Has ABC’s Quantico coopted Law & Order’s “ripped from the headlines” screenwriting? Well, not exactly: that would require a media willing to ask Hillary Clinton about her husband’s numerous extramarital affairs. But it was hard not to think of the Democrats’ frontrunner during last night’s episode, “Go.”
The pivotal scene occurs when Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy) thanks her classmate and former love interest, Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers), for not telling his father, FBI Deputy Director Clayton Haas, that he knows they are having an affair.
Caleb smugly retorts that he’s saving that tidbit, and that there is only one reason he hasn’t spilled the beans: his mother is about to secure the Democratic nod for Vice President, and news of her husband’s extramarital affair would sink her candidacy.
Wyatt: What are you doing?
Haas: Combing through footage I found of one of the Amin twins outside grand central station to see if she might be a Parrish co-conspirator.
Wyatt: You think they were involved?
Haas: Is that really what you walked all the way over here to talk to me about?
Wyatt: That... And to say thank you for not telling your dad that -- that I know that he's screwing my ex?
Haas: No, I'm gonna save that little tidbit for my psychopharmacologist.
Wyatt: Well, you took the high road, and I appreciate it.
Haas: Okay, let's just make one thing clear. I didn't do it for you. I did it for my mom. Do you have any idea how close she is to becoming the democratic choice for V.P.? I'm gonna tell you something. When Clayton finds out that she's the nominee, he will drop you and he will run back to her in a heartbeat. I just can't wait to see that happen.
Wyatt: You're still just a sad little boy. Good luck finding Nimah.
Haas: Who said that it was Nimah?
Wyatt: You, now get your hand off of me before I hurt you.
Of course, in the real world, we know that yet another affair would be as likely to damage the Clinton Machine as any of the former president’s previous trysts. MoveOn.org, a major player in Democratic activism, was founded with the sole purpose of getting people to “move on” from the Lewinsky debacle. Sex scandals only end careers if there’s an R after the candidate’s name.
Wyatt’s affair with her ex-boyfriend’s father isn’t the only weird sexual tension squeezed into “Go.” The audience was also treated to the most awkward kiss in the series to date. Simon Asher’s (Tate Ellington) gay frienemy Elias Harper (Rick Cosnett) gets the boot from the FBI Academy when he bolts away from a ticking bomb uncovered during their exam. As he’s packing his bags, Simon consoles him, and then the gay kiss happens.
Hollywood is no stranger to pushing same-sex PDA in network TV shows, but Simon Asher isn’t gay and Harper knows this. He gave a whole speech about it in “Found.” The writers were probably trying to make some grand point about sexual fluidity and evolving culture mores, but the whole scene just seems awkward and forced. You don’t have to slip your gay friend some tongue to prove you care about his well being. Come on, ABC!