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Photo from Episode 2 of Quantico

Quantico, Season 1, Episode 2 - FBI Training, or High School Drama?

HaydnSpurrell HaydnSpurrell Quantico is heavily focused on red herrings, on throwing us off the scent and then back on it just as quickly, before diverting it yet again. It continues its parallel storytelling, ramping up the pace in the present while kicking the drama up a gear in the past.

Early on a conflict is developed between Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) and Natalie Vazquez (Anabelle Acosta) that feels far too juvenile to slot into a series about the rigorous training of special agents for the FBI. Honestly, it at times feels as though these characters are reliving high school for us, the show dumbing itself down to try and appeal to as wide an audience. Fact is, it works.

The show opens itself up to viewers of all ages, from teenagers to young adults to an older demographic. Its heavy themes mix with sharp pacing and relatable social angst inside the walls of the academy to offer a show that has a bit of something for everyone.

The flaw with that is that when at times its characters are shown to be anything but likable, the show desperately then tries to offer an excuse for that. This is evident in Caleb Haas'(Graham Rogers) openly off-putting and arrogant demeanour, before he would eventually spill his guts on the what's and why's. By then, it's like we're being forced to care. The show wants us to forget that he's still an arsehole.

Those red herrings are such a prominent feature in the show that it's hard to keep up with all the dangling threads, and it's both good and bad. The fact is that at this point, the sole driving factor of Quantico is its mystery, and its characters cannot hold this show up on their own.

While I was impressed in episode 1 with the variety of characters of different cultures and diversities, here that initially broad cast comes to feel a little cheap because the characters themselves, below the surface of their 'unique' experiences and lifestyles, aren't altogether fascinating to watch.

Alex continues to be a solid lead for the show, even if she perhaps does little in this episode. Still, a brief moment regarding her late father reminds us that she (like pretty much everyone else) has a dark past, and that's something we should keep on our minds (apparently).

The editing between the past and the present continues to be smooth for the most part. Weaving moments in the past and following them with parallel's in the present is clever, if not utilised often enough. One particular scene has Booth () open up to Alex in the past, before jumping to the present, where he tells her to talk quickly with his phone to his ear.

Quantico improves on its pilot with clever editing and fast pacing, even if it falters in character work. The mystery it is developing is central to the show's draw, and will hopefully continue to deepen and maintain its hook.


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HaydnSpurrell HaydnSpurrell

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