The Enemy Within (S01E01) – “Pilot”


With the new year in full swing, NBC has added new series to their roster. As if we needed more reasons to sit on the couch and watch series. A new addition to the NBC Monday is The Enemy Within. Headlined by actor Morris Chestnut (Rosewood) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter). Without giving away the rest of the recap, The Enemy Within is about a former CIA agent that became the biggest traitor in recent US history. When attacks occur on US soil simultaneously, the FBI turns to her for help.

Season 1 episode 1 begins with Erica Shepherd (Jennifer Carpenter), CIA Deputy Director of Operations, walking from the Capitol. She begins to notice bystanders staring at her, some with earpieces, watching her intently – she realises what this is. She turns around, drops her bag, gets on her knees and raises her hands and FBI agents move in. FBI agents arrest her and charge her with espionage and conspiracy against the United States of America.

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And so it begins…

Accused of spying on the US for rogue terrorist Mikhail Tal. Responsible for the death of 4 CIA agents. “The Benedict Arnold on our Generation.” She was branded one of the worst traitors in US history. No one knows why she did it, why she would turn on her country, why have 4 CIA agents killed. She was an enemy to the United States of America. But no one knows the truth, except her. Erica Shepherd is the only one who knows why she did.

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She is seen as ‘The Enemy Within’

3 years later, life goes on, or so they thought… Washington DC, Philadelphia, Manhattan – the locations of 3 simultaneous attacks on CIA agents at exactly 8:00. We then change to a man running with Washington as a backdrop. Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut), FBI Supervising Special Agent, is picked up by 3 SUVs and Daniel Zahn (Raza Jaffrey), FBI Special Agent. After Zahn tells him what happened he knows exactly who it is – Tal. Keating briefed a panel, of which included the Deputy DNI Elizabeth Cordova and FBI Deputy Director of Counterintelligence Richard Bregman. Mikhael Vassily Tal, 49 and former SVR agent. In 2015, the bombing of flight 6175 in Boston. What really happened is that it was a trial run for 20 more bombings to come, but they were all prevented. But months later, Tal struck back through Erica Shepard and had the 4 agents who prevented those attacks killed. Moments later Bregman and Keaton spoke in his office. The only way they keep the case is if they bring Shepherd on. A passionate Keaton pushes back and pushes back hard, mainly because she had Lane killed. Lane was Keaton’s fiancee. But the only way he stays on the case is if they bring on Shepherd.

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Keaton briefs a panel including the Deputy DNI and FBI Deputy Director of Counterintelligence on the greatest threat to the US today

Colorado, ADX Maximum Security Prison, where Erica Shepherd is being held. Being held in a cage in a low-lit room, chains on her wrists and ankles and shackled to the floor. She is moved to a chair and Keaton comes to speak to her. 3 years later, but its as if it happened a day ago. Keaton’s blood is boiling. The FBI and DOJ have agreed to grant Shepherd concessions if she agrees to help with their investigation regarding Tal. If she agrees, she will be transported to DC. In this scene we see glimpses of the intelligence of Shepherd come through. She knows that Tal isn’t planning an attack, but one has already happened. She’s calm, calculated and she notices everything. When Shepherd says that Keaton has no idea what people are capable of, he loses it and tosses the chair. Guards quickly move in and hold him back. Shepherd agrees to the deal but tells him to look for someone inside because that is how he got to her. The insert a GPS tracker into her subclavian artery, impossible to remove. Under anaesthetic, we see a flashback 3 years ago, with Erica and her daughter.

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3 years later, but Keaton feelings towards Erica hasn’t changed

In the DC field office, we meet the 2 other members of the team: Kate Ryan (Kelli Garner), FBI Cyber Division Special Agent; John Bragg (Noah Mills), FBI Special Agent. And everyone was shocked when Keaton and Bregman walked in with Shepherd, the enemy of the US. In the room, as they take her chains off, we see the way Erica’s mind works, she sees everything and analyzes everything she sees in the room. Running through the intel of the case, 3 CIA agents were killed, of which was a junior analyst Anna Cruz (Coral Pena). After 16 hours they have nothing, but Shepherd gives input. They’re dealing with Tal and they need to pull on strings they never knew was there. Tal goes after the victims’ phones, but instead of cloning, he rips them. Ripping a phone you aren’t able to receive calls during the process. When you see the call on the record but not on the phone you will know the exact time and date it happened. But Keaton thinks she’s lying to them and still helping Tal.

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Keaton doesn’t believe a single thing Shepherd says

After looking into Shepherd’s intel, Ryan found out the time and date of the ripping. FBI went after Ines Nguyen, a hacker. Zahn starts interrogating her. She doesn’t know much. Viktor Nemec contacted her to rip the agent’s phone. But Shepherd picks up that Nguyen is lying about someone. Lying about Nemec being alone. Keaton loses it and tosses the chair and Nguyen says that she doesn’t know her name. Keaton starts showing her pictures and she identifies Anna Cruz from the picture. The CIA junior analyst from the Manhattan bombing is still alive. Combing through intel, the find a picture that was sent to Nemec after the attacks. But it was a picture of a map of Paris. Shepherd explains to them what it really is. Back in the Cold War intel was often intercepted so spies had to find a way to sent intel without giving their location away. So they send a picture of a place that is similar to the one they’re at – a location cutout. This leads them to an apartment building in NY. Keaton, Zahn and Brugg leave immediately.

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Shepherd makes another breakthrough in the case

Shepherd being stuck in a cell rams her mouth and an object into the wall. This dislodges a tooth. She is sent offsite to treat this. After a shot of anaesthetic, she has an x-ray taken. The x-ray takes 30 seconds, within those 30 seconds the takes off the handcuffs and breaks the window of the dental office and escapes. In NY, the team goes after the apartment but find 2 guys who aren’t Nemec, but both of them aren’t much held when they’re dead. Back in DC, wearing a lead vest and unable to be tracked, Keaton knows where she’s going – She wanted to go home. We see Shepherd walk onto the grounds of St. Catherine’s School and school is coming out. We see why she escaped, she escaped to see her daughter. And as she saw her daughter, FBI and DCPD showed up and arrested her. During this, she lip-synced the words ‘I love you soo much’ before being taken away. Zahn and Keaton are in Boston following a lead that Nemec’s vehicle was seen in Pier 19. Bregman mentions this to Shepherd as they put her in her cell. Shepherd passionately tells Bregman that it’s a trap. That a group of her agents were killed in Belgium when the same thing happened. With the warning from Shepherd, Zahn and Keaton dodge an IED and take Nemec down and rescue Anna Cruz.

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After important help from Shepherd, Keaton avoids an IED and saves Cruz

Keaton comes to visit Shepherd in her cell at the end of the day. He wants answers. Why are you helping us, why are you cooperating. He threatens her by saying that either she answers or she goes back to Colorado or he quits. So she tells him the truth. On that day 3 years ago, her daughter never showed up to school. She got home to find a cellphone ringing on her front porch. She answers and its a video call, on which the video is on her daughter. Tal says either give up the names of the 4 agents assigned to him or she dies. And that’s what she did. She did it for her daughter. Keaton asks why not tell everyone this. But she said she could never have her daughter live with that. That’s what being a parent is, suffering for your child. Taking a bullet is easy. But living for your children is hard. Being hated for your kids is hard. She justs to fight every day to earn a spot back in her life. Tal came after her for what she was about to discover. “In 2013, there were a few dozen rogue agents like Tal operating in the US, in 2014 a dozen. But in 2015, that number skyrocketed  to 3000 and it is still growing.” Thousands of people out there like Tal, ticking time bombs waiting to go off. Shepherd says that Keaton can save this country, but not without her.

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Shepherd tells Keaton the truth of what happened 3 years ago

‘The Enemy Within’ the name ties into the idea that someone on the inside is the enemy. And it sure showed up again. Anna Cruz got a call in hospital from Tal asking if she’s in. Tal used those attacks to get a mole on the inside of FBI.

Thanks for reading this, I know it’s longer than usual. But it’s the pilot so I rather cover the bases so you all completely understand what’s happening going forward. I’m looking forward to this season of The Enemy Within. It’s got suspense, raw emotion and action. I think it’s going to be a good one. Catch The Enemy Within Monday’s on NBC. Also, below is a look to the season ahead and episode 2 – titled ‘Black Bear.’