Quantico Season 1 Episode 13 Recap

Quantico Recap: Talk Is Cheap — Plus: Find Out Which Agent Died!

Someone hand Alex Parrish a three-eyed raven and a sword named Needle, because the Quantico body count is approaching Game of Thrones-ian levels.

I exaggerate, but just slightly. Weeks after we learned that 32 people lost their lives in the terrorist’s second bombing, it looks like another NAT — someone we know and at least nominally care about — has gone to that great briefing room in the sky.

Yep, Natalie survived last week’s bomb-as-belt only to apparently bite it in another explosion. And Alex. Is. Freaked. Out. Read on for the highlights of “Clear.”

EVERYBODY IN THE POOL! | After the terrorist hangs up on Alex, Agent Parrish is on the verge of completely losing her stuff, right there in the alley. Natalie — for those of you scoring at home, she’s the one actually wearing the incendiary device — is much calmer as she relates that she doesn’t remember much after leaving the hearing earlier that day. She theorizes that she was drugged and kidnapped, then apologizes to her former classmate for doubting her. “You were right this whole time,” she says. “Elias was just a puppet, and now we are, too.”

While they’re nervously discussing next steps and talking about who the bomber could be, Alex lets fly one sentence that has me a bit worried: She now knows that the idea of the bomber being a member of their Quantico class “was just a red herring.” Wait, what in the what what? She quickly qualifies by saying that she knows the terrorist was with them at the FBI academy because he or she said he or she saw Alex on her very first day. So that opens the pool of potential masterminds to people like Liam and Miranda… and the NAT class that contains Iris, Drew and Will. A pretty big change to the series’ central conceit, no? We’ll table it for now, but I’ve got my eye on you, Quantico.

MEET THE NEW BOSS | On Alex’s first day back at the FBI, she’s surprised to learn she basically has to start over in operations. Who’d she tick off to get that beginner gig? None other than Hannah Wyland, Ryan’s ex-wife and Alex’s new boss, the new head of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In an excellent monologue expertly delivered by Eliza Coupe, Hannah lets Alex know exactly why she dislikes her: If you didn’t catch the episode, you really should watch the scene, but the gist is that Alex broke Ryan’s heart and got him shot and then let the hearings about the bombing go on too long.

Just then, the terrorist calls Alex’s burner phone and demands that she break into the task force’s server room and mail some classified files. But first she has to help Natalie circumvent the building’s metal detector, because Nat’s still got the bombs around her waist. I mean, I think she does; that flowy blouse she’s wearing would barely conceal a big lunch, but somehow it completely fools everyone into thinking she doesn’t have C4 strapped to her middle.

There’s a lot of running around, lying and subterfuge (which includes them calling in a fake bomb threat), but eventually the ladies get into the server room and mail the file, which is the presidential candidates’ weekly schedule. Natalie suggests putting a worm in the file, which will allow them to track the terrorist afterward, and Alex is on board.

Eventually, Ryan realizes that something hinky is going on, and he confronts Alex about it. They have a version of the same fight they had last episode, except he’s about twice as patronizing here, and it makes me want to strangle him. “I wish that you would understand what it’s like to see you like this,” he says, which is second only to “Calm down” on the list of things that don’t help AT ALL when talking to agitated people. Back in the server room, the file is sent and Natalie’s belt is disarmed, to both her and Alex’s great relief.

THAT’S THAT FOR NAT | When the worm pings with a location nearby, Nat and Alex go alone to an abandoned building so dark and foggy, it basically screams DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET BLOWN TO BITS. They find a laptop there with the FBI file open on it, but when the terrorist calls and Alex goes outside for better reception, the file sets itself on fire and the laptop explodes… ostensibly killing Natalie.

Alex shows up at Ryan’s apartment soon after, raving and sobbing and begging him to help her. He asks if she wants to be checked in somewhere and she agrees, but when he’s on the phone with whatever psych ward he has on speed dial, the terrorist texts Alex photos of herself right there in the apartment with Ryan. Creepy. She runs out into the street and begs the bomber, via phone, not to hurt him, then promises to do whatever the baddie wants.

Quantico Season 1 Episode 13 RecapPEOPLE SKILLS | In the Quantico timeline, the lesson of the week is human intelligence, otherwise known as “talking.” After mocking each other based on their Meyers Briggs profiles — a first, I believe, for network TV — the NATs go to a Washington, D.C. bar to try to schmooze some of the regulars into becoming informants.

Let’s shorthand it: Iris uses every last one of her feminine wiles on a busboy. Alex and Drew flirt a little. Caleb and Shelby spend their entire time talking about what they’re going to do with the knowledge that her fake half sister wasn’t kidnapped at all, and that the $5 million she sent for her ransom is in nefarious hands. Will is socially inept. And at the end of the night, it turns out that all of the targets in the bar are actually FBI agents themselves helping Liam and Miranda out with an elaborate test. By the way, by promising to wipe away one mark’s DUI charge and to help another one swindle Customs, Alex and Iris (respectively) suck the most at the task.

CRUCIAL INTEL | The biggest takeaways from the Quantico section of the episode this week are as follows:

* Natalie’s ex is suing her for custody of their daughter, and Miranda grants her a leave of absence from the academy so she can devote her full attention to keeping her kid. It’s sweet. They hug.

* Will has a photo of every NAT pasted to the bottom of his sock drawer, with a few crossed out, Emily Thorne-style. At the end of the episode, he X’s out Nimah.

* Raina meets with the terrorists who probably kidnapped Charlie. Nimah watches from a distance and is appalled. My guess: Miranda probably knows everything that’s going on.

* Iris gives Shelby some intel that will help her track down the people who took her $5 million. But, as Miranda’s voiceover reminds us, just about everyone who helps someone else expects something in return…

* Drew’s girlfriend Alicia was killed in a shootout in 2014, caught between Chicago cops and some armed gunmen. He tells Alex all about it, saying that the pass-the-buck blame game — which also involved the FBI — made him so mad that he joined the FBI to make things right. A little digging by Alex reveals that Liam was involved; the incident was tied to the case Ryan referred to earlier in the season.

* Oh, and re: Alex and Liam on New Year’s, we get this: LIAM: “Should we talk about New Year’s?” ALEX: “It was a mistake. You said so yourself.”

Now it’s your turn. What do you think of the series’ sight shift in suspect pools? Is there any way Natalie is alive and/or in league with the terrorist? (She did seem rather cool under pressure, right?) Sound off in the comments!

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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56 Comments
  1. J Haake says:

    Quantics’s plot is becoming more and more ridiculous – so absurd I’m not sure how much more I can watch. Alex’s actions in this episode were so unbelievable.

  2. Allie says:

    Iris “sluts up”? Wow, really gross writing,especially from a female writer.

    • Eh, you’re probably right. That was written mainly because I’m irked that all we’ve seen so far from her character is overt double entendres and the like. If it helps, I would’ve written the same thing about a male character acting in similar fashion. But I’ve amended the sentence. We good? — KR

  3. mika02 says:

    Yeah looked to me like Natalie ran away she’s probably alive.

    • ? says:

      Yeah, I mean, she could have easily put the belt on herself and staged all this to make it look like she’s dead. I guess with the level of ridiculousness inherent to this show (which is fine, I’m enjoying it), if you don’t show me the body, I’m not buying it.

      • Rook says:

        Same, unless they show proof in the next episode she will rise to number one suspect. She conveniently said that the terrorist was always one step ahead of her.

        • Alichat says:

          Yeah….I’m not sure I believe she is dead. And for someone with a bomb strapped to her stomach, she was awfully calm. I have suspected her of being involved in the bombings prior to Elias’ reveal. Since we didn’t see a body this episode, I’m not buying she’s dead.

      • Raab says:

        She’s dead. The producer has confirmed this

      • Fiona says:

        I agree. I think Natalie is in on it. I don’t believe she is dead. You think Alex would have even checked for body parts before running off screaming like a crazy person. She is probably not on her own though as they will need a “big bad” for season 2

    • The Natalie/Alex bomb plot was too easy and I also doubted that Natalie was dead. Although the producers stated she is definitely dead I still have my doubts.

  4. ndixit says:

    This show is so inconsistent. It keeps me just interested enough to keep watching but it just doesn’t have the consistent quality to make me call it a good show. I don’t get why they create such openly bitchy characters like Hannah and make characters act in such a hypocritical manner.

    • I actually binge watched the episodes backwards this weekend because so much time had passed between the winter finale and the new episodes. Watching the episodes from the most recent back to the pilot episode actually helped me make more sense of the plots and characters as well as who the actual terrorists may be. I have had one person in mind from the beginning and it helped reinforce that thought. The jumping back and forth between timelines has been quite confusing at times so re-watching the episodes backwards really helped reinforce my opinion.

      • Night Owl says:

        I want to binge watch the episodes myself. I am still convinced that the “training of the week” is actually telling us about who the terrorist(s) may be. Also, there are little comments I’ve noticed once in a while, but watching them when they are on, I’ve forgotten some between episodes. I think binge watching the episodes will help me string them together better.

      • Jenn says:

        Who do you think it is?

        • From the very beginning I have had a suspicion that Brandon is involved to some degree. After last weeks episode Ryan’s attitude is bothering me. I have believed him innocent all along because he really seemed to care about Alex but it just seems he did a complete 180 when he interacted wit Alex in the last episode. It could be that he really cares but is just tired of the drama with her but there was just something really off about him this past week.

  5. Greg says:

    It doesn’t even feel like the same show as it did before the break, and its hard to keep the timeline straight. At this point, the “challenge of the week” back at the academy is just a waste of time every week. Most of the scenes in the past add absolutely nothing to the plot, they need to drop it.

    • Night Owl says:

      Actually, I think I picked up a few things from the flashbacks to the academy. First off, all the lessons that are brought up are most likely being used by the person on the phone. Second, I am starting to think more now that Shelby is the guilty party and not just because it sounds like her on the other end of the phone. I believe there are clues from the lessons in the academy flashbacks. We may not know exactly how they all fit in, but I’m pretty sure they are actually pointing us in the direction of the guilty party.

    • LKE says:

      I totally agree. It feels like a completely different show.

  6. Leah says:

    Also, Miranda reminded Liam the trouble he could get into if he’s caught with a trainee.

  7. Jil says:

    I don’t know why, but I feel like Ryan is the terrorist. He was in Alex’s apartment when he got “shot”, and no one knows why, last episode, he was the only one in Alex’s new apartment, and later she finds a burner phone, and Natalie left with him after the final hearing, and she comes up drugged and strapped to a bomb? Too many coincidences for me. I call Ryan as the terrorist.

  8. Lemme says:

    My gut says Nat isn’t dead. She’s one of the bad guy; whether voluntarily or coerced, I dunno.

    Gotta agree; this is starting to move towards ridiculous. I’m seeing way too many dramas with the A doesn’t tell B for B’s protection which ultimately causes a big mess and B is furious that A didn’t trust him/her enough to tell them what’s going on. Please let’s use some other plot device, people.

  9. liame says:

    I can’t even….this show is absurd and the acting seems to have declined. The flashbacks and “all this whatever it is” is annoying and I just can’t watch anymore. Recaps are my best friend.

  10. Rjrtist says:

    Sad to say I’m only watching this for Lenny’s character. Good actor stuck in quicksand writing. There is no character you can root for in this mess. No redeeming qualities for any character. You have to have a hero and there isn’t one.

  11. Boiler says:

    I used to really enjoy the show. Now I can’t believe it was renewed. Perhaps Ms. Dungey has some past with The CW who generally don’t have a clue

  12. Juan says:

    For some reason I have a feeling that Natalie is the big bad and didn’t die. I think because of how she acted throughout this whole ordeal with such a calm demeanor.

  13. Sangeeta says:

    What on earth is Quantico all about? Wonder what ABC is thinking by extending the show. Its getting more ridiculous by the week!

  14. dan says:

    I found myself fast forwarding thru much of this episode. The “lesson” in the bar was very similar to something they did last Fall and it was clearly a set-up by Miranda and Liam. And remind my why I’m supposed to care about the “new” recruits who are actually the “old” recruits? So stupid that they combined the two classes into one; doesn’t that mean that Alex’s class is a month behind in their lessons?? And in the present day, are we really to believe the FBI’s security is so lax? The writers must not do any research before writing this crap. Why would the FBI have the presidential candidates schedule in their system like its top secret? The Secret Service (not the FBI) protects the candidates and their schedules are usually public knowledge several days in advance. Yes, they may make last-minute schedule changes and the FBI may be interested in domestic terrorism, but the schedules wouldn’t be in a top-secret server behind secure doors (which were pretty easy for Alex to open). The acting continues to be terrible and the writing isn’t much better.

  15. Denise says:

    Sadly this show is getting cut from my dvr. I enjoyed the supporting players but never warmed to Alex.

  16. Gerald says:

    Natalie Alive and in League with the terrorists. I tried to see if there was a body when it exploded. Too hard to tell. But too many coincidences about the bomb and Alex leaving before the explosion. The biggest tell. Alex ran away, if she’d run into the building she would have seen no body.
    If Nat participated, her kid is in danger.

  17. Lulu says:

    I was bored. I have stuck with the show but I was kinda twiddling my thumbs thinking oh just die already.
    I am not impressed that the writers have decided that the bomber can now be anyone and not purely from those in the first ever episode.
    I also need more Simon on my screen, for me he steals every scene he’s in.
    So I guess I’m hanging on in there but I am not happy about it! I can’t just not watch because I want answers!
    *shakes tiny ineffectual fist in air*

  18. Ella Jasper says:

    This show reminds me of the last year or so of Lost. The writers seem to make it up as they go along with no real plan. And they expect us to follow along and just go with it.

  19. Kansas Blutbad says:

    The voice modifier on the phone call from the terrorist right after the final explosion cut out and made the voice sound female. Hmmm?

  20. zivanayis@gmail.com says:

    can someone help me, is the NAT training in the past and Natalie getting bombed in the future? cause i don’t get the time jumps. they confuse me.

    • Cyndi says:

      NAT training is the flashbacks to the past.

      I don’t know why there is so much hate for this show. I absolutely love it and it has secured watch live status which is really big for me. I know the plots are sometimes unrealistic, but this is a tv show. I’m watching for pure entertainment value and not to know the ins and outs of how the FBI works. I really like the actress who plays Alex, the character of Alex on the other hand is getting a little whiny.

  21. nkyler11 says:

    Natalie is alive. She made Alex when she played on her weakness to help others. Natalie guided every moment she found the laptop told Alex to walk away to get better reception she even encouraged Alex to leave the office so she could send the email while Alex talks to Ryan… In the training storyline they wrote her off as if they were saying goodbye to the character which made us think she is dead.. But like Miriam said no one does anything nice without wanting something in return. Clearly they shared this storyline for a reason…

  22. TM says:

    There was always something about Natalie that seemed off. I definitely wouldn’t rule out the possibility that she’s the terrorist (and that she faked her death in Clear), but she’s definitely not the first person I would suspect, either.
    IMO, the terrorist is Drew, the ex-NFL player. After the story about his girlfriend getting killed in a the crossfire of a shootout he skyrocketed to the top of my list. I wouldn’t exclude Booth’s ex-wife, either. Convenient how ALL of her superiors were killed in the second bombing…

  23. Josh Bedford says:

    I love Quantico! Those who say its unbelievable, its a tv show. And it does have elements of believability. And its just so intense and good! I would rather have not-real and intense than real and boring any day.

  24. Jenn says:

    I am just so confused.

  25. C says:

    At first I thought show was good now I just think lead character is wayyyy to over dramatic and the show is just dragging on makes it boaring

  26. FBI Agent says:

    According to my investigation Ryan Booth is definitely the bomber/terrorist.

  27. Art Ryden says:

    Anybody suspect the Senator? She got rid of her estranged husband in the second bombing.

  28. I have also suspected her. With her being on the short list for the VP nomination she would receive a lot of sympathy votes playing the grieving widow of the Deputy Director of the FBI

  29. Khush says:

    Priyanka’s acting was wonderful. She nailed it in last scene. But this whole track is getting a bit dragged. Whenever i start thinking that now alex has an upper hand. She is dragged down back. Natalie is gone. I dont think i can handle anymore character going away from. Killing characters on a show is a big turn off for me.

  30. Ellis says:

    When I have to have a site explain to me what I watched, there are issues.