1. Last week should have been the winter finale
I thought Episode 10 was the winter finale so when I saw there was another episode my first reaction was, ‘what? how are they going to top last week?’ The answer: they didn’t. If this episode had just stayed in the post-bombing story line I would have enjoyed it, but all the pre-bombing stuff was terrible. Because post-bombing was an actually good conspiracy, terrorism show about rookie FBI agents and pre-bombing was all relationship drama nonsense with a few good character moments.
2. Please start having less relationship nonsense
I get that the trainees don’t have a lot to do at Quantico except for their lesson of the week, but could they please do something else beside talk about boys all the time? For a second I got really excited that everyone left except for Alex, Shelby, Natalie and Nimah. I thought they were to hang out and get drunk and work on their cases together and it would have been great. But about five seconds in Alex was moping about Ryan, Shelby was talking about how she loves Super Dull Blonde Guy and Natalie was even name dropping Brandon. The only one to escape it was Nimah, who is quickly becoming one of my favorites. She didn’t have time their boy talk, she was too busy stealing shit, using life hacks to make wine taste better and schooling Shaw (who was also there) in Islamaphoia.
3. I don’t hate all the relationships
I don’t hate all the relationships in this show, just all the one’s that seemed to have been forced on us. From about the second episode it was clear Alex and Ryan and Shelby and Super Dull Blonde Guy are supposed to be together, but we didn’t have much evidence to back up why we should think that. The only ones that I am kind of enjoying are the ones the show let form organically. Of course, Alex and Shelby is my favorite, but Alex has an interesting dynamic forming with O’Connor and her friendship with Simon is great. Though I find it weird and strange the show gave more evidence during the pre-bombing story line as to why Shelby started dating Super Dull Blonde Dad than it has about the other main relationships.
4. This was a good twist
Elias comes back into the post-bombing story line after the terrorist tried to kill him. He joins the search for Simon with Alex, Nimah and Natatlie. I would just like to talk a moment to appreciate that the Indian girl, the Lebanese girl, the Latina girl and the gay guy did all the work this episode. It was refreshing after all the straight white dudes have been doing a lot recently. Anyway, Team Diversity finds Simon in a hotel with a bomb trigger taped to his hand. Elias seems pretty certain he is the terrorist. The two of them throw accusations back and forth until Elias admits, he was being blackmailed by the terrorist. And when he had the choice to turn himself in or frame Simon, he chose to frame Simon. Elias didn’t know where the bomb was and realizes the terrorists are going to let him get away. He then backs up and let’s himself fall out the window.
5. RIP Elias
RIP Elias. You were rather shady sometimes but you were also great at calling out everyone’s bullshit. He was also, in my opinion, a rather well portrayed gay character. But, he was the only gay character. So, unless someone comes along or comes out to replace him RIP to the show’s strange LGBT representation. Side note: What was with Ryan’s ex-wife/partner and the amount of compliments and flirts she was sending Alex’s way?
6. This was also a good twist
After Shaw and O’Connor find the bomb in the hotel with Alex, Natalie, Nimah and Simon’s help, Alex’s tells Simon after some convincing that he can release the trigger. It all seems good for a moment and then they hear a bomb go off. They go running out to see where it came from and realized it was the command center. The episode ends with Simon asking Alex if everyone was in there. This and Elias’ involvement in the plot both happened in the last 15 minutes. It was good, but not enough to save the entire episode.
7. Please let Shelby be alive
I’m really worried about Shelby, guys. The last time we saw her post-bombing she was in the command center. Also, Elias had a very long, heartfelt monologue before he jumped out that window and the last time we see Shelby pre-bombing she is her having a very long, heartfelt monologue with Super Dull Blonde Guy.
And that monologue was great. Shelby pretty much calls out Super Dull Blonde Guy, who is our terror suspect again, for all the nice things he has been doing in an asshole way. At the New Year’s Eve party Shelby went to at his parents’ house, he forces his mom (Marcia Cross?!) to tell his dad that she is the top pick for the vice presidential candidate. Super Dull Blonde Dad and Marcia Cross had just gotten back together. As Shelby tells Super Dull Blonde Guy afterwards, telling people the truth because he believes they should know it is not the best way to go about things. Just like what he did with her sister last episode. Shelby says he can’t blow things up to make people see his truth. She then tells him that she loves him but breaks up with him because she knows he will hurt her.
Super Dull Blonde Guy, you better have not killed Shelby! The last we see of him, he is getting a tour of the bank that is being used as the command center sometime between the two timelines. He comments on its proximity to Grand Central and asks about the vaults in the basement (where he could have taken Shelby and hid from the blast?). Also, that cult he was a part of was planning to suicide bomb themselves at the federal courthouse. So, that is a lot of evidence that he is our terrorist.
1. This episode was great
I just wanted to get that out of the way. I really liked this episode. It was filled with actual good twists and gave everyone something to do. Sure, the pre-bombing story line had a little too much Natalie, who isn’t really working for me because they made her too bitchy for too long for us to like her now. But, it also had a lot of good stuff with Simon, who is one of the most complex characters on the show, and gave us some much needed character development for Nimah.
The post-bombing story line was great as all the main characters worked together to spy on the rest of their class. It was great to see everyone together and not be so god damn concerned about who is banging who.
2. Yay for the return of Alex and Shelby.
As I’ve said before but half this show is about who is dating who but the actually interesting relationships and dynamics are the partnerships, platonic friendships and sexual tension filled friendships. My favorite of all of those: Alex and Shelby. Since they have both been held by the FBI in different places for while, we haven’t had a lot of them together. But, Shelby apologizes for doubting Alex earlier and they make up. This episode wrecked nearly every relationship it has created, which is going to make for interesting stories coming up. Despite Alex reluctantly agreeing to spy on the other members of her team with Shaw and O’Connor, she still tries to protect Shelby but it all blows up in Alex’s face and everyone, especially Shelby, is feeling betrayed by her.
3. This episode hated Shelby
Post-bombing she makes up with Alex, only to feel betrayed by her later when she and everyone else realizes Alex, Shaw and O’Connor spied on them. Also, her affair with Super Dull Blonde Dad is now on the record because she was calling him to break it off. Oh, and Super Dull Blonde Guy told his mom about it.
Pre-bombing she is getting doubted for not being a strong enough fighter and then she thinks Super Dull Blonde Guy is about to break up with her. And then he starts telling her her sister might be Catfishing her for money. As she points out, her sister is the only family she has left and that is a mean thing to say. But, it turns out to be true. This episode was all about emotions and wrecking everyone.
4. Super Dull Blonde Guy is a jerk
Super Dull Blonde Guy kept saying he was trying to protect people this episode, but he was a real asshole in how he went about it. To protect Shelby from the suspicion from his dad that she is giving money to a terrorist organization, he stole files off her computer to try and prove her sister was real. He then proves her sister is actually using her, in front of her! He also protected his mom’s political career by telling her about Shelby sleeping with his dad, after Shelby had already broken it off. I’m not saying any of this was the wrong thing to do, but there are nicer ways. Of course, doing the right thing even if it isn’t the nicest was the theme of this episode. But, Shelby didn’t have to be in the room for that call.
5. Simon has been having a rough go of things
Simon needs a break, which seems unlikely since he got kidnapped at the end of this episode. Pre-bombing Simon is getting shunned by the class because of turning in the serial killer obsessed speaker from last week. Nimah then digs up his about how he used to lure women to get them killed, which he didn’t know was happening, while he was serving in the IDF and spills it in front of the entire class. Only Ryan, Alex and Raina, sort of, stand up for him. He then gets kicked out of Quantico because Shaw found out about him attacking Ryan earlier.
Post-bombing we find out he isn’t actually the terrorist. Well, he isn’t the terrorist but he might be a terror. He made flawed bombing devices so he could plant bombs under a mosque and a synagogue near Grand Central, stop them from going off so he could be a hero and get everyone to talk and bond together. But someone stole his idea, fixed the flaws and blew up Grand Central. Everyone turns against him until he points out that Alex has caused them all a lot of problems. Shelby and even Nimah agree with him when everything hits the fan and everyone is left alone.
Simon goes home to get his affairs in order before O’Connor has him arrested the next day. Alex stops by and pleads with him to help her fix everything and work with her like they used to at Quantico. But, he says there is no going back. And then he is kidnapped.
1. Understated and over the top
Somehow this episode was both understated and over the top. The special interrogation team just walks in, with an order from the president saying they can take Alex and do whatever to get info out of her. And Super Dull Blonde Dad just let them. Wait a second! Nobody is going to freak out? That is a thing that is allowed? Is Obama the president in this? This all felt very understated, like a scene of someone being like wait you can’t do that can, can you? Also their torture of Ryan was very understated. It get this airs on ABC that was basically a scratch on his stomach.
But that interrogator guy and Alex’s reaction to Ryan’s torture was really over the top. The guy was stalking around in the shadows making vague threats with his menacing accent. And Alex pretty chill about it until she FLIPPED HER LIP when she saw Ryan.
The tone all just seemed off and strange and was really making me miss 24.
2. That is a lot of straight white dudes
White dudes did a lot this episode, like almost all of the action was done by white dudes. I didn’t dislike the action, I’m just saying for a show I started watching because it is the first Indian lead American tv show and it’s seemingly diverse cast having to watch Super Dull Blonde Guy figure out stuff while Alex was tied to a chair post-bombing and Simon figure out the serial killer obsessed guest speaker was a criminal herself pre-bombing was kind of annoying.
Even Alex’s pre-bombing storyline revolved around O’Connor’s alcoholism and guilt about spying on Alex.
3. Elias is back!
Elias is back in the post-bombing storyline because he is a lawyer now and Alex called him. He was the most helpful member of Team Alex behind Super Dull Blonde Guy. But he still didn’t do that much. I don’t know why most of the action was done by Super Dull Blonde Guy and Elias and the twins acted like his sidekicks.
4. So Simon then.
It seems like Simon is the lead terrorist suspect again. After getting chewed out by the rest of the class, especially Nimah, for turning in the guest speaker for forging evidence, Simon calls the bomb making friend he has and complains about how America is horrible. He then gives him a flash drive of the layouts of train stations in New York.
Maybe this was the big reveal and Simon really is the terrorist, but the episode didn’t do much to throw suspicion off him. O’Connor tells Alex he thinks the mole is still inside the FBI and she should play into their plan, which included pleading guilty to 133 counts of murder, so they could find the second bomb. While, Simon is in custody with Shelby for helping Alex, O’Connor said they will be pardoned soon. Also, Simon took Alex to his bomb marker friend who threw he suspicion at Shelby earlier in the season.
It seemed like it was trying to when Super Dull Blonde Dad, who I still think might also be involved, called his son and told him Shelby had been giving money to a half-sister in Saudia Arabia but she doesn’t exist. But she does because we saw Shelby skyping with her in the last episode.
1. Why not twins?
I am going to question this until we are given an answer as to why Nimah and Raina Amin, who I can actually tell apart now, are both played by one person instead of a set of twins. Seriously is there not a single set of 20-something Middle Eastern identical twins these roles could have been given to?
2. Super dull blonde dad is my terrorist pick
Super dull blonde dad has to be the terrorist. I can’t see any other reason for him being so shady about everything. Sure, he is using the excuse of him sleeping with Shelby (gross) and not wanting his politician wife to find out. But, he is having super dull blonde guy delete emails and is lying all over the place. And I know his name is Clayton, but I’m not calling him that (and I hope Shelby stops) because that is my dad’s name and it is just weird.
3. Good line, Natalie
Natalie sums up Shelby and super dull blonde guy’s relationship in one sentence: “What is your attraction to each other? Daddy issues? Master race?” At least the show is aware that it paired the two super pretty blondes with parental issues together. You’re still a stereotype Natalie, but that was a good line.
4. Alex’s dad’s backstory seemed rushed
So this whole thing with Alex’s dad and O’Connor knowing each other and working together at some point seemed a little rushed. Alex has only known O’Connor has been keeping tabs on her for one episode. But, this week with Ryan’s help she finds out O’Connor and her father pretty much failed an undercover mission and got 204 people killed in Omaha in 1993 and were part of a cover up. Shaw was involved too and Alex finds all this out before the end of the episode, when Shaw might have been killed or just seriously wounded possibly by her son. A little too much happened this week. But, we still don’t know why O’Connor is so interested in Alex or why he wanted Ryan spying on her.
5. I was really hoping for Elias
After Alex and Ryan get trapped in by the FBI and think they have no choice but to turn themselves in, someone hacks the FBI and leaks all the case files. For a second the episode teases us and makes it seem like it has to be a current or former analyst, so super dull blonde guy or Elias. I was really pulling for Elias (where is he?) but it ended up being the two dark net hackers that helped Alex earlier. They are able to get enough information for Alex to realize there is a second bomb, which was a good twist. They also help Alex trick still really injured Ryan to go to safety without her.
6. The cinematography was great this week
I really enjoyed the cinematography this week. There were multiple long shots and camera swoops and everything looked really nice, which made up for the fact that the dialogue was not so great again.
7. More Simon questions
Well, the sexuality thing is cleared up but the show is not done raising all the questions it can about Simon. From the romantic fluff side, it seems like he is actually more attracted to Nimah, the non-religious one who wants to be an agent, instead of Raina, the religious one who likes him. He and Raina have a slightly awkward conversation about Israeli (I’m assuming) politics with the whole Jewish and Muslim thing. The last scene of the episode is Simon taking a cryptic call from someone in Hebrew (?) about how he is trying to be good but it isn’t going so well. This could all be a misdirect because it is cut with Shelby having a seemingly harmless Skype conversation with her half-sister in Saudi Arabia in Arabic.
8. Nothing is going to make me like him
I’m not really sure what it is about super dull blonde guy, but I’m never going to like him. Despite, the show revealing that he is a former cult member, having him stand up for Alex and being in love with Shelby, I still hate him. He is still super whiny and annoying and acting like a child about Shelby hooking up with his dad.
9. I was not expecting this twist
After getting Ryan to safety, Alex goes to the FBI headquarters to turn herself in. As she told her dark net friends, the FBI is getting thousands of tips about bomb threats and the one she knows is true will only be believed if it comes from her. Also as she pointed out to Ryan, every ally and every one who has helped her is already in FBI custody.
1 Haha what? No relationships at Quantico?
The fuck? Shelby, while recapping her awkward first meeting with super dull blonde dude’s dad, says to Alex that relationships between Quantico trainees are forbidden. What? Like half of this show is relationships between Quantico trainees. Maybe that is a thing in real life but like it slide for your super mainstream, sexy show.
2 “You and your sister…are very different people”?
In what god damn way, Simon? I literally said the name of the terrorist Amin twin to myself for like five minutes so I would actually remember it was Nimah, who I think is the one that wanted to be an FBI agent, not in love Simon one but who the fuck knows. Actually the ending made it pretty clear, Raina usually wears a head scarf in casual situations and likes Simon more. Or at least that is how they presented themselves to the rest of the Quantico class after Nimah, I think, told Shaw they would be better off as full members of the team. And I don’t think either of them are actually terrorists.
3 Natalie is a stereotype
I really dislike Natalie, but more than I am supposed to. She is the anti-Alex. But, on top of that she is ratting out every member of her Quantico class who are all siding with Alex. Shelby even tells her that she mostly hates post-bombing Alex for whatever she exposed about her parents, but she is helping her because she isn’t a terrorist. Also, the show did a good job of having our core job of characters work together in the Quantico timeline. And that group was Alex, Booth, Shelby, Simon, whichever Amin twin AND Natalie. In a cliched sort of way, she realizes the error of her ways and lets Alex and very wounded Ryan escape at the end of the episode.
4 Oh no is Elias gone?
Elias fled the classroom during the possible bomb/possible mid-term test part of the episode. It turned out to be the final for analysts so he left Quantico afterwards. He kept talking about giving up a six-figure IT job before the FBI, which he joined because we wanted to protect his country but realized there is a lot of bullshit surrounding that. God I love you, Elias. I feel like Alex has mentioned him as someone who could help in the post-bombing story line so hopefully we see him again. This is the first episode to not introduce a character into the post-bombing story line as a terror suspect. I really thought it was going to be Elias this week. I would have believed it as much as I did when it was Shelby.
5 Whoa that was a straight dude sympathy kiss
So my views on this show’s LGBTQA+ representation has been varying because of Simon’s gay marketing, which turned out to be a lie but Elias’ inclusion made me let it go a bit. But, I liked that the show kept in a sympathy kiss by a straight dude. Sure Simon is not macho in any way and some people might view this as bad for LGBTA+ characters on television but this stuff happens some time and I am glad this utterly mainstream show included it. It will never be HTGAWM but I’ll take it.
6 Ryan’s past, sorta
So, Ryan’s shady past involves something that happened in Chicago. We find out this episode that he and the Deputy Director really messed up and got some people killed but Ryan as the good guy solider took the blame and now the DD by order of the higher ups are punishing him for it. I feel like when characters have shady pasts it is usually better to never tell people because what they think up is usually better than the actual story.
7 Shelby vs. the super dull blonde guy family
Super dull blonde guy and his dad were assholes to Shelby this episode. Super dull blonde guy actually says to her she is probably better off that her parents are dead because she can’t disappoint them. And, thankfully, she actually calls him out and is like “my parents died on 9/11, you dick.” Also, super dull blonde dad is an asshole to her too by saying his son is a waste of space, who might have some actually mental health issues the show hasn’t explored yet. Geew wonder why, Dick Dad? Again, this is all not actually about Shelby but I don’t care about super dull blonde guy or his dad, for me it is just making Shelby more interesting. Now if she would just forget about them and date Alex I would be happy.
I couldn’t work it into my main post because it would have been way too long, but what was with Alder Eric’s multiple mentions this episode?
Super dull blonde guy mentioned Eric, Brain J. Smith/Will from Sense8, shooting himself a lot. That happened in the first episode and has not been mentioned since the second. I have three theories for why it suddenly got mentioned again:
1 Super dull blonde guy relates
Super dull blonde guys’ dad mentioned to Shelby that he had stopped his son from seriously hurting himself and other people. So maybe super dull blonde guy had a suicide/murder-suicide/mass murder and suicide by cop thing planned at some point and that is why he was so torn up by Eric’s death.
Though he acted rather insensitive about it, as Shelby pointed out, I think he was more bothered than he let on. Shelby also points that out.
2 He somehow isn’t dead
Brian J. Smith is still on the post bombing terror suspect board. I saw this being pointed out after the first episode aired. Though he does die (it seems pretty certain) in the first episode, he is still being listed among the suspects nine months later.
This all could be me adding way too much weight to Alder Eric because despite him being the uber straight, good guy cop American goober character on Sense8 I love Will. So, I might be adding too much importance to this one episode role because I really like this actor. This whole thing could have been an incident of a show hiring a slightly big name actor to be killed off in the first episode to raise the stakes.
As I said in my first ever Quantico post if Brian J. Smith had to go leave to film in Iceland or Chicago or Seoul or wherever, I don’t care. He would have made Quantico more interesting but he is also needed back on Sense8.
1 Yay Alex and Shelby!
I was sad at the end of last episode thinking that we were not going to get any post-bombing Alex and Shelby this episode after Alex left her knocked out in the mosque but the episode opened with them together in a hotel room. Shelby hangs around and helps Alex spy on Caleb, which ends grossly. I’ll get to that.
2 Montage of relationship I don’t care about, oh yay
I was thankful for the Alex and Shelby moments even more after a good five minutes was dedicated to a montage of all the straight romantic relationships I cannot get myself to care about. I could go more in depth of why I am not interested in Ryan and Natalie, Ryan and Alex, Shelby and super dull blonde guy and Simon and the Amin twins but I really think it is because of underdeveloped characters and the strength of Alex and Shelby’s relationship.
3 I hate super dull blonde guy
He was even the lead terror suspect for most of the episode but that didn’t even make him interesting. And then he ended up not being the terrorist and was just mad Shelby broke up with him. Am I supposed to be hating him this much? I feel like I’m not supposed to be because we are probably supposed to be feel bad for him because Shelby is using him as a fuck buddy pre-bombing and is dating his dad post-bombing but really that is just making me find Shelby more interesting. Well, expect for the part about super dull blonde guy’s dad that is just gross.
4 I’m glad this was included
During the training assignment Shelby, Alex and whichever Amin twin got a quick moment together as they talked about their relationship drama that took up a bit too much of this episode. The three/four of them seemed like friends in the first episode but they haven’t been spending much time together since. It was a good time to give us another scene with them, especially since the Amin twins have been introduced into the post-bombing time line as the next lead suspects.
5 Shaw’s back story with a side of yelling and confusion
We got a bit of explanation of Shaw’s past with her son, Charlie, getting released from juvee. He was jailed for planning to shot up his high school. Or at least that is what Shaw says. Charlie is denying it and says she framed her. O’Connor is torn between the two. Also, Shaw and O’Connor were having an affair. But, Shaw’s husband is dead now. Charlie made it seem like that was related to the affair somehow, but who knows.
6 I’m glad Alex found out about Ryan
Through O’Connor being a Ryan-hating loud mouth and Shaw having the students spy on her house, Alex ended up overhearing O’Connor talking to Ryan about his side mission of spying on Alex. I’m glad Alex found out about this both because it drives a wedge between Alex and Ryan, which might make their relationship more interesting. Also, Alex was able to prove herself to O’Connor and get away from Ryan by switching rooms with Natalie so they are no longer sharing a shower. But, Alex and Shelby aren’t roommates anymore. Damn it.
7 I’m so confused about these two
This casting choice is my biggest problem with this show. I cannot tell these two apart, so I have no idea which one is supposed to like Simon and which one doesn’t or which one dreamed of being an FBI agent and which one didn’t. If telling the different between them wasn’t a part of the plot it would be OK but telling them apart is becoming a huge part of the plot. Simon ends up walking into their room and seeing both of them. One locks him in the closet as the other gets Shaw. And one or both, I don’t know, is the lead terror suspect for next week. Maybe we will start to see more of a difference between them soon, post-bombing Alex did refer to them as “the twins.”
1 This undercover bit was fun
Getting to see characters play dress up is usually fun and this had the added bonus of it being a competition and the twist of them having to go undercover as the roles another member of the class created.
2 Why not twins?
Why didn’t the show hire twins to play this role? I get that the other characters, save for Shaw, aren’t supposed to see Nimah Amin is really two people, but they are seeming like one person to me. And that is probably not the show’s intention. So, why not just hire a set of identical twins to play these roles? It might be unfair to compare Yasmine Al Massri to the TV golden standard of an actor having chemistry with themselves but she is no Tatiana Maslany.
3 I hate this guy
Yes, the show made super dull blonde guy the lead terrorist suspect at the end of the episode, but he was still way too annoying throughout the rest of it. I get that he is supposed to be the annoying douche bag character but he is so unlikable that I was annoyed every time he was on screen.
4 Especially when this happened
Ugh. Gross. No. Shelby, you are better than this.
5 Stop being Islamophobic racists, America
After its wealth of ‘Mercia dialogue last week, the show took a turn this week and called out the general American public for being Islamophobic racists. In the post-bombing story line, Alex’s name and photo have reached the media and everyone is being super racist about it. Alex points it out during her online broadcast that it is easy to pin it all on “the brown girl.” She also uses it to her advantage at one point by hiding out at a Mosque and using a service letting out to escape. I was just as assumed by it as Simon and Ryan were.
6 Thank you, Elias
I’m not sure why Simon tried to continue his fake gayness after he told Elias last week that he isn’t actually gay, but whatever this story line was well done. Simon asks his fake boyfriend/the guy he has gone on one date with Max to the undercover party. He shows up and Simon leaves him in his hotel room. But, Elias is eager to investigate. He gets the real story from Max and then sleeps with him and sends him home. Elias confronts Simon about his actions later and says that he is offended, which I’m really glad he said because that is how I have felt about this story line. Though Elias promised to ruin Simon (which at least post-bombing Alex thought happened) but Simon tells him he made up a fake life after he served in the Israeli military because he was horrified of what he did in Gaza. They seemed to have made up.
7 Alex and Shelby’s relationship is so great
Again, I love these two and the complexity of their relationship is fantastic. In the first part of the episode we cut from Alex and Shelby palling around Quantico to Alex threatening a chained up Shelby with a gun post-bombing. Though she held her hostage for most of the post-bombing part, I don’t think Alex ever intended to hurt Shelby. And Shelby kept looking a bit concerned about Alex while trying to act like she thought she was guilty. For instance, Alex after she is told the FBI raised her status to kill on site:
And Shelby’s reaction to seeing that face:
Alex leaves Shelby at the Mosque and she lies to the FBI about how much she knows and agrees to join Simon and Ryan in finding out who is really the terrorist. I really hope it is super dull blonde guy.