You know, when you sit down to describe a television show, it is not often that the term exhausting comes to mind. The exception to that theory would be if you are discussing the ABC-TV series Quantico.
Using the flash forward / flash back model that worked so well for the fans of How to Get Away With Murder, Quantico seems like HTGAWM on speed. We are continually switching back and forth between FBI Trainee dorm life, class rooms, lecture halls, and case studies. I’m talking about the events of 9 months previous when the new recruits arrived and began their training at Quantico.
There’s all sorts of alliances and rivalries, flirtations and competitions, and all of that is not confined to the agent trainees.
We have come to discover that there is an analyst class their as well. Plus who knows what is really going on between the Training Supervisor Miranda Shaw and one of the lead instructors Agent Liam O’Connor.
There’s Nimah and her twin. They are not known by their fellow classmates, but Miranda knows about them. Then you have Ryan Booth who is also posing as a trainee but he is somewhere above that as he is spying on Alex Parrish. O’Connor knows something about that too – as he’s the one running Booth.
Then we have Shelby (the blonde Georgian), who has a crush on the analyst Elias. Simon is set up as the FBI Academy’s first ever gay trainee but he has his eyes on Nimah, while another male student pursues him.
Have I mentioned Nathalie? She wants nothing more than to get the best of Priyanka Chopra’s lead character Alex Parrish.
We bounce around from lectures, to training exercises, to jogging. What we don’t get is seeing anyone study, sleep, or even eat.
I tell you it is exhausting.
Meanwhile in the flash forward present Alex has been named the prime suspect in the Grand Central Station bombing. But, as she says … If I am the bomber why would I leave a room full of evidence in my own apartment?
That makes a lot of sense to me – but she has only said this so far to Nathalie. Alex and Nathalie also have a scene where they are fighting. Nathalie is trying to capture Alex, and Alex is desperate to escape. This was the single worst ever fight scene editing that I have ever watched. The apparent use of stunt doubles and stand-ins was never ever more apparent.
You never saw a face in the fight. And when the fight became a chase up a fire escape then across roof tops, every leap led to a rolling, tumbling landing with each and every angle carefully arranged to conceal the faces.
I mean why have a chase and a fight scene that are so obviously staged and using doubles – which I understand, and then ruin it all with some crummy editing.
Now as part of the ongoing plot twists – Ryan Booth was the FBI agent that was discovered after being shot in Alex’s apartment. He didn’t die, and he will pull through. But Alex is desperately trying to call him. When a nurse finally gives him his phone he reaches out to her.
Then we get a very strange bit of dialogue. Remember we already know that Booth is a plant, purposely sent in to pose as a trainee while spying on Alex. Only he knows that it wasn’t Alex that shot him.
We don’t know this for a fact, but we are set up to believe that she didn’t. So he says to Alex:
I can help, but I’ll have to make it look like you’re guilty [first]…
Then when Liam and the cops come to see him in the hospital room, he tells them point-blank that it was Alex that shot him. This immediately vaults her to the top of the FBI suspect list.
It seems all so obvious doesn’t it. Right around this point in time, we should assume that the bad guy is Liam O’Connor, the FBI trainer. Why?
Because he is the one running Ryan Booth. Second, Alex is beginning to believe that she has been set up from the very first day she arrived at Quantico.
We are now at week two. Alex is on the run in Manhattan, and the dizzying pace of the Quantico training period are just run so fast, that I thought of the original Star Wars movie Han Solo is talking to Chewbacca while they are escaping in the from the Empire fleet of war ships. in the Millenium Falcon. Solo says, Take us to hyperspace Chewie. And in a half second, we have accelerated right off the screen.
Okay maybe not quite that fast – but what ever – this show is tiring. Too many characters, and too quickly paced.
Right now I’m thinking – one more episode like this last one, and it might be all I can handle. Especially since Quantico follows Homeland which runs at a near normal pace.
2 thoughts on “Quantico – Episode 1-02 America: Review”
What you’re witnessing in Quantico is the latest fashion in screenwriting, micro scenes, breakneck pacing, hall of mirrors plot twists, and ACTION, ACTION, ACTION. It’s like watching a bad high school basketball game where the ball travels up and down the court at blazing speed with lots of steals, fouls, passes, rebounds and turnovers, but nothing of interest ever seems to happen and you’re never sure who’s winning. The only way to fix Quantico is to pray for a writer’s strike.
Fashionable or not – it is indeed exhausting.