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'Quantico' recap: 'Guilty'

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Phillippe Bosse/ABC

Quantico

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
09/27/15
performer:
Josh Hopkins, Priyanka Chopra, Aunjanue Ellis
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Drama

Although we will likely get our Who’s the Bomber? answer by the midseason finale of Quantico, the answers don’t seem to be coming just yet. There was one person — Simon — who came out of this episode looking extremely guilty, but that has to be a red herring, right? Right? Or it actually IS Simon and the obvious red herring is just to throw us? Or it’s Shelby? Or Charlie?

Honestly, I think the Quantico writers are trying to throw so many suspects at us each week that we’ll miss the obvious one right in front of our faces. I wouldn’t be surprised if in two weeks we find out it’s a janitor or some other fly-on-the-wall character we’ve never noticed who’s responsible for the bombings. Nimah did mention that the building services people helped keep the Twin Twist secret. Hmm. Before I go down a suspect hole I can’t crawl out of, let’s recap “Guilty.”

The Academy

Tonight’s Lesson of the Week was brought to us by Anne Heche, who played Dr. Susan Langdon, a former FBI special agent who is now a forensic pathologist. She’s famous for writing a book about the “welfare mom” serial killer she caught. Her task for the NATs is to look at serial killer profiles and case files and find the one murder that doesn’t fit their profile.

All groups get their answers right, and Dr. Langdon tells them the real test is trying not to take home what they’ve seen. To help forget their feelings, she’s taking them out for drinks. And even though Simon tells her there must be another twist — that there were actually two fake murders in the files — Dr. Langdon says he just needs to keep it simple. Well, that was easy an easy lesson!

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At the bar, the NATs are taking shots and playing the “serial killer” drinking game. (FBI agents must be a real hoot to hang out with.) Simon can’t let go that one of the victims in his file didn’t seem quite right. Dr. Langdon agrees to discuss it over a burger and fries, and she conveniently picks a booth that’s in a camera blind spot. He tells her what he really thinks happened to victim No. 9: Dr. Langdon framed the crime scene to look like the welfare mom killer and planted evidence, so she could finally arrest him.

He must have struck a nerve because next thing you know she’s threatening his life. (The fact that Simon figured this out from a SINGLE PHOTO and the way the FBI has bungled this whole bomb investigation have me very concerned about the “intelligence” of our country.) She forcefully leads him out of the bar, but luckily Ryan sees it and follows. Although she’s holding a syringe of…something, maybe just air…to his neck, Simon stays silent when Ryan asks what’s going on. Dr. Langdon kisses Simon and whispers, “You’ll never prove it,” before fleeing.

The next day Simon overhears his fellow NATs talking about how someone informed police that Langdon had doctored evidence; now the convicted serial killer will be let out since that was the only murder they actually had him for. Nimah and Nat yell at Simon when he says he was the informant. He wanted to hold the bureau to a higher standard, but they see it as a betrayal. Somehow this leads him to call his bomb-maker friend and plan a meeting. At their covert meeting, he hands Simon blueprints for the train stations. Oohhh, looks like we have a new Suspect No. 1.

Other Academy Plots:

  • Miranda is in the hospital recovering from her stab wound. She thought it was Charlie who stabbed her in the back, but the knife found in the woods behind her house has different fingerprints. Now they’re treating Charlie’s disappearance as a kidnapping.
  • Shelby and Caleb are hot and heavy all episode until Clayton calls. He tells Caleb that he just learned the “sister” Shelby is sending money to may not even exist. Uh oh. Suspect No. 2?
  • Shelby, meanwhile, has been trying to figure out what’s going on with Natalie. Shelby says her “blind spot” is 9/11, and she assumes Natalie’s is the serial killer crime scene photos they had to look at, but it’s actually the photos of the living victims. One of the girls reminded her of her 4-year-old daughter, Renata. The father said he would petition for full custody if Natalie went to the academy.
  • O’Connor hasn’t shown up to work in more than a week, so Alex goes looking for him. He’s been drinking. And even after a cold shower courtesy of Alex, he continues drinking. A bartender calls Alex from his phone, and she has to pick him up at the bar. He quits his addiction about as soon as it starts, and this didn’t seem to serve any purpose except the budding romance we know is coming between teacher and student.
  • Ryan is not happy with the special treatment Alex is giving Liam, so he finally decides to leave Quantico since he had only stayed there to protect her from Liam.

NEXT: Torture time[pagebreak]​

Post-Attack

Alex is getting her Miranda rights read as the episode starts, but Liam says they don’t want her Mirandized yet as a public safety exception. I think that’s code for, “We want her to talk freely and tell us where the bomb is.” Clayton is telling the group that they have the green light to do anything to get info out of Alex when a familiar face walks in: Elias. He’s there as Alex’s legal counsel.

Before anyone can question Alex, a representative from the High-Value Interrogation Group (better known as HIG) comes to take her away per an executive order. Elias tells Clayton and Liam — and the audience — that HIG’s main goal is confession; they don’t care about legality.

The HIG guys take Alex to an unknown location, where she’s met by Griffin Wells (Oded Fehr). He is an expert interrogator — read: torturer — and he knows the best way to get to Alex is through the people she loves. They lead her to a room where they’ve strung up Ryan, who clearly never made it to safety. Wells says that Ryan’s gunshot wound has sepsis, and then he proceeds to punch him right in that wound over and over. Ryan screams and screams, but Alex has nothing to tell Wells.

Meanwhile, Caleb has been investigating the email his father received about SA Diane Goodwin. She’s turned up in the morgue with all the bombing victims, but the ME says she was dead before the blast. And even more suspicious: Her phone is missing but not her badge, keys, or gun. He tells Elias, Simon, and Shelby about this, and they all decide they need to look for more footage of Alex. Before the FBI was only looking at her movements at Grand Central, nothing before.

Caleb and Elias review the footage of Alex leaving her apartment and find a blind spot where she disappears. (The biggest mystery of this episode was why it wasn’t named “Blind Spot.”) They recruit Raina and Nimah to investigate what’s in the blind spot: a white loading van that only has a rag with chloroform on it. On the video, they see that a cab pulled up to the blind spot shortly after Alex went into it. They find the cab driver, and he remembers a man carrying a very large duffel getting into the cab and getting dropped off at the Hyatt. In the Hyatt room, they found a very large, empty duffel bag.

Natalie saw one of the twins trying to pass off as two during all this, so she confronts Shelby about what’s going on. Shelby yells at her for getting her own boyfriend shot, and just like that, Natalie’s also on Team Alex. The entire Team Alex bring all of this news to Liam, who is finally, finally persuaded that maybe Alex is being set up.

Liam gets his own executive order (on an iPad, I might add) and busts in on HIG’s interrogation. He then has a much-needed real talk with Alex. He tells her he’s sorry it took him so long to believe she could be telling the truth. Everyone else will be reinstated, including her, but she has one last role to play: Whoever did plant the bomb(s?) needs to believe their plan is working, so Alex plays the part — she’s arrested and pleads guilty to the Grand Central Terminal bombings.

Suspects

Alex Parrish: Not Guilty…even though she just said she was.

Liam O’Connor: Not Guilty. Turns out he’s just not a very good listener.

Miranda Shaw: Not Guilty. She’s been very MIA in the post-attack scenes lately.

Ryan Booth: Not Guilty. That poor man needs a very long nap.

Nimah Amin: Not Guilty. She’s too helpful for Team Alex this week to actually want to frame her.

Raina Amin: Guilty? The way she’s been ignored at the academy since the Twin Twist was revealed has me a little nervous about how she’ll respond.

Shelby Wyatt: Guilty? I’m also nervous about this not-a-sister plot.

Simon Asher: Guilty. Last week I said, “Innocent people aren’t friends with bomb makers.” And this week I’m going to add, “And they definitely don’t swap train blueprints with them even if they are.”

Caleb Haas: Not Guilty.

Natalie Vasquez: Not Guilty.

Elias Harper: Not Guilty. Nice to see him post-attack finally.

Clayton Haas: Not Guilty.

Brandon Fletcher: Not Guilty.

Charlie Shaw: Not Guilty, but maybe the people who kidnapped him are?

Dr. Susan Langdon: Guilty of framing a serial killer, yes. Guilty of a mass bombing? Probably not.

Now it’s your turn: Who do you think is our prime suspect or suspects going into the midseason finale? Hit up the comments below, or find me on Twitter @realdalener.

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