Everyone has a secret. Well, actually, everyone has a shed full of secrets. We learn a little bit more about everyone, but the focus is on Simon. The bespectacled gay virgin got kicked out of the academy — or did he? — but let’s start from the beginning.
The Academy Lesson of the Week comes from Miranda. She says that everyone person was given a psychological profile when they applied for the FBI. And as anyone who watches Law & Order: SVU knows, you have to know yourself before you can investigate others. The assignment is to create psych profiles for fellow candidates. Then the NATs will know their own strengths and weaknesses…deep stuff.
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Once the profiles are turned in, Miranda congratulates them for digging deep and giving “searing insights into one another” — and then she posts them on the wall. Not surprisingly, everyone gets super angry at one another. Then Miranda says they have to submit three names of who should be cut from the program, and if they don’t, she’ll cut 10 herself.
Miranda means business. Liam can’t believe she’s being so tough, but she just says this is her way of turning up the heat. The recruits are definitely feeling that heat: During hand-to-hand combat, Nathalie punches “Nimah” (but actually Raina) in the face. Alex and Shelby are fighting verbally about who has the better secret. But things really erupt with Ryan calls Simon “creepy” and Simon retaliates by grabbing him by the neck. Yikes, Creepy Simon!
Alex takes charge of the group and says they should stop fighting and band together; she says it’s better for Miranda to choose 10 of them than for them to turn on one another. But while she’s giving this speech, Simon sneaks out, shows up at Miranda’s office, and slips her a list of names. He heads back to the group and tells them that he flipped. And then Raina punches her twin sister in the face so they can “match” — this is unrelated to the Simon move, but it made me laugh a lot.
Miranda is hot on Simon’s heels (good thing the whole gang is gathered in that one dorm hallway). She announces that this was a training exercise they’ve done for many years, but this is the first time someone from the class has decided to vote. Because of that, Asher gets a formal reprimand.
NEXT: Uh-oh they called Alex’s mom. Now she’s really in trouble.[pagebreak]
Other Things We Learned From The Academy:
• Agent O’Connor gives Alex her father’s file. She tells Shelby, who convinces her to read it. However, it’s Ryan who she divulges the contents to. Turns out her father was a decorated agent who had saved hundreds of lives. Alex had always thought she had shot an abusive husband; now she feels guilt over shooting a “hero.”
• Liam stealthily watches this Alex-Ryan exchange from afar. I don’t know guys, he might beat Simon in creep factor.
• Nathalie has a daughter! She wants to video chat with her, but the father says because she left for the academy, she’ll never see her again. (This brief moment made me hate her less, so I guess I’ll retire her TNG name.)
• Miranda’s son, Charlie, is the person they referenced last week who she put behind bars. She goes to see him, but he doesn’t want to talk to her. All he says is that he may get parole.
• Shelby confides to Alex that her parents left her a mess to clean up when they died; later, she transfers a million dollars to somewhere/someone. Hmmm…
• Nimah leaves Quantico with a note left behind for Raina: “Let’s see how you do without me.” But Raina was the one who didn’t want to come to Quantico in the first place. Oh, sisters.
• Alex cut her index finger during a training exercise. Remember this.
Two new people join the emergency command center/the show’s list of suspects: Alex’s mom, Sita (played by Anna Khaja), and the FBI Executive Assistant Director (Mark Pellegrino). I’m not sure the Exec AD got a name this episode, so let’s just call him Jacob.
Nathalie is interrogating Alex’s mom, which is kind of hilarious — do they really let three-month-old agents interrogate people? Maybe that’s why O’Connor tells her to leave the room. This is when we learn that Sita and Liam are old friends and she’s keeping a secret for both him and her late husband. But, regardless, she swears she doesn’t know anything; she hasn’t talked to Alex since she graduated Quantico. (And we learn the mom thought Alex was at grad school for the majority of her time at the academy.)
While her mother’s interrogation is going on, Alex swam (?) to the Bronx. She goes to a house where she meets none other than Creepy, No-Glasses Simon. Rapid-fire we learn: Ryan called him to help. Simon got kicked out of Quantico. Now he works at a tech startup, which luckily has everything one could want for investigating a crime.
Alex shows him the C-4, which he’s able to pull fingerprints from. They match Alex, as she knew they would, BUT they are old Alex fingerprints. Her scar from the training exercise — the one I told you to remember? It’s missing from the fingerprints on the C-4, which means it had to have been pulled from her Quantico application file. She makes the leap that this means someone has been framing her since before the academy.
NEXT: Who’s guilty?[pagebreak]
There’s a brief moment where it seems that Simon is going to turn in Alex — he sets off the alarms, and she pulls a gun on him — but he just says that he needs to make it seem like he was under duress so he can help her more. Then he makes her beat him up on the security cameras. First Ryan naming her to the FBI and now this? Her friends have really funny ways of “helping” her.
Back at command center, Miranda sees that Sita is there, and she’s able to finagle her way into the bathroom at the same time as her. Miranda warns her, mother to mother, that she shouldn’t turn on blood. That’s when Sita recognizes her as the “FBI agent whose son…” and she trails off before the door is kicked in.
Miranda’s speech doesn’t work though. As soon as Sita sees the video of Alex beating up Simon, she starts talking: Alex was sent to India after her father died. Even though she was there 10 years, her mother only knew where she was for nine of them. Those two things are enough for Sita to doubt her daughter, so she gives a statement to the news about how what her daughter has done can’t be forgiven.
Alex watches this press conference from Simon’s house while crying and hanging up photos of her fellow NATs. Simon sees that his house is being set up as Conspiracy HQ and suggests his photo should go up to, that they shouldn’t rule out anyone. Ooookay. Then he goes outside to take a call from his boss.
HIS BOSS IS JACOB! He tells Simon, who apparently wasn’t kicked out of Quantico, “Slow and steady on this one. I’ll be in touch. Maintain your cover.” WHAT? What what what?
What are Simon and Jacob working on together? Why did Simon get “kicked out” of Quantico? What secret is Sita keeping about her husband and Liam? What is up with Shelby? What’s happened between Nathalie and Ryan? Who is Mark Raymond/Caleb Haas? Why is Elias such a stalker? So many questions. Feel free to take a stab at answering them and/or add your own in the comments below, or reach out to me on Twitter @realdalener. But before you go, let’s talk about who is and isn’t guilty this week.
Alex: If Alex did do this and just wanted to make it look like she was being framed, using an old fingerprint would be smart, but I still think Not Guilty.
Liam O’Connor: Guilty.
Miranda Shaw: Not Guilty.
Ryan Booth: He was too out of the loop for me to change my assessment from last week, so still Not Guilty.
Nimah and Raina: Not Guilty because where are they post-attack?
Shelby Wyatt: Same here. Not Guilty.
Simon Asher: Guilty.
Caleb Haas: Not Guilty.
Nathalie: Still a little annoying, but Not Guilty.
Elias Harper: Guilty, but only because he’s too suspicious at the academy.
Sita: Not Guilty.
Executive Assistant Director: Guilty.