Quantico – MHORDER
By: Emily Cross
As we open, the team is in high spirits as they investigate all of the (living) collaborators: Alex (Priyanka Chopra) and Owen (Blair Underwood) bug Maxwell Fletcher’s house, Shelby (Johanna Braddy) and Clay (Hunter Parrish) stake out Peter Theo, while Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) investigates Sasha’s apartment and finds her files on team.
Back at The Farm, Caleb (Graham Rogers) runs into Raina (Yasmine Al Massri), prompting another Quantico reunion. He snarks, she rolls her eyes. It’s Season One all over again! Clay enters with Shelby, telling her a story about childhood Caleb wanting to be in a boy band. Caleb ignores them and tells them he’s still hanging around to say goodbye, something Shelby can’t seem to do (Burn!). Clay gets a text that someone has tried to sign into his email account (This is why everyone should use two-step verification!) and heads to the bunker with Raina. This leaves Caleb and Shelby alone, and he questions her intentions with Clay. He tells her that he’s not leaving until she’s off the team and she insinuates that if Claire had to choose between them, she would pick Shelby.
At the bunker, Raina attempts to comfort Ryan about Sasha’s death. She knows that Sasha was important to him. Ryan isn’t willing to open up, and it’s clear his trust extends to only one Amin sister. Also at the bunker? Caleb, who swiped Clay’s access card. Is it just me or shouldn’t they have better security at their super secret bunker? He reunites with Alex and Ryan, but Clay soon enters putting everyone on lockdown. It turns out that Felix was the one that tried to hack into his email that morning by staying over at Clay and Maxine’s place. Clay suspects that Roarke is behind this (which we know he is) because he also got intel that Nimah-as-Raina was transferred on Roarke’s orders. Clay thinks that the collaborators know about the team because Peter Theo bought up a bunch of McGregor-Wyatt’s stock through a shell company. Remember, two things are a coincidence and three are a pattern. The team thought that the collaborators would come at them guns blazing, but (once again) they underestimate them. Ryan tells the team about Sasha’s death, knowing that will be all of their fates if the collaborators get their way. Owen says that there’s no more time to build individual cases and they have to hit them all at once. After a little debate, the team (which currently includes Caleb) decides to use an engagement party for Clay and Maxine thrown by the president herself to lure all of the collaborators out and play them against each other.
Clay, Shelby and Caleb go to Maxine (Krysta Rodriguez) to convince her to have the party. After a little convincing, she agrees. It turns out that Maxine is a valuable party-planning asset. She suggests multiple bar stations to keep the collaborators as separate as possible, picks large centerpieces to hide bugs, and perfects the seating arrangements. Maxine is also impressed at how good Shelby is at her job and basically offers her a job once this is all over. When Maxine leaves the room, Caleb points out that Shelby is repeating her actions from Clayton: She’s positioning herself as Maxine’s friend so she won’t worry about Clay and Shelby being alone together, just like she did with Claire. Shelby denies this and blows Caleb off.
Back at the bunker, Owen instructs Alex, Ryan and Raina in how to turn the collaborators. They need to plant the seed in their mind that their ultimate plans will fail and the other collaborators will turn on them. Once the collaborator begins to doubt their own mission, the team switches to enticement. To do this, they will divide and conquer.
When Clay, Shelby and Caleb return to the bunker, Clay gives everyone a collaborator to turn. The team runs down their persuasion tactics one by one. Ryan is targeting Alice Winter, mercenary, Alex has Maxwell Fletcher, ideology, Raina has Warren Shepherd, communications, Owen’s mark is Christian Kelly, money and Shelby is targeting Peter Theo, technology. Clay and Caleb will be keeping tabs throughout the party.
The party is in full swing and our cast is dressed up and looking beautiful (as always). Owen, Shelby and Ryan have spotted their marks while Raina-as-Nimah and Alex are still waiting on theirs to arrive. Clay spots Roarke (Dennis Boutsikaris) and tells Claire (Marcia Cross) over comms that he’s all hers. However, he’s going to have to stall because Claire is being held back by a possible missile strike in Yemen. Before Clay can get a shot at Roarke, Felix (Jon Kortajarena) appears to chat with him and Maxine. Raina-as-Nimah comes to the rescue, escorting Felix to the bar. The last time Felix met Nimah it was actually Nimah so this should be interesting.
Owen tells Ryan that his mark slipped out before Owen could approach him. He tries to coach Ryan on losing an asset, but Ryan is having none of it. He is convinced that having the team all out in the open is just going to end badly for everyone.
Clay and Maxine attempt to stall Roarke, but he leaves them before they get a chance. And then who gets up to make a speech and save their asses but Caleb! He makes a rambling speech that glorifies George Washington and vilifies Roarke with a rather crude song calling him a fascist. Despite the crudeness, Caleb manages to hold the room until Claire arrives to intercept Roarke and talk to him in private.
Shelby strikes out with Peter Theo (Todd Alan Crain), after she reveals that she has a white paper that proves she knew who was behind the G20 attack months before it happened.
Raina-as-Nimah talks to Felix, who seems to be picking up on the subtle differences between the sisters, especially after she brings up the death of his sister – something Nimah already brought up the last time they spoke. After insinuating he knows they switched, he leaves to find Roarke, but is intercepted by Maxine.
Ryan attempts to convince his mark, Alice (Elisabeth Waterston), to trust him by destroying the mic closest to them. It works and he tells her that he knows that the collaborators are five steps ahead of the team and they will win. He offers to help her, in exchange for keeping his friends safe.
Alex’s target, Maxwell Fletcher (Fredric Lehne), arrives and asks her for a dance, telling her that he knows she has been waiting for him.
In a private room, Claire removes her comms and offers Roarke the vice presidency and her resignation. She tells him that she wants to see if he actually wants America to survive or if he’s just looking to burn it all down.
While Alex and Fletcher dance, he tells her that change is coming and offers her a place on the winning side. Because she is a hero and a leader, Fletcher is convinced that the public will turn to her when the time is right.
In a car with Alice, Ryan tells her all about the team’s bunker, hoping it will be enough for her to trust him. He accuses her of being behind the deaths of Sasha and Leon, and she admits to having them killed. Ryan reveals he tricked her: he still has one bug on his person, and now has her confessing to two murders on tape. He tells her that she can either give him every piece of dirt on the collaborators or be turned for murder. In exchange for her intel, she will get immunity, but only if she signs right now. She tells him that if he gives her time, she can bring him two more collaborators. This is the part where we’re all screaming at the TV, “Don’t trust her!”.
Clay speaks to Felix, who accuses him of corrupting the only good person in this place: Maxine. (Personally, I don’t think the situation is that simplistic. I’m sure Maxine has her flaws.) Felix tells Clay that he has no idea what side Felix is on, and therefore becomes increasingly suspicious.
Roarke tells Claire that this is not about the presidency: he needs her to be exactly where she is, and he needs to be exactly where he is (revealing a lot, there, Roarke). Caleb enters and gives Claire a note, the contents of which we are not privy to. Claire smiles, and tells Roarke they are done, giving him the envelope containing her resignation letter post dated a few months. But, she tells him, it doesn’t contain her resignation; it contains his. The meeting was a distraction to keep him away from the other collaborators. Since they’ve turned one of the collaborators against him (Alice), he’s free to go.
In the car, Maxine is clearly in good spirits after helping to stop an evil plot. She wants to do more. Seeing her excitement, Clay proposes they get married now. Maxine picks up on the fact that it’s not a romantic gesture, but Clay wants to put a wall between him and whatever’s pulling him away from Maxine. She doesn’t want him to marry her out of fear.
Back at the bunker, Ryan tells the team that Alice Winter is willing to bring in Christian Kelly and Warren Shepherd (conveniently the two collaborators who we didn’t see at the party…). All three will meet Ryan tonight and testify against the collaborators in exchange for immunity. Alex is worried that it’s a trap, but everyone else feels that it’s the right way forward, including Clay.
Clay asks Shelby for a word in his office. He tells her that he loves Maxine, and she’s perfect. However, now he knows the position Clayton and Caleb were in because (although he doesn’t say it) he has feelings for Shelby. He asks her not to encourage him and make him hate her again.
Alex and Owen talk and she asks why he didn’t support her. He tells her that his plan didn’t work either so he didn’t have a leg to stand on. He does have another way forward, though, but it’s extremely dangerous: turning one of the team into a collaborator.
When Ryan goes to meet with Alice, she isn’t there, but a reporter from the Washington Post is as they are running down a tip that the CIA is operating on domestic soil. He records Ryan and Ryan gets a text from Alice, claiming checkmate.
At the bunker, someone breaks in and erases all of the team’s intel on the collaborators.
At Clay’s house at The Farm, Caleb and Shelby enter the kitchen fresh from an obvious coupling. Shelby apologizes for Clay having to see that and tells him that her feelings for him were actually feelings for Caleb that she wrongly projected on Clay. He heads to the bunker and Shelby thanks Caleb for helping her deceive Clay. Caleb tells Shelby he’s heading back to school and they say a surprisingly heartfelt goodbye.
Back at the bunker, Clay and Raina discover all of the intel is gone. Ryan arrives telling them that Alice played them (duh). Shelby arrives and tells them to turn on the news. The reporter from the night before went public and President Haas stands publicly accused of running an illegal black ops intelligence team on American soil. Drafts for impeachment are already circulating Congress. The Attorney General has also issued a subpoena for Shelby because of the cover up of her white paper on the G20. Clay tells the team that they’ve lost.
Meanwhile, Owen prepares Alex for her new mission. She’s afraid of what will happen, but Owen has her back. She leaves and meets Maxwell Fletcher, telling him that she wants to be on the winning side of history. She gives him everything the task force has on the collaborators, telling him that they will no longer be a problem (Is she the one that wiped the data?).