'Quantico' Review/Recap: "Run"

Nora Dominick ’17/Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

Priyanka Chopra in the Quantico episode "Run." Photo Credit: ABC/Eric Liebowitz
Priyanka Chopra in the Quantico episode “Run.” Photo Credit: ABC/Eric Liebowitz
Quantico debuted on ABC on Sunday September 27, 2015 and it ushered in a new Sunday night lineup on ABC. With veteran shows like Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, ABC boasts some of the highest ratings on network TV. ABC may have another home run on their hands with Quantico. Quantico delivered a pilot that perfectly gave viewers a look at this sexy, twisty new ABC drama.
Created by Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl, Smash), Quantico follows a group of young FBI recruits who have begun their training at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The main character Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) begins the episode unconscious in an explosion at Grand Central in NYC. Viewers then watch as they are taken nine months earlier to her first day at FBI training in Quantico.
Quantico has a similar feeling to a Shonda Rhimes drama. It has duplicated the formula that makes TGIT so successful and applied it here. There’s the sexy hookup between Alex and Ryan (Jake McLaughlin) that starts off the series, the political drama happening within the FBI and of course the terrorist attack that launches viewers into a mystery of who is the terrorist amongst the group. If Quantico can take these Shonda Rhimes classics and spin them into a new and inventive way, it will have no problem finding an audience on Sunday nights.
Chopra shines from the moment she steps on screen as Alex Parrish. She is a flawed character that fans cannot help but love. Following in the footsteps of Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), Quantico has created a strong female character to command the prime-time television stage on Sunday nights. Alex Parrish is a tough, independent woman who just wants to be the best FBI agent she can be. Throughout the entire pilot episode, Alex keeps viewers guessing. It’s refreshing to see a character that the audience can’t figure out completely. Although the pilot begins with Alex sleeping with Ryan, it doesn’t fall into the trap of the main female lead needing the sexy man. Alex is her own person and from the first minutes viewers meet her, they know she will be an independent character that will continue to grow from here.
Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin and Brian J. Smith in the Quantico episode "Run." Photo Credit: ABC/Guy D'Alema
Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin and Brian J. Smith in the Quantico episode “Run.” Photo Credit: ABC/Guy D’Alema
Besides the character of Alex, each recruit viewers meet on Quantico has a flawed backstory that fans begin to learn throughout the pilot. Fans watch as each recruit needs to figure out something from another recruits past. This was a great plot device to have fans learn more about each main character. It’s a lot of information crammed into one episode, however it helps to set up each character’s motives perfectly.
Something Quantico achieves in its first episode is creating characters from all walks of life. Similar to a Shonda Rhimes drama, the characters and actors are not narrowed to a stereotypical white man or woman, they represent the diversity within America today. The diversity on Quantico is also showcased through the types of women that are included in this story. Women are not solely portrayed as the love interests to men, but are instead their own, stand alone characters. This is something that is very refreshing to see on primetime television.
Brian J. Smith, Johanna Braddy, Yasmine Al Massri and Priyanka Chapra in the Quantico episode "Run." Photo Credit: ABC/Guy D'Alema
Brian J. Smith, Johanna Braddy, Yasmine Al Massri and Priyanka Chapra in the Quantico episode “Run.” Photo Credit: ABC/Guy D’Alema
Quantico continuously gives viewers twist after twist as the pilot episode escalates. The new ABC drama does a great job at leading viewers down one path only to guide them to another. The twist and turns come in waves during the pilot of Quantico as viewers try to piece together not only the characters motives and backstories, but also the events that will lead up to the terrorist attack on Grand Central. The premiere hour is packed with so many twists, turns and puzzles that it’s hard to tear your eyes from the screen for a split second. Similar to Scandal, Quantico thrives on the unexpected and it appears the twists will be the shows strong point.
If you are a viewer who tends to tune out quickly or work while you watch, this is not the show for you. The timeline jumps between the present and nine months later. The storylines are intertwined as viewers learn more about the characters through both timelines. Those who are willing to join training at Quantico will be sucked in quickly by the fast pace and intelligent nature of the show.

Quantico airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.

Overall Grade: B+

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