There’s a lot of sex going on at Quantico, but there’s even more betrayal. The main message of the episode is that someone is always watching and secrets have a way of getting out. If you want to review the unanswered questions of the series without all the recap and speculation, scroll down to the end of this blog post.
At Quantico Academy
Alex and Ryan enjoy some steamy shower sex to start their day. Elias has left Simon a sweet note, now completely free of any suspicion he had. Natalie advises Nimah (or Raina?) to ask Simon out. And Caleb and Shelby are in his room having sex, but when he asks her out to dinner she says she already has dinner plans but will meet him afterwards. Is everyone hooking up now? So much for the rule that NATs aren’t allowed to date each other.
The assignment of the week involves surveillance, trying to spot things people don’t want you to see or secrets someone might want to share but they’re scared to (cue focus on Ryan). For this assignment they learn about DITU or the Digital Intercept Technology Unit, which of course is what they’re using in the present to view footage from Grand Central Station. Funny how that ties in so nicely. For the live challenge of the exercise (for those who pass the first part of the lesson) they get to surveil Miranda.
Alex and Ryan
Alex is really happy with how things are progressing with Ryan, as she tells Shelby when the two gossip about their sex lives. She thinks he shows promise. Ryan, however, is worried since he has a major secret. He asks Simon for advice, nervous about how Alex will react when she learns the truth. He then decides to ask Alex out on a real date, perhaps intending to tell her the truth? They never get to have that date though.
For the weekly assignment, the two of them are stationed together in a van outside Miranda’s house, where they’re surprised to find Liam. As they listen to Liam and Charlie talk, something interferes with their bug. When Ryan goes to fix it, he naturally gets caught by Liam, who immediately jumps to the conclusion that Ryan is spying on either him or Miranda: ”Your job watching Alex Parish is over…. Your standing as an agent in the bureau is finished.” Unable to get Liam to shut up, he snaps out the details of their assignment and points to Alex listening to every word in the van. She’s tearful, but then spots Charlie sneaking out of the house and drives off to follow him as Ryan shouts after her.
That night, Ryan finds Alex still in the surveillance van outside the school (where Miranda and Charlie are, see below) and tries to explain. He didn’t know why Liam wanted her followed, and he insists sleeping with her was all him, not the assignment. He honestly has feelings for her: “Liam took me off the case when he found out we got too close. I lost my position at the bureau over you.” She’s still furious, though, and doesn’t care what he might have lost.
Wanting to get to the bottom of this, Alex goes to Liam, pretending she doesn’t blame him for anything since he was only doing his job. Liam offers the (in my opinion) lame explanation that he only had Ryan following her to ensure she had no ulterior motives for joining the FBI after what happened with her father. He also claims he ended the assignment once he saw what an asset she was. Her ruse works, and she uses her time in his office to plant a bug.
To complete her separation from Ryan, she switches rooms with Natalie of all people. Why Natalie??? They hate each other. From her new room, she spies on Liam (thanks to that bug and her laptop) and hears him place an urgent call to Clayton Haas.
Shelby and Caleb
Caleb spends the episode thinking Shelby is dating Brandon, the second richest NAT after her. He even complains to Natalie that Shelby’s dating someone she actually likes, so Natalie advises him to find out who she’s dating and take him out. When he confronts Shelby about dating Brandon, she doesn’t deny it.
During the surveillance exercise, Caleb sends Brandon to follow Miranda’s assistant, who’s headed to a 3 day conference in Maine. Natalie tells him he’s a moron – she’s the one dating Brandon, not Shelby. Why would Shelby lie about it? Caleb assumes it’s because Shelby wanted to put him in his place, but she explains she likes him more than she should and that’s why she created these boundaries. He pulls her focus and she needs to concentrate on becoming an FBI agent since that’s why she’s there.
Miranda and Liam
Miranda’s son Charlie is now at home with her, remanded to her custody, and Miranda’s scared he’ll try something else. Liam goes to see her since she’s missed three days of work. She admits she’s worried she may not catch Charlie if he tries something again, especially since Charlie has never accepted responsibility for trying to shoot up a school. Back when the two of them were having an affair Liam spent a lot of time around Charlie, so he offers to try to talk to him while Miranda goes back to work.
Charlie wants nothing to do with Liam, though, criticizing how Liam stopped coming around the moment his dad found out about Liam and Miranda. Essentially he’s saying Liam never truly cared about his mom. But when Liam tells Charlie that he has no idea what happened between the three of them, Charlie retorts, “Well you’re here, he’s dead. Does that mean you won?” He also claims his mom made the whole school thing up. What really happened there? Did Miranda misinterpret something or is Charlie lying? Possibly trying to get Charlie to finally acknowledge his crime, Liam shows him a photo of his daughter and some other kids who go that school.
That night, Miranda finds her son standing outside the school and talks to him about how next time it won’t be juvie, it’ll be prison:
Miranda: You know why I’m scared? Because I stood in front of you knowing you had a bag of guns and a list of kids you wanted to kill.
Charlie: You’re making this up because you want to make an excuse for me to go back to prison.
Miranda then tells him she found his note and burned it, which is the reason he only got two years. It’s a tearful conversation for both of them as they get their feelings out. But Charlie’s still getting messages from someone online, and it’s still unclear what really happened.
Simon and The Twins
Simon starts to ask out Raina, but before he can finish his sentence she excuses herself and runs back to the room to talk to Nimah. She’s nervous since Miranda ordered them not to get close to anyone, saying to her sister, “I’m not like you, Nimah. I believe in following the rules.” So she asks her sister to swap places with her and let Simon know she’s not interested – Nimah’s better at that since she doesn’t like Simon in the same way Raina does.
Instead of doing that, Nimah suggests the two of them blow off the exercise and spend the day together. She then texts Raina “Simon is going to knock. All you have to do is open the door.” Raina does let Simon in, because we next see them having tea together. Simon admits he was only pretending to be gay, that at a certain point in his life it was easier to do that than show people who he really was. Raina, incredibly understanding of this deception, removes her hijab and lets him kiss her.
Unfortunately that happiness doesn’t last. Simon goes to their room later and sees Nimah is actually twins. As they try to stop him from leaving he falls and hits his head, so Raina runs to get Miranda while Nimah locks him in a closet.
Grand Central Bombing (Present)
Shelby is now fully on Alex’s side. The two of them share breakfast together in Alex’s hotel room as they watch the news. Alex suspects Caleb of being involved in the bombing, but Shelby disagrees – she also reveals that he hasn’t spoken to her since Quantico. Wonder what led to those two breaking up, because they’re going hot and heavy still in this episode.
As for Ryan, is he living with Natalie? Either way, he wakes up beside her when Alex calls him to ask if she can get access to the footage of Grand Central that the FBI is reviewing. But he lies to Natalie and tells her it was O’Connor calling – and he’s smart enough to have put Alex’s number under Liam O’Connor’s name. Suspicion alleviated after checking his phone, Natalie joins him in the shower.
Back at the FBI, Caleb is the one in charge of going through all the surveillance footage. His dad Clayton (the Executive Assistant Director of the FBI and Liam’s boss) is supervising. Caleb brags to Ryan that he’s the fastest rising agent in FBI history, and that he thinks they should bring back the electric chair for Alex when they catch her.
Clayton and Caleb definitely have issues with each other, as Caleb accuses Clayton and Liam of not being able to separate out their personal lives from their professional ones, and not being able to see through the fog of their mid-life crises.
Simon agrees to help Alex by bugging Caleb’s computer so Alex can see the footage as Caleb sees it. When she sees him delete a file, she has Simon get her access to that. Alex calls Ryan to help and Natalie sees a call from “Liam O’Connor” on his phone. But she spots Liam in a meeting, clearly not on the phone. Being the intelligent FBI agent she is, that strikes her as odd.
The deleted file is a fight between Caleb and his father. Shelby, agitated, tries to get Alex to stop watching the footage. But then Caleb does a facial recognition search to find his father elsewhere and spots Caleb and Shelby kissing. Shelby explains to Alex, “Caleb knew about [his father's] affair, he just didn’t know who it was with.” Shelby was working with Clayton in New York for a few months and they bonded, eventually leading to their affair. When Alex asks why Shelby didn’t tell her, Shelby says, “We don’t talk, Alex. And when we did, you weren’t all that trustworthy with my secrets.” Wonder what happened there! Alex apologises, but continues “secrets have a way of getting out. You know that.”
Shelby goes to talk to Caleb: “I’m so sorry, we never meant to hurt you.” She admits it’s a total soap opera, but offers some justification in that Caleb’s parents don’t live together anymore, his mom just won’t grant Clayton a divorce as long as she’s in office. Caleb’s devastated though, telling Shelby “I loved you, and you rejected me… I spent my entire life thinking that I wasn’t as good as him, but you’re the one person who made me feel like maybe I was. But I guess that was just a lie, huh?” He has tears in his eyes as he walks away from her.
The episode of betrayal continues when Natalie tells Liam that Ryan is helping Alex without talking to her boyfriend first. Then Simon and Alex spot one of the twins on the footage at Grand Central days before the attack.
Ongoing Questions (From Pilot to Current Episode)
These will be updated in each blog post. Any questions previously on the list that have been answered will be in next section below.
1. Obviously the most pressing question is who blew up Grand Central Station? And, related to that, who’s framing Alex?
2. Why did Liam really have Ryan spy on Alex? What did he tell Miranda to convince her his op is a matter of national security?
3. What happened in Chicago with Liam and Ryan?
4. Who did Shelby transfer a million dollars to? And what’s the deal with her half-sister?
5. Why does Caleb have that Mark Raymond social media page? What’s the email about, and who’s he going to interview with?
6. What happened between Miranda and Liam exactly? How did her husband die?
7. Why does Natalie wear a fake scar?
8. What happens between Alex and Liam at Quantico?
9. How did Shelby end up not talking to either Alex or Caleb? What secret of hers did Alex reveal? Why did she end things with Caleb?
10. Why does Simon get kicked out of Quantico?
11. What secret is Alex’s mom Sita keeping involving Liam and Alex’s father? How well did Liam know them? Why doesn’t he ever tell Alex he knew her father?
12. Is Simon telling the truth about why he’s made up this fake persona? Is there any significance to him taking photo with Max at Grand Central or was that just a convenient location?
13. What really happened with Charlie? Did he plan to kill a bunch of kids or did Miranda misinterpret something?
Answered Questions Previously on the List
1. How does Ryan go from Alex to Natalie?
This one isn’t completely answered, but presumably things change when Alex swaps rooms with Natalie, putting her into Ryan’s orbit.
2. Why did Simon go to Gaza?
He was in the Israeli Defense Forces, they sent him to Gaza.
What do you think? Any theories about these ongoing questions? Did you enjoy the episode? As always, I welcome your comments!