Well. It’s really hitting the fan now, isn’t it?
So, in this week’s episode, Alex Parrish is desperate and decides to hide in a house close to where Ryan Booth was shot —the FBI has the whole area surrounded and they are closing in fast. She’s tasked with removing the bullet from Booth and uses vodka as an antiseptic for the wound. This is another shining moment of Priyanka Chopra’s acting chops. She really does desperate and terrified quite well.
In the past, Nimah has moved in with Alex. My confusion about the twins is finally cleared up when Simon spells it out for me during a discussion with Raina—Nimah is the one who does not wear a hijab normally and Raina is more reserved and religious.
In addition, it looks like Raina is the one interested in Simon and Nimah only sees him as a fellow trainee and maybe a friend. However, by the looks of things, this is going to be a love triangle, because Simon’s more intrigued by Nimah than Raina.
And then we have Caleb and Shelby, who I want to say are cute but they’re somehow just rough around the edges, so as it turns out they are not cute. And when I say they, I really mean Caleb. He borrows Shelby’s phone after morning sex and they joke about how neither of them know details about each other like their birthdays, the color of their eyes or even how old they are.
(I promise, the phone-borrowing becomes relevant.)
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On another interesting note. Miranda deems it a take-your-child-to-work day at Quantico, but only for herself. Yes, Charlie gets more screen time and he’s still very grumpy and annoyed with his mother. She’s much better, however, about deflecting his comments and tells him that he should see what takes her away from him all the time. So, for the entire lesson and test, Charlie is somewhere in the background.
The lesson this time is to handle cases on their own. Each New Agent Trainee is given a test case that comes straight from the Bureau and have been assigned these cases based on what Miranda and Liam think will be their strongest field (i.e. they think Simon would be suited to organized crime, Alex to terrorism and Caleb to cyber crime).
In the future, Shelby, Nimah, Raina and Simon, are brought to the command center and Clayton reprimands Shelby in private, accusing her of getting close to him in order to help Alex. He then goes on the air to make a statement to the press.
Alex and Ryan watch from their house, and on the air, Clayton’s server is hacked. The information is being leaked onto the Internet and Alex is able to read all of it. She realizes that whoever hacked the computers just gave her all the clues she needed to figure out who framed her.
Clayton asks Caleb to go into his and Shelby’s email accounts and scrub them clean so that no one finds out about the affair. They are trying to protect Caleb’s mother and Clayton’s wife—she is a Democratic Senator being nominated for something in a few days, and Clayton does not want to ruin her career. Caleb agrees to help.
Author’s Note: I have no idea what a U.S. senator can be nominated for—if anyone can tell me in the comments, I’d appreciate it.
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Ryan and Alex talk in the past, while they all examine their cases, and Ryan tells Alex what he discovered about her father. Apparently, he was Liam’s boss and they worked together until 1993, when Liam wanted to transfer out of the unit. There is no reason stated for Liam’s desire to leave his unit, but Ryan suggests that Alex’s mother might know the answer, but Alex refuses to consider it because her mother had 15 years to tell her, and she hadn’t.
Caleb is looking up Shelby online, trying to figure out biographical details so that he’s not caught unaware when she asks him about it again. Brandon warns Caleb not to do that, because while you may find the information you need, you might also find out things that you do not want to know about someone. It’s best just to ask them. Caleb ignores this advice, which is going to prove problematic later on. Shelby’s phone rings in Caleb’s pocket and he realizes that he forgot to give it back to her earlier, and sees that she has a call from Riyadh. Shelby dismisses it as a wrong number.
Nimah and Simon realize that all the NATs’ cases are linked. The real lesson was to understand that while they may have separate cases, oftentimes another agent could have the key to cracking someone else’s case. Because they were able to figure out that their cases are connected, they now have the chance to visit the FBI headquarters and present how the cases were linked to actual Bureau agents.
At the Bureau, Miranda says that Nimah and Simon will present the cases. Raina is jealous of Nimah, but Nimah just wants to make a good impression on the agents.
Meanwhile, Ryan uses his access to get Alex information on her father, which shows that Alex’s parents met in Bombay and that her mother might have a history with Pakistani Intelligence. They rush out in time for the briefing and take the file with her father’s information in Alex’s bag, not realizing that Liam was watching them.
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The NATs present their cases and conclude that there will be a biological agent released in a public park for maximum impact and the agents are impressed. Then, the NATs are assigned to the park and are given photos of suspects to apprehend without panicking the public.
Charlie asks Miranda if he can be in the park with the group, and she consents, happy that he is showing interest in something productive. Miranda also tells Raina to sit the park assignment out, since Nimah and Simon are working well together and the twins still can’t be seen together outside the Bureau. Raina looks very troubled by this.
In the future, the two members of the online group that Alex did her interview with, are in the house and have agreed to get Alex and Ryan out of there, but they have to wait for a ride. In the meantime, they are going through all of the hacked data (which I assume their group was responsible for) and they discover that the Grand Central bombing was just a dry run, and that there is another bomb out there that the FBI doesn’t know about.
Caleb shows his dad an email that indicates that Alex might be telling the truth—another agent was caught using Alex’s ID to get into the New York field office. Clayton tells him it’s nothing, but Caleb doesn’t agree.
In the park, the NATs all blend in, and work together when Alex catches sight of a suspect to make sure that she can confirm it is actually a suspect. She confirms it and takes off after him. She chases him down and it turns out that he didn’t have the biological agent on him. But when she gets back to headquarters, it’s revealed that Alex herself had it in her bag. Miranda and Liam reveal that while the NATs were looking at one suspect, another snuck up behind Alex and put the biological agent in her bag, knowing that she would eventually have to come back to headquarters, which was the real target, and would be framed as the carrier.
All of them failed this test which is:
A) The first time that has happened.
B) Also, very reflective of the future, when Alex is framed and someone else is pulling the strings.
Alex looks through her bag and realizes that the file is gone. While Liam’s plant put the biological agent in her bag, the plant also took back the file to give to Liam in order to return it to the archives.
In the middle of it all, however, Caleb and Shelby were removed from the exercise because Shelby received another call from the Riyadh number and claimed it was a telemarketer, after she had previously said it was a wrong number, and Caleb wanted to know what she was hiding—so he looked into it.
As a result, the Bureau agents pulled them out without Miranda’s permission and asked her why she was making large payments to an account in Riyadh and it’s revealed that Caleb was the cause of these questions, which Shelby finds offensive and invasive. She and Miranda reveal that Shelby’s father had another daughter, Shelby’s half-sister, with a Saudi Arabian woman, before marrying Shelby’s mother. Shelby only found out about her recently and was giving her money to help her out and make payments on a house. Miranda reprimanded the agents for going behind her back and Shelby does the same to Caleb.
In the future, the two people from the online group get Alex and Ryan their ride, but they’re all bickering about calling in a tip to the FBI about the other bomb. Alex wants to let them know immediately, but they are insistent on getting Alex out of there first—they could call it in from the car on their untraceable cell phones.
However, Alex knows how many tips are listened to and discarded every day—they have to give them a tip that makes everyone listen to them. She also doesn’t want to run away, since she needs to clear her name, otherwise she’ll always be running.
Caleb tells Clayton that the email he found was the only hard evidence they had to exonerate Alex, so he kept a copy. Clayton wants to bury it because a hotel’s IP address is in those emails—he opened the email at that hotel and that’s where he was meeting Shelby. So, they can’t use that information. Caleb looks troubled, especially when he finds out that Shelby had sent his father an email, intending to end the affair because she was still in love with Caleb.
In the past, Alex confronts Liam about a bombing in Omaha where 204 people died. The agents involved messed up, including Michael, Alex’s father, and Liam. Michael and Liam were undercover and missed the signs for an attack. The reason it was covered up was to not ruin everyone’s lives, and all the other agents went on to have very successful careers at the Bureau. He also confirms that Alex’s mother is not ISI (Pakistani Intelligence) and that the FBI just wanted to try pinning the blame on anything they could. He tells her to ask Miranda for confirmation if she doesn’t believe him.
Caleb reveals to Shelby that his father, Clayton, rescued him from a cult when he was 17. While he isn’t explicit, he implies that he was abused in there, possibly sexually but definitely psychologically and emotionally (cults’ specialty), and even hints at possible suicidal tendencies he had then. The two reconcile and Shelby tells him, without using the words, that she’s falling for him.
Back in the future, Shelby and Nimah decide to go out, now that they’re allowed to leave the premises at nights and weekends and Shelby invites Raina, but:
A) Raina doesn’t drink.
B) Only one twin can be off-campus at night.
Shelby promises Raina that Nimah can stay behind next time and Raina agrees weakly. Simon offers to spend time with her, but she refuses, likely believing that Simon only wants to spend time with her to get to know Nimah better or out of pity.
We get a flashback to Caleb, who is going by Mark, meeting a man called Raymond who definitely looks like a cult leader—smiling, innocuous and slightly predatory eyes that only fake patience and understanding.
In the past, Simon gets a call from someone who is revealed to be his bomb expert contact and admits to no longer wanting to be at Quantico, confirming he’s there for something other than becoming an agent.
We also have a cute scene between Charlie and Miranda where Charlie likes what the NATs do and wants to join the Bureau. Miranda is apologetic because there is no way the Bureau will let him in as a previous violent offender with a criminal record and a famous mother already at the Bureau. Charlie looks sullen and disappointed, even though his mother offers assistance with finding something else to do with his life.
Alex goes to see Miranda, who confirms Liam’s admission. Miranda goes to take a call and takes some time, so Alex follows her upstairs and asks if she’s coming back. She finds Miranda on the floor, bleeding. She asks Miranda who hurt her and Miranda chokes out Charlie’s name. Alex hears a noise and checks it out, seeing a window open. Charlie is nowhere to be found.
In the future, Alex forces Ryan into a helicopter with one member of the online group to get him out of the country and gets the other member to take her to the command center. She turns herself in and tells them they need to hurry because there’s another bomb out there.
So, it looks like the show’s found itself and other than the very premise, not really anything offensive.
Priyanka Chopra’s acting is better now that she has more emotional scenes to work with, and all the other characters are still just as mysterious as in episode one, even though we’re filling in the blanks. I hope to see more, because it looks like things will be heating up for the next episode!