Fifty FBI recruits join the academy — and one of them is a terrorist.
You’ve seen this before — actually, you’ve seen this on ABC before: Woman sleeps with man in a car then finds out he’s her new coworker. But ABC has spent no time denying Quantico‘s resemblances to its past dramas. Hell, they even have encouraged it, with promos saying “Quantico is being called Grey’s Academy and How To Get Away With Treason.”
Is anyone actually calling it that? I don’t know. But what I do know: I don’t care that I’ve seen this before because this soapy thriller is just plain fun.
Here’s the basic premise: Fifty FBI recruits gather at Quantico to learn how to be special agents. They learn how to interrogate, shoot guns, do pull-ups, and other montage-y things. Their first assignment is simple: Take a fellow recruit’s file, investigate to find the one fact that’s been removed, and then get him or her to confirm it during an interrogation. These secrets may or may not be important because fast-forward nine months, and one of these recruits (maybe more?) will pull off the biggest terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11.
So don’t get too attached to anyone because he/she could turn out to be evil. (But at least we get a heads up unlike with Ward and the Agents of Shield switcheroo.) The pilot jumps back and forth between the early Quantico days and the day of the attack. And since Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Assistant Director Miranda Shaw, recommended keeping a chart of who we think is guilty week to week, that’s how I will recap. Ready for Week 1? Let’s go.
Played by Priyanka Chopra, Alex comes to Quantico from Oakland, California, where she lived with her mother, whom she lied to about taking a train instead of a plane. Where does her mother think she’s going?
Remember the woman-sleeping-with-a-man-in-a-car scenario? This is said woman. She meets Ryan Booth (Jack McLaughlin) on her flight, but then ditches him as soon as she gets what she needs. Only problem is he’s going to the FBI academy, too — and he’s her quad-mate no less.
When the newbies are told to uncover a fellow recruit’s secret, Ryan obviously goes for Alex’s file. He digs around and learns that her father died. During the classroom-observed interrogation, he gets her to admit that her mother killed him in self-defense while she watched. That’s right when their trainer, Special Agent Liam O’Conner (Josh Hopkins), pulls the plug on the interview.
Your suspicions that something is up are confirmed later when Alex goes to talk with SA O’Conner. She is carrying a baggie, which she’s been sneakily hiding all throughout the episode, and shows him the contents: her dad’s FBI badge. Turns out she was the one who shot her father that night and she also discovered his secret life.
While all of this is happening, we also get flashes of Alex on the day of the terrorist attack. She’s found near the blast but isn’t hurt. The FBI tell her they think one of the new agents is responsible, but they fail to mention they think she is that new agent. They stall her long enough to get a live video feed of her apartment set up. Inside they find bomb-making equipment and Ryan, lying in a pool of his own blood. There are three bullets inside of him and three bullets missing from Alex’s gun.
As they escort her away in handcuffs, she sees O’Conner — who is now being called “Assistant Director” — and pleads with him, but he doesn’t help at all. Luckily, when she gets into the transport van, it’s driven by whom we know to be the AD, Miranda Shaw. Shaw says she knows she’s being framed and then helps Alex escape.
Alex definitely has some secrets, or at the very least her father does, but everything else pointing to her being the terrorist seems a little too convenient. This week, I’m going with Not Guilty.
NEXT: As for the rest of the recruits…
We first meet Simon (Tate Ellington) when he’s kissing a stranger on the street for the sake of a selfie, which he then frames and puts on display in his room at Quantico. He doesn’t get a ton of backstory in this episode, aside from what fellow recruit Nimah (Yasmine Al Massri) uncovers for their assignment: He’s a gay virgin from a staunch Zionist family. His big secret is that he lived in Gaza for a year and never told anyone.
Simon seems too sweet this episode to be a terrorist, so Not Guilty… for now.
So let’s get this out of the way: THERE ARE TWO OF THEM. The FBI must know this, right? I don’t think you can just sneak another person into Quantico without someone noticing.
Aside from being from Ohio, we don’t really know anything else about her… them. Not Guilty.
Anna from UnREAL (Johanna Braddy) arrives at Quantico via a driver. She’s a well-known markswoman from a wealthy family in Augusta, Georgia — and they’re the reason she joined the FBI. Her mother and father died in 9/11 and she carries around a piece of metal from the plane to remind her.
I think we should keep an eye on this one — no one is that sweet without a secret. But for now, Not Guilty.
Our requisite douchebag is Caleb (Graham Rogers), who is an FBI legacy. His parents are both agents, and even though he’s terrible at all forms of FBI training, he got into the academy. In order to prove his right to be there, he wants to succeed with the interrogation portion of week one, so he grabs the file for “Elder Eric” (Brian J. Smith).
Caleb is good at Mormon nicknames (“Joseph Smith,” “Romney”), but he’s terrible at discovering dirt on his fellow recruit, so instead he just taunts Eric with the unknown secret to disastrous results… see next page.
There is absolutely no way Caleb is smart enough to be a mastermind. Not Guilty.
NEXT: And the guilty this week are…
Due to Caleb’s taunting, he is completely on edge by the time he gets into the interrogation room with Caleb. He locks the door, shoots the polygraph analyst, and turns the gun to Caleb. Caleb swears that he doesn’t actually know anything, but Eric shoots himself out of guilt anyway.
According to Shaw, Eric raped a 14-year-old girl while on his mission in Malawi; then he forced her to have an illegal abortion, during which she died. Somehow the FBI missed this during all their background checks and let him slip through… which of course has me wondering, who else slipped through!?
Guilty. But Dead.
Ryan Booth isn’t actually a recruit, although no one knows this, which makes him highly suspicious. He’s working with SA O’Conner to get intel on Alex (sleeping with her wasn’t part of the plan, though). The plan likely isn’t approved by AD Shaw, but Ryan doesn’t press the issue with O’Conner.
With a name like Ryan Booth, he just HAS to be guilty, right? But he might also be dead, so…. Can I go with No Contest?
The Assistant Director isn’t a recruit — and that’s who the FBI seems to be zoning in on post-attack. But something happened to make her old flame O’Conner take up the AD title, and I have a feeling it wasn’t a promotion for Miranda since she already said she’s hit the glass ceiling at the FBI.
If she really were guilty, she wouldn’t risk letting the person being blamed for the attack go. Not Guilty.
What is Liam’s obsession with Alex? He seemingly knew about her killing her father and let it slide through the FBI vetting process (I’m speculating a little here). He put Ryan undercover to investigate her while she was in the academy. And then he pinned a terrorist attack on her (more speculation). Why is he doing all this? How did he become Assistant Director? Why did he leave the cul-de-sac?
So many questions with this guy, but definitely Guilty… this week.
What did you think of Quantico? Who do you think is our most-likely terrorist? Sound off with your conspiracy theories below or hit me up on Twitter.