Quantico Recap Season 1 Episode 19

Quantico Recap: What's My Line?

Good news, Shelby Wyatt enthusiasts: Quantico‘s resident poor little rich girl isn’t the big bad after all.

Or, at least, that’s what she says in this week’s episode, which finds Shelby teaming up with Alex to outsmart the person/people really behind the bombings. Unfortunately for Will, though, it looks like they’re a little too late. As in, “My skin is about to fall off my body, so far advanced is my radiation poisoning” too late. Because yeah, the show’s vague villain now has a nuclear bomb at his/her/their disposal.

And back in the pre-graduation weeks at the academy, it’s time to pick a specialty. Read on for more about “Fast.”

WELCOME BACK, WYATT | Let’s do the present timeline first, because poor Will may not last much longer. Caleb wakes up in the middle of heroin withdrawal and wonders why he’s chained to the radiator in Alex’s bathroom. “You asked me to,” she gently reminds him. She leaves him to go to work — didn’t she flee the FBI last episode when Ryan and Nimah were on to her? Did I miss something about why it’s safe now for her to go back? — which prompts Caleb to make a call. “She left,” he says, but we don’t see who’s on the other end of the line. “I tried to stop her.”

Agent Parrish arrives at work to find Shelby (!) sitting in the center of it all, overseeing a systems upgrade as a civilian contractor (her family’s company makes the software). Alex is all, “No! Terrorist! Stop!” But Miranda doesn’t want to hear it. Still, Alex’s accusations worry the boss enough that she halts the upgrade, giving Alex time to talk to Shelby and her side bangs.

DASH DOT DIE? | Though Shelbs acts very antagonistic toward her former classmate, Alex notices that the blonde is tapping out something in Morse code with her finger: “I’m on your side.” When Shelby’s story checks out, everything goes back to normal; the two friends meet in the stairwell for a secret check-in, and it goes something like this.

The terrorist contacted Shelby and said Caleb would die unless she rented a van under the name Mark Raymond and drove to the spot where Alex saw her. The Voice, as she calls it, is actually all of their classmates’ voices “braided together” and run through a server in the FBI’s New York headquarters; by installing the upgrade, Shelby explains, she can monitor what’s going on and perhaps track the terrorist down. Oh, and she and Caleb are working together. “I really missed you,” Alex says. They hug.

Later on, The Voice calls Shelby. “What were you doing in the field office today? If I find out you screwed with me, I’ll make sure you die first,” it threatens. Her software doohickie traces the call to an address in East Harlem.

It’s a church, and Will’s up at the altar, begging them not to come any nearer. “I’m sick. I don’t have much time,” he cries. “I helped build it with my own hands. You have to find it. You have to find it fast.” He collapses, he bleeds, it’s gross. And it seems like things are much more dire now, eh?

This also might be a good time to mention that Natalie’s mom finds Ryan to tell him she hasn’t heard from her daughter in a while. When Ryan goes to his ex’s place, all of her stuff is still there. Color him suspicious…

SISTEMICS SHUT DOWN! (KINDA) | Back in the Quantico timeline, it’s the academy’s equivalent of career day: Various departments in the FBI come to the school to pitch their specialties to the almost-graduates. Will is missing — the story is that he got jumped by thugs on his morning jog, but Shelby knows the truth… and Iris suspects something nefarious — and Caleb is on leave for a “family emergency.”

Shelby once more decides to rush into Liam’s office and throw Caleb under the bus, saying that he’s in a cult and “a danger to all of us.” But when her complaint gets no traction, she shows up at the Sistemics mothership and gets past the receptionist by offering an opening donation of $500,000. Once inside, she runs into Caleb, who informs her he’s on an off-the-books, undercover operation sanctioned by his dad, and his Mark Raymond glasses contain a camera he hopes will catch the leader admitting to planning that courthouse bombing way back when. She leaves.

Quantico Recap Season 1 Episode 19Long story short, Caleb does get the damning evidence he needs, but the worst that happens is that Sistemics loses its tax-exempt status. That’s huge — stripping Scientology of a similar status is essentially the central point of the excellent Going Clear documentary — but it doesn’t seem like enough to Caleb. “Nobody’s gonna even know what I did,” he sadly says to Clayton. “I’ll know,” his dad replies. Later, Clayton snows Shelby by telling her she saved Caleb’s life, explaining his son’s absence by saying he’s being “deprogrammed” and then offering her a job in his office after graduation.

NO GREAT SHAKES | Drew’s hand tremors return, and when they nearly cause Alex to fall off a building during an exercise, she tells Ryan. They confront the former NFLer, and he leaves the program. Again. Meanwhile, the twins are assigned an old-school (read: kind of jerky) handler who warns them that they’re being pigeonholed; when Islamic terrorists are no longer the FBI’s biggest problem, he reasons, Raina and Nimah will become obsolete.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? 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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  1. dan says:

    That was a snooze fest. Do we know how or why or when Miranda got back into the good graces of the FBI that she is now in some sort of managerial position with her Sally Jesse Raphael-red glasses? And just so I’m clear: at mid-season they added three more NATs, one of whom is now dead, one has left the program for medical reasons, and one didn’t get a security clearance last week. What was the point? Finally, please give the guy who plays Caleb some acting lessons over the summer hiatus.

    • SHONDA LAUREL says:

      And what is the chain of command between her, Ryan and Liam?

    • AJ says:

      Yeah, this show is making no sense, most of the writing seems to be just filler until the finale. At this point unless Iris or Drew are connected to the terrorists plot, I’m not sure what the point of merging the NATs together, unless it was to just through another suspect or three in the mix. Where has Miranda been this whole time? Yeah…And character development is all around just bad.

  2. I hope I’m not the only one who feels completely lost…almost to the point of just wanting the season to end…

    • AJ says:

      Yeah you’re not the only one, so much doesn’t make sense, this show could have been structured way better. At this point it can’t end soon enough.

    • Alan Dvorkis says:

      Your not. I was so confused that at one point they said to go get Alex to Alex. I thought there was another set of twins at that point.

    • ana says:

      I thought I was the only one!! I’m completely lost.. Frankly, this show is giving me stress.. no more Quantico for me!

      • mrmcgee says:

        Theyve made it too complicated with the NATs coming in and out of the program on top of keeping track of who is where in the “future.” I like big casts but there are too many characters. I still like the show but it seemed so much more straightforward at the beginning of the season. Has that bombing even been remembered?

        I also don’t get how the newer Nats were merged with the originals. They were touted as being ahead, but they’re all finding at the same time?

  3. AJ says:

    I’m over this show, been over it for awhile. This sort of show doesn’t work well with 20+ episodes in a season, because it is dragged to death. Not to mention the story line written is so awful and doesn’t make a lot of sense. Also, way to many characters to focus on and not enough time to expand on them, because of the whole back and forth trying to tie it all together, which is still being done poorly.(Why did Miranda randomly appear, while she’s been MIA for so long) Where are the other nats in present day that haven’t been shown in present day, it makes you think, because they all are pretty present during their time at Quantico. I’ve only been watching to see if I’m right on who the terrorists is/are, but every week I get closer to pulling the plug. ABC should have gave this show a shortened season like How to Get Away With Murder, at least things wouldn’t be drawn out too long. I hate commenting on the internet, but this show has frustrated me so much and I had extremely high hopes back in September.

  4. SHONDA LAUREL says:

    Why is the writing for Alex so inconsistent? Last episode she said she didn’t know who Ryan was because of all his undercover work but this episode he is her friend? She broke up with Ryan because he kept her from focusing on her training but she starts sleeping with Drew son after. Does he not keep her from focusing? And you have to read his post show interviews to get answers to questions that should be shown onscreen.

    • AJ says:

      The writing is just all around bad. It seems to air on the side of unnecessary conflict when it comes to Alex. I mean unless the writers want Alex to be this unlikable and inconsistent. I’m still confused on why Ryan is so against Alex in present day, which just a few months ago he would do anything for her, I’m not buying what they are trying to sell.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I too don’t get how Ryan would take bullets for Alex a couple episodes ago and now he’s ready to see her go down??? Ugh, I just want to know who the terrorist is so I can move on with life.

  5. Max says:

    Quantico spends so much time flipping back and forth between timelines that I find myself losing interest in both. I know that’s its shtick, but I’m hoping it changes format for season 2.

  6. I wonder what they will do next season. The time period of the flashbacks is almost covered, so the format will either have to change, or they will have to do two more timelines–one picking up after the finale, and one set months in the future.

    • SHONDA LAUREL says:

      It will be 2 timelines again, one dealing with their first year of being an agent after graduation and the second timeline will focus somehow in a crime in NY.

  7. Amanda says:

    This show had promise, but now its a hot mess! I stick by what I said in the beginning, they should have shown the bombing in the beginning and then the 1st season should have been them at Quantico for character building! I don’t like any of them!

  8. wrstlgirl says:

    I’ve only been reading the recaps since the first episode after the break was such a mess. Glad I’m not the only one who feels this show has completely lost it’s way.

  9. Ella Jasper says:

    Who renewed this show? And who is writing this show? Is it someone different every week? I have given up trying to follow it. It reminds me of the last days of Lost, I could not keep up. Maybe it will be a mid-season starter next year and ride off into never, never land. Great premise, terrible execution. (IMO)

    • SHONDA LAUREL says:

      Yes they have different writers each week . The person that writes the episode usually tweets with the fans while the show is airing.

  10. Terry says:

    This series is going in circles. It wasn’t enough that the writers created a ludicrous plot line and an absurd story line — the FBI must be far more colorful and vulnerable to extortion by terrorists than any sane person might imagine. No … they had to weave the story between past and present to the point of outrageous distraction. Interesting for awhile, I hope that it is cancelled for lack of interest by a public with much more entertaining options on Sunday nights. May the cast be re-employed quickly and the writers find other occupations to pursue.

  11. Nudda says:

    Crap writing. Crap acting. Crap around.

  12. Joan says:

    I was so into the show but now it’s not making any sense – first two episodes was great – stop the madness people

  13. Me says:

    My theory is that Natalie faked her death (we never saw a body, did we?) and that she’s the real terrorist. Anybody agrees?

    • Reese says:

      This. I think her whole backstory with her daughter is fake, the phone call from mom fake, and that she’s been playing everyone.

  14. Jo says:

    Cannot follow this show at all. I have no idea what timeframe they are in anymore. It is extremely annoying and not even interesting beyond the “can’t look away from this train wreck” affect. Wishing they had put time stamps on the screen whenever they switched!

  15. Sydney says:

    Please makeup people tone it down! The “twins” makeup is way too extreme, not to mention Shelby’s false eyelashes. And Miranda was barely recognizable under all that face and eye makeup!! Someone has a heavy hand with the crimson lipstick.

  16. I am about ready to give up on this show as well…I don’t buy into the psychological games they play on the trainees and how close each of them gets multiple times to being dismissed–as well as days where they set up games between cohorts where the whole point of the competition is to ruin other people’s careers and have them sent home. No organization could be structured on that kind of foundational interaction and then expect them to trust each other with their lives. The constant threat of dismissal for the smallest of infractions doesn’t fit well with all the serious corruption and cover-up with Miranda, Liam and Caleb’s father. It just makes all the trainers’/leaders’ speeches and lessons seem sanctimonious and deeply hypocritical. The multiple timelines seem to be designed to want us to be curious about “hey what happened in between?” (how does Miranda get reinstated, oh I have seen Ryan in the future so he can’t die from this, etc.) but instead it just makes everything seem arbitrary with no real connections–that we can’t figure things out because everything is arbitrary and can be filled in by simply revealing one more soap opera-ish new plot twist.

  17. ana says:

    I watch TV to relax… this show gives me stress.. I really cannot follow it.. I GIVE UP!!
    not more Quantico for me!!

  18. Bonny says:

    I’m confused. Miranda was fired in last week’s episode and now she’s back with no explanation. Did I miss something?

  19. DDk says:

    I think this show is catering to the large indian audience, it is why they cast Priyanka Chopra and why the storyline is as it is. Having said that it is terrible writing and all over the place. With a different writer every episode, it has turned into that game we used to play where one person starts the story and each person takes his/her turn to continue it. I don’t know, I just want it to end

    • SHONDA LAUREL says:

      Well they are going to need more than that to keep it on the air so I hope they make some tweaks before next season. Reading her last interview I don’t think she is long for TV anyway.

  20. Emily Sloane says:

    I am so disappointed with this show. I was really excited about this show from the previews and it started off pretty good. Now with all the back and forth with the two timelines, I am always confused, How did Miranda get back? I thought she was fired. I so wanted to like this show but it is a big mess. Mediocre acting, no one to really like, not enough depth to the characters. Come on, I want to like this show. Fix it.

  21. Janis says:

    Very confusing with all this time flipflopping. Kinda corny, but something keeps us watching each week.