EP Josh Safran talks potential suspects, whether Caleb and Shelby are trustworthy
Team Alex has a new mission: Figure out what kind of nuclear weapon Will built and track it down before it destroys more than just a New York City landmark. Meanwhile, the present Alex and her fellow NATs are getting close to completing their training, which means the stakes are higher than ever. Alex had to expose Drew’s health issues, Shelby went to track Caleb down in the Sistemics cult, and Nimah and Raina discovered they weren’t being trained like everyone else. EW spoke with showrunner Josh Safran to break down the episode’s twists and to talk what’s next:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with that ending. Is Will dead? Is this the end of Will?
JOSH SAFRAN: He’s not in a good way… but if he’s alive or dead you have to wait to see. He’s not dead in the moment that he drops, I’ll say that.
How significant is it that this scene takes place in a church? Shelby and Alex question the location as they run in — could that be pointing to the Voice’s identity?
Actually, [it’s] not so significant. In our research about places in New York where radiation could be less detected, we found that in higher elevated places, like in Harlem, catacombs under churches would be a place where they’re less detected, because there aren’t subways necessarily right nearby and they’re covered in stone and all this stuff. That’s what led us to the church. It’s not a big plot point.
To clarify, when did Shelby and Caleb get in touch? And is it true that the two of them are safely on Alex’s side now at this point?
They got in touch when they were being manipulated by the Voice… and yes, Shelby and Caleb are out of suspicion.
We also finally get an update on Natalie, when her mom arrives to find out what happened. Does Natalie’s disappearance help push Ryan toward understanding Alex’s point of view at all?
I think he’s even more suspicious of her, it’s safe to say. In the very next episode, you will see just how suspicious.
Over in the Quantico present timeline, Drew seems more suspicious. Was it really just stress causing his tremors or is there something we’ll find out down the line? Could his failure at Quantico be a key to him being the terrorist?
You will be finding out what happened to Drew shortly. I’m not going to answer [whether he’s the Voice], but I do think that somebody who leaves Quantico and not of their own volition is somebody with an axe to grind… I don’t know necessarily if that axe makes them destroy hundreds of people’s lives, but I definitely think he’s not happy about leaving.
Iris is also still only seen in the Quantico present, but she certainly has tons of secrets of her own. She even called Sistemics last week, nearly ruining Caleb and Will’s operation. Where is her head at now, and will we be seeing her in the future at some point?
She’s definitely feeling kind of caught in between Shelby, who’s her friend, and Caleb, who she begins to wonder if he’s actually not as bad as he seems. She’s going to be caught between them… I can’t say [whether she appears in the future]. I’ll say this: You will not be seeing her in the future before episode 21, if at all.
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In this episode, the Sistemics storyline doesn’t work out the way Caleb wanted, as he didn’t actually put anyone behind bars. Still, does this mark the end of the Sistemics story?
This is the end of that story, yes. This is also the set up for when we first meet Caleb and Shelby in the first half of the season in the future storyline, which is that Shelby has seen what he did to Will and really believes that he’s in this cult again and thinks that he’s dangerous. We now know, heartbreakingly so, that Will was a willing participant in that. Caleb did this to take down an organization and hurt so many people, including those close to him, and he’ll never be able to tell her.
The twins find out that the FBI is pigeonholing them — something their new, prickly handler reveals to them. How does this affect them?
This is just a little bit of an eye opener for them, but we are laying the seeds for the future, for season 2 as much as we are wrapping up season 1, so the idea that it occurs to them that they are not being taught everything they would need to know to do a variety of things, but they’ve been forced to be focused on one angle is something that’s going to come up later… In the very next episode, there’s another aspect of being an agent that really impacts them. The rest of the story in the Quantico timeline for them really does go to interesting places.
Anything else you can tease about the next episode?
Once you make it to the end of the next episode, it’s a non-stop [story]. It’s the end of the rollercoaster, the last drops… You’ll see how they all fit into the big puzzle. Characters will perish previous to the finale. We did not save everything for the finale. I really believe that starting with the next episode, you can’t miss a moment.
Quantico airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.