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Quantico

Quantico – Hell’s Gate (3×03)

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Quantico seems to be getting it right with their cases in this rebooted third season.

Yes, personally, the only tension is still between Alex and Ryan and now, Shelby, but case-wise, things are linear, interesting and at times, even funny.

Charlie was a great one-time addition to the team because his motive wasn’t readily available and you couldn’t actually argue with his plans for the cartel. He was a legend; he’d been in with them longer than any undercover cop and understandably, he didn’t come out unscathed.

Culebra took everything away from him — his freedom, his career and the love of his life.

You can’t argue with a man wanting to get revenge for that.

It’s not every day you see someone use an EpiPen to take down the kingpin of a massive cartel in a courtroom while the FBI is shooting at him to stop him. The storyline definitely kept you on your toes.

While Owen’s newly minted FBI unit began searching for the mole, I thought it was pretty obvious that the mole was standing right in front of them. It wasn’t pure coincidence that when they went to pick up Charlie, the cartel was tipped off about the exact route they were taking.

Knowing how good Alex and Owen are at what they do — I can’t speak for the remainder of the team since I don’t know them all that well yet — you’d think they would have suspected it from the get-go.

If they had, we probably wouldn’t have seen Ryan donning leather pants and trying to get his gay-flirt on to “pull off the role.”

Again, for an agent that always follows through on the character that’s needed to get this done, I’m surprised that he couldn’t sell being attracted to a male. Put your ego and your pride aside for one moment and just do what needs to be done. I won’t say he deserved to be stabbed, but really, what did you expect? This guy deals with the biggest cartel in the world. Don’t you think he’s ready at all times even at a gay club where he’s trying to get his hook-up on?

Shelby didn’t even seem too concerned about Ryan’s well-being which was just further proof that there is zero chemistry between these former Quantico cadets. Truth be told, Alex cared more than his own wife.

Charlie was good at reading people so he intensified the conflict brewing beyond the surface with Shelby and Alex. I’m not sure if Shelby was just hopeful or if it really didn’t occur to her that there would be some ongoing awkwardness regarding the whole “I married your ex” ordeal.

Personally, Alex is being super cool about all of it, especially the fact that Ryan tried to kiss her. She’s wedged between two people she cares about so it’s difficult to decide who she “owes.” Should she honor Ryan’s wishes and keep quiet until he decides to tell Shelby? Should she tell Shelby the truth because she’s her best friend and deserves to know?

And does honesty trump heartbreak here? Because that’s what Shelby will be when she finds out — heartbroken.

He’ll finally be convinced to tell her when he can no longer deny or suppress his feelings. Which based on his jealousy of Alex and McQuigg’s innocent interactions is coming up really soon.

I’d imagine on some level, she already knows. She knows Alex is hiding something from her and Charlie’s winded-clock analysis simply proved that to be true.

I think she also expects it to happen because let’s face it, Ryan has never gotten over Alex; Shelby is a band-aid, second best.

And it’s truly unfair that Ryan put Alex in this position and is asking her to withhold the truth. I used to root for him but his messy love triangle this season is painting him in a really negative light. Even Harry called him out for it.

Quantico incorporating a deaf-character as a lead and allowing for dead-air so they can communicate strictly in sign-language is awesome. I’ve never seen this happen on a TV series but do think it’s important to address. It is possible to tell a story without using words!

Other Thoughts

  • There was a shootout on a packed highway and not one civilian was injured. I find it hard to believe.
  • What kind of courtroom has a window where you can see the witness testifying? That seems rather dangerous.
  • Charlie knew Alex better than she knew herself and everything he said, right down to her hesitating and buying him some time, was accurate.
  • Who had the best abs? I’m going to say Harry won this round. Deep and Celine are proving to be comedic relief. When he asked her how she explains the job to her parents, I could just picture an Indian mother inquiring about what kind of work he does.

Overall, there’s no avoiding a love-triangle on Quantico and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The series was built on this doomed relationship between Ryan and Alex and followed them coming to terms with never getting a happy ending because of their career demands. It doesn’t succeed in love stories, however, but in friendships, which I think have always been solid.

And the case-of-the-week layout is just an added bonus so that we can see just how badass Alex and co. really are.

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Quantico

Quantico – Fear and Flesh (3×02)

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Quantico Fear and Flesh

It took me awhile to get used to the new flow of Quantico, but I have to say, the procedural case-of-the-week format is really working for them.

It’s the same team, doing the same kick-ass work just without the drawn out, overly complicated storylines that came with the first two seasons. I can get behind that!

And the best part is that we get to see Alex Parrish in a variety of different situations.

This week, she took on a motherly role to Gracie, who vaguely reminded her of Isabella, the “stepdaughter” she left back in Italy. While we won’t be seeing her or her father, Andrea, in Alex’s life anytime soon, I’m glad the writers didn’t just overlook all the years she spent living a normal life with a family. The “peaceful” years, as Alex calls them.

Though Harry swiftly grounded her when he made it clear that FBI agents don’t get “peaceful” family lifestyles.

Have I mentioned just how much I missed Alex and Harry working together? It was so disappointing when he was written off back in season 2, so I’m glad the writers found a way to weave him back in.

Alex and co. tackle on a bioterrorism situation after a restaurant of low-income, African American diners is poisoned with man-made tuberculosis.

Everyone from the restaurant is accounted for except for a woman named Millie Richards who is later found dead at a train station after being exposed to the virus. They immediately pull her granddaughter Gracie off the train before she can spread the airborne disease and quarantine her.

Deep, the newest recruited cadet from Quantico, theorizes that Gracie is probably immune to TB and that the antibodies in her blood could be the cure which makes her quite the target.

Their van is attacked, Alex is forced to remove Gracie from quarantine and then in the hubbub, Deep loses the young girl.

As they hide out in a nearby cabin waiting for help to arrive, Alex, Deep and Harry start getting infected with the TB.

Meanwhile, Ryan goes undercover to the white supremacist organization with another agent, McQuigg, who has been infiltrating the group for the last two-years.

Since this works the same way as a gang, he has to prove himself in an initiation which requires him to beat up an unsuspecting victim, in his case, Owen, till he’s barely conscious.

I’m not quite sure why Shelby apologized to Owen for Ryan’s actions when he obviously didn’t want to hurt his friend but didn’t have much of a choice; he needed to sell it.

Celine, the other newest recruit from Quantico, makes the connection between Grosch, the leader of the modern-day KKK, and Warren Renway, the CEO of Renway Biotechnology.

It’s the perfect recipe — his company produces the pathogen, his goons spread it to low-income neighborhoods to kill off the “leeches.”

Renway tries to wash his hands clean of any involvement so Celine, Shelby and Jocelyn go undercover to some fundraiser where Celine pulls the textbook trick of spilling water to get his office key.

Inside they find the same insignia that the white-power group has in their hideout and eventually, that Ryan finds in the pamphlets that reveal which major cities they’ll be targeting next.

As Owen, Ryan and McQuigg narrow down the next hit, Alex, Harry and Deep look to save Gracie who was injured when Renway’s goons tracked down Deep’s government issued phone to the cabin.

Since she’s losing a lot of blood, Alex orders Deep to take preventative measures at a veterinarian. He’s nervous, obviously, but Alex believes in him; she did recruit him for a reason after all.

The next thing we know, everyone is at the hospital where Alex and the others are being treated for TB with the cure they got from Gracie’s blood. I’m really not sure why they didn’t use the cure that Renway and his team of racists obviously had in their possession but whatever, they had to make Gracie’s bravery worth something.

Ryan is by her side and he tries to kiss her while she’s sleeping which is weird and also, terribly messed up considering he’s married to Shelby.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Alex and Ryan, but I’m not here for this wishy-washy best-friend love triangle. He married Shelby and he has to respect that decision. Alex doesn’t want to get in the middle of this, Shelby doesn’t deserve it and Ryan needs to stop being a tool. You’re better than that, bro.

And to do that right as Shelby was standing outside anxiously waiting to see her husband her bestie?

McQuigg and Alex had a spark the moment they shook hands and the look of jealousy on Ryan’s face was priceless. Honestly dude, what did you expect for marrying your ex’s best friend?

My only concern with this new format is the rapid pace that sometimes rushes the storytelling. Back then, everything was told more precisely because it mattered in the long run while now, it’s easier to gloss over certain moments as they’re just necessary stepping stones.

Thoughts on this week’s episode? Will Shelby find out about Ryan’s attempt at kissing Alex? Will Alex and McQuigg hook up?Will we ever see Gracie again? I could see there being a spinoff about her time at Quantico as she was inspired by this Revlon looking, butt-kicking agent who saved her life.

Is the series easier to follow along?

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Quantico

Quantico – The Conscience Code (3×01)

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Quantico The Conscience Code

Quantico has gone international for their revamped third season, Italy specifically, but it doesn’t take long for them to return to New York where all the action goes down.

Following that disheveled season 2, Alex had to stay “dead” so she disappeared to Italy where she crafted a little life for herself that involved green fields, cobblestone walkways, and wine. It was perfect. In addition to her new identity, Parvati, she also had a new lover and his daughter to care for.

However, the first lesson they teach you in Quantico is to never get used to your undercover life.

She ever once shed her FBI skin and was living a complete lie. And when those terrible, bad men finally found her, her cover was blown.

As she shipped her new family off to a safer location, she left to Switzerland where she reunited with Ryan Boothe who confirmed her greatest fears: the bad men wanted the Conscience Code.

Now, you’re probably like what is a Conscience Code. Since Quantico loves to overcomplicate everything, I’ll keep it simple. It’s basically the code of all codes used by the government to bypass computers and control planes, nukes, etc. In order words, in the wrong hands, it’s mighty dangerous.

Apparently, Alex and Ryan stole the code from their own government for reasons unknown and then Alex memorized it and burned it so now, she’s the only one that knows it.

Those bad men are working for an older Italian mob lady that goes by the most generic villain name, “The Widow.” And even the story behind her name is predictable – her husband died, she took over the business and began dealing dangerous arms out of her clothing factory. Whatever.

This Widow lady has captured Shelby as bait for Ryan and Alex. And well, Shelby’s a pretty hot commodity because not only is she Alex’s best friend, she’s also Ryan’s wife.

Let’s unpack that, shall we? This new showrunner, who has simplified the plot greatly, figured out a brilliant way to continue the love triangle without making it overbearing.

Ryan, the man who was head over heels for Alex, married her best friend because he thought he’d never see Alex again when she disappeared from Thailand in an effort to get a clean slate.

Logical, I guess.

Yes, one could argue that there are many fish in the sea but as an undercover FBI agent, it’s just easier to date within your own circle. Without Alex, Shelby was the next best thing.

It sounds mean but we know it, Shelby knows it, and even the Widow knew it when she baited Ryan with the “who should I shoot first? The woman you married or the woman you love,” line. Sorry, Shelby. You never had great luck with men.

And what happened to not having any weaknesses? Ryan doesn’t have just one, he has two!

Eventually, Shelby will have to die to make room for the inevitable reunion of Alex and Ryan. It just has to happen.

So Ryan and Alex are back together and like every good action-film, the heroes need to assemble the team. Alex reaches out to Owen Hall, the only man she’ll ever trust probably because next to Ryan, these two had some weird sexual chemistry that was never fully explored.

Owen is hesitant to work with Alex, a “traitor” to America, but realizes their ask is crucial so he heads back to good ole’ Quantico, which is breaking down new agents as we speak, to enlist the help of their current professor, Jocelyn.

Jocelyn isn’t your average television character. The writers and producers stepped out of their (and Hollywood’s) comfort zone to become more inclusive by adding a deaf character.

And she’s a wonderful addition to the team because losing her hearing has made her a much better agent. She’s more cautious, composed and looks at the bigger picture.

Hot-headed Ryan who let his emotions get the best of him one too many times could really learn a lot from her. It’ll be interesting to see their dynamic and his progression as the series unravels, especially since he’ll be working so closely with both his ladies. He cracked so easily at the first sign of any torture, it’s surprising he made it this far as an agent.

Thanks to Jocelyn, they are able to narrow down Shelby’s location to either a factory or a spacious loft. It’s rather impressive how they can garner so much detail from a measly 40-second recording.

Also, Shelby comes through dropping subtle hints that only Booth and Alex could pick up on.

The caveat here is that Will — good old Will — is working for the Widow and is the reason both Shelby and Alex are in the Widow’s custody. Some friend, right?

He claims to be in way over his head but helps her stage a trap using Owen.

Shelby and Alex have some time to catch-up before the Widow demands the code before threatening to shoot Shelby. Alex succumbs to the pressure and gives the Widow the code, a fake code. This is Alex we’re talking about.

The decision bought the team enough time to trace the call and pinpoint their location.

By the time the Widow figures out she’s being played, Booth and Owen come busting through the door to save their ladies.

The writers also involve Harry because he was a beloved character once upon a time. He was hating his life and working private security for some billionaire schmucks who did way too much cocaine when Ryan presented him with the opportunity.

They never really needed him but he killed his annoying boss by stuffing his face into that cocaine pile so yeah, it’s good to have him back.

If you thought this Widow storyline would span multiple episodes and be part of a greater, overall plot, you were wrong.

This was just the kick-off to get the old team back into place; since they’ve proved that they are still capable of doing good cohesive work, the new Quantico director gave Alex a full presidential pardon and assembled them into a Black Ops group run by Owen. I swear, we’ve done this before, haven’t we?

Alex isn’t tickled by the idea and insists she just wants to go home. When she arrived in Italy and sees her “family,” she gets flashbacks of her other life and convinces herself that they’re better off — and safer — without her.

And I cannot argue with that. She’s been lying to this man the whole time and despite how relaxing her life was, being an agent is in her blood. Will we ever get some closure on this relationship, though?

Alex returns just as quickly as she left and takes her seat at the table of old classmates-turned-agents.

The series seems to be taking a procedural approach and will likely see the team tackling various cases that differ week-to-week. I’m not sure if I like that, however, based on the ratings, the old template wasn’t doing them any favors.

Maybe this will be easier to follow along?

This new season is also giving me major Bond-vibes. Did anyone else pick up on that? Especially when it came to that intro which definitely featured Ryan as the equivalent of the “bond girl.”

Is this Priyanka Chopra’s audition for the role? The film is looking to embrace a female-led Bond this time around.

Something tells me, Alex Parrish would be an incredible 007.

If not, I’ll remain content watching her take down the bad guys on the small screen.

 

Overall Grade = B+ 

We’ll be sticking around for more Alex Parrish, will you?

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Quantico

Quantico – RESISTANCE (2×22)

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Quantico Resistance

Things have finally come full circle with Ryan and Alex on Quantico after her dangerous plot to become a terrorist and take down the President of the United States. Was she successful? Let’s get to recapping!

This season, Quantico ditched the dual timelines, pleasing the majority of their audience, but there were still moments of utter “WTF-ness.” All of that was explained into the darkness as storylines were wrapped up in an episode that could have served better as a series finale than a season finale.

RESISTANCE started with our operatives pretending to be Team Roarke, while secret meeting up at the bar to find a way to convince the remaining 4 sway delegates in the convention to vote no. In case you forgot, or weren’t keeping up, Roarke was trying to turn the US into a military state, stripping people’s rights silently and for some reason the whole country was don for a constitutional convention, which would merge the FBI and CIA into one organization. His new world was being referred to as DISA.

The operatives really thought they were being sneaky, with Mirana even losing her tail during their weekly secretive meetups. But they forgot a crucial piece of information that surprisingly, Caleb warned them about – they can’t just want to beat these guys who have been planning this for years, they have to surprise them.

After Clay meets with Felix, who is getting ready to leave to Spain, he realizes that they were always listening to them. He heads to warn the team and arrives just as Fletcher barges in to tell them their plan has been foiled – they’d been watching through the newly installed TV screens the whole time. Just like that, everything they’d been working on for months went up in flames.

Clay decides to finally use the element of surprise, motivating everyone to use the final hours to really their advantage. He believes that if Peter Theo was spying on them, he’s probably also spying on Roarke and has “enough dirt to bury the President ten times over.” Cue in reinforcements Will Olsen and long-time-no-see Iris. Remember her?

Will and Iris go undercover as a couple that proposition Theo at a gay club. Back at his home, they hack into his computer system to steal files on Roarke, which Alex craftily hands over to the Russians. The plan is that the Russian’s will do their dirty work, forcing Roarke to change the language in a proposed amendment.

As Roarke kicks off the Constitutional Convention, Alex says one final goodbye to her freedom, which involves an “I love you” exchange between her and Ryan. As he notifies the delegates of a language change in an amendment, Alex’s face appears on a projector in the room and she outs the President for conspiring with the Russians. How is he the President of the people if he’s being told what to do by another country?

That’s not all though – Alex takes it a step further and says she’ll reveal all the surveillance she’s gathered on him to 100 law firms and civil liberty organizations. As Roarke’s security tries to track Alex down, she comes barging into the room, making sure her statement is heard loud and clear. Then, a gunshot rings out and Alex collapses to the ground, bleeding, as Ryan runs to her side.

At first, I really couldn’t believe that they were all stupid enough to let Alex walk into something like this without a bullet proof vest on. Then I realized, this was all part of the plan. Miranda shot Alex to make her statement all the more authentic and they purposefully left out a heartbroken Ryan to make it believable.

Alex has done a lot of questionable things for the country but being shot means she has to actually disappear off the radar this time. Owen hands her several passports to ensure that she won’t get caught up, says his goodbye and she boards her getaway plane. As she’s drowning her sorrows in glasses of champagne, Ryan sits down in the seat next to her and introduces himself, the same way he did when we first met them when their adventures started. Oh how far we’ve come. It’s a fitting full circle for the couple, who’ve been through hell and back but also for Alex, who was always destined to sacrifice for her country.

Clay catches up with Roarke after the incident and he’s feeling defeated. Clay believes Roarke understands his motives and no one is too surprised to hear a gunshot as he exits his office. He was beat and there was no way out of it – not with the American people and not with the Russians. Sometimes, the good guys win after all.

Shelby confronts Clay soon after and he’s optimistic about finally getting that date. Despite her feelings for him, she reveals that she bumped into Maxine before everything went down and found out that he’d actually broken up with her to “protect her name.” As much as she wants to pursue this relationship, she knows Clay is only doing it because he believes that Maxine is too good for him and Shelby’s already been corrupted enough. It’s not fair to anyone involved so she tells him to stop underestimating his ex and get her back. For that, I applaud her – she came full circle from the girl that slept her way into a family to the girl who knew she deserved better.

We then fast forward two months and everyone is back in the bunker. Clay and Maxine are back together and actually eloped, which Shelby, now an instructor at Quantico, pretends to be happy about. Owen did get his life back like he told Alex, serving as deputy director of the CIA. Even Nimah and Raina are kicking back with everyone, finally cleared of the terrorism charges. As they all catch-up and toast, they’re all missing one person that always kept them together – Alex.

Where in the world is Alex Parrish? That’s a game the news seems to be playing. With recent Alex sightings, people are wondering if she actually survived. Will this be the lead into the shortened third season? If people find out Alex faked her death, will it unravel everything they worked so tirelessly for?

Personally, I think this should have been a series finale. All the loose ends were tied up, everyone’s storyline was wrapped and Alex even got her fairytale ending. What more can we ask of her? How many more times can she save the world?

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