My favorite new show this year is determined to keep us guessing. Various aspects about the latest FBI recruits are teased out from episode to episode, with clues interspersed in between the two timelines that we follow week in and week out. In the present, Alex Parrish is on the run, strongly suspected in the bombing of Grand Central Station; in the past, Parrish and her fellow recruits are pushed to expose the deepest, darkest secrets of their peers, to overwhelmingly fracture-inducing results.
While Parrish is on the run, Ryan encourages her to use Simon’s computer skills, even though he’s been booted from the Feebies. We’ll soon discover that Simon is working for the devil or Jacob, er, Mark Pellegrino, playing FBI Director Clayton. Seriously? This guy is everywhere and he’s obviously up to something which may or may not turn out to be better for Parrish than what everyone else is doing to her.
Sure, we want to find out who blew up the station, but the past interactions of the FBI recruits might be more interesting. Why does it matter that the agents are tearing each other apart? I’m sure it’s not just for ratings and soap opera alerts. Joshua Safran’s show is too clever to just throw these points away, from the suicide of a recruit in the premiere to the way that the past death of Parrish’s father ties into Parrish’s mother’s betrayal in the third episode. Parrish’s one, true friend for most of her life is suddenly turned, leaving very few people on Parrish’s side.
Ultimately, we still don’t know for sure that Parrish is trustworthy. But we’ll assume so for the time being, right? That makes everyone else we encounter a suspect in the bombing. It also means that everyone, even the good guys, are looking out for themselves, and the fugitive Parrish is in the crossfire. When you can’t trust anyone, what do you do?
We’re told over and over Biblically to trust in the Lord. But Quantico isn’t grounded in some deep mythos. We’re moment to moment with no stable ground to stand on and nothing strong to hold onto in the confines of the show. Will Parrish fall or will we fall away first? The clock is ticking…