ABC’s Quantico is a mystery series starring Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra as Alex Parrish, a new FBI Agent who is being framed for the worst act of terrorism in the U.S. since 9/11.
The premiere follows two timeframes – Alex’s arrival at Quantico and her class’ time in training, and the events following the actual act of terror – the destruction of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
The pilot introduces several of Alex’s fellow trainees – a gay man named Simon Asher (Tate Ellingham); a returned Mormon missionary named Eric Packer (Brian J. Smith); a wealthy young woman named Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy) who has a gift for marksmanship; an arrogant ass named Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) who only got in because both his parents were agents; Ryan Booth (Believe’s Jake McLaughlin), a bit of a loner who shares a brief pre-Quantico moment with Alex, and the mysterious Muslim woman, Nimah Anwar (Yasmine Al Massri) – and one key instructor, Liam O’Connor (Josh Hopkins) and Assistant Director Miranda Shaw (Aunjanue Ellis).
Quantico was created by Josh Safran, whose previous series work (Gossip Girl, Smash) was very much character driven, so in spite of the action and the big events of the pilot, the characters are more developed than you might expect.
Given that there’s a lot of set up to lead into a series – and that the show is Ms. Chopra’s North American debut – the pilot is quite briskly paced without feeling either too overstuffed with exposition or too lacking in action.
The premise, as set up here, is a good one – and sets up another series with a strong female lead, not to mention several strong female characters.
Final Grade: B