TV Review: “Quantico” Should Be Part of #TGIT

Synopsis (ABC):  A diverse group of recruits has arrived at the FBI Quantico Base for training. They are the best, the brightest and the most vetted, so it seems impossible that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11.My thoughts: First, let’s congratulate Priyanka Chopra for becoming the first South Asian actress to headline an American drama. Why it’s taken so long is anyone’s guess (but you can probably figure out the answer). But, make no mistake; Chopra’s accomplishment in the U.S. doesn’t mean she’s finally “made it.” To paraphrase what she’s said in a recent interview, she’s already an accomplished actress. Doing her thing in America is just another feather to her cap.

I have to say, I was expecting to be too drowsy to watch the premiere, and having had the kind of week I did, in which I moved an entire site to a new hosting platform (among other things), I was indeed ready to watch the backs of my eyelids. But Quantico held my attention and, indeed, surprised me enough that I’ll be tuning in next episode.

The shining star of this production is definitely Chopra. Her portrayal of Alex Parrish is both nuanced and broad enough to keep the character in the nebulous position of being both The Girl Next Door and The Spy of Mystery. It goes without saying that we don’t know everything about Alex, and we’re going to continue to be surprised right up until the season finale.

That’s not to say the rest of the cast aren’t doing their jobs, either. Everyone has provided a taste of characters that are clearly more than they let on to be. For instance, who would guess that Nimah Amin (Yasmine Al Massri) would be twins? How did they get into Quantico with that secret?

Also mysterious is the head of the program, Miranda Shaw (played by fan favorite Aunjanue Ellis). She seems to have a touch of Annalise Keating about her. Not just because she’s the teacher of a wayward group of students with secrets, but because she’s clearly got some secrets and hidden talents herself. The way she told underling Liam O’Connor (Josh Hopkins) how she could end him just as easily as she’s saved him in the past? And how she helped Alex escape going to jail? Consider me excited to see what she’s got up her sleeve.

Speaking of Alex almost going to jail, the premise of the show is for the audience to figure out who the actual terrorist is. We believe it’s not Alex, since she’s our heroine, but she also killed her father and didn’t tell anybody. But she killed her father in self-defense. Or did she? Seeing how her story has already been rewritten (at first, she said her mother killed her father in self-defense), it could be that her story will be rewritten many more times before the season is out.

It seems like it could be O’Connor, since he seems to suspect Alex of being a liability (or a threat) after she revealed her truth to him. It could also be Alex’s friend-with-benefits Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin), even though we see him dead in the present. Who’s to say he didn’t set something off before The Traitor (whoever it is) killed him.

Or could it be uber nerd Simon Asher (Tate Ellington)? He seemed like he was definitely on Nimah’s tail, what with him noticing her hijab pinned to a different side of her head. We now know that he was seeing a different twin, but one has to wonder why he was so hardcore about befriending her in the first place. Was he racially and religiously profiling her? Just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he doesn’t think discriminating thoughts (a nuance I allude to in this post).

Or is it southern peach Shelby Wyatt, who lost her parents in 9/11? She’ll do anything to stop terrorism, which could be a great cover for actually being a terrorist. Or is it Caleb Haas, who’s basically been grandfathered into the program thanks to his parents’ pedigree? It seemed like it could have been the Mormon guy, but…well…his exit was one of the more intense moments of the night.

There are many things to like about the show. First, of course, there’s diversity. Alex, Nimah, Miranda and Simon (who’s gay) all help paint the picture of the world as it is; everyone’s thrown into the same boat, and everyone’s got to figure out how to help each other defeat the bad guys. There’s also enough intrigue to keep you guessing.

I think the one hinderance the show will have is just being on Sunday. This show has #TGIT written all over it, and whenever Scandal ends its series run, perhaps Quantico can move into Scandal‘s spot. But after a week filled with Empire‘s craziness and black-ish funniness and The Player and How to Get Away with Murder‘s WTF-ness, you just want to wind down on Sunday. I’m not recapping it like I thought I’d be able to simply because it’s on Sunday. After a full week of juggling COLOR and fall TV, I’m pooped. I can’t spare any more thought to another show when I need to prepare for the upcoming week.

With that said, I’ll still be watching to see what happens, and you’ll certainly see some Quantico-themed posts on the site soon. But the recaps will have to wait. Maybe next season.

What did you think of this season premiere? Give me your comments!

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