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Quantico – S1E20 – Drive

Previously on Quantico, “Fast”

Images: ABC

Images: ABC


A lot of characters this week are brought low by their own arrogance. My favorite thing about the second half of this season has been Alex constantly getting her comeuppance. The first half of the season she was a super-agent, wrongly accused and fighting the righteous fight. During the second-half everything she thought she knew has been called into question, in the past and present. From a characterization point of view it’s interesting to watch because Alex is making the same mistakes in both time periods, which means she hasn’t really learned from her training at all. But she is still a great agent because she thinks fast and is highly skilled. As a viewer, it’s just fun to see her hubris come back to bite her in the ass.

On the flip side, I’ve decided that Shelby never should have graduated from Quantico. In the past, she’s decided to change her field office choices to a bunch of podunk places near the Canadian border because she hasn’t figured out that her parents are trash and that Caleb is sending her letters posing as them. And Iris has to spill Caleb’s secret because Shelby was about to quit and go to Europe to hang out with her parents. She’s not bout that life. Present-day Shelby looks great in black and wears eyeliner, but other than that, she still seems pretty clueless and easily manipulated. She and Alex check hospitals to see if someone else with radiation poisoning has been admitted and instead of finding Simon they find … Drew. Drew immediately fingers Ryan as The Voice and Shelby jumps on that bandwagon, but Alex is somewhat wary. She and Shelby devise a way to get into the Bureau to check out Ryan’s computer which leads to a great close quarters combat scene, which the show telegraphed earlier during a flashback. 

During their training, Nimah and Raina are on the casting couch. They have to find their handler in the field but Nimah is too busy flirting to do her job so when their cover is blown, she offers herself up to the (clearly inappropriate) agent training her. It’s a position she put herself in because she’s always prided herself on being open and flirtatious, but it’s still hard to watch her curled up in her dorm room while Raina gets excited over their new assignment.


Ryan becomes the focus of this week’s episode. In the past, Alex meets another agent from Chicago who implies that Ryan purposely left his post in Chicago to help the terrorists. In the present, Drew implicates Ryan and asks Alex to get evidence from his computer. Of course, Past Alex harries Ryan until he tells the truth. Liam told Ryan he would cover the end of his shift and got drunk and never showed up. Ryan’s been covering for him the whole time. In the present, Alex ends up putting incriminating evidence on Ryan’s computer because Drew wants Ryan to take the fall. Let’s be real: We should all be ashamed of ourselves if we thought Ryan was a criminal mastermind.


There’s been a lot of machinations all season. Now it seems like it’s narrowed down to Team Alex (Alex, Simon, Shelby) vs. Team Voice. We still don’t know who The Voice is but right now I’m thinking Team Voice includes Caleb and Drew. Both of them have vendettas. And I still can’t decide if Brandon is an actual threat or a red herring. He gets just enough screen time in the past that I wonder about him and he’s adorably simple … or is he?

Who’s Sleeping With Whom?
This week no one, although both those fight scenes with Alex and Ryan were pretty steamy.

Quantico S1E20
  • 9/10
    Plot - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Dialogue - 7/10
  • 10/10
    Action - 10/10
  • 7/10
    Performances - 7/10


The show is obviously ramping up towards the finale. Trying to figure out who’s behind all of this would require a murder board and lots of string. At this point, we know two members of Team Voice, but why Caleb is playing junkie and the motive behind everything is still murky. And I wonder if pinning it all on Alex is just because she seems to have been insufferable during their training. This week’s story was very tight though. The flashbacks really informed the present and we’re getting a bit more pay-off each week. There were some strong performances from Ryan and Alex, though Shelby’s sad sack tears continue to bore me. She seemed like a much more competent NAT during the first half of the season.

User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Shanna B (211 Articles)
Shanna is a long-standing geek who was a shipper before shipping was a thing. She is a contributor and podcaster for Movie Trailer Reviews. Based in the Bay Area, she frequents comic book shops, donut shops, and parks in no particular order.
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