Quantinco: Winter Finale (1×11) - Inside
The introduction to the winter finale of Quantico really makes you think about the prospects of allowing a bomb to go off or being a bomber yourself. The episode starts off with a black screen with Simon in the background asking a proverbial question about silencing the world around you.
“You ever want to push a button and make it all go away? Everyone you ever loved and lost? Everything that ever hurt you? Just one button. No more fighting, no more regrets, no more noise. Blow it all up and see what happens.” - Simon
The transition into the next scene is a clip of Grand Central being bombed and the newscaster states, “New York may be down but not out”. I almost laughed at this direct jab at the way the media takes real life events, up or down plays them to manipulate the masses to feel certain things. I feel it is one the main underlying themes of the TV show; information, and how it is distributed to the rest of the world. In an earlier episode Alex is aided by The Underground, a black market group that deals in information. The Underground helps Alex broadcast a message to the world that she is innocent. (As a viewer, if you saw her message on pop up on your TV, would you believe her?)
“When you are an agent, work will always be on your mind; victims will haunt you, evidence will elude you, cases will stay with you. Particularly those that you fail to solve.” – Miranda
Miranda starts off the major theme of this episode; being an FBI agent is not always rewarding. We have seen some intense situations thus far in the series, but this episode pushes the cold hard truth about the downsides of becoming an FBI agent. She assigns the NATs cold cases, to see if they can find any new information to help solve them.
Even though the NATs were given homework over their break Alex, Nimah, Shelby, and Natalie all have a good time bonding over their “unsolved” cases, booze, and boy troubles of course. “Re-Dialing Ryan, last time he didn’t answer my phone.” Alex says as she is drunk dialing Ryan, whom she has feelings for. I, being a girl and understanding her drunken logic, laughed really hard when she said that. This scene adds to the fact that all of the FBI agents and trainees are not super human beings or robots. They all have feelings and they do (some of) the same things that regular people do.
In the next scene they come back to the present and switch gears to show that FBI agents need to be dead-serious in order to do their jobs. Alex, Nimah, Natalie, and Elias find Simon tied up in a hotel room with a bomb remote taped to his hand. Simon is claiming that he has been set up, and threatens them with the prospect of letting go of the remote to get Elias to confess that he knows more than he has let on. This is where Simon delivers his ominous lines about just letting the bomb go off. “Blow it all up, and see what happens. Blow it all up just so you can get some damn quiet… So, you better start telling the truth, or it is gonna get real, real quiet. ”
Elias then desperately divulges that he himself has been threatened and that he is guilty for allowing the Grand Central bombing to happen. You see his mind self destruct as he reveals all of this information, in the end he believes he has no way out and pushes himself out of the window. Shocker? Honestly, I’m not shocked at all, because he proved himself to be a coward in an earlier episode about self sacrifice. So, Elias taking an easy way out of the situation demonstrates in the worst way that some people cannot handle the consequences of their actions. Especially, those human folk who work in high stress jobs; let’s say an FBI agent?
My favorite line of the show was delivered in a less important scene. As the small group of NATs, that stayed behind over the break, walk into Caleb’s family mansion to join in his family’s New Years Eve party. Shelby asks him if he really grew up there. “Are you kidding me. My mom waited to buy Hogwarts until after my sister and I left so we would learn humility and values.” Caleb knows his pop culture and is witty, that is one of the reasons he is my favorite character so far in the season.
At the New Years Eve party we learn that Caleb naturally sabotages things with his need to be right. You see this when he outs his mom to his dad about the real reason for giving him a second chance at the marriage, candidacy for Vice President. For some reason this character flaw is fascinating to me as a viewer. People self sabotage all the time, and project their issues onto others. At the end of the episode Shelby explains it clearly for everyone to understand, “You are willing to blow things up just to get people see your truth, instead of just helping them find it for themselves.”
Also at the New Year’s Eve party we find Ryan, with his ex-wife, on an undercover mission. Ryan’s ex-wife corners Alex with the truth about how she broke Ryan’s heart. Alex is also heartbroken, but is spoon fed the idea that it’s for the best not to peruse the matter to allow Ryan to start healing from the hurt she caused.
At the end of the episode we see Alex and Liam in the car together. Alex convinces Liam to take her anywhere instead of allowing her to go into the dorms. Okay, I saw this coming, Liam and Alex getting closer and possibly romantically involved. But I did not think it would happen so soon after Ryan left the training program. This episode did not shed the brightest light on Alex’s character, which is kind of a relief. If Alex is a human and has feelings, then she cannot be the perfect FBI trainee all the time; which in turn makes her a more relatable character, because no one is perfect.
This scene is also where Liam explains to Alex the ‘unsolvable case’ exercise and reiterates the fact that FBI agents are still human. Liam explains that even though the FBI has many resources and some of the highest trained agents, there are still cases that will go unsolved. I think the concept that cases go unsolved is not something people usually like to think about and it is a good thing to remind people that some cases never find their conclusion. Will we, as viewers, be able to solve Alex’s case that is being presented to us?
We are left guessing as the episode ends with a bang when you find out that the remote that Simon had was actually linked to a bomb in the FBI Command Center.
Quantico has the best character and plot development I have seen on a TV show in a very long time. Everyone is still on trial for who the real bomber is and I think we will be kept guessing until the very end.
Who do you think the terrorist is?