Quantico Watch Me!s will be running behind for another few weeks while I catch up to the current episode. These in general are taking a back burner on my to-do list because of my participation in NaNoWriMo and eventual Big Trip, which will happen in the middle of the season. So expect these Watch Me!s to have a limited life so far.
However, in episode 5, we finally have a dialogue between Alex and the media via an underground hacker group. Meanwhile, the FBI finds themselves in the middle of a PR nightmare and Shelby Wyatt becomes the third agent on Alex’s side. At Quantico, the agents-in-training are learning to go undercover. Their test is to infiltrate a corporate retreat of a Fortune 500 company and get an audience with the CEO. To prep for this, they create personas which are done with a lot of research and these personas are interviewed in the front of everyone. Before they’re let go in the company retreat, however, they are told to pass their personas to the person on their left. Part of being an agent means picking up a persona on the fly. Let’s see how this played out for our characters.
But first, my one big issue with this episode. In the beginning, we have news coverage asking questions about Alex and her motivations. The picture of Alex they chose did not come from her FBI badge, it was no lifted from Facebook or given to the news by her mother or anything. Instead, they use a sexy shot of Alex in a bikini at a beach. This show has so much going for it in terms of diversity and feminism, and then it does something like this. WHY I scream to ABC. WWHHYY??
Alex Parrish in the present finds herself stuck in Shelby’s house with the FBI on her tail and nothing that would convince them of her innocence. She learns that they are ordered to shoot to kill, which means she has to think of something to get her out of the situation. That something comes via the Deep Web with a hacker group called The Unknown. It sounds like Anonymous but less childish whims. She sets up a meeting with two representatives and meets them in a dark basement. After some tense “you have to prove yourself to earn a broadcast signal,” Alex finally tells her story for the world to hear. The FBI tracks the signal after five minutes and finds themselves holding up a Mosque, which brings the FBI smack in the middle of a PR nightmare. Before things can go a step further, news vans and helicopters show up to record the events live. This is more of a nightmare because in Alex’s story, she claims that she is a scapegoat because of her brown skin. She spent ten years with family in India, and during that time she traveled all over the Middle East, an easy target in the eyes of the FBI. She sneaks out with the patrons of the Mosque, hidden under a burka. The end her arc here ends with her meeting the Unknown reps in a hotel room. The reps say they can help her if she has trouble getting anything or going anywhere–they can help make that happen. Alex also offers them her own services, and they part as allies.
Alex Parrish in the past decides to make her persona a lawyer only to acquire Nimeh’s persona. Because she can’t portray anyone from someone in the middle east. Her big arc in the past is romantically centered. She finally gets in bed with Booth and there’s a lot of double-entendre dialogue in the build up to that.
Speaking of sex, this episode has a lot of it! Shelby and Caleb (formerly Goldenboy) finally get it on. This is also the episode where Caleb starts to get suspicious. He has been sneaking into the gun range to use a gun and only got caught after Shelby recognized him as someone who shouldn’t be there. And then during the retreat, Caleb repeatedly undermines Shelby’s work as an underground agent. And yet they end up boning in what looked like an unused banquet room converted for storage. The morning after, Shelby wakes up to an empty bed and looks out the window to find she is missing the bus back to Quantico. That guy is bad news, honey. And we’ll get back to him in a second.
The Nimeh Twins are working doubly hard. At the retreat, they are to switch positions every hour on the hour and brief each other in passing. When debriefed about this by Miranda, she mentions one will always be undercover passing along information and the other will be with the FBI. She remains unseen in the present day scenes, so I assume her not being around means she was kicked out of the program when they learn she’s actually two people acting as one. It would be interesting to come across them and I look forward to seeing them. They end the episode thinking they can do this thing they were recruited to do.
Booth (not Bluth like I thought) reports to Miranda about the Director who is asking him to spy on Alex. Miranda gets the Director drunk and learns why Booth is following Alex. She tells Booth to keep doing what he’s doing because that IS a matter of national security. Whatever it is Booth is looking for, I think it has something to do with Alex’s parents. There’s baggage there but no one knows what that is yet.
Simon’s life is finally under threat by Elias, his gay and suspicious shadow. I really like Elias. I like how he maneuvers into positions of power to smoke out Simon’s story and I like how he’s not afraid to do anything. Seemingly not afraid. We have yet to get his backstory. Anyway, Simon invites his “boyfriend”, the man he kissed in episode one, for the company retreat. While getting ready in the room, Elias comes and asks The Boyfriend a few questions. Elias is enlightened by The Boyfriend’s story. When Simon comes to the room to pick up The Boyfriend, he finds Elias instead. Elias says that as soon as they return to Quantico, he is bringing up Simon’s suspicious behavior to Miranda. It was a heated talk and is the scene that made me love Elias as a character. He also gets points for saying the word “bisexual” on television and hinting at some hard experiences regarding that word. When they get back to Quantico, Simon talks to Elias in private. Simon reveals that he was part of a defense force in Israel and did things that haunt him; his coping mechanism is making this alternate persona. His true self doesn’t wear glasses and hates coffee and is not actually gay. Elias lightens up on his threat and seems fonder of Simon now that he knows. And we in the audience no longer suspect Simon, for now at least.
The episode ends with Shelby’s interview with the Director. She says she doesn’t know where Alex is heading after the broadcast. When asked if she has anything else to reveal, she says she doesn’t. Afterward, she meets up with Simon and Booth, both of whom ask Shelby’s intentions. Shelby says she has issues with Alex but she doesn’t believe she is a terrorist. Simon gets a list of agents within two blocks of Grand Central that could have set off the bomb, and Caleb’s name is one of them. His is the only name from their class other than Alex and Booth.
It looks like Goldenboy is not so golden after all.
But let’s think for a minute. If Goldenboy is the real terrorist, and we know Miranda’s son was recruited by the same group, then we know that the terrorist group recruits young men who have something to prove. I’m going to keep this in mind for next episode.