[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers aboutSunday's Quantico. Read at your own risk.]
If this recap is tl;dr for you, then here's all you need to know about Sunday's Quantico:
Let's start in the past, where Alex (Priyanka Chopra) is trying to play mediator between Liam (Josh Hopkins), who tells Miranda (Aunjanue Ellis) she needs to fire him if she wants him gone, and Drew (Lenny Platt), who also isn't gone yet because Miranda needs to approve Liam's dismissal of him. Iris (Li Jun Li), tipped off by Olsen (Jay Armstrong Johnson), steals the envelope Samar (Marjan Neshat) had given Caleb (Graham Rogers) last week, which was not hard to do at all since he kept it half-covered underneath his pillow. Really secure hiding spot, Caleb! She shows it to Shelby (Johanna Braddy), who storms out of the building without saying a word.
At the exact same moment, a minivan full of men and machine guns -- aka the terrorist cell that took Charlie (J. Mallory McCree) and was being infiltrated by Raina (Yasmine Al Massri) -- descends on the academy, killing the guards and putting the place on lockdown. Instead of staying inside like they're supposed to, Liam goes out to try to catch those SOBs himself with just a handgun (LOL), and Caleb and Olsen run out to find Shelby in the woods. If it's that easy for people to sneak out the FBI Academy during a lockdown, you've got to wonder how the terrorists didn't break into the building before the hostage rescue team took them down. Literally everyone on this show can't do anything right.
Caleb and Olsen find Shelby, who's bawling because of the contents of that envelope: Her parents are alive (duh) and had hired Samar to pretend to be her half-sister. For 13 years. Guys, if you want to make an easy $5 million, just con the gullible blonde with the side pony. Caleb apologizes for not telling Shelby because he was trying to protect her. You know who needs protection right then? Liam, who fails to notice a terrorist lurking right over his shoulder. Luckily, Drew had also snuck out and shoots the guy point-blank in the forehead, saving Liam's life. So now he gets to stay at Quantico and up the flirting with Alex.
While this is going down, Raina, after seeing the guard carnage, drives Charlie home, and he reveals that he wasn't actually kidnapped by the terrorists. It was all staged and he was feeding them info about the campus for the attack, but remorse got the better of him and he escaped. One of the terrorists, Derek, breaks into the house and holds Charlie and Miranda at gunpoint, but Charlie shoots him and proceeds to freak out because of his priors. Dude, I think it's OK if you shoot a terrorist who just tried to blow up Quantico and kill you and your mother. Thinking Charlie is the terrorist, an FBI sniper outside has a target on him, so Miranda non-fatally shoots her son. But Charlie still won't stay down, so the sniper shoots him right by the heart and he ends up in surgery. Another A+ effort by law enforcement! Also, lesson here: Always listen to your mother.
Meanwhile, in the future, the caller gives the next task to Alex: swap a pill bottle in Claire's (Marcia Cross) purse in five hours. Hannah (Eliza Coupe) thwarts Alex at every turn and confiscates the pills -- which are supposedly harmless anti-hypertension pills -- before Alex tells her about the caller and Natalie (Anabelle Acosta) being blown up. Alex thinks she's failed after time runs out, but the caller tells her she's "proving more useful than I imagined." That's because Hannah, after entertaining the idea that Alex was telling the truth, made the swap for her. So, to be clear, the head of the Joint Terrorism Task Force did a terrorist's bidding instead of alerting higher-ups.
Again, what exactly are the rules here? The caller doesn't care that Alex is telling people since Simon (Tate Ellington), who's trying to decode the caller's scrambled voice, and Hannah are both alive for now. But, I guess, why should the caller care since these three brainiacs still haven't told authorities? There is a slim chance the caller has a larger plan in play and that's why he/she is ignoring this right now, but this vastly lessens the stakes if Alex can just keep telling her circle of frenemies with no consequences.
Elsewhere in the episode:
- Alex gets Claire alone by texting her "I know where Caleb is." Claire tells Alex she is the only person who knows exactly where her son is and only met with Alex to tell her in person that she's done at the bureau. If you're coming for the mother of the guy you're talking about, you best not miss.
- In the past, Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) risks his cover to meet Alex for 10 minutes at a bar to tell her he loves her. She tells him in less than two that they're not good for each other and he leaves.
- Olsen tells Caleb that "maybe it's time you tell me who Mark Raymond is." "What do you want to know?" he asks. Olsen has also told Iris about Mark Raymond. How long before she tells Shelby?
Quantico airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.