“Home is where the heart is.”
“There’s no place like home.”
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there/They have to take you in.”
“Home” is a concept that looms large for all of us, whether good or bad. It might be a safe haven, or perhaps an uncomfortable space. It might be a place or a person.
While on the surface, “No Place Is Home” is an action thriller, it’s also an examination of these different concepts of “home,” with plenty of the character development I’ve been wanting to see from Quantico all season long.
The Caper Of The Week
Remember last week’s bad guy, Conor Devlin? He may be in prison, but he’s still got ties to the outside – enough to order the murders of Owen’s daughter and Mike’s sister. The team gathers their families and takes them to Shelby’s family mansion (remember, she’s a rich girl). The place turns out to be a not-so-safe safe house.
And not just because of the bad guys who break in. There’s plenty of tension and drama, even without the threat to everyone’s lives, as members of the team have to make some uncomfortable revelations to the people they love – each of whom is upset with them for one reason or another. Alex’s mother is angry because she now has a target on her back; Harry’s sister is angry because he never told her he was an FBI agent, and Ryan’s dad just plain doesn’t like Shelby (to her extreme annoyance; “Everyone likes me!” she exclaims).
Long-Delayed Character Development
Two reviews ago, I said I wanted to spend more time with the characters rather than the action, and we got plenty of that time here. Alex and Harry both had to re-establish ties to estranged family members. In Alex’s case, she and her mother were so estranged that Alex didn’t know her mom had moved from California to upstate New York. For her part, Mom didn’t know that Alex had gone back to the FBI – or that she’d been pregnant. In the meantime, Harry needed to rebuild the bridge with his sister Maisie, who was the only member of his family to accept that he was gay.
I was so happy to see this focus on the other side of these two characters I enjoy so much. Both heard things they needed to hear – that it wasn’t necessary to hide. Most importantly, Alex got this message from her mother: You are the sum total of the decisions you make. Your last bad decision doesn’t have to define you.
Dad Doesn’t Always Know Best
I’ve complained about Ryan Booth in previous reviews. But Daddy Booth makes Ryan look like a scholar and a gentleman. For some reason that’s not really explained, Dad’s taken a dislike to Shelby. Is it because she’s blond? Is it because she comes from money? Don’t know. But it does lead Shelby to do something that makes the feminist in me cringe: She deliberately misses the target while they’re skeet shooting, just so Daddy Booth won’t look bad.
Eventually, predictably, Dad learns the hard way that Shelby is a damned good shot when she saves his life. But even though it’s predictable, it’s also satisfying enough for a Friday night popcorn show.
Owen & Jocelyn
I’ve gone back and forth on these two. Early on, I wasn’t sure we needed a romance between them. Then I was intrigued. And then last week, Jocelyn said she was seeing her old boyfriend.
So, of course Owen and Jocelyn find themselves together in a life-threatening situation, trapped on a pressure plate connected to a bomb via a rat’s nest of wires. And of course as Harry works to disarm the bomb (all the while lamenting that in the movies there are only TWO wires), they end up kissing.
Will they end up writing it all off to the stress of imminent death? There are only three episodes left to find out.
One quick note – next week’s review will be delayed due to San Diego Comic-con.
Quantico airs Friday nights at 8/7 Central on ABC.