- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 12 November 2015
- Written by VICTORIA NELLI | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
When new fall shows are released, the reviews for the cable series are usually negative. Typically, the general public picks one show and runs with it, or at least it a full season to catch their attention. In 2013 it was the musical drama Nashville, in 2014 it was the adorable and charming Jane the Virgin, and this year it was the Joshua Safran FBI trainee drama, Quantico.
There are a number of reasons as to why this show not only works, but soars as a new series. One of those reasons is that it has taken a different route from the typical spy/ FBI drama. It doesn’t resemble the brilliant J.J. Abrams’ Alias, nor is it an exact replica of the comedy-infused secret agent style that Chuck mastered. Quantico is its own show, and what a show it is. The characters are not one-dimensional, and nothing is as it seems. So far, five episodes in, we’ve rooted for and against just about every character. We’ve judged and accused every character of wrong doing. It’s refreshing for there to not be one character that is constantly getting our sympathy and vote, but rather every week we have a new favorite.
In the beginning, we see that a bomb goes off in New York and launhces an FBI search for the terrorist behind it, though all signs point to the brilliant and guarded agent Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra). The episodes cut in and out of the day of the terrorist attack (the present) and the NATS (including Parrish’s) field training. While Agent Parrish is our protagonist, the other NATS are just as complex and interesting. Agent Booth (Jake McLaughlin) is already an agent and is being used as bait to lure Parrish into giving him information about her past. Nima and Raina (Yasmine Al Massri) are Quantico’s first set of twins, operating as one. Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy) is a southern belle with a lot more to offer other than just fashion tips. Simon Asher (Tate Ellington) has a secret past in Palestine and is pretending to be something he is not in order to keep up with the fake persona he has created for Quantico. Finally, Caleb Haas (Graham Roger) is a spoiled rich kid who comes from a long line of FBI agents. After failing his field portion and being demoted to an analysist, he’s done his best to disrupt the current group of field training NATS.
The exercises the NATS perform on a daily basis are far more complicated than they seem, each more detailed than the other. The first exercise is profiling their partners and finding out information that was not disclosed previously to them. This activity was so difficult for one trainee that it resulted in him ending his own life. The other tasks the NATS were expected to complete were house raiding and bugging, swimming, grabbing useful clues from a crime scene, and blending into society and taking on a new identity. Each week a new challenge to help the NATS with future assignments is presented, and all the while we weave in and out of present day issues. Finding Agent Parrish is the most prominent issue right now, as well as trying to find out who may have framed her for this terrorist attack.
Quantico is riveting, suspenseful, and, in a way, bringing back the water cooler chat that Scandal and Orange is the New Black held onto for years. Week after week it gets even more intricate. This is one fall show that should not be missed. It demands your attention, and if you look away for even one second, you could miss an enormous piece to this exhilarating puzzle. Quantico was a huge leap in the right direction for ABC, and adding it to their Sunday night lineup was a brilliant way to test its waters. Doing so got it a full season pickup and hopefully there will be many more seasons in this wonderful and powerful show’s future to come.
IMAGE TAKEN from entertainmentweekly.com