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The Enemy Within

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The Enemy Within is an upcoming American drama television series that is set to premiere on February 25, 2019, on NBC. The Enemy Within follows "Erica Shepherd, a brilliant former CIA operative, now known as the most notorious traitor in American history and serving life in a supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent Will Keaton enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well. For Keaton, it’s not easy to trust the woman who cost him so much. While Shepherd and Keaton have different motivations for bringing the enemy to justice, they both know that to catch a spy: They must think like one."

Cast:

Main

  • Jennifer Carpenter as Erica Shepherd
  • Morris Chestnut as Will Keaton
  • Raza Jaffrey as Ali Ziai
  • Cassandra Freeman as Jaqueline Pettigrew
  • Kelli Garner as Kate Ryan
  • Noah Mills as Jason Bragg

Recurring

  • Coral Peña as Anna Cruz
  • Robert Gossett as Thomas Heffron

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NBC released the official trailer today (from Deadline);

Quote

Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) and Morris Chestnut (Rosewood, Goliath) star in the character-based psychological thriller which features Carpenter as Erica Shepherd, a brilliant former CIA operative now known as one of the most notorious traitors in recent American history, who is serving life in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being, but with nowhere else to turn, FBI agent Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut) enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well. While Shepherd and Keaton have different motivations for bringing the enemy to justice, they both know that to catch a spy… they must think like one.

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20 hours ago, missbonnie said:

This looks very good to me. 

It looks good to me too, but I want to see the pilot to figure out the whole story behind the lead's treason/arrest. It seems kind of hard to believe that a woman coerced into revealing information because her daughter was being threatened could be named the country's greatest traitor. I get she'd be blamed for their deaths, but wouldn't people also go easy on her because of the circumstances? There's got to be more that happened.

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On 2/20/2019 at 6:16 PM, KaveDweller said:

It looks good to me too, but I want to see the pilot to figure out the whole story behind the lead's treason/arrest. It seems kind of hard to believe that a woman coerced into revealing information because her daughter was being threatened could be named the country's greatest traitor. I get she'd be blamed for their deaths, but wouldn't people also go easy on her because of the circumstances? There's got to be more that happened.

Regular people would be sympathetic, but the government wouldn't be. By giving in to a terrorist's demands, she provides an example to future terrorists that threatening family members gets them what they want. 

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51 minutes ago, ketose said:

Regular people would be sympathetic, but the government wouldn't be. By giving in to a terrorist's demands, she provides an example to future terrorists that threatening family members gets them what they want. 

Is the stock answer still:  "we don't negotiate with terrorists?"

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I’m still a fan of Jennifer Carpenter from Limitless (and still mad that show was cancelled) so I’ll definitelt check this out.

Right now I’m 20 minutes in and the episode is pretty stuffed, but I suppose that’s standard for a pilot. Erica Shepherd kind of feels like she’s on NZT!

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Tal? Gordova? Nemec? Does Hollywood have any idea what constitutes a real Russian last name? Rhetorical question, obviously. Because none of these are it, and it's ridiculous.

I smell cancellation after a season, maybe two. Shepherd's reasoning why she never told anyone why she divulged the agents' names was just absurd. I did like the Anna Cruz twist, though.

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When the show was going I assumed that the agent who we would know as Cruz was the one who planted the bomb.. So at first I was surprised that they were attempting to rescue her.. I thought I was being paranoid because of the nature of the show.. But nope.. She's at least one of the agents who's a double-crosser....  I enjoyed this more than I thought well acted.. The he main actress' treason was understandable if we are to believe her.. Im looking fwd to getting to know the other agents  bit better... I think I sized them all up as fast as the main character did but let's see where it goes. 

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I was right, there was more to the story about Erica being so hated. She never told anyone what happened. I kind of can't believe she wouldn't have told a lawyer to get some kind of leniency, surely they could keep it away from the daughter? Considering she didn't know, I was surprised the daughter didn't seem to hate her.

1 minute ago, UNOSEZ said:

When the show was going I assumed that the agent who we would know as Cruz was the one who planted the bomb.. So at first I was surprised that they were attempting to rescue her.. I thought I was being paranoid because of the nature of the show.. But nope.. She's at least one of the agents who's a double-crosser....  I enjoyed this more than I thought well acted.. The he main actress' treason was understandable if we are to believe her.. Im looking fwd to getting to know the other agents  bit better... I think I sized them all up as fast as the main character did but let's see where it goes. 

I was surprised they didn't question her at all. When we found out she was alive I figured she was a traitor, but I guess everyone on the show thought she was abducted? Kind of naive for FBI/CIA people.

The previews had me intrigued, but I share the concern this will turn into another Blacklist and get tiring. I will watch a few episodes and see how things develop.

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I didn’t even think of The Blacklist when I was watching this.

its a pilot so it a bit of a mismatch.  Still I like it more then I don’t.  Jennifer Carpenter is great and might be worth the price of admission at least for awhile. 

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I'm in for Raza Jaffrey so it'd have to suck bunches for me to drop this show. There were stilted moments and exposition fairies; for example, I couldn't help but think of Horatio Caine the first time Keaton put his sunglasses on (thankfully he seems more nuanced as a character) or "you're an interrogator", or "how long have you been in love with him". That's the lot of most pilots though, especially for serialized shows with an ensemble cast. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised and found it entertaining.

Why Erica betrayed was supposed to be a big twist, revealing it beforehand was pretty stupid. Two twists in a row would have had more impact than one, I don't know what the promo monkeys were thinking. They should have promoted the beginning of the episode, the assassinations. Would have made for a much better teaser, imo.

The cast has chemistry, they do give off the vibe of people who have been working together for a while. I'm looking forward to more character interactions, I liked those who were developed a bit beyond the two leads (I wish I had seen more of agent Zain's interrogation tactics but of course agent Keaton had to get the spotlight, he's the lead and it's the pilot).

I was afraid of what has become of late the NBC lacrymal touch, yet even the scene in front of the school felt organic, and rather subdued as far as tear-jerking go. I wonder if the girl will reject her mother, it seemed at first that she would. Being branded the daughter of the traitor mustn't be easy to live, less in high school. I kind of hope she does, it would be more interesting.

It has potential, especially if they balance the procedural/arc/character development aspect.

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I was only able to catch bits and pieces of this last night.  It comes on the same time as The Good Doctor, so......I intend to watch it in full On Demand though.  I was hoping it was a little more cerebral and not so much action, but, maybe, I missed those parts. 

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Well, I did enjoy the escape scene- smelled a bit like '24' to me. I appreciated Erica's starting with 'how can I disable the GPS in my neck' to knocking out her tooth, to the XRay bib, the dental tools as pick locks, etc., although I really doubt that they have solid metal meal trays in max security prisons. I also doubt that you can completely knock out a molar that way- break it off, maybe, but it was shown to be an entire tooth, roots and all.

And yeah, the idea that it would be worse for her daughter if she knew that mom gave up the 4 names to save her vs. being the 'greatest traitor alive' (or whatever the hyperbole was) is not believable.

Also, why are they keeping her in that cage like H. Lector? She's not buff, not young*, and she was a desk jockey/administrator, not James Bond.

(Inquiring minds want to know where the potty is?)

JC deserves a better foil than Morris Chestnut, who is coming off very one-dimensional and shouty. I think they were trying for Idris Elba.

* I was surprised to see that she's not yet 40, would have thought she was mid-40's. I'm very happy that Jennifer Carpenter, who I love, can get lead parts despite not being conventionally pretty.

Edited by sempervivum · Reason: forgot there were other people on this show
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I thought it was ok, but I won't be watching.  The main thought in my head as she was talking about the plethora of spies in the country was 'Really?  Does the media really need to be showing yet another TV series with the main plot driver being generating fear of the people around you?"

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17 hours ago, CleoCaesar said:

Tal? Gordova? Nemec?

I thought the same thing! Tal is not like any Slavic name I've ever heard! I mean, they couldn't even give him something generic and just a vo at the end or something?

I thought this was alright, especially as pilots go. I like Jennifer Carpenter, and she is doing a good job at being smart and competent while still coming across as an actual person. I do hope that in later episodes, we get more character moments, because this episode was so serious and so plot driven, that I hardly got a real feel for any of the characters besides her. 

I mean, I guess its not the shows fault, but the big "twist" where she betrayed the other operatives to save her daughter instead of just doing it to be a jerk was kind of spoiled by every single advertisement for this show thats been all over TV for ages.

The end with all the apparent deep cover agents was like "what if we made The Americans, but removed all that moral ambiguity and just focused on Stan and his co-workers? But again, get all of that moral ambiguity and conflicting loyalties outta here!" 

Actually, that would be kinda interesting, if they focused on conflicting loyalties as a sort of central theme of the show. But it seems like more of a procedural spy show thing, so maybe thats not the directing they wanna go.

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I liked it well enough to give it at least a few more episodes, but there were way too many closeups of darting eyeballs. Psych had its share of that, too, but at least they did it from a tolerable distance.

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Ugh, I hate that she went to her daughter’s school knowing she’d be arrested. I get that she needed to see her, but her daughter has likely been through enough. Now she gets to see her mom arrested- and in front of her friends?

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5 hours ago, deaja said:

Ugh, I hate that she went to her daughter’s school knowing she’d be arrested. I get that she needed to see her, but her daughter has likely been through enough. Now she gets to see her mom arrested- and in front of her friends?

I actually thought that was the best scene  of the pilot.  An obviously intelligent ex CIA agent manages to escape custody and disappear even with a LoJack in her body and still does the most obvious and human thing.  She goes straight to the only person she cares about just to see her.

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13 hours ago, Mysteyman said:

I will continue to watch, But, I hope they ramp it up a little.

I will also. My fear and the reason I wouldn't watch would be linking Jennifer Carpenter and Morris Chestnut romantically because that just isn't plausible.

Edited by preeya

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1 hour ago, preeya said:

I will also. My fear and the reason I wouldn't watch would be linking Jennifer Carpenter and Morris Chestnut romantically because that just isn't plausible.

I don't think they will go there. They went out of their way (it was one of their stilted exposition fairy moment) to stress that the analyst is in love with Chestnut's character; maybe it was to dispell this Keaton/Erica notion from the start. I know this show is supposed to be more about characters than your regular procedural, but it isn't labelled as a soap either so there shouldn't be twenty love triangles or relationships inside the team.

If they ever give a LI fto Carpenter, my money would be on Tony Almeida Raza Jaffrey's agent Zain or Noah Mill's agent Bragg (who seemed to particularly dislike her: Twist-y!).

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4 hours ago, Happy Harpy said:

I don't think they will go there. They went out of their way (it was one of their stilted exposition fairy moment) to stress that the analyst is in love with Chestnut's character; maybe it was to dispell this Keaton/Erica notion from the start. I know this show is supposed to be more about characters than your regular procedural, but it isn't labelled as a soap either so there shouldn't be twenty love triangles or relationships inside the team.

Plus she is at least partly responsible for his fiancée’s death.  One of the names she gave up was his girlfriend.  Even if her story is true and she committed treason to save her daughters life it is all kinds of awkward pairing them romantically after that.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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43 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

Plus she is at least partly responsible for his fiancée’s death.  One of the names she gave up was his girlfriend.  Even if her story is true and she committed treason to save her daughters life it is all kinds of awkward pairing them romantically after that.

Yes, big huge no-no. That said, a no-no, no matter how big huge, never prevented TV writers to go there if they wanted to. That's why I was more reassured by the other shiptease, as well as the lack of attempt to create some belligerent sexual tension. I took it as a sign that the writers have no intention to go there.

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It was ok.  I didn't know what to expect but I thought it was ok. 

I "liked" the twist with her being bribed with her daughter.  That was very, very cold.  I am surprised she didin't tell someone about it not only to help herself but to help other people not go through what she did.  I will continue to watch.    

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I liked it enough to continue watching for a bit. I could do without so many close ups and shaky camera. I don't usually mind shaky cameras but I wasn't a huge fan of it in this show for whatever reason.

I really wish they didn't put in that young agent with a crush on her superior thing. I just think it's done too much. I hope they drop it. I don't really need romance in a show like this so I wouldn't mind if there was no in office relationship stuff happening. I heard it's not really the case anymore but it was one of the things that I appreciated about Criminal Minds when I used to watch that show.

I bought her reasoning for never telling them why she gave up the names. She places her daughter above everyone and everything else. Right or wrong that's what she's going to do so while it would've been good if she did tell someone before now, it didn't seem unreasonable. Which also means they need to do something about her. A protective detail or whatever because if it worked before it'll work again.

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Just saw the pilot and it was ok. But this is pretty formulaic tv:

Enemy Within = (Blacklist x Quantico) + a daughter and minus the James Spader charisma 

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On 2/25/2019 at 10:52 PM, KaveDweller said:

I was right, there was more to the story about Erica being so hated. She never told anyone what happened. I kind of can't believe she wouldn't have told a lawyer to get some kind of leniency, surely they could keep it away from the daughter? Considering she didn't know, I was surprised the daughter didn't seem to hate her.

I was surprised they didn't question her at all. When we found out she was alive I figured she was a traitor, but I guess everyone on the show thought she was abducted? Kind of naive for FBI/CIA people.

The previews had me intrigued, but I share the concern this will turn into another Blacklist and get tiring. I will watch a few episodes and see how things develop.

Yeah, the way they set it up with all of the previews showing her daughter being threatened, the actual reveal for the audience was that she hadn't told anyone about her daughter being  threatened. We all knew she wasn't actually this big spy / traitor / long term double agent. 

And since Erica kept saying "It's someone on the inside!" I also guessed that the kidnap victim was a possible traitor.

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Well, I'm in, and i hate everything. It kept me interested, that's for sure.  She is truly bad ass. 

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On 2/27/2019 at 2:26 AM, deaja said:

Ugh, I hate that she went to her daughter’s school knowing she’d be arrested. I get that she needed to see her, but her daughter has likely been through enough. Now she gets to see her mom arrested- and in front of her friends?

I thought the exact same thing! Also, obviously we have not met the daughter properly, but how does she feel about her mother? Does she believe her mom is this big-ass traitor? If so, she could have turned against her. She looked like she was sad and mouthed "I love you." back - I kind of feel like we needed to know more about how she currently feels about her mom and we sort of don't.

It had its moments and was interestingly filmed. It doesn't look like a generic network show, and it went beyond the usual procedural, plot-wise. I adore JCarp from the days of Dexter but making her this... savant was a little much at some points. Also given that she was super high-up in the CIA, wouldn't there have been some protection for her daughter or some sort of protocol for something like this happening? 

Oh and "I want to be the parent my father never was!" BLLLEEEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH Hello, Generic Daddy Issues, my old friend, I see you've come to plague another TV character yet again.  I mean seriously? Doesn't she have enough to deal with what with having let the world think she was a traitor and losing access to her daughter etc etc etc.

Good job they didn't take her to a dentist who was on the 25th floor of a skyscraper too.

Edited by BaskingsharkGTX
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The pilot was very 'pilot-y', but not bad. I'm not really into espionage thrillers, so I might watch a few episodes but I'm probably not going to be a regular viewer.

Also I'm preemptively annoyed that the main terrorist dude won't get caught and will always be two steps ahead. It'd be something if they proved me wrong, though.

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S01.E02:  Black Bear

When a former CIA operative is killed, Keaton enlists Shepherd to help recover valuable intel that could take down Tal once and for all.

But the question remains, can Shepherd be trusted?

Edited by preeya

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They recast the daughter and it distracted me. I guess we will keep seeing her?

I feel like this was pretty similar to last week's. Hopefully they make the CIA/FBI get smarter. I hate when shows make the leads all idiots so the big bad can keep committing crimes.

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I'm giving this one more episode. The visual style is kind of annoying/distracting to me. There are too many close-ups of 'meaningful looks'.

Not liking that Traitor (But Only Because of My Daugther) is out here asking for favors but still acting shady. Per the show, there are *thousands* of double agents out there, we should be able to trust the ones in the main cast.

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4 hours ago, KaveDweller said:

I feel like this was pretty similar to last week's.

It was. Classic, the second episode is often a rethread of the pilot. Unfortunately, for me, it stressed the shows' flaws instead of its qualities.

At least Daniel was allowed to fully do his work this time, but they really need to flesh-out other characters than the leads. Imo it's a mistake that they didn't as early as in this one because let's be honest, I don't think the plot is good enough to sustain a long-lasting interest. Erica is interesting but Keaton is your generic team leader with your generic murdered fiancee. I know the daughter is at the core of Erica's motivation and was supposed to be the emotional/character development part of the episode, but since there was no conflict between mother and daughter, it was emotional without a cause: It didn't bring anything new to the table that wasn't already (and better, imo) showed in the pilot, and it stressed the repetitive side of the episode instead of giving it more layers.

Even if no one suspects her, the fact that Cruz managed to kill the prisoner was ludicrous, and I hope the writers didn't go for shocking, but it was one of the rare moments where this episode elevated beyond beige. I liked how it wasn't easy for her, physically, one little touch of detail that made all the difference.

 I also know that this isn't supposed to be Whisky Cavalier or Lethal Weapon, but why so so so serious?

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38 minutes ago, mertensia said:

There was no security camera for Nemec's cell or door?

Cruz disabled it.

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4 hours ago, Happy Harpy said:

It didn't bring anything new to the table that wasn't already (and better, imo) showed in the pilot, and it stressed the repetitive side of the episode instead of giving it more layers.

Even if no one suspects her, the fact that Cruz managed to kill the prisoner was ludicrous, and I hope the writers didn't go for shocking, but it was one of the rare moments where this episode elevated beyond beige

ITA. Too much repetition of #1. How much more will we have to listen to "you can't really be using Carpenter" "you can't trust Carpenter" "Carpenter is a traitor" "everyone hates Carpenter." We get it.  And the actions of the Cruz character are so ridiculous. How long will it be before the lights go on and she's suspected of "someone on the inside?"

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I was suspecting a coded message inside the baseball cap. That it was just a motherly love note was both frustrating and inventive (shattering trope-fueled expectations).

Carpenter is mesmerizing enough for me to stick with the show for a couple of episodes more but I keep waiting for the writers to do something unexpected and twisty because so far this is pretty generic.

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1 hour ago, MissLucas said:

Carpenter is mesmerizing enough for me to stick with the show for a couple of episodes more but I keep waiting for the writers to do something unexpected and twisty because so far this is pretty generic.

I'll stick until the end because of Raza Jaffrey but without that incentive...I wish his character and Erica interacted more because they're the only ones that keep my attention so far.

0.9 in week two, if no rebound next week (ratings were horrible for scripted across the board) it won't be for long anyway.

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11 hours ago, preeya said:

But the question remains, can Shepherd be trusted?

For a second I thought I was accidentally in the Blindspot forum. LOL

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9 hours ago, Trini said:

Per the show, there are *thousands* of double agents out there, we should be able to trust the ones in the main cast.

The script at the beginning of the show says that 'according to the FBI, there are 100,000 spies' in the US, um, OK. 

I assume Cruz's murder of Nemec is supposed to look like suicide, but really, can someone hang themselves from, like, 4 feet off the floor?

Sick already of quivering lips, moist eyes, and misty flashbacks. I'm here for action/intrigue/clever plot twists, so far not getting any of the things. Jennifer Carpenter deserves so much better.

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Twice the FBI get to a place they just got the information on and twice the bad guys arrive minutes before them and no one suspects there is a mole in their office informing on them?

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Am I all alone here actually liking this show? I love Carpenter ever since Dexter, and also the fact that her eyelashes are always perfectly curled and fluffy even though she hasn't had access to makeup for three years!  Ha. I like this show a lot and have now put it on automatic record.

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Intrigued enough that I'm in for the duration. Carpenter is actually new to me and I find her compelling as is her character. I at least hope we find out more about how an agent of such obvious skill allowed herself and thus her daughter to become compromised. How was Tal able to get to her? Even if it's only human fallibility, I'm always up for it. Also, safe to assume Erica has never watched Alias. Had she, I'm pretty sure she would have rethought the whole it's preferable to let my daughter grow up thinking her mother is a traitor thing.

It was mentioned upthread that they recast the daughter so at least I'm not seeing things. Good scene when the two met btw and necessary. All I could think of during the pilot was how angry her daughter must be.

Equally liked the moment where Erica protected Keaton. The deft of her move certainly suggests she's done more than just sit behind a desk which I look forward to discovering.

One minor request please, as much as Carpenter is great here, enough with the perp walks. We get it.

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This show is still rather cliche and self serious, but I do like it so far, and the actors are at least doing a lot with what they are given. Even the characters not written very well so far are played by competent actors who are adding some human moments in there. If the show could lay off some of the more obvious cliches, like the sepia toned happy memories of the saintly dead fiance, the main bad guy being three steps ahead, the younger agent with the crush on her supervisor, etc. then we might really have something here. 

The mole isnt that great at being sneaky, but I did like the realism of her clearly struggling with strangling a guy who is much larger than her, and that for all that the agents kind of treat her delinquently when she is a hard ass villain spy playing them all.

Carpenter is still really carrying the show, and she had some good moments, like her scene with her daughter, and saving Keaton at the shoot out. I have heard the Black List comparison, and this might be an unpopular opinion, but I already prefer Erica to Red as the infamous prisoner who the authorities go to for help. Red was just so damn smug all of the time, it just got old super fast to me. Granted, I stopped watching after season one so maybe it got better, I have no clue. But I like this enough to keep up for now. 

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