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Life’s Too Short: Quantico Season 1 (2015 -)

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Secret Story

After 9/11 there was a lot of finger-pointing to the CIA and the FBI as poor coordination between federal agencies have made them unable to prevent the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Well, they blamed poor coordination. Quantico‘s pilot now sheds the merciless light of truth on the reason of such a failure : FBI recruitment is the worst.

Quantico is the great name of a mythical place shrouded in mystery, the Alexandria library for the criminally insane. This is where tiny pieces of evidence are sent by clueless police forces for DNA testing, behavioral scrutiny and profiling. This is the place from where oracles like “The killer is a white man between 30 and 40, driving a van” are uttered. This is where Clarisse Sterling was introduced jogging in the first scene of the little known The Silence Of The Lambs. So this is where Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra, beautiful and not much else) is introduced jogging, too. Well, technically, there is a dramatic opening sequence: Grand Central Station just got destroyed by a terrorist attack and she, for some reason, is the suspect even before her colleagues find Semtex and schematics conveniently planted in her apartment. Call it bad luck.

The usual and annoying go-between two timelines ensues. We follow Alex going rogue to establish her innocence and, more importantly, her time at the FBI training academy in Quantico. This is where the series could have nailed it: who doesn’t want to know more about the elite recruitment techniques of the most famous police service this side of Scotland Yard? Well, considered yourself warned: if you had more than a fleeting interest in Top Chef or, say, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, you won’t learn much, except that compared to those programmes, the FBI is just lousy at screening candidates.

So: an ethnic bimbo who killed her FBI agent of an alcoholic father joins the guy she had sex with 6 hours before, a pedophile Olympic medalist, the WASP daughter of parents dead in one of the 9/11 aircrafts, a gay Jewish mentalist who spent time in the Gaza Strip, a misanthropic Latina bitch, the vain incompetent son of two Special Agents and a bipolar Muslim girl wearing a niqab for the toughest training, lalalalala. They are haphazardly paired and mercilessly pitted against each other in mind games generally defused before any harm can be done, except when it is with extreme prejudice. Their two trainers are some guy looking like a dollar store Patrick Duchovny and a tough black woman, the first to occupy such a position lalalalala, who by virtue of one of the plot twists does the exact opposite of what her barely outlined character would do in such circumstances.

And there’s another plot twist, that can’t be considered a spoiler as it happens it the middle of the first episode of the first season: the Muslim girl is not bipolar, they are twins. Yup, like towers, lol. “This is the first time we authorise such an experiment”, says the boss. And… what kind of an experiment is this? Quantico’s Secret Sisterhood? It was almost tempting to watch more to know what can possibly made with such a preposterous concept, but the twins sealed the deal: life’s too short.

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