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The Enemy Within - Pilot - Review

If you're a fan of The Blacklist then you're going to be familiar with the skeleton of The Enemy Within. Jennifer Carpenter plays the "Red" character here as disgraced former CIA head, Erica Shepherd, accused of collaborating with the most notorious and deadly active terrorist around, Mikael Tal. She disclosed names of four CIA operatives working on missions to take him down. All four wound up dead.

Of the four murdered operatives, FBI agent Will Keaton's (Morris Chestnut) fiancé was one of them. Of course, this means Keaton is the one who takes over the Tal initiative and in order bring him down, they need Shepherd's intellect to assist them, hence the general premise of the show.

Carpenter is the true star of this vehicle though, the scenes with her involved are often the most gripping, although she and Chestnut do shine together as well.

Pictured: Jennifer Carpenter as Erica Shepherd
-- (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)
Shepherd and Keaton come to work together when three terrorist attacks occur simultaneously, all targeting important members of the government with ties to former Tal investigations. Shepherd assists them in stopping the death of the would-be fourth victim, Anna Cruz, but we learn soon after that Anna is actually a mole for Mikael and this entire thing was part of his plan. He wanted Anna to begin contact with Agent Keaton for reasons that remain unknown to us as of yet.

At one point in the episode, Erica escapes from her cell. The first place she goes is to see her daughter and then she allows herself to get arrested once more. It doesn't take long for us to learn the truth about what happened when she was arrested. Erica was put in a precarious hostage situation where she was forced to give up the names of the now-deceased CIA ops or her daughter would be murdered.

Pictured: (l-r) Raza Jaffrey as Daniel Zain, Morris Chestnut
as Will Keaton -- (Photo by: William Gray/NBC)
I'll be honest, I was a little sad to learn Erica wasn't going to be an antagonist. I mean sure, she is sly, cunning, and obviously more than capable of outwitting those around her, but I enjoyed watching Carpenter play up the moral ambiguity at the beginning.

Learning she has a crucial and critical weakness so early on, lessens Shepherd's impact and creates a character we've seen before.

Though I'll refrain from being too harsh in judgment yet since we're only in the pilot and I'm still overall, impressed enough to continue watching.

A new episode of The Enemy Within premieres ------ on NBC.


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