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Sebastian (David Lim) reentered the picture this week on Quantico — but not as someone on the good guys’ side. He’s the reason why the task force’s mission this week fails: When they use a collaborator named Rebecca (Donna Murphy) to draw out other collaborators behind the ones accessing the hard drives taken from the G20 summit, Rebecca and her contact are both killed in the middle of Central Park, nearly exposing the entire operation.
Losing Rebecca hits Alex (Priyanka Chopra) hard even though Alex has seen plenty of violence over the past two seasons. Below, showrunner Josh Safran previews what’s next for the team, where Harry’s predicament picks up, and when we’ll find out more about the people targeting Raina.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did Rebecca have to die? This cuts the team off again for getting closer to figuring out who’s handling the intel from the hard drives.
JOSH SAFRAN:It’s not such a simple straight line for each collaborator they meet along the way. We knew there would be at least one collaborator who would not actually be a part of the plan and doesn’t want to be involved with it, so of course other collaborators would know that, and Rebecca would have to be eliminated at some point.
Episode 16 to me is sort of, for Alex and for this series, the episode that shines a light on what this series is about in regards to Alex. She’s forced to, in this episode, focus on the fact that to be who she is, she has to stand apart from the rest. You know, it’s lonely at the top, and the tragedy of Rebecca underlines that for her.
That scene was bloody, at least bloodier than I remember things being on Quantico.
Clearly you have blacked out the things you have seen! I mean, Dayana has been stabbed, people have gotten gunshots to the head…
Oh yeah, you’re right. You decapitated the first lady this season.
Right, there’s been so much violence. The violence previous to this has been more gruesome, but I think what’s happened is in a single timeline, the show in a very odd way feels more realistic, so the bloodshed is more surprising because it does take place in our world. Two timelines tells your brain “this isn’t really real,” because you’re jumping back and forth.
What was it like getting to shoot that scene in Central Park?
All year, Russell [Tovey, who plays Harry Doyle] kept saying, “All I want to do is shoot at Bethesda Fountain,” and all year, I tried to give him that, and we finally got that for him in this episode. The only thing was, I didn’t think until the morning of, was that when he’s sitting there reading a book – I thought “Oh f—, he should have been reading Angels in America,” because that would have been the perfect thing for Harry to read. It’s the perfect thing for him to do because Russell’s doing Angels next.
[Filming] was so much easier than I expected it would ever be. It was so accommodating. The only thing that was difficult was there was an event on the other side where they were making snow, so all day there was the sound of snow being made. We were shooting lower than they were, so it was okay. Other than that, it was incredible.
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Was Rebecca based on anyone in real life, by the way?
She’s an amalgamation of, you know, New York City PR people, one of whom is slyly referenced in the episode with a slightly changed name. I used to work in publicity in my late teen years at a couple of film studios, so I knew all of those people.
And just to clarify, how famous is Alex at this point? The troll farmers last week didn’t recognize her, while Rebecca does, but does it depend on the case they’re working? She had to remain in the van this week.
Here’s the thing: the network and I disagree. I believe you would remember somebody like that who’s not a celebrity who’s on your TV or movies every week. It’s been years now since she was a traitor [and on the news all the time], and she wasn’t in the press for the G20 [attack], so you’d be like, “I think I recognize you,” but I don’t know if we would remember a hero two years later upon sight.
The network has felt that people would remember her because she’s Priyanka, and anyone who sees Priyanka remembers Priyanka, but I believe that Alex would have faded from memory a little bit, and only people working in government would know who she is. For instance, there’s a sequence coming up where they have to go to the Capitol, and Alex doesn’t go because everyone there would know who she was. We sort of play it half and half.
At the end of this episode, Sebastian is holding Harry at gunpoint. What can you tease about what’ll happen next?
We always said it would be Sebastian, and you’ll find out why it’s Sebastian in upcoming episodes, and you’ll know who he’s working for and what’s going on there. You also may or may not see Harry again.
I’ll leave it at that.
Is Sebastian a part of that group the task force is hunting?
Not gonna say. That might be the end of the road for Harry on this show, I’ll put it that way.
Raina is also in danger by the end of episode 16. Is the apartment she’s in hers, and where will we pick up with that in episode 17?
That is her apartment, and you will see what happens to her in the very next week. We pick up the next morning from that night.
And the people who were inside leaving false evidence, what can you tell me about what they’re trying to do? Are they setting her up for something?
It is a setup. She is being framed for something, and you’ll find out what that thing is in episode 17, which is our episode that’s about the Muslim registry. Episode 17 is our most West Wing-like episode, with the team trying to stop the Muslim registry from passing.
Quantico airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.