SPOILER ALERT: The recap for the “Fast" episode of Quantico contains storyline and character spoilers.
In which Shelby may not be a terrorist after all, Drew may be out of Quantico for good, and Will may be dead.
Here, 17 things we learned in this week’s episode:
1. Caleb’s hanging with Alex at her apartment in Brooklyn, and he’s still talking to some mystery person on his cell. He asks Alex if she really believes Shelby could be involved with The Voice, and Alex tells him, “Nobody knows anybody, ever.” Caleb, who’s still detoxing from his drug addiction, tries to talk Alex into staying home from work, but she says that would just make the FBI suspicious. As soon as she leaves, he calls his mystery friend and reports, “She left. I tried to stop her.”
2. It’s Career Day at Quantico, but before the NATS delve into their futures, Alex and Drew are still dealing with their short-lived fling, as they keep staring each other down. Alex tells Shelby that Drew dumped her.
3. Drew’s more pressing ish: those tremors he’s experiencing in his hand. They cause him to fall off the climbing wall, and Ryan wants to know what’s up. Another NAT hears Alex talking to the twins about an unnamed cohort with a medical problem, and the eavesdropper drops her gossip on Ryan. He confronts Alex about it, but she refuses to narc on Drew. For now.
4. Will’s in the hospital, claiming he was badly beaten after being jumped by some rando guys while out for a morning run. Shelby tells Liam she saw Caleb beat Will with her own eyes, but Liam does not believe her. She says Caleb is in a cult again, Liam says Caleb’s out on a family emergency, and tells Shelby she should let go of whatever probelm she has with Caleb. She does not, and promises Iris she’s not going to let Caleb get away with beating Will.
5. Actual Career Day activities: the NATS have already submitted their preferences for where they’d like to work; now they’re being asked to choose which area of the FBI they’d like to focus on, i.e. white collar crime, hostage rescue, organized crime, counterterrorism, etc. They’re encouraged to speak to the reps from each specialty who are at Quantico, and at the end of the day, Ryan and Liam inform them they weren’t really the ones doing the interviewing — the reps were evaluating them, and they’ll each be presented with an envelope. A red envelope means one group is interested in you; a white envelope means multiple groups are interested in you; and a green envelope means you’ve attracted the interest of one of the elite units. Alex, Drew, Iris, and Fletcher get green envelopes, and they’re told they’ll be undergoing further training that day so the elite unit leaders can further evaluate their skills.
6. Present day, NYC: Ryan’s grabbing java at a coffee truck, and he’s approached by Natalie’s mom. She hasn’t heard from her daughter since last Wednesday, she tells him, and she’s worried, especially since she didn’t even know about the family emergency that was allegedly the reason Natalie took a leave of absence.
7. Present day, NYC: Alex is on the phone with Caleb, trying to figure out how to find Shelby, when she walks into the FBI field office and sees … Shelby! Shelby’s in a meeting with Miranda, and Alex barges in. Shelby’s at the office to update security software via McGregor-Wyatt, which freaks Alex out, because, Shelby = possible terrorist, and software update = she gets access to the FBI’s security software. The one-time friends play a game of cat-and-mouse in front of Miranda, with Shelby making it clear she is no longer on #TeamParrish. “It’s been too long,” Alex tells Shelby, asking her to stop by her office to catch up. Shelby: “And here I was thinking it hadn’t been long enough.”
8. Ryan’s coffee talk with Natalie’s mom made him suspicious. He tells Nimah he went to Natalie’s apartment — yeah, he still has a key, so?! — and all her things are there, her clothes, her laptop, her passport. He also had her cell phone pinged, and says she hasn’t used it in the last six days, since half an hour before Alex showed up at his apartment crying and freaked out. Our takeaway from this exchange: only six days have passed over the last four episodes since Natalie’s death! That is a lot of twists in six days, people.
9. In the same current NYC timeline, Alex is back on the phone to Caleb, freaking out about all the evildoing possibilities the McGregor-Wyatt software update will afford Shelby. “I’m just not convinced that some software upgrade is cover for a legion of doom operation,” Caleb counters, but Alex is Alex, and she approaches Miranda and shares her suspicions about Shelby, even going so far as to tell Miranda that Shelby’s ‘rents are still alive, after faking their deaths on 9/11 because they sold weapons to the Taliban. Miranda halts the upgrade (and never addresses the fact that Alex had previously kept this information about death fakers/weapons sellers to herself), and goes off to talk with Shelby, who demands the chance to talk to her accuser.
Miranda puts Alex and Shelby alone in the conference room, and while they confront each other verbally — with Shelby telling Alex “the Bureau is going to realize you are the biggest mistake they ever made” — Shelby is tapping out a message in code with her long fingernails. Alex writes it down on a legal pad, and it spells out “I’m on your side.” Gasp! (Have you ever counted how many times the Quantico writers want you to gasp at something in an episode? It’s a lot. If this were the old live-action Batman series, there would be little word bubbles throughout the episode that would say things like TWIST! and GASP! and SNAP! and OMG!)
The two continue talking and tapping and decoding, and Shelby says her parents really are dead, now, having died in a small plane crash. Miranda, watching the whole meeting via video in another room, gets a phone call saying Shelby has been cleared by security, and the final coded message Alex deciphers before Miranda comes in and tells her everyone is right about her being a wackadoo, is that Shelby wants to meet Alex in a stairwell.
10. Back on the Quantico training timeline, Alex and Drew, and Iris and Fletcher, and teamed up to carry out an exercise that has them repelling down the side of a tall building to thwart baddies in action. Fletcher and Iris pull it off with no problem, but if you think Drew’s wall climbing mishap earlier in the day foreshadowed a mishap scaling down a building, take a drink or high five yourself or do whatever it is you do to celebrate guessing what the next GASP! moment would be. Drew slips, and he and Alex are left dangling. They recover and complete the mission eventually, but while he celebrates, she does not. He endangered her life, and she realizes she has to tell someone — i.e., of course Ryan — that Drew needs to be examined. When Liam confronts him about it, he refuses to see a doctor, and instead drops out of Quantico.
11. Nimah and Raina, having already chosen to work in New York City, meet the man who is going to be their handler, and they don’t trust him right away because he refuses to learn their names or how to tell them apart (we feel ya, man… we’ve been actively trying for 19 episodes now and still can’t reliably do it). He also assigns them tasks like cleaning a bag of guns, which they feel is beneath them, so when they find an envelope of cash and some drugs in his desk, they assume the worst and tattle on him to Liam. They didn’t look at the cash though — it looked like real money at first glance, but upon further investigation, was clearly marked as training dough. And later, as their would-have-been handler tells them goodbye, he points out he was only trying to prepare them for what it would really be like trying to infiltrate terrorist groups, the tasks they would be asked to perform. He also tells them he could have helped them; but they pigeonholed him as being old and out of touch, just like they are pigeonholed into counterterrorism work because of their cultural background. They find out just how right he is when they meet their new handler, who dismisses their list of areas they’d like to work in and tells them they’re needed for counterterrorism efforts.
12. Quantico timeline Shelby leaves a voicemail for Clayton Haas, telling him she believes Caleb has returned to the cult. Then she goes to Sistemics HQ, hands over a $500,000 check, and gets access to the cult’s big cheese. As she’s being led down a hallway to wait for her meeting, she spots Caleb, also waiting to meet with Sistemics leader Dan Berlin. The two confront each other, and Caleb quickly downloads a lot of info: he and his dad are working undercover to bring Berlin down; he wears the Mark Raymond glasses because they feature a camera that, hopefully, will record Berlin’s confession about having ordered Caleb and his friend Ross to bomb a Kentucky courthouse eight years earlier; and he promises to explain everything to her later if she’ll just leave the Sistemics offices now. She does, and Caleb does get the slimy Berlin to admit he ordered the bombing.
13. Present day NYC Shelby meets Alex in the FBI office stairwell, and tells Alex she got a call from a stranger, telling her to rent an SUV under the name Mark Raymond, pick up Will and Simon, and drop them off at a warehouse in Yonkers. She never heard from the caller again. She says the software upgrade was her idea, not The Voice’s, because she saw it as a way to get access and try to figure out what’s going on… she does know that The Voice is a bunch of voices put together, and then run through a server at the FBI offices. (Minor gasp — who has access to all those voices and the ability to run them through the FBI server?) Shelby also tells Alex she’s been working on this for awhile, and has been talking to Caleb… she tried to get him to keep Alex out of the office that day to protect her. “You think you’re the only one who knows how to run counter measures?” Shelby asks a surprised Ms. Parrish. They hug and make up, but… do we think Shelby is telling Alex the truth? Are her parents really dead now? Is she really on the same side as Alex?
14. Quantico timeline Caleb: he meets with his dad, who tells him Dan Berlin has just been taken into custody, thanks to Caleb’s recording of his confession. Unfortunately, it came too late to save Caleb’s BFF Ross, who hanged himself a year earlier. And there’s more bad news, so much more bad news: Berlin already cut a deal that’s going to allow him to go free. Sistemics will give up its tax exempt status — which will lead to them running out of money, eventually, Clayton explains — so Berlin can walk. Caleb’s devastated, but there’s more: Clayton tells him he also can’t give Shelby any more details about what he’s done, because their operation was off the books. If anyone found out about everything they did to get the confession, the whole case against Berlin could be thrown out. In sum: No justice for Ross, Berlin remains free and in charge of the cult, and Shelby is going to think the worst about Caleb.
15. Clayton has a meeting with Shelby and tells her Caleb was working undercover at Sistemics… at first. He lies, though, and tells her Caleb wasn’t working with him. Caleb thought he was strong enough to pull the whole mission off himself, but he got sucked back into the cult, Clayton tells Shelby, who he then invites to come work with him after she graduates from Quantico. Papa Creep!
16. Ryan and Nimah tell Miranda everything they’ve learned about Natalie, her mom, and her apartment, and that Alex was the last person to see Natalie alive. She even helped Natalie get past security at the field office on the last day anyone saw her, Ryan says, and they have video to prove it, something that can’t be ignored. “Find her. Find her now,” Miranda tells them.
17. At Alex’s Brooklyn apartment, Shelby and Alex watch Caleb sleep, and Alex asks if Shelby still loves him. Saved by the phone ring, Shelby gets a call from The Voice, who is angry with her, and tells her if she’s screwing with him/her, she’ll be the first to die. The women trace the call from The Voice to an address in Harlem, where they arrive, guns drawn, because “It’s time to end this!” The address turns out to be a church, and while they’re trying to find The Voice, a different voice asks “Who’s there?” It’s Will, looking very ill, telling them to stay back. He was dropped at the church, he says, but doesn’t know where Simon is. He again urges them to stay away from him, because he’s sick, and doesn’t have much time. “I helped build it. I helped build it with my own hands,” he says. “The nuke… you have to find it. Please, you have to find it fast,” he begs Alex and Shelby, as blood pours from his nose and he falls to the floor.
Quantico airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.