Quantico is a show that traffics in shocking moments. We’ve seen our fair share of explosive reveals in the first 15 episodes, including Simon’s expulsion from Quantico, the second bomb, and the fact that FBI uniforms are flattering for all. But tonight in “Turn,” we saw the most shocking moment of all: Shelby’s mom is Lily van der Woodsen. LILY VAN DER WOODSEN, PEOPLE! I don’t know about y’all, but I did not see this one coming, but if you couldn’t tell from the all caps, I’m very excited to potentially see Kelly Rutherford on my TV again.
And why exactly are we looking at a photo of Lily, a.k.a. Shelby’s mother? Well, it turns out it’s a recent photo that Samir gave to Caleb, who kept it under his pillow until Will told Iris about it, and then she stole it and gave it to Shelby, who is like, “WTF I still have parents?” Yeah, Shelby finding out her parents are alive is probably about as shocking to her as finding out her mom is Lily van der Woodsen is to us. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning of our academy timeline.
Drew has not been kicked out — apparently Liam didn’t have that power, and they’re waiting on a final say from Miranda. Miranda apparently doesn’t have much power either: Liam shows up to work the next day, ignoring her request for a resignation. “You want me gone, you’re going to have to fire me,” he tells her.
So when they get to the Lesson of the Week, things are just a bit tense between everyone. What better way to break the mood than a lesson on racial profiling and hate crimes!? Sen. Claire Haas, Caleb’s mommy dearest, is there to speak on her experience with hate crimes and how to prosecute them. To teach them how to identify true hate crimes, the NATs pore over case files while trying to work on their not-so-private private lives.
Now that Will has stalked Caleb enough to know about Mark Raymond, he tells Iris about his roommate’s alter ego. He also tells her that Caleb keeps a file under his pillow. Iris runs straight to the room to retrieve the file and then straight back to Shelby to show her. The contents — proof her parents are still alive, a photo of Kelly Rutherford and Kevin Kilner — are so shocking to Shelby that she runs outside. Which is very poorly timed because right then a group of terrorists break into the Quantico compound to “strike a blow to the FBI.”
Miranda knew an attack was coming because Raina had just told her the terrorist house she infiltrated had been wiped clean, guns included. So Miranda had asked Raina to pick Charlie up from their house and bring him to Quantico for safe-keeping. But when they get there, they see dead bodies littered across the entrance. As they’re fleeing, Charlie starts crying and saying it’s all his fault.
NEXT: Charlie, what did you do?[pagebreak]
It turns out Miranda was right all along: Charlie wasn’t kidnapped. His plan was to fake a kidnapping, get questioned at the FBI, then report details back to the terrorist group. My small quibble with this: Wouldn’t Charlie have been able to get these details without faking a kidnapping? Like maybe by offering to bring his mom some lunch at work? Anyway, these terrorists are not as savvy in deception as I am, so they instead went with the difficult route. But once kidnapped, Charlie had started to doubt the plan, they threatened to kill him, so he fled. And even though he told Raina some of the truth when he revealed the location of the terrorists, he could have prevented this by being honest.
But he didn’t, so now we’re here. Shelby is outside with gunmen wandering in the woods. Caleb, with Will in tow, sneaks out of the locked-down building and goes looking for her. And although there is an HRT handling the matter, Liam — for no obvious reason other than to be a hero — decides to sneak out, too.
Caleb and Will find Shelby almost immediately. She’s more upset about her parents being alive than the active shooters all around her; Caleb apologizes for not telling her, but he didn’t want to “destroy” her again. After they have their moment, Caleb sees Liam is in the crosshairs of one of the shooters. Before Caleb can warn him, a gunman aims at Liam…but Drew shoots the gunman first.
Drew followed Liam out because he didn’t want him to be alone. Aww, what a guy. Liam decides that’s enough instinct for him to be in the FBI, so they shake hands and put aside their feelings of hatred for one another…for now. The HRT handles the rest of the shooters, and only one gets away.
Liam and Nimah drop Miranda off at her house, where Raina and Charlie have retreated. Raina is about to head outside when the only shooter to get away from Quantico enters the living room. Thinking quickly, Raina dials her sister, so she and Liam can hear what’s going on inside.
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
Let’s pause the hostage situation to address more personal matters…Ryan — while undercover — is able to sneak away and call Alex back. He tells her that he may be able to meet that evening so they can get some alone time. Alex uses the whole day to think about what she wants to use this alone time for. A lot of us are not going to like her conclusion…because it’s “break up with Ryan.”
He only has 10 minutes when Alex finally arrives at the bar (she spent too much time flirting with Drew back at the academy), so she uses those minutes to call it off and plan to “never see each other again.” That’s cold, Alex.
But not as cold as Shelby, who’s downstairs at the NAT Go-To Bar telling off Samir, her fake sister. Samir says Shelby’s parents paid her to be her sister to get money from the Wyatt coffers for themselves while she took a small cut for playing the role. (Her husband got greedy and went rogue with the kidnapping scam.) Samir says after 15 years, she considers Shelby a true sister. “You and I…we’re nothing,” Shelby spits at her. “You are as dead to me as my parents were. You are as dead to me as they still are.” Ice cold, Shelby. (I was getting some serious UnREAL vibes from this speech.)
NEXT: Okay, back to the hostage situation…[pagebreak]
Liam has the house completely surrounded with lights and sirens and about 100 people. Now, I didn’t go to Quantico, but I feel like the best way to handle this situation would have been with a sneak attack? But that’s not possible now. The shooter knows that Raina called her sister, so he destroys the phone…and Liam’s only line of connection in the house.
Although Raina tries to get the shooter to see he’s fighting for the wrong cause (“I know the Koran doesn’t teach you to hate,” she says), his focus is still on hurting the FBI. So he has a gun pulled on Miranda, but then he has a better idea: Make Charlie prove his allegiance by shooting his own mother.
Instead, Charlie shoots the terrorist. Although he just saved his mother and Raina, Charlie sees this as his ticket to prison. So instead of dropping the gun, he starts pacing and panicking. The sniper outside sees a black male with a gun and trains his scope on him. Miranda screams at Charlie to get down, that everything will be okay, but Charlie isn’t listening.
There are about a million ways I think this situation could have played out — Miranda could open the windows and wave the snipers off, she could just tackle her son, Raina could run outside and call it off — but we get the darkest timeline. Miranda decides the only way to get Charlie down is to shoot him herself. So she shoots him in the left shoulder, and before he falls all the way down, the sniper hits him in the right shoulder.
Charlie goes to the hospital, where Miranda is obviously racked with guilt. Her son is in surgery, and based on what we’ve seen and heard in the future timeline, I have a good feeling he might not make it through.
Speaking of that future timeline…Alex’s new mission from “Adult A” is to go to the FBI field office, where she will receive a package. She goes to work to wait for it while Simon stays at home working on cracking the voice distortion. “First one of us that doesn’t end up in jail or dead wins,” he tells her.
At the office, Alex receives the package and goes up to the JTTF floor, where Hannah tells her she’s five floors above her pay grade. Alex ignores Hannah — who gets more annoying with every encounter — and takes a call from “Adult A.” He/she says she needs to swap out a bottle of medicine in Sen. Haas’ purse with a bottle in the package. The pills are allegedly harmless, but there’s a tracking device in the bottle, so if Alex doesn’t comply, they’ll know.
Alex has a lab at the FBI check the pills, and they’re for blood pressure — actually harmless. Simon says it’s still too risky, but Alex feels she has no other choice if she wants her friends to stay alive. She’s about to make the switcheroo when annoying Hannah comes and yells at her to get off their floor.
So Alex goes with plan B: She texts Claire to tell her she knows where the months-lost Caleb is. It works — she gets Claire alone in a room…only for Claire to tell Alex she’s the only person in the world who knows where Caleb is. The only reason she agreed to meet with Alex is because she wanted to personally tell her that she’s out of the FBI.
Now that she doesn’t even work there, Alex goes to plan C: She calls Hannah to the room and says she found pills with the senator’s name on it in the restroom. Just like Claire said, Alex has horrible tells, so Hannah knows she’s lying and asks for the truth.
After all the subterfuge, Alex finally tries plan D: the truth. Someone is still pulling the strings, she tells Hannah, and if she doesn’t get those pills into Claire’s purse, someone close to Alex will die just like Natalie already did. Hannah looks as if she might be willing to help when she asks for the pills…but then she asks for Alex’s badge and side arm. She says the next time Alex sees her will be with two agents in tow to take her to prison.
Later that night, “Adult A” calls Alex and thanks her for doing what he/she asked. Alex and Simon are obviously quite surprised but can’t think about it too long before Hannah knocks on the door. But she’s not with other agents. She came alone to tell them she tried to track down Natalie. Not only has her family not heard from her, but also the email she sent requesting leave came from an untraceable account.
“Which means I had to consider the horrible possibility that you — unstable, out-of-control, paranoid Alex Parrish, America’s Least Wanted — weren’t lying, incorrect, or insane, you were simply telling the truth,” Hannah says. “So I swapped the pills, and now, before I’m arrested and tried for treason alongside the two of you, will someone please tell me did I just poison the next vice president of the United States?”
What was that I was saying about Hannah being annoying? I take it back — she’s kind of the best now. And I think this means we can remove her from our suspect list. At the moment, Shelby’s parents, Lily van der Woodsen and the dad from A Cinderella Story, are at the top of my list. What’s your suspect list looking like after tonight? Throw your craziest conspiracy theories below, or find me on Twitter @realdalener.