This Quantico review contains spoilers.
Quantico: Season 1, Episode 9
Who determines guilt, or what is right? Is taking the fall — or setting someone else up to — worth it for the greater good? Quantico 1×09, “Guilty,” tackled such lofty notions in a satisfyingly down-to-earth way.
Present: Alex turns herself in, but instead of any of the FBI brass actually listening to her claims about a second bomb, she gets interrogated by the unorthodox High-Value Interrogation Group (or HIG) at the behest of the President.
Past: The NATs’ latest assignment is to analyze serial killer profiles, but Alex is too distracted tracking down Liam, who’s drunk himself into a stupor.
What I loved about tonight’s episode was how it presented FBI agents who go on to other occupations. There’s Dr. Susan Langdon (Anne Heche), who became a forensic pathologist and took down the Welfare Mom Killer — so named for the victims he chose. Langdon has the NATs look at serial killers’ victims and find out which victims don’t fit their M.O.
Problem is, Simon catches that one of the Welfare Mom Killer’s victims — not the one announced to be the correct answer in the exercise — wasn’t his victim at all. Langdon tampered with the evidence to put the WMK away, even though it was an unrelated crime. Why Simon would say all this to Langdon is beyond me, especially considering how cynical and secretive he is, but when Langdon tried to steer him out of the bar with a syringe to his neck, I thought, now this is why they brought on Anne Heche! Thankfully, Ryan spots what’s going on and saves Simon’s life.
Quantico is at its best when the subplots don’t exactly mirror the bombing conspiracy. Though of course, Langdon’s advice to Simon during the class does relate to Alex’s allies in the present: “Convince them that you’re right, or jump on their theory.”
But once he’s safe, Simon turns Langdon in, deciding that he needs to supersede the authorities. And everyone blames him! They’re claiming that Langdon’s deception was for the greater good, but turns out Simon has a very different view of what that concept means.
In terms of the road not taken, we also finally get to find out what happened to Elias: He’s a lawyer! He’s Alex’s lawyer! Too bad he gets there after she’s been snatched by HIG… who decide that they’ll get nowhere by subjecting her to pain, and instead go straight for poor Ryan with his gunshot wound. Yes, Ryan who was supposed to be taking a helicopter out of here with the Unknown folks.
The only way Ryan doesn’t succumb to shock is Liam finally putting the kibosh on all this, thanks to the other agents finding enough evidence to exonerate Alex: someone rented a van and a hotel room at the Hilton near Grand Central, snatched Alex in one of the city’s security camera blind spots, and framed her. But here’s the kicker: Whoever framed her never expected her to go free. She has to accept charges of guilt and treason in order to flush out the real bombers. But will Alex languishing in jail really help, or is a jailbreak in the cards for the winter finale in two weeks?
Simon Asher: Guilty. Hot off his anger at the FBI for hiding behind pragmatism, Simon decides to meet up with his mysterious informant… who gives him blueprints for all of the NYC train stations!
Caleb Haas: Not Guilty. Also, best line of the episode: “Relax, Amanda Knox, I’m joining Team Alex for a bit.”
Clayton Haas: Not Guilty? But we have to wonder why he was getting Caleb to spy on Shelby in the past.
Shelby Wyatt: Not Guilty? There’s more to her half-sister and her dead parents, which will likely get revealed in the next two episodes.
Alex Parrish: Not Guilty.
Ryan Booth: Not Guilty.
Liam O’Connor: Not Guilty of the bombing, but guilty about Miranda getting stabbed by her son. And why is Alex giving him so much positive attention? It’s getting creepy.
Miranda Shaw: Not Guilty.
Charlie Shaw: Not Guilty, but his getting kidnapped can’t just be a red herring. Also, glad I was wrong about him committing suicide.
Nathalie Vasquez: Not Guilty.
Nimah and Raina Amin: Not Guilty.