‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 14, “Answer”

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

Is there a more perfect gateway for a host of metaphors than having the NATs of ‘Quantico’ take a defensive driving class?

That’s exactly how Sunday’s episode (titled ‘Answer’) began. We’ve known for weeks that there have been intense tensions between Nimah and Raina, and their approach to driving truly reflected that. (And I can’t be the only one who noticed that the twins no longer sit together during class anymore.)

Will the sisters ever learn to trust each other again? Considering the ease with which Nimah hacked Raina’s phone — probably not.

Meanwhile, Alex’s quasi-flirtation/intense competition with Drew Perales, the former NFLer who joined the bureau, continued throughout the episode. If it’s true that you can tell a lot about a person according to the way that they drive, Alex’s is even more cutthroat than we previously thought.

Here’s what stood out to us this week:

Seeing Simon living in a Unabomber-esque cabin in the woods: We all know that Simon has been adrift since his abrupt departure from Quantico, but this week we learned how close to the edge he’s been leaving. We see Alex drive to a remote home in the woods of Vermont and knock on the doors of a dark, rundown home. This is where a bearded, disheveled Simon has been living as he wrestles with his considerable demons. One of the most painful moment of this week’s episode was seeing Simon point his rifle at an innocent baby faun as he attempts to hunt for his dinner. (Fortunately for all of the Bambi fans watching, he missed.)

Alex is an excellent negotiator: There’s a reason Alex was considered the most promising recruit in her class. She remains poised and in the moment throughout as Simon threatens to kill her and blames her for his descent into darkness.  “I’m standing here, Simon, asking you for help,” she tells her old friend as the rifle remains pointed at her chest. We have to tip our hat to Quantico writer Beth Schachter for this scene, which reminded us of this classic moment from Notting Hill.

“Your team has failed”: We do wish that Quantico would finally figure out what to do with Iris, who should be so much more than Shelby’s foil and frenemy. Li Jun Li is fantastic and compelling in all of the scenes that she’s in, but she has yet to have a storyline that she completely owns.

The story of Shelby’s privilege: Also, we loved the scene where Iris finally does confront Shelby after Shelby throws their mock testimony exercise. While Shelby may not realize it, at least not consciously, Iris is more than aware of the advantages Shelby has in the Quantico universe because of her whiteness and family wealth. To be honest, we don’t think we’ve ever seen a discussion of white privilege on a show like Quantico before.  “Don’t ever mess with my career again,” was delivered in a way that was worthy of Alex Parrish herself.

And while Shelby is not the most introspective of the recruits, it was interesting and heartening to see that she was still willing to talk to Iris after what was surely a painful confrontation. Seeing both of them talk about their families hopefully was healing for them both.

Wait, what’s going on with Caleb? Caleb has long been one of the most boring and unnecessary NATs, but this week his storyline took a sharp left turn. Remember Mark Raymond, the mysterious Facebook profile with a photo that spookily looked like Caleb?

The new and hyper-observant NAT Will Olsen is the one who finally confronts Caleb about his confusing alter ego. It all started when Will overheard his roommate on the phone as he identified himself as “Mark Raymond” and began arranging a wire transfer for several million dollars. After the confrontation, Caleb (or Mark?) grabs Will and puts him in a chokehold, assuring him that “you will not mess this up for me.”

When we next see Will, he’s spying on Caleb from his car as Caleb meets Shelby’s fake Middle Eastern half-sister in a run of the mill diner. Samar is there to deliver the five million dollars she promised Caleb, which he’ll then give to the cult he allegedly left several years ago.

(Confused? So are we!)

Is Ryan Booth the Gilbert Blythe of Quantico? The name of the hero of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series was the first thing that popped into our heads as Nimah drove Alex home from Simon’s home in Vermont. Naturally, the two had a long heart-to-heart on the drive back to New York and naturally, Ryan’s name came up pretty quickly. “No matter how dark it gets, you have him,” Nimah points out, which instantly reminded us of Anne’s long-suffering (and really boring) intended.

The twins finally have their confrontation: Raina’s concern for her sister reached peak levels this week and inspired her to put on a hijab and do her own investigation inside the home Raina has secretly been visiting.

That’s when things got interesting. Instead of giving her sister the benefit of the doubt, or even entertaining the fact Raina could be an undercover agent, Nimah immediately accuses her of aiding and abetting the enemy. We have to admit we were startled by this jump, especially considering all of the profiling Nimah herself has gone through in her life. Perhaps Nimah really does know something we the viewers don’t, but this moment was quite chilling and distressing.

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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