Quantico Recap S1 E1: How to Get Away with Terrorism

Quantico Series Premiere

Welcome to the Church of Shonda – a diverse congregation inclusive of all races, ethnicities, genders, and orientations. While there is a strict ceiling on olds (over 40), those few senior members who make the cut are often in leadership positions, including philandering President of the United States, totally unethical law school professor, and head of medicine who used to sleep with your mother. There is no need for shame within the church as everyone has secrets, usually involving murder although generally for a really good reason.

As with all religions, there must come a time when the congregation outgrows the individual upon whom the faith was founded. Today, we’re baptizing the newest baby born into the flock, Quantico, over which the divine Shonda Rhimes serves only as spiritual godmother with no actual role in its creation or development. Forever may she continue to inspire its heights and depths, its sins and confessions, its forbidden loves and sexy betrayals, its star-making performances and preposterous plot twists. Amen.

We open with a big boom and a hand rising as if from a grave because why not start off with a visual trope? There’s what looks like snow bouncing off the hand, but it’s not snow; it’s debris and ash. The rubble the hand is sticking out of is the remains of the recently blowed up Grand Central Station. There are cabs squashed by stone pillars, and why the person the hand belongs to wasn’t also squished is an interesting question that we shouldn’t think about because there’s no logical explanation.

Sexiest. Terrorist attack victim. Ever.

Those of us who are over twenty-five and from the New York metro area may ask ourselves, “Too soon?” And the answer is, “Yeah. Probably.” But the rest of America turned Ground Zero into a tourist attraction by Christmas 2001, so better learn to deal or change the channel.

Then there’s a flashback because in the Church of Shonda, linear time means nothing. Here we meet the owner of the hand. Her beauty may even surpass Olivia Pope’s. She’s also deceptive. First, she deceives her mother, who is smoking cigarettes, a sure sign of pathology and bitterness, about headed to the train when she’s actually taking a plane. Then, when she meets a cute man on the plane, she immediately lies to him about who she is and where she’s going. Next, she’s having sex with him in the front seat of his car, maybe because the restroom on the plane wasn’t available and they couldn’t get a room at the airport hotel, or even use the backseat which might have been a tad more comfortable. This was not one of television’s finer sex moments. If you are going to show us two attractive people doing it, we’d like some skin in the game, or at least some skin and not just seeing her pull up her pants from her ankles after the fact.

Least sexy. Car sex scene. Ever.

The beautiful woman is our hero (or heroine if that’s not completely anachronistic) Alex Parrish. But we also get quick shots of other attractive people. There’s Mormon Man, and Gay Guy. Gay Guy has gotten some random person to agree to meet him and pose for a selfie of them kissing. Is he going to meet his mother who is continuing to pester him to settle down? Is he sending it to his ex to say, “I am so over you and look how averagely cute my new boyfriend is?” Maybe we’ll find out later.

Wait, you mean gay characters need motivation beyond “he’s gay” for wacky, impulsive behavior? Who knew.

There’s also Hijab Woman. She tries to use a restroom at a convenience store but gets hassled because America hates her. Also, she doesn’t actually use the restroom, but instead retrieves something from under the toilet tank cover. When she leaves, another car appears to be following hers. Very mysterious, but there’s no way that television would actually have the woman in the hijab turn out to be anything but a loyal American, so there must be some not-a-terrorist explanation.

But back to Alex. After boning her rando (whose name is Ryan Booth), she refuses to tell him her name and gives him a quick peck goodbye. Of course she soon runs into him, and the other assorted beautiful people, in the auditorium at Quantico where they are all new recruits.

This sign saved 3 minutes of awkward expository dialogue.

Next, the recruits are settling in with their roomies in the dorm. The Gay Guy and the Mormon practice their Arabic or are just showing off in front of the good-looking but dickish (in a frat boy kind of way) blond-bit-of-beefcake. The Mormon knows Arabic from his mission to Malawi. The Gay Guy, who knows? Maybe he learned it on vacation in Morocco. But we do find out he used to be an accountant and he loves coffee. It’s noted that Hijab Woman (Nimah) has a single room because she’s devout and that way she wouldn’t be changing in front of other people and men wouldn’t accidently see her because of the close quarters. This doesn’t stop Gay Guy (Simon) from knocking on her door and opening it before she has time to say, “Don’t open it.” She is not amused.

What is the first assignment that the first year law students new medical interns NATs (new agency trainees) have? They have to find out each other’s secrets! How? By picking a photo of another recruit and researching them, then later asking the recruit yes or no questions in an interrogation room with everyone watching on video, while the subject is hooked up to a lie detector and retina-scanning thingamajig. Worst training icebreaker ever or the best?

"Want a really good icebreaker? Have sex with a guy in his car."

It’s flashfoward again, where we learn that Alex, who has just survived the worst terrorist bombing on U.S. soil since 9/11 uninjured, is at FBI headquarters. She’s been an agent a few months by now and has just been told that they have a tip that one of the recruits from her class was in on the bombing and probably was always a terrorist, so she is forced to remember everything she can about everyone from Quantico.

Flashback Time…

Page 2 at Happy Nice Time People

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