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Quantico postmortem: Who's gone from the Academy?

Plus: ‘You will find out everything about Simon in the next episode,’ EP Josh Safran teases

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Phillippe Bosse/ABC

The NATs had a rare night off with their charismatic guest speaker, Dr. Langdon (Anne Heche), but Simon couldn’t let go of a question he had during the day’s assignment and nearly gets himself killed over it. But when the other NATs don’t see things the way he does, Simon gets involved with his bomb-making friend — a decision that could lead to dire consequences.

In the future, Alex has turned herself in to the FBI, only to land in deep trouble — until Caleb, Nathalie, and Liam all join her side of the fight. Here, EP Josh Safran talks what Quantico revealed in its ninth episode, and what’s coming before the midseason finale (hint: a lot more on Simon, thankfully!):

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In the New York/future timeline, Ryan is tortured while Alex watches. What impact does this have on their relationship? And they’ve never been through anything like this before, right?

JOSH SAFRAN: No, no. Honestly, it is hard because Ryan obviously cares a lot for Alex, and I think that this is one step too far. He’s willing to do these sort of things for her, but I think this is the final straw for both. I don’t want to give too much away because the last three episodes, including this one, happen in such a quick time frame, that you’ll see what happens so fast. I will say that this is the bottom point of their experience together.

So going forward…

Because you know at the end of the episode that Ryan’s going to be okay, it’s safe to say the effects of what happened might not be immediately felt in their relationship, but they definitely will be a proponent to their relationship in the future. He’s going to get immediate medical attention, and we may not see him in the future for the remainder of this part of the season is what I mean.

Now for everyone else in the New York timeline, just to clarify: Liam isn’t lying when he’s on Alex’s side? Everyone‘s officially on Team Alex now?

Yes, everyone is Team Alex with the exception of Clayton. You’ll find out in the next episode just what the FBI does and does not know about Liam and Alex’s plan that transpires at the end of this episode.

Another member of Team Alex: Elias, who returned to be her legal counsel.

Yeah, wasn’t that fun? I couldn’t say at the time when you asked me [if Elias was off the show], I couldn’t be like, “No, of course not!” It’s great to have Rick [Cosnett, who plays Elias] back.

Just to clarify: Does this mean he and Alex stayed in touch after he left Quantico? She thinks of him immediately when she turns herself in.

Yes, but I wouldn’t say… I mean, the timeline is so compacted, meaning we’re at November in Quantico, and they’re in July in the future, so it isn’t so much staying in touch as you’re getting yourself in a situation and you’re like, “Who do I know? Oh, Elias.” It’s somebody you met six months ago, so it’s not as long as you think, but yes, I think they did stay in touch, like email friends and whatnot. Alex is somebody who understands when people are persecuted or do the wrong thing, like, she’s constantly trying to understand them. With Elias running [from the fake bomb], he isn’t a bad person, she understands the complexities of him, so staying in touch with him is something Alex would definitely do. I don’t know if anyone else would. I doubt Caleb did.

Does that mean Alex will be staying in touch with Ryan in the Quantico/present timeline, now that he’s leaving? He’s definitely leaving, right?

Oh my God, see, I want to answer so badly, but I’m afraid if I answer people might revolt. Maybe. [Laughs] But I will say Ryan and Simon are in danger of leaving Quantico… The pool’s getting smaller. As you saw in the announcement of the three new NATs, for people who wondered why we felt we had this room [for more characters], well, now you know.

Other than that happening the Quantico/present timeline, I also want to talk about Dr. Langdon, who’s both super cool and super awful.

Yes! Anne Heche is incredible, I was so grateful for both her and Oded Fehr, who played the interrogator, doing these one-episode little adventures. They were both fantastic. Anne brought so much to Langdon and it was fun setting up the character with her. And I hope that’s not the last we’ll see of Langdon, but there is no plan at present [to bring her back], as she is arrested at the end of the episode.

Maybe we could see her in prison, then?

It has been discussed.

Langdon teaches the NATs about profiling serial killers. Why was it important to have the NATs learn this at this point?

So at Quantico, people are taken through different areas that are major components of the FBI, and one of those is mass murders and serial murderers. We felt like it was very important to do an episode as would happen at real Quantico, where they would learn that stuff. So we first came up with the idea of delving into serial murder, and then once we did, the story progressed from there. And as you know, there’s been a guest speaker pretty much every other episode. We’ve never been able to say that on the show, but in real Quantico, it’s called “enrichment,” where they have a guest speaker every week from a different area, so this was a chance to really delve into the guest speaker more than we have in the past.

Right, we saw a lot of her, mostly from Simon’s perspective. We’ve talked before about how inscrutable Simon can be, but at this point, is he the terrorist, given what we see at the end of the episode? I know you told us we would find out the terrorist’s identity in the midseason finale…

You will find out by the end of this midseason. I don’t want to say whether or not you found out in this episode, but I will say, as you know, at the end of the episode, you got a pretty big indication.

Okay, then what’s going on in Simon’s head in this timeline? He’s at odds with all the NATs again, but it seems like he can’t take it like he did before.

Simon’s journey has always been such that he is repeatedly pushed to the side and sort of not given the credit he deserves, even though every time he proves himself, and yet at the first chance, people still push him away. This is a tipping point for his character, and you’re gonna learn a lot more about Simon in the next episode. In fact, I might hasten to add that you will find out everything about Simon in the next episode.

On that note, what else can you tease about the next episode? Are we going to be seeing more of Miranda, actually? Her story didn’t get much screen time tonight.

Yeah, you will see more of Miranda in the future [timeline] for sure, and in the present as well. I mean in this episode, she’s recuperating, and she’s back at work in the next episode and kind of looking into or purposely not looking into what has happened to her son, which we’ll learn more about. The next episode really does close a lot of our loops from, as we call it, season 1A, getting ready for the midseason finale which answers a whole host of questions. In next week’s episode, a lot of secrets that people wonder why we put there or why we deal with will get answered.

Will those loops and answers include Mark Raymond?

No, Mark Raymond is a longer mystery. The next piece of the puzzle for Mark Raymond is not next week, but it is coming soon and it is a bigger piece than you have seen in the past.

Quantico airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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