquez to Alex: “You should know that no matter where I am,  I’ll  always be better than you.”

Alex: “I’ll catch up one day.”

Vasquez: “We’ll see.”

It is after this flashback that we see Parrish frantically banging on Ryan Booth’s door. In tears and hysterical, the newly re-instated agent is giving up. As Booth calls it in, Alex gets an image sent to her cell and it is of her and Booth in the apartment. She rushes out in the street to beg that her friends not be hurt.

There are several things brought to light in Quantico: Clear. Will Olsen (Chekov) clearly has  personal agenda. The rift between the twins Raina and Nimah has widened and it appears that at least one is not what she claims to be.  It also appears that trust is not something that Alex gives easily as she is seen checking Perales’ story online.

Show creator Joshua Safran has added an odd Saw-like quality to the plot as the unknown terrorist puts Alex through her paces.  One really does expect to see the ugly puppet on the  red trike at any moment.  

The body count is rising, as Safran has promised, and another colleague of Parrish’s is gone. Perhaps instead of Saw, Quantico borrowing a page from Scream and Alex is the Sidney Prescott of this piece. All her friends are dying while she survives.

It looks as though the terrorists  on the other end of the phone may be a man and a woman. The voice changer fluctuates between male and female in tone, although this could be an effect by the show’s makers to confuse the issue.

Quantico: Clear has managed to not just push Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) off her throne as one of the best FBI agents in the bureau but to hurl her off the top spot, crying and shaken to the core.

The series airs Sundays on ABC.  This is becoming an addictive experience and on one last note.  Would it not be interesting to learn that the “Adam and Eve” dark web team are the terrorists?  Just a thought…