Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quantico 1x07 "Go" (Lean On Me) [Contributor: Meredith]

Original Airdate: November 8, 2015

As Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) learns in this week’s episode of Quantico, The Beatles were really onto something when they told the world that the best way to get by is with a little help from your friends. Both the flashbacks to training as well as the present day narrative in "Go" proved that going at it alone can only work for so long. Everyone needs people in their lives whom they can trust and rely on. While the message may have been a bit heavy-handed in its delivery, particularly in the flashbacks, the episode as a whole was fun, fast-paced, and moved the plot forward in an engaging way.

One thing I’ve decided about Quantico is that the viewer needs to understand what type of show they’re watching. While the pilot grabbed me and made me think this would be a smart, sort of gritty twist on the typical procedural, time has proven that Quantico is actually a light, soapy take on the typical procedural — and that’s okay! I find no shame in admitting that I really enjoy the ‘shippy, more soapy elements of the show — the relationships, romantic and otherwise. The twists and turns and questions and whodunnit aspect of it all still make it suspenseful and fast-paced, but by this point in the freshman season, the viewer has to accept that they are watching a certain genre of show, and either decide that it’s not for them, or sit back and enjoy the ride without taking the show too seriously.

Before going into some of my thoughts on the writing and acting this week, let’s take a quick look at what went down:


The NATs are preparing for their midterm exam, and the test has both a physical and mental component to it. Everyone seems up to the task, except Brandon, who I didn’t really remember until I was shown that he’s the guy sleeping with Natalie (who also really doesn’t matter much to me except that she apparently at some point gets between Booth and Alex). Caleb’s dad, assistant director Haas, is also onsite to help administer the test. He’s a jerk and offers Caleb money to flunk his test or something. Shelby thinks Director Haas is peaches, at first, but later realizes he isn’t and gives him a talking to. Maybe that’s when he decided he wanted to sleep with her?

There is obvious tension between Ryan and Alex and Simon and the twins. In the end, everyone works themselves out, mostly because they all have to in order to disarm a bomb... while locked in a room with no air conditioning. This was a clear test, and our core crew passes with flying colors. You know who doesn’t pass? Pretty Ricky, which is sad, because it seems like he’s on his way out.

The flashbacks end with Alex blackmailing Liam into reinstating Ryan as a special agent, but then Ryan leaves without saying goodbye to Alex and that was really rude after what she did for him.

Oh, also, everyone knows the twins are two different people now.


Outside of all the various relationships and friendships, my favorite aspect of the show is the group coming back together in present day. This cast has a ton of chemistry, and so seeing them all work together really elevates the show. This week, we get to see that group dynamic play out in spades. It starts with Alex and Simon finding Raina, who is watching the cell she and Nimah infiltrated while undercover. This is the cell that is likely actually responsible for the attack. Raina is convinced Nimah could not have been part of this, and enlists the others to help her get Nimah out safely. They are soon joined by Ryan and Shelby, and the crew working together to help keep Nimah’s cover intact.

However, Caleb and Natalie are onto the team, and share their concerns with Liam. Natalie surreptitiously places a tracker on Ryan (which is going to make things awkward in bed later) and the entire crew is tracked to their apartment in Queens. It looks like Shelby is in trouble, and there’s a big shootout with the terrorist cell, leaving it unclear what happened to the twins and Simon.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Alex are on the run when Ryan gets shot. They are cornered by Natalie, which leads Alex to tearfully offer herself up in exchange for Ryan and Natalie letting them go. This also may be awkward in bed later.

"Go" was overall a strong episode, even with its faults. There was more than one scene between the various couples in particular that felt a bit forced and overly dramatic for the milestones they’re all at in their relationships. The most realistic romantic pairing of them all to me is actually Simon and Raina. It’s clear in present day that something transpired between them, but we still don’t quite know what, exactly. And while Ryan’s speech to Alex about being torn up over how badly he hurt her was super sweet, again, it seems a bit fast for them to feel so deeply attached to one another. Their dynamic in the present day seems more fitting, since they’ve known each other much longer at this point.

I will say that the last couple weeks left me feeling a bit meh about the Golden Retrievers, but I mostly enjoyed them this week, and found myself rooting for them (even though we know that they aren’t on good terms in present day). I find Natalie’s presence kind of useless aside from drumming up manufactured trouble for Ryan and Alex, which doesn’t really work because it’s 100% clear that both flashback and present-day Ryan is totally smitten with Alex and the feeling seems pretty darn mutual.

This episode managed to find a good balance between the relationship/character work and the action, moving the plot along at a reasonable pace, while adding to the suspense and intrigue. I’m finding myself more and more interested in the Simon/twins dynamic — this is the storyline I really want to know more about. Now that I’ve accepted the type of show I’m watching, and maybe lowered my expectations just a tad, my viewing experience has become even more positive. I like this show, I like the cast and characters, and I’m willing to overlook some of the smaller issues in order to maintain my level of enjoyment.

Odds and Ends:
  • So, why were all those other NATs literally just standing around while our core group did all the work to dismantle the bomb during the test? How did all these other people pass when they did absolutely nothing? 
  • It was super sloppy of Ryan to talk openly with Miranda about helping Alex — Miranda is being held by the FBI for helping Alex, so of course she’s being watched!
  • As much as I enjoyed the Elias/Simon kiss... it really didn’t make sense to the narrative.
  • Also — I’m putting my first official guess in — I THINK ELIAS IS THE ONE BEHIND THE ATTACK. (That may be because I’m not ready to accept that Pretty Ricky is gone for good. But also... something is niggling at me. I think it could be him!)
  • Am I supposed to care about Brandon and/or Natalie? 
  • Next week promises the. biggest. twist. yet. I’m excited!


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