After a few weeks of some tense and thoughtful episodes that intertwined with real issues the American populace is facing today, QUANTICO brought a fairly straight forward and restrained episode with its latest installment “Mhorder.”
Last week we left off with Ryan’s latest fling, reporter Sasha, blowing up in her car due to her prying in places she shouldn’t have been prying. The episode kind of glosses over any pain or mourning or humanity you’d assume Ryan would display after watching somebody he’d been intimate with for a bit now blown up before his very eyes. But, yeah, not so much. He wants to know who her killer is, sure, but that isn’t the same thing as showing him hurt and giving this character an emotional beat he deserves. He’s thrown right back into the swing of things here and Sasha may as well not have ever existed.
At the bunker, Clay, who has really been more of the group’s Debbie Downer than leader the last couple episodes, lets everyone know that he believes Rourke is on to them. Rourke of course is the Speaker of the House who is planning on ousting Clay’s mother, President Haas, and consolidating power for himself, in essence beginning a sort of oligarchic America. Clay is right, though. Rourke has put his assistant, and Haas family friend, Felix in charge of reconnaissance; he’s broken into Clay’s e-mails, which is a pretty good tip off to how much his boss Rourke probably knows.
The one good thing is the group finally has all the names of all the Collaborators accessing the cache and trying to take down President Haas together. The next step? Get them all in one place at one time, and try to flip as many of them as they can. The plan is use Clay and Maxine’s engagement party as an excuse to get them all together; he’s the president’s son, they’ll be expected to come. The whole thing is Caleb’s bright idea, and you just know he’s also using it as an excuse to keep an eye on Clay and Shelby.
But first Clay has to convince Maxine to be a pawn in one of their missions… AGAIN. Last time she wasn’t thrilled to say the least, but this time she’s on board. She likes the whole Mr. & Mrs. Smith feel to it. And so soon enough, the elite are gathering to celebrate the engagement, with all the bad guys in one place. However, our team has a tougher time getting anyone to turn than they expected, even though Owen gives them permission to give them whatever they want. Shelby can’t persuade Peter Theo. Raina accidentally outs herself to Felix (she’s been posing as Nimah). President Haas is keeping Rourke busy so that Felix can’t come to him for help, and she even goes as far as to ask for his resignation! Good for her! (He doesn’t resign).
Alex tries to flip Maxwell Fletcher after she and Owen bugged him earlier in the episode, but it turns out he’s on to her and says he could use her help if she wanted to join up with them. She plays it cool; this is an open door and a good opportunity to get information, but she doesn’t commit.
The one doing the best on this mission is Ryan. Speaking with Alice Winter, he basically decides to be straight with her and tell her everything. He says he’ll join the Collaborators if his friends are kept safe, and that’s when he snags Alice on tape confessing to killing both Sasha and Leon. He’s got her.
He tries to get Alice to sign an immunity deal but instead she convinces him to let her go so that she can snag a couple more defectors from the Collaborators to strengthen their case. She’s only asking for a couple hours and says she can rendezvous later that night. I mean, it was clear to me that that was a terrible idea, and it was also clear to Alex, but Ryan and everyone else seemed fine with it, so… I guess I’m smarter than them, because this turns out to bite them all in the ass.
But first some marriage issues we don’t care about (or at least I don’t): When Clayton asks Maxine to go elope with him after the party, she sees right through him. She knows that this job and maybe even a certain somebody have been tugging him away from her for a while, and Maxine isn’t going to marry the man because he’s afraid he might get pulled too far towards either of those things and end up hurting their relationship. She won’t marry him just to put his mind at ease. Good for her.
Later, Clay confesses to Shelby that he has developed feelings for her (that makes three Haas boys now). He asks for her help. He doesn’t want to have these feelings for her because he loves Maxine and wants to be with her. Shelby offers to leave the team, and Clay objects saying they are adults and they can figure out a way to make this work relationship work. In the next breath he tells her that she has to make him hate her again. This sounds so much like what an emo teenage boy would say, I shuddered. What was all that talk about being grown-ups, Clay?! Anyway, Shelby is good at getting people to hate her. She collaborates with Caleb on a little rouse in which Clay runs into the two of them “the morning after.” Shelby tells him she was mistaken, and that any feelings she thought she had for Clay was really just spill-over from what she felt for his brother. Clay is hurt. Mission accomplished.
Despite Alex’s objections, Ryan goes to where he is supposed to meet Alice. Surprise surprise, there is a reporter from the Washington Times there instead, saying that she’d been tipped off that the CIA is operating under the President’s orders on American soil. Yuh-oh. Ryan gets a GIF from Alice of a chess piece falling. Because apparently she’s a Gotham City villain now.
Ryan also screwed up by giving Alice a lot of info about the team and the bunker in trying to woo her. Through that, somebody was able to hack into their computers in the dead of night and erase all the info they had on the Collaborators. At first Clay thinks Ryan had to have been complicit in this but quickly realizes that Ryan isn’t that smart (or interesting). They news runs the story about President Haas’ “undercover mission on U.S soil” and the team gets word that calls for impeachment are already being drafted. This of course is exactly what Rourke wanted and exactly what our team was trying to stop from happening. Everyone is way down.
But of course as long as Alex Parrish is around, there is hope. Alex and Owen decide that she is going to take Maxwell up on his offer after all. She will become an asset. Owen sees her off, and they are both nervous, understandably so. Maxwell greets her and takes her inside to meet with the rest of the Collaborators. Alex will have to take them down from the inside in the few remaining episodes of the season.
Season 2, Episode 19 (S02E19)
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