Fall 2015 Pilot Reviews: Quantico

Show: Quanitco

When It Airs: Sundays on ABC at 10:00 EST

Do I Want to Watch More? Absolutely

There was a lot of joking before this show aired that it should probably have been called “Grey’s Academy” and they aren’t wrong. This pilot is basically what you would get if you turned a Grey’s Anatomy finale in to a pilot episode but instead of the doctor’s treated patients, you get the FBI responding to the terrorist attack. For those not familiar with a typical Grey’s Anatomy finale, they are dramatic and have a lot going on, both relating to the disaster of the moment and the personal lives of the doctors. They are stressful and they are almost always engaging.

There was a lot going on in this pilot. It introduced the two timelines in which this show will be taking place – the post-attack timeline that is being investigated by the FBI and the flashbacks that will take us through training at Quantico. A lot of characters were introduced (including a few who are already gone) and we got a decent sense of who would be the main characters moving forward. It functioned exactly as a pilot should and made an entertaining episode that has me wanting more already.

I see a lot of potential in these characters and in the larger mystery/thriller portion of the plot, which are both excellent signs. I love a good mystery but it means nothing to me if I can’t connect with the characters. This is an extremely soapy batch of characters, the majority of whom have very big backstories. There’s a girl who lost her parents on 9/11, one from a Zionist family who visited Gaza and is keeping it a secret, one who shot her father and found out he was a special agent with the FBI, one who got a 14-year-old pregnant and forced her into an abortion which killed her, one who is at the Academy pretending to be a trainee but is actually there to spy on Alex, and one who is secretly a twin and are trying to pass themselves off as one person.

However, in addition to their dramatic backstories, they also seemed like they could be actual characters who could be defined by more than their history. We saw some potential friendships forming and the fact that some of them are rooming together should give us lots of opportunity to see them interact.

It was possibly a little too busy and packed with twists and surprises, which concerns me for the future. Some shows deal well with burning through lots of plot very quickly (see Jane the Virgin). Most don’t. In trying to keep up the momentum and energy, I hope they don’t sacrifice actual character development.

This is not going to be a show for everyone. It is very soapy and I’m sure it will be completely ridiculous at times. But I’m so in for it. Even if it crashes and burns, which is very well may do, it’ll be a fun ride until then.

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2 thoughts on “Fall 2015 Pilot Reviews: Quantico

  1. This show was so much fun! I think it’s my favorite of the new shows this season and I am definitely going to keep watching.

    I do think the Grey’s Anatomy comparison is fitting from what I remember of that show, but I was also reminded a bit of How To Get Away With Murder. The format of two timelines with a lot of mystery over a major event, plus a diverse group of students/trainees who you need to watch closely because one of them might be the culprit are very similar. Considering how much I enjoy HTGAWM, this is a good thing as long as Quantico can keep up the pace :p

    When it is done right I really enjoy shows that use flashbacks to have two timelines going at once. It creates extra suspense and allows the audience to play whodunit throughout a longer stretch of episodes, which I find incredibly fun. I have always been drawn to mysteries, so this plays right into my tastes.

    Like you, I really enjoyed that these characters seemed to have plenty of personality to them and depth that has yet to be fully fleshed out. I liked that the show hinted that despite having the investigation task where secrets were revealed, most if not all of the trainees still have something to hide. I’m really looking forward to learning more about these characters and seeing them develop relationships with each other since I think we will get some pretty interesting dynamics with this group.

    1. I’m so happy you loved this show!

      You’re completely right about the HTGAWM vibes from the show. I could never get as interested in that one as I would have liked so hopefully I have better luck this time.

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