Quantico follows the lives of FBI agents in training. Unbeknownst to them, one of the recruits is masterminding the biggest attack on New York since 9/11.
Warning, there may be spoilers ahead.
If you read my coverage of Upfronts week you’ll know the promo for Quantico got me very excited. So excited that I was worried the pilot wouldn’t match up. Thankfully I was wrong and their debut episode greatly exceeded my expectations.
Quantico opens with a flash forward to the terror attack. We flick back and forth but the main body of the story is the training at Quantico base. The first episode sees the recruits set a test to try and figure out the secrets of their peers. This was an incredibly smart decision by the writers. It was interesting plot wise but it also really let us delve into the character’s backgrounds and see a bit more of their personalities.
Quantico’s characters are perhaps its greatest strength. Each one is so different yet they are all intriguing and compelling. It’s clear from the pilot that they are all hiding things, which makes it much more difficult to predict who the terrorist is.
Priyanka Chopra leads the cast as Alex Parrish. Alex is one of those characters you instantly love. She’s unapologetically tough and incredibly smart, and yet she remains likeable and relatable. I often find that main characters are difficult to get right. But in this case she is well written and well acted. From the season promo we’re going to see a more vulnerable side of Alex which I think Chopra is really going to shine in. In the pilot she certainly proved that she has the ability and skill to lead a show and I can’t wait to see more of her.
The story of Caleb, played by Graham Rogers, is perhaps the saddest in that he’s not really meant to be there. Strings were pulled to get him in and he’s now struggling with every aspect of training. As a result he clearly feels like an outsider and takes it out on fellow recruit Eric, brilliantly played by Brian J. Smith. This ends in Eric tragically killing himself after believing Caleb has discovered his secret. The scene between the two where Caleb is trying to convince him to hand over his gun is probably my favourite of the entire episode. Perhaps because it was so unexpected.
On the surface Quantico is a show all about the action and the mystery, but that scene proved it’s going to be delivering top quality, very emotional drama. It will be interesting to see how Caleb comes back from that and how he deals with his guilt. Rogers has certainly proved he has the talent to deliver standout performances and I’m naming him the one to watch.
If Caleb’s story is the saddest then Nimah’s is the most interesting. Or should I say Nimah and Raina? At the end of the episode it was revealed that Nimah is a twin, and both have been taking part in training. Of all the surprises and shocks in the pilot (and there were a lot) this one was the biggest. So many questions have been raised and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.
Other characters include Ryan Booth played by Jake McLaughlin, Miranda Shaw played by Aunjanue Ellis, Shelby Wyatt played by Johanna Braddy, Simon Asher played by Tate Ellington and Liam O’Connor played by Josh Hopkins. They all got adequate screen time in the pilot and managed to make strong impressions. The comic relief so far is provided by Simon and I found myself smiling every time he was on screen. With such a large cast it’ll be interesting to see how they manage to develop all of these characters. But judging from the pilot the writers are clearly a talented bunch and know exactly what they’re doing.
With the aforementioned solid writing team, a gifted cast and a gripping plot Quantico has made a fantastic start. The sheer amount of twists and turns has made it unpredictable and exciting to watch. Top marks for the pilot. Here’s hoping the next episode is as impressive.
Pilot Rating – 5/5