The following post contains spoilers from Quantico‘s midseason premiere.
Aside from having a head of hair kissed by the angels themselves, Quantico‘s Alex Parrish just can’t catch a break, can she?
In Sunday’s midseason premiere, which took place three months after the bomb that detonated in the last moments of the midseason finale, Agent Parrish found herself answering to a committee investigating the explosion. Pretty much everyone involved — including Sen. Claire Haas, who lost her husband (and maybe her son? We’ll get to that in a minute) in the attack — wanted Alex to testify that Elias was the one and only terrorist behind both the Grand Central and FBI command center bombings.
Problem was, Alex just didn’t believe Elias acted alone. So she once more found herself trying to figure out the identity of the elusive criminal, while her friends/former classmates begged her to “let this go.” And Alex might’ve done so… if a hacker who’d helped her when she was on the lam hadn’t committed suicide by jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge. His last words, directed at Alex? “Tell her I thought I didn’t have a choice.”
After a passionate plea from Ryan, Alex goes before the committee and testifies that Elias acted alone — but her former classmates aren’t appeased, because they know she doesn’t believe it, and she’s still going to investigate the matter on her own. And then at the end of the episode, Alex gets a call that brings her to a remote location where she finds Natalie Vasquez, scared and with a bomb strapped to her — seemingly against her will. The takeaway: Alex may not have been the terrorist before, the disguised voice on the other end of the line informed her, but she will be now.
Meanwhile, back at Quantico, Miranda and Liam combined our NATs’ class with the class ahead of them, and some nasty rivalries began. But that also means there are double the number of hot people in Henleys, so we’ll allow it.
Below, series creator Joshua Safran gives TVLine the scoop on the new NATs, previews Alex’s not-so-bright-looking future and drops a hint or two about whether Caleb is alive or dead. Read on for the details.
TVLINE | You’ve said that the second half of the season allowed you to fix some areas you’d perceived as problematic in the first half. How so?
There’s a clarity of storytelling that we’ve been able to do. We tried to jam too much into both storylines in the first half, and we are proceeding more slowly with the future timelines in the second half. We’re focusing on one or two characters at a time, not bringing the Scooby gang together so quickly or even at all. I think that really helps. Also with the new recruits — I don’t know why, maybe we’ve gotten better at it or we figured out how to do it — they integrate really seamlessly and it doesn’t feel like it’s off story in any way to go into their stories and relationships. We learned the balance of that, too. I think I was trying to jam “every trainee has to have a piece of their backstory in every episode.” And I think now, it’s like, “no, you can learn about Drew in Episode 13 and you can learn about Iris in Episode 14. It doesn’t have to be constantly everybody all the time.”
TVLINE | The two classes didn’t blend very well in this episode. We saw a lot of competition between the two. Will that continue?
You have to learn how to work together as a family in the FBI. You’re not competing against each other. It’s not like who can be the best lawyer to win the case or who can be the best doctor to get Chief of Surgery. They learn very quickly how to work together. There definitely is friction, but it comes from outside pressures. For instance, one of them might learn about somebody’s secret life and not know what to do about that… Next episode  is the one where you see them all come together. [Laughs] It does come to blows a little bit between Iris and Shelby before that happens.
TVLINE | Caleb wasn’t seen alive in the future in the episode. What can you say about that?
I can say that Caleb will not be seen in the future for a very long time, if at all.
TVLINE | Is it safe to say that when Shelby is talking about trying to save Clayton’s life at the FBI command center, she might’ve mentioned it if Caleb had died, too?
It’s safe to say that Caleb didn’t die, but that’s not to say that Caleb wasn’t harmed.
TVLINE | We’ll continue to see Mark Pellegrino in the Quantico timeline?
He is in the Quantico timeline, yes.
TVLINE | I was bummed Eliza Coupe wasn’t in this episode.
We had a certain amount of episodes for her, so we wanted to mete them out properly. You will see her in the next episode. She has one of my favorite moments in the whole series in the opening act. It’s so fun to write for her, because we write these huge monologues and she delivers them flawlessly! It’s this character that just speaks in monologues and no one ever can cut her off. It’s really fun. She has a great one in the next episode. And then in an upcoming episode after that, finally Alex just yells at her, “Stop talking!”
What did you think of Quantico‘s midseason premiere? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments speculate about what’s next!