The midseason finale was supposed to give us answers. Instead, I’m more confused than ever. Simon was being framed just like Alex, Elias was being threatened into being a master manipulator, and Caleb might have been the terrorist all along? Up is down, and down is up. But maybe the biggest question of all from tonight’s episode: Why do women at Quantico have so many formal wear options in their closets??
This was one explosive holiday episode (sorry, I had to), so let’s talk about it!
Apparently it’s mandatory at Quantico for everyone to decorate their dorms — even though they don’t get days off for Christmas. Instead they get a three-day weekend for New Year’s Eve. Everyone has plans to head home, except most of the women lied about having plans and realize this when they stumble upon one another in the dorm.
Before they were let out for break, the NATs were given cold case files…or as the bureau calls them, “Pending Inactive” files. So for fun, Natalie, Shelby, Alex, and Nimah get drunk and try to solve cases. This doesn’t last long before Caleb shows up in a tux. He says his small family New Year’s turned out to be a 200-person party. He wants Shelby to come along, but she says Natalie and Alex have to go along, too. (Nimah didn’t get invited because she went on a coffee run, which is pretty rude.)
Luckily these women have not only formal dresses, but also dress coats, heels, statement earrings, and fantastic lipstick options in their academy closets. Those are totally normal things to have during FBI training, right?
At the Haas household, Alex meets the woman of her/our dreams: Eliza Coupe. Coupe is playing Hannah Wyland, who has the job Alex wants and a “dream husband” named Ryan Booth. Uh oh. Ryan tells Alex that it’s actually his ex-wife, but they still pretend to be married when they’re on the job and undercover. Alex and Ryan share one of their patented bathroom kisses, but she’s still mad, so she leaves the party.
She’s waiting outside for an Uber that never comes (the one thing on this show we can all relate to) when Liam shows up. He convinces her to go back inside, but that was a terrible idea. It only gives time for Eliza/Hannah to tell Alex that she broke Ryan’s heart and she needs to give him time to heal. So Alex goes back outside to wait for that lost Uber driver, and Liam offers to drive her instead.
They get to the academy, but Alex isn’t ready to go in yet. She says she wants him to take her somewhere, and we get this gem:
“I’m your teacher.”
“I know. Teach me something.”
Gross. I guess we’re just ignoring the fact that he’s a good 15 years older than her? Okay then.
While they’re probably getting it on, Shelby and Caleb are un-getting it on. Things are going great at the party because Caleb’s mom, Claire (played by Marcia Cross), loves Shelby. But Caleb is surprised to hear that his parents are getting back together — that is, until his mom’s assistant mentions that Claire’s on the shortlist for vice president. Caleb knows this must be why his mom is offering to take his dad back. So instead of having a conversation, he pulls his mom and dad and Shelby into the kitchen and exposes his mother’s secret. Clayton is clearly hurt that she wanted to restore their marriage only for political purposes.
Shelby reads into this situation that Caleb will always try to “blow up” everything in his life (foreshadowing?). She says she loves him but that she knows he’ll hurt her in the future, and she shuts the door in his face…literally.
Following that, we see Mark Raymond, a.k.a. an undercover Caleb, ask to see security deposit boxes at a very familiar-looking bank, a bank that will later become Command Center following the Grand Central bombing. Oh boy.