Aug 10, 2018

[TV] Quantico: Season 2 Review

So we had managed to survive the first season of Quantico in order to get to this second season because of Russell Tovey. I know, I know, even we can fall into pretty simple motivations at times. And to be fair, the show was more intriguing than expected, so that helped things along.

So where could the show go in this seconds eason after generally resolving things in the first run? Well, what we get is both a soft reboot of the status quo and yet a continuation of some off the intrigue from the first season. It was an interesting approach that provided a new venue for all the usual antics of the show and more drama centered around its protagonist.

But there's a lot of the same mistakes or all the usual challenges that come with the way they deal with things in this setting. But this discussion may be moot as the end of the show is in sight with its cancellation.

Synopsis: Quantico is an American drama thriller series created by Joshua Safran. The show has a third and final season after this one.

In the first season our focus was the FBI but now Alex (Priyanka Chopra) and Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) are both working undercover for the Bureau as CIA recruits in order to weed out the supposed rogue faction AIC. Similar to the first season, the story is initially told in two timelines with the parallel story taking place in the future where world leaders at the G-20 summit in New York have been taken hostage by terrorists who identify as the Citizens Liberation Front.

The season initially dances between these two arcs with Alex's relative fame after the events of the first season often working against her as she trains for the CIA. Plus there's the question of why both she and Ryan were inserted into the Farm to look into the possible conspiracy. And in the future, it once again appears that a lot of familiar faces show up at the G-20 incident, which implies there's more to the whole situation that what it seems on the surface.

What I Liked: The initial shift from the FBI to the CIA was an interesting twist that was presented as a great way to stress the differences between the agencies both in terms of how they train their recruits and the way they go about fulfilling their respective missions and directives. And how Alex struggles through this while also juggling her covert mission does make for some interesting television moments.

Like the first season, things shift in the midway point and things do become more interesting at this point as the whole dynamic changes. I sort of appreciated the shift here and it certainly had a lot of the fan favorites working on together for a change even if they still seems to make a lot of the same mistakes over and over. I guess it's super hard to trust spies, eh?

What Could Have Been Better: I wasn't really expecting the show to include the whole two timelines bit as part of their narrative structure. It worked in the first season and it was certainly clever but to go through the same pattern once more felt a little lazy. Plus the whole G-20 plot was just annoying given how so many characters showed up again as being present at the location for one reason or another. What a charmed life these intelligence folks lead.

Character mix also wasn't quite as interesting as the first season. That time we had elements like the complex dynamic of the twins Nimah and Raina (Yasmine Al Massri) and that whole juggling act. This season we had Russell Tovey's character initially pushing hard on Sebastian Chen (David Lim) because...Harry Doyle is a dick? Not the best moment in the series and there were other missteps with other characters like the perpetually angry Lydia Hall (Tracy Ifeachor).

TL;DR: Quantico continues to be generally intriguing but this second season tries to recapture a lot of what worked in the first season by literally repeating them. It feels like a waste of a lot of good talent brought into this show. But the season still gets a good 3 instances of Alex needing to reassure Ryan of their relationship out of a possible 5.

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