Do we finally know who the terrorist is?
Credit: ABC/Philippe Bosse
S1 E21
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If we’ve learned anything from Quanitico this season, it’s this: Everyone is suspicious, and the writers have no problem killing the cast off one by one. These deaths, though extremely graphic, have a way of making our terrorist list dwindle down. For the time being, it looks as if we’ve finally found our bad guy. Of course, we thought Drew was the culprit last week, so your guess is as good as mine. Sure, Liam is all sorts of shady, but since we still have a finale in our future, I assume someone is pulling his strings, too.

You never know what tomorrow may bring. Just ask the NATs, who are facing their final training assignments and pending graduations. Alex is heading to New York. Caleb has been assigned San Diego. The twins are headed to a terrorist cell. Iris is still on security clearance. And Shelby is ticked that Caleb continues to send her fake letters from her mother.

Only this time it wasn’t him. Shelby turns to Caleb’s dad and discovers that her mother is using one of her old aliases and will more than likely reach out. If Shelby can get her on American soil, she can be arrested. Shelby finally shares the truth with Alex, who encourages her to proceed with caution. When Shelby receives a call from her mom, she assures her that she can arrange for an immunity deal — but only if she comes to the States. Guess what? Shelby can’t do that, but Mama takes the bait anyway.

It doesn’t really help that the NATs’ final assignment is assessing terrorist cases from the inside out. The Forensic Science Research and Training Center is a division of the FBI that is essentially a premiere crime lab. Here the teams have unrestricted access to physical evidence from terrorist attacks, including Omaha (Alex’s father’s case) and 9/11 (Shelby’s parents’ fake deaths). Each student is given a key card that only unlocks their specific act of terrorism. Also, if you have a personal relationship with one of these acts, you will not be assigned to that case. Like that rule will stick.

Shelby’s first box of evidence is from the Omaha case. It’s all of Alex’s dad’s old journals. She invites Alex to peruse the box. In exchange for her generosity, Alex gives Shelby her key card to access 9/11 documents. Shelby starts digging into the Department of Justice file. You know, the one full of statutes, transcripts, and highly convenient immunity agreements. Iris figures out what Shelby is doing and tells Caleb.

While Iris warns Caleb that Shelby is about to forge documents to stick it to her mother, Alex approaches her dad’s handler from Omaha. Funny story — one of his journals is missing? Alex peppers Agent Baxter with questions. He tells her to “let it go,” which Alex is incapable of doing. Baxter pulls her into the hallway to set the record straight. Her father and Liam were in Omaha on a mission. Sometimes the bad guys need a little push to do the bad thing they are planning in a more timely manner. (Say what?) Liam and her dad supplied the group with the blueprints they needed so they would know exactly where to park the bombs. But the button was pushed before the FBI could infiltrate properly. Baxter burned the book that detailed this tragedy.

After learning that her father handed over the one thing terrorists needed to take down a building, Caleb and Iris tell Alex that Shelby used her card to forge immunity papers for her mom. Alex blows up at Shelby, begging her to take the moral high road. She doesn’t. Liam and Ryan get involved, and Shelby is livid that Alex blew her plan. Liam explains that breaking the law starts off small. Then it builds and builds until the guilt consumes you. Ryan becomes suspicious of Liam’s anti-hero talk. He asks Liam to explain, and Liam actually tells the truth about what “they” told him to say after Omaha. Sometimes Americans aren’t ready to hear what really happened. You either fall in line, or you are zeroed out. This gives Ryan all the ammunition he needs to turn Liam down for the job in D.C. It seems Liam has a way of making mistakes and having other people cover them up and pay the ultimate price. Hard pass.

NEXT: The FBI didn’t see that coming

Ironically, Liam’s pep talk to Shelby doesn’t matter because Caleb is the true whistleblower. He takes matters into his own hands and warns Shelby’s mom that she’s about to be arrested because Shelby is framing her. This was not an act of kindness toward Shelby’s mom but a protection over Shelby’s emotional downward spiral. He tells Shelby’s mom that she should turn herself in and be honest for once. What was that about the high road again?

Meanwhile, Raina is super nervous about their assignment, which begins in 24-hours. She needs to find an emotional anchor to keep her grounded. We all know that isn’t her sister. She calls Simon, and he tries to convince her to come work with him when she admits that she has no idea why she even came to Quanitco in the first place. Duh. It’s what Nimah wanted. She needs to live a life on her own. Is she ready to be in a cell living as one person for the rest of her career?

Nimah finds them in the diner, ready to hear the words she’s been expecting to hear for months now: Raina is backing out. But she doesn’t. Nimah tells her that she must stay for herself. Simon calls Nimah selfish. Nimah astutely points out that no one is forcing Raina to participate. He needs to let her go.

But this NAT drama is nothing compared to present-day drama. Alex is driving Ryan’s blue Tacoma all over New York City as Drew barks orders through the GPS system. If she stops the truck, opens the door, or rolls down the window, the bomb will go off. Alex channels her inner Sandra Bullock and tries to reach Drew on a personal level as she secretly dials Shelby so she can hear the conversation. Shelby runs to the senator’s voting van and somehow manages a private audience with the wife of the man she was sleeping with a few months ago. This isn’t awkward at all.

The senator and Shelby rush to the FBI to clue Miranda and the team in on what is happening. She warns Miranda that Shelby and Caleb are the key to figuring out what is going on. Miranda releases Caleb, Raina, and Ryan, who were all locked up as a people of interest. We need all hands on deck. Look! Most of the gang’s all together again!

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In five seconds, Caleb uses background noises from Alex’s feed to figure out where the call is coming from. Ryan fills Miranda in on the details, but she mysteriously leaves just when things start to get interesting. Suddenly, we see Drew and Simon zip-tied together, sitting back-to-back in chairs with a laptop issuing orders using Drew’s voice. Simon notices that the room is wired to explode if someone opens the door. Let’s forget the meet-and-greet and figure out a plan to stay alive.

Drew demands that Simon break his thumb so they can get out of the ties. Simon does, and Drew forces Simon to escape out of the window onto the fire escape shouting, “FIND ALEX,” as he picks up the microphone from the computer. He starts shouting for Alex to look for Simon. It’s The Voice she’s been hearing, not his voice. The real Drew is sending her Simon! And then, BOOM! The FBI breaks down the door, and Drew meets his death the same way Natalie did.

Simon makes his way to Alex’s location and begs her to get out of the truck. It’s just theatrics. The bomb isn’t connected to anything. She can trust Simon! Alex listens to her friend and cautiously exists the truck. The FBI is livid. Why did The Voice do this? To spread fear? To make a joke out of the Bureau? That’s when everyone gets a text message that the bomb has been stolen. Only high-ranking members would know where the bomb was moved. By the way, where’s Miranda?

Good question. She’s stalking an apartment with her gun held up and discovering a bunch of monitors and the schematics of a building. She begins speaking out loud, recalling that she became suspicious of the footage of Alex that was leaked from the FBI building. When she turns around to face the bad guy, she’s shot! While still alive and laying on the floor, she asks her shooter, “Why are you doing this?”

Liam answers, “To make things right.”

And just like that, Liam adds another demon to his subconscious. Is there any turning back for him now? Do you think he’s working alone? It does seem a little too on the nose, right?

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