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Quantico – RESISTANCE

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By: Emily Cross

It’s the “Quantico” season finale and a lot is happening in the lives of our FBI and CIA friends. Let’s jump in!

In the lead up to the Constitutional Convention the task force is working for Roarke to vet agents for the new intelligence agency he intends to create: DISA. Alex (Priyanka Chopra) is being hard on the candidates, but it’s what Roarke wants. Miranda (Aunjanue Ellis), Owen (Blair Underwood), Shelby (Johanna Braddy) and Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) are also hard at work for the “greater good.” They are being overseen by Maxwell Fletcher (Fredric Lehne), who seems to be running the country more than Roarke is (Sound familiar?). Two days before the Convention, Alex interviews old Quantico trainee Iris Chang (Li Jun Li), who is less than pleased to run into Alex.  She’s not happy with the rights-stripping amendments that are being introduced and makes that clear.

Meanwhile, Miranda and Owen speak privately about the roadblocks they are running into with Nimah. Apparently, the ACLU and Amnesty International don’t want to get involved and they’re getting next to nothing from the government. Miranda isn’t hopeful.

Later, the group meets at The Gold Leaf where publicly-against-the-convention Clay (Hunter Parrish) just happens to run into them. Alex and Ryan are acting very couple-y to try to shake a tail and Clay suggests he and Shelby do the same (no dice). Once he leaves, the team decides to play a quick game of “pool,” a/k/a pull out all of their intel on the delegates for the convention. Out of the fifty delegates (one for each state), Roarke needs thirty-eight to vote yes to pass the amendments. So far, thirty-four are voting yes, twelve are voting no and the remaining four are the team’s battleground. If they can get those four to vote no, the amendments won’t pass and Roarke fails. They have twenty-four hours to manipulate those delegates into voting no.

The team gets to work, easily lying and manipulating the delegates into voting how they want. When Shelby expresses that using the threat of scandal is hard for her, Clay finally apologizes for finding Shelby responsible for his father’s downfall and death. It was easier to believe that he wasn’t at fault. Alex is surprised when Ryan trusts her instincts and doesn’t complain.

After all the manipulation is done, Shelby and Alex discuss how they’ve finally come to terms with doing bad for the greater good. This leads to a discussion of their relationships (as always). Shelby is worried that whatever she and Clay feel for each other is a product of being in the trenches together. She’s waiting until everything is over to see if it’s real and, for what it’s worth, she hopes it’s real. Meanwhile, Alex isn’t sure if Ryan really has changed or if once things get tough he will go right back to his old ways. Shelby seems to think that he really has changed and Alex will know one way or another soon.

Clay visits Felix (Jon Kortajarena) as he packs to go back to Spain, his job lost and green card revoked (as promised). Clay apologizes for using Felix, but Felix isn’t receptive. He’s angry at Clay, but he’s angrier at Roarke for deceiving him. He wants Clay to take him down and they need to surprise the collaborators. That makes Clay remember something Caleb told him: use kittens, or mercury, or the concept of time.

Back at The Gold Leaf, the team is happy that they’ve turned all four of the swing votes. Clay enters, sure that they’re being bugged, and he is soon proved right. Fletcher enters, telling them that the newly installed smart TVs have microphones installed. Now the collaborators know the four votes the team has swung and is replacing them with alternate delegates. Fletcher also invites them to the convention to watch democracy “evolve” because he believes there’s nothing more they can do. Once Fletcher leaves, Clay reveals his new plan: instead of trying to block the collaborator’s paths, they will blow up the road. Clay theorizes that since Peter Theo spies on people for a living, it’s a safe assumption that he has spied on his fellow collaborators.

They’re going to need reinforcements: Will (Jay Armstrong Johnson) and Iris! The dream team is back together again! At a gay bar, they entice Peter Theo (Todd Alan Crain) into a threesome at his place so they can gain access to his intel. (There’s a fun shoutout to the “Smash” reference in their cover names: Karen and Jimmy. I see you, Josh Safran!)

Meanwhile, Clay and Alex are using Felix to sell Peter’s intel to the Russians (talk about topical). With that intel combined with whatever FSB has on Roarke, it should be enough to take him down. Because the missions are running simultaneously, Alex has to stall the Russians until Will and Iris remotely upload the files to the drive Alex is offering. In return for the intel, Alex asks that the Russians get the president to propose a change in the language of one of the amendments under debate at the convention. The files are uploaded just in time, and the Russians take the deal.

The Constitutional Convention is assembled in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall (Shout out to my hometown!) and ready to begin. Our team moves into position and Clay is summoned by the president. So much talk about Roarke (Dennis Boutsikaris) and this is the first time we are seeing him this episode! He basically gloats about his victory over Clay and proclaims that he’s making the country better. As Clay leaves the room, he plants a small camera on the door.

On her way to position, Shelby sees Maxine (Krysta Rodriguez) in the lobby. She’s leading a group of women in protest and they’re all wearing the famed pussy hats from the Women’s March. Shelby learns that Clay is the one who broke up with Maxine because he didn’t want to tarnish her good name.

As places are called, Ryan expresses his love for Alex and the fact that he wishes she didn’t have to do this. It’s a short and sweet moment before the games begin. Miranda informs them over comms that Roarke broke away for a private phone call and it’s all systems go.

Roarke enters the room where all the delegates and guests are and tells the delegates that there’s been a motion from Wisconsin to change the language in one of the amendments. This is the confirmation our team needed and Alex appears on the screen behind Roarke. Via cell phone video, she tells the delegates exactly what went on with Roarke. The screen shows Roarke striking a deal with the Russians, thanks to the bug that Clay planted. Alex admits that she was the one to orchestrate this deal, to show America how corrupt Roarke really is. She lays out the collaborator’s plan in broad strokes,and declares that it ends today. On her cue, Iris and Will release the secrets from Peter’s intelligence to a hundred major law firms and civil rights organizations.

Alex enters the room and announces that America deserves the truth and nothing less. She knows she has violated laws in leaking this information (At this, Shelby looks so proud!), but she knows it is the price she has to pay to bring justice and resist. And then, Alex gets shot in the shoulder and Ryan rushes to her side. What?!

Authorities quickly find Miranda in the stairwell with a gun (Double what?) and arrest her. Alex is quickly loaded into an ambulance and Ryan is distraught. Then, Alex reveals that she’s fine! Also, Iris and Will are the EMTs. They didn’t tell Ryan this was part of the plan because they needed his reaction for believability. He’s obviously relieved and kisses Alex emotionally.

The team switches from the ambulance to a van and meet Owen, who tells Alex she needs to get to the plane ASAP. Will and Iris have created a paper trail at Bryn Mawr Hospital (Coincidentally, this is where I was born!) to make it seem like Alex died. Alex isn’t just running away this time, she’s disappearing.

Clay visits Roarke and it’s a very different conversation than before. Roarke still thinks he was right and laments that the other collaborators will easily walk away from this, unharmed. Clay tells Roarke what happens next: he walks out to either the police or the press, but both lead to Roarke’s own personal hell. In the end, Roarke chose the third option: not walking out at all. Suicide is often referred to as a cowardly act and, usually, I completely and totally disagree with that. When it’s born of depression or other mental illness, suicide isn’t the fault of the person. It’s the fault of the illness. However, this is a different case. Roarke wasn’t depressed and committed suicide because he did not want to pay for his crimes. In the end, he was a coward and he will be remembered as such.

Shelby and Clay have a really tough conversation in which Shelby calls Clay out on his deceit. She worries that he isn’t concerned about being with her because he sees her as already tainted. She doesn’t want to keep making the same mistakes and thinks that any relationship between them would be a mistake. She also points out that Clay is still in love with Maxine and encourages him to apologize for underestimating her. I also want to point out that Maxine isn’t the only one that Clay underestimated…

Owen gives Alex her go bag that is full of cash, passports with cover names and burner phones. She says a poignant goodbye to Owen and thanks him for all of his help and trust. I maintain that this friendship is one of the best things to come out of Season Two. Alex wants to wait to say goodbye to Ryan, but she’s out of time.

Two months later, the team meets up at the bunker for what reason I’m not sure. My theory is that the “Quantico” writers expected to be cancelled and wrote this as a satisfying ending for the characters. But since we’re getting a Season Three (which I’ll never stop being happy about), it feels a bit too happily-ever-after. Some highlights: Nimah and Raina (Yasmine Al Massri) were finally released from custody, but Miranda is now in jail for “shooting” Alex. She’ll be locked up for a long time, but it was her decision. Owen is now the Deputy Director of the CIA, Shelby is working at Quantico (that’s a Season Three I’d like to see) and Clay and Maxine eloped. Alex is still on the run and America is still obsessed with her.

Speaking of Alex, we go back to two months earlier and that first flight. Of course, Ryan sneaked on it wanting to be there for Alex every step of the way. I don’t really ship them, but even I can admit the reenactment of their first meeting was cute. Don’t worry, I still have hopes for Alby. [smirk]

Oh, and I’m still wondering what happened to Dayana.

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