Quantico: It's a Man's World (S1 E18 Recap)

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Anyone else getting the feeling the writers of Quantico are making it up as they go along? Or maybe they have ten different scenarios for who done it and are planning to flip a coin? This week’s by the numbers episode features the usual locker room/gym scene involving a montage of bodies in motion. There’s a training challenge designed by a frustrated reality television show runner.  Things happen that make us suspect different people, and there’s some kind of twist at the last minute.

Death count: No one dies! Yay! But we do find out that Charlie was unresponsive after he was shot. However, we don’t know his fate in the present timeline. Aspy Genius gets the crap beaten out of him by Caleb, but we know he’s alive in the present timeline so no big.

Brandon Watch (because your humble recapper finds his habit of showing up in every episode but never doing anything very suspicious): Brandon is briefly seen mistaking Nimah for Raina since Nimah is wearing hijab to “match” Raina.

Here is some other stuff that happened:

Alex is back at the FBI, trying desperately to reach Shelby to find out why she was the designated driver for the Voice of Doom, and also what happened to Will and Simon. Some random person traces the license plate of the death car to a “Mark Raymond.” Alex googles the name and immediately recognizes Caleb from Mark Raymond’s Facebook page. Meantime, Ryan and Nimah are now in cahoots and totally hating on Alex, Ryan for the usual reasons and Nimah most recently because Alex used her name when she and Simon sprung Aspy Genius, a stunt which Alex hasn’t been fired or sent to Gitmo for, which seems extremely unlikely. Ryan is also monitoring her laptop. Ryan sees nothing odd about Caleb’s having a completely other online persona, and attributes it to his wanting his privacy seeing as how his mother is running for Veep and all. This is either a giant red flag that Ryan is in on whatever “it” is, or like his mentor Liam, he is dumber than dirt.

In the past it’s gym and locker room time, so let’s watch those hot young bodies! What’s the excuse? FBI fitness tests because apparently they didn’t make the NATs get a doctor’s note before they showed up.

Miranda has been 90% fired. She’s lost her position at Quantico and will be sent to a local field office presumably at a lower rank. Guess who’s got her job? Liam, the guy whom she was going to fire that’s who – the one she has the complicated history with.

Caleb and Aspy Genius are rehearsing Aspy’s cover story for their off-the-books extremely dangerous Systematics mission, and Start Up Queen barges in and sees the big Systematics book they were looking at, but instead of telling her anything about what they were doing, Aspy Genius quickly puts the book in a drawer and they both look like she caught them viewing furry porn.

Clayton is back to lecture the NATs for no particular reason, and this is a lead in to their filling out more forms about their history because apparently the FBI forgot to vet them even though the first few episodes were all about the secrets and lies on their applications. Because filling out forms is SO complicated, they will help each other out. This leads to time wasting scenes of people filling out forms and asking each other questions. Thrilling.

Speaking of agents helping agents, in the present Alex calls Raina who is back in Dearborn, and asks her to risk everything and come back so she can impersonate her sister and save Simon, even though Raina claims that Simon can save himself, and she’s had enough. Eventually, Raina says okay and shows up that same day at the FBI headquarters in New York, a two hour flight away, and it’s not like Raina is just going to breeze through security if you get my drift.

Back in the past, Shelby and Caleb are working together on their forms because there’s nothing inappropriate about that. Shelby lies about her parents having come back from the dead. Caleb omits the fact that he was in a cult because nobody would ever find out every dirty little secret about the vice presidential candidate’s family.

A bunch of trainees are flagged for review. Most of them are random people we haven’t met but some of them are people we know including Raina, Football, Start Up, and Shelby. Guess who has to investigate them further? If you guessed their cleared classmates, you’re too smart to write for this show, but you can do next season’s recaps.

In the present, Raina, pretending to be Nimah, is trying to find out where Caleb is, but Ryan busts her in ten seconds. However, she’s already tried to reach Claire who is the only person who actually knows where Caleb is. Claire shows up outside FBI headquarters in a limo and tells Alex to get in because they’re going for a ride – back to Claire’s house, in Georgetown, which is 235 miles away because it’s not like Claire has anything better to do what with the election being four days away and all.

Meantime, Ryan is interrogating Raina who’s in BIG TROUBLE and he’s threatening her with jail and she’s like if helping a friend means going to prison I don’t wanna be free, which parallels stuff in the past about her being all about the faith and principle, and the reason she was flagged was because she supported some imam who was against the war in Iraq.

Also in the past, Alex asks Ryan about Football’s being flagged or rather she shrilly accuses him of making it personal and then he yells at her about how Football’s suing the NFL showed that he’s not loyal and works against organizations, and that’s unAmerican and the last thing the FBI needs.

Shelby’s also on a tear because she got flagged, and Caleb didn’t, but then she’s also cleared because this version of the FBI is run by idiots.

In the now times, Alex has arrived at Claire’s dark and dreary mansion, where Caleb is locked away in a room shooting heroin which is something he took up after his father pulled him out of the wreckage and then a building fell on top of Daddy Haas. Alex asks him if he knows where Shelby is but he doesn’t speak to her anymore. Alex yells at Claire for not getting him to rehab, but maybe he said no, no,no?

In the Academy Daze, Miranda gets Liam drunk in the only bar in Georgetown, which he doesn’t find suspicious in the least even though usually she’s berating him for being an old lush. Then she starts asking him if he voted against her and he tells her he fought hard for her and also he should have totally left his wife for her that time he told her he would. She takes him to the bathroom because there’s nothing sexier than standing up sexy times in a bar restroom. And somehow while whispering sweet nothings and doing him she gets him to admit to “making a mistake with Alex” that one time. And it turns out she was recording the whole thing because damn if she’ll  let that idiot take her job. Later Miranda plays the tape for Clayton who tells her she’s still fired, and he doesn’t care. Then she starts ranting about how the menz can get away with anything. So it looks like Miranda now has motive, which makes her the suspect of the week.

"I want to screw you in the bathroom because I'm totally in to middle aged alcoholic losers who took my job"

“I want to screw you in the bathroom because I’m totally in to middle aged alcoholic losers who took my job”

Also back then, everyone we know is eventually cleared except Start Up Queen who is NOT cleared and will have to leave the island for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to us. On her way out she calls the main Systematics switchboard and informs on Aspy Genius for reasons that don’t make a lot of sense.

Raina and Nimah despite being completely alienated from each other in the present, actually reach a point of closeness in the past, when they realize that to work together and “match” they’ll have to create a third persona that they can both be comfortable with.  Doesn’t seem like that worked out too well for them.

Football gives Alex almost the same “I’m better without you” break up speech that Alex gave Ryan, only Football’s also includes Alex and Ryan forever, so he’s getting out of the way. Then when he’s alone we see his hand shakes, which on television can only mean one thing: He’s doomed! Which is maybe why we haven’t seen him around lately, unless of course he is the true Voice of Doom.

Before she leaves, Start Up Queen yells at Caleb about how she knows he’s making Aspy Genius join Systematics or whatever it is she thinks they are doing, but ha ha she stopped him by telling them that he’s an FBI agent. Caleb is like you IDIOT he’s already on his way! They’re going to kill him, except they’re not because we know he’ll be in CIA custody in a few months. And couldn’t this whole embarrassing situation have been avoided if they just told her the truth?

Before Miranda leaves she has a special chat with Alex where she tells her that “It’s a man’s world” and she has to go out there and shatter the glass ceiling because Alex is magic and can do what Miranda couldn’t. Also she has to play dirty because the men are oppressors and grrl power, right on sistah, and this is what a feminist looks like, Hilary Clinton 2004 2016.

Caleb tries to save Aspy Genius from the Systematics people who dress like old time Mafiosa in an old-timey gangster movie, but they make Caleb beat Aspy to a bloody pulp to prove his loyalty, and then Start Up Shelby (corrected) comes along and makes them all afraid so they run away. Couldn’t she have shown up five minutes before?

Leave the cannoli, take the blackjack.

Leave the cannoli, take the blackjack.

In these modern times, Claire tells her aide to drive Alex back to New York, but Alex is never mind, you are a terrible person so I’ll just walk or find a cab. When she goes outside, Caleb who jumped out a window is waiting for her and insists he’s coming with to help. She’s like “Dude, you are on drugs!” But he seems suddenly sober and resolute, so , she’s like, “Sure, I’ll just call us an Uber.” Then she’s gone for a convenient ten seconds, which is long enough for him to call someone and report that “She fell for it.”

OMIGOD, it’s a trap! I wonder if Shelby will show up to drive them back to New York.

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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