Sunday night’s new episode of “Quantico” brought us another cruel reminder that Josh Safran and the show’s writers really like to, to quote a famous group of sages in the Backstreet Boys, play games with our heart. Just look at how many times already we’ve seen allegiances thrown about like rag dolls, or lost characters we genuinely cared about.
On the allegiance front, the key reveal tonight was that Nimah may potentially be a terrorist, and that Raina was the one who was a hostage part of the time. Why is she working with the AIC … or is she working with the AIC? It’s a cool reveal if she is a traitor and the motivation is right, but in between this, Miranda, and Lydia, it all boils back down to the biggest problem with this season: The writers seem to be so desperate to deliver mind-bending twists that they’ve lost control of the narrative. “Homeland” is a great example of how you execute a traitor twist: Slowly and over time. You want to get fully invested so that when the betrayal happens (think Miranda Otto’s Allison), it’s all the more devastating. They took their time to get there; meanwhile, here we seemingly have a betrayal almost every other week. It’s far too confusing, especially when you’re talking about twins and you now have to go back and look at such questions as who was sitting where at a given point and who Miranda may have been talking to.
Here’s the good news: Alex is still alive. However, with Lydia’s warning we don’t see her getting too far within the future timeline, which remains by and large the best part of the show by a wide margin.
In theory, the storyline at the Farm had the potential to be great, given that Owen was injecting some real stakes into the latest operation. Here was the problem: It made utterly no sense. Who in their right mind would allow CIA trainees to control who lives and who dies in a drone strike? It turned out that they weren’t really despite Owen’s assurances that they were, as he opted to order the kill strike despite their proclamations not to. Even the idea of Owen, a mere teacher in the organization’s eyes (remember, not all of them suspect that he’s up to anything more), being able to do this is somewhat questionable.
The discussions between Alex, Ryan, and Harry were somewhat more realistic given that someone within MI-6 would of course want to understand what FBI agents were doing suddenly working within a CIA training facility. They came up with a smart and snappy cover, but still one that Harry was able to see through. (One other issue with The Farm: Too many new characters that limit the participation of some of the people from season 1 we especially liked.)
The biggest success with “Quantico” comes when they take the time to deliver something personal — which doesn’t often happen. We got a chance to see this in the commemoration of Simon’s death one year after the fact, which is when he received his gravestone, a valuable part of his faith. This moment was indicative of what Alex lost way back when, and it’s always appreciated when a show remembers that there were characters who were there in the seasons before. It doesn’t always happen that way.
Episode Grade: C+. If only “Quantico” would spend more time focusing on the people over the crazy, we can only imagine where it would be right now. Instead, this show likes to venture into hot-mess territory, almost like they have a network mandate to leave your jaw on the floor. That’s a little hard to maintain when you leave heads constantly spinning, desperate to figure out what is going on. (Photo: ABC.)
Next week – For further insight, be sure to visit the link here now. (Photo: ABC.)