Showrunner Josh Safran teases 'hell' for Ryan, Liam's next moves, and what Clayton really wants

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WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “Over,” Sunday’s episode of Quantico. Read at your own risk!

Alex finally got answers: She made Liam spill the truth about her father and, in the New York timeline, may have figured out the terrorist’s next moves. At the same time, though, Ryan ended the hour still on the brink of death, while the Caleb-Clayton-Shelby triangle of madness grew more complicated with the breach of the FBI’s data. Showrunner Josh Safran breaks down what just happened, teases more bloodshed to come (or at least, a scene even more excruciating than the bullet extraction this week), and looks ahead to how the rest of the first half of this season will play out:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with Alex’s decision to hand herself over to the FBI in the New York timeline. Does she have a plan in mind or is this a desperate times, desperate measures maneuver?

JOSH SAFRAN: She has a plan in that it is desperate times calling for desperate measures. She believes that the only way to actually get people to pay attention to what she has now determined is a potential second bomb in New York is to turn herself in, to go from the inside out instead of the outside in.

And is she right about the second bomb? What can you tell me about that?

I can tell you that the question of whether Alex’s hunches are always correct or not is going to be put to the test. We’ve shown that Alex is somebody who has really great instincts and intuition, but I think there will be much debate among everybody on this show as to whether or not she’s taken things too far.

What about Ryan, who keeps getting shot? Where is he headed in that helicopter?

Poor Ryan. All I can say about that is that where the helicopter was meant to go, it doesn’t reach.

So, is Ryan going to get into more life-threatening trouble?

Uhh, I’m not gonna say, but it didn’t land in a lovely area. It’s landed more in hell. So.

Moving on to Clayton, Shelby, and Caleb. Is Clayton really hiding something in those emails other than the affair with Shelby, and is he telling the truth when he says he’s trying to protect his wife?

No, he’s only trying to protect himself. There’s not a bigger conspiracy at play with that email necessarily, but as of right now, it’s more about him putting himself above the needs of the nation, as people in power so often do. He cares about the public view of himself and his family more than he cares about the public.

As for Caleb, what can you share about the Mark Raymond story?

You’ll learn more and more about Mark Raymond and why he exists and who he is. You’ll get your biggest piece of that puzzle in our midseason finale, episode 11.

It seems like Caleb took a page out of Simon’s book and figured the glasses would make him a new person.

[Laughs] It is true that everyone on this show seems to use glasses. Glasses seem to signify, “We are being undercover right now!” That wasn’t by design. It is a very large cast, and we knew we wanted Mark Raymond to have glasses, and Simon had glasses, and it just kind of spiraled from there. But the question of whether Mark Raymond is an alternate identity or an undercover identity or an original, original identity is something we’ll see.

Because we mentioned Simon, who was Simon talking to over the phone?

That’s Oren, who we met in episode 4, when he and Alex were in Williamsburg asking about the wire.

And what is he building? Is it a bomb?

Well, it’s definitely not, like, a Wii controller. It’s related to the explosives side of the world. You’ll know more about it very soon.

Now in this week’s episode, Miranda brought Charlie in to shadow her for a day in the Quantico timeline. What was her thinking behind doing that? How can that help him?

I think she never thought that he would want to be a part of that. She does want to show him the people who are fighting for good in the world, so the next time he might feel anti-government or anti-establishment, to remember these people are out there as well. And then he goes to a place where I don’t think she really thought was going to happen.

So later, when she’s attacked in her home, is it actually Charlie who attacks her or someone else? And where did Charlie go?

It was meant to be unclear. That is a story that’s a major part of our show that’ll come to a resolution in episode 11, our midseason finale.

Finally, let’s talk about Liam. Why is he so fascinated by Alex if he wanted to keep everything a secret, and where does he go from here after telling her the truth? It seems like things really spun out of control for him when he could have controlled it from the beginning.

Well, he tried to control it and he was unable to. He never wanted her to look under the hood so he was going to push her away, and it didn’t work, and he finally reached a point where there was no turning back, and he had to put all of his cards on the table. I think now, it has spiraled out of control and the reaction you’ll see from Liam moving forward now that he’s told the secret he’s always been trying to protect is he’s unable to keep it together … The story he tells Alex is fact. He is finally coming clean, so the tailing, the meddling, the putting pressure on her, that’s gone from this moment forward.

Looking ahead, what can you tease about episode 9?

Alex is through the looking glass now. She’s on the inside and finds that even though she’s there to try to help, she finds that that help is not met with open arms, and instead begins to question herself, whether her hunches are correct, as we’ve seen in the past, or just the product of paranoia from being out on the run for so long. And I think probably, the intensity of the bullet extraction sequence in episode 8 is matched and surpassed in episode 9 … It’s so crazy that there are just three more [episodes] and then we break, because everything comes together in these next three. We are looking at this as season 1A and then there will be season 1B, so it’s very much like a cable series, with a beginning, middle, and end in both parts. I think people aren’t quite aware just how much is going to come to a close at the end of episode 11.

Quantico airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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