‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Lipstick’

Photo Credit: ABC/Giovanni Rufino
(Photo Credit: ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Last night we learned that Alex Parrish reacts the same way just about everyone reading this would if they witness the beheading of the First Lady: She doubles over in pain and emotional distress.

Longtime Quantico viewers probably weren’t the least bit surprised when they learned that everyone lost track of Alex in the moments after the attack. Raina and Ryan remained in the main room as the terrorists cycle through hostages and manage to have many whispered conversations about potential motives and action plans without being overheard. Meanwhile, Miranda and Shelby try to get to the bottom of things from the Bureau’s New York Headquarters. It’s Shelby who realizes that Alex is probably still in the crisis zone.

Throughout all of this, Alex finds a badly wounded New York City cop and rushes to his aid. He reveals that their is a secret NYPD bunker somewhere in the building and with Alex’s support he gets up and limps along in search of it.

They do manage to reach the secret bunker, but two assailants are on their heels. Alex’s new cop friend suddenly can’t remember the code to get into the room (to be fair, this is exactly the sort of thing I’d blank on as well). He finally opens the door and shoves her inside. The door slams behind her before the cop can get in and the next thing we know gunshots ring out. We then see Alex once again sinks to her knees after a death occurs mere feet away from her. (At least the heavy locked door protected her from injury.)

Before I go on, I have to admit that I was pretty bored throughout this episode, especially the middle. You would think that a bunch of ridiculously good looked agents in the midst of a major hostage situation would make better television. Alas, I kept looking at the clock.

Here’s what else stood out this episode:

Let’s talk about that scratch: The Citizens Liberation Front seems to have access to lots of high-tech gadgets. The group decided to put wire collars on all of the hostages that will tighten if anyone tries to escape. Raina and Ryan suspect the hostages are being cycled through the room in order to allow more disguised terrorists into the G20 meeting.

Raina decides to scratch one of the terrorists in order to mark them so that she and Ryan would know if the man changed his disguise or remove his mask.

This goes very, very wrong. The CLF quickly catches on and decides to scratch everyone on the wrist in order to insure their fighter’s disguise remains intact. Raina, while usually the most composed agent of the Quantico crew, is thrown. “Why haven’t they killed me yet?” she asks Ryan. No one knows!

Shelby is Alex’s unofficial babysitter. All CIA operatives in training get a handler and, strangely, Alex gets assigned to Shelby. (Didn’t they say last week that the CIA and FBI aren’t supposed to intermingle like this?) Anyways, Shelby explains that handlers are supposed to have a special relationship to their trainee and that she obviously fits the bill.

Shelby’s assignment is clearly also the perfect excuse for her to have one of her famous heart-to-hearts with Alex. Alex quickly dissolves into tears. “At The Farm, lying means manipulating, lying,” Alex says to Shelby as she begins to cry. Who knew life in the FBI had been so much better?

The return of Nimah! It turns out that Ryan’s handler also knows him very well. I’d been wondering when we’d see more of Nimah, so it was nice when she showed up in a wine shop as Ryan was browsing to introduce herself as his handler.

They do yoga at The Farm: Did you know CIA agents did yoga? According to Blair Underwood’s Owen Hall, it helps with focus. I do wish Owen didn’t always make the CIA seem so cult-like. At one point he tells his operatives that, “Here at the farm, it doesn’t matter who you used to be. It just matters who we teach you to be.”

Spare me.

Don’t expect Dayana to be Alex’s bestie anytime soon: It quickly becomes clear that Alex’s CIA roommate Dayana Mampasi (played by Pearl Thusi) isn’t at all interested in becoming buddy-buddy with her enigmatic roommate. Dayana even goes on a marvelous rant about how The Farm wasn’t a reality show and that “I didn’t come here to make friends.” (Even though that’s probably the most cliche line in television today, I still think it works marvelously.)

What do you make of Harry Doyle? Looking alum Russell Tovey is one of Quantico‘s many new faces this season. Like Alex Parrish, he’s an American with a strong foreign accent (British in his case). Also, like Alex, no one quite knows what to make of him. Was he flirting with Alex? Did you know he was the trigger before the big reveal?

What on earth did Miranda just do? While the twist that ended this week’s episode wasn’t as violent as a beheading, it was still stunning enough to make you gasp. When we last saw Alex, she was in that secret NYPD bunker. She manages to call Miranda at FBI headquarters and update her on the situation.

Miranda orders her to leave the safety of the secret bunker in order to gather as much intel as possible. “Good luck,” Miranda intones as they hang up. We then see Miranda pick up the phone to send a text. “Alex Parrish is inside,” it says. The message goes straight to one of the terrorists and Alex (once again!) has a target on her back.

Did you leave last night’s episode wondering what just happened? Do you think there’s another agent in the room that Miranda thought she was communicating with instead? What’s up with Miranda’s new boyfriend? And was anyone else bored? Let me know in the comments.

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.

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