Before we begin of our official recap, we have to note that we’ve been looking forward to this episode — in which the twins are front and center — since this season began. And thankfully for fans everywhere, the episode did not disappoint.
We start in the midst of extreme danger. Our beloved twins Nimah and Reina have not been seen for months and Alex and Simon are on the hunt for them, as they have quickly become the top two suspects in the Grand Central bombing.
“These are shots of Nimah or Reina, all over Grand Central,” Alex exclaims to Simon as they continue to go through the FBI security footage. Simon, who is no doubt a conflicting ball of emotions at that moment, tries to say that just because they were seen inside Grand Central doesn’t mean they necessarily took part in destroying it. (It’s also important to remember Shelby was also seen inside the station during last week’s episode, but was eventually cleared.)
Here are our biggest takeaways from Sunday’s episode.
Even FBI recruits cram for midterms: Did you know that there are midterms at Quantico? The gang is exactly halfway through their training and they have to sit for an exam, which consists of everyone receiving a blank sheet of paper. Being the Tracy Flick of Quantico, of course it’s Alex who realizes that “maybe the blank sheets ARE the test” and the group gets to work to try to solve how everything is connected.
This being Quantico, of course there is another twist. Brandon, the recruit that’s been flailing around for a while quickly rushes out of the room after it’s discovered he never received a blank sheet and tells the class that he’s sure that he’s about to be kicked out of the academy. It’s then discovered that he’s left a ticking clock that may or may not be a bomb behind.
Our recruits are ready to die together: There’s nothing like a bomb scare to help determine who is a hero and who isn’t. As Simon, Alex, Booth and the rest of our core recruits try to dismantle the “bomb,” many of the others fled the scene as quickly as possible. (That wasn’t very FBI-like of them and we soon saw them saying their permanent goodbyes to Quantico.) Besides, as Brandon points out afterwards when everyone was safe and sound, “If you’re not willing to sacrifice yourself for your country, why are you here?”
Alex has a type: And that type is “pathological liars,” as she observes to Shelby during their week seven exercises. Yes, things are frosty again between Alex and Booth and they are barely speaking.
Even Simon thinks security at Quantico is lax: This week’s heart-to-heart involved Assistant Director Shaw and Simon as he tries to process the fact that Nimah is actually a pair of twins. After quoting a Soviet propaganda film that involved twin spies as a major plotline (who is surprised Simon watches Soviet propaganda films for fun?) he notes to Miranda that “I’m a pretty smart guy, and you hired twins who … didn’t even lock the door.”
Whoa, Caleb’s daddy issues are pretty intense: We learned last week that Caleb’s senior FBI agent dad has been sleeping with Shelby for months. If that wasn’t bad enough, we now know that the senior agent Haas is not above doing anything to get Caleb to quit. "You fail this midterm, I’ll unlock your trust fund," he tells him. (Where does this money come from? Unclear.)
“Miss Wyatt, my son is a screw up,” he later tells Shelby. (Ouch!) He then tells her that he’s protecting him because he’ll be a danger to himself if he stays in. (We’re fully expecting more daddy issues to spring up in the weeks ahead.)
The Simon/Reina/Nimah triangle gets even more complicated: Amazingly, Miranda gets Simon to agree not to blow the twins’ cover. To her credit, Reina is quite worried about Simon after the big reveal and tries to tell him so. “You ok?” she asked him softly after class one day. “I’ll be ok as long as you stay away from me,” he snapped back.
They found Reina and it was emotional: Although viewers could tell throughout the episode that Simon wanted to believe the best of the twins, it was unclear what was going to happen if or when he and Alex found them. (And it was quite troublesome that they'd been missing for so long.) After an exhaustive search, they burst in on Reina as she is in the middle of her evening prayers in an empty row house in an immigrant neighborhood in Queens.
“Is she alive?” Reina asks them anxiously, referring to Nimah. Alex and Simon are momentarily taken aback, because she just revealed that if Nimah is the terrorist, she and Reina are not working together. Despite her anxiety, Reina still isn’t a pushover when it comes to Alex and Simon’s interrogating questions.
“Don’t you dare accuse my sister,” she said indignantly to Alex at one point. “You’re the one everyone is looking for.” She got even more pointed a moment later. “Isn’t it interesting, that someone falsely accused is so easy to point the finger?”
You’re right, Reina, that is very interesting.
Nimah was on the trail of the real enemies: Reina revealed that Nimah is said to be in a house across the street, which is believed to be a terrorist cell with a group of men living there. It’s later discovered that Nimah had been on the trail of a man named Hamzed, who had been on the FBI’s radar for a while. In fact, Nimah had infiltrated the group so successfully that Hamzed was planning on bringing her back to the Middle East (exactly which country is unclear) with him and presumably wanted to marry her.
Ever the protective sister, Reina insists that Nimah must be rescued and manages to do so — by once again taking her sister’s place. It was then up to Nimah, Alex and Simon (with Booth in tow) to carry out the rescue mission.
The rescue scene was something else: As always, the last five minutes of this week’s ‘Quantico’ were the most dramatic. Booth and Alex raid the Queens home Reina is being held captive in and get into an (inevitable) shootout with the inhabitants. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” Alex says to the twins in an attempt to protect them, urging them to get away. As the two groups exchange gunfire, Booth gets shot in the abdomen and Alex throws her arm around him as she tries to guide them away. They then run smack into Agent Nathalie, who holds them at gunpoint as she tells them the FBI has been after them for days. Alex begs for Nathalie to let them go, pointing out that Booth could be gravely injured. After a moment’s hesitation, she let them go.
The big reveal: Nimah and Reina (along with anyone who has been struggling over the last seven weeks to keep the two characters straight) can now breathe a huge sigh of relief: The twins are no longer a secret! Barely suppressing her own delight, Assistant Director Shaw reveals to all of the Quantico recruits that she’s been “running a project” with Nimah Amin and her sister, Reina. Everyone except for Simon is completely shocked and murmurs things like “Wait, they’re twins?!” This goes on until Reina steps forward and walks towards Simon’s chair.
“Hi, I’m Reina,” she says, extending her hand.
(By the way, it’s ok to squee every time you think of that lovely Reina-Simon introduction, everyone. We are planning to at least two dozen times before next Sunday.)