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"They pitted us against each other. My fellow trainees came from all walks of life. They pushed us beyond our limits to see if we'd crack. They weeded us out one by one. They only wanted the best. But I didn't see this coming—nobody did. I never thought before I could save our country, I'd have to save myself. I need to find the truth."
Alex Parrish in the Official Trailer

Quantico is an ABC terrorism/conspiracy thriller starring Priyanka Chopra, created & produced by Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl, Smash). It debuted in the fall 2015 TV season.

When an attack on Grand Central Station in New York City is named the most devastating act of terrorism in the United States since 9/11, newly minted FBI Agent Alex Parrish (Chopra) finds herself in a precarious situation: being framed for it.

Barely evading the FBI's custody following an arrest, Alex takes it upon herself to prove her innocence and figure out who's behind the attack—all the while avoiding their clutches. The real clincher? This unknown perpetrator is somebody she attended the FBI training academy at Quantico with.

Told partly through flashback to her days at Quantico, Alex is running on borrowed time and needs to act fast, or else she'll spend the rest of her life behind bars.

This series is notable for formally introducing Bollywood star Chopra to American audiences, as well as boasting a fairly diverse cast of characters led by Chopra's Alex, the only Indian character headlining a series on American network television at the time of the show.note  Chopra is also the first South Asian actress to star in an American TV series. Alex's character had originally been written with a white actress in mind but Chopra resisted efforts to change the character to incorporate more stereotypically Indian qualities, which included keeping her original surname.

An interesting aspect of the series in its early weeks is that while its first episode was rated TV-14 in the US and included a slightly graphic, if very brief, sex scene, succeeding episodes carried a much more mild TV-PG rating, unusual for a series airing in the 10PM primetime slot usually reserved for racier series.

The third (and final) season debuted on April 26, 2018, and the series ended on August 3rd of the same year.

This series is heavily arc-based, so beware unmarked spoilers on its pages.

Tropes found in Quantico:

  • African Terrorists: The Citizens Liberation Front, whose members speak Swahili. It's a ruse to cover their identities as rogue CIA agents.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • Sort of. The series tracks both the past timeline of the nats' adventures at Quantico, and the present day investigation into the Grand Central bombing. The episodes jump back and forth between them and the present day sections sometimes refer to events in the past that don't get explained until later.
    • This continues in Season two, with flips back and forth between Alex's induction into The Farm and the "present day" of a terrorist attack on an international conference.
  • Anyone Can Die: In the pilot alone, Eric kills himself on Day Two of training at the academy.
  • Always Identical Twins: Nimah and her twin sister Raina look exactly alike, so it's understandable why nobody's privy to their secret. The Bureau is trying to train them both as agents for use in covert operations. Justified as they couldn't get away with this otherwise.
  • Artifact Title: As of season two.
  • Artistic License – Religion: A cadet says his mother died in the hospital because his father refused to allow a blood transfusion for her as he was a Christian Scientist. However, the opposition to blood transfusions in particular is part of Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs, while Christian Science discourages the use of all medical practices, including going to the hospital to begin with (Christian Science technically 'allows' regular medicine, but the theology strongly warns against it, local churches can ban membership from those who use any medical practices, etc.).
  • Auto Erotica: Alex and Ryan have sex in the front seat of his car. The ABC episode actually shows this briefly, though both remain fully clothed from the, uh, steering wheel up.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: When a group of terrorists storm into Quantico, one of them was ready to shoot Liam, but was shot by Drew.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The season one finale. The terrorist threat has been stopped, lives were saved, and after an entire season of suspicion and anger, most of the main cast is on good terms again, but Simon died to make it happen and it drove a wedge further between Raina and Nimah.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Caleb and Shelby show this in "Found" wherein Caleb sabotages her undercover encounters until she's fed up with it and hauls him into an unused room. After arguing heatedly, they proceed to have sex.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Will in Season 3, who hides his true motives until the very last minute. He was given short shrift after the fallout from Haas' resignation and Roarke's suicide, and as a result had to turn to the darknet and fell in with unsavory criminal elements; he professes remorse and then stabs Owen Hall with some kind of drug to distract his team so Alex can be captured.
  • Book Ends: Of a sort. Both the pilot and the first winter finale have a character who seems to be propped for a major role reveal a Dark Secret and killed themselves: Eric Packer in the pilot and Elias Harper in the winter finale. Both characters were played by actors whose last roles were actually heroic cops.
  • Call-Back:
    • Before she leaves Quantico in the past, Natalie tells Alex that she would always be better than her. Then, in the present, right before she dies, Natalie tells her the same thing.
    • In a season one episode, after Simon asks Raina why she sometimes pinned her hijab on the right and sometimes on the left, Nimah tells her to always pin it on the right. In season two, when Nimah dresses as Raina to turn herself in for the crime Raina was framed for, Raina repeats the same thing.
  • Caught on Tape: How Roarke is taken down. Right at the height of the Constutitional Convention, the team play video of him talking to Russian intelligence on how he was willing to "amend" U.S. law to fit Russian desires. Alex plays the tape and also releases all of Roarke's illegal activities to every lawyer and human rights group in the country. Knowing he's about to get arrested for treason, Roarke kills himself.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Trainee uniforms include light blue long-sleeve shirts for agent trainees ("nats") and dark blue polo shirts for analyst trainees. The agents also carry bright red plastic guns at the hip instead of real firearms, except on the shooting range.
  • Codename Title: Idiosyncratic Episode Naming for the second season, with the titles in BLOCK CAPITALS, such as "LIPSTICK", which was something about spying in Mexico City.
  • Con Artist: Samar, who has spent fifteen years pretending to be Shelby's half-sister to bilk her out of millions of dollars. Caleb finally forces Shelby to face the truth by exposing Samar in a web talk.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Susan Langdon apparently carries around a syringe in her purse with a poison, or which is filled with air, either of which causes pulmonary embolisms so she can kill someone surreptitiously if need be. Framing a guilty man is one thing—this makes you think she is quite possibly a killer herself, as she seemed completely ready to use this on Simon, and we are given no reason to believe she was bluffing.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The present day portions of the series often make Call Backs to events that haven't actually been shown on-screen yet. In the second episode, Alex refers to Simon dealing with a bomb at Quantico, which "Go" explains: it was a prop for the first elimination challenge that Simon tried and failed to disarm, though the true test turned out to be another Secret Test of Character, to stay with your team even in the face of certain death.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Apparently, every cadet has a past which is somewhat dark and troubled. As their first pass/fail test assignment, each one is assigned to find out a secret that was left out of assigned dossiers.
  • Deceptive Legacy: Poor Shelby gets this a lot. Shortly after 9/11, she found Samar, her half-sister, the product of an affair Shelby's father had twenty years earlier. For fifteen years, Shelby gave millions of dollars to Samar to help her out and buy a house, wanting to be close to her only family. In "Quantico," Caleb proves to Shelby that Samar is a con artist bilking her this entire time. Then it turns out that Shelby's parents didn't die on 9/11 at all but their company sold weapons software to the Taliban so they faked their deaths.
  • Downer Ending: The season two episode "Odyoke". Raina is framed for a terrorist attack; one of the people responsible who could also ID other collaborators is shot, taking away the team's ability to prove Raina's innocence; and Nimah pretends to be Raina to turn herself in and be sent to prison. To top it off, all of that was part of the plan to get a Muslim registry bill that Claire would veto to pass through Congress, effectively pinning the blame on her for any possible future attack. This was a rare Quantico episode where nothing went right for the protagonists.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Averted in the second season premiere. Alex finds a set of black uniforms and masks like those worn by the terrorists. However, she realizes none of them are in her size. She's then attacked by a terrorist and barely gets away.
  • Driven to Suicide: Once the team exposes his using treason over a long period of time to get to the Presidency and works with Russia to undermine the U.S., Roarke kills himself rather than facing being arrested and tried.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: In the first episode, Alex meets a guy on a plane, and they have sex in a car in the parking lot right after they land. They don't even know each other's names at that point. The rest of the show is basically the same.
  • Exact Words: Alex is the only trainee who picks up on Liam's instructions in the simulation in "America": Determine which threat is a priority—if any.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Fiona Quinn in "Ghosts," when she's revealed as an ally of Conor Devlin
  • Fake Defector: Alex is so well-known that FBI officials had no choice but to fire her. It was only a ruse to throw suspicion off her when she infiltrates the CIA to investigate the threat of rogue agents trying to undermine the G20 summit.
  • False Flag Operation: Cited by Alex when she realizes a group of supposedly Pakistani terrorists trying to set off a dirty bomb in Manhattan are actually from India. Several of the Indian terrorists have lost family members to Pakistani violence, and a member of the Indian government is helping them, thinking his government is "too weak" to deal with their long-time enemies. They believe that by framing Pakistan for a nuclear blast in New York, it will get the U.S. on their side in a war to finally wipe Pakistan out.
  • False Innocence Trick: The rogue group employs this to make it impossible to tell who's really a hostage and who's not.
  • Fanservice: Equal-opportunity fanservice, no less. Ryan and Caleb get Shirtless Scenes in the pilot, and episode 3 has an extended swimming pool/locker room scene for cadets of both sexes (with prominent shots of Alex getting out of the water and Ryan in a Modesty Towel). The exception is Raina, who, in keeping with Islamic principles of modesty, wears a black wet suit in the pool instead of the open-back one-piece suits the other women wear, and she isn't seen undressed in the locker room. Yasmine Al Massri still gets in the action due to Nimah being less modest.
  • Flashback B-Plot: The first two seasons jump back and forth between Alex's time at the titular academy (or, in the second season, her time at The Farm), and the present.
  • Foreshadowing: Simon actively starting to defuse the bomb in episode 7 turns out to foreshadowing his dealing with the bomb that Liam built in the season 1 finale.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: No one spends much time mourning over either Natalie or Drew.
  • Framing the Guilty Party:
    • Simon realizes FBI profiler Susan Langdon framed a serial killer for an unrelated murder by making it appear to be his work, because she couldn't pin any other murder on him. When he confronts her about this, she nearly kills him before Ryan intervenes. His other fellow trainees don't show any after he reveals it, either, angrily denouncing his action because a serial killer will now go free, although he counters that he's fulfilling his legal and moral duty.
    • The terrorist attack in New York is blamed on the Islamic Front.
  • A Friend in Need: Simon and Raina both return to New York as soon as Alex tells them she needs them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Simon performs one in the first season finale.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: During the psych profile sequence in episode 3, Simon and Ryan argue about the things they said in each others' psych profiles. Simon brings up the fact that Timothy McVeigh, like Ryan, was a former Marine.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode in the first season is named after the last word in its script (although not necessarily the last word spoken). As the result, while there is an episode in season 1 called "Quantico," it is not the pilot (it's episode 10, the pilot episode is called "Run"). The season finale is called "Yes," but that doesn't end up being the last word spoken in the episode. Every title of season 2 episodes is a CIA cryptonym, a.k.a a Codename Title.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: After Iris blows their cover to Sistemics, Caleb is forced to pretend that he's still a true believer by beating Will with a lead pipe.
  • Introduction by Hookup: In the pilot, Alex and Ryan meet on a plane to Washington and have sex in the front seat of his car. A few hours later, they run into each other while taking the oath at Quantico. He tries to pretend they're new to each other for everyone else's benefit, but she trolls him by publicly explaining the reason for them being awkward around each other. Justified as Ryan was assigned to watch her, though his handler tells him "Don't sleep with her again." In the present day they're apparently in a Love Triangle with Vasquez.
  • I Owe You My Life: Liam after Drew kills the terrorist who was about to kill Liam.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Hannah tells Alex point-blank how crazy it is to have allowed her to keep being her used by the Voice quiet and putting her in danger by telling her about it.
  • Logo Joke: The logo for creator Joshua Safran's Random Acts Productions changes on every episode.
  • Long Game: The Collaborators in Season 2b. It is revealed that they have been planning their takeover of the US government for years. Every contingency has been covered, and any possible opposition is quickly neutralized.
  • Longing Look: Characters pull this constantly. Most of the time, Alex and Ryan are directing these at each other, but there are notable scenes where Simon looks at Raina this way.
  • Love Redeems: Averted with Simon. Nimah suggests that this at least part of his feelings for Raina stem from him seeing her as redemption, but tells him that what he really needs is to forgive himself.
  • Love Triangle: Alex/Ryan/Natalie. A slightly more perverse one with Simon/Nimah/Raina (he likes one, the other likes him, and for quite some time he's not even aware that Nimah and Raina are two different people.).
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Alex has a bed sheet over her top when answering the phone after she has just had sex with Ryan, which seems to be done solely so the audience won't see her breasts.
  • The Mole: Someone in the FBI is apparently a terrorist who infiltrated the agency
  • Mr. Fanservice: Most of the male cast members are quite nice to look at...
  • Ms. Fanservice:, indeed, are the female cast members.
  • No Badge? No Problem!: Subverted in "America". Now-analyst trainee Caleb tries to follow his former agent classmates to a simulated bust, but is sent back to his seat by the instructors because analysts stay in the office.
  • Not My Driver: In "Run", Miranda takes the place of the driver of the van Alex is being transported in to allow her to escape.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "Mockingbird", Ryan denies being involved with the government after being part of an operation to save a media mogul, then sees Sasha in the street.
  • Overly Long Hug: One episode Alex and Shelby share a long hug and Alex asks if it's getting a little weird.
  • The Place: Quantico is named for the town that's home to the FBI's training academy.
  • Post 9/11 Terrorism Series: Liam claims the attack on Grand Central Station is the biggest act of terrorism on American soil since 9/11. The events of September 11th also fuel Shelby's motivations for joining the academy, since her parents died on one of the downed planes.
  • Prisoner's Dilemma: In the episode "Cover", FBI Academy Deputy Director Miranda Shaw uses a variant as a Secret Test of Character. After getting her FBI cadets pissed off at each other, she tells them that they are to vote for three candidates to be cut from the training program; jf they refuse to vote, she'll cut ten of them. Alex tries to get her classmates to abstain, but Simon chickens out. As it turns out, Miranda wasn't planning to cut anyone: the correct response was to stick with each other regardless of personal feelings, and she gives Simon and the candidates about to follow his lead a What the Hell, Hero? speech and threatens him with expulsion if he makes another mistake like that.
  • Ponzi Scheme: One episode has the team targeting who they think is a terrorist group who caused a plane crash to short-change the stock. They go in for a major investigation at a party where Alex overhears the two partners in charge talking...and realize they had nothing to do with the crash, but are instead running a Ponzi scheme and picked that particular stock totally at random.
  • Paying It Forward: Nimah Amin is a daughter of refugees from the Middle East, and states in an early episode that she wants to be an FBI Agent as a way of paying back the United States for helping her family.
  • Quote Mine: In order to foster division and resentment between the trainees for the next stage of her Training from Hell, Miranda Shaw has them make psych profiles of each other, then cherry-picks lines critical of the subject and posts them for public viewing. This includes things like Simon calling Ryan a "jarhead drone" (regarding Ryan's military service) or Nimah saying that Alex seeks validation from usually-male authority figures. While making up at the denouement, the various pairings tell each other the good stuff that Shaw left out.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lydia tells her father Owen that he's a weakling for giving up his alias so soon after she got waterboarded in "enhanced interrogation" training, and then questions his effectiveness as an instructor.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • Simon sacrificed himself partially in an attempt to make up for his past mistakes.
    • Eric Boyer shoots himself to avert being used by the rogue faction to perpetrate a hack that they want.
  • Retool: In Season 3, the series jettisons season-long arcs in favor of a very tight focus on a Villain of the Week format.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • After having the class make psych profiles of each other and then posting the worst bits for public viewing, Miranda lets the resentment fester for a day, then, in a variant on the Prisoner's Dilemma, tells them that they are to vote on three candidates to be cut from the program, and if they refuse, she'll cut ten. Over Alex's objections, Simon votes and sets some of the others going to Miranda's office, and Miranda tells them they failed the test: they're supposed to stick with each other, like every previous class did. No one is cut, but Simon's placed on probation and warned that if he screws up again, he's out.
    • In "Go," all of the trainees have to take a midterm exam, and during the written portion, they are left with blank pages, and one frustrated NAT, afraid that he was going to be kicked out, decides to leave and puts the room in lockdown. As the trainees attempt to find an exit, they discover that that NAT had left behind a ticking bomb. Simon, with his past experience in the IDF, is able to unlock the doors, but the timer speeds up and he is unable to release the wires he cut or else risk the bomb exploding there and then. Several of the trainees leave the room, while the core characters stay behind with Simon. It turns out this was all set up by Shaw: the bomb was a fake, and Brandon Fletcher was in on it. The trainees who left the room are cut from the FBI program, because the idea of the exercise was to sacrifice oneself for the sake of the country.
    • In "Kudove", it is revealed that Alex came under particular scrutiny by the CIA's Farm instructors. Alex essentially failed the CIA's metric for how agents should act, because when Lydia went to parachute with apparently faulty equipment, Alex rescued her. It turns out the CIA expects its agents to let their comrades get hurt or die if it gets them closer to completing a mission.
  • Series Continuity Error: The third season occurs three years following the eventualities of the second season. In “The Blood of Romeo”, it is mentioned that it’s the year 2018, and “RESISTANCE” is set in 2017, suggesting that season 3 comes about in 2020, as opposed to 2018.
  • She's Not My Girlfriend: Raina denies she and Simon are a couple when he jokes that not many couples can say they've both been kicked out of the FBI. Oddly enough, she never denies it to anyone else that brings up their relationship.
  • Ship Tease: The show has a constant barrage of previews with Alex and Booth, and Shelby and Caleb respectively having sex that never happen in the actual episodes. Besides that, in the show itself, Booth and Alex obviously have some leftover UST, Caleb seems to have a soft spot for Shelby, and according to Elias, the only thing real about Simon is the way he looks at trainee Amin when he thinks nobody is looking.
  • Shooting Lessons From Your Parents: Shelby Wyatt quickly proves the best markswoman among the FBI trainees, being the heiress of a well-known hunter from Georgia.
  • Simulated Urban Combat Area: The FBI Academy has a simulated residential area called Hogan's Alley.
  • Sneaky Departure: When the team is arguing over what they can and should do about the nuke in the finale, Simon grabs it and runs off to take it where it can't hurt anyone.
  • Spot the Imposter: Subverted when Raina suspects the terrorists in season two are swapping themselves among the hostages. While taken away, she uses her nail to cut a terrorist on the wrist, thinking that will expose him later. However, when taken back, Raina sees the terrorists have cut all the hostages in the exact same spot to prevent the ruse.
  • Stay with Me Until I Die: Simon asks Alex not to hang up the phone when he makes his Heroic Sacrifice so that he doesn't have to be alone when he dies.
  • SWAT Team: The Hostage Rescue Team gets mobilized following the bombing attack at the Grand Central Station.
  • Time Skip: Season three opens three years after the events of the second season finale.
  • Title Drop: Obviously, the word Quantico is spoken many times. Most notably, the last word spoken in each episode is also the episode's title ("RUN!", "God bless AMERICA", "Maintain your COVER", "From here on out, it's shoot to KILL", "They must be FOUND", "I swear to GOD!", "GO!", "If you don't find it fast, it's all OVER".)
  • Twin Switch: The entire point of Raina and Nimah joining the FBI is to train them to pose as one person in the field. As such, the two are constantly swapping places for training (with Raina annoyed she has to "tone down" her skills so folks don't wonder why Nimah is suddenly so much better.) Eventually, the truth is revealed to the rest of the class and afterward, the two continue to pull the stunt, both for training missions and later helping Alex in the future.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation:
    • "America" features one. The agent and analyst trainees are given three reconstructed rooms where crimes the FBI stopped were plotted. After deducing what was planned and where it would take place (assassinating a senator, bombing Liberty Hall, and committing arson at a Planned Parenthood center), they had to determine which was a priority. None of them were: the assassination was still being planned, the bombing was meant to smoke out agents tracking the culprit, and the arson was an act of zealotry and never came to pass. The test was designed to show the agents that information is only as good as the source it comes from, and Alex is the only one who figures out that the real culprit was Liam—the guy who gave them their information in the first place.
    • A more literal example is in "Clue", where the trainees are placed in a simulated airplane with trainers playing terrorists or other people. The class tries the scenario over and over, trying different approaches each time but always failing. Sometimes the plan wasn't thought through enough, sometimes the trainers add new variables and sometimes the trainees just make simple mistakes. By the end, Liam reveals, as the trainees were starting to understand, that the scenario is designed to be unbeatable, because sometimes even having the most competent people on the job can result in an unwinnable situation.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In LCFLUTTER, after torturing Lydia in an "enhanced interrogation" scenario, this happens to Sebastian.
  • Western Terrorists:
    • In "Turn", the HRT is deployed to go after Americans who have converted to Islam and taken up radical causes after they tried to breach Quantico.
    • In "Kudove", It is indirectly revealed that a rogue CIA group is actually behind the 'terrorist' attack, intending to destabilize international relations so the US Government will grant the CIA increased powers with less oversight.
    • In "Fear and Flesh", a white supremacist group gains access to bioterror weapons because the CEO of a large biotech corporation has long-standing links to such groups.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The last minutes of the penultimate episode of season 1, where we see Miranda shot by Liam, with the latter apparently being the real bomber.
    • In "Kudove", the very last few seconds show a terrorist waving a sword, then slashing down at the President's wife's neck.
    • The ending of "Lipstick" has a terrorist receiving a text message telling him Alex is inside the building. Cut to Miranda, who had just talked to Alex (and the only one in the FBI who knows she's in there), sending the message.
    • In "The Heavens Fall", Jocelyn is forced into a fight club with all the fighters wearing hoods. Jocelyn ends up killing her opponent in self-defense. The hood is then removed to show Jocelyn she just killed Celine.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In "Run", Alex is accused of being the mole responsible for instigating the Grand Central station attack. Shaw later bails her out.
    • In "Cover", Alex discovers that her deceased father was a decorated FBI agent.
    • In "Kill", Alex and Simon find out that a wire component for the bomb was made by Shelby's company.
    • In "Over", Alex finds out that there is another bomb somewhere in New York.
    • And there's the final scene in "Quantico"...
    • Topped by the final scene in "Inside". The command HQ gets blown up after the FBI defuses the bomb they think is connected to Simon's trigger.
    • In "Alex", Alex finds out that the mysterious caller is indeed someone she knows from her days in Quantico. Not only that, the fake sister Caleb revealed was kidnapped back in his academy days. Natalie was also subdued by the caller and is rigged with a suicide vest.
    • In "Clear", Natalie is killed in an explosion while hunting down the terrorist.
    • In "Clue", The Big Bad thanked Alex for what happened in Senator Haas' campaign. It's cause he/she used it as a cover to conduct a break-in.
    • In "Lipstick", Miranda used a sat phone to inform the bad guys that Alex is inside Federal Hall.
    • In "Lcflutter", Lydia reveals that the terrorists are covertly after hard drives used by the CIA. It also reveals Nimah is in league with the CLF.
    • In "Epicshelter", Miranda reveals that she didn't become a terrorist. Rather, she joined with the CLF since the membership consist of agents from various federal law enforcement/intelligence agencies to take down the AIC.
    • In "Odyoke", Ryan finds out that Sasha, a reporter he knows, is a known FSB asset.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Dayana is conspicuously missing as the team begins zeroing in on the members of the overarching conspiracy which funds and supports groups like the AIC.
    • Brandon Fletcher doesn't appear at all in the present timeline.