‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 1, ‘Kudlove’

She's back! Photo Credit: ABC/Giovanni Rufin
She’s back! Photo Credit: ABC/Giovanni Rufin

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

When we last left Alex Parrish and the world of Quantico, our heroine was considering an unexpected job offer from the CIA.

But apparently Quantico‘s writers room didn’t think that plot twist was enough. Viewers who follow Priyanka Chopra or Quantico’s social media have seen our feeds filled with diamond ring emojis as the show tried to get us excited about the fact that Ryan was getting ready to propose during Sunday’s season two premiere.

I can’t be the only one who flinched when I saw there was going to be a storyline that revolved around a possible Ryan and Alex engagement? It wasn’t that long along that Alex was happily flirting with Drew Perales (RIP), and neither Alex nor Ryan seemed to have made much headway on resolving the emotional issues that drove them apart so many times last season.

Despite all of this, we soon see a nervous Ryan in a restaurant with a glittery diamond ring burning a hole in his pocket as he sits at a table with Alex and Shelby (?!). Before Ryan gets to propose however, Alex gets an emergency call from the CIA. She has to report to Langley immediately and quickly rushes out of the restaurant and is on her way.

(Also, of course Shelby helped pick out the ring. Of course she did.)

Here’s what else stood out this episode.

I have no idea what year it is in Quantico-world: When show creator Joshua Safran hinted that the second season of the show would be less complicated, I was hoping the dual timelines would disappear. Instead, we constantly flash back and forth between “last year” and the present day. But… does this mean the current timeline is set in 2017? What year is the show set in? Are we in bizarro world? I have so many questions!

Trouble continues to find Alex Parrish: This episode began with Alex in New York City’s Financial District just as the G20 Summit is about to begin. Alex’s sixth sense is telling her that something is about to happen. It soon becomes apparent that another terrorist attack is about to occur and that the First Lady is likely to be the first casualty. A group called the Citizens Liberation Front has taken over a large swatch of Lower Manhattan and according to Raina, they speak Swahili. Aside from those two bits of information, we aren’t really told what the CLF wants or what their ultimate goal is.

Alex and Ryan continue to pretend to be Mr. and Mrs. Smith light: As Alex rushes to get to the CIA for her hastily called training, she’s dismayed by the fact that Ryan arrives not soon afterwards. It turns out that both of them have been assigned by the FBI to infiltrate the CIA in order to break up a rogue faction within the Agency. (It’s all very confusing.)

The couple also decide to pretend that they barely know each other, but everyone in the CIA seems to see through that pretty easily. (Also, I totally rolled my eyes when Alex said “We’re in such a good place.” No you are not, Alex!)

Ryan is a spectacular liar: Thought we’d be done with training exercises and elimination challenges in season two? You thought wrong. All of the young, spectacularly good looking CIA operatives at ‘The Farm’ have to undergo an extensive lie-detector test and Ryan apparently can lie about anything. He easily lies about his service in Afghanistan, his FBI experience, the number of siblings he has, and much more.

Oddly, no one says out loud that this is a classic sign that Ryan is a sociopath.

This show needs more Lydia: How amazing is Lydia? The seemingly shy and demure CIA operative managed to get the notoriously guarded Alex Parrish to open up to her — only to reveal that she was an instructor in disguise who was merely waiting for Alex to trip up. The skydiving scene in particular was a thing of beauty and made me think that Lydia may be a more accomplished liar than Ryan.

I did feel for Alex once Lydia’s cover was revealed. It initially seemed as if Lydia could be the kind of friend she had in Shelby or Nimah and it must have hurt bitterly to discover that was a lie. (Learning that Lydia had lied about being the child of an alcoholic had to sting, considering Alex keeps that part of her past well guarded.)

On a positive note, I thought it was sweet when it was revealed that Lydia is the daughter of fellow CIA instructor Owen Hall (played by Blair Underwood.) Quantico is littered with damaged families and bad parents, so it was nice to see a truly loving moment between a parent and child.

Wait… did they just behead the First Lady of the United States? Yes, yes they did! While Alex races into the summit in an attempt to thwart the attack, she arrives just in time to see the First Lady get beheaded by a machete. (Fortunately for squeamish viewers, we don’t see the blade make contact with her neck.) The entire scene was a lot to take in and I’m not sure where the show will take the story line from here.

As always, Twitter responded to that ending with GIFs that spoke a thousand worlds.

What did you think of the start of season two? Are you also confused? Did you miss Alex’s old FBI friends while also reveling in the beauty of the CIA operatives? And how do you think this CIA business is going to work?

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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