Quantico – Cleopatra
By: Emily Cross
The episode starts with Alex (Priyanka Chopra) in the custody of the FBI, being interrogated by none other than Hannah Wyland (Eliza Coupe)! A great character from Season One, she takes no crap as Alex recaps her (and the audience) on what happened in the first half of the season. Alex reads Hannah in on her theories about the hostage crisis and the undercover operation that she and Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) were running at The Farm. Alex explains all of the recruits they were surveilling in voiceover as we catch up with them.
Ten months earlier, Alex and Ryan spend some sexy times together at the safe house, one of their last opportunities. Alex seems pretty okay with being taken off of the FBI op because it means one layer of deception has been peeled off.
Alex meets with Harry (Russell Tovey) at a diner where he encourages her to keep digging into the AIC, despite the fact that she doesn’t work for the FBI anymore. She agrees and wants to start with the phones that she saw in Owen’s (Blair Underwood) house. The only problem is that those phones are gone, which Alex sees as a good thing. They’re in play so she wants to continue to work Owen and get inside the AIC. Harry doesn’t think this is a good angle.
Ryan meets Miranda (Aunjanue Ellis) and Nimah (Yasmine Al Massri) in the safe house and is a bit rattled about the AIC test. They assure him that he did the right thing and that this will help the op, but he doesn’t seem wholly convinced. Nimah asks him how the other recruits are holding up and we check in with Dayana (Pearl Thusi), who seems totally fine and Léon (Aarón Díaz) who is a bit shaken up and unfocused. Alex explains to Hannah that Shelby (Johanna Braddy) is still undercover with him. Shelby pokes Léon for details about his job, but he reveals nothing.
Sebastian (David Lim) is back from break a bit later than everyone else, as Harry observes. He was on a spiritual retreat, contemplating his relationship with his Savior. Harry is skeptical of his “never felt better” attitude, as is Alex. She explains to Hannah that Sebastian is “two people: the one you see, and the one he hides inside.”
In the safe house, Miranda and Nimah ask Ryan about Alex, who he insists is “under control.” They are obviously skeptical about this, but Ryan still hasn’t told her about being recruited into the AIC.
Hannah asks about Owen and Alex explains that she knew something was going on with him since Lydia’s departure. In the classroom, Owen takes the recruits through their next lesson: seduction. Knowing the CIA, this was going to come up sooner or later. Hannah asks Alex why she should care about the recruits. Alex tells her that they are hostages in the crisis and are possible terrorists. Hannah doesn’t bite and asks for just one name so Alex gives it to her: Ryan.
Hannah exits the interrogation room to meet Shelby, who needs something to call off the strike. Alex hasn’t said anything concrete yet so Hannah encourages Shelby to listen in and try to find something that connects Ryan to the attack. She also asks Shelby if Léon could be a terrorist, to which Shelby replies: “Not if he’s the man that I knew.”
Ten months earlier, Nimah and Shelby are in Shelby’s fake apartment. Nimah expresses some worry that Shelby is getting too close to Léon and not separating herself from Jane enough. Shelby rebukes this and shares that Léon isn’t telling her anything because he wants to protect her. They see this as a good sign because it means he is developing feelings towards Jane.
At the FBI, Hannah drills down on Alex, who admits that she should have seen this coming. She wonders if Ryan and the people that she has trusted have all been playing her all along.
The trial mission is set in the Goldleaf, where recruits are tasked with seducing people and getting as many phone numbers as possible. Owen is there, providing advice and being generally kind of creepy in everyone’s comms. Doing well are Alex, who trades on her celebrity to fall in with a group of women, Harry, who uses a pool game to become the center of attention, and Dayana, who craftily chats up a university administrator to get a database of numbers. Not so well are Sebastian, who is just generally uncomfortable and Léon, who is feeling the guilt of what he, Ryan and Dayana had to do for the AIC.
Alex and Ryan run into each other during the mission, admitting that they’re not partners anymore. Ryan asks Alex point blank if she’s still going to go after the AIC, to which she hints that she won’t back down. Even though he’s not supposed to, Ryan tells Alex that he will keep her in the know on any updates, but only if she stops investigating. They shake on it, but clearly neither will keep up their end of the bargain.
Alex spots Owen wallowing in the corner and takes the opportunity to try to get in his good graces. She correctly guesses that something’s up with him, but wrongly assumes it’s about a woman. Owen takes this personally and leaves.
Leveling up, their field mission is to infiltrate a wedding rehearsal party in Philadelphia and seduce an assigned guest. It doesn’t matter how, but the goal is to wake up with their mark the next morning. After the mission is announced, Harry approaches Alex and gives her a drug, instructing her to slip it into Owen’s drink during the mission. He doesn’t tell her why, but Alex accepts it with no questions asked.
Back in the interrogation room, Alex regrets her trust in Harry. Before she can tell Hannah any more theories, Shelby comes in with a theory of her own: the AIC are not responsible for the attack, but the targets. She shows them a picture of the first lady, the man the AIC executed in front of Alex and Dayana all together in Surabaya. Shelby thinks that Dayana and the man were a kill team sent to take out a CIA agent who had infiltrated the Islamic Front. Shelby also thinks that Ryan is not a terrorist. She explains that the terrorists were interrogating the hostages and then executing them so clearly they were looking for something. She thinks that the terrorists were hunting the AIC. After digesting this new information, Hannah decides that she needs to brief Miranda. When Alex tells them that Miranda didn’t answer her last call, Hannah and Shelby get suspicious and leave to find her. Unfortunately, Miranda is in the building in the viewing room next to Alex’s interrogation room and she doesn’t look happy.
Back at the mission, Ryan and Alex quickly realize their marks are the bride and groom, respectively. The other recruits find their marks and get to work. It’s hard to tell who will be successful on the outset since the circumstances change so quickly, but Dayana and Ryan seem to be doing well while Sebastian and Harry are struggling.
Alex quickly abandons the CIA mission for her other one: Owen. He is getting drunk at the bar so she offers him a glass of water dosed with Harry’s drug. She apologizes for prying earlier, but manages to get him to open up about Lydia. He admits that he put his career over his relationship with her and he regrets it.
She then helps Owen back to his hotel room, where he accuses her of trying to sleep with him to level up in the CIA. In pure Alex fashion, she claps back at him, delivering an Emmy-worthy monologue about how that’s always the assumption that men make and women are more than sex objects.
As Alex exits Owen’s room, Ryan spots her while on the way to his own conquest. Distracted, he bumps into Harry, dislodging the AIC phone from his pocket. Harry definitely sees it, but says nothing and keeps moving along.
Dayana has quite the experience with her mark. She seems to be doing well at first, despite him assuming she was a prostitute, but a later scene has her panicked and calling Léon for help. Triggered by her distressing past, she knocked him out. Léon helps her clean things up and assures her everything will be okay.
As Alex waits in the interrogation room, Miranda tampers with the security feed and puts a silencer on her gun. She enters the room and instructs Alex to come with her to talk.
The next day, we learn who has completed the mission and who hasn’t: Ryan and Sebastian (?!) land at the top of the murder board while Alex, Harry and Léon are relegated to the bottom. Dayana lands somewhere in the middle. Owen warns them about the perils that come with the job: crossing lines you never thought possible and being able to live with that.
In the dorms, Harry informs Alex that Ryan has one of the AIC phones. She immediately leaves to confront him.
Léon visits Shelby at her fake apartment, accusing her of prying too much into his life and insisting that something doesn’t add up. Nimah is ready to burst in, but Shelby gets the situation under control and convinces him that she is real and trusts him completely.
Despite completing the mission, Sebastian is feeling very guilty about lying to his mark and confides in Harry that he doesn’t feel like a good person. Harry obviously feels for him, but can’t handle it and leaves.
Shelby and Hannah return to the interrogation room to find Alex gone. Hannah instructs Shelby to give Alex a head start because she knows what she’s doing.
Alex and Ryan meet for the last time at the safe house, where she confronts him about lying to her. She admits that she lied about not pursuing the AIC and he admits that the AIC has contacted him, showing her the phone. But, plot twist! Alex has a phone also! She wanted Ryan to believe that she wasn’t chosen so why is she telling him now?
Sebastian receives a call from his mark from the party, asking to see him again. They set a date for the weekend.
Nimah congratulates Shelby on a job well done before leaving the fake apartment. Léon is parked outside and sees Nimah leaving so he might be onto Shelby…
Dayana tells someone on the phone that she got the requested information from her mark and there won’t be a single fingerprint on him from her because she got Léon to clean it up. She calls Léon weak and says that he shouldn’t be a part of what they’re doing. Mysterious…
When Alex returns from the safe house, Harry asks her if it’s all good. She replies that it remains to be seen and then asks him what the pill that she gave Owen was. He tells her that it contains a tiny bit of radiation, enough to be able to track Owen’s movements but not hurt him.
In the future, Miranda instructs Alex to drive a car. She finally admits she’s a terrorist and tells Alex that she will soon be one, too.