Quantico -- Guantanamo on the Hudson (S1 E9 Recap)

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Those of us hoping that Alex’s turning herself in would change everything, that maybe Quantico would turn into a straight out whodunit instead of a continual game of bait-and-switch, got our heart’s broken. This week’s offering proved to be a return to form but even more so. The flashbacks came so fast and furious that it was hard to figure out what if anything happened. We did learn one definitive lesson: there are a lot of psychopaths and sadists in law enforcement.

And so for those of us still playing, here’s the rundown of what happened in an easy-to-follow format separating the past and the present (which is actually the future).

Academy Daze

Alex decides to save Liam from himself. Why exactly? That’s not clear except maybe he reminds her a little of her father and she feels bad for him. He’s binging, and worried that she’s going to rat him out and topple the whole deck of cards. Booth can’t figure out why she’s helping the man who tried to screw both of them over, and so finally he stops playing NAT and says he’s going back to work and this time he means it – because in the FBI you basically get to do whatever you want. Alex succeeds in getting Liam sober because on television it works that way. But what a self-pitying sad sack he is!

If you're going to put me in the friend zone, I might as well go back to, you know, doing my job.

If you’re going to put me in the friend zone, I might as well go back to, you know, doing my job.

Caleb and Shelby continue to not be able to keep their hands off each other. Big Daddy Hass calls Caleb to tell him that this “sister” Shelby claims to talk to may not even exist. Is that Clayton just being manipulative or is Shelby hiding something else? Hasn’t Caleb learned by now that ratting out your girlfriend to the feds and/or spying on her is not good for the relationship?

We still don’t know what the fake scar is about, but Vasquez tells Shelby about her daughter, Renata, who contrary to various guesses on the web is apparently not being held by terrorists. Her father, presumably not a terrorist, has her and told Vasquez he’d sue for full custody if she went to Quantico. Unless we find out next week that that’s a lie because she didn’t say, “Now I’m going to tell you the truth.”

Raina is feeling left out, and Nimah is having all the fun.

Miranda is recovering. She says Charley did it, but fingerprints say maybe not.

And it’s Simon’s storyline for the win. The big lesson is about serial killers, and there’s a guest lecturer to teach it. Didn’t-she-used-to-be-Anne-Heche guest stars as Dr. Susan Langdan, a kind of Kay Scarpetta/Nancy Grace presence who’s a medical examining encyclopedia of homicidal maniacs.

No role is too small when you haven't worked in years.

No role is too small when you haven’t worked in years.

Simon’s a fan. She assigns the NATs to work in groups (as per usual) in order to find which fake case she’s thrown into the booklets each group got featuring the work of a well-known serial killer. This will test their profiling skills. Simon’s group includes Alex, so naturally she takes the lead, although they disagree about which case is fake. But given that he’s read the books and knows all about the Welfare Mom Killer’s MO, wouldn’t he already know which case was the fake? In any case Simon is outvoted, which turns out to be a good thing because Miss Perfect Alex is correct once again. But Simon just can’t let it go. That night, Langdan takes all the Nats out for a drink at a local establishment because sure that’s what guest lecturers do, and Simon continues to press her about the discrepancies in the Welfare Mom Killer’s last murder, the one that got him caught.

Quantico -- Guantanamo on the Hudson (S1 E9 Recap)

To be fair, who hasn’t wanted to kill Simon this season?

Langdon pretty much admits he’s right. It was a copycat, and she did the copying in an effort to turn a “crime of passion” into the opportunity to put away a serial killer. She also turns very scary and tells Simon he could die of a pulmonary embolism right there. He points out that they are in a crowded bar with security cameras, because sure doesn’t your favorite local cantina have cameras all over the place? She says she knows the blind spots. The next thing you know she’s walking him outside with some kind of injectable substance against his neck. Because sure what sane person doesn’t carry around a deadly dose of something with them just in case. Also, did she set the whole drink night up because she knew he’d figured it out and she’d have to kill him? Has she done this kind of thing before? Or a lot? Is she hoping for a spin-off? Booth sees the scene and senses something isn’t right about it. She gives Simon a big kiss on the lips and walks away, but not before whispering that no one is going to believe him.

The next day some other Nats, including Nimah, Brandon, Vasquez and a couple of randos, but not Shelby, Booth, Alex or Caleb, are reading about accusations that Langdon faked the evidence that got the WMK convicted. They put together that it was Simon who ratted her out – and not to the feds. They turn mean, especially Nimah, who tells him that now the killer of eight women will be set free. Apparently nobody likes a snitch, even in the FBI. You’d think Simon might mention that Langdon is duck fucking nuts and was going to kill him, but he just walks away all mad about a thing and calls his friend the Hassidic bomb-maker. They meet.

Quantico -- Guantanamo on the Hudson (S1 E9 Recap)

Also their teachers try to kill you just because you know the right answer!

The bomb-maker makes some statement about the suffering of Israel and Gaza being ignored — which is a strange thing to say as most people think it’s an either/or thing. Plus ISIS is bad and the world turns its back on the Sudan. None of this adds up to a reason to bomb anything unless you’re going for some convoluted blame the Jews conspiracy theory with the bombing being some kind of “wake-up call,” but I really don’t think Quantico is going to wind up blaming the Jews though they sure like to keep making Simon look like he’s guilty of something. His friend hands Simon what he wanted – blueprints of every New York City subway station. For what purpose? At this rate, we may not know this season, but it will probably turn out to be something completely innocuous like wanting to build an app to help people navigate underground in case of emergencies, which Simon could sell to a tech company if the FBI thing doesn’t pan out.

After Grand Central

Alex gets to do a perp walk past her peers, and strangely still looks like a model on a catwalk; only this is a very edgy fashion show. Liam says something about skipping the Miranda warnings because apparently we can drop those when something really bad happens. Elias shows up because he’s Alex’s lawyer and she called him before she turned herself in. In case we forgot who he was, he makes a speech explaining everything and also that he’s really pissed off at the FBI for recruiting him and then dropping him after he upended his life for them. Alex is grabbed by an agency that’s not the FBI and seems to be called HAG. Is it homeland security related? Probably. Also this is supposed to take place BEFORE the next presidential election, right? Trump isn’t in the White House yet, is he? Because apparently they brought torture back and then some. There’s a guy named Griffith Wells, and he is a super-creepy slow-talker who may have watched Silence of the Lambs one too many times and fallen totally in love with Hannibal Lector.

I'm just another crazy person in a position of power like in the past tense flashback. They really are related.

I’m just another crazy person in a position of power like in the past tense flashback. They really are related.

Alex Parrish, meet your interrogator. She fights him with sarcasm, but unfortunately she does not have much game and it only makes him angrier, so he walks her down the hall to where they are keeping Ryan Booth on a meat hook. Talk about your ticking time bomb! He’s developing sepsis and if she doesn’t tell them what they want to hear – which seems to be a confession – Ryan will die.

This is SOOO unrealistic. Everyone knows the U.S. would never allow this kind of crap on U.S. soil.

Wells tells her that her sympathy for others is her weakness and that’s how he’ll break her, but if she’s such a well of sympathy, doesn’t that make her a pretty unlikely bomber?

Meantime, Shelby and Simon are still hanging around headquarters, maybe under guard but why there and not in jail? And why can anyone just come over and chat with them like the way Vasquez and Caleb do? Shelby manages to convert Vasquez to Team Alex by pointing out that Vasquez’ actions led to Booth’s getting shot – but Alex tried to get him out of harm’s way. Caleb brings over Elias, and they all confer about what Caleb knows. The FBI agent that reported somebody using Alex’s badge has now turned up dead. Then more something something from Simon about the timeline, and it turns out that Alex disappeared from the security cameras after falling into a blind spot. So they approach the twins, who are still hanging around but apparently not as prisoners. One of the twins will have to leave and go look at the blind spot, and the other will have to pretend to be both of them at the same time because sure that makes sense. Of course, Nimah finds the abduction van still parked somewhere and it smells of chloroform, so it turns out that Alex was kidnapped and her body was dumped in the wreckage. Apparently whoever writes the show doesn’t know about a little thing we here in New York City call alternate side of the street parking, which means no way does the van just sit there for days and days. Also wouldn’t whoever planned this have gotten rid of the van?

The whole team, including Vasquez, goes to Liam and presents the case for Alex’s being innocent. Liam finally agrees and gets some kind of legal paper forcing Wells to give her up. Then he and Alex have a chat. He tells her Booth is being treated, and all her friends are being reinstated, and he’s so very sorry for thinking she was a terrorist, but could she do one little thing? Then he explains with words that are in English but don’t actually make sense why she has to confess and pretend to have done it or the terrorists will win. Not sure how this prevents the second bomb from happening, but that’s where we’re going. The episode ends with Alex appearing before a judge and pleading guilty.

Sure I'll go along with what the pathetic alcoholic who tried to screw me over is telling me to do.

Sure I’ll go along with what the pathetic alcoholic who tried to screw me over is telling me to do.

Theories? Thoughts? Probably whatever you come up with will be useless because they seem to be making this up as they go along. Here’s who didn’t do the bombing: Simon the Mossad agent. Anyone else reaching the saturation point with storylines like Shelby’s that go from “Oh my God she has a secret!” to “But there’s an innocent explanation!” to “No, there’s not” to “Yes there is and it’s not what you think,” to “No, there’s not.” And what do we happynicetimers think of the depiction of our most sacred police agencies being filled with thugs and crazies? If the FBI cooperated with this show, they should sue.

Will Alex escape again? Is she going to fake-out jail where she’ll be able to confer with the team and continue to crack the case? Or is her gut so powerful that she can figure out who the real bomber is even from a jail cell because she has instincts?

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

TV Show: Quantico

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  • sousaphone93

    I just want to say that I didn’t have sympathy for Simon in this episode. Yes, Anne Heche framed a guy but like the others pointed out, there were other steps he could have taken to get her fired or reprimanded. It really sucks that some fictional serial killer is going to be released on a technicality.Also I’m thinking about joining the FBI. Apparently all you do are group exercises and secret tests of character.

  • Deybee

    I am just so tired of the bad acting. My god Simin is the only guy who i look forward to seeing. Sometimes I wonder if it is indeed Alex who is the terrorist coz God, her snivelling is just so fake it makes me wonder if she is indeed such a terrible actress or pretending to be a bad actress in those scenes. I yet to see any piece where her ‘skills’ are shown. Something is not right about her character

    • Agree with you on the bad acting. I think Raina/Nimah may have even less range than Alex.