Quantico: Miranda's Bad Seed (S1, E15, Recap)

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Simon and Alex have been up all night trying to decode the terrorist’s voice on the burner phone. How do we know this? Because instead of showing a montage or figuring out some other way to make sure we get it, Alex just tells us. She also reminds Simon what they’re doing and why in case he forgot.

... and then last week I went up to fetch you from Vermont and you were all like....

… and then last week I went up to fetch you from Vermont and you were all like….

What’s Alex’s whacky assignment that will probably get someone blown up this week? She has to change out a bottle of Claire Hoss’s pills. She’s pretty sure the pills the terrorists gave her won’t kill Claire, probably. Simon is less sure about that, but both of them are going along with this BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CHOICE.

But how can Alex even get close to Claire who hates her, plus Hannah who really, really hates her tells her I am watching you, so stay away from Claire. Finally, clever Alex figures out a way to get Claire to come to her – by pretending she has information on Caleb’s whereabouts only ha-ha, Claire actually knows where Caleb is so that’s not going to work and basically this stunt may have finally gotten Alex fired or maybe not because on this show people are always telling other people they are fired, yet those so-called “fired” people hang around. Then Alex TELLS Hannah about the terrorist on the phone and how she has to do what she tells them and also that Vasquez is dead, and Hannah takes her gun, and the fake pills, and tells her she is fired some more.

But that night when the terrorist calls and she tells him/her/it to punish her instead of her friends because she was the one who failed, the voice tells her we’re good here. Also just to screw with us they keep changing the terror-phone voice so it sounds like a blend of different trainees’ voices. Then there’s a knock on the door. It’s Hannah who looked into Vasquez’ emergency leave and found out the email came from a remote server and no one’s seen or heard from Natalie, therefore Alex may be telling the truth. Can we pause here for a quick reality check? Wouldn’t someone have found her body or heard the explosion or something? But never mind that, the point is Hannah is now on team Alex and which means she will no longer constantly break out in monologues about how terrible Alex is. Plus, instead of telling someone else in the FBI about all of this, she did the thing that Alex didn’t and switched out Claire’s pills.

And now on to the past, where the action is … or was:

Nimah is mad at Miranda because Raina is Miranda’s special twin now and is on a secret assignment which she shouldn’t be on because she hasn’t completed training, and what the hell Miranda?

Alex is flirting with Buzz “I HATE The FBI” Football, but even he realizes how hung up she is on Ryan, so nothing is going to happen. And even though he was totally fired from FBI-school last week, he is still around because of government bureaucracy.

This week’s special challenge involves looking at case files and trying to decide if these were hate crimes or regular old crimes.  Also Senator Claire Hoss is there to present the assignment and embarrass Caleb because nothing sucks more than having your mom be the substitute teacher, and that’s probably why he joined a cult.

Buzz and Alex are partners in the exercise, which is about terrorists who acted against the FBI. He thinks maybe they had a point because the FBI totally sucks. You’d think his hatred for the bureau might have been a red flag when he applied wouldn’t you?

Speaking of people who were supposed to be fired but are still around, Miranda sees Lima and she’s like, “You’re still here?” And he’s like the fat one in Dream Girls. But then he finds out about how she sent a trainee to bust a dangerous terror cell and he’s like “Seriously? You were going to fire me for having consensual sexytimes and you’re running a top secret terror cell infiltration with an undercover trainee?” But Miranda doesn’t have time to argue with him because Raina called in and said the terrorists have all taken off with the weapons and the house is empty, so Miranda tells her to go get Charlie and bring him to Quantico. Miranda has to go off and figure out what the terrorists are going to blow up, so she asks Liam to make himself useful and cover her classes for her.

Start Up Queen is perturbed because Shelby is off her game due to not being over Caleb, so when Aspy Genius tells her about Caleb’s secret Mark Raymond identity, and also about the secret envelope of top secret stuff addressed to Shelby that the mystery woman gave him, Start Up goes to get it from under Caleb’s pillow, and gives it to Shelby, who is all OMIGOD, my dead parents are alive and they are the ones who have been conning me all this time. And then she runs away.

Buzz Football uses the assignment as an excuse to tell Liam how terrible he is in front of everyone and Liam fires him once more and this time he means it!

Meantime, a truckload of Charlie’s terrorist pals arrive at the gate and shoot the guards, leaving blood on the snow and this really feels kind of ick coming so soon after Brussels, and Lahore and various other venues.

"Special delivery for Mr. J. Edgar Hoover."

“Special delivery for Mr. J. Edgar Hoover.”

After the rat-a-tat-tat of machine gun fire at the front gate, everything is in lock down, but apparently “lock down” at the FBI is just a suggestion because Liam and Buzz Football go out to see what’s happening, even though they hate each other. Caleb and the Aspy Genius also leave to find Shelby who is presumably wandering around the grounds, wondering why her parents hated her so much they pretended to be dead.

Fortunately, the whole getting kicked out thing, mean that Football picked up the weapon he'd checked in when he arrived, so Liam's kicking him out saved Liam's life.

Pareles was the good guy with the gun.

Raina and Charley are approaching Quantico in Raina’s car. When they hear the gunfire and see what’s going on, Raina uses her FBI driving skills to turn them around and get away. Charlie confesses that his jihaddi buddies and they didn’t really kidnap him. That was a set up so he could be questioned at Quantico, and give his friends information about the set up. Now he’s crying, “They never cared about me!” Can we all agree  Charlie should get killed already because he is one of the most annoying problem teenagers ever to grace a television show? He is worse than Dana on Homeland and Leo on Smash combined.

Liam almost gets shot at, but Buzz Football shoots the terrorist first saving Liam’s life. Now Buzz loves the FBI, so he will not be a terrorist in the future, and also Liam shakes his hand and welcomes him to the bureau, and this could be the start of new bromance.

Shelby and Caleb reunite and Caleb apologizes for not telling her that her parents are still alive.

You might think they’d still be on lock down for quite a while and there’d be debriefing and checking rooms, and investigation etc, but not so much. They go back to class where Claire starts saying stuff that sounds awfully close to speaking out against our second amendment rights, but then she backtracks and reminds the class that next time they’ll be the good people with the guns who can get the bad guys, so it’s all good.

Liam and Nimah go to Miranda’s to help take Charlie in. Raina starts to go to the car to meet them, but then one of Charley’s Jihaddi-buddies breaks in with a gun. Raina lectures him on Islam, and he wants to kill her, but then he decides to kill Miranda and/or make Charley kill her, plus he wants Charley to kill his mother, but then Charley shoots him or maybe a sniper shoots him, who knows because that’s where they broke for the commercial, but then Charley is still going around waving a gun while a swat team surrounds the house, and Miranda keeps telling him to put down the gun, and he keeps yelling that he doesn’t want to go to jail, so finally she shoots him to get him down because the sniper has a laser on him, but it’s too late because the sniper gets him. However, we find out later he is not dead.

Miranda thought Charlie's new friend was a bad influence.

Miranda thought Charlie’s new friend was a bad influence.

Over at the one bar in the DC area where everyone hangs out, Ryan meets Alex, but he’s undercover and can only stay 10 minutes.  Instead of using this time for standing sex by the restrooms, Alex breaks up with him forever because she thinks that they both make each other do stupid stuff. That only took two minutes, but they don’t use the remaining eight for break up sex.

Shelby and Caleb meet with Samar who explains to Shelby that the first five million she bilked her for mostly went to Shelby’s parents who hired her for the scam, but the last five million went to her husband and that’s the money she’s returning, and she really does love Shelby like a sister and can’t they still be friends? And Shelby says, “YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.” Seriously, she actually says that. Who besides Stephen Colbert playing right-wing blowhard Stephen Colbert on the defunct Colbert Report ever talked like that? Also her parents are dead to her too. This is pretty close to a superhero or super villain origin story. Whatever doesn’t destroy you, either makes you a better person or turns you evil. This may explain why present tense Shelby is so completely different from Academy Daze Shelby.

Back at the Academy, Caleb thanks Aspy for helping him, and now they are friends too although we still don’t know what is up with his creepy sock drawer where he regularly puts Xs over pictures of his classmates. Maybe he was sent from the future to figure out which one planted the bombs? Aspy asks his new bestie, Caleb, to tell him about Mark Raymond, and Caleb asks him, “What do you want to know?” But of course we don’t hear what Caleb tells him, and probably won’t find out for weeks.

So given that at least two other agents know about the Mark Raymond identity, and his mother seems to know where he is, can we rule Caleb out as the bomber despite the fall finale bombshell? Anybody see foreshadowing for the Shelby revelation? Faking your 911 death for 15 years, leaving your company in the hands of a teenager, and then emotionally manipulating her by introducing her to a fake sister – that’s far-fetched even for Quantico. It’s not just a game changer. It’s basically a way of telling us that anything goes, speaking of which, if they haven’t found Vasquez’s body, do we really know she’s dead? Thoughts? Theories? Speculation? Feel free to have it in the comments below.

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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  • Deybee

    I have stopped watching this show altogether. It’s just too much stupid crammed into 42min runtime. And there are no hot guys either. What’s with that. Why is the sexy so disproportionately put on the female side. I come here to get my weekly dose of what happened.

    • The stupid to time ratio is pretty lopsided.