Quantico recap: Season 2, Episode 5
While things are getting desperate in the present, “KMFORGET” is almost all about the past — let’s follow suit.
Harry, still calling himself Julian as he pursues Will Olsen undercover, is in bed with his target. Will is frustrated by how little he knows about Harry, but Harry tries to play it off as charming mysteriousness. He also tells Will he needs to borrow Will’s phone to “check traffic” for his commute since his is dead. And, since it’s 2016 and literally no one lets their phone die, it’s no surprise that Harry has other plans. Going into Will’s contacts, he blocks Shelby Wyatt’s number. As he leaves their hotel, we see that Harry recorded his morning conversation with Will.
Shelby is holed up in a nearby coffee shop, when León pops in for a smoothie. He hits on her and when Shelby relays this to Nimah, Nimah is furious. Their agents, Ryan and Alex, meanwhile, are sweeping Leigh’s room, trying to prove that she planted the bug in Alex’s dorm. It’s going fine — aside from not finding anything — until they exit. Harry is waiting for them. Before he can press them for answers, the three of them are attacked by masked people. Needles full of sedatives are pushed into their necks.
When they wake up, Harry, Alex, and Ryan are all in bed together, in the middle of the classroom, surrounded by their fellow recruits. Owen tells them that 77 minutes of their lives are currently unaccounted for before he introduces today’s topic: The Art of Illusion. Skills include making it look like you were somewhere you weren’t or that you weren’t somewhere you were. For the Assignment of the Day, as a team, the group will be investigating Tom Crawford — a journalist suspected of selling state secrets.
Before the group sets off, Owen approaches León about helping him with an off-book assignment. When León shows hesitation, Owen reminds him that he’s knows León’s secret. When he agrees, Owen places him in the room next to Tom Crawford, so he can take photos of the journalist sitting on his bed with a glass of champagne. Why is this problematic for the writer’s future? Because he’s super-imposing them with photos he just took in his own room of a scantily clad woman! Ah, the smell of blackmail! On his way out, he runs into Shelby. He can’t handle the coincidence of seeing her twice in one day, so he asks her out.
Since Will can’t get ahold of Shelby, he finally reaches out to Nimah. When he mentions that the guy he’s seeing messed with his phone, offering Nimah a description of his British paramour, Nimah realizes it’s Harry, who is right in front of her, trying to catch Alex and Ryan in their lie in the main dining room. When he fails — he picks the wrong blonde out of the crowd to surprise Alex and Ryan with their handler — Alex and Ryan tell him he’s paranoid and remind him it’s time for them to go get a handle on Tom Crawford’s room.
Except, when they get there, they find a dead body and an apparent murder scene. Owen calls the room line to let them know that he sprinkled their DNA all over the room and they have about 12 minutes to erase their presence before the cops arrive. He’s given each of them a CIA “get out of jail free” card, but if they use it, they’re out of camp. Harry finds that his DNA is only on two cups in the room, but Alex and Ryan beg him to stay and help them. They promise to tell him everything if he goes downstairs and pick-pockets Owen so they can implicate Owen instead. He acquiesces.
NEXT: Harry goes belly-up… sort of
Owen is catching up with Tom at the club bar. They’re laughing about the fake murder scene upstairs when the conversation turns to Owen: Tom apologizes for printing his name. He thought Owen was already retired, he swears. Tom’s phone buzzes with León’s handiwork. What does Owen want in return for his blackmail? “Those names.” Owen leaves, literally bumping into Harry on the way out. Harry grabs his wallet, and while I am impressed, I’m also confused why Owen isn’t confused as to why Harry isn’t upstairs in the hotel room with his teammates.
When Harry returns to the room, the joke’s on him. Alex and Ryan set him up and the cops take Harry away.
Back in the safe house, where Nimah is actually freaking out about Shelby running back into León. She thinks Shelby is trying to insert herself in the drama. (Later, when we see Shelby meet up with León, we know she is.)
Alex’s work today has impressed Owen. He tells her as much as they catch up privately. He says he sees something special in her, and asks her if she would like for him to teach her more. She nods yes. I think — think — Alex might have just gotten invited to the AIC.
Ryan is in the kitchen with Leigh, bonding. When she admits to feeling homesick and missing her children, he pours her a drink. He tricks her to think its scotch when it’s really apple juice, which sort of amuses Leigh and just seems bizarre to me. When she leaves, he collects her class, thinking he’s just gotten a major score by nabbing her DNA. The celebration is short-lived, however. Harry walks in the back door. He says he escaped custody without using his “get out of jail free” card, so he can’t be disqualified. And now he wants a chat with Alex and Ryan, so they head to the local bar.
There, Harry tells them he’s MI6 and that it’s sort of like a foreign exchange program. (Say what?) Alex says that they’re CIA and FBI, but that she can’t tell him more until she and Ryan talk to their supervisors. He wants them to call now and says they won’t leave until this convo goes further. He also tells them that he was the one who bugged Alex’s room. Did Ryan also find the one he put in his room? Harry asks, and this seems like a red flag to me. Didn’t Miranda say there could only be one bug at the Farm at a time?
And finally, León’s secret is revealed… kind of. Owen thanks him for his work earlier. “You’ve clearly staged photos before,” he tells León. “But we already knew that.” Which means that León was never in jail?!
Back in the present — forward in the present? — Alex surprises the group of terrorists who had been tailing her. As she turns to sprint away, she grabs their safe phone, the one they’ve been using to reach out to Miranda. At headquarters, Miranda is asking Shelby for a favor. She says she needs a hacker as good as Eric Boyer, to help the FBI guess what the terrorists are going to make Eric Boyer do. She wants Will, and she doesn’t want Shelby to tell anyone that she’s doing this.
Shelby meets with Will privately, before bringing him to Miranda. She tells him about Eric’s message that Miranda is a terrorist, but Will says he thinks she’s innocent. Later, Will and Miranda finally connect. He wants to know why Miranda didn’t just reach out to him directly. He also tells her that she doesn’t have to turn him. “I’m in,” he says, before adding that he convinced Shelby that Miranda is innocent.
Alex is scrolling through the phone’s old messages when she finds the one that reads, “Alex Parrish is inside.” Just then the power cuts out in the building, and she’s back on the move. Alex is eventually apprehended by one of the male terrorists. Before he can execute her, a female terrorist guns Alex’s assailant down. She takes Alex’s bracelet, puts it on the fallen soldier, and tells Alex to run. She’s going to fake Alex’s death, she says.
As Alex hurtles down a stair case, she runs into Lydia. “How the hell did you get out?” she asks her. But Lydia didn’t get out — did she?
Episode grade: B+