It took a while for Quantico to find its footing this year, and even once the plot streamlined — farewell, dreaded dual timelines! — there have still been moments of frenzy and confusion for viewers. This week, though, seasons 2 ended with its best episode yet.
“RESISTANCE” opens with our trusted, though not all that successful recently, operatives trying to recruit new employees for President Roarke’s recently pitched intelligence agency, DISA. There are 62 days until the convention, and they can’t find many good candidates. Fast-forward two months, when there are just 48 hours to spare, and they aren’t in much better shape.
Most of the interesting action right now is happening between Alex and Ryan in their booth at the Gold Leaf, so lets do a quick rundown on where everyone is in their personal relationships.
- Alex and Ryan: big into necking but not officially back together
- Shelby and Clay: Clay wants to step up the status, but Shelby wants to wait until they’re out of this “foxhole” and into the real world
- Owen and Miranda: BFFs
Now, back to the plotting, which, it turns out, our group has been doing in spades. They’ve turned the Gold Leaf into their secret plotting room. There, they’ve got a board up where they’re trying to work out which way each state will vote on Roarke’s amendments. After identifying the four swing votes, Owen says they are going to “lie, manipulate, and blackmail” them to get their way.
And even though it seems like their scheming is going well the next day — they seem to have some really convincing ammo — the joy is short lived. After Clay meets with Felix, who is packing up and planning to move back to Spain, he’s convinced that the collaborators are listening in on their plotting. He heads back to the bar to warn the team, who learn of it firsthand, actually, from Maxwell Fletcher. He barges in and, as you might expect, tells everyone they’re all out of jobs at DISA.
But while everyone else is upset, Clay seems motivated. He says that while Peter Theo has been using his technology to spy on the operatives, he has likely also been spying on Roarke. He probably has enough dirt on the president to bury him ten times over, Clay says. When he calls for reinforcements, Alex says she’ll get Will Olsen.
The plan is this: Will Olsen and Iris, whom you’ll remember from the days training at Quantico, will head to Peter’s favorite club and proposition him for a threesome. When they get back to his house, they will break into her computer system, and then Alex, Clay, and a recently recruited Felix will sell the information to the Russians for the small price of asking them to persuade Roarke to change the language in one of his currently proposed amendments.
For the first time, um, ever, it all goes according to plan! Before Alex can deliver the final hammer, Shelby finds Maxine in the lobby. She’s there to protest, but naturally they start talking about boys quickly. Maxine reveals that Clay dumped her, not the other way around. He told her that he didn’t want to ruin his lady love’s reputation with his fall from grace. Shelby, understandably, is crestfallen. She can’t wallow long, however; the operatives are in motion.
Before Alex does what it is she’s about to do, Ryan reminds her that he loves her. For the first time, I’m really glad this relationship is back on. She heads off, and Roarke begins the convention. He starts by saying that his home state has requested a slight alteration in the language of one of his amendments. This is proof to the task force that he took the Russian bait, and suddenly Alex’s face is beamed onto the projector in the room. She says that everyone deserves to know how deeply the democratic process has been compromised. Then, a clip of Roarke speaking on the phone to the Russian intelligence officers begins to play for all to see.
Roarke seems genuinely concerned and surprised as Alex reveals the next part of the plot: She is going to release all the surveillance she has on the president to 100 major law firms and civil liberty organizations to comb through the material. Alex finishes her speech — which is pretty good, BTW! — after bursting through the convention’s doors. But as she approaches Roarke, the sound of gunfire rings out. Ryan rushes to Alex, and she’s whisked off to an ambulance.
Two things: (1) Miranda shot Alex. (2) No, she didn’t turn on the team. It was a fake shot, and Alex is currently covered in fake blood. The only thing not fake? Ryan’s tears. He was, I guess, so overcome that he didn’t notice Iris and Will were the medics. Alex apologizes when she fake-wakes up. She says that she needed his reaction to be authentic, and, surprisingly, Ryan isn’t mad. He’s just happy to have her well.
While Alex is on her way to her escape, Clay enters Roarke’s office. Roarke is, of course, upset — he was beat and he knows it, and he feels trapped by the scandal. Clay sympathizes; he trusts Roarke thinks he was serving America’s best interests, but when he leaves, he’s not shocked to hear Roarke shoot himself.
As Clay takes in the entire situation, Shelby happens upon him. She tells him she knows about how he and Maxine really broke up, and she declines his request for a date. It’s Clay’s turn to be sad now, but, before you stress about him, know that he has a happy ending coming!
So let’s get to Alex. She saved the day, and now its time to run. Owen gives her a bunch of passports and cash, and there’s a plane waiting to whisk her off to someplace no one will ever have concrete information on. Ryan, who was following in a second car, doesn’t make it to the hangar in time, so her goodbye is just with Owen.
The show doesn’t give us our sweet surprise at first, so neither will I. Fast-forward two months. In the bunker, Clay and Maxine, who eloped, Owen, who is now the deputy director of the CIA, Shelby, who is an instructor at Quantico, and Nimah and Raina, who are no longer incarcerated, are all watching the news and drinking champagne and toasting to the missing Alex.
And if you’re thinking this feels more like a series finale than a season finale, wait for the moment when Ryan surprises Alex on the plane in the final flashback. He opens the conversation the same way he did at the beginning of season 1, and Alex’s eyes fill with tears. It’s a good, charming ending for a show that clearly isn’t sure if it’ll be back.