‘Quantico’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 7: ‘LCFLUTTER’

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

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

Serious pop culture watchers know that it’s impossible to completely disconnect between seeing parallels between the real world and the fictional worlds we try to lose ourselves in. This has been particularly true for me since Tuesday’s presidential election results were announced, as I previously mentioned in my Designated Survivor recap.

So when I saw that this week’s episode not only centered on the trainees learning “about enhanced interrogation techniques” but also involved a new President being sworn in, I knew that most Quantico fans were in for a surreal viewing experience.

This week’s lesson! “When it comes to critical intelligence, there’s no such thing as going too far,” Owen tells his students as he and Lydia begin to teach the wide eyed trainees about how to survive torture. Even Owen, who is pretty amoral, tells the trainees that waterboarding and other techniques were beyond the pale, yet both he and Lydia encourage and condone torture as long as the trainees are “operating within the parameters” whenever possible.

When does watching stop being fun? During this training, we saw our trainees get exposed to extreme temperatures, sensory depravation and much more. “We will take you to the brink to see whether or not you’ll give up secrets,” Lydia tells them. Knowing what we know now about the future of our country, do we really want to be reminded of torture again? Do we want to witness suffering on our televisions during our downtime?

After the trainees learn about “enhanced interrogations,” a phrase I will never type without quotes, Owen tells them he will be the one they will be torturing. No one can leave the training until the secrets are ‘interrogated’ out of Owen. And that’s when things got really scary, we saw Owen get stripped down, dragged across a room, and waterboarded.

For his part, Owen doesn’t give anything up, even as the trainees get more and more aggressive. It’s only when the trainees start torturing Owen’s daughter (and co-instructor) Lydia that he begins to get terrified. He orders the trainees to stand down and gives them the information they want in exchange for Lydia’s safety.

Lydia is furious at her father. “If you were being waterboarded, I would have let you drown,” she tells Owen.

Meanwhile in the present timeline, we witness both Alex and Dayana get tortured and terrorized by their captors. Watching Dayana get beaten leads Alex to crack and she instantly tells her captors that Lydia was the one that they want and she has the information that they need. (As usual, the present timeline didn’t interest me nearly as much as the past timeline.)

Shelby continues to go undercover: Shelby’s affair with Leon continued to heat up this episode. For reasons we don’t quite understand (but are related to the fact that Leon might be part of the AIC) Shelby also continues to lie to Leon about their relationship, which mostly consists of them having sex in cars. To Leon, Shelby is the mysterious “Jane,” but he continues to not know much about her. Nimah urges Shelby to flesh out her fake backstory. “You have a name, not a life,” she reminds her.

“I am supposed to create and cultivate a parallel life?” Shelby asks. Exactly, Shelby. Exactly.

Sebastian and Harry’s relationship is confusing! I don’t have much to say about this budding relationship except to note that I strongly feel that it is unhealthy. Also, Sebastian can do better!

Miranda has a very bad poker face: Did anyone else notice that Miranda’s facial expressions seemed a little off this episode? Before she’s captured and locked into the interrogation room, Alex managed to call Shelby and let her know that the terrorists are getting messages to the outside world via phone. Shelby immediately tells Miranda, who is leading the investigation.

As we know, Miranda is the one the terrorists have been communicating with. It also turns out that Miranda has been having an affair with some guy named Paul, who also works for the FBI. (Full disclosure: I have no idea who Paul is.) But both we and Shelby see Miranda and Paul kissing in an office and viewers probably realized Miranda was going to frame Paul a good five minutes before it happened.

Sure enough, Miranda’s Zach Morris-sized phone ends up Paul’s bag. As he is surrounded by investigators, Miranda suddenly asks, “Paul, are you part of this?” (Of course he isn’t, but the evidence against him is strong. We then watch Paul get taken away.

As the ending credits noted, the show is taking a break next week before returning for the mid-season finale. In the meantime, let me know what you thought about this torture-heavy episode 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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