This week’s episode of Quantico is a breath of fresh air. The normally exhausting plot progression slows considerably, allowing the audience to finally catch a breath from the relentless confusion.
In another training exercise, the team is faced with the challenge of convincingly developing believable aliases. They’re later shocked to learn that they’ll be using these identities competitively in a real swanky corporate event with the goal of securing a meeting with the CEO.
At last, the team shed their NAT uniforms in favour of less oppressive and sexier clothing.
In a minor twist, the NATs learn that they won’t be using the identities they’ve crafted for themselves and will instead use one of their classmate’s aliases. The exercise is particularly intense for the Nimah twins, who have to test their ability to pass off as a single person. If they fail Miranda’s challenge, they face leaving Quantico.
The corporate event is essentially prom for the NATs, enabling the show to finally address all the segmented sexual tension peppered through the show thus far.
While it was interesting watching actors acting like they’re acting, not everybody came across as convincing. Though tension has been bubbling on the back burner for most of the season, things come to a boil when Caleb immaturely assumes Shelby of sabotaging his secret gun range visits. At NAT prom, Caleb makes it his mission to upset Shelby as much as humanly possible. The tension between Shelby and Caleb is uncomfortable and forced, and is most apparent in their impromptu hook-up at the convention. Somehow, the explosive energy of an argument transitioned extremely awkwardly into sexual territory.
Ryan and Alex also continue to not-so-subtlety flirt with each other, finally free from the shackles of Quantico. Unlike Shelby and Caleb, their chemistry, and love scene, is believable.
In present time, however, life is much less fun for Alex. Still holding Shelby hostage, she learns of a shoot-to-kill order which was put out by the FBI. She also faces the stress of the media representation of the bombing, with islamophobic news sources touting her as “Jihadi Jane”. In an unexpected and questionably easy move, Alex desperately turns to an anonymous-like group on the dark web.
They quickly agree to meet her in an undisclosed location where they barrage her with questions about her past in India, her time in Quantico, and the bombing itself. The Unknown soon deem her innocent, and then allow her to make an emotional plea to the American media.
Quantico does a really good job depicting the sensationalism surrounding American media, and this is most apparent when the Unknown and Alex make their escape. In a smart move, we soon realize that they met in the basement of a mosque. With FBI inhibited from action by the barrage of media surrounding the perimeters, Alex is free to easily escape. This scene did a fantastic job visually displaying how media accountability and public completely change the action of government.
Back at Quantico, Simon finally comes out of his heterosexual closet and makes an emotional confession and apology to Elias after he confronted him about the fake boyfriend, Max. Simon admits guilt and confesses that he did terrible things while in the Israeli army and used this false identity to escape from his past. Elias seems to accept and appreciate this. The episode ends with Nimah and Simon, walking together in Quantico, potentially highlighting the possibility of a romance in the future.