Excuse me, is this ticking time bomb part of the test?

By Lincee Ray
November 09, 2015 at 06:43 AM EST
Phillipe Bosse/ABC


S1 E7
  • TV Show
  • ABC

Training for the FBI is all about survival of the fittest. There are physical, mental, and emotional demands. NATs have to trust the person next to them. They have to be willing to die for their fellow classmates. And if you’re able to differentiate between Nimah and Raina, you get bonus points in my opinion.

Simon certainly knows the difference. And he plans on using this newfound knowledge to his advantage. The twin bust certainly put a damper on his infatuation with Raina. And he’s not the only one taking cold showers. Booth and Alex are on the outs, too. But Caleb and Shelby are still going strong with role-playing trysts in the boiler room. It’s a risk they are willing to take, even if relationships have a tendency to knock you off your game. Especially when tests are involved.

The Academy

The NATs are a third of the way through training and it’s time for their first exam. Miranda gives them each a piece of paper and pencil, and leaves the room. Everyone is surprised to discover that the papers are blank. Alex figures that they’re evidence, so each one is collected, measured, weighed, and counted. There are 60 pieces of paper, yet there are 61 NATs. Where’s the missing piece? Nimah suggests they watch the surveillance footage to see who isn’t playing the game. The footage plainly reveals that it’s Brandon.

I know what you’re thinking. Who’s Brandon? He’s the cute guy from Glee who is hooking up with Natalie. Poor Brandon has been falling way behind and just assumed this was Miranda’s way of basically telling him that he is out of the program. He loses his cool and storms out of the classroom. That’s when the air conditioning cuts off and all of the doors lock the NATs inside. Is this part of the test? Or do we have another Elder Eric situation on our hands?

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It’s a good thing Simon can MacGyver his way out of a locked door using only a bobby pin from one of the non-speaking NATs. Unfortunately, the wires have been cut, and there’s no way out of the room. Alex begins interrogating Natalie. She admits that Brandon hasn’t been himself for days. Simon backs up the surveillance tape to earlier in the day. Sure enough, Brandon walks in and places something in the podium. Simon and Alex open the door and find a bomb. And I thought taking the SAT was stressful.

MacGyver to the rescue again! Of course Simon knows how to disarm a bomb. On his first attempt, he successfully unlocks the doors but doesn’t stop the bomb timer from counting down. Most of the class, including Elias, run for the hills. When his second try doesn’t stop the bomb, he confesses that he can’t take his fingers off the wires he is holding to attempt Plan C. Shelby, Alex, and Booth jump in to help out, while Caleb and Raina offer moral support. Their efforts only make the timer move faster. The classmates look at each other with longing, angst, and hope that they are not about to be blown to bits.

NEXT: Worst test ever

When the timer reaches zero, Miranda enters the room and addresses those who remain with a haunting, “Your country thanks you for your sacrifice.” Brandon was in on the game the entire time. And because Elias left during the bomb scare, he has been kicked out of the program. But not before he gives Simon a passionate good-bye kiss.

The fake near-death experience also causes Booth to open up to Alex. He finally tells her what went down in Chicago. It was a blown sting operation. Booth’s superior screwed up, but Booth took the blame. That superior was Liam. Alex now understands that Liam has power over Booth. She storms into his office and dramatically pulls out all of the surveillance wires she’s been using to spy on him. She demands that he give Booth back his Special Agent status. And he does. Then Booth drives away from the Academy in civilian clothes with Alex watching.

Booth isn’t the only one leaving. Caleb has also left the building without saying good-bye to Shelby. She runs into his father in the hallway, who is rather annoyed that Caleb passed his analyst final (which just happened to be the fake-bomb test.) Clayton tells Shelby that Caleb doesn’t belong in the FBI, noting that “he’s a greater danger to himself.” Shelby stands up for Caleb and then finds him outside sporting a NAT blue Henley. That’s right. Caleb is now training to be an agent again.

Lingering academy questions:

  • What was in the FBI envelope that Booth had in his room?
  • Does Natalie have a stash of fake scars that she sticks behind her ear every day?
  • Is this the last we will see of Elias? (PS: He gets best line of the night — “This is less like an exam and more like the last 10 minutes of Saw.”
  • With Clayton trying to bribe Caleb with $10,000 dollars a month to fail his exam, he has to be hiding something from his son, right?


Alex has discovered one of the twins was all over Grand Central Station just days before the bombing. She pleads with Simon to help her find them. In true Simon form, Simon knows exactly where to go and Alex is pointing a gun at Raina moments later. (Alex is lucky to have this dude on her side.) Alex wants to know why Raina was at Grand Central Station? And Raina sighs with relief — this news means Nimah is alive. Come again?

Raina explains that Nimah infiltrated a terrorist cell holed up across the street. This group was known to be targeting landmarks. The twins knew there would be a bomb, but they didn’t know where. Raina hasn’t seen her sister in five days. No one has been in or out of the house. She has no way of knowing if Nimah is okay. Alex wonders if Nimah was in on the bombing? Raina swears she wasn’t. Simon pulls out a pair of thermal goggles. Just call him 007. He can tell that there are five figures in the house. One is a woman.

NEXT: Hit me with your best shot

Across town, Shelby walks up to Caleb’s work station. He’s combing through footage and has noticed the twin. They try not to mention the big fat elephant in the command room, but when that elephant is the fact that your ex-girlfriend is sleeping with your father, it’s kind of hard to ignore. Caleb admits that the only reason he is keeping his mouth shut is for his mother’s political reputation. Shelby wishes him luck finding Nimah and turns to leave. Caleb makes a face. Who said anything about Nimah? COVER OFFICIALLY BLOWN!

Shelby rushes over to Booth so they can get out of the building. Natalie catches up with them, begging Booth not to run off to help the woman who shot him. Booth explains that he was covering for Alex. Shelby agrees that Alex is innocent. Natalie lets them go, but she puts a tracker on Booth. And thanks to a burner phone number he got from Miranda, Booth heads straight for the twins.

Meanwhile, Alex tells Raina that Nimah has to know something about the bomb. She convinces Raina to go inside the house, pretending to be Nimah (whose infrared figure is currently in the bathroom) so they can hear for themselves what she knows. Raina saunters into the house with a bag of groceries. One of the terrorists thinks this is odd. The others clean their guns while watching cartoons. I found that odd. Raina heads to the bathroom, intercepts Nimah, and shoves her out the window where Simon is waiting.

Nimah is furious that Alex and Simon have put Raina’s life in danger. She knows that the terrorists are planning an attack. The leader left two days before the bombing. She is this close to getting him to trust her. She doesn’t want Raina to be with him because he has arranged for them to leave the country together.

Suddenly, Shelby and Booth show up to the apartment. They let everyone know that the FBI is on the way. It’s time to get Raina out of the terrorist house. Unfortunately, the bad guy leader is back and he’s making out with Raina. Nimah runs ahead to get her sister while Booth and Alex watch from the back room. Natalie rushes in with an entourage of agents, grabbing Shelby and Simon. Booth hears the commotion, throws a chair out the window, and then tosses Alex onto the fire escape.

The sirens and shouting startle the terrorists. They come out with guns blazing, and one of the bullets hits Booth in the gut. This guy has the worst luck, as well as nine lives. Alex picks him up and limps along in the alley. They run straight into Natalie. Alex gives herself up to save Booth. Natalie thinks for a few seconds before shouting for the two of them to GO! Congratulations, Natalie. You just secured a “not guilty” verdict on my list.


Alex: Not Guilty.

Liam O’Connor: Not Guilty this week. He still appears clueless.

Miranda Shaw: Not Guilty. Handing over the twins’ phone number was a good move.

Ryan Booth: Not Guilty.

Nimah: Guilty. I think it’s suspicious that she was so eager to get back in the terrorist house.

Raina: Not Guilty. She seems to be telling the truth, and it would be a fabulous twist if her twin was in on the bombing while she didn’t know.

Shelby Wyatt: Not Guilty.

Simon Asher: Not Guilty. But definitely needs a license to kill if he doesn’t have one already.

Caleb Haas: Not Guilty. He is too close to Liam and Natalie.

Natalie Vasquez: Not Guilty. Especially when she let her bleeding boyfriend leave with a suspected terrorist.

Elias Harper: Not Guilty of attack, but Guilty of being a coward.

Executive Assistant Director Clayton Haas: Guilty. He’s definitely up to no good.

Brandon Fletcher: Not Guilty.

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