Priyanka Chopra draws ire of Indians after episode 5 of Quantico portrays them as terrorists
'Quantico's portrayal of its brown protagonist Alex Parrish has never been stereotypical, disrespectful or bland.
ABC's 'Quantico' is in its last season and from the looks of it, they just can't seem to do one thing right. Although their storyline has considerably gotten better since the first episode, the viewers just refuse to cut the show any slack. Their latest episode, 'The Blood of Romeo' has pissed off the Indian twitterati.
Why? Because the plot portrays a group of Indians as terrorists.
As the plot goes, this time the black ops gang is out to figure out why a seemingly harmless physics professor from Hudson University has run off with a cache of weaponized Uranium-235.
The professor, Elizabeth Nutting, is linked to a terrorist group who plan to bomb midtown Manhattan during a sensitive India-Pakistan summit in NYC. Owen Hall is assigned to the case and he and his gang of badass agents need to get back the Uranium.
As the gang investigates, they find out that the professor had actually stolen the Uranium under duress - the bad guys have captured her family.
The team splits up, Ryan Booth and Shelby Wyatt go off with Jocelyn Turner chasing a clue, and Alex Parrish is out with Mike McQiugg and Deep trying to reach Elizabeth.
Deep dresses up as a pizza delivery guy and shows up at their door and bumps into Elizabeth on purpose, handing her a communication device. This entire scene is really unconvincing - it's too slow. Won't terrorists be super alert? They are planning to bomb a massive city, how can they let this boy slide in like that? Anyway, Elizabeth starts supplying them with information.
By this time, the team finds out that the terrorists are from Pakistan.
The only thing these guys are waiting for is a neutron initiator for Elizabeth to build the bomb.
As the plot continues, Alex decides to jump the gun (as usual) and go into the house posing as the delivery person. Obviously, they figure it out when the actual delivery guy shows up.
At this point, Mike barges in and shoots everyone. This is when they find that the terrorists are actually Indians who were planning to pin the blast on Pakistan. They were Indian nationalists who wanted to come out as the good ones after the blast, making the US their allies forever.
As the only boy alive in the room, Adnan tells Elizabeth that they were gonna kill her family anyway. Boom! She turns her back on the FBI, takes up the gun and decides to make the bomb and give it to the terrorists so that she can save her family. What is this logic, is your first reaction to this weird plot twist.
These guys identify that the terrorists were Indian because they were wearing rudraksha beads - a clear indication of the political scenario in India. Pretty stereotypical though - this reveal could have been done better.
Jocelyn and the gang, on the other hand, save the family and get them to safety. Shelby and Ryan also sort out their marital issues... yawn. 'Quantico' has more flirting and romance than actual crime sometimes.
Adnan, Alex, Mike, and Elizabeth go to make the drop at the park. Owen has got Harry in place doing what he does best - being a sniper. In a matter of minutes, they contain the situation, but Adnan manages to escape with the bomb. This young man has a chip on his shoulder because Pakistan killed his father when he was a little boy. His urge for revenge is strong but as Alex gets on his tail, he is ultimately stopped - killed that is. Everyone goes home happy.
This is an average 'Quantico' episode, like the rest of the season. But this season has also been all about experimenting. First with the storytelling, then with additional characters as well as the paradigm shift with Ryan and Shelby's romance, we always knew this season would be different. This episode could just be a similar attempt.
It is a gutsy move, no doubt. To be bashed for this, however, is quite illogical. First of all, the story isn't about Indians or Pakistanis, it is about revenge. Revenge, as is common knowledge, is blind. As far as the loopholes in the plot are concerned, it is expected out of the show. Its had loopholes before, this is not a cult classic.
The protagonist of the show, Alex Parrish has her roots in India. She's always been the strong, independent and fierce agent and the show is loved by people of color particularly, for that reason. 'Quantico's way of portraying their brown protagonist Alex Parrish has never been stereotypical, disrespectful or bland.
The other Indian character that was added this season, of Deep (Vandit Patel) is a techie who works with the black ops team. Why was no one outraged when he is portrayed as the sidekick geek who is into hacking and software? Simply because that is what his character is on the team for. Similarly, the whole deal about the Indian nationalists was a plot twist. If anything, Priyanka and 'Quantico' have been a boon in portraying Indians as more than cabbies and Bollywood.
In season 2, 'Quantico' talked about the political scene in the US. They aren't the type to shy away from speaking their minds and it is one of the only things that still stands out about the FBI thriller. They experiment, even if it means they may fail. From the viewers perspective, this episode actually got them the highest views of this season, a total of 3.04 million views.
But this isn't the first time Priyanka Chopra has been bashed by the Indian Twitterati. Last year, she met PM of India Narendra Modi and her fans were mad that she wore a dress that showed off her knees in front of the PM. Some went to the extent of calling her 'indecent'. Did that make any sense? History repeats itself, indeed.