The First Lady is dead. The terrorists have shut off cell service in the blocks around the summit — and hostages are lining the windows of the building, acting as human shields from bullets. Things are not going great.
But before we deal with the mess that is the present, let’s go back a year to the second week of training, where Ryan and Alex kick off the morning in bed together at the safe house, doing, um, bed activities. Alex gets a call from an unknown number and the voice on the other end says a delivery is coming in 10 minutes — which is code for “Miranda is on her way.” Miranda needs to be briefed on Ryan and Alex’s co-recruits to see which are most likely to be enlisted by Instructor Hall for his “nefarious” agenda. (Once someone is accepted into the CIA, their background files are locked, so Miranda can’t search them herself.) Let’s run through it with them:
- Harry Doyle: As Alex says, “He’s smart, cunning, and charming when he wants to be.”
- Sebastian Chen: Harry Doyle’s roommate is “like a park ranger,” says Ryan, “a little too good to be true.”
- León Velez: Ryan’s roommate appears to have done some time in the slammer. Ryan’s curiosity is piqued.
- Dayana Mampasi: “She wouldn’t be my pick,” Alex says of her roommate. “She’s too tightly wound to go rogue.”
This is the last Ryan and Alex will be seeing Miranda, as they’ll each be getting separate handlers. “You may be on the same mission,” she cautions, “but you are not on the same team.”
On their first day of spy school, Alex and Ryan arrive late to a yoga session. Instructor Hall has his sights on Ryan: “Out of everyone here, you’re the one I’m most curious about,” he says to Ryan. He’s a bit confused how Ryan’s fellow agent (Alex) was ousted by the FBI, but Ryan got to just go back to his job. “Perhaps if I focus on it,” he says, “I’ll find the answer.” (Is that a threat?)
After yoga comes their first foray into surveillance, as well as Owen Hall’s views on the subject. “Surveillance is the foundation of intelligence gathering,” he says. “While other agencies like the FBI or NSA may emphasize how to run surveillance, we at The Farm also teach you how to avoid it.” He will help them become invisible essentially. Class progresses into a discussion of counter-surveillance formations: The Rabbit is the person being followed, the Eyes are the ones following — there are four of them; they make up the corners of a box-shaped perimeter — and the Trigger is the one running the whole thing. They stay closest to the Rabbit. (This is important.)
As class wraps, Alex is approached by Angie, who says she is another instructor. She tells Alex she is the last recruit who still needs to set up their agency bank account. Alex hasn’t heard of this bank account. “Lydia said she mentioned it to you this morning,” says Angie. “You better get on it.”
Meanwhile, Dayana’s commitment to her phone is ever-growing — and mysterious. After yoga, Alex apologized for not being around much and offered her a shoulder to cry on. To which Dayana responded, “I didn’t come here to make friends.” But maybe she’ll listen to Lydia, who runs into her on her phone. She wants her to pay more attention and stop staring at the ground. She tells a weird and seemingly off-topic story about an assignment she was on in Islamabad a few years ago, but it somehow segues into a conversation about Dayana’s backstory (convenient, since Dayana and Alex clearly won’t be swapping secrets). Dayana graduated at the top of her class from Harvard, worked at an NGO for two years, and now works at her father’s firm, representing human-rights cases.
Anyway, as Alex leaves to go set up her bank account, Harry approaches her. He wants to get a drink together; since she has to go into town anyway, she agrees. As they’re commuting, Ryan is trying to get info out of his roommate back at home. He tells him he found León’s NatGeo profile and was curious about a gap in his work. “Did you burn out?” he asks. (What he really means is, “Why did you go to prison?”) León says nothing until he gets a text. “I’m supposed to tell you that we got an assignment.” Their mission? Follow Alex.
NEXT: Cat and mouse