This Quantico review contains spoilers.
Quantico Season 1 Episode 7
Survival and sacrifice are the names of the game on this week’s Quantico. In 1×07 “Go,” you can’t have one without the other.
Present: Alex, Simon, and Ryan track down Nimah and Raina, and uncover a terrorist cell that might be linked to the Grand Central bombing.
Past: The NATs take their midterm, which involves lockdown and a ticking time bomb.
This was the first time that the past and present didn’t entirely mirror each other, something I liked. The previous episodes seemed a bit cutesier, or the FBI’s take on monster-of-the-week. Instead, we get two very different dilemmas, and we get to see different characters tackle each one.
Thankfully, Nimah and Raina don’t seem to be working with the terrorists; they’ve been infiltrating the terrorist cell across the street from their safehouse in Queens, swapping out in exactly the kind of situation Miranda envisioned for them. If anything, Alex and co. barging in threatens to blow the twins’ cover—and then the FBI, led by Vasquez, following Alex definitely blows things up.
The flashbacks help answer why we’ve only been focusing on a handful of Quantico agents: The others didn’t make the cut. Brendan Fletcher fell just short of passing, but he was part of Miranda’s latest mind-game exam: His suspicious behavior leads the trainees to a bomb planted in the lecture hall. While Simon tries his best to disarm it, the real ticking time bombs are the other trainees: Terrified at the potential of getting blown to bits, some set off one of the hair triggers; and then, as the clock starts speeding to zero, a sizable chunk of the class, including Elias, flee. It’s a sad moment: “You guys volunteered,” he says, “I was recruited. I didn’t grow up wanting this like you did. I’m sorry.” And therein lies the difference.
Of course, it’s not a real bomb—even if the FBI has been opening their doors wider this year, it would be a waste to explode so many trainees at once. Still, it leads to a cute bonding moment among the main players (Alex, Simon, Shelby, Caleb, Ryan, Nimah), pondering the inane lyrics stuck in their head in their “final moments.” Miranda thanks them for their sacrifice, though clearly even she doesn’t realize the kinds of sacrifice they’ll have to make just a few weeks in the future.
Miranda also pays back the trainees by introducing them, for the first time, to Nimah and Raina Amin. Aww!
Oh, and Alex confronts Liam in a great, badass moment revealing all the bugs she left in his office. Her deal? He reinstates Booth, and she’ll “forget” all the intel she heard on him and his various cover-ups. (Interesting twist: Booth wants “to think about it.”)
I’m not that sad to see Elias go; his insistence on snooping on Simon got grating. Though, knowing this show, he’ll probably come back in the midseason finale. I was also confused by his and Simon’s kiss; the latter’s sexuality is shifting so much, it’s hard to know where to peg him. (Not a bad thing, but I’m unclear if that’s part of his manipulative nature, or truly a confused self-identity.)
Caleb “graduates” as an analyst but then gets bumped back to NAT… all because of Shelby telling his dad he deserves to stay. The way Caleb gets moved back and forth like a pawn is suspicious, especially when you consider the new information we got about Clayton and Liam: They covered up some sort of blown operation in Chicago, and made Booth take the blame for it–that’s why he’s at Quantico.
We end in the present, with the terrorists firing on the FBI and Ryan getting caught (again, poor thing) in the crossfire. Vasquez, who has already confronted Shelby and Ryan about aiding a terrorist suspect, lets Alex and Ryan go when the former is crying and the latter is bleeding. I don’t have enough of a handle on her character to understand why she did this, but hey, it keeps things moving!
Nimah and Raina Amin: Not Guilty.
Simon Asher: Guilty? He was ready to discredit Miranda with the twins’ secret, only for her to remind him to put his country first. But he’s got quite a temper.
Shelby Wyatt: Not Guilty.
Caleb Haas: Not Guilty.
Alex Parrish: Not Guilty.
Ryan Booth: Not Guilty.
Liam O’Connor: Guilty. If he covered up more than one FBI mistake, who’s to say he’s not complicit in this one?
Clayton Haas: Guilty. He’s proving himself to be incredibly shady, and he seems far too committed to chasing down Alex.
Miranda Shaw: Not Guilty.
Nathalie Vasquez: Not Guilty.