Quantico – GLOBALREACH
By: Emily Cross
When the episode begins, Clay (Hunter Parrish) is in the White House with Claire (Marcia Cross) watching the House vote on her impeachment. Clay is worried, but Claire is convinced that they will get through this without an impeachment or resignation. Claire orders Clay to get the team back together and figure out how to fight back.
Alex (Priyanka Chopra) is in a van with Owen (Blair Underwood) waiting for a call from the collaborators to tell her the next move. She’s worried about getting too deep when she goes undercover and Owen tells her a story about one time when he gave an asset a coin to remind her she wasn’t alone. He does the same with Alex. Even though Alex knows it’s a tactic, she takes the coin knowing it will help her. Alex gets the call from Fletcher (Fredric Lehne), telling her to meet them at the Greypool headquarters.
Raina-as-Nimah (Yasmine Al Massri) meets with Felix (Jon Kortajarena) and convinces him to help her find out where Nimah-as-Raina is being held and what the charges are against her.
Shelby (Johanna Braddy) and Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) are holed up at The Farm watching Netflix and bonding over their shared plight. Shelby is worried about Clay falling apart after recent events. Ryan is angry at Alex, not understanding her motives for wiping the task force’s intel and running off. Shelby gets a text from Clay, informing her that Claire has been served with articles of impeachment and he wants them in the bunker.
In the bunker Clay tells the team they need to find a way to make sure the collaborators don’t win, but he doesn’t have any answers himself. When Roarke (Dennis Boutsikaris) gives a news conference demanding the truth from President Haas, it gives the team an idea: destroy Roarke’s credibility.
Meanwhile, Alex meets with the collaborators at Greypool. They tell her that her role is to help prepare the intelligence agencies for the transition once Claire is out of the White House. She needs to usher in the message of Roarke’s new America to her former employers.
In the van, Alex already questions what the collaborators are having her do. Owen reminds her that having access to their ongoing plan is what really matters and she has to do whatever she can to keep getting that information.
At the bunker, the team digs into Roarke, but finds nothing that incriminates him. In a moment of desperation, Shelby suggests using Felix. This prompts Raina to confess her communications with him. Shelby and Clay both think Felix was manipulating Raina, telling her that if he seemed genuine, he was definitely lying. Clay has to trust his instincts and says no to using Felix. Of course, he gets a text from Felix right after he says that, asking for a meeting.
Alex and Alice Winter (Elisabeth Waterston) meet with CIA Director Keyes (Henry Czerny). Alex tells him that either he can resign and allow the peaceful transition of power to someone of their choosing, or he retains his position and they expose his role in the task force.
Clay arrives at Felix’s office to find Roarke, who worked with Felix to bring Clay in. He tells Clay that if the team speaks out against Claire, they will be pardoned once Roarke takes office. Clay refuses, but that wasn’t the whole point of the meeting. Roarke tipped off a journalist about the meeting and will make it seem like Clay is meeting with the opposition to strengthen the case against his mother. Clay leaves angrily, rebuffing Felix on the way out. He immediately calls Shelby, telling her that he wants to use Felix, despite Raina’s idealistic hopes.
Back in the van, Alex once again talks to Owen about her fears about being undercover. She needs to learn to trust Owen as a handler. He may be rusty at it, but he is the one person she can trust right now. She ignores a call from Ryan, and implores Owen to take care of the team. He gets her to admit that Ryan hasn’t let her go and she hates how much he’s hurting. This admission helps her move on and focus on the mission.
Shelby and Clay decide on a plan to use Raina to bring down Felix, and Felix to bring down Roarke. Roarke chairs the Cyberterrorism Committee, whose reports are highly coveted by Russian intelligence. Clay is going to talk Ryan into giving him access to Sasha’s computer to get her Russian contacts. He will send an email to one of them convincing them that Felix wants to meet to offer them intelligence that only Roarke will have. Felix will be arrested for selling secrets and everyone will assume it’s on Roarke’s behalf. Roarke goes down, Claire stays president. Simple, right?
Before Alice and Alex enter the FBI building, Alex gets another call from Ryan. Alice sees and tells her to answer it and take care of Ryan. Alex does and doesn’t give up any information to Ryan. He does get a trace on her, though, and leaves to intercept her. When Alice and Alex go through security, a guard confiscates a water bottle from Alex’s bag – one that she didn’t realize she had.
Shelby manipulates Raina into contacting Felix and arranging a meeting.
They go to a meeting with three FBI heads to tell them the same thing they told Director Keyes. Before Alex can really make her pitch, she realizes that the men have water bottles and they are the same brand as the one that was confiscated from her. She fakes being texted by Miranda Shaw to get out of the meeting. She calls Owen, convinced she is just being paranoid, but Owen encourages her to trust her instincts. He knows that plastic bottles can be used to sneak in chemical weapons because when the plastic degrades, the weapon goes airborne. Owen takes a look at the building’s floor plan and sees that the ground floor waste disposal room has air connections to the second floor east wing. Owen realizes that Mike Lowrey, the FBI agent who is heading the investigation into Claire, has an office on that wing. The collaborators want to make it look like Claire killed her enemy. Owen tells Alex to let it happen, but she obviously has an issue with that.
Ryan arrives at the FBI building, and gets in by convincing a guard friend to look the other way. He and Alex meet in the stairwell as she is heading to the ground floor. She convinces him to help her (just like every other time this has happened) and they head to the basement together.
Shelby and Clay are in a van discussing their next move with Felix. Shelby will bump into him on the street and keep him talking until incriminating files and emails transfer from her phone to his. She succeeds in this and tells him that Raina is waiting at the coffee shop around the corner. Before Felix gets to the coffee shop, Raina calls him. Obviously Raina was not in on the plan and the whole thing is busted.
Alex and Ryan arrive in the waste disposal room to find hundreds of water bottles in trash bags. Not knowing what to do, Alex calls Owen. Owen tells her to get out of there and not ruin the collaborators plan. He, unlike Alex, knows that they need to lose this battle in order to win the war. Ryan disagrees with Owen and wants to pull a fire alarm or call security to save lives. Alex knocks him out with one punch, stating that she will save everyone, including Ryan. She gets a broom handle and dislodges one of the vents, hoping that will do something, and drags Ryan out of the room.
Clay finds Felix, who knows he has been set up. He resigned his position with Roarke, and will fully cooperate with any investigation into his Russian dealings. Felix also makes it clear that he’s done with Clay.
Alex meets back up with Alice, spinning a story about Miranda being so suspicious she kept Alex for a while. They leave the FBI building and Alex hopes she’s done enough.
When they get back to The Farm, Ryan is very angry at Alex and Owen for what they’ve done. Owen defends their decisions by reminding Ryan that the collaborators are operating outside of morality and they either fight or get run over. Ryan doesn’t accept this, and wants Alex to be a better person.
Another person who is angry? Shelby. She confronts Raina about blowing the op with Felix, understandably upset. Raina did it because she doesn’t agree with how Shelby and Clay were going to take down Roarke. Shelby defends her actions, saying that it was for the “greater good.” Raina rejects this philosophy, citing the fact that Nimah’s life hangs in the balance.
In this sequence, Alex, Owen, and Shelby are all essentially making the same argument here: they have to play dirty if they ever hope to win. But Ryan and Raina are asking if it’s worth it. How will they live with what they’ve done, even if they do succeed? How do they call themselves the “good guys” if they let innocent people die or go to prison?
After Ryan leaves, Alex gets another call from Fletcher. He tells her that she can officially be trusted and the transition starts tomorrow.
Shelby visits Clay at his office in the bunker. He is dejected and laments all of the bad things that the task force has brought him: the end to his mother’s presidency, the end to his friendship with Felix and trouble with Maxine (although he is slightly more optimistic about their future). He says goodbye to Shelby, telling her that they’ve completed their destiny.
Clay gathers the task force at the bunker (including Alex and Owen) to tell them that he can no longer lead them. He feels like he’s failed the country and takes full responsibility for the task force’s failure. He tells Owen that if he wants to assume leadership to keep the team going he’s free to, but they no longer have Claire’s protection. Claire, by the way, is being framed for the attack on the FBI, and it’s only a matter of time before she gets arrested for treason.
Claire once again watches TV, where the news is all about the terror attack on the FBI building. Clay joins her and this time Claire isn’t so sure of her position at the White House. She tells Clay she is taking responsibility for the FBI attack so the families of the people who were poisoned (but are expected to survive) can have some peace.
When Claire walks out of her office to make a speech, Alex is waiting. They have an emotional moment and Alex promises that she will do her best to make sure they win in the end.
Claire makes her speech, resigning as President of the United States. I found this scene super emotional because of the real life implications of the ultimate downfall of a female President. It reminded me how I felt on the night of November 8, 2016. Even though Claire Haas is a complicated and flawed character, I so wanted her to succeed and do what Hillary Clinton could not. But I know that ultimately “Quantico” is making a powerful statement about the reality of women in politics and the state of America right now and that matters, too.
Meanwhile, Raina sees Ryan leave The Farm with a packed bag and Alex breaks into tears in Owen’s arms.