Quantico is winding up a web of story lines in an attempt to hide the true identity of the terrorist framing Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) for the bombing of Grand Central Station, which kicked off ABC’s new series. I’ve been hooked since the pilot — sure, Quantico has the believability of Scandal and the annoying time-jumps of How To Get Away With Murder, but it also has one thing neither of those shows have: Chopra, a refreshing new female lead. As my love for Chopra continues to grow with each episode, so does my desire to solve the mystery and catch the real traitor among Quantico‘s cast of new recruits. Here’s my rundown of the top suspects, ranked from least likely to threat level: high.
9. Simon Asher (Tate Ellington)
In the last two episodes, all evidence seems to point to Simon as a potential terrorist — he’s been working with the FBI in secret ever since leaving Quantico and his entire identity has been a well-manicured facade. In short: Simon is a fraud — are we really supposed to believe the story he told Elias about being in the Israeli Defense Forces? I’m not sure I believe him, and that’s why I don’t think he’s the terrorist. At this point, Simon has become so mysterious and confusing as a character that making him the terrorist just wouldn’t be satisfying. The reveal has to pack a punch, so making the shadiest character on the show the terrorist would be a mistake. Then again, maybe that’s just what the Quantico writers want us to think.
8. Miranda Shaw (Aunjanue Ellis)
As director of Quantico, it’s unlikely that Miranda is the terrorist Alex is looking for. Plus, she helped Alex escape and got arrested for it. I suspect Miranda knows there’s a terrorist inside the FBI, not just one of the new recruits, but somebody higher up — *cough* LIAM *cough* — and helped Alex escape because she knows Alex would never get a fair shake in FBI custody. Also, given Miranda’s desire to infiltrate the terrorist group that recruited her son, it seems unlikely she’d give up that mission just to frame someone. That said, if Miranda is the terrorist, then what better way to make Alex look guilty than by sending her on the run?
7. Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin)
You’d think being found shot and bleeding on the floor of Alex’s apartment after the attack would clear Ryan’s name, but he could have shot himself after staging the apartment to frame her. Even more suspicious: he has yet to explain why he was at Alex’s apartment in the first place. Still, I don’t think Ryan is the real traitor. Yes, he’s lied to Alex and taken advantage of her before, but last week we saw him rethinking his allegiance to Liam and questioning his job of spying on Alex. It looks like Ryan is a think for himself type of guy, but also a loyal one — I don’t see him bombing Grand Central on some kind of idealistic crusade. He also seems to be Alex’s only real ally with the FBI at this point. (Plus, I like him. It would be a shame if his scruff turned out to be a diabolical cover of hotness.)
6. Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy)
Shelby is a tough nut to crack. Mostly because her friendship and care for Alex seem genuine. However, there are many suspicious things about Shelby that have yet to be explained. The mysterious phone calls and million-dollar transfers, for one. She told Alex that after her parents died, she found out she had a half sister, but I don’t know if I buy it. Even if she is telling the truth, there is definitely more to the story than she’s letting on. But, so far, the only evidence that linked her to the terrorist attack was a wire made by her company, which is weak at best. And, if Shelby is the terrorist, her motivations are really anybody’s guess. She doesn’t seem particularly ruthless on her own, and I’m thinking that if she is guilty, it’s because she inherited some kind of massive debt from her parents — a debt that left her under the thumb of the mysterious voice on the phone.
5. Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers)
Caleb is an asshole, but is he a terrorist? Eh, it’s a tough call. He seems to be living some kind of double life as ‘Mark Raymond’ — he even made Mark a fake Facebook page and appears to have applied to jobs under the pseudonym. But, that’s not really why I think he could be the terrorist. (I mean, if there’s one thing we know about the FBI, it’s that they have facial recognition software that could find Caleb’s Facebook profile in seconds.) No, I think Caleb could be the terrorist because he has an axe to grind with his family. He’s lived his life always thinking he wasn’t good enough for his FBI legacy family. A rich kid with an attitude and something to prove, Caleb could have been corrupted by promises of fame and immortality through terrorism. It would also disgrace his family name, making it the ultimate revenge against the father who always judged him.
4. Natalie Vasquez (Anabelle Acosta)
We barely know anything about Natalie other than the fact that she’s a bitch. And not necessarily in a good way. I’m sorry, but she is. Yes, she can take care of herself, she’s tough, and smart — all good qualities. But she’s also selfish, antagonistic, and a bully. Her nearly pathological desire to be the best at everything is suspect, as is her hatred of Alex. That said, it would be easy to pin her as the terrorist just because she doesn’t get along with our protagonist. Still, I don’t trust her. We don’t know a lot about her yet, meaning the writers could be gearing up for a huge reveal for her character, or don’t want to divulge too much for fear that fans won’t be shocked when she’s revealed as the terrorist. And, Ryan clearly doesn’t trust her, and, if we trust that Ryan isn’t the terrorist, then the fact that he doesn’t trust his maybe girlfriend is a big red flag. (Side note: anybody else wondering why in hell Ryan is dating her? So far she has a total of zero redeeming qualities as a person.) Finally, she has a daughter she isn’t allowed to see. If someone got ahold of her daughter, who knows what she’d do to get her back? (I don’t think the Quantico writers are that predictable, but it’s a definite possibility.)
3. Nimah Amin (Yasmine al Massri)
Nimah may only be in the field one half of the time thanks to her secret twin, Raina, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she and her sister are working together. And the tension between these two allows room for one of them to be keeping secrets from the other — yes, even twins can have secrets! Nimah is the one who wanted to join the FBI and be more than someone’s daughter, wife, or sister. In other words, she’s ambitious. Maybe she wanted her life to matter so badly that she convinced herself that being a terrorist is what will make her important. She’s also horrible at the physical challenges thrown her way, suggesting her strengths as a spy might lie elsewhere…like, say, explosives?
2. Raina Amin (Yasmine al Massri)
Raina is only slightly higher than her sister on the list because of one simple fact: as far as we know, the FBI at large doesn’t know she exists. When Raina and Nimah were at Quantico, they pretended to be one person named Nimah, not Raina — her name isn’t even on their radar. Granted, that could all have been exposed between their time at Quantico and the attack. If last night’s episode is any indication, Raina and Nimah’s secret is about to be exposed in a major way. Putting that on the back burner, in all the scenes we’ve seen between Raina and Nimah, Raina has been less enthusiastic about the FBI, meaning her allegiance to the USA might not be as strong as one might hope. She’s also tired of living in Nimah’s shadow and worries that she’s going to lose herself. What better way to differentiate yourself from your FBI twin sister than by becoming the terrorist she never saw coming?
Quick note about the twins as suspects: The security tape that shows ONE of the twins at Grand Central days before the attack points towards one of them as the terrorist. However, while Alex foolishly assumed that seeing one of them on tape means they’re both in it together, my bet is that if it’s the twins, it’s one of the twins. (Dear television, twins can think and act separate of one another! Please remember that.)
1. Liam O’Connor (Josh Hopkins)
I know the terrorist is supposed to be one of the new recruits, but I still think the man pulling the strings has got to be Liam. Granted, that could be because I think he’s the least compelling character on the show (i.e. I really wouldn’t mind if he got killed off this season). But, consider the facts: he has a very suspect history with Alex’s father and mother, and he had Alex under surveillance before she even arrived at Quantico. If you’re gonna frame a girl for a huge terrorist attack, you’re gonna have to know everything there is to know about her. Liam, so far, is the only one who fits that bill.
As Quantico‘s first season progresses, we have continued to meet new recruits, meaning that we might not even have seen the terrorist yet. There’s also the recruits who have been alluded to, but barely seen (like Jacob Artist’s Brandon Fletcher). However, we’re six episodes into the season, so, if we haven’t met the terrorist, then the writers have some explaining to do. Who do you think the terrorist is?