You’ve seen this before — actually, you’ve seen this on ABC before: Woman sleeps with man in a car then finds out he’s her new coworker. But ABC has spent no time denying Quantico‘s resemblances to its past dramas. Hell, they even have encouraged it, with promos saying “Quantico is being called Grey’s Academy and How To Get Away With Treason.”
Is anyone actually calling it that? I don’t know. But what I do know: I don’t care that I’ve seen this before because this soapy thriller is just plain fun.
Here’s the basic premise: Fifty FBI recruits gather at Quantico to learn how to be special agents. They learn how to interrogate, shoot guns, do pull-ups, and other montage-y things. Their first assignment is simple: Take a fellow recruit’s file, investigate to find the one fact that’s been removed, and then get him or her to confirm it during an interrogation. These secrets may or may not be important because fast-forward nine months, and one of these recruits (maybe more?) will pull off the biggest terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11.
So don’t get too attached to anyone because he/she could turn out to be evil. (But at least we get a heads up unlike with Ward and the Agents of Shield switcheroo.) The pilot jumps back and forth between the early Quantico days and the day of the attack. And since Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Assistant Director Miranda Shaw, recommended keeping a chart of who we think is guilty week to week, that’s how I will recap. Ready for Week 1? Let’s go.
Played by Priyanka Chopra, Alex comes to Quantico from Oakland, California, where she lived with her mother, whom she lied to about taking a train instead of a plane. Where does her mother think she’s going?
Remember the woman-sleeping-with-a-man-in-a-car scenario? This is said woman. She meets Ryan Booth (Jack McLaughlin) on her flight, but then ditches him as soon as she gets what she needs. Only problem is he’s going to the FBI academy, too — and he’s her quad-mate no less.
When the newbies are told to uncover a fellow recruit’s secret, Ryan obviously goes for Alex’s file. He digs around and learns that her father died. During the classroom-observed interrogation, he gets her to admit that her mother killed him in self-defense while she watched. That’s right when their trainer, Special Agent Liam O’Conner (Josh Hopkins), pulls the plug on the interview.
Your suspicions that something is up are confirmed later when Alex goes to talk with SA O’Conner. She is carrying a baggie, which she’s been sneakily hiding all throughout the episode, and shows him the contents: her dad’s FBI badge. Turns out she was the one who shot her father that night and she also discovered his secret life.
While all of this is happening, we also get flashes of Alex on the day of the terrorist attack. She’s found near the blast but isn’t hurt. The FBI tell her they think one of the new agents is responsible, but they fail to mention they think she is that new agent. They stall her long enough to get a live video feed of her apartment set up. Inside they find bomb-making equipment and Ryan, lying in a pool of his own blood. There are three bullets inside of him and three bullets missing from Alex’s gun.
As they escort her away in handcuffs, she sees O’Conner — who is now being called “Assistant Director” — and pleads with him, but he doesn’t help at all. Luckily, when she gets into the transport van, it’s driven by whom we know to be the AD, Miranda Shaw. Shaw says she knows she’s being framed and then helps Alex escape.
Alex definitely has some secrets, or at the very least her father does, but everything else pointing to her being the terrorist seems a little too convenient. This week, I’m going with Not Guilty.
NEXT: As for the rest of the recruits…