An Indian-American FBI recruit, she gets involved when she is blamed for masterminding the terrorist attack in New York when the Grand Central Station was destroyed in a bombing attack.
- The Ace: She is on top of the class in every exercise and test and is constantly praised for her seemingly unmatchable intellect and instincts—e.g. she is the only NAT in years (and even in the whole existence of the exercise) to figure out that the terror attack scenario was a set-up. Even Shaw says in the present day scenes that Alex is too good (and taught too well by the FBI) to be caught by the FBI.
- Averted at the CIA Complex, in which she usually is at the bottom of her class, struggling to stay in the rankings, to complete her mission for the FBI.
- Action Girl
- Awesomeness by Analysis: One of her key traits is her proficiency at the Sherlock Scan and and ability to pick up on clues that other characters sometimes miss. In "America", she was able to figure out that the simulated crime scenes were not meant to be winnable by any chance (the other nats evidently missed the part where the instructor said "which scene, if any"). She heads back to the crime scenes and finds items that were meant to "taunt" the trainees.
- Badass Boast: Alex gives one in "America" while taunting Liam over the walkie-talkie.Liam: You won't last a day in the wind, Alex.
Alex: A day is all I need.
- But Not Too Foreign/Mixed Ancestry: She's half-white on her father's side (Priyanka Chopra is fully Indian). Enforced: the role wasn't originally written to be Indian, but after Chopra was cast she resisted efforts to make the character act more stereotypically Indian, up to and including changing her name from Parrish.
- Clear My Name: Alex has to do this after being framed.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Alex shot and killed her father in defense of her mother as a teen. She also spent a year hiking through India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to try and understand the people behind the label "terrorist".
- Disappeared Dad: Alex's father died in her childhood. At her own hand, defending her mother.
- Frame-Up: Alex is framed for bombing Grand Central Station and killing a fellow FBI agent.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: She's an FBI agent who's declared a domestic terrorist to the public.
- The Mole: Enters into the CIA Complex training, while gathering intel of a possible buried terrorist cell within the CIA for the FBI.
- She joins the conspirators in Season 2 so that she (with Owen's help) can wreck havoc from withing their ranks.
- Ms. Fanservice: Absolute Cleavage, thy name is Alex Parrish.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Priyanka Chopra's Indian accent comes through frequently. Justifed as the character's mother is Indian, and after she killed her father, Alex was sent to live with her mother's relatives in Mumbai for over a decade. Notably, her Indian accent is a lot stronger when she's highly stressed (being interrogated after the bombing), and is much softer when she isn't as stressed (training at Quantico). On the flip side, Chopra also ignored requests to have the character sound even more Indian.
- Self-Made Orphan: Alex killed her father defending her mother against him.
- Sherlock Scan: Alex performs a quite impressive one on Booth to explain why he's not worth more to her than a quick fling. It includes manipulating him into naming his footwear as tennis shoes rather than sneakers during the scan to reveal his West Coast dialect.
- Token Minority: She's the only Indian-American shown to be in the FBI. But in an unusual example of the trope, she's also the protagonist of the series.
- Tragic Keepsake: Alex has her father's FBI badge. Later on, she keeps an Israeli coin for Simon.
- Would Hit a Girl: Alex was forced to take down Natalie and a civilian while on the run in "America", since they assumed her to be the terrorist mastermind.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: At the mid-season finale, with the FBI having internally confirmed her innocence, she agrees to step back into the Frame-Up and plead guilty in order to help lure out the real conspirators.
The daughter of a prominent hunter in Georgia and part-time model from an upper class family, she is known for her marksmanship skills in the FBI academy.
- Action Girl
- All Women Are Lustful
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: She and Caleb spar verbally for a while, then he sabotages her during an exercise in retaliation for his suspicion that she'd ratted him out for continuing to take firearms drill as an analyst trainee. They argue over it, then Coitus Ensues rather abruptly.
- Disappeared Dad/Missing Mom: Her parents were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attack. Turns out they survived and faked their deaths for reasons of having committed treason.
- The Cutie. What, are you blind?
- Eating the Eye Candy: She feels guilty about stopping to look at Caleb's naked chest.
- Friendly Sniper: Turns out Shelby is a noted marksman, despite her cheery demeanor. Justified by her family's background in hunting.
- Hair of Gold: Zigzagged. She is originally presented to be very kind-hearted and sweet, but character development shows different sides of her, all the while Breaking The Cutie.
- Ms. Fanservice: The show's most dedicated example of this alongside Alex (a Lingerie Scene regular). Plus, her snug leggings in "Guilty."
- Non-Idle Rich: Shelby is from a wealthy background, but is training to be an FBI Agent, and is a Rhodes scholar.
- Orphan's Ordeal: She lost her parents. Then found out her long-lost half-sister was a catfish, found out her parents were alive all along, then was dumped, and got in a relationship with a married man who later died in a terror attack. Ouch.
- Polyglot: She's seen speaking Arabic aside from English in "America".
- Really Gets Around: At least as far as the men of the Haas family are concerned.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Clay in Season 2. Their interactions in the latter half of the season are rife with UST. Her history with his brother AND father, plus his engagement, get in the way. While he ends up breaking off his engagement out of self-loathing and a desire to be with her, she ultimately shoots him down, as she realizes that he truly loves his fiancée and she has no desire to get between them.
- Tragic Keepsake: She has a piece of the plane her parents died in on 9/11.
A former US Marine-turned-FBI agent, he was ordered to infiltrate the FBI Academy and keep a close eye on Alex's training. Liam was assigned to be his personal handler.
- Introduction by Hookup: In the pilot he and Alex meet on the plane to Washington, then have sex in the front seat of his car after landing. After they meet again at FBI Academy, he tries to downplay it, but she trolls him by matter-of-factly admitting that "we had sex six hours ago" in front of about six more recruits.
- Inspector Javert: In the second half of the first season, his present-day self becomes obsessed with busting Alex.
- Love Triangle: Between him, Alex, and Vasquez. He and Alex room next to each other and share a bathroom, and become a couple before she learns of his assignment to investigate her and drive her out of the Academy. She breaks it off when she finds out by way of Liam blundering into a training exercise and chewing out Ryan's ass with her listening in. She moves rooms and he ends up next to Vasquez, but he and Alex still have Unresolved Sexual Tension afterward.
- Must Have Caffeine: Ryan complains the coffee was crap in the Marines and is very thankful that Simon shares his gourmet beans with him.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Nimah, especially in the second season after they both join the CLF.
- Real Award, Fictional Character: In episode three, Miranda mentions that he's a Bronze Star recipient. Or at least, his cover identity is; it's left ambiguous whether the actual Marine earned the decoration.
- Reverse Mole: Ryan serves as one on behalf of the bureau to keep an eye on Alex.
- Semper Fi: Ryan is a USMC vet with service in Iraq and Afghanistan who, according to his cover story, came straight to the FBI Academy from his last duty station in the Philippines.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the second half of the first season became convinced that Alex was a crazy liar and constantly berated her for no real reason.
- Western Terrorists: Joined the CLF as of "Odenvy".
A former MI6 operative, now washed out.
- Big Brother Instinct: He's very protective of his little sister Maisie.
- Innocently Insensitive: In "Kubark", after Sebastian comments that he prays for people like Harry, Harry responds by asking why someone as Sebastian even bothers living when he never takes risks, and suggests that he might as well kill himself. He later learns that Sebastian actually did try to kill himself as a teenager.
- Loveable Rogue: He's the kind of guy who can make being tricked seem fun.
- Straight Gay: He is gay, but not very flamboyant.
- Too Clever by Half: He easily deduces that Alex and Ryan are still working for the FBI, but fails to anticipate that they'd get the upper hand on him, resulting in him being detained by the police.
A former FBI field agent who became an instructor after losing her hearing in a bombing, and now serves in the special task force.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She is a bit of a hard-ass because she'd rather have people resent her than take pity on her.
- Handicapped Badass: She may have lost her hearing, but she remains a highly respected FBI agent.
- It's Personal: She initially joins the task force in order to get revenge on The Widow, the arms dealer who was responsible for making her deaf.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In "The Heavens Fall", she accidentally kills Celine after being thrown into an arena with a bag over her head. She is horrified when she realizes what she's done.
- Smug Super: After Ryan questions why a hearing-impaired agent was put on the task force, Jocelyn makes a point of lording her skills and experience over him.
The former head of training at the Farm. After the events of season 2, he was pushed into retirement, and now serves in the special task force.
- Failure Knight: According to Lydia, he had a terrible reputation as a field agent, which was why he was reassigned to teaching recruits.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is a hardass when dealing with the recruits, but much warmer when he's alone with his daughter.
- Manipulative Bastard: In "Kubark", he manages to figure out each recruit's weakness and exploit it to drive up their stress.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: He was forced to become an instructor after getting burned in an article.
- Scary Black Man: He's scary, but it has less to do with his skin color and everything to do with the fact that he's a harsh instructor who's also an experienced CIA spook.
A med-school graduate turned FBI trainee. Alex pulled him out of Quantico to serve as the team's medical expert.
- Asian and Nerdy: He was brought in because Alex felt the team needed more non-action guys.
A former member of Occupy who decided to join the FBI.
An FBI Special Agent assigned to the new task force, and their expert on domestic terrorism.
- Belligerant Sexual Tension: With Alex.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: When he first appears, he's got a scruffy beard and looks like he's been living in the woods for a while. After a shower and a shave, he turns out to be much better-looking. Ryan has to do a double-take to realize it's the same guy he's been working with for the last two days.
- It's Personal: He wants revenge on Conor Devlin for murdering his sister.
FBI Academy Trainees
Arab-American and Muslim FBI recruits, Nimah and Raina were personally selected by Miranda for a special assignment in the bureau.
- Always Someone Better: Nimah desperately wants to be a special agent but is not quite up to the physical and mental challenge, while the more religious Raina is better suited to the role, but only entered training because Nimah wanted it so much.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Raina gives one to Natalie when she asks her if she has anyone to go back to in case she's forced to leave the academy.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: In a flashback to her entrance interview for the Academy, Nimah's stated reason for wanting to join the FBI is because, despite the Islamophobia and racism she frequently runs into in America, she still wants to give back to the country that gave her family a safe haven.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Raina is usually understanding, polite, and friendly, but when Nimah comes back to Quantico after running off, Raina doesn't hesitate before punching her right in the face to give her a black eye to match Raina's.
- But Not Too Foreign: They are Arab-Americans, the daughters of refugees from Lebanon who fled during the civil war.
- Custom Uniform: Justified. As an observant conservative Muslim, Nimah wears a headscarf with her recruit uniform. She also wears a swimsuit which fully covers her body for the same reasons. After they are revealed as two people, it is seen that Nimah does not wear the hijab (headscarf) because she's much less religious than Raina. Also seen during the fanservicey pool scene: in deference to Islamic codes of modesty, shenote wears a black wetsuit rather than the more revealing blue-and-yellow one-piece suits worn by the other women.
- The Cynic: Nimah, in sharp contrast to Raina, believes that the ends justify the means and that Raina's idealism is naive.
- Honey Trap: Nimah seduced a man who'd headed up the terrorist cell she infiltrated, to get more information on the cell's plot.
- The Idealist: Raina always wants to believe the best in people, even believing that terrorism stems from people being misguided and left feeling like there is no other way to fight for what they believe freedom is.
- Irony: Nimah is desperate to become an FBI agent but lacks the physical and mental capabilities equal for the job. Meanwhile, Raina is only going along to help her sister but ends up being far more effective in her training and the field to the point Nimah complains about how people wonder why "she" is so much better or worse from day to day.
- I Work Alone: Downplayed with Raina. In the first season, rather than immediately tell Miranda about what she'd learned from Charlie about the terrorist cell, she infiltrates it on her own and keeps her actions from Nimah.
- Mathematician's Answer: Simon notices that Nimah pins her hijab on the left sometimes, other times the right, and wonders whether this is because of her ambidexterity, or it has some cultural significance. Nimah answers "yes". This turns out to be because Simon actually saw her twin sister Raina, who'd pinned it on the left side, and Nimah tells her to always pin it on the right so no one notices this again. They're also opposite-handed.
- Middle Eastern Terrorists: Nimah joins up with the CLF as of "Odenvy". Subverted in "Jmpalm", where she's a mole for Miranda.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Nimah with Ryan, especially in the second season after they both join the CLF.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Nimah and Raina are identical in appearance, but have differing personalities. Raina is more athletic, likes to wear makeup, and enjoys being friends (later becoming romantically involved) with Simon. Nimah doesn't do any of those things normally, but has to play along in order to keep up the ruse. While at Quantico, Nimah is much closer with the other women than Raina, who has closer relationships with Simon, Caleb, and Brandon. Raina is also more observant of Islamic religious law than Nimah, an admitted atheist: the latter is comfortable with drinking and going without her hijab in public, and once seduces the head of a terrorist cell the twins infiltrate while investigating the Grand Central bombing (extramarital sex is completely forbidden in Islam, as is a Muslim woman romancing a non-Muslim like Simon).note The two eventually find a medium ground and compromises, Raina loosening her hijab, and Nimah restraining her impulses in public, and following the Islamic laws that she knows.
- Polyglot: Both twins are shown to speak several languages, to the point that in season two, Raina is working as an interpreter.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Both twins have the same huge, dark eyes that lend themselves very well to this trope, but Raina pulls it off especially well.
- Token Minority: The only Arab-Americans or Muslims shown to be in the FBI.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Nimah in the second season, going from someone whose love is restricted to just her sister and that Raina argues would betray anyone if it meant saving herself to someone that deeply cares about the others and is much less needlessly abrasive.
- Twin Switch: Nimah and Raina impersonate each other at the academy starting out. Academy Director Shaw is trying to train them both as agents while keeping the fact that there's two of them a secret from the other recruits, so they can be used to infiltrate terrorist cells (an idea Shaw got from a Cold War Soviet project).
- Raina uses this near the end of Season 2 so that Nimah can help Alex and the others hunt down the conspirators.
- Walking Spoiler: The fact that they're twins portraying one agent, is only revealed in the epilogue of the pilot.
The son of a conservative Zionist Jewish-American family, he had spent four years living in the Gaza Strip among Palestinians before he entered the FBI Academy. He's also known to be gay.
- The Atoner: Many of his actions are rooted in his desire to make up for his past mistakes.
- Badass Bookworm: Brilliant, calculating and deadly, Simon is unpredictable, but his genius and expertise may be Alexs only hope of figuring out who really bombed Grand Central.
- Black Sheep: He lived in Gaza for four years, which was probably a big no-no with his conservative Jewish family.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Simon, a scion of a conservative Zionist Jewish family, spent four years living with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Actually, he enlisted in the Israeli Defense Forces, and tells Elias he "saw things... and did things." His persona as the gay man who wears glasses and drinks gourmet coffee is all a coping mechanism.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Unlike Shelby, he does not feel guilty about stopping to look at Caleb's naked chest, though he's faking his attraction.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies in the first season finale when he takes the nuke and drives it to the bottom of the ocean where it explodes, with him as the only casualty.
- The Mole: After Alex runs for it, he helps her, but seemingly only so he can inform on her to the FBI Director. Ryan calls him out for it and he makes a HeelFace Turn.
- Must Have Caffeine: He keeps a stash of gourmet coffee beans in his dorm room at the FBI Academy, and shares them with his roommate Ryan (for which Ryan is extremely grateful). He doesn't like coffee, it's just a cover.
- Nice Jewish Boy: Simon fits this trope. He's even celibate.
- Noodle Incident: In the present day portions of "Cover", Alex mentions he was kicked out of the Academy after... something about a bomb.
- Odd Friendship: Simon and Nimah (actually, Raina), a gay conservative Jew and a conservative Muslim woman and first-generation Arab-American. It turns romantic with Raina after the twins realize he isn't actually gay.
- Polyglot: Aside from English and Hebrew, he's seen speaking Mandarin Chinese and Swedish in "Run" during his assignment in Quantico to know more about Shelby's background.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: His eyes often get teary when he's upset, making it almost impossible to not feel bad for him.
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Simon has them, apparently for unknown reasons.
- A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: His official ABC.com bio refers to him as "a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a pair of hipster glasses".
- Straight Gay: He doesn't make a big deal out of the fact he's gay and actually gets a little annoyed at a more 'out' gay analyst trainee hitting on him. It turns out that this, along with the fact he didn't have sex with his ex-boyfriends, is foreshadowing of the fact he's not really gay.
- Twofer Token Minority: Simon is a gay Jewish man. Averted in that he's not actually gay.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Simon designed the bombs used in the attack on Grand Central Station as part of an ill-conceived plan to bring Jews and Muslims together by convincing them that they had a common enemy. He never actually intended for the bombs to go off, though; his schematics were deliberately flawed. Unfortunately for him, someone stole the schematics and fixed the mistakes.
The son of FBI agent parents, he went to the FBI Academy in order to follow their footsteps. He encountered an unfortunate situation and was forced to leave, but came back to be trained as an analyst.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: In Season Two, although he may have been purposefully trying to goad Clay.
- Black Sheep: He's from an FBI family but by his own admission, he's the family screw-up.
- Characterization Marches On: In the first few episodes, he acted more often like a cocky jerk — despite having a heart of gold and carrying the weight of being the family screw-up. As the episodes go on, that phases out and he starts acting as a much more openly caring and friendly person.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Prior to enrolling at Quantico, Caleb fell in with a cult called the Sistemics. His parents rescued him, but their disagreements over how to deal with him afterwards caused his parents to split, and caused him to lose trust in them.
- Functional Addict: Despite the drugs keeping him pliant, he still manages to escape his guards and keep his correspondence with Shelby a secret from his mother.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: As displayed after Eric kills himself and when talking to Shelby in his room after coming back as an analyst trainee, his obnoxious mannerisms are an act. He drops them in both occasions, whether he's breaking down or opening up.
- Mr. Fanservice: Caleb is quite easy on the eyes and got a handful of shirtless scenes.
- Nepotism: Played with. Caleb only makes it into the academy because his parents are well-regarded agents. Ultimately, he proves quite inept during early training. After Eric's suicide, he washes right out of the academy, unable to deal with the trauma, and comes back as an analyst trainee because his FBI agent sister pulled strings. Later on, though, he is made back into a NAT due to his own merit and seems to be doing quite well for himself since.
- Odd Friendship: Develops one with Will, and to a lesser degree, with Raina and even Iris.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: An FBI agent who speaks in pop culture references.
- Put on a Bus: He's absent for most of the second season, only returning for a short while towards the end to motivate his brother.
- Skewed Priorities: In the aftermath of the attack on Grand Central Station, Caleb gets put in charge of reviewing video surveillance of the area and successfully searches for evidence... of his father's extramarital affair.
Is there anybody there I went to Quantico with but now works on a top secret task force attempting to stop a vast conspiracy to overthrow my mom home?
- Because hes hungry, he wanders around a secret camp ground loudly shouting:
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Played with. He seems to not care about what happened to him after he got kicked out of the academy, only to be sent back to be trained as an analyst instead, and acts like he did the FBI a favor by exposing Eric. However, he eventually drops the facade and opens up to Shelby about how his family turned on him and he only got back because his sister took pity on him and used her contacts.
Caleb: Goldilocks looking for the one thats just right.Raina: Okay, now I know its not good to see you.
- After seeing Clay developing feelings for Shelby, he does snark at her expense.
Caleb: Im not leaving til youre off this team.Shelby: Good luck to you, because if your mother had to choose between me and you, Im pretty sure I know the answer.Caleb: Oh what...are you sleeping with her too?
- Later, after he and Shelby start taunting each other.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He's always been the family screw-up, but he still wants to impress his dad. For his part, Daddy thinks Caleb can do well, just not in the FBI, and tries to bribe him to flunk out of analyst school by unlocking his trust fund.
A missionary with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who had spent time living in Malawi to do humanitarian work before he went to the FBI Academy.
- Ate His Gun: He used a loaded Glock 17 to shoot himself after he realized the ramifications of his actions.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Eric got a 14-year-old girl pregnant who he met in Malawi as an LDS missionary. She died undergoing an illegal abortion which he told her to get. He panics in fear of discovery, shoots an academy employee, and then kills himself.
- Dead Star Walking: Eric seems to be a principal character in the pilot, right until he shoots himself in the head after convincing himself that Caleb has discovered his darkest secret.
- Driven to Suicide: Eric kills himself in guilt after thinking his secret was discovered: having the Malawi girl he got pregnant get an illegal abortion, which she died undergoing. It was not even true—Caleb didn't know about it.
- Walking Spoiler: The moment he shows up in the first episode, you'll be spoiled by what's going to happen to him before it ends.
- Would Hit a Girl: Eric shoots an academy employee in the interrogation room during his breakdown.
- Played by: Anabelle Acosta
An FBI recruit, she sees Alex as her rival in getting good performance and top scores in the academy.
- Action Girl: Very much so.
- A Death in the Limelight: She gets more focus in present scenes and flashbacks before she is killed during an explosion.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She is initially very unpleasant and secretive, but mellows out quite a bit after the other trainees force her to reveal her big secret.
- Determinator: She will stop at nothing to become an agent.
- Killed Off for Real: She is killed by an exploding decoy laptop in "Clear".
- Put on a Bus: At Miranda's suggestion, she took a leave of absence from her training at Quantico to straighten out the custody issues over her daughter with her abusive ex-husband.
- The Rival: Sees Alex as her obstacle. She even tries to outsmart her in training classes.
- Second Episode Introduction
- Vasquez Always Dies: Literally and figuratively.
A new FBI recruit training to be an analyst. He gets to work with Simon in the course of their academy training. After being forced out of the academy, he became a lawyer.
- Amoral Attorney: The bad guys used incidents of him faking evidence in court cases in order to blackmail him.
- Bury Your Gays: In 'Inside', Elias is revealed as the person who framed Alex and a Dirty Coward who went along with the terrorists' plan to hide some illegal actions he did to win cases, and decides to jump out a window rather than going to prison.
- Cowardly Lion: Elias bails out on his class in "Go" when he thinks a real bomb was placed in Quantico. It wasn't the case.
- Driven to Suicide: Elias, after being revealed as a Dirty Coward AND a reluctant co-conspirator in the terrorist attacks, decides to throw himself out a window rather than pay for his crimes.
- The Mole: He was blackmailed into assisting the terrorists with framing Alex.
- Nice Guy: He's actually a nice guy despite being a bit nosy to Simon.
- Inspector Javert: He thinks there's something off about Simon, and seems obsessed with finding out what his deal is.
- Straight Gay: He is happy to see Simon as another gay FBI recruit, flirting with him. Simon does not respond though.
One of the new FBI recruits in Alex's class. He played an important role in setting up a fake bomb attack as part of Shaw's training exercise.
- Big Damn Heroes: Helps out Alex and Nathalie by taking out a few upperclassmen NA Ts in the mock anti-terrorist exercise.
- Cowardly Lion: Bails out on his classmates in "Go". He was ordered to do by Shaw in order to weed out those who decided to flee from class.
- Satellite Love Interest: He's Vasquez's boyfriend at Quantico, and that is almost the entirety of his relevance to the plot.
A recruit from the class above Alex's, she is a highly-successful business-owner who joins Alex's class after her own class is penalized for cheating on a test.
- Alpha Bitch: She is... not a pleasant person to deal with.
- But Not Too Foreign: Iris is a Chinese-American. Averted when it's revealed she's a refugee from China.
- Dark and Troubled Past: When her family left Shanghai, they were forced to leave her sister behind, who didn't want to leave China.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She offers her business contacts to help Shelby without being asked.
- Morality Pet: Hers is Will.
- Odd Friendship: She develops one with Shelby and Caleb, to the point where when those two stop talking, Caleb asks her to talk to Shelby.
- Pet the Dog: She has a soft spot for Will and thinks of him as "one of the few good people here".
- Red Herring: As the recruits ahead of Alexs class start showing up in the present timeline, she remains absent and fans speculated she might be the Big Bad after all. No, she simply never shows up again until late in Season Two.
- Smug Snake: She assumes that she's naturally better than the other trainees at pretty much everything. This quickly proves wrong as Shelby beats her in a one-on-one match. However, while she may have a streak of arrogance, she may also have a point - she is one of only four recruits in whom one of the FBI's elite units expressed interest.
- Took a Level in Kindness: She does eventually warm up to her fellow recruits, even expressing concern when she realizes what Caleb and Shelby were up to in regards to Shelbys parents.
Another recruit from the class above. He is a former professional football player who became blackballed after suing the NFL after sustaining a concussion.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: After the events of "Turn", his fellow trainees suddenly consider him a hero, and it quickly goes to his head.
- The Lost Lenore: His girlfriend was killed during a shootout between the FBI and a gang, and his inability to get a straight answer out of the bureau is what drove him to try and join it.
- Red Herring: Set up by Liam as a major scapegoat for the bombings.
- Soapbox Sadie: He was blacklisted from the NFL for suing over a minor concussion, and he endangers his career in the FBI by harassing Liam over the Chicago incident. Liam declares that all Drew cares about is launching crusades against perceived injustices, which makes him unsuitable for the FBI.
- Sports Hero Backstory: He used to be a professional football player, but became persona non grata for suing the league over a concussion he suffered during his career.
Another recruit from the class above. Not much is known about him, and he isn't very forthcoming. As of season 2, he now works for the Semple Institute, a think-tank in Washington.
- Ambiguous Disorder: He appears to have some form of high-functioning autism. He admits that he has difficulty talking to people, but has a talent for memorizing statistics and formulating strategies.
- Ambiguously Gay: He shows no interest in women (including while Iris is working out in little clothing nearby, mind you) and, when being informed that a person he is meant to get information from is gay, casually offers to flirt with him. As of season 2, it's no longer ambiguous, as he's shown to be secretly dating Harry Doyle.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Inverted. Because he's had to study people extensively just to learn how to act "normal", he is alarmingly good at adopting cover personas.
- Hidden Depths: Everything he does is an attempt to get to know people better. And he had a sister whom he still genuinely cares for and misses.
- Justified Criminal: How he presents himself as in season 3 when Shelby finds him working as the computer ace for "The Widow." He fires back on how he never got his security clearance back after the events of season 2, couldn't get a legit job so had to turn to dark activities. He also fires in that being abandoned by the rest of the team helped push him there.
- The Mole: Subverted. He seems to be spying on his fellow trainees. But turns out that the secret board he's been keeping with all of the trainee's headshots on it is just one of his methods of memorizing the names and faces of his classmates.
- Morality Pet: He seems to be one of the few other people that Iris genuinely cares about.
- No Social Skills: He is really bad at talking to people. But oddly good at mimicking them.
- Odd Friendship: Develops one with Caleb.
One of the FBI agents stationed at the FBI Academy, he was assigned to work there by the FBI due to a bad incident involving him in Chicago. He had a brief relationship with Miranda.
- The Alcoholic: When he's not working, he's usually drinking.
- Big Bad: Liam was behind everything, all because he lost faith in the system and wanted to restructure it with himself at the head.
- Cop Killer: He doesn't hesitate to kill his fellow FBI colleagues if it helps with his objective.
- Crazy-Prepared: He used his position as the academy instructor to spy on Alex and her classmates and use their past and secrets to blackmail them to do his dirty work.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The failure of the events in Chicago was due to his actions, that made the bureau shuffle him to the academy instead. It drove him and Michael to the deep end so much that they began to question whether it was worth doing their job.
- Kick the Dog: He's not above setting up training exercises that are deliberately calculated to play on a specific trainee's weaknesses. For instance, he sets up a hostage-rescue situation so that Alex will be required to shoot someone from behind, knowing that it will remind her of how she killed her father and thus cause her to freeze up, and sets up a "Kobayashi Maru"-type situation on a plane, knowing that Shelby will work herself into tears trying in vain to solve it.
- Manipulative Bastard: He has been grooming Alex into the perfect scapegoat since he met her at Quantico.
- My Greatest Failure: The incidents in Omaha and Chicago.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Liam grows into a more supportive and sincere mentor to Alex and the trainees as the series continues. Subverted when it's revealed that he's been setting them up as patsies for his own terrorism scheme the whole time, and was merely adapting his behavior because his earlier plans fell through.
- Walking Spoiler: It's better to read the entries after you finished the first season.
- Western Terrorists: His actual agenda in the first season.
- Would Hit a Girl: He has no problem killing female FBI agents if they get in his way.
A known FBI agent and the father of Alex, he died several years ago after his domestic abuse toward his wife Sita ended after he was killed by Alex, defending her.
- Cowboy Cop: His real identity within the bureau. Nobody liked him due to being abusive towards his wife and not following through with orders most of the time.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Like Liam, Michael went off the deep end after the militia attack in Omaha.
- Domestic Abuse: He inflicted this on his wife. It led to his daughter killing him in her defense.
- Irony: Being a reputable FBI agent when he's a Cowboy Cop in reality, according to Miranda.
- Posthumous Character: Michael is long dead by the time the show starts.
- Would Hit a Girl: He was about to shoot at Sita when Alex intervened.
Jocelyn Turner's former partner at the FBI.
- Distressed Dude: In "Heaven's Fall", he is kidnapped by Dante Warwick, the man responsible for the explosion that deafened Jocelyn.
- Properly Paranoid: He kept hard copies of all of his files rather than entrusting them to any database, which is convenient because it enables the team to figure out his whereabouts.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Back when he and Jocelyn were still working together, he was the guy who was hanging back in the van while she was the one in the field.
The first woman ever to be Deputy Director of the FBI Academy and the highest-ranking woman in the entire agency, she was the instructor to Alex and the other FBI recruits.
- Big Damn Heroes: She saves Alex from being transferred to FBI custody by disguising herself as the van driver and hijacking it.
- Big Good: She's the only one in the FBI hierarchy who is convinced that someone else in the FBI was responsible for the bombing attack in New York.
- Black Boss Lady: She's the Deputy Director of the Academy, and the highest-ranking agent with a major role.
- FaceHeel Turn: Miranda appears to turning heel beginning with the episode "Lipstick," when she informed one of the terrorists that Alex is inside Federal Hall. In "Stescalade," the following episode, Miranda sabotaged Shelby's efforts to reveal a report on the Citizens Liberation Front. In "Kubark" she openly reveals that she is part of the rogue group's conspiracy when she talks to the hacker, Eric Boyer.
- Subverted as of "Jmpalm", she's trying to work with Nimah in order to take out the terrorists from within.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Liam accuses her of backing Alex after she hijacks the FBI van.
- Mama Bear: She is fiercely protective of her students.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She goes into a Heroic BSoD moment after she shoots Charlie to get him out of the way, only for a HRT sniper to shoot him in the chest.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She fully believes that Alex has been framed. As such, she tells her to go dark and hunt down the moles in the bureau.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: While in the first season, she consistently demonstrated that she cared about her students, especially Alex and the twins, and told Raina that while she makes mistakes, she "always owns up to them", in the second, she remains absolutely convinced that she was in the right and cares more about keeping her job than about stopping terrorists.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- In "America", Liam gives one to her for breaking Alex out of custody.Liam: Did you, a former Assistant Director, disguise yourself, take out two guards, commandeer a prison transport, and help a suspected terrorist escape?
Miranda: You're the one helping the terrorist escape by chasing after Agent Parrish. [...] Evidence lies! Especially when it's been put there on purpose. Alex would never do something like this.
- In "Cover", she gives one to the agent candidates who were about to vote to kick their fellow candidates from the program, telling them that the correct solution to the exercise was to stick with their teammates despite personal grievances.
- In "America", Liam gives one to her for breaking Alex out of custody.
Ryan Booth's ex-wife... and Alex's superior officer during the second half of the season. She hates Alex, but is not so blinded she cant work with her.
- Amicable Exes: She is fiercely protective of Ryan, despite their divorce because Ryan kept her relationship with another woman a secret.
- Armored Closet Gay: Her marriage to Ryan fell apart because she fell in love with a woman.
- Big Damn Heroes: She saved Senator Haas from being targeted by the Big Bad, but has to be on leave and have counseling before she can go back to the field.
- Call-Back: Complains in Season Two that its happening again, Alex sounds insane talking about a conspiracy but there really is one.
- Motor Mouth: Her preferred method for dealing with Alex is to verbally steamroll her.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She gives these constantly to Alex.
The current director of the FBI, he oversees the manhunt for Alex after getting word that she was the culprit for attacking Grand Central station. He's also the father of Caleb.
- Death Equals Redemption: For all his flaws and tensions with his family, after his passing they speak of him respectfully.
- Hero Antagonist: To Alex after she goes on the run and underground.
- Killed Offscreen: Reported to have died in the explosion of the FBI Command Center.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He sends his own son undercover in a dangerous cult in order to get evidence that the cult was behind a attempted bombing, but then turns around and gives the cult leader a slap on the wrist in exchange for the cult voluntarily renouncing its tax-exempt status, because trying to take the case to court would expose the fact that the op was unsanctioned.
The CIA director responsible for recruiting Alex in Season 2 in order to infiltrate and weed out rogue agents.
- Big Good: Alongside Miranda in the 2nd season.
An instructor at the Farm, and also Owen's daughter.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When she first appears, she poses as a straight-laced, straight-edged actuary who seems eager to befriend Alex... because it turns out that she's already detected Alex's Chronic Hero Syndrome and believes that she's not fit to work in the CIA.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Owen's a hardass, but Lydia is downright ruthless; when Owen orders the trainees to get him to give up one of his cover identities, and they respond by waterboarding Lydia, she expresses disgust that he gave up the name to save her life, saying that if their positions were reversed, she would have let him drown.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In order to expose Alex's Chronic Hero Syndrome, she pretends to have a malfunctioning parachute harness, resulting in Alex trying to prevent her from making the halo jump.
A photojournalist who's now seeking to become a CIA agent.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was a photojournalist for years, and then suddenly got incarcerated in Mexico for several years. He's pretty adamant about not discussing it.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He was imprisoned for a while in solitary confinement, which has left him with a case of claustrophobia.
A former human-rights lawyer from Zimbabwe.
- The Atoner: Her parents were Les Collaborateurs under Robert Mugabe, and it's implied that she learned to torture people. Her work as a human-rights lawyer was her attempt to atone for both her actions and those of her parents.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Abruptly vanishes from the plot partway through the second half of season 2.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She grew up under Robert Mugabe's regime.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: When Alex tries to talk to her about her crying at night, she brushes her off, insisting that she didn't come to the Farm to make friends. This attitude comes back to bite her in the ass when she flunks the first SDR and ends up on the bottom of the Murder Board.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After getting recruited for the AIC, she quickly becomes gung-ho with its agenda.
- Prone to Tears: During the first few weeks, she cries herself to sleep at night. However, after ending up at the bottom of the murder board, she throws herself into her training. Later, she panics when the CIA convinces her that she's about to be disbarred over one of her cases.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She is acrophobic.
An Asian-American and former seminary student.
- Ambiguously Bi: There is a shitload of sexual tension between him and Harry Doyle, and they even share a few kisses, but he insists that he's not gay and in the present, he's married to a woman.
- Armored Closet Gay: His religious convictions cause him to positively despise his own attraction towards men.
- Driven to Suicide: He tried to kill himself as a teenager.
- Holier Than Thou: He condescendingly tells Harry that he prays for people like him.
- Inscrutable Oriental: He doesn't talk much, and is very hard to read.
- Red Herring: He was suspected of shooting two cabal members.
- Took a Level in Badass: After his time from the Farm, he began to hunt down and identify the culprits responsible for the G-20 attacks while improving his fighting skills.
An "event organizer" and mother of two.
- Insistent Terminology: Everyone calls her a party planner, but she insists on being called an "event organizer".
- Killed Off for Real: The electronic wire trap on her neck kills her when she reveals that she was in Indonesia prior to the terror attack.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She is utterly horrified by the drone strike mission.
- Super OCD: She is obsessed with having everything organized.
A thriller novelist who's been dubbed "the Millennial Tom Clancy", now seeking to become an actual CIA operative.
- Cowardly Lion: He washes out after being unable to do the halo jump.
- Expy: Of thriller novelists like Tom Clancy, Chris Ryan and Stephen Leather.
- He Knows Too Much: Leon implies that Miller got the call because he was a little too knowledgeable about how the Agency operates, and they wanted him to wash out so that he'd be discredited.
- Western Terrorists: He is one of the so-called CLF terrorists involved in the attack on the G20 summit. He decides to commit suicide rather than have Alex or the NYPD/FBI arrest him. Although "Epicshelter" reveals that he was meant to go undercover in order to bust up AIC after he was being sought out because of his scenarios he used in his novels.
National Security Agency
The Deputy Director of the NSA.
- Scapegoat: He's being framed by Miranda as a CLF collaborator.
The President of the United States.
The wife of President Todd and the first lady.
The mother of Caleb and Clay, ex-wife of Clayton, and a former FBI agent and Vice-President of the United States.
- Broken Pedestal: Although there was already tension since the beginning, at the end of Season One Caleb overhears her confrontation with Alex and its implied this is the final straw before he takes off for most of Season Two.
- Emergency Presidential Address: She unexpectedly delivers one in front of a courthouse after a riot almost breaks out.Presidents usually start these speeches with My Fellow Americans because we like to remind you that we are all in this together, equals. We also say My Fellow Americans so that youll forget for a second everything in our country that divides us. We tell you that we believe in a United States that will protect your family, and then we throw a man in jail for protecting his. I am responsible for that, I helped pass the executive order that made Benjamin Johnsons gun purchase illegal because I believed that it would save peoples lives and maybe it did, but it also ruined a mans life. We live in a country of more than two parties, beware of any leader who tells you it would be easier for you to just let them make your decisions for you because they know what is best. Because we do not know what is best, we learn through trial and error. I pushed for that law because I believed it was right at the time. But I made a mistake...I will not make that mistake again.
- Friendly Enemy: By Season Two, she and Alex have a less antagonistic relationship, and when Claire is forced to leave the office they share a farewell and thank you.
- Glory Hound: In the season one finale, Alex accuses Claire of being in on Liam's plot, intending to take advantage of the fallout for her political career. Once things stopped going according to Liam's plan, publicly siding with Alex didn't hurt her career much.
- Happy Flashback: While Caleb describes his family in a poor light, the first flashback where viewers first meet Claire is during a Christmas party and she is seen warmly welcoming Shelby to the family. Then we see her in the present timeline, where she angrily reams into Shelby and threatens to ruin her.
- Hero Antagonist: After Clayton dies in the terrorist attack, she makes it her personal mission to end Alex's and Shelbys careers.
- My Beloved Smother: With Clayton gone in the second half of the first season, she chooses to deal with Caleb by keeping him high on drugs so that he won't talk to anybody about their less-than-perfect family life. Averted with Clay, when he tries to tell her to shut down his team, she tells him off for giving up so easily.
- Shout-Out: Caleb uses a variety of those to describe his family, from likening her to the Underwoods to other references.Shelby: Ill rather not be with a family right now.Caleb: Even if its with the Lannisters? Cause thats kind of what its like.
Shelby: The great Claire Haas approve, I basically got you the Iron Throne.
- And later in that same episode:
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Her ambition to become the Vice-President drives her to reconcile with Clayton, in spite of his infidelity, and to keep her own son drugged up at home while she's on the campaign trail so that he won't talk to the press and reveal any secrets.
The current Speaker of the White House.
- Bad Boss: He starts off deceivingly reasonable, but eventually threatens to deport Felix.
- Big Bad: Of Season 2.
- Evil Virtues: For all his flaws, he carefully planned his schemes for years, to the point that not even the FBI or CIA can dig up any dirt on him.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He complains about how the governments two-party system spends more time fighting each other than actually doing anything for the country.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After his various Frame-Up jobs, Alex helps orchestra one with the Russians to take him down.
- Villain Takes an Interest: When Clay approaches him after getting into a fight with his family, Roarke eagerly welcomes him.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He's the Speaker. 'Nuff said.
Miranda Shaw's son, and a recently-paroled juvenile delinquent. Miranda doubts that he's truly reformed.
A hacker responsible for a leak that was supposedly bigger than the Panama Papers and WikiLeaks combined, and now sought by the Citizens Liberation Front.
Caleb's older brother and a political strategist.
- Aloof Older Brother: To Caleb, although Caleb is very capable of playing the Annoying Younger Sibling and getting him to lose his cool.
- Big Brother Instinct: Not that Caleb needs it anymore, but there is an implication that Clay used to always make breakfast for him. His introduction to Shelby also has him a little more curt with her because of her relationships to both Caleb and his father.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: When Caleb returns in Season Two, the two of them play off this. Much of the Sibling Yin-Yang is used by Clay against Shelby when he says he wont be as easily charmed.
- The Leader: Of the black ops task force tracking down the mastermind behind the G-20 attacks.
- Sibling Triangle: As he gets closer to Shelby he fears this might happen, especially once Caleb returns.
- Nepotism: Though he did train at Quantico and work for the FBI, he quit almost immediately to become a speech writer. He was assigned to lead the task force because his mother was President.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: with Shelby in Season 2. Their interactions in the latter half of the season are rife with UST. Her history with his brother AND father, plus his engagement, get in the way. While he ends up breaking off his engagement out of self-loathing and a desire to be with her, she ultimately shoots him down, as she realizes that he truly loves his fiancée and she has no desire to get between them.
A senior legislative assistant for the Speaker of the House.
- Jerkass: He shows no remorse whatsoever about working to pass a Muslim registration bill, giving his friend false information about who the swing voters were, or getting said friend escorted out of the building by security.
- Manipulative Bastard: Gets Clay to chase after the wrong Congresspeople in order to convince the undecided voters that hate Claire to vote yes on the bill.
- My God, What Have I Done?: It takes a while for him to become the Regretful Traitor but he eventually resigns from his job.
- Sell-Out: What the Amin twins accuse him of, as he is a member of a minority too but has no problems with a Muslim registration bill.
- We Used to Be Friends: Clay trusted him because of this, later Felix says the same thing after Clay proves to be willing to play just as dirty, if not more so.
Harry Doyle's sister.
- Big Brother Worship: Claims to have had this before Harry abandoned her with their Homophobic parents.
- Kidnapped from Behind: She gets a shock seeing a stranger in a Mirror Scare before it happens.
- Oblivious Younger Sibling: She didnt know her brother was law enforcement until he has to explain why shes in danger.
- Plucky Girl: She gives just as good as her brother, but is usually more good-intentioned compared to Harrys deadpan.
A private contractor, and a third-season Arc Villain.
- Dirty Coward: Once stripped of his power, hes the type to beg on his knees.
- Straw Misogynist: He gets irrationally angry when women challenge him. Alex uses this when trying to goad him into confessing.
- Villain Decay: After he is labeled a fugitive and has his assets frozen, he is reduced as errand boy for Devlin.
- Villains Want Mercy: When Alex corners him with her gun pointed.
- Would Hit a Girl: Tries to drown Alex after he loses his temper.
A former IRA terrorist turned mercenary.
- Big Bad: Of Season 3.
- The Chessmaster: He repeatedly plays the task force against each other, and constantly gets away with it.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He genuinely loves his son Phelan, even though he's hard on him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: After returning to Ireland, he's not thrilled to find out that in his absence. his brother has pushed the gang into human trafficking.
- Evil Old Folks: He's an old man, but he can still deliver a good beatdown when he needs to.
- It's Personal: He's sworn vengeance against the task force for killing his son Phelan.
- Smug Snake: Once in custody, he knows the team cant touch him. Similarly once hes back in Ireland, its clear he has law enforcement on his payroll.
- Would Hurt a Child: Has a gun on Isabelle to force the team to comply with his demands.
Conor Devlin's younger brother, and the current leader of the old gang back in Ireland.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He tries to curb his brother's vendetta against the task force, because he wisely realizes that it will bring the task force after his operation.
- The Starscream: He took advantage of Conor's absence to take over the gang and move into the human trafficking business. Conor has him killed for it.