Priyanka Chopra’s Quantico S3 Ep 2 Unlocks New Mission; Lacks Soul
The elite force keeps inflating like a balloon with every episode of Quantico S3. But does that increased strength translate into heightened drama and entertainment? Yes and no. In the second episode Fear and Flesh, the season seems to find its feet. Since the premiere grapples with the shakeup of S3, it almost flounders about, trying to pack in too much without a strong dramatic conflict.
Many questions remain unanswered in this episode too - the prime one being - why is the mission in the episode picked by the ‘elite’ force and not the FBI? What is the strong suit of this new team?
There are more rounds of introduction in the second episode - Celine Fox (a Cirque du Soleil performer) and Jagdeep “Deep” Patel (a nerdy M.D./Ph.D). Just like Matlin, these newbies bring a dash of humour and spunk to the rather frayed squad.
In Season 2, the series, in its bid to cast a wider net, attempted to bare its fangs politically. Trump figured in its plot, reflecting the spirit of the time. In this episode we see Agent Ryan Booth going undercover and infiltrating a white supremacist organisation. Meanwhile, the rest of the team tracks down the origin of a deadly strain of tuberculosis threatening Americans. Needless to say, these two strains lead to a common culprit.
This new vigour fails to inject the required dose of excitement.
An Easy Guess
The whole idea of diffusion of a weaponised bacteria with fine powder makes for a fine premise but the narrative of the episode is so linear and simplistic that when we are introduced to a possible miscreant, a mosaic of thrills does not follow. Instead, the proceedings are entirely predictable. Devoid of a sense of urgency, the season needs an air of mystery.
Even blowing the lid off an undercover white supremacist organisation seems like a cakewalk.
The Emotional Seesaw
No prizes for guessing that though Ryan may be married to Shelby, he finds himself conflicted about Alex. In a stereotypically ‘Men Will be Men’ way, Ryan makes a move on Alex. With a dearth of scenes that demonstrate a palpable sexual tension between the two, this sudden advance only comes across as convenient and a tad, creepy. In the next scene, he promptly embraces Shelby, after being reprimanded by Alex.
When Alex confides in Harry about the peacefulness she felt with her family-like unit in Italy, he quips, “Peaceful lives are for other people, Alex,” giving us a glimpse of Alex’s inner life.
When Ryan is undercover, he is required to beat up Owen to prove his loyalty. This made for the key affecting moment in the episode. When Owen instructs him to make it look convincing, the scene gains more emotional heft. If scenes like these get more space in the series, the show can come into its own - a true blue revamp.
Alex’s parting line about taking the first step in the unknown may be true of the bumbling show too.
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