Previously on Quantico, ‘Turn’
This is actually the worst game of Clue ever. In the past, Alex and the other NATS are going through a training exercise that’s basically Fear the Walking Dead Flight 462 and just as pointless. In the present, Hannah and Alex manage to get past their dislike of each other to try and stop the Voice. This was a very uneven episode so I’m going to split this into two parts:
The Compelling Bits
Hannah forces Alex to stand up to the Voice because, as she points out, Alex has put herself (and Simon and Vasquez and now Hannah) into a lose-lose position and it’s only going to get worse the more she helps the Voice. Unfortunately, being blackmailed makes Hannah very paranoid about Senator Haas and the pills they gave her last week. Eventually Hannah’s actions result in an official reprimand and now Ryan is suspicious of Alex, which sucks because Hannah also made Alex promise not to bring him into this. Luckily, Simon and Alex figure out a tenuous lead so hopefully we’ll have some traction next week.
In the past, Nimah and Raina continue to bicker. Raina won’t believe anything Nimah tells her, which makes sense because Nimah has lied about nearly everything. She’s been dating Simon, she lied about the terrorist cell and she’s even willing to lie about Miranda’s involvement in the case. What I find compelling about this dynamic is part of Raina’s bitterness is not just because her sister lied, but also because she knows Nimah is a better agent than her. The fact that Nimah can lie and pull off an op without her is what upsets Raina more than anything else. For her part, Nimah seems to genuinely love and want to protect her sister, but she also recognizes that Raina isn’t up to snuff.
The Pointless Bits
The whole entire training exercise was too long. The overall lesson, that some situations aren’t winnable, was an important one for the NATS to learn but wow was it executed poorly. Aunjanue Ellis’ final speech was the saving grace of this story. Her resignation as their mentor was well-earned and probably one of the few ties on television when a character needed to take a break and didn’t try to push through to their detriment.
Caleb’s past story seems relevant because we still haven’t gotten any present-day Caleb since the reveal at the mid-season finale but right now it also feels like a lot of red herrings. Shelby’s parents are still alive. Will is Caleb’s new undercover bestie. He’s working on a secret project with his dad. Until they connect some dots to the present day story, I’m calling a moratorium on this storyline.
This episode felt wildly uneven. The past storyline feels very disconnected from the present, and while the back half of the season has been entertaining, the storytelling doesn’t feel as tight as it once did. I like that present-day Alex is continually off her game, but the Quantico flashbacks feel like they are treading water. I know the Caleb story is significant, but until that connection is made, the show hasn’t given me any reason to be fully invested.