The Amin sisters are caught up in the collaborators' scheme to enforce a Muslim ban
Credit: Giovanni Rufino/ABC
S2 E17
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If there’s a theme to keep in mind as we move through all the events of episode 17, it’s that in moments of pressure, you see who you really are. Everyone finds themselves under duress in this hour — but only some of them rise to the challenge. With that in mind, let’s begin!

Once again, this week’s episode opens with an unfamiliar character doing something shady in a location we’re unfamiliar with. Best to just file this away for later…

Instead, let’s flash to Clay, who is playing squash with a dapper, Spanish-accented man. This is Felix, who went to boarding school with Clay and now works as a senior legislative assistant for Rourke, our nefarious Speaker of the House. Clay is grilling him on the Muslim registry that the conservative party is trying to pass. He’s interested in why, after the bill has failed so many times, the group is still trying. This is also good to file away for later…

In the meantime, everyone at the Farm is packing their bags. After the scene in New York last week, they doubt that the AIC will access the cache anytime soon. Ryan is heading off for a ski trip with Sasha, Alex is heading to New York, and Shelby is looking forward to time away from Clay… except all of that gets derailed quickly. While Alex is catching up with Owen at the Gold Leaf, she comes across Raina. Raina is scared. She tells Alex about all the stuff that was planted in her office and says that she thinks she’s being framed for something, the same way Alex was last year.

Soon, the televisions in the bar flash with breaking news alerts. There’s been a bombing at the Gallow Green shopping center in Ohio. They expect to have a photo of the suspect soon, the newscasters say, but for now all they can confirm is that it was a woman wearing a hijab. Alex grabs Raina, and they head off for the Farm to find safety.

In the bunker, it all begins to make sense. The Muslim registry is up for another vote this evening, and with another terrorist attack completed by (presumably) an Islamic extremist, Rourke and Co. are probably feeling very confident about it passing this time. Clay divides the group into two factions: He, Nimah, Shelby, and Ryan will head for Capitol Hill (Ryan is bringing Sasha along) to try to sway the swing votes to vote no, while Owen and Alex will get to work on finding whoever is framing Raina.

While Alex is brainstorming with Raina about who might be after her, Raina reveals that she was personally investigating the AIC. She didn’t like that the G20 Summit plot was covered up, and she was seeking out any survivors to get more details. This made her a target, of course, but it also put her in touch with León, who, she reveals to Alex, has gone dark. Alex chases this lead and, sadly, discovers León’s death — which gives her and Owen a bit more urgency to find Raina’s attacker.

On Capitol Hill, Clay thinks Felix will help his crew figure out the right representatives to target to stop the Muslim registry from passing. Felix feeds them false names, which only surprises Clay. After they spend the morning chasing the wrong, very unpersuadable reps, building security arrives to throw Clay out. Shelby and Nimah are forced to watch the vote pass from Felix’s office.

The President will still veto it, they remind him, which makes Shelby realize the full extent of the plot: If Claire vetoes the bill, she will be blamed for all future terrorist attacks and have to resign, leaving Rourke as commander in chief.

Ryan is also dealing with some Capitol Hill drama. When Sasha got her press credential, the FBI flagged to Nimah that they have her on a list of potential Russian spies. Ryan is pushing her for how her name got earmarked, and she caves. Occasionally, she admits, she gives the FSB information, and in return they keep her parents (who still live there) safe.

Things are going equally not well for Owen and Alex. They’ve found Vincent, Raina’s attacker, but he tells them he’ll be dead soon. He was supposed to drop off Raina’s body at the mall (which is where our opening scene took place), but he failed, so the people he works for are coming to kill him. Before they can get any more information, they’re barraged by bullets.

Owen, who was so excited to be back in the field barely an hour ago, freezes. Alex has to come up with a plan of action to get them out of there alive. She does — but Owen is forlorn. He’s so disappointed in himself that he isn’t the man he thought he was.

Things aren’t much lighter back in the bunker. Clay is watching the news, livid about the target now on his mother’s back, when Shelby finds him. As they’re talking, Shelby realizes that Clay tried getting his mother to approve the registry to save herself. Shelby is disappointed in him, but so is he. This sort of situation shows everyone who they really are, he admits bitterly.

When Shelby heads off, she calls Caleb. Naturally it goes to voicemail, but she leaves him a message telling him that his family needs him. Next, Clay’s phone rings. It’s Felix, apologizing. He says that Clay didn’t have a chance to win this one, but he promises to be in touch with something good when he can.

Raina and Nimah have been head to head all episode. Raina blames this entire situation on her sister, but Nimah thinks she can do something to make it right: She’ll turn herself, dressed as Raina, in to the authorities and stay in custody while the team works to clear her name.

Alex and Owen are having a different sort of reckoning at the Gold Leaf. He’s still upset — she is also upset, but about Ryan, as Owen correctly guesses — and he asks a favor. “Help me be who I was,” he whispers, like, kind of seductively?

Ryan and Sasha left on unsteady terms earlier, but he is clearly not ready to give up his asset. One of the last things we see this week is his time at her apartment. He tells her he trusts her… then they hook up… and just when you lose faith in him… he breaks into her computer to spy.

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