Quantico Series Premiere Recap Priyanka Chopra

Quantico: Did ABC's FBI Mystery Successfully Recruit You?

By the end of Quantico‘s premiere, we don’t know much about an at-large newbie FBI agent involved in domestic terrorism, but we do know this:

He or she is one good-looking criminal.

The ABC drama debuted Sunday (10/9c) with an episode that — via some acrobatic time-hopping — both introduced the fetching members of the FBI academy’s newest class and showed us the destruction caused when one of them, as a fledgling agent, stages the worst attack on America since Sept. 11.

In a moment, we’ll want to know what you thought of the episode. But first, how about a recap?

We’re brought into the action via Alex (Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra), who within the first few minutes lies to her mother about her destination, has car sex with a hot stranger she meets on a plane and then rebuffs said stranger’s attempts to see her again. Her reasons for the brush-off? She knows — via what seem like spot-on profiling skills — that he’s lying about who he is and where he’s been. He still wants to know her name. “Guess you’ll never know now,” she purrs.

… Except he totally will, because they’re both members of the new class at Quantico, which we watch assemble for the first time. Thanks to one of the recruits’ first tasks — to find out dirt on each other — we learn a lot about them in a very short time. In addition to Alex, the key members (and their secrets) are:

Quantico Series Premiere Recap* Simon (Tate Ellington, The Mindy Project), who’s (maybe?) gay, from a “staunch Zionist family” and hiding the fact that he’s spent time in Gaza

* Ryan (Jake McLaughlin, Believe), Alex’s vehicular hook-up who’s actually a full-fledged G-man spying on her under the orders of Special Agent O’Connor (Josh Hopkins, Cougar Town)

* Shelby (Johanna Braddy, UnREAL), a trust-fund orphan who’s a sharpshooter and whose parents both died in the Sept. 11 attacks

* Caleb (Graham Rogers, Revolution), a cocky legacy recruit who seems to have gotten into Quantico solely because both of his parents are agents

* Nimah (Yasmine Al Massri, Crossbones), a Muslim woman who — unbeknownst to the rest of the recruits — is sharing her spot in the class with her identical twin sister

When it comes time for the newbies to interrogate each other/reveal each other’s secrets, Caleb’s subject — Eric, a Mormon whose religious mission took him to Malawi — pulls a gun and absolutely loses his mind as he desperately tries to keep Caleb from saying what he knows.

As it turns out, Eric’s hiding the fact that he got a 14-year-old girl pregnant in Malawi and she died while having an abortion. He commits suicide in front of the whole class; a shaken Caleb is gone from the program soon after.

Oh, and Alex’s secret? She shot her father, killing him, when he got drunk and violent with her mother. Only after his demise did she learn that he was secretly working with the FBI. She confesses this to O’Connor — alone — after Eric’s suicide.

We learn all of this in flashback; the premiere begins and ends in the aftermath of an explosion at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, a terrorist act in which Alex was nearly killed… and for which the FBI suspects she is responsible. In a flash, the young agent is handcuffed and tossed in the back of a prison-bound van, all the while shouting that she’s been framed. (The explosives — and Ryan’s unconscious body — found in her apartment don’t help her case.)

Alex’s only reprieve comes in the form of Quantico director Miranda Shaw (Aunjanue Ellis, The Mentalist), who intercepts her prison transport and helps Alex escape, instructing her to investigate her classmates to find the real terrorist among them. (Side note: It was right around this point that I decided this show is bats—t, but probably in a good way.)

Who’s really behind the bombing/Booth’s shooting? Is Alex as trustworthy as she seems? What’s O’Connor’s deal? And how did they pack so much pretty into one cast? All of these are questions I’m looking forward to exploring as Quantico continues its freshman run.

That’s what I thought, but now it’s your turn. Grade the premiere via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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161 Comments
  1. Tai says:

    I admit. I was invested in the pilot. I didn’t think I was going to like this show but it kept my attention. I’ll probably stick with it. If only to see how all their secrets play out. But so far, it’s watchable.

    • Jo says:

      Tai, I’ll admit I was curious about all the hype but after 2 shows, I am NOT certain I will be watching again! I find it a tad or actually a lot more unrealistic and upside down to have any future holding power. Also I felt it injected falsehoods and religious bias in the events. So it seemed prejudice, on Jews and Mormons or religion. I am getting tired of shows that after 1, 2, or 3 episodes end up to be political and hateful. I thought we were moving toward being less prejudice against creeds of any labels. My measurement is to put any religion in any character displayed and if they never do it for a certain religion or always for another and it is generally false, then I know its hate or a prejudice.

  2. Wtactualf says:

    It’s too contrived.

  3. zac says:

    Probably one of the better pilot episodes I’ve seen this fall. Hope this show makes it.

  4. N says:

    Too complicated and the music was too loud

  5. Ian says:

    It’s a ridiculous show, alright. Sigh.
    I wasn’t hooked or even interested in the next episode after this first one.

    • Velocisexual says:

      I feel ya. My main takeaway from this pilot was how much I would love a pilot that just focussed on a group of new recruits going through FBI training, without all the ridiculous terrorist stuff and plottwists this show features.

      • Westen says:

        Agree ; Also this format didn’t work for Golden Boy and I don’t see it working here. HTGAWM did tho.

      • jT says:

        How do you know it’s not just them going through training?

        I believe the whole thing is another exerciser done as a follow up to the “find something shout them” exercise.

        • John NYC says:

          Blowing up Grand Central Terminal for a training exercise is probably out of the range of even the FBI budget. Fictional though it would be in s television show.

          But yeah the show has turned out to have quite a few twists and turns.

          • jT says:

            Do we know for certain it was grand central terminal? Or was it all staged?

            She found herself lying confused on rubble. Whisked away to an office. Escape in the back of a van she couldn’t see from. Whisked to another building. Internally broadcast only “media” content.

            Easily doable.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            The on-screen chyron told us it was GCT. Doubt the chyron would lie :)

          • John NYC says:

            The show’s establishing helicopter shot for the viewers was of Grand Central, check out Apple or Google Maps, the Metlife building is distinctive. That was from the viewer’s perspective not hers.

      • Jessie says:

        Totally agreed. Something akin to the first book, the Recruit, of the teen series of Cherub by Robert Muchamore except with adults of course.

      • Coal says:

        I agree with you, but I don’t mind the plot twist of one them being a terrorist. However I think it would have been more fun if the first season solely focused on their recruitment and training so that we can learn more about characters, then in latter seasons (if it gets that far) we can see who the terrorist is.

      • EJ386 says:

        This was exactly my thought… I would keep watching this though. I’m just dissapointed that Ryan already seems to be dead. I connected with his charcter most…

      • mary says:

        If it didn’t have twists, then people would say too boring.

      • Justin says:

        I agree and I think if they had to interject religion, as they did then do it in a realistic fashion. Perhaps, the way these people cope with their jobs, families and religion. There are devoted religious people that work for the FBI and it would be far more successful in the long run to show how they succeed rather then the violence interjected on people of religion who work for the FBI or new recruits coming into the FBI here in this show. I am not sold!. I give it one season!

  6. Lauren says:

    Loved it!

    • lechatnoir says:

      Piggy Chops is definitely one of the best actress from the Bollywood world. This is by far one the best pilots this week.

  7. Coach Taylor says:

    Nervous this is going to fail on Sunday nights. This would have been perfect on Mondays but then again would have been against Blindspot. Great pilot

  8. Cc says:

    Compared to the utter crap that was Blood & Oil, this was great.

  9. Juan says:

    Loved the premier and most of the characters. I’m all in for this series. And some of the surprises like the twin thing that was orchestrated by the director and the shooting thing were awesome and unexpected.

  10. pam says:

    Yawn. People will watch anything.

  11. Robby says:

    Grey’s Academy. PASS!

  12. schu says:

    Not the best, but not the worst. Johanna Braddy caught my eye on UnREAL, so happy to see her in something new. Josh Hopkins seems a miscast, but maybe I just can’t see him in any role but ol beady-eyes Grayson. I’ll keep with it for now, see where it goes.

  13. jimbo says:

    Gave me some „Traveler“ vibes if anyone still remembers that show.

    I’ll probably stick around to see where this goes.

    • emily says:

      i can’t believe someone else thought that too! or that someone else still remembers that show. that show didn’t even have 10 episodes. which was such a shame bc it was such an interesting show. but yeah, quantico definitely gave me some traveler vibes. i even recognized one of the fbi guys from traveler.

    • JKR says:

      YES! Agreed. Loved Traveler…. such a shame it didn’t go on

  14. Pam says:

    Loved the premiere! I have a feeling this is going to be one of my new favorite shows. Hope it does well on Sundays. This timeslot worries me.

  15. MyFairLady says:

    It was all over the place and I found most of the characters to be a bit unlikable. Will tune in for two more epi

  16. Rachel says:

    Love it.

  17. Roy says:

    This show is exactly How To Get Away With Murder in structure only with slightly more likable characters.

    Not bad. But, man, all the hour long network dramas just feel so derivative so far this season.

  18. Ryan says:

    I was a little wavering until the last 10 minutes and then I was sold. I’ll definitely feel it out. I agree Josh Hopkins seems a bit miscast (and I *love* him, he’s why I tuned it), but since he was a last minute fill in, I’m hoping he fleshes out better in the rest of the series since he had to re-film Dougray Scott’s scenes (at least that’s what I’m assuming happened, since it seemed a bit choppy)

  19. John NYC says:

    Solid lock.

    Going to be a fun ride.

  20. Amber says:

    Hated it. Unrealistic. The writers are obviously uneducated, especially when it came to the Mormon character. That part of the plot was obviously just for shock value. The have a 24 hour companion on their mission and there is no way that secret could have been kept. He would have been sent home dishonorably from his mission and stripped of his endowments. Also, he wouldn’t have revealed his garments. He’d have been given his own dressing room the way the Muslim girl was. Mormon garments are sacred and if he was so concerned about his reputation as a Mormon, he’d have never risked someone else seeing them. Why did they bother to make his character Mormon if they weren’t going to make him believably Mormon? Idiots. Do your research, writers!

    • Kem says:

      I greatly agree with you!

    • Red Snapper says:

      The Mormon character wasn’t that unrealistic. I have known quite a few guys who were definitely up to no good on their missions. Some of them were caught and sent home but others were not.

    • Aeol says:

      My guess is that he’s obviously conflicted if he was willing to violate tenants of his religion. And if he had failed so greatly in that, but his greatest concern was not being exposed for his religious failings but for being a predator responsible for a young girl’s death. Bullet, meet head. Sounds good to me.

    • Loni says:

      As a Mormon myself I completely agree. Yes, of course there are people who get into trouble on their missions, but that whole yarn was completely far-fetched. It just seemed like the writers took an easy out by making the Mormon kid who wears weird underwear the crazy suicidal one.

      • Loni says:

        Oh and I’m sure it was no accident that his last name was Packer, which is the name of one of our most recently deceased apostles, thereby implying this kid is related to a church leader. I found it disrespectful and distasteful.

        • mary says:

          So you are saying that if one is related to someone of high regard he/she would not be capable of making mistakes(large or small)? The character was obviously deeply angst ridden over what he had done. Unlike the previous poster he didn’t seem crazy or nutty. He just seemed like a kid who had done wrong, & didn’t know any other way out of it. It happens to all kinds of people of all religions. Or do you think Catholics are the only ones who can screw up? I didn’t see it being disrespectful at all. It is something that can happen.

        • Given all the evil to come out of the Mormon church and from its followers, I hope you will understand if I don’t shed too many sympathetic tears about the egregious offense done to you. Proposition 8, anyone?

    • Chris says:

      This whole show is unrealistic. They try to make this into college dorm hijjinks.

    • arianeb says:

      Ditto, and not just because of the Mormon character, though he was one of three interesting side characters killed off in the pilot.

      I don’t care who destroyed Grand Central Station, unless it was one of the “Alphas” (Now THAT would be a plot twist!).

      But clearly the person who should be held responsible is whatever dumb FBI recruiter picked 50 potential terrorists to join the same FBI class. That’s not just insulting my intelligence, it’s disrespectful to the whole spy genre. It’s a plot you’d expect to see in some sci-fi thought experiment, not a Homeland wannabe.

      • mary says:

        Great, so every show that has a terrorist plot is considered to be a Homeland wannabe? You know there were shows with terrorists before Homeland.

    • mary says:

      This is fiction. Also having his own room would have been up to him.

    • Terbearz says:

      I agree with u for sure!!

    • Reality says:

      Amber – Perhaps you’re the one that needs to do some more research. I found much of the program to be contrived, but not those scenes involving Eric. I would classify your comments as “too good to be true” and with a possible agenda.

      Being a non-Mormon, living in Utah and going to the gym I’ve seen many a set of Mormon under garments being put on and off in the locker room with no apparent attempt to “hide” the items from others view. A number of Mormons have committed suicide because they were born gay and made by the church to hate themselves for it. Oh, I forgot the church now tolerates gays, just as long as they never act on there sinful impulses. Celibate for life, that’s a nice future!! So Eric’s fear of being outed for his acts, outside of marriage and with an underage girl, are an equally strong motivator toward suicide. I think that neither the Muslin woman nor the Mormon male should have been given special treatment. Of course the Muslin twin twist would have been real tough without her “private” room.

      BTW: The pilot was edited by the creators at the request of the Mormon church and only the scenes that couldn’t be re-shot (because of an actor not being available at the time) were left in. When the pilot played in Utah an official at the local TV station issued a statement about the editing and the scenes remaining as not being factual. The station originally was not going to show it, but relented when confronted with “freedom of speech” protests.

  21. Jagz says:

    Love it! Priyanka is a great actor!

  22. RH says:

    Wasn’t most of America glued to the Super Blood Moon at this time? Not sure why ABC didn’t know that … oh, well …

  23. kinzvlle says:

    Not the worst thing I’ve seen. Has poenteil though, the twin thing was a surprise for me. Knew there was something off with her, wasn’t predicting that though. Was getting some odd flirt vibes from the gay guy and Nimah. May have been misreading that. My main ississue was building up interesting characters just to bump them off. Eric seemed like he could have been an extremely interesting character had they drawn his arc out more. Caleb seemed to have massive room for character development, if they hadn’t bumped him off so early.

  24. Alichat says:

    Well, I guess that answers my Sense8 question about Brian J Smith. That was unexpected, but i was genuinely startled by the twin reveal and them being directed by Miranda. That was a lot to put in one premiere. I will give it a go and see if they can keep it going. But the suspicious part of me is wondering if this was all orchestrated by O’Connor….meaning the explosion and framing her.

  25. ragz says:

    It’s a good start. Definitely interested to watch upcoming episodes!!

  26. dawillis66 says:

    My thoughts: Ryan’s apparent shooting is a set-up, part of the plot to frame Alex for the bombing. O’Connor is behind it and Shaw suspects that so is recruiting Alex to find the evidence. The bomb-making material was an obvious plant job and O’Connor was behind it (the note to the interrogator to stall). There is more to Alex shooting her father than meets the eye and I think that is the core of the conspiracy. She obviously has “Sherlock Syndrome” – notices and recalls every minor detail. Red-herring issues: Simon is not gay (obvious from hook-up just to get a picture smooching a guy – not sure why he is pretending, perhaps to rebel against tyrannical orthodox parents). Twins are on the make because they would be treated worse than cattle in their homeland. Shelby is mostly what she appears to be, but is self-taught to this point and now just wants to “kill terrorists.” Just a guess.

  27. Ben says:

    Man, I didn’t want to like this. The trailer looked so bad. I did though. That being said, I wouldn’t say it’s particularly good. It’s definitely in the vein of Shondaland/Revenge/Typical ABC fluff. Over-the-top unbelievable drama, quips, and ridiculously good looking people. Falls squarely into the guilty pleasure zone. So far.

    • Win says:

      This is exactly how I felt – the ads were too soapy for me, and obscured the real premise, but I did end up liking it (though I kind of groaned at the same time Kimberly Roots noted with the prison transport). I also like the band Cold War Kids, so I liked the opening and closing songs.

  28. Davey Elmer says:

    This show is Vantage Point meets Reunion, and looks to be as interesting and awesome as both of them.

  29. I’ll watch more. I enjoyed the back-to-back new shows. (this & Blood & Oil)

  30. nick says:

    I absolutely loved it! This was easily my favorite pilot since HTGAWM.

  31. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give Quantico an A. It’s like if 24 and Homeland had a baby, it’s definitely the series. Kind of a Shonda Rhimes like concept (how to get away with terrorists) and a lot of mystery and suspense all roll into one. I know people are really hooked on this one and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the coming weeks and kudos to Priyanka Chopra who’s destined to be one of the breakout stars this season. BTW, the one character I don’t like is Simon Asher.

  32. Kalee says:

    If it’s Josh Hopkins’ O’Connor as the real terrorist, the pilot and the “This season on Quantico…” promo did a horrible job spoiling everything already. The dialogue exchange when Alex asks why O’Connor is not helping her after being accused of being the terrorist was not only cringeworthy bad but maybe a tad telling that he’s framing her in a mustache-twirling way.

    • Patrick says:

      I think its the lady director that helped the heroine escape. By facilitating the escape, she will make her look even more guilty. It won’t turn out to be one of the recruits we’ve already met. I think they are setting up the Johanna Braddy character to be the villain. Due to her looks, it goes against the conventional wisdom, and she can be portrayed as some “gun-nut” type of anti government crazy, who is angry about her parents’ murder. Problem is, the actress is super likeable. She has real star potential, and I think the net may step in to prevent them getting rid of her. We haven’t met all the recruits yet. That said, I think it will be one of the directors of the training program.

      • John NYC says:

        Or to whoever “ran” her dad. Deciding as an FBI agent she’d be a threat. The Grand Central Terminal plot may have just come along at a convenient time to thoroughly discredit her.

        • Patrick says:

          Ooh, clever. I think the plot will be a broader conspiracy by someone to keep the war on terror chugging along, with someone at the FBI/CIA facilitating it in order to solidify their own personal power.

  33. Kate says:

    I liked it a lot. But seriously, of ALL the names in the world, they had to name one of the FBI agents Booth? Has no one over there ever even heard of Bones?

    • Kim says:

      Hahaha I was thinking the same exact thing!

    • lechatnoir says:

      lol! I noticed that too , okay its annoying but just a little. Booth is pretty generic name .And I think Alex Parrish isn’t creative. Just how many women with the first name Alexandra go by Alex ? I have never met one. They could have named her Sikandra Parrish . Sikander is the equivalent of Alexander in Indian.

      • MiaB says:

        The name bothered me, too. It’s very Anglo–first and last. I think we could have handled it emotionally if her name was Indian.

        • John NYC says:

          I work with a lot of people who still morph their names into American English equivalents. Rarer among current students but her parents would be the right age to have nicknamed her that.

        • Ray says:

          Yes. It would have been nice to actually have an Indian lead with at least some hint of an Indian name.

      • mary says:

        Except her father could have named her, maybe for a relative. Or maybe they both just wanted her to have an “American” name.

  34. Coal says:

    I vote for Caleb being the terrorist reason being he is pretending to be useless and everything he is doing is calculated. Probably to spite his parents for not paying enough attention to him. What better why to get back at your FBI parents than being a terrorist ?

  35. A3rynSun76 says:

    I’m worried that they are going to make the practicing Muslim woman the terrorist. It pontificates stereotypes which are harmful to Muslim Americans. Other than that concern, Quantico has the potential to be a very good show.

  36. Coal says:

    My I don’t I understand non-gender specific uniforms, but Alex looked quite beautiful and feminine in hers or maybe her beauty can’t be constrained by any form of apparel.

  37. Sarah_ says:

    I like it more than I thought I would. It was full of twists and turns I didn’t see coming…its a shame Caleb decided to leave but I guess seeing a guy kill himself in front of him is kinda of a turn point.

  38. Red Snapper says:

    I really liked it. Its my favorite new show so far. I totally agree with everyone who says its ridiculous but its a TV show so I expect unrealistic plots. At first I was confused about Eric, I was like hey you’re supposed to be on Sense8 but when he started getting nervous and cracking I figured he would be offing himself or something. I’m currently suspicious of everyone. I have a couple theories but its too early to be calling anything yet.

  39. Jane says:

    Pretty people. Bad acting. Worse writing. Stupid plot.

  40. Erin says:

    Awesome show!!! Haven’t been this excited for a show for a long time. Nice nod to Gossip Girl with the song in the beginning… Love it!!!

  41. Jess says:

    i thought it was okay. might tune in next week and see if it gets better.

  42. B says:

    a bit overly dramatic for me but i’ll probably give it a couple more episodes

  43. MiaB says:

    Terrific new show. Kept it moving. And I love the girl power-ness of it.

  44. Norma says:

    When Alex was arrested her hands were handcuffed behind her back, het when she was in the van her hands were in front of her?????????????????????????

  45. Kreigler says:

    It was interesting but this seems to be copying “Missing” and “Crisis”. How many of these copycat shows is Hollywood going to create before they run the genre into the ground?

  46. Ninamags says:

    I obviously missed the moment when the twins! talked about being there and the director knowing about it. When did that happen?

  47. John says:

    Openly gay sex scenes and pictures are offensive to me

  48. Pennagirl says:

    Female FBI agent trainee or not would not have their hair down especially when it’s that long.

  49. I’m hooked need to find out what happens next. So love Jake McLaughlin and was sad when Believe was canceled but so very happy that he’s on this show. I also really like the rest of the cast. I think this is going to be a great show.

  50. Jon says:

    Due to them not wanting to come across as racist or profiling the actual terrorist will be one of the cis gendered straight white males. Mystery solved.

    • mary says:

      Hate to tell you this, but there are white terrorists. Try watching the news.

    • Maguerite says:

      YIP, since there is already a lily white female on the run in the real terrorrist world – women who just can’t help falling for guys in a dry climate with an AK47 – oh and a beard. So white guys are the one lot they can safely portray to keep it PC