The 11th episode of Quantico – the one-word titled ‘Inside’ – serves as the so-called ‘Fall Finale’. In eleven weeks, Alex Parrish hasn’t exactly made any progress, finding the one(s) responsible for the bomb that went off in the pilot. Every single trainee has got something to hide; there’s no clear suspect yet. It’s just one beat around the bush at a time. Also, another bomb should’ve gone off long ago, but for some reason still hasn’t.
We fall right in the middle of Christmas time at Quantico, FBI training center. Some people went home, because, you know, Christmas, but some decided to stay. Working cases that no one’s ever managed to close. Alex (Priyanka Chopra), Shelby (Johanna Braddy), Natalie (Anabelle Acosta) and Nimah (Yasmine Al Massri) are going to try to solve unsolvable cases, from inside a campus building. At least they’ve got something on their hands, while not spending the holidays with their loved ones.
Until Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) walks back in. He’s in need of a quick tuxedo change. Bored out of their minds (you can only stand on one leg for so long), the girls decide to go with him, to the party of his parents. Shelby meets her father- and mother-in-law, and I would’ve expected something of an attraction between her and Caleb’s dad Clayton (Mark Pellegrino), but no. The moment when their sparks seriously started flying is saved for another day. Shelby’s mostly bonding with Caleb’s mother Claire (Marcia Cross) – a lot of C’s in the Haas family, aren’t there?
Trouble in Several Paradises
Shelby loves Caleb, she ‘really does’, but she doesn’t share his quest for truth. Especially now she’s learnt about the time he joined a cult and wanted to blow himself up, for a good cause. He was ‘just seventeen’, which is, like, just a few years ago, I imagine? Anyway, it’s enough reason for Shelby to end their on and off relationship.
One relationship already broken, is the one between Alex and Ryan (Jake McLaughlin). Ryan’s at the party, too, as ‘fate’ would have it, in full undercover mode, playing husband and wife with his former wife Hannah (Eliza Coupe). For another year, at least, they have to pretend playing house, according to Hannah. Alex is beyond jealous, but there’s not much to be done, except act like a jealous teenager who regrets ever dumping this pretty good guy. A brief kiss in an empty room is all she gets.
Do We Care?
The question is, why should we care about all of this? Showing the Quantico training period was a nice plot device, because there’s a mole, but it’s about time they’d focus on the more serious problem at hand. Like stopping another bomb from going off in the heart of New York City, nine months later.
Nine Months Later
Elias (Rick Cosnett) comes walking into the command center, with a head wound. Somebody tried to push him in front of oncoming traffic. Or so he says. Wouldn’t that have been a nice stunt, for the show? Why didn’t we see it, then? Perhaps because it never happened. When he tells Liam (Josh Hopkins) and Miranda (Aunjanue Ellis), the team flies out to investigate. Elias walks away with a smile on his face. Okay, that was too easy. Every time Quantico tries too hard to serve up one of the characters as the bad guy, it’s not that simple.
And it isn’t. The team discovers Simon (Tate Ellington), taped to a chair and detonator. If he lets go, a bomb will blow. Elias, after some persuasion, comes clean. He’d been blackmailed. He kidnapped Simon, hoping to lead the team to him and then find a way to dismantle the bomb, but his little plan blows up in his face.
They do find the bomb, the bomb squad freezes the timer so it doesn’t go off, so Simon can let go. When he does, the bomb goes off anyway. A different one. Somewhere else. When they step outside, they see the command center has been destroyed.
At least Elias is no longer a suspect. He did however frustrate an FBI investigation. The only way to avoid jail time, is to jump out of the window backwards, which he does. So what have we learnt, after 11 episodes? The mole is still in their midst. His or her motive is unclear. His or her goal is unclear. I guess it will take another 11 episodes before he or she’s finally revealed, and then we’ll have the joy of rewatching the whole first season and pick up on all the clues that we’ve missed. It’s a risky move, though. It really tests the patience of the audience, especially now the soapy side plots are starting to get a little annoying. Quantico could use a little Wayward Pines truth serum, explaining the conspiracy in a single episode and go from there.