It’s been a while since Quantico has had an episode this good. From beginning to end, it’s actually easier to follow than a few previous episodes and almost brings a nostalgic feeling from the first season. 

The episode, titled “MOCKINGBIRD,” starts with an attack in Virginia. And Owen and Clayton quickly differ on how to handle it and the team. Owen points out that Clayton doesn’t know the team very well, and he agrees.

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Getting to Know the Agents … Again

The episode starts off by describing the different agents, from Alex Parrish’s tendency to be the “reckless hero” to her connection with Ryan Booth, who is described as a “good soldier who follows the rules” until Alex steps in his way. I have to say that is a perfect way to describe both Ryan and Alex. He’s definitely her Achilles’ heel.

Owen also shares Dayana’s “dark past” with Clayton as well as Nimah and her “strong-willed, determined and righteous” nature. Clayton then cuts him and says Nimah is simply a “glorified mascot” and not a real member of the team. They move on to Shelby, and Clayton says, “I’m pretty well-versed on her weak points.” He is considering that his father cheated on his mom with Shelby despite her past relationship with his brother, Caleb Haas. It doesn’t look like that is going away anytime soon. As for Owen, he admits he has weak points but commends himself for knowing how to “call the shots.” But he hits too close to home when he tries to find out Clayton’s weak spots.

The agents enter the room to none other than a video of Owen’s descriptions of them. It turns out Clayton was recording the entire time without him knowing. The agents are definitely interested in what he has to say, but Clayton reminds them that they need to know what their opponents and peers think of them.

The Virginia Explosion Takes Precedence … But It’s Fake

Clayton briefs them on the Virginia explosion from the beginning of the episode that resulted in a chemical spill. The team is assigned to find out who would benefit the most from the spill. While they try to figure that out, Owen says he is convinced it’s all a hoax. Owen points out that all of the townspeople were evacuated in the hope that they wouldn’t know the truth. Their assignment then changes to trying to find out what it is.

Clayton reveals that all of the residents have been told that they can’t return home until every water source is tested for contamination, even though organizations like the EPA and FEMA have said there is no threat. Clayton tells the agents to find out who the Internet trolls are who are spreading the news; if they find them, they could likely find who they are working for.

As the team heads to work, Clayton and Shelby have a really weird vibe going on. She mentions her boyfriend, and Clayton is clearly intrigued. This storyline would be really too much if they end up becoming more than friends. Keep in mind that Shelby really doesn’t have a boyfriend after her and Leon’s split.

Shelby still tries to convince Nimah that she belongs on the team, while Clayton reminds Owen that he’s not in charge for this rodeo.

They trace the story back to a troll farm in Norfolk. The FBI is going to pay them a visit to find out who hired them to plant the story. They find out that the farm has a connection to none other than Harry. He pops in and lets them know of his access after doing undercover work. He simply wants the credit after the troll farm is busted. They decide to head out, and Clayton lets Nimah know that she’s not welcome to come as he’s still convinced she was a terrorist in previous episodes.

Alex Has Competition

Despite his connection with Alex, Ryan meets up with the journalist he met in the previous episode. She fishes to find out more about him, and Ryan keeps up his act, but she’s not buying it. She outs him as being a part of the CIA and reveals that she has eyes on him and the agents. The question is, who is she and who does she work for?

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The Agents Get in Formation

Harry and Alex meet with the hackers undercover, and he tells them about their work with the chemical spill. The guys suddenly realize that Alex and Harry are up to no good and pull out their guns on them. Harry sticks to his story about wanting to offer the guys a job, and they’re clearly convinced because they put their armor away. They then give the agents the “who” they are looking for without knowing it. But the team still needs the “what.”

Dayana and Harry head to the emergency center, and a worker tells them what ground they’ve covered so far. They relay the message to Alex, Ryan and Shelby, who go out to search for whatever the attackers are looking for. They see fake EPA agents there too. Nimah pops up and reveals she was doing research back at the farm. She says the attackers aren’t looking for a “what” but rather a person instead. Ryan and Alex quickly find the person, who is armed herself and immediately asks them who they are and what they want.

Alex reveals who they really are and that they’re here to save her. The woman recognizes Alex from the FBI, and they try to get an exit strategy. Meanwhile, Nimah saves the day again after a police officer tries to catch Shelby.

The woman introduces herself as Mallory, a former employee of the senator. She says she created fake stories until one of them went too far and ended with nearly a dozen people dead. So they started searching for her to kill her and save his election. The fake EPA officers go into the home where the girl is, only to be met with Harry and Dayana, who pretend it’s their home to try to get the bad guys out. Alex and Ryan get the girl out, but there are more fake EPA workers outside waiting with gunfire. And the ones inside attack Dayana and Harry. But it’s clear they weren’t expecting them to put up such a fight. They are able to rescue the woman and get Dayana and Harry back into the van safely too.

Back at the control center, the agents disagree on how to handle the woman, Melanie, who Ryan says isn’t completely innocent after writing fake stories to make the senator look better, especially since it killed 11 people.

Nimah reveals that she still has regrets about her past. Shelby encourages her to leave it there and move on with them. Clayton and Owen have moments of their own, as Clayton tells Owen to back down so he can do his job and learn lessons himself as a trainer. Owen doesn’t mind at all and agrees. This is definitely a turning point for them. Harry and Alex also have a chat, and Alex tries to convince Harry to stay.

Ryan meets with the journalist, who threatens to blow his cover. He gives her something else she can report on that he is definitely intrigued by. It’s not clear what it is, but it’s enough for the journalist to take her eyes off of Ryan for the moment.

Mallory’s Future is Uncertain

The agents decide they can’t protect Mallory but offer for her to get out of town. They give her cash and a burner phone. The DOJ also catches up with the senator and tells her that Mallory is in witness protection until she testifies against him. Things are looking up for the agents, and Alex uses the vibe to let her feelings for Ryan be known. And Ryan keeps the ball in his court, which is really something that makes her uncomfortable. But it looks like he’s already moved on with the journalist, as he asks her out to dinner. I definitely didn’t see that coming!

Shelby and Clayton also have an awkward moment, in which they both admit that they don’t hate one another. Clayton then moves to “officially” welcome Nimah to the team. Harry also asks if he can join in, and of course the answer is yes. Shelby tries to call Leon, and of course he doesn’t answer because he was kidnapped in the previous episode. The end of this one makes it look as if he’s been killed.

What do you think about Owen and Clayton’s choice to put Mallory in witness protection? Do you like the direction Shelby and Clayton seem to be going? How do you feel about Ryan possibly playing Alex and the journalist? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Quantico season 2 airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC. Want more news? Like our Quantico Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)