This week on QUANTICO we saw a lot of our main characters betraying the principals and moral convictions in what they assume is for the greater good, but in the short term it is hard to see how that is. We are quickly approaching the end of the second season and things are looking very grim for Alex Parrish and her cohorts on their mission to save democracy.
For one thing, we see President Clair Haas has been served her impeachment papers after it is revealed that she has been running an undercover CIA operation on American soil unbeknownst to anyone else (this of course is our group of heroes). This is all part of Speaker of the House Henry Rourke and his collaborator’s plan to take the presidency and consolidate the position’s power in order to form a type of new American oligarchy. Taking it harder the President Haas herself is her son Clay. (He is a bit whiny, isn’t he?) But Clair implores him that he stop trying to save her and start trying to save democracy. It’s a tall order.
Meanwhile, Alex is in deep with the collaborators. She expresses to Owen while in a surveillance van that she’s worried she might go too far this time, and that he won’t be able to save her. Owen reassures her she’s doing the right thing. Alex meets with Fletcher and the rest of the collaborators, some of whom are understandably skeptical about her switching sides to join them. They are going to need proof of her loyalty to the new cause. Their idea? Alex will be the liaison between Rourke’s new regime and the intelligence community as it exists now. She’s appointed with the task of blackmailing the heads of the CIA and FBI to get them to either quit or fall in line with the new bosses.
Alex is obviously conflicted, but she knows she’s more valuable if she convinces them of her loyalty. She starts with her old CIA mentor, Matthew Keyes. She goes to him and successfully forces him to resign by telling him if he does not she will expose him as being part of President Haas’s task force, which would completely assassinate his character and ruin him. He knows he has to bow out gracefully on his own terms. He resigns, but not before telling Alex that he regrets ever working with her.
Shelby and Ryan are being recluses this week now that both of their names have been exposed in national news as being part of the task force. Trying to stay away from press and prying eyes, they hole up and have a little heart to heart (while also looking up dirt on Rourke to see if they can’t turn the tables on him before Haas is impeached). Shelby admits she’s worried about Clay and how he’s dealing with all this. Ryan tells her he’s worried about Alex. Nobody (besides Owen) knows her whereabouts, and any time she goes rogue it means trouble for the rest of them.
Raina is meeting with Felix to see if she can pry out of him where her twin sister Nimah is being held, but he doesn’t have the answer for her. Shelby and Ryan tell her that they don’t trust Felix. Soon thereafter we see another good reason why we shouldn’t. Clay gets a text from him arranging a meeting. But when Clay gets there he’s ambushed by Rourke. Clay realizes he’s been set up, as photographers are waiting outside to document Clay meeting with Rourke, so Rourke can tell the press he is in cahoots with the President’s own son.
Clay needs to hit Rourke back hard and fast. He and Shelby plan to use Raina, unbeknownst to her, to frame Felix and Rourke for communicating with Russian intelligence (are we all tired of this yet, or what?). They try to plan Russian e-mails on Felix’s phone, but when Raina starts to suspect she’s being used, she tips off Felix. Felix then confronts Clay. The two are old friends and he can’t believe Clay would try to have him put in jail. Clay gives some weak excuse about how he would have found a way to pardon Felix for the crime that he framed him for. Yeah, Felix isn’t buying it either. They decide to end their friendship. Meanwhile, Raina argues with Shelby, telling her she can’t believe she and Clay were willing to stoop this low.
Oh, Raina, don’t worry, people stoop even lower this episode. Namely Alex, who is next tasked with sneaking a chemical agent into the FBI Headquarters, per Alice Winters. The plan is to stage an attack there, making it look like Haas was trying to cover her tracks and speeding up the impeachment process. Alex is torn over what to do, already feeling guilty about what she’s done to Keyes. But Owen tells her that these small compromises can lead to good in the long term. She goes ahead with the plan.
Only Ryan shows up, kind of out of nowhere, and quickly figured out what she’s doing. He doesn’t want her going along with it, so Alex is forced to knock him out so she can not blow her cover and continue the mission. She successfully plants the chemical agent and the rest is history. Later, Ryan calls Owen out for corrupting Alex, but Alex assures him she’s made all her own choices.
The bad guys all have the upper hand now. The episode ends with Clay writing his mother’s concession speech. The one lone hope our heroes have is Alex. She’s now in good with the collaborators. But it feels like all hell is about to break loose. Only two episodes left this season.
Season 2, Episode 20 (S02E20)
Quantico airs Monday at 10PM on ABC
Paul is working as an undercover operative at The Tracking Board, investigating a rogue group from within, and is currently at the center of a conspiracy that nobody but he magically knows about.
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Paul Gulyas | Contributor