TV Review - Quantico: Season 2

I never finished watching the first season, but I did see for a while that it was about a group of young people training to be FBI agents and then later, some time in the future, those young people are investigating a terrorist attack in New York City. It got very convoluted as one of the FBI agents was revealed to be one of the terrorists.

The first misstep was the killing of the character played by Brian J. Smith, but understandably Brian J. Smith couldn't do much more than a couple of episodes before returning to his role in the second season of Sense8, a far better role than any role here.

Priyanka Chopra stars as Alex Parrish, the FBI agent who was accused of being a terrorist in that first season and not just because of her brown skin. Yet, she ended up figuring out who the real terrorists were and stopping them, all while looking gorgeous.

Jake McLaughlin (Crash and Believe) co-stars as Ryan Booth, another FBI agent who is a white manly man and who is also there to be the sexy, rough, love interest for Alex. He hooks up with Alex in the first season and builds a relationship with her.

Created by Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl and Smash), the series is structured on two timelines and simply flashes back and forth between the two. One timeline is the agents in training and the second timeline is in the future with the agents at work to solve or stop some terrorists or criminals. This second season is no different.

Instead of a bombing in New York, this time around it's a hostage situation. It goes beyond territory covered in Scandal where in the first episode here the First Lady is beheaded. In Scandal, the son of the First Lady is poisoned, but here the First Lady herself is actually beheaded and it certainly ups the stakes. It does so in the way that makes you want to stay in this future hostage situation. However, the writers feel the need to flashback to a year ago to show us the agents in training, which seems more distracting and diluting of the thrills than anything else.

There are pleasures to be had in the flashbacks to the agents in training. Instead of training to be FBI agents, the young people in question are training to be CIA agents near Williamsburg, Virginia, at a secret facility known as "The Farm." Alex and Ryan are still FBI agents, but they're assigned to work undercover at the CIA to uncover a conspiracy that's suspected to be there.

The pleasures to be had include learning CIA basics, or the fundamentals of being a spy. Those fundamentals involve getting information from people or hiding information from people, as well as assessing or analyzing one's surroundings like threats and being highly observational. It's interesting to learn spy craft. However, those pleasures don't trump actually seeing that craft in action in a real situation. In that regard, this series doesn't come close to Homeland on Showtime.

Other pleasures are the young people themselves. The makers of this show have assembled a very attractive cast of actors. Blair Underwood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and In Treatment) plays Owen Hall, a former CIA agent who is the teacher at The Farm and the one training all the young people. Underwood is sexy himself, even at age 52. Yet, three of the young people are guys whom are frequently shirtless and are as Alex describes a, "CrossFit Leader Board."

Russell Tovey in 'Quantico'
Russell Tovey (Looking and Being Human) plays Henry Doyle. Aarón Díaz plays Léon Velez and David Lim plays Sebastian Chen. Not much is known about Henry, Léon and Sebastian, except all being drop-dead gorgeous. It's actually Alex and Ryan's job to learn about them and discover which one they can trust.

There are also three other young people, two women. Tracy Ifeachor (Doctor Who and The Originals) plays Lydia Bates, the daughter of Owen Hall and Pearl Thusi plays Dayana Mampasi. Heléne Yorke plays Lee Davis, a blonde event planner. All three women are beautiful and all three become under suspicion as well. So, one can relish in the delights of these good-looking actors giving enticing performances. Yet, the series relies too much on the flashbacks and mystery to be wholly enjoyable.

There was an article online that detailed why this series was frustrating, according to its treatment of its gay character, Elias, played by Rick Cosnett (The Flash). It was apparently not as unforgivable a sin to me as it was to certain bloggers. My hope is that Tovey's character Henry is gay and will end up redeeming the show to some degree.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-PG-LSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Sundays at 10PM on ABC.


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