Quantico fans, we’ve arrived at the first filler episode of the season. A lot of nothing happens in order for some table-setting to take place and for us to arrive at our first clue (hence why the episode is titled “Clue”). Although, I’m a bit confused about the piece of wire Alex found in her apartment. Was that not a clue? Like Alex in her blind following of the phone calls, maybe we shouldn’t question it too much.
Back in the academy timeline, there’s not too much going on post-shooting. Liam has to go before an emergency review board and talk about how each of the NATs are doing. As a whole, they’re not doing so well.
So in order to help them cope with the trauma of the on-campus shooting, Liam decides the Lesson of the Week should be crisis management; he tells them that any situation can go from routine to crisis in an instant. First they have to pair up and arrest a perp while running through a shipping yard. They all pass with flying colors (although I’m not sure how Shelby does it while she’s inexplicably bleeding and seemingly on uppers), so Liam takes it up a notch. One of the shipping containers opens and reveals an even more extreme situation: They have to work in pairs to take down a hijacker while at 30,000 feet…or at least in an airplane model. Alex goes first but fails because her bullet ricocheted in the plane and killed someone else. Next they find there’s another shooter; then they find out there’s an air marshal whom they’ve failed to identified themselves to; and then they find out that Nicholas Cage is on board and he foils their plans, as well. With every attempt, the hijacker situation escalates.
The NAT class is ready to give up on the exercise, but Shelby won’t have that. She says that just because they’re stumped doesn’t mean they can’t figure it out. Alex agrees to go back in and try with her; she has a stroke of genius this go-around: She takes Shelby’s gun and is able to get a drop on the two terrorists by dual wielding. She and Shelby read the hijackers their Miranda rights, but Liam comes out and says there is a third terrorist.
But Shelby still won’t be defeated. She starts pleading with the third terrorist; she asks the woman to think of the children who will be losing mothers. “Everyone can live this time,” she pleads. And then the third hijacker shoots her.
Alex is ready to go again, but Shelby’s finally been defeated. Liam says this is the point of the exercise: There isn’t always a way out. “Sometimes the plane just has to go down,” he says. Alex confronts him privately about making Shelby live that over and over (I agree that was pretty terrible), but he says there’s a week that triggers something for everyone at Quantico and Alex had hers then, too.
But Alex realizes something deeper is going on with Shelby, and Caleb tells her about her parents. And even though Shelby kept telling Caleb she was fine about the discovery, when Alex tries to talk to her about it, she finally breaks down. She said much of her life — the speeches she gave about 9/11, the other survivors she’s hugged — has all been a lie. But even worse, she doesn’t understand why her parents would fake their deaths and leave her behind. Shelby points out that her own mother lied to her for years, that sometimes there’s more to the story; she says they should find out more.
At the end of last week’s episode, Caleb explained to Will that his plan for infiltrating the “Sistemics” is so he can take them down from the inside — he’s offered them lots of money to help him rise in the levels faster. Now, Will is gathering all the info he can on the church, which sounds an awful lot like Scientology. He even learns more than Caleb: He informs him that, as of a month ago, Daniel Berlin is the new head of the church. This throws a wrench in Caleb’s plan because Danny knows him.
When Will presses Caleb on why this is so important, Caleb says it’s actually a rescue mission. When his father got him out of the church, his friend was left behind and hasn’t been heard from since. Will offers to help him — he shows Caleb his sock drawer, how he studies people and mimics them. Caleb tells him how dangerous Sistemics are, but Will doesn’t care. This is personal for him because his sister died from a car wreck when their dad, who is Christian Scientist, refused to let her get a blood transfusion. Caleb calls his dad and tells him there’s a snag in the plan, but he’s found a solution in Will. Hmmm, AD Haas was in on this plan? Could the whole church of Sistemics be behind the attacks!?
NEXT: Aren’t twins supposed to get along?
The twins are also struggling after the attack and their experience at Miranda’s house. Raina has to go before a review board to discuss her involvement with the terrorist cell. She doesn’t want to say Miranda was running the op and get her in trouble. Nimah fights with her about this and wants her to tell the truth — and that’s eventually what she does when Miranda tells her to, also.
But the bigger revelation with the twins is Raina finally tells Nimah where she went for New Year’s: She was with Simon. Raina says they’re not a couple, but she has been spending time on the phone with him. He wants her to get away and see him, but at the end of the episode, Raina — dressed as Nimah — calls Simon and says she can’t see him anymore. I guess we’re to believe this is so they can “match” again in training, but I wonder if this is what gets Simon so angry leading up to the attack?
Speaking of Miranda…she goes before the review committee and tells them the truth, that she was running the op with a trainee in a terrorist cell, which seems like a pretty big no-no. The next time we see her she’s crying in the hospital… I guess Charlie didn’t make it? And then she’s at the academy, telling her NATs that this is goodbye as their teacher “for now at least.” That would explain why Liam has her title when the attacks occur.
The only other thing of note from the academy days is when Alex and Drew talk about him killing someone. She thinks he’s not okay. He says he is. They have a little bit of sexual tension. The end.
BUT that’s about to get a lot more complicated because now that Liam is in charge, he’s putting someone new on teaching duties: Ryan. (Love triangle alert!)
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Alex just can’t seem to get away from Ryan and all of her connections to him — even in the future. Alex and Simon have explained to Ryan’s ex-wife the whole “Adult A” situation. Simon says, “We’ve been calling him The Voice,” which is NEWS TO ME. Hannah wants to brief the director, but they won’t let her. Alex follows her to the field office (where I thought she was no longer an agent?) and continues to plead with her to stay quiet. Hannah says she’ll give her 24 hours, but she’s in charge of all their decisions.
First decision: how to stop an attack on Claire Haas. Ryan tells Hannah that Claire’s itinerary is changing to her leaving NYC that evening. Since the pills they swapped in her bag were only for three days, Alex and Hannah realize that the attack must be happening that night.
Hannah puts herself in charge of Claire’s detail, and the two go to Columbia University, Claire’s next campaign stop, to keep an eye on her. When Claire gets faint (probably from the pills, which make her hot), Hannah takes down a suspicious EMT…except he’s not suspicious at all. Miranda reprimands her and takes her off liaising with Claire’s team.
NEXT: But that’s not even the worst of it
But they have a new problem, anyway: THE VOICE has another task for Alex. They give her an envelope that she’s to place under a seat at the Columbia auditorium where Claire is giving a speech to her alma mater. As Alex is talking to THE VOICE, Hannah grabs the phone and says she’s in charge now. This seems like a very stupid idea, and when the caller tells her to “step away from the bullpen”…exactly where’s she standing, Hannah realizes THE VOICE is very serious.
Once Alex, Simon, and Hannah have made sure the envelope doesn’t contain anything bad, they place it under the seat at Columbia. Their plan is to watch who retrieves it, but a couple things throw that plan right off track. Just as Hannah is explaining how supportive Ryan was when she fell in love with her female partner while undercover and realized she was a lesbian, Ryan shows up and wants to know what Alex is doing stashing an envelope.
Hannah is able to throw him off by saying Claire is asking for him. But just then Simon says he’s been looking at their scans of the envelope closer. They thought it was just a SIM card, but he realizes it’s a component chip to knock out power in the area. And just then the power goes out.
There are people running everywhere, and they realize the medicine Claire is taking will make her an easy target in pitch dark because of her body heat. Hannah makes a Miranda move and decides to shoot first. She fires her gun into the air. The situation dissolves, but she is suspended from active duty.
Hannah still didn’t turn in Alex, though. She realizes that even the FBI can’t stop what’s happening (pretty sad when even FBI agents doubt the capabilities of this fictional version of the bureau). She tells Alex, “You’re the leader now.” All she asks before she leaves is that Alex doesn’t involve Ryan.
Cue Ryan. He confronts Alex and says he thinks she set Hannah up to take the fall and now he’s going to come after her.
And if that weren’t enough for poor Alex to deal with, THE VOICE calls her again and tells her “We’re almost done.” And that may be true because Simon has finally figured out what they’re doing. The event was a smokescreen for them to break into Columbia’s lab underneath the theater. And there we have our first real clue…or so they say.
What did you think of “Clue”? Are you ready for some real action? Did the personal conflicts at the academy make you place the blame on anyone different? Share your thoughts below or find me on Twitter @realdalener.