Quantico recap: 'Mktopaz'
How do you make valuable connections if your entire life is a lie? Or how do you live happily once you realize you can’t make valuable connections? Those questions are at the center of this week’s episode. They plague everyone on the team to some degree, but Alex is most actively occupied by her isolation. It affects all the choices she’ll make in this action-packed hour — so lets get to it!
When “Mktopaz” opens, it does so with two people — dressed in the same clean-up gear as those who were in León’s apartment last week — planting false evidence in another home. They put a blueprint on a desk and drizzle some residue of something across it while also opening a laptop to a bunch of websites that are written in Arabic. We won’t come back to this room until the end of the episode, but it’s important so, um, don’t forget it.
Rejoining the drama back at the Farm, Clay is catching up with his fiancée, Maxine. Maxine is not too pleased with Clay’s job. It makes him secretive and hard to find, which are understandably frustrating characteristics in your betrothed. Clay promises he will be able to tell her more in the future, but when he gets a text from Nimah letting him know that the cache has been accessed again, it’s time to go.
Everyone, minus Dayana, who is apparently appearing in federal court, meets at the bunker. Before Clay can brief them on the latest development, he wants to put the fear of God into them regarding a recent article in the press that exposed Sean Gregory’s Ponzi scheme. He reminds them that anyone giving information to any reporters is compromising this mission and endangering everyone’s lives.
Now, on to the latest: A phone belonging to New York City socialite Rebecca Sherman (Donna Murphy) downloaded material about the U.S.’s vulnerabilities in passport control earlier that day. The information hasn’t yet been used, but they’ve found another collaborator. Everyone jumps at the chance to find a culprit before anyone has to lose their life, and the obvious ploy appears to be for Clay to pretend he and Maxine would like to use Rebecca’s wedding planning services.
Clay doesn’t want to do this at all, as it requires more lying to his fiancée, but after a lot of bullying — especially from Harry — he caves. Most the team heads to New York for the setup, except Ryan, who heads for Sasha’s office to rope her into his ploy. (Nimah is onto Ryan when he mentions wanting to use Sasha, but Ryan persists.)
The plan is that while Rebecca is distracted by either Alex or Maxine, Clay is going to sneak into Rebecca’s office to try and guess her password and get into her computer. (Sasha’s part in the scheme is calling the socialite to go over some biographical details for a story. As Rebecca confirms important names, places, and people, Clay tries them as passwords.) Naturally, things go haywire. Rebecca is smarter than the crew assumed, and she catches Clay at her desk.
The twist is that Rebecca is relieved to find out that the FBI is onto her. She says she needs help before “they” kill her. She was downloading passport control information because she is trying to escape, she tells them. She accidentally connected some of the nefarious collaborators the team is hunting, but they’ve been leveraging the safety of her family against her for the better part of a year.
Owen tells everyone, back at the bunker, that they will be offering Rebecca safe passage in return for information. She only knows one other name for their board for sure: Thomas Roth, a high-powered attorney who prosecutes the AIC’s enemies, who is also based in NYC. They have Rebecca set a meeting in Central Park. The team goes undercover, lingering in the park, while Rebecca tries to get Roth to confirm other names that she can offer the people who compromised her.
Just a few minutes into their conversation, everyone’s coms cut out, and it’s only a few seconds more before there’s a bullet in Roth’s back. As the crowd begins to scatter, Rebecca is also hit. She isn’t yet dead, and when coms come back online, Alex tries to comfort her through her earpiece. No one can go help her at risk of exposing the operation. The ambulance doesn’t make it in time.
The team on the ground sets off into Central Park to try and identify the shooter. Harry, who returned dramatically before the day’s events began, finds a bullet and begins to tail someone with a guitar pack on their back. The rest of the team leaves — Clay fears exposure — and when Harry finally comes upon the suspect, he’s shocked by who he finds: Sebastian.
Once everyone returns to the bunker, Clay spirals into meltdown mode. Two people are dead, Maxine isn’t talking to him — they’re nowhere! Shelby tries to comfort him afterward, but when she gets nowhere with him she heads to where he and Maxine live. Naturally, the soon-to-be sister-in-law of Caleb Haas is not thrilled to see our blonde beauty, but Shelby persists. She tells Maxine that Clay is uncomfortable with what this job requires but that Maxine can’t let him become one of them. Everyone on the team is single, totally alone in the world. Maxine hears her.
Alex and Owen are at home, drinking their normal drink of brown-colored liquor, while Alex laments her isolation. If she dies, there’s actually no one who would receive a phone call, she seems to have just realized. Owen tries a pep talk, but I don’t think it works. They turn to Owen, who received a letter earlier saying that Lydia could receive visitors at the Secure Female Facility of USP Hazelton. He doesn’t want to visit her; he’s too disappointed. But Alex won’t hear it, reminding Owen that Lydia is still his daughter.
Nimah and Ryan are also having a tête-à-tête. Nimah isn’t happy that Ryan leaked information to the press, and she says that he needs to go and get leverage on Sasha. That way, if Sasha tries to expose him again, he can stop her. In return, Ryan tells Nimah to call Raina when he heads for Sasha’s office — remember what I said about everyone being desperate for connection??? — but when he gets there, he can’t seem to go through with it. He has an opening to get into her computer for info, but he hesitates.
Nimah didn’t hesitate, though, and is calling her sister. But when her name flashes on Raina’s screen, we’re suddenly back in that apartment from earlier. Raina sees everything planted in her apartment, and she’s suddenly grabbed and dragged off. I fear a similar fate for her but the fact that Shelby and Alex, after Ryan, told Nimah to go find Raina keeps me just ever-so-slightly hopeful that someone will get there in time.
While Owen is visiting Lydia, Alex gets a phone call from Harry. Emotional, he tells her that he won’t be coming back. Alex is sad but believes him when he says he just can’t join a team. As the frame widens, though, and as Harry hangs up, we see that Sebastian has a gun to his head.