‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 13, “Clear”

QUANTICO – “Clear” (Photo Credit: ABC / Phillipe Bosse)
QUANTICO – “Clear” (Photo Credit: ABC / Phillipe Bosse)

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Lakshmi’s recaps for “Quantico” episodes 1-7 can be found here and for episode 8 onward here, including her recap of the show’s most recent episode. Her recaps appear on Reappropriate every Monday morning! As with reading any recaps, please be wary of spoilers.

“One. Agent. Will. Die.”

Those were the most important words in the trailer ABC was running nonstop this week in the lead up to last night’s Quantico episode. We’re on the record for not being particularly intrigued by the series’ terrorism storyline, but it was hard not to wonder which of our young NATs would be leaving us. (We’re terrible at guessing these sort of things, so we didn’t even try.)

However, if like us you take a few minutes each week to scour the internet for Quantico spoilers, you know that showrunner Josh Safran called last night’s episode, “one of the roughest… because Alex and Vasquez are forced to cross a line that they don’t want to cross.”

Didn’t that sound intriguing?

When we last left Quantico-land, the universe seemed on the verge of a great crisis. A disguised voice with obvious knowledge of life inside the FBI ominously told Alex that while it was true that she hadn’t been a terrorist before, she was about to become one now. If that wasn’t enough of a cliffhanger, we then saw a frightened Natalie hesitantly approaching Alex with a bomb strapped to her chest.

Sunday’s episode began with a hysterical Alex examining the bomb attached to Natalie. Natalie says she can’t remember how she became entangled in this situation, she woke up and the bomb was strapped to her.

“We’re going to find who is doing this and stop them — and you are going to survive,” Alex tells Natalie.

Well… it turns out that wasn’t true. It was Natalie who died a particularly horrific heath in the last few minutes of Sunday’s episode of Quantico. Though she spent most of the episode working and conspiring with Alex to dismantle the bomb (and despite the fact that the pair successfully did so), Natalie ended up dying anyway.

Here’s how it went down: after they very bravely dismantled the first explosive device, Natalie and Alex decide that they need to get to the bottom of who is behind this very complicate terrorist plot, and they decided they needed to do so alone. Their completely unsanctioned investigation leads them to the terrorist’s secret cell in an isolated building far away. There they discover a laptop that is mysteriously still on and blinking (despite the fact that there aren’t any other useful clues anywhere to be found in this spooky hideout.)

We have to admit that Natalie’s death was particularly brutal because she escaped death so bravely earlier in the episode. Additionally, it seemed like Natalie was on the verge of putting her life back together, which made it all especially hard. A single mother who has lost custody of her child due to her crazy work schedule (among other factors), Natalie is thrilled when she’s granted a leave of absence so that she can sort out her family issues and take care of herself first. Watching her literally go up in smoke was painful.

Here are the other moments that struck us this episode:

What are your breaking points? Rewinding back to Quantico training, the NATs this week are doing intense physical exercises that are meant to prove each recruit’s endurance. Alex, of course, is obsessed with being the best, to the point that you can see the wheels turning in her head as she attempts to outlast everyone.

Raina continues to come into her own, and she has a secret. The ever-prompt Raina immediately raised eyebrows this episode when she showed up to training quite late. Leave it to Nimah to use this tardiness to confront her twin about a host of other issues.

“My suspicions were correct, Mom says you never went home for Christmas,” says Nimah as she confronts her twin.

Raina, however, isn’t revealing anything — even when Nimah taunts her and says “What friends? I know all your friends.” (We’re team Raina on this one. It must be so frustating to have everyone around you assume you are predictable and meek.)

Ryan’s ex-wife returns: And she’s the one who gets Alex demoted. Alex is working downstairs from now on, and that’s because Hannah is back on the scene. Even worse, Alex Parrish — ever the perfectionist — has now been reduced to doing clerical work until further notice.

To say there is tension between Alex and Hannah would be a huge understatement (and as we all know, Quantico is anything but understated). As Natalie and Alex try to figure out if Hannah is somehow connected to the terrorism plot, Alex comes up with the perfect way to distract her: confronting her about her ex.

“Are you still in love with him?” Alex asks Hannah quite seriously. Perhaps because she’s thrown off guard, Hannah doesn’t look a bit deeper into why Alex would want a password she knows she has no right to have access to. Instead, Hannah angrily reprimands her and warns her she’s putting her job in danger (while also holding Alex’s phone). Most importantly, she leaves her fingerprints all over the smartphone in question.

(Also, have you ever seen a more prominent fingerprint on a phone before? We haven’t).

How did Natalie get through all of those metal detectors? Watching Natalie walk around for the better part of an episode with a bomb strapped to her was really, really weird. Why didn’t anyone asking her why her sweater was so lumpy? How did she get through security? So many questions.

The agents use the Myers-Briggs test to assess one another: Seeing the NATs attempt to figure out each other’s M.O. by using Myers-Briggs was absolutely adorable (and very Grey’s Anatomy-esque.) More of this please, Quantico writers!

(Also adorable: when the NATs hit the town to try to figure out who is corrupt.)

More Iris, please: This week we learned that Iris Chang 1) speaks Spanish, 2) looks amazing in mustard-colored blouses, and 3) is very Alex Parrish-like in that she is intensely ambitious, and that intense ambition also frequently gets her into trouble. It’s no coincidence that both Alex and Iris got caught trying to compromise the law in pursuit of the truth.

Miranda knows everything: Remember the New Year’s Eve episode in which Alex (rather stupidly) drives off with Liam? This episode confirms what we all (along with Miranda) have long suspected — that Alex and Liam had a one-night stand. Alex being Alex, she has no desire to talk about it with Liam or anyone else. (This is understandable. Why would someone with well-established issues with her father want to tell the world she slept with her dad’s former partner? The jokes would write themselves.)

Lakshmi Gandhi
Lakshmi Gandhi

Lakshmi Gandhi is a journalist and pop culture writer based in New York. Her work has appeared in Metro New York, NBC Asian America and NPR’s Code Switch blog, among other sites. She likes it when readers tweet her @LakshmiGandhi with their thoughts on Asian American issues and romance novels.

Learn more about Reappropriate’s guest contributor program and submit your own writing here.

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