WHAT IS QUANTICO?
Seasoned crime fans may already know a thing or two about Quantico, because this training facility has popped up again and again in various books, films and TV shows. Remember where Clarice Starling was training in Silence of the Lambs? That was Quantico.
By the way, when we say "Quantico", we really mean the FBI Academy which is based near the town of Quantico, Virginia. It's a very real place, where trainees are taught how to shoot straight, chase cars and bring down bad guys. It even has its own simulated city, Hogan's Alley, where would-be Feds have street fights with perps. This is the world explored in season one of the show, which followed Alex Parrish as she endured the grueling process of becoming an FBI agent.
WHO IS ALEX PARRISH?
Take a bow, hero of Quantico. The daughter of an FBI agent, she signed up for the Academy to follow in his footsteps... and found herself in a world of trouble. Training itself went smoothly enough, barring all the in-fighting between trainees, and the fact that she started hooking up with a fellow recruit who'd been put there to keep tabs on her by their own instructor.
The real trouble started after she graduated, and was promptly framed for a terrorist atrocity in New York City. Not the best way to kick off your career in law enforcement, but she fortunately cleared her name and brought down the real bad guy: a seriously delusional and deranged chap called Liam O'Connor, the very instructor mentioned above. More on him in a mo.
WHAT IS THE FARM?
The Farm is the Quantico of season two of Quantico. Or, to put it another way, we're leaving the Academy at Quantico behind, and meeting a new bunch of trainees at another training facility, dubbed the Farm. This, too, is a place that exists in real life. Part of Camp Peary in Virginia, it's where CIA agents are taught the dark arts of clandestine operations.
We'll be here because Alex has apparently made the leap from FBI to CIA, but is there an ulterior agenda at work? And why is she having to mingle with raw recruits anyway? Expect answers, and then a whole load of more questions, as the season gets going.
IS THERE A BIG VILLAIN?
Interesting question. Season one certainly did have a dark puppetmaster behind the scenes. That was Liam O'Connor, a staggeringly bitter and twisted FBI operative who'd turned against the Bureau and wanted to raze it to the ground. That meant blowing up devastating bombs, killing fellow agents and blackmailing people into becoming his hapless minions. He also had a seriously screwed up lust-hate fixation on Alex.
Liam got thoroughly killed by Alex at the end of the season, which theoretically means there is no "big bad" at the moment. Unless there actually is, and we don't know it yet. There's also the issue of Vice President Claire Haas...
WHO IS CLAIRE HAAS?
If we had to name the prime candidate for big bad villainy in season two, it would be Claire Haas. She was introduced as the mother of one of the Quantic trainees, Caleb Haas, but she was from some bit-part presence. On the contrary, not only was she married to Clayton Haas - a bigwig at the Bureau, since killed by a bomb - but Claire has also been nursing big ambitions of her own.
Last we saw her, Claire had ascended from senator to Vice President of the United States. She may spout all the usual political platitudes about strength, togetherness and healing the nation, but Alex isn't fooled. She knows Claire was secretly in cahoots with rogue agent Liam O'Connor, leveraging his lethal plans to boost her own political standing. Claire knows that Alex knows this, so will she be plotting to take Parrish down? You bet she will be...