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Quantico

Television Shows I Am Currently Watching

I am in the throes of NaNoWriMo, so naturally I am catching up on a lot of television.

Granted, I also embarked on a Giant Project that will be a Christmas Present to my parents, so I am also a little side-tracked by that. And both the Giant Project and my NaNo novel require two hands, so it’s not like I can do both at the same time no matter how awesome that would be.

Regardless, these are the shows I am watching as I work on this Giant Project:

Project Runway All-Stars
Hosted by a supermodel that is not Heidi Klum, Project Runway All-Stars takes designers from previous Project Runway seasons and pits them against each other. The stakes are a little higher, the prizes a bit more awesome, and the judges are harsher than normal Project Runway. It is basically Project Runway but with contestants who have done this before. The only thing missing is Heidi’s sense of fun.

 

Jane the Virgin
Don’t let the title fool you, this show is a self-aware ball of magic gift wrapped in a telenovella. When Jane Villanueva was a little girl, she made a promise to her grandmother to remain a virgin until marriage. Jane had her life on track until she is accidentally inseminated with the sperm of Rafael Solano, the owner of a swank hotel in Miami which is also where Jane works. The sperm was meant for Petra Solano, Rafael’s wife, who may or may not be connected to an organized crime ring from Eastern Europe. Jane’s detective fiance Michael is less than pleased with these turn of events, especially since he is hot on the trail of crime boss Sin Rostro, known on the streets as The Man Without a Face. Meanwhile, Jane’s mother Xiomara is reunited with Jane’s biological father, the telenovella star Rogelio de la Vega. Featuring love affairs, murder, many kissing scenes, a grandmother who doesn’t speak English though she understands it perfectly well, and a narrator with a sense of humor. And this is just the synopsis.

Quantico
Agent Alex Parrish is wanted for a terrorist attack in New York City. The only problem is she didn’t do it and she has to figure out who did while on the run. Her only clue was that it was someone in her graduating class at Quantico. The action alternates between the present, where Alex is a fugitive of the law, and the past, where Alex is an FBI agent in training. A little tropey and predictable, but a fun watch.

One Punch Man
A hilarious mashup of superheroes and shonen anime. Saitama is a hero who trained so hard is hair fell out, but he is so strong he can defeat a villain with a single punch. This makes battles boring for Saitama, but he can’t just let a murderous villain destroy his city, can he? After witnessing his strength, the cyborg Genos with an agenda of his own asks to be Saitama’s student. Though powerful in his own right, he still has much to learn. Currently airing in Japan with the latest subtitled episodes being released on Hulu.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
A comedy about a police precinct in Brooklyn starring the guy from The Lonely Island and produced by the people who did Parks and Recreation. The humor is sweet and fun without demeaning anyone.

Gargantia on the Verduous Planet
Perhaps the only show on this list available on Netflix. Gargantia is a cute mecha anime where Ensign Ledo of the Human Alliance is thrown into a wormhole and ends up on Earth. With no way to contact home, he starts making a life on Gargantia, a fleet of ships crossing Earth’s endless oceans. The show finds charm in the details, such as the language barrier between Ledo and people of Gargantia and the obvious Studio Ghibli-influence with Ami and her friends.

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Wow, you might say, that’s a lot of television shows.

Yep, I reply.

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Watch Me! Quantico episode 5

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.

Watch Me! Quantico episode 4

I write this right after I wrote the last episode. Instead of writing as I watch, I decided to watch the whole thing and write my thoughts afterward. Except there are so many characters I can’t write each storyline as it develops, so I’m going to take this one character at a time.

I’ll start with Alex Parrish, of course, because why not? Hers is the story we’re all following here. In the present, she and Simon escape one situation into another. Simon has a connection with a man who does not speaks English but makes bombs, and that is where we discover the wire Alex found at the crime scene in her apartment was made by Shelby Wyatt, her Quantico roommate and bff. Though they’re apparently no longer bffs. Alex breaks into Shelby’s house in New York (with comments that Shelby’s so rich she can have houses everywhere); she and Simon search her things for evidence. Shelby has apparently been out of the country and of course returns home to Alex and Simon in her things. She pulls a gun on them so Alex pulls a gun. There’s a lot of shouting until Bluth comes in to inform everyone the FBI is on their way. We know Bluth and Alex are working together and we know Simon is working for someone but his loyalties are very unclear. And Shelby totally thinks Alex is behind it, hence the gun and the shouting. In the end, Alex takes Shelby as her new hostage, evades some agents sneaking through the house, and sneaks the two of them back inside for a hostage situation that will continue next episode.

In Quantico, Alex struggles with the knowledge that her father was a decorated FBI Agent and a hero and wrestles with the fact that she shot an American hero, never mind is blatant alcoholism and domestic abuse. This is the least believable I’ve seen Alex, and I didn’t like her losing focus and getting reckless as events unfolded. But she got back on track when Miranda calls her in and they have their own talk which reaffirms the reason Alex is at Quantico in the first place. Pair this with Alex amending her friendship with Shelby and it looks like things are going great. Until sometime after graduation, that is. I’m not sure if Alex and Shelby had a fallout, but it must have been juicy!

Simon, meanwhile, remains that in-between character. We don’t know his motivations, but we know pieces of his story, and we know that the analyst with a crush on him realizes that he is hiding something and is getting closer and closer to finding out what it is. He even goes so far as to ask whether Simon is really gay. (Simon said no but his boyfriend is, which I think said a lot). Simon is the most interesting character in my book. We don’t know anything about him which makes him the most unpredictable.

Then there’s Bluth. He’s fully supporting Alex and Natalie, my eventual Anti-Hero, suspects his loyalties. By the end of the episode, Bluth is in cahoots with Simon, though I am not sure if that is a real good idea. When the episode ends, they’re collaborating, and Natalie is secretly onto them. Their next challenge will be telling Alex that the order on her head is to shoot to kill.

Bluth at Quantico, however, decides to go against his orders. The Class Director wants Alex out of the program and so has Bluth push her to be reckless in hostage training exercises. The point is to push her so hard she quits on her own. But then Bluth talks to Miranda to organize that heart-to-heart and Alex decides to stay at the Academy.

So Bluth and Alex are totes gonna be a thing. I heard mention of love in at least one episode previous to this. But then Bluth apparently was a thing with Natalie too at some point. Which means there is drama to be explored (bring it on, yo).

Shelby’s arc in Quantico is her being hurt that Alex didn’t open up to her about her father, at least all the way. While standing around in class, Bluth slips that Alex killed her father (because he thought she knew) and Shelby feels betrayed that Alex didn’t tell her this herself. Later on, after Alex’s pep talk by Miranda, Shelby invites her to a game of Two Truths and a Lie. Shelby starts and finally admits that the mysterious person she calls every night is her half-sister who she didn’t know until after her parents died. This does not account for the money she is seen transferring last episode nor the fact that all her phone calls are from unknown numbers. But it is a good enough excuse to get Alex’s sympathy.

Breaking away from Alex, we get to perhaps my favorite character(s), the twins. I know I said last time that the Nimeh who wanted to be here was left behind to fend for herself, but I don’t think that was the case. Miranda hunts down the Nimeh that ran away and tells her why she recruited them to act like one person in the first place. We also get the story of Miranda’s son so buckle up.

Miranda’s son was recruited by a terrorist cell that spoke to him on some level. His mother didn’t know who he was talking to online, but she was worried. Eventually, she learned that these people were terrorists and they wanted her son, who attends school with the sons and daughters of Congressmen, to make a bomb and blow it up during school. She turns him in, and apparently does not feel much guilt about it. When she says he is up for parole soon, she hopes that he doesn’t get it. What’s more, these cells of terrorists have been appearing all over America. That’s why Miranda wanted two people to pass as one: to hunt down these terrorists.

Though the show will have to further explain that reasoning to me. I can brainstorm the advantages of having two people with the same name and face going around on the same mission, but I want to see a practical application of it. And I don’t understand why you would recruit a set of twins and not tell them why they are recruited in the first place. Is it so they get a more well-rounded training experience rather than focus on certain areas that would help catch the bad guys?

What else? I believe I got everything. This episode ends with Shelby handcuffed to her own railing with Alex kneeling over her, demanding answers as to why her company is helping make bombs for terrorists. And though Shelby refuses to answer, Alex can hang around all day if she has to.

 

Watch Me! Quantico episode 3

Sorry I slipped on these. Five episodes are already out and here I am, slacking along because this blog takes second place to life. I won’t go into details about my life, but I will say I will be switching things up a bit here. Instead of giving a blow-by-blow of events, I am going to add my commentary on major plot points as they happen.

The recap focuses on Bluth’s agreement to be Alex’s man on the inside and Alex’s quest to learn more about her father’s involvement in the FBI. The episode starts with FBI agents raiding the home of Alex’s mother, who is woken by an FBI agent busting through her bedroom. This is a level of unbelievability to me because I would think you would wake up to the sound of footsteps in your house. A single person can probably sneak up on you, but a big team of people with equipment and guns? Side eye.

In the present day, the class director gets his hands tied by a dead end on new information. Alex, the top of her class, is too good for everyone, and the FBI has the press on their asses for new information. The bombing is being billed as The Next 9/11 so far, so of course everyone is panicking and such. Still no word on civilian casualties if there were any.

Back in Quantico, the recruits have a water exercise. They are paired up then their hands are tied together behind their backs and they have to escape while treading in the pool. Alex and Shelby break out easily. Natalie and Nimeh are paired, and Natalie easily weasles out while Nimeh struggles. The point of the exercise is to work together, and Natalie doesn’t play well with others. Maybe that’s why she’s only second best? Meanwhile, Simon’s admirer is still walking around and that makes Simon nervous.

The rest of this week’s lesson at Quantico will feature the recruits psychoanalyzing themselves. When dealing with a case, the evidence will tell you how but the psychology will tell you why.

In the present day, Bluth returns to the bombing command center to applause, and the actual FBI Director puts pressure on the class director to find Alex. But Alex swam upriver to the house of Simon, now formerly of the FBI. She asks him to analyze some evidence she got from the crime scene at her old apartment in New York. We learn that Simon got kicked out of Quantico, and although Alex doesn’t trust him, she has no choice but to rely on him.

Which is weird because they work really well together. As soon as Alex explains her situation, Simon is fully on board. He sneaks her into his office and they start going to town analyzing whatever they can. Simon lifts a print and finds a match faster than should be allowed. Except Alex mentions that she got a scar on her finger during training, and that is no where on the fingerprint used.

Meanwhile, Alex’s mom apparently knows the Class Director but doesn’t know how she can help. They review the lies that Alex told her and even the lies of the fateful night Alex shot her father. Apparently the Class Director was nearby on that fateful night, and the mention of that finishes their discussion.

Back at Quantico, the Vice Director posts everyone’s psychological profiles so everyone knows what the other thinks. And this stirs the coals because apparently everyone has not-very-nice things to say about each other in very direct (and mean sounding) language. So now everyone is at each other’s throats and they take it out through kickboxing the next morning.

To make matters worse, at least for Nimeh, she got a black eye. How are the twins going to pull that off? (dun dun dun) Apparently only one of the twins wants to be at the academy, and the better one hopes they quit.

Outside, Simon and Bluth have a very vocal go at each other and it ends with Simon’s hand at Bluth’s throat against a wall. Alex steps in to break it up and announce to everyone that their turning on each other is exactly what the VD wants. So Simon goes to the VD herself and hands her a piece of paper, supposedly with names of people on them. She asks if he’s covering for himself, and he says it is for the greater good.

Back in the present, security alarms go off at the tech firm Simon works at, and Alex pulls her gun on Simon. The command center is ecstatic because they have Alex, but Simon assures Alex that he has a plan to get her out. She has no choice but to trust him even though she very much does not want to.

This is about the time I learn the Vice Director is named Miranda.

Turns out, at Quantico, the whole thing was a test. In all their years of doing that exercise, no one voted people out of the program. Simon was the first, and for that, he earned a formal reprimand for turning on his people.

I stand by Simon, personally. Or at least some recruits should have seen through Miranda’s facade about the whole thing.

In the present, Miranda notices Alex’s mom being escorted to the bathroom and uses semi-clever tactics to get alone in the bathroom with her. She begs Mrs. Parrish to not turn on Alex, then allows the agents to enter the bathroom and take her away. But not before Mrs. Parrish recognizes Miranda as the agent with a Son that Did a Thing.

Relationships are amended at Quantico. Alex and Shelby amend their relationship with a nice heart-to-heart. Bluth and Simon amend their relationship too. And Nimeh confronts Natalie.

For the record, I call Natalie as the villain that eventually turns good. I really really hope she gets better character development.

Alex finally reads her father’s file and learns that he was a hero. She cries into Bluth’s shoulder because he was not the monster that he presented at home.

In the end, Mrs. Parrish betrays her daughter (with the news that she spent ten years in India with her maternal family and only nine of them are accounted for). Natalie apparently has a daughter and a super rough relationship with the man who is apparently the father of her child. The Better Nimeh runs away. Miranda visits her son in jail and she was the one who put him there.

But the biggest twist is Agent Asher is still active and the Director himself is the one behind it.

DUN DUN DUN

Watch Me! Quantico episode 2

This week, the students at Quantico have to reconstruct the discovery of prevented attacks. Meanwhile, Alex uses those skills to discover who was behind the NYC bomb in the present to clear her name. Let’s get started.

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We start with a cheesy narrated catch-up of events before covering the aftermath of the crash that ended last episode. Everyone is scrambling to find Alex, and she can’t be far because her duffel with identification was found within two blocks.

Cut to the past where Alex is giving Agent Bluth the cold shoulder since her Spill the Secrets Interview. Alex also has a shadow, a former policewoman who wants to one-up Alex at every turn–from gun cleaning to hand-to-hand combat. Meanwhile, the Twins are having trouble keeping their twindom on the down low–and it has everything to do with one twin liking Simon (who seems adamant to pretend to be gay) and the other finding him a distraction.

But wait! There’s more! The twins are actually working for the Assistant Director, the badass black woman running the show. She suspects Agent Bluth is there to check in on her (he’s not, he’s watching Alex), so I suspect the twins are her counter to him. So that explains how the twins are pulling of their stunt. (I knew the name the twins are going by, but I keep forgetting every time I have to write).

The Quantico Class is introduced to the FBI analysts who analyze stuff and tell their agents where more stuff is about to happen. One of these analysts in training is Goldenboy from last episode, who, during his interrogation, saw his subject kill himself because of a super creepy incident involving a teenager, pregnancy, and an abortion gone wrong. Goldenboy seems just fine despite the incident, and it annoys Rich Southern White Girl.

The Analysts in training are present because the Class of Quantico is spending their afternoon looting reconstructed rooms with Important Evidence. To pass, they have to find the location and time of a threat and prevent it. According to their instructor, they are given a haystack and are tasked with finding the needle.

In the present, Alex speaks with the Director to defend herself. The Director reveals that her apartment has a bleeding agent and evidence that points to her as the culprit. Alex says that she will find the person behind the bombing then disappears.

The Director interrogates his assistant director who defends Alex. They have their exchange, where the Director is all “you’ve always seen the good in people and it blinds you for who they are!” and then mentions her son, so there’s something there. Our VD asks if the Director sees an innocent recruit or a terrorist that rejected him. (Director/student romance, ew!)

Back at school, Alex finds a lead through the computer and Bluth and Wannabe think she’s pursuing a dead lead. Goldenboy disrupts another crime scene and when Rich Southern Girl calls him out on it, he points out some evidence she missed. Simon, who is probably not gay at all, talks with Nimeh (THAT’S her name, maybe?) who, being the one that likes him, remembers she’s not supposed to and says something about clothes being flammable, that could be evidence! And walks away. Then Simon is hit on by a gay analyst and totally rejects him. Simon’s discomfort in the dude and confusion at the mention of “us” suggest that being gay is a cover story. Wah wah.

In the present, Wannabe calls the Director and says Alex couldn’t have made a bomb in her apartment and suggests she has a safe house. Alex walks into the cafe/diner across from her apartment and asks to see the footage from a security camera to see who entered her apartment after she left that morning. The owner sends everyone home and looks over Alex’s shoulder as she reviews the footage. It does not take her long to realize Alex is probably the suspected terrorist–especially since an FBI agent was the one who entered Alex’s apartment. Alex catches her and apologizes before the screen goes black.

In the past, the students finish up their evidence analysis and determine what is what. One room is a single mother about to burn down a Planned Parenthood, one is a bombing for a government building, and the third is an assassination attempt on a senator. Only one can be pursued, though, but everyone splits up anyway. Alex is the only one who doesn’t go to a location and instead returns to the warehouse where the rooms are constructed. As she thinks about the three threats, everyone else goes to their assumed location. Everyone fails, except maybe Alex, who is tapping into her intuition.

The Director returns to his office (with the rest of the class apparently) and Alex gives a speech about how the exercise was the Director playing with them. he planted some evidence in each of the three rooms. Both the Director and VD say that everything must be questioned. Evidence can be faked, so you have to look beyond evidence to get to the root of everything.

In the present, Alex proves that she is one step ahead of the FBI. The Director and his goonies track a walkie to a poor innocent delivery dude. Once they realize she’s in the cafe across her apartment, she watches the FBI clear the place and then sneak in. As she inspects the place, Wannabe (who I learn is named Natalie) returns and they start beating each other up. Alex locks herself in the bathroom and realizes there is a trick door behind her bathroom closet. She breaks it down and goes through to an empty apartment with packages addressed to her. She finds a fiber thing on the floor and takes it as Natalie breaks in.

Alex runs to the roof and Natalie pursues. Cue building hoping chase scene. Natalie pulls a gun and seemingly corners Alex, but Alex talks. She asks why she would leave a room full of evidence that points to her and why she would shoot the person they both love (she means Agent Bluth. Ugh, love triangle.). She takes advantage of Natalie’s wavering and handcuffs her to a pole, steals her gun, and runs away.

Back at school, White Rich Girl confronts Goldenboy about him returning as an analyst. Goldenboy says it was the best he could get and he’s actually disappointed by it. Previous Gay Analyst talks to Simon and Simon is clearly uncomfortable with it because the conversation is all about HIM. They are interrupted by Nimeh who invites Simon to coffee. Our Gay Analyst realizes Simon’s glasses are fake. (Everything about this guy is fake! Why???)

Agent Bluth walks to Alex and reveals all the dirty little details about his life that Alex was right about but he didn’t want to admit. And he’s opening up now because he wanted to let her know she was right, just like with the exercise.

Cut to the present, Bluth is out of surgery and going to be fine. The nurse tells him to call people to update them because his phone has been ringing off the hook. He calls back an UNKNOWN and it turns out to be Alex. DUH DUH DUH.

Back at class, VD and the Director have coffee in the VD’s car. I think he’s the director. There are two dudes that look alike (because they’re white and muscly and square-faced) and they are both FBI authorities. VD says she misses being in the field. Apparently she saved a school two years ago.

Booth (I’ve been misspelling his name) wants to get off his Tracking Alex case but the Director says no and holds Booth’s family over him. In the present, Alex talks to Booth and Booth offers to be her guy on the inside, but he’ll have to act like she’s guilty. She agrees and says she’ll track down their class. The Director arrives and Booth starts right away.

In the final scene, the VD speaks with the class about why they want to be an FBI agent. Cut to smaller scenes where Goldenboy starts tailing Simon, the Nimeh twins continue their disagreement about their infatuation with Simon (that is not going to end well), and, in the present, Alex’s name and description are publicly announced through the news. She pulls on a hood and walks away.

Stay tuned next week for episode 3!! (Ah!)

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Quantico airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.

Watch Me! Quantico episode 1

We will see how this goes. I have never really felt the need to stay on top of shows as they air, but I often drive by a billboard advertising Quantico. All I had to go by was that billboard and a radio ad, but it looked like an action-packed thriller with a female lead and that is the sort of television I like to watch. So, here I am writing weekly write ups of it.These will come out Sundays during the daytime before the next episode airs, just in case you need a recap of the previous episode.

Word of Warning: I suck at remembering names of characters, so I will refer to most side characters by their most obvious qualities or in-show nicknames. Whenever possible, I will use names, but don’t count on that being a regular thing, especially in the beginning episodes.

We open with Alex Parrish waking up on a pile of rubble that used to be a building in New York City. How she got knocked out on top of the rubble is a mystery, but so is the entire show at this point, so whatever.

Cut to the flashback! Because the only way to build interest in any action show whatsoever is to slam the audience in the middle of a mystery scene and then explain it throughout the rest of the episode. I am surprised I have yet to see a parody of this technique.

Alex Parrish returning from a morning job and hiding a plastic bag of Something Secret from her mother. She is packing to leave on a trip. Her Mom has her train ticket but Alex tells the taxi driver to take her to the airport. I would be lying if my first thought was “Train tickets are expensive, yo! You throwing away your momma’s money!” Assumably. But that is still a wasted train ticket.

On the plane, Alex meets Bluth. They determine that they’re heading to the same place and will probably  never meet again, so after landing they bang it out in the backseat of Bluth’s van in a parking lot somewhere. And they were not in missionary position. Our leading lady has dark skin, an accent, and a kinky side. Score one for diversity.

Throughout this, we catch glimpses of several people who will be prominent characters later. I am calling them The Squad. There’s the Rich White Girl from the South, the Mysterious Muslim Lady from Ohio, and the Gay New Yorker who hires a dude to pretend to be his boyfriend for a single picture. All they’re missing is the funny black dude, but including that would be racist. Score two for diversity. As the recruits are swearing an oath at FBI Academy Orientation, Car Banger Bluth enters the auditorium last minute.

In the present, a team of FBI folks with vests and helmets point their guns (complete with laser pointer targeting) on Alex. An agent without a helmet or vest (he’s Important) approaches Alex and takes her ID from her jacket pocket. She says she was working patrol when the bomb went off. Her identity confirmed, he escorts her away from the blast zone. Since she was the closest person to it, she is the best witness. Intelligence reports it was probably an inside job, and it was probably one of the recruits of her FBI Academy class, and she has to start talking about her classmates to figure out the culprit.

Flashback! Yay!

At the FBI Academy, the recruits are led to a table with the files of their fellow recruits. One piece of information is missing from each folder. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick a folder of a fellow recruit, dig through their files, and find the missing piece of information about them. So recruits pick the recruit they either want to get to know or have a vendetta against (except for Alex. She has Bluth all figured out, allegedly). But Gay New Yorker picks the Mysterious Muslim Lady and Goldenboy, who got into the FBI through recommendations and not his own grit, picks his Mormon roommate.

There is a conversation with the FBI Vice Director, who is the Authoritative Black Woman, and her underling White Male, where they talk about the sexism of her not getting the Director job despite her stellar performance. This is not the first time a feminist issue has been addressed in the show, and it will not be the last. But it is worth pointing out that the underling did not change his clothes before coming back to work and they said he was at the bars late but is that really what he was doing? I have my doubts.

And the show goes back and forth between the present, where Alex is interrogated by the Asian FBI Dude and slowly realizes that she is suspect #1. Really, the odds are against her. She said she was working perimeter but was near the blast zone when it happened. She just happened to be ON TOP OF rubble when she should have been under it (in my opinion, but I would not put it past ABC to throw in some unbelievable stuff for the sake of Action and Plot).

In the past, the recruits slowly but surely discover everyone’s secrets. We learn that the Gay New Yorker went to Giza but secretly spent time in Palestine. Rich Southern White Girl is here because both of her parents died in 9/11 and the piece of metal she carries with her is from their plane. Goldenboy is really insecure, but that’s not really a secret so much as a potential character arc. Alex’s father was a drunk and her mother killed him in self-defense (more on this later). And then the Mormon dude killed himself in the interrogation room because Goldenboy, who picked him for the assignment, hinted that his secret was Really Bad and How Did he Get Passed the Background Check? Turns out while he was stationed in the Philippines, he got a teenager pregnant and had her get an abortion and the abortion killed her. And that slipped through the actual FBI background check.

Afterward, Alex approaches the director and admits that the whole truth did not come out during her interview. She reveals that she was the one to shoot her dad and then found his FBI badge later that night. She kept it secret the same as she is keeping her being at the FBI Academy secret from her mother. There is something there because we saw the director cut Alex’s interview short before the lie detector caught her. And then the director meets with Bluth in the next scene to reveal that Bluth is trailing Alex for some reason.

It turns out our Mysterious Muslim Lady has a twin, but showing the audience how that works is too much for this already really-full episode. Maybe next episode. Hopefully next episode. I want more of the Mysterious Muslim Lady named Nimeh.

In the final scene, Alex in the present is placed under arrest and escorted to a van outside the FBI’s temporary Command Center. She protests the whole way, but it turns out the Academy vice-president (the Authoritative Black Woman) knocked out the actual drivers to help Alex escape. She gives Alex the key to the cuffs and a disguise and some vague hints that Alex is actually innocent, that she is the scapegoat, and she will have to clear her name mostly on her own. Then the rest of the FBI finds out the van is compromised.

There is a small chase scene until the van rolls in the middle of a square. Alex escapes before FBI agents can arrest her again. We see her walking against the crowd of people with a bright FBI baseball cap but apparently it looks like a civilian hat because none of the agents notice her as she walks away from everything.

The show ends without solving any mysteries but promises more action next time.

*

Quantico airs Sunday @ 10/9c on ABC.

 

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