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.
Pain. Deception. Violence. While Quantico viewers should be used to seeing lots of all three of those things each week, Sunday’s episode felt different. Nearly every scene seemed to highlight how vulnerable the female NATs of Quantico were and how their bodies and emotional health can be constantly used by the men around them as weapons.
To be honest, I hated moments of this week’s episode so much I seriously considered giving up on the show forever. Let me explain as I highlight what stood out to me this week:
Alex and Ryan are sparring partners. (And we don’t mean their usual Nick and Nora banter that used to be characteristic of the early episodes of the show.) This week’s training exercise centered around hand to hand combat, for reasons that are never really explained.
Of course this means that Alex and Ryan are the first in what looks like a really high-tech cage. What ensued was brutal and while the writers probably intended the scene to be mildly erotic, to me it felt like more of a power struggle — one which Ryan handily won.
There would be a longer, much more violent struggle between the two later in the episode. That fight featured at different points the following: Ryan putting Alex in a chokehold, Ryan pointing a gun straight at Alex’s heart, Alex begging Ryan to listen to her, Ryan telling her she’s a liar, and Ryan throwing her across a desk. (She landed on the floor in a heap.)
Needless to say, this was not fun to watch. In fact, it was so unpleasant I had a hard time following the rest of the episode, which will probably be readily apparent throughout the rest of this recap.
I am very, very worried about Nimah. As soon as the bureau decided to force the twins into pretending to be one agent again, my red flags went up. Nimah and Raina have both come into their own in recent weeks and they clearly feel emotionally constrained every time they’re forced to pretend to be the same person.
Their assignment this week didn’t help at all. Their new handler Susan says they have to use their investigative skills to find their asset, who is working somewhere in the FBI building. This leads both Nimah and Raina to have several awkward and stressful encounters with men in the bureau.
Raina is asked out for drinks by an agent named Alonzo but (thinking it’s a date) she initially rejects him. She then realizes that Alonzo was trying to speak to her in code and that the date isn’t a date at all, it’s Alonzo attempting to identify himself to her as her asset.
Meanwhile, Nimah believes she’s identified the asset and hones in on a totally sleazy agent named Garrett. Not only is Garrett sleazy, he seems to delight in the prospect of derailing her future at the bureau. When Nimah mistakenly identifies Garrett as her asset, he jumps on her mistake and instantly asks her for the name of her supervisor so that he can complain about what a terrible NAT Nimah is and how she should not continue to be employed by the FBI.
(You can probably see where this is going and I’d totally understand if you want to stop reading.) Nimah asks him to postpone telling the higher ups about her mistake until after the two have drinks to talk about it. Although we don’t see what exactly happens over drinks, Nimah’s face and her behavior left viewers to think that she slept with him in order to protect her future (and that of her sister.)
After ‘drinks,’ Nimah returns home and curls up into a ball and the hearts of viewers everywhere probably sank simultaneously. Raina is busy and distracted so she doesn’t immediately realize that something is very, very wrong. She does note that Nimah is very, very late. “Just drinks?” she asks as she bustles around the room. Nimah says yes but says she’s not feeling well. This is easy for Raina to believe. Nimah looks like she’s about to throw up and at this point I almost turned off my television.
I had so many questions after this scene. Was Nimah coerced into sleeping with Garrett? How consensual could this encounter with a man who held the future of her career in his hands possibly be? Does she have access to Plan B? Every question I have is more depressing than the last.
Wait, Drew is the terrorist? I should probably mention that we probably learned who the terrorist was this episode. Alex and Shelby’s investigation leads them to discover Drew in the hospital covered in radiation burns. He tells them that Ryan is the one behind the bomb, but this turns out not to be the case and this was just Drew being evil. (As I mentioned earlier, it was really hard to follow this episode because I was so mad.)
Anyway, Drew also reveals that The Voice had been in contact with him and had ordered him to rent a van the day of the Grand Central bombing. He also gives Alex a flash drive that will help Alex break into Ryan’s computer. Alex takes it (at this point she didn’t know about Drew’s evilness) and breaks into the computer. The incredibly violent fight I mentioned earlier happened shortly after she hacked the computer.
As much as I wanted this episode to be over at this point, it wasn’t. Drew admits to Alex he was the mastermind behind the plot and says he was deliberately trying to frame Ryan. He then tells her that she needs to get to Ryan’s truck because it’s been rigged with a bomb. She needs to get into the truck and drive to some yet-to-be defined location. (Drew/The Voice says he’ll reveal the location once she gets into the vehicle.
Alex then drives the truck loaded with explosives into a brick wall and the episode ends. (I don’t get it either.)
Also, why was one of the suspects named Scott Walker? Finally, there was one moment of levity for me this episode. That occurred when I learned that the name of one of the FBI’s suspects/one-time informants was named Scott Walker. Scott Walker! I tried to figure out why the show would settle on this name and I wanted to share my running theory with you all: Simply put, the Governor of Wisconsin and former presidential candidate (and current hater of organized labor) is so forgettable that the show’s writers’ room didn’t realize that he’s a public figure.
Since the fictional Scott Walker turned out to be the head of a child pornography ring, Quantico’s writers couldn’t have realized what they were doing right? Right?
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.
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