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.
“I’m already creeped out.”
That’s the message I sent to a friend at 10:02 on Sunday night as ‘Quantico’ began delving into the question we’ve all been wondering about for a week: ‘Why is Liam doing this?’
The answer turned out to be much creepier than I imagined. The show begins with a flashback to the summer of 2015, just before Liam accepted his current position. Miranda was the one who saved LIam just when his career was about to become completely derailed.
While Liam was thankful for the job offer — one got the impression he was pretty broke — it seemed like what seemed the deal was when he realized that Alex (the daughter of his late, troubled partner) was one of the new agent trainees.
It’s clear from the start that Liam had been stalking Alex and had gone to extraordinary lengths to monitor her every move. This entailed him taking a page out of Erin Andrews’ stalker’s book and installing hidden cameras in the doors of not only Alex and Shelby’s Quantico dorm room but Ryan and Simon’s as well.
(This is so gross. Does this mean that Liam was listening to recordings of every intense conversation Shelby and Alex had together in their room? And Shelby’s conversations with her fake sister Samar? And let’s not even get into the intimacies Shelby and Caleb and Alex and Ryan shared in those rooms.)
Here’s what else stood out this episode:
‘We think it might be Miranda.’ OF COURSE Liam set Miranda — a high-ranking, African-American woman who acted as a mentor to many of the NATs — as his fall person. Of course he did. When viewers last saw Miranda, we are all rightly terrified for her life. She had somehow figured out that Liam was at the center of the terror plot and single-handedly attempted to stop it (making her a selfless hero.) For her efforts, Liam shot her and watched her writhe in pain.
Thankfully, we learned early on this week that Miranda had survived the shooting, primarily because Liam wanted her to watch the terror plot ruin everything (ugh, gross!). Back in FBI headquarters, Liam does everything in his power to frame her. Why would Miranda do this? Liam tells the NATs it’s because she was passed over repeatedly for promotions and because Charlie was killed by an FBI bullet (viewers should note that this is the first time Charlie’s death has been confirmed to us.)
Meanwhile, as Liam is meticulously trying to frame her, Miranda is locked in the trunk of Liam’s car and somehow managed to hang on to her cell phone. (?!?!? WE ARE SO CONFUSED.) Additionally, my ever-so-astute friend messaged me this observation: “And uh, how has she not bled to death from her gunshot wound?”
Alex and Ryan fought a lot in this episode: Honestly, I’m so over Alex’s emotionally stunted state, that I tuned most of the scene in the bar out, but I encourage you to share your thoughts on it in the comments!
The symbolism of Mozart’s Requiem: That was the soundtrack playing in the background as Liam delivered his oh-so-sanctimonious commencement speech to the Quantico grads and while Alex begins to track Liam down. We’ve noted many times that ‘Quantico’ is anything but subtle and the choice of Mozart’s Requiem is a good example of that as any. The Requiem was literally the composer’s unfinished business. As Wikipedia notes, “At the time of Mozart’s death on 5 December 1791, only the opening movement (Requiem aeternam) was completed.”
Liam just can’t stop appropriating the pain of people of color: I can’t be the only one who has had a hard time adjusting to just how unhinged Liam has become. But worst of all was listening to his ranting. I can’t be the only one who was rolling their eyes when he decided to bring up the FBI’s attempt to convince Martin Luther King to kill himself and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Anyone who reads Reappropriate knows that these instances — horrible and shameful as they were — had nothing to do with Liam’s twisted motivations. Liam was just joining a long list of white men who have coopted the tragedies of others to serve his own purposes. His motivations had more to do with the scores he had to settle with the FBI and his hatred of Alex Parrish than anything else.
SIMON, NOOOOO: While ‘Quantico’ producers have been teasing for weeks that one more agent was going to die, it was still so hard to let Simon go. It seemed like he’d finally gotten to a point in his life personally and professionally.
It was also crushing to see what this all meant for Raina. The fact that she and Simon never really got to talk about their feelings is just sad. The funeral scene was just lovely.
— Quantico WritersRoom (@QuanticoWriters) May 16, 2016
Marcia Cross is so good at being evil: Wait, Caleb’s mom was assisting Liam? While viewers have been wondering all week whether Caleb was acting alone, it was still surprising to see a vice presidential candidate at the heart of a vast conspiracy that killed hundreds. (Is ‘Quantico’ trying to become a knock off ‘Scandal’? I hope not.)
And after all that Alex is going to join the CIA? It was obvious from the start that this episode was going to end on a cliffhanger, but it was kind of random to see that she’s (probably) going to jump agencies and head to the CIA. How is she going to work with her former classmates now? What does it all mean?
Even Quantico’s producers know the show is confusing. Next season promises to be much more streamlined if this interview with show-runner Josh Safran is any indication.
What were your thoughts on the finale? Did it seem inevitable that Simon would go out in a blaze of glory? Were you sad to see Charlie and Drew’s deaths confirmed? Are you as tired of Alex and Ryan’s emotional turmoil as I am?
And, most important of all, do you think you’re going to stick around for Season 2?
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.