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 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.
1 The pacing in fantastic
This show is paced incredibly well. We are getting a great balance of action, suspense and gradual reveals of information during training and after the bombing. Also, the show is doing a great job of slowly entangling every member of the Quantico class into the greater conspiracy.
2 The dialogue could use some work, though
But, the dialogue was bad this week. Every line was either a cliche, overly dramatic for no reason, an action hero one-liner or a predictable response. And this episode was about 30 percent PSA about home-grown terrorists.
3 So Elias then
After three weeks of vagueness about as the show marketed him gay Simon, the show finally just flat out told us he isn’t actually gay. It did acknowledge its odd LGBTQ representation choice by having actually gay Elias criticizing him for using the allure of being an openly gay FBI agent to get into Quantico. Having a gay character was one of the things that originally got me into Quantico, but hey Elias got more of a story this week.
4 Ryan isn’t that interesting
Despite his shady sounding past – there was something with Chicago – we know nothing about, I am not finding Ryan that interesting. But, his character isn’t all that original. He is a tough but nice law enforcement guy with a shady past who might get with the lead chick or classic TV bitch character Natalie, as he is after the bombing.
5 The romances are falling flat
I feel like I am being mean. I liked this episode and some parts of it were great (I’m getting to you, Shelby) but it did devote a lot of time to the parts I am not finding that great. Like the multiple romances. I am not really interested in the budding romances between Alex and Ryan, Ryan and Natalie, Shelby and the dull blonde guy or Simon and the Amin twins.
6 And my favorite part: Shelby
Shelby and Shelby and Alex’s relationship was my favorite part of this episode. Alex only told Ryan about how her father, who she killed, was actually an FBI hero not a dead-beat drunk. But, Shelby noticed something was wrong and was worrying about her through the whole pre-bombing part of the episode. They get in a little fight but then make up and sweetly share their secrets and admit they are friends.
They are not so friendly after the bombing. Apparently Alex “exposed the truth about her parents” and that caused a falling out. Alex broke into her house with Simon after she found evidence that she might be involved in the bombing. After a lot of fighting and gun pointing, Alex takes her hostage.
I am still really shipping them but romantic or platonic their relationship is the best dynamic on the show so far.
1 I’m liking this friendship
I am enjoying the budding friendship between Alex and super pretty blonde with parental issues chick. I paid enough attention this week to learn her name is Shelby. She is from Georgia so of course it is.
2 These shady meetings are shady
Most of the time I am trying to forget that this is a network show and ignore its super network television elements. These shady, secretive meetings happening in open hallways with secretive feeling lighting is hard to look past though.
3 This guy is my terrorist pick of the week
Why are you being so mean to Alex’s mom? And why are you having Simon spy on Alex? Are you the terrorist?
4 The Assistant Director is awesome
I am loving Assistant Director Shaw. This week she seemingly pits the trainees against each other by making them choose to vote three people off the island out of the academy or let her vote off 10. The exercise splits the group and pits them against each other after their peer reviews are posted for everyone to see.
5 What is going on with gay Simon?
Alright show, what are we doing with, as you marketed him, gay Jewish Simon? Alex meets up with him after the Grand Central Station bombing. He was kicked out of Quantico, as far as Alex knows and is seeming rather straight now and doing IT for a tech start up. He helps her in the future timeline. Back at Quantico he was being an asshole, which I also feel is important for shows to do because for true equally shows have to be able to show gay characters be assholes or villains. If Simon is actually gay (I am still questioning it) and Elias is a good guy, the show is doing incredibly well with its LGBTQ representation in my opinion.
6 The Amin twins are still interesting
The Amin twins get rather pissed at each other because of the weird psych evaluations they get during the episode. Raina, I think, says she doesn’t want to be there anymore and leaves Nimah by herself. And I am going to ask it until it is explained, why Logan, Ohio?
7 Shit, I’m shipping this
So yeah, I am starting to ship Shelby and Alex together. This is probably never going to happen because the show is trying to pair Shelby with…that super dull blonde dude who is Elias’ roommate and Alex and Booth are clearly the couple I am supposed to be rooting for but whatever.
8 Why is everyone against Alex?
There has to be a reason for everyone acting against Alex after the bombing, right? Alex’s mom, the assistant director, Simon and Ryan are all working against Alex, usually after she interacts with them, to make the FBI believe she is a terrorist. There is a reason for all of this, right? Right?
I have been posting about Quantico on my tumblr (reviewsbymarika.tumblr.com) but I decided to transfer them over to here too. My posts about the first episode was rather short, so here are the first two episodes.
1 Overall it is pretty good
I seriously enjoyed it and it was better than I thought it was going to be based on the reviews I had read.
2. RIP Brian J. Smith
Man, I was excited to see him in something else. But I guess he has to get back to being drugged out of his mind on a boat and leaving Nomi to parent the Sense8’s on her own.
3. Logan, Ohio?!
10 points for Ohio randomness, but what? I used to work in Logan, Ohio and was shocked by the reference, impressed that there are a lot of Valero gas stations in that area and instantly horrified for the Muslim girl. I got berated for being a city slicker, Atheist and never even come out to my co-workers. Why are you in Logan? Get out of there! It isn’t safe!
1 Replacing Brian J Smith didn’t take long
About three seconds into the episode the show replaced Brian J. Smith’s interesting and confusing Mormon character Matt with Natalie, your average stereotypical bitch character who is competing with Alex as the best agent and love interest for the main guy character.
2 This pairing is super bland
No decision on their terrorist status yet, but the super pretty blonde with parental issues and the super pretty blonde with parental issues are not interesting me at all.
3 The twins are interesting
No idea what is going on with Niham and Raina Amin, who are there as an experiment by the Assistant Director but I am interested. Also, why Logan, Ohio last episode? Also, why not hire actual twins to play this role?
4 He’s the terrorist, right?
My money is on this guy for the terrorist. He is doing a lot of shady stuff.
5 I found my new favorite character
I’m not really sure what is going on with this show’s LGBTQ representation at the moment because I’m not sure if gay, Jewish Simon is actually gay, especially after his flirting with the Amin twins this week. Anyway the analyst trainees are introduced this week, including Elias, who has heard about Simon and quickly tries to awkwardly flirt with him but is confused with he is so instantly shot down. Elias also seems to be figuring out what the hell is going on with Simon. Apparently everything about him from his vocal-ness about his sexuality to his trip to Gaza to his glasses are all fake.