[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Sunday's episode of Quantico. Read at your own risk.]
Forget about that possible second bomb. In an unforeseen development, Quantico delivered its biggest twist yet on Sunday by forgoing its usual thrilling episodic plotline of "This person is the bomber! [He/she] framed me! It has to be! Oh, nevermind. [He/she] is on our side. Wait, this other person might be the bomber!" Truly historic.
Instead, we moved the needle a bit after The Unknown hactivists hack into the FBI's computer system via Clayton's (Mark Pellegrino) server and leaked all of its files. After Alex (Priyanka Chopra) finds a receipt — note the date: June 15, 2016 — of bomb materials charged to her name, she deduces that Grand Central was merely a dry run and there is a second bomb somewhere in the city because none of those purchased components were in the Grand Central bomb. Remember that wire she found in the apartment next to hers? It's a lead wire, not a blasting wire that was used for the Grand Central bomb, so a second bomb must be an "inevitability." Alex winds up sending Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) — who, lest we forget, is recovering from his second bullet wound in approximately as many days — off in a chopper, commissioned by the hackers, before surrendering herself to the FBI.
"There's another bomb hidden somewhere in New York City," she says. "I can't tell you where it is. But if you don't find it fast, it's all over."
If Alex is still going with Ryan's idea to make her look guilty in order to exonerate her, then it's all going according to plan! But her ironclad belief that a second bomb exists feels like one of her hasty declarations that XYZ must be the bomber. Did it ever occur to her that maybe the real bomber wanted her to find that particular wire? Nevertheless, having her in FBI custody is far more interesting than putting everyone on Team Alex one by one.
Now let's tackle some other burning questions about the episode.
How incompetent is this FBI team? Look, we know things have to fall a certain way in our protagonist's favor, but there is absolutely no reason for there not to be a single agent in the back alley of that terrorist cell house to catch Alex dragging away a wounded Ryan. Also, did no one compare notes on that receipt and the forensic results on the bomb?
Why has no one brought up that email? When Clayton asks Caleb (Graham Rogers) to scrub his and Shelby's (Johanna Braddy) phones of evidence of their affair, he finds an email Clayton's assistant Tracy sent to him the night before the attack — while he was at the Andaz with Shelby — that said Agent Goodwin had just alerted her that another agent used Alex's ID to get into the New York field office. Clayton wants that email in the ether because it would expose his affair since he read it on the hotel's wireless Internet. Trying to save his own ass by having an agent go down for an attack she might not have had a hand in? Dick move, but understandable. Less understandable is why hasn't Agent Goodwin said anything about this fishy ID usage.
Why didn't Clayton and Shelby get burner phones for their illicit correspondence? C'mon, guys. Just sext.
How does Liam (Josh Hopkins) still have a job? He botched whatever happened in Chicago with Ryan, who took the fall, and now we learn he covered up a bombing in Omaha with Alex's dad that killed 204 people in 1993. This is the man training the next generation of agents.
What is this cult Caleb was in? Excuse us, "organization." Clayton saved Caleb from it when he was 17, but it looks like Caleb — er, Mark Raymond — just can't quit it or something like it, going for a "transformative" two-hour assessment (at Dystek?) at the end of the episode with Creepy McCreeperson.
Did Charlie (J. Mallory McCree) stab Miranda (Aunjanue Ellis)? Or did someone else? Miranda doesn't look too hot bleeding out on the floor there, but knowing she's still alive in the future kills (no pun intended) the suspense and impact of these kinds of twists. (See also: last week's bomb exercise.)
Who else felt bad for Raina (Yasmine Al Massri)? The irony. She's finally able to be herself instead of Nimah and yet is more isolated than ever.
What is Shelby's half-sister really doing with that $1 million? It can't all be for a deposit on a house, can it? And is it just a coincidence that her sister's bank is the same one with terrorist connections? However, their Skype chat about the new abode seems the most genuine out of all of the show's vague conversations.
Did Simon's (Tate Ellington) pal build a bomb or the next Apple product? iBomb?
Quantico airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.