Previously on Quantico, “Right”
The previouslies take us all the way back through this second half of the season, so you know we’re in for a ride. The episode opens with a tour of all the “Liam ain’t shit” moments we haven’t seen. We watch him get recruited by Miranda to become an instructor at Quantico. We watch him stalk Alex from the beginning; intercut with his obvious disapproval of Alex and Ryan’s relationship. We even watch him set Alex up with an apartment in NY and physically place her on the rubble at Grand Central station (Honestly, I don’t know how he managed that without anyone seeing him, but okay, show). It’s basically Liam’s greatest hits, ending with Miranda, shot and bloody, asking why he didn’t kill her. His answer? So she can watch it all fall with him. He’s sentimental like that.
Alex & Co. initially fall for the misdirection Liam has set up and they’re searching for Miranda, but as they start to look deeper, it’s obvious that Miranda was also being surveilled and once Ryan gets taken, Liam becomes their prime suspect. They figure out that he’s headed to D.C. to set off the bomb at the Quantico graduation ceremony. Of course, this dovetails with the flashbacks to the NATs graduation ceremony.
Back in the past, we see Shelby manipulating Caleb’s dad so that he’ll end up with a desk job and Liam pushes Alex and Ryan apart by letting it slip that Ryan isn’t heading to D.C., but instead on assignment in Texas. Because Alex and Ryan have the maturity level of two high school students when it comes to their relationship, they break up.
Two sidenotes: Brandon has always been a red herring for me in this show. He gets lots of flashback time but we have never seen him present-day. Second, Natalie disappeared from the flashbacks after her present-day death. She wasn’t seen or mentioned during this graduation episode at all. The writers missed the mark a bit with those two.
I Guess It Always Had to End Like This
Once they have their suspect, Alex & Co. head to Quantico to stop Liam and the bomb. The whole gang is here! Alex and Raina are searching the dorms, Nimah and Simon are watching the graduation, and Shelby and Caleb are hacking into the surveillance systems. It’s like your high school reunion if it involved bombs and espionage. Alex finds Ryan and Miranda and then she and Ryan go looking for Liam and the bomb. Of course Liam grips up Ryan and he and Alex have a stand-off where Liam boohoos about how the FBI forced him to be corrupt and lie and cover-up the horrible stuff he did and how it drove him to drive and made Alex’s dad into a wife beater. Um, okay.
We do get an awesome Impossible White Man moment when Alex shoots Liam in the head while he’s holding Ryan hostage.
Unfortunately, there’s still the bomb to deal with and Simon’s guilt leads him to spirit the bomb away and drive it off a bridge, saving everyone but killing himself. It’s a sad ending for a great character and I think it’s a big loss for the show. But … maybe he’ll come back because as the epilogue shows us, this show is not above shenanigans. At Simon’s memorial, Alex accuses Caleb’s mom, who is now the vice-president, of colluding with Liam, but as Mrs. Haas points out, Alex is no longer an agent and the only person who can confirm her involvement was killed by Alex. Caleb does overhear his mother though and it looks like he’s ready to team up with Alex to bring her down.
Did I miss where the show ever explained Caleb casually walking away from the bombing that killed his father?
Miranda has been promoted to Deputy Director of the FBI and reinstates Shelby. Ryan, Nimah, Raina and Caleb are all still agents and Alex heads home to Oakland* where, two months later, a government official shows up to offer her a position in the CIA while Ryan calls her on the phone. Cut to black and thus ends season one of Quantico.
*Shout out to the production people who actually used footage of Oakland when Alex went home. Too often things are shot in Oakland and named as San Francisco or vice versa and as an Oakland resident, I appreciated them showing the sunny side of the Bay, at least for the establishing shots.
While I appreciated the montage of Liam’s machinations, there were still lots of loose ends. First off, Caleb’s involvement was never explained. Unless they plan on showing that he was in on it with his mom next season, that’s a major fumble. Second, for someone so concerned with how the FBI corrupted him, I doubt Liam would use Drew, a direct victim of his FBI cover up, as a pawn in his revenge. And although Mrs. Haas does seem like a somewhat likely co-conspirator, adding her to the mix felt like a last minute decision. I do love that the show gives Alex so many hero moments that are usually reserved for white male action stars. She got off the kill shot, kissed Ryan right before the climactic scene and even though she’s always had a team behind her, the show has never wavered from her being the clear star of this show. I’m really excited to see what kind of challenge they set up for her next season and if the writers can tighten up some of these dangling threads, I think the show could last for a few more seasons.