After the huge reveal in the mid-season finale, Quantico is back to answer all…well, some of our questions.
Quantico season 2, episode 9, “Cleopatra,” went back to the Farm’s assignment of the week, and streamlined the drama in the hostage situation timeline! It was nice to have an easier story to follow, but of course, it’s Quantico, and nothing’s ever as simple as it appears. Read on for our review of the episode.
‘Quantico’ 2×09 recap
This week, at the Farm, the recruits were being tested in the art of seduction. Things started off fairly innocently when they were tasked with getting as many phone numbers as possible at the local bar, but the assignment escalated very quickly.
In my opinion, this assignment was their most controversial yet. They’ve had to do some very difficult things in the past, but being forced to “wake up next to” a random wedding attendee just seemed to be on a different level.
When they had to decide whether or not to drop a bomb, they were being tested to see if they could make difficult decisions under pressure, which is an essential skill, for an operative. When they had to torture Owen, they were at least free to operate within their own personal limitations, and with a person who had volunteered to be the subject.
Forcing the recruits to sleep with someone felt, like Owen said, immoral and…yeah, like prostitution. Unlike the necessary act of decision making, sex is just one tactic that an operative could use to gain someone’s trust. If they’re skilled enough with other tactics, that’s not a level that they’d necessarily need to go to, so why force it upon them?
I immediately felt uncomfortable with the whole situation but, as is often the case with Quantico, the extremely touchy subject was handled with care and nuance. Many of the recruits were just as uncomfortable with the assignment, and it affected them all in very different ways. There was the good soldier, Ryan, who woke up with the bride just as he was told, those who really didn’t mind this kind of assignment, like Harry (before he was sabotaged), and those who were broken by it.
As Owen pointed out after all was said and done, the assignment really wasn’t about “the art of seduction.” It was about teaching the recruits that they’ll have to cross boundaries that they never thought they would, as an operative. That being said, I did like the focus that Alex and Sebastian brought to the actual subject of the assignment.
I loved Alex’s continued remarks about not having to use her sexuality to get what she wants, just because she’s an attractive woman. She knows she’s just as good as, if not better than, every other recruit there and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself when she felt exploited, or like she was being diminished.
I also loved that Sebastian brought attention to the male side of the problem. Alex saw the assignment as a way to minimize the women to “just a pretty girl in a dress,” but Sebastian showed that using casual sex for a mission wasn’t necessarily easy for the men, either.
Harry warned him that he couldn’t keep his virtue and be successful, but even though he completed the assignment and kissed Harry in public, abandoning his innocence will be extremely difficult for Sebastian. This is likely just the beginning of him questioning how far he really wants to go for this career.
The AIC continued to test its recruits in Quantico season 2, episode 9. At least, they continued to test one of them. Dayana’s assignment went beyond that of the others. She actually needed to get information from her mark, for the AIC. As far as we know, Leon and Ryan weren’t included, and Dayana actually used Leon to clean up her mess because she thinks he’s not cut out for the AIC! He was beginning to fall apart, but that was a serious betrayal, on her part.
As the AIC recruits dealt with their side assignments, Alex and Harry were still trying to identify the head of the beast. Now that Alex is out of the FBI, she’s relying on Harry more than ever. I love their friendship and partnership, but the fact that Harry is deeper undercover than she knows, and the way she said, “I don’t know why I trusted Harry,” in the future timeline still have me worried about his loyalties.
One point to his credit is that he immediately informed Alex when he discovered that Ryan had one of the AIC phones. Upon getting that information, Alex went to confront Ryan. In only one of the craziest twists of the episode, Alex revealed that she had a phone too!
When Alex showed the phone to Ryan, after he gloated about being chosen over her, she said, “that’s what I wanted you to believe.” Does this mean that she was simply testing her new fiancé to see how he would treat her if he had the upperhand? Was she growing skeptical of the FBI operation and wanted to go it alone? If she’s a recruit just like Ryan, why wasn’t she included in the murder plot? Did she hand out all the phones, and is she the one pulling the strings? Ahhh too many questions!
Even though Alex made things insanely complicated in the Farm timeline, things were actually a little simpler, overall, in Quantico season 2, episode 9. There wasn’t too much chaos to follow during the hostage situation. It was just Alex trying to tell her story to…Hannah Wyland!
How Alex got into that room with Hannah, we don’t know, but we’re glad she did. Hannah was just as sarcastic and complexly for/against Alex Parrish as we needed her to be. The only part I didn’t like about her role, that also made me slightly suspicious of her, was when she instructed Shelby to let Alex go because “she’s the only one that can end this.” That seems like kind of a bold statement, even when we’re talking about Alex Parrish.
Nimah told us all about the Citizens Liberation Front in the Quantico mid-season finale, and we learned even more about the dynamics of the hostage situation in Quantico season 2, episode 9.
With Alex’s information and a little digging, Shelby deduced that the AIC aren’t the terrorists. The terrorists are actually hunting the AIC. As Shelby put it, the AIC was simply formed to operate outside of the law where the CIA won’t. So, assuming that the Citizens Liberation Front are the terrorists, why are they specifically targeting the AIC?
In a scene reminiscent of the very first episode of Quantico, Miranda took Alex away in a car at the end of the episode. She told Alex that she is, in fact, a terrorist! So, does that mean she’s a part of the Citizens Liberation front, or the AIC? Is she a part of something else, entirely? Whatever she is, now that Alex is with her, it’s probably safe to say we’ll hear some more about it on next week’s Quantico.