[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Sunday's winter finale of Quantico. Read at your own risk.]
Alex wasn't the only one who was framed on Quantico.
On Sunday's winter finale, we find out that Elias (Rick Cosnett) set up Alex (Priyanka Chopra) for the Grand Central attack and was in the midst of framing Simon (Tate Ellington) for the second bombing, which goes off at the FBI command center, but he's not the actual terrorist. He was blackmailed by the real terrorist into doing all this, he reveals, before throwing himself out a hotel window.
In the past, Alex gets a different kind of bombshell: She meets Ryan's (Jake McLaughlin) ex-wife Hannah (Eliza Coupe), with whom he's on undercover assignment, and she's so distraught, she asks Liam (Josh Hopkins) to take her somewhere. And after getting dumped by Shelby (Johanna Braddy) and learning that his mother (Marcia Cross) got back with his dad (Mark Pellegrino) because she might become VP, Caleb-as-Mark Raymond (Graham Rogers) goes to the bank that would become the command center and requests the four biggest safety deposit boxes there.
"I had no idea who [the bomber would] be at all and I love the fact that we still don't really know who's behind the whole thing," Chopra tells TVGuide.com. "It sets things up phenomenally for when we pick up in March. This is still not over."
See what else Chopra has to say about the explosive finale, if Alex will let Hannah get between her and Ryan, and why Alex looks so great all the time.
Was there any part of you that thought maybe Alex was the terrorist? In a way, she still can be.
Priyanka Chopra: I did in the beginning, but I don't think so anymore. That would have to be extremely diabolical! It would have to be some evil, schizophrenic, multiple personality thing for it to be her now.
If we believe what Elias says, do you think Caleb is actually the mastermind terrorist? It's implied that he is.
Chopra: Josh [Safran, the show's creator] tells everyone they may or may not be the bomber! I have no idea. I've requested not be privy to who is the bomber because I want to find out when Alex finds out. And also it helps my performance. I'd rather be unaware until I get the scene. So I have no idea who it is. I don't know, man! I think he's a prime suspect now, given what we see in the winter finale, but it's Quantico, so you never know. Every one of us could be the suspect.
Do you think Elias was telling the truth that he was blackmailed? He seemed nervous enough that he was telling the truth, plus the fact that he committed suicide that way instead of in a suicide bombing.
Chopra: That's going to come up. That's exactly what the debate is. I think he was telling the truth. What I can tell you is now that Elias is revealed, it's a question of, did he work alone? Was he working with someone else? Did someone force him to do this? Is that person still out there? Was someone else in the class also aware of what he was going to do?
How does this revelation about Elias and his death affect Alex? He was her lawyer.
Chopra: Alex is going to spiral. Look at everything that's happened to her in the last week or so, especially that she told Simon to pull his hand off the trigger and then the bomb goes off at the command center. It's almost her fault. She will blame herself for it.
Alex trusts her friends. She didn't wanna keep spying on them last week. Do you think she really believed that none of them could've been the terrorist?
Chopra: I think she just has integrity, which is why in the end she [agreed to spy on them]. It wasn't that she didn't believe it because when Miranda [Aunjanue Ellis] asked her, "Are you sure that Shelby's not the terrorist?" she eventually said, "Go ahead and do it." I think her first instinct is to protect the people she loves. It is super hard to believe that someone you know could've killed 200 people. It's hard to convince yourself of that. I think that's what Alex is going through. She's had such a tumultuous past with her father and being sent off to India and coming back to find out stuff about him. She made new relationships and new friends, and now she's questioning that. Her entire life is a question. This is all going to affect her for the rest of her life. She was the one who told Simon it was safe.
She's also supposed to be in custody and about to be sentenced. Is she going to be suspected for the second bombing? Will she also play along and take the blame for it if she already feels responsible for it going off?
Chopra: That's what's interesting about the second half because to the rest of the world, she's still guilty. All of those questions get answered.
Alex meets Hannah, who's living her dream life. What is their relationship going to be like?
Chopra: It's such a complicated situation. She's in love with Ryan. It's supposed to be this star-crossed relationship. She thinks Hannah is amazing because she has her dream job and her husband in Ryan. It's so convoluted. It will always be awkward between Alex and Hannah. Hannah is extremely protective of Ryan and that will come into play at some point.
Is Alex going to try to pursue a relationship with Ryan? He's not in Quantico anymore, but undercover with Hannah.
Chopra: I know, it's so annoying! [Laughs] They're together, but they can't be together. They have this whole thing all the time where they come that close to being together and get torn apart. I don't think Ryan is going to leave Alex's mind any time soon, that's for sure. Ryan and Hannah work tremendously together even if they're not together romantically. I think it's hard for Alex to see that and understand that, and I think there's this fear in her that [Ryan and Hannah] might get back together.
She's apparently turning to Liam for comfort. Where does he take Alex and what does he teach her?
Chopra: [Laughs] Um, yeah. We'll find that out too. That's a screwed-up relationship. He was her father's friend and he was the only one who had her back in Quantico, and clearly something happened between them, which was he was he was so hell bent on believing she was a terrorist. His mind was clouded. I think that something must've happened. Like Miranda said in the future, "Are you after her because she rejected you?" Clearly something personal happened, but I don't know if that was on New Year's night or later.
Are we going to find out what exactly happened in Omaha and even Chicago -- these cases Liam was part of and screwed up?
Chopra: Yup. Leading up to the winter finale, there are so many little seeds that were planted that get touched upon in the second half of the season. Like, I have no idea what Alex was doing in India. The only thing I know was that she went backpacking across India and Pakistan, and clearly a few things happened in her life at that point. That's why she came to the FBI with so many questions.
It was nice to see the girls hang out together since they're not close at all in the future. Do you know the basis of any of their fallouts yet, like what did Alex find out about Shelby's parents?
Chopra: We haven't touched on that yet, but it was fun seeing them together. Shelby, Alex and Nimah are best friends. We're like the Powerpuff Girls. We named ourselves too, by the way. I'm Blossom, Shelby is Bubbles and Nimah [Yasmine Al Massri] is Buttercup. It's so perfect! We intend to [dress up] as them at some point for a photo shoot. Nathalie [Anabelle Acosta] and Raina come in, even though Raina is a little different. But all the girls come together in the past because their lives separate them in the future. What's interesting is ... all of them have tumultuous relationships with Alex in the future. Did Alex do something to them? Did they do something to her?
I need to know, because it cracks me up every time: Why does Alex look immaculate when she's on the run and why is she not in disguise at all?
Chopra: I swear to you, I dunno why people won't believe me, but I only have mascara and lip balm on in the future. We do Quantico [scenes] and the future [scenes] almost simultaneously, so I wipe off my makeup completely, moisturize my face, put on mascara and tinted lip balm, and that's it. My hair is ridiculously thick, and that is blessings from my good genes and coconut oil and my mom and my grandmother. My aunt used to make me gel and put it in my hair when I was a kid, and I hated it, but I think it's paying off now. I think it's hard for her to be in disguise because she's alone. We see [the episodes] over a couple months, but it's just about four days while she's been on the run. She has no time to come up with a good disguise. ... But I really literally take off all my makeup because she's been crying and swam through the Hudson in the future, and I just kept mascara and tinted lip balm to be on TV. But I guess with my Indian genes, I'm blessed! [Laughs]
Quantico returns Sunday, March 6 at 10/9c on ABC.
Watch Priyanka Chopra reveal the three words that took her three days to learn