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Series / Enemy Within
aka: The Enemy Within

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The Enemy Within is a thriller procedural series that began airing on NBC on February 25, 2019.

Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut) is an FBI agent who has to handle a series of attacks masterminded by notorious terrorist Mikhail Vassily Tal. To get more insight, Keaton turns to Erika Shepherd (Jennifer Carpenter), the most infamous traitor in modern history. A former top-level CIA operative, Shepherd gave up the names of four agents who were then killed, one of whom was Keaton's fiancee. Shepherd confides in Keaton that rather then selling out to Tal as everyone believes, she gave the names up to save the life of her daughter who Tal was threatening.


Shepherd reveals that she was about to expose that Tal has hundreds (if not thousands) of sleeper agents embedded around the world for his plans. She offers her aide in exchange for her daughter's safety. Even as he accepts it, Keaton has to wonder if Shepherd isn't playing her own game.


  • Big Bad: Tal.
  • Blackmail: This is generally how Tal gets people to work for him. It can be threatening those they love (such as Erica's daughter) or threatening to reveal a deep secret of theirs (such as with an NSA operative) to force them to carry out his dirty work.
  • Broken Pedestal: Shepherd gets this a lot as Keaton's fiancee and others in the CIA considered her a fantastic operative who turned traitor.
  • First-Episode Twist: Anna is actually Tal's latest sleeper agent.
  • Hated by All: Erika gets this thanks to her work for Tal. It really comes up when she has to go to the CIA to hunt a mole and it's obvious how every single person is ready to punch her at best and shoot her on the spot at worst.
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  • I Have Your Wife: This was how Tal got Erika working for him. His minions picked up her daughter and he threatened her life. She's returned unharmed after she gives him the names of her operatives, but he clearly shows it could happen.
  • I Know You Know I Know: A major part of "Havana" has Keaton (having figured out Anna is a mole) in the woods alone with her. Anna realizes Keaton is onto her and sends a text to an ally. The FBI intercept it and Keaton gets a text of how Anna knows he knows. Yet the two continue to play the game of "looking for a source" through it all.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Tal sent two of his people to get Erika's daughter at the park. Video of her and knowing she was there in their custody gets Erika to give up the information he wants.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The series plays on the FBI and CIA having issues getting along, and the FBI often cut out of the CIA's plans.
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  • Properly Paranoid: Cited by Erika when Keaton asks why he should trust her.
    Erika: You shouldn't trust me, Agent Keaton. You shouldn't trust anyone. Not when it comes to Mikhail Tal.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: The point of the show as Keaton turns to Shepherd to gain intelligence on Tal.
  • Say My Name: Erika yelling Tal's name after being forced to give up the names of the agents.
  • Sequel Hook: In the season finale, before Erica kills Tal, Tal mentions that he didn't plan his schemes alone, and claims there is someone high up in the U.S. intelligence community who shares his beliefs and has as much power as he has.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • At first, Will is uncertain of Erica's insistence Anna is a mole for Tal. However, going over her apartment which she says she's lived in for two years but is completely bare of any personal items is a key to convincing him.
    • Anna is able to figure out Keaton is onto her as she sees how he tends to clench his fist tightly after telling a lie (or pretending to believe in one of hers).
    • While at CIA headquarters, Erika's expert eye lets her spot how certain agents involved in South American matters are mingling with agents on U.S. cases and some maps of Cuba and Central America on monitors. She tells Keaton the CIA is onto something Tal is doing in Cuba and cutting the FBI out of it.
  • Taking the Heat: Keaton asks why Shepherd wouldn't simply tell anyone she was blackmailed into giving up the names of the operatives to protect her daughter. Erika responds that she would rather the world think her a traitor than have her daughter feel the guilt that her mother chose to let four people die just to protect her.
  • We Are Everywhere: A key point of the show, as Erika insists Tal has planted scores of sleeper agents across the U.S. From major government agencies to suburban housewives in regular jobs, they are ready to be called on at a moment's notice to aid in Tal's plans.
  • Wham Line:
    • The pilot ends with Anna in her hospital room, getting a call from Tal and tells him "It worked. I'm in."
    • Erika spends a whole episode smuggling a phone into her cell, while also lambasting Keaton for blowing their best chance to catch Tal to save a single civilian. Then she finally makes her call: ”I need to speak to Tal.”
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "An Offer" shows how Erica betrayed her country and how she met with Will Keaton.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Anna appears to survive a bombing and kidnapping at Tal's hands. It's really a gambit to insert her into the task force to offer her "help."

Alternative Title(s): The Enemy Within