By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)
After a week of think pieces instructing us all about how to talk to our relatives about their political beliefs, perhaps it was only fitting that the trainees’ assignment this week was to learn how to effectively lie to their friends and family over the Thanksgiving break. After all, as Owen tells the class, “The toughest lies are not the ones we tell ourselves, but the ones we love.”
— Quantico WritersRoom (@QuanticoWriters) November 28, 2016
Nimah is with the terrorists?! First, a round of applause to the Quantico writers’ room for making the liberal, unveiled, not particularly religious Nimah Amin be the one who joins forces with the terrorists. As the tweet above notes, this scene gained new relevance after the election because it was striking to hear Nimah lash out against the restrictions placed on Muslims in the United States and how community members are only accepted if they continually prove their patriotism and anti-terrorist beliefs. For her part, Raina completely agrees but stresses that the United States is the only place she can fully feel like herself.
Raina also comes to a stark conclusion about her beloved twin. “We both felt the burdens of being ourselves in this country, but you found this harder,” says Raina. “You couldn’t fight hate because you are filled with hate yourself.”
Needless to say, this was perhaps one of the most powerful scenes this season. Hopefully, we’ll see more in the new year of what lead Nimah to become so unhappy and unsettled.
Conversion camp?! Sebastian’s storyline continues to be confusing and troubling. His relationship with Harry Doyle is apparently going strong and apparently all of the other trainees are well aware that Sebastian is gay. So far, there are no real problems here. The weirdness began when Sebastian had to come up with a convincing lie to tell his (presumably super religious and conservative) family. He instantly tells Lydia and Owen that he’ll simply tell them that he has to return to conversion camp. Do they even have those for adults? Although the scene was extremely short, it was unsettling and one hopes that Sebastian will find or create a community who appreciates him for who he really is.
Alex gets pulled from the AIC investigation: As usual, things were tense between Alex and Ryan throughout most of this episode and Alex is perturbed by the fact that she cannot reach Shelby, who is presumably supposed to be her handler. She confronts both Shelby and Nimah about it and Nimah explains that Shelby is being taken off her assignment so that she can return to the field.
“Who is going to be my handler then?” Alex reasonably asks. No one, she is told. She’s being returned to New York because of her poor performance on the AIC investigation. “You failed, Alex,” Shelby says bluntly.
Why does Ryan keep proposing?! Ryan is (surprise!) extremely conflicted about Alex’s firing/reassignment and he decides to… propose. Yuck. “What we have is never going to be easy,” he tells Alex. He then essentially says that he wants to get married so that they two of them have a bond tying them together even if they want to leave. (Note: This is a terrible reason to get married.)
Nimah also called out Alex and Ryan’s weird relationship dynamic earlier in the episode, chiding Ryan about the fact that he did “multiple tours in Afghanistan and yet you still flee conflict when it comes to Alex.”
Wait a second, Ryan what are you doing?! Quantico‘s various Twitter accounts had been touting all weekend that the last five minutes of the mid-season finale would change the way we saw everything. Despite that, I still was surprised to see that the terrorist Alex had been in a fist fight with was revealed to be Ryan. Is this part of his undercover mission? (Probably.) Yet, it was still spooky to see Ryan shove Alex behind that weird wall of laser beams. He then ordered her to stay there or “everyone will die.” Phew!
There was also one other big revelation in the final moments of the mid-season finale: Quantico will be moving to Mondays in January. How do you all feel about that? (I personally think Quantico has a nice Sunday feel to it.)
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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