Monday, March 14, 2016

Quantico 1x13 Review: “Clear” (INFJ? INFP? ENTJ? ESTP?)

Original Airdate: March 13, 2016

I don’t remember how many years ago it was now, but I took the Myers Briggs personality test (officially known as the MBTI — or Myers Briggs Type Indicator), and when I read the results, I was immediately floored. Because the description that was written was me, down to the letter. As I read the paragraphs detailing my personality traits and what each of the letters meant, I found myself so utterly relieved that someone was able to articulate how and why I feel in such an accurate way.

For the record, I am an INFJ (Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling). As a sample, here is what is true of me as an INFJ. Pretty interesting, right? And spot-on, for those of you who know me well enough to know my personality and the way that I react to situations and people. Generally, people have an idea of where they fall on the Myers-Briggs spectrum of things, whether or not they’ve actually taken the personality test in order to solidify their type. If you have never taken the test, I highly recommend that you do and learn more about yourself in the process.

There’s a reason, of course, that I’m discussing this particular personality test, and it’s because it was a foundational component of this week’s Quantico, “Clear.” In the flashbacks, the NATs were tasked with learning all about and applying the concept of “human intelligence.” Namely, the fact that there are certain things you can only learn from meeting with someone face-to-face and studying their — you guessed it! — personality. Meanwhile, in the present-day, things aren’t looking so hot for Natalie and Alex, as they need to hand over FBI intel in order to get that pesky bomb removed from Natalie’s chest. Things get (I’m so sorry for this) explosive toward the end of the episode, in more ways than one.

Time to talk about our personalities!


So let’s talk about the flashbacks briefly. The NATs, as I noted above, need to learn all about human intelligence and how to practically apply what they learn. Of course, this involves spying because what school assignment doesn’t these days?! While the baby NATs spy on the older NATs, and vice versa, they begin to learn things about one another based on personality type. I feel like the NATs are asked to spy on their fellow students a lot (remember how horribly that went for y’all in the pilot?), but in this case, it’s less to undermine one another and instead is about learning more about how to approach each other.

And as it turns out, all of this information will be especially useful when the NATs are asked to head to a popular D.C. bar and catch a sketchy government officials and people who benefit from these people. The NATs have one business card each with the FBI’s number on it. Their goal is to get someone to call the number before the end of the night. Instinctively, some of the NATs pair up just like they did during the earlier classroom demonstrations. Alex and her new BFF Drew decide, briefly, to find someone at the bar to lure in. And while they’re sitting, Alex and Drew get to know one another a bit more. I like Drew, even though he’s kind of a stereotypical douchey male character. There’s something else to him though — a drive and a will to not let injustices rest — that is appealing. And he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Alex and Drew have a great rapport, and while I think Priyanka Chopra could have chemistry with a rock, I don’t foresee the writers taking Drew/Alex down a romantic path. I would very much appreciate if they didn’t, because right now they seem to work fairly well as verbal sparring partners. Near the end of the episode, Drew even confides in her that there was a shooting that took the life of his girlfriend in Chicago, and that was the primary motivator for him to enter the FBI. Funnily enough (okay, not really funny at all), guess who was on assignment in Chicago and was at the crime scene? Liam!

Elsewhere, Caleb tries to get close again to Shelby but she keeps rebuffing him. Iris — their new third wheel — decides to set her eyes on a waiter so that she can sway him into giving the FBI a call and handing over the corrupt people he deals with. Similarly, Alex ends up finding a congressman and nearly has him agree to call the FBI... but he makes a request, first: he has a DUI and if the FBI can scrub it from his record, he’ll turn in the corruption he knows about. Alex agrees to the deal, just as Iris agrees to a similar one with her waiter.

Unfortunately, this was all a test to see if the NATs would be swayed in making their own deals to get the intel that they needed. Alex and Iris failed, as did the rest of the class. It’s an important lesson, though, since the slippery slope of morality is problematic in not only this show, but real life as well. Instead of getting information, the girls were making deals — and deals are dangerous.


... Which brings us to the present, in which Alex is desperately trying to not get Natalie killed. She listens to the terrorist’s requests, and complies with them. But she’s not alone, this time, because having a bomb strapped to your chest is the kind of thing that lets Natalie know that Alex was actually right. Again. I’ve lost track of how many times she’s been right about things, but let’s just say that it’s “a lot” and move on.

The terrorist wants access to a server that Alex doesn’t have access to. Do you know why? Because when she pulled her stunt in court, she returned to work at the FBI, but doing clerical work. Yeah, Ryan’s ex-wife Hannah is now in charge of the task force. And as you might imagine, she’s not really happy with Alex’s antics or the fact that she made 32 deaths all about her. So Hannah sticks her on desk duty, but Alex and Natalie still manage to finagle their way into the server and send the intel over to the terrorist. Right before they do, however, they realize that they’re about to send travel plans for the presidential candidates.

Natalie comes up with a plan to attach a bug to the files, so that when they’re sent, they’ll be able to track them and the terrorist. As soon as the plans are delivered, Natalie’s bomb vest is unlocked and the ladies head to an abandoned warehouse (seriously, these things are apparently all over the place in television shows) where it appears the terrorist just was. As if on cue, Natalie investigates the computer that was left behind, and Alex gets a call from the terrorist and she steps outside to take it because it keeps dropping out in the warehouse itself. First things first, ladies: if you see an abandoned warehouse, just don’t enter it. Secondly, I’ve watched enough of television to know that nothing is ever just accidentally left behind by a bad guy! IT’S A TRAP. ALWAYS.

EW’s recap basically called this new terrorist an adult version of Pretty Little Liars’ “A,” and I’m beginning to think that they’re correct. Because when Alex finally does get the terrorist back on the phone, it’s basically in enough time to hear Natalie yell and the building explode... with Natalie still in it. Alas, poor character. We barely knew you. Or your purpose on this show.

Alex, more freaked out than any time we have ever seen her, is in utter hysterical meltdown and heads to Booth’s apartment, where she continues to have such a breakdown that he offers to call and check her into an institution. Alex emphatically agrees that she needs to do that (again, believing that if she’s locked up, the terrorist will stop, I guess? Wow, this really IS Pretty Little Liars and “A” all over again).

But then she gets a text (FROM “A”) with a photo (FROM “A”) of her and Booth (“A”) and realizes that no one she cares about is safe anymore. So she bolts, picks up the phone and — after being threatened by “A”... er, the terrorist — agrees to do whatever they want from here on out, to the letter. Alex is completely and utterly broken, and at the mercy of this person now. The question lingers: how many more deaths will she have on her hands if she follows his/her orders?

How many deaths will she have on her hands if she doesn’t?

Additional fun:
  • This episode was more of a recap for me, since there wasn’t a lot of character-driving stuff to really discuss. Priyanka Chopra absolutely nailed the final few minutes of the episode though. Her nervous breakdown made ME feel like I was getting a little more frantic and frenzied, and it was sad to watch this normally-steely FBI agent so inconsolably distraught.
  • Back in flashback-land that I didn’t discuss: Will is creepy and has photos of everyone in his sock drawer, which he crosses off with red X’s; Caleb and Shelby realize that the woman posing as Shelby’s half-sister has not been kidnapped, and has instead just taken Shelby’s money. The poor girl keeps getting conned and it’s the last straw for her — she, with the help of Iris, is dead-set on getting her money back. Oh, and also Raina is still slinking around with that terrorist group who abducted Charlie, and Nimah is getting tired of being lied to, so she follows her twin.
  • Liam and Alex had a thing that happened on New Year’s Eve and they’re not talking about it. Apparently.
  • The NATs were doing burpees at the beginning of the episode, reminding me how much I hate burpees.
  • “Does every guy treat you like you’re the center of the universe?”
Was anyone really surprised at Natalie’s death? Who do you think the terrorist is? Hit up the comments below and let me know what you thought of “Clear”!


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