1. SHE'S AS SHARP AS SHERLOCK
When we first meet Alex Parrish, she's a complete newcomer to the world of crimefighting - just one of a small army of FBI recruits. But within minutes we realise this beautiful young agent-to-be has a mind so sharp you could cut yourself on it. Meeting a hot guy on a plane (who also happens to be a fellow Fed), she has him completely sussed out in a matter of minutes. In fact, she delivers a full-on Sherlock Holmes-style deduction take-down, rattling out instant insights about his family background and personality type simply by observing his manner and what he's wearing. It's a frankly awesome moment that establishes Alex as one of the smartest sleuths on the box.
2. SHE TAKES WHAT SHE WANTS
Whether it's in TV shows or blockbuster movies, male heroes are often portrayed as swaggering womanisers. It's part of their roguish charm, right? Funny how you rarely see female leads have the same kind of liberated, confident attitude to loving and leaving 'em. Well, this is where Alex Parrish is different. She's a woman of the 21st Century, and has absolutely no problem with casually seducing a guy who takes her fancy. In the first episode we see her have some quick fun in a car with a handsome chap she's just met, and when he gets all lovestruck and asks for her number, she replies: "You're not my type. If you were I would have gotten to know you first." She also refuses to be shamed about it when they bump into each other again at Quantico and he pretends not to know her. Proudly announcing in front of onlookers that they have in fact already met and had sex, Alex totally owns the situation. And it's incredibly refreshing to see.
3. SHE KICKS BACKSIDE
So we've established that Alex Parrish is very sharp, very brainy and lives life on her own terms, no matter what anyone else thinks. But here's the other thing: she's no slouch when it comes to being an action hero either. Which is just as well, because the first episode ends with her on the run, having been set up to take the fall for a terrorist outrage. Fortunately for her, she's as quick on her feet as she is in FBI classrooms. Whether she's dashing through crowded streets, dodging federal agents or teaming up with possible adversaries, Alex knows how to kick butt when she has to. She's so all-round awesome that she'd be annoying if she wasn't so likeable. And she has a lot of heart too, which brings us to...
4. SHE'S FIERCELY PASSIONATE
It would have been easy to make Alex into some staggeringly talented, endlessly sassy superheroine. But that would have become boring and more than a little annoying. So, while she may be clever and strong and witty, Alex also has her share of vulnerabilities, including her unbridled passion for justice and redemption. She joins the FBI because she genuinely cares about keeping her country safe, and also to make up for a moment of violence and guilt from her own past. It's this hidden motivation that makes her a truly compelling, complete character we want to watch grow over the course of this thrilling series.