I should really like The Enemy Within. It has a bit of a Blacklist flavour — person convicted of treason, an enemy of the country and a former deputy director of the CIA, now helping the FBI three years later to track down a terrorist. An angry FBI agent, forced to work with her, even though she was responsible for the death of his fiancée. A shadowy brilliant bad guy, working machinations within machinations. And some familiar faces in the cast.
Morris Chestnut plays the angry FBI agent, and I really liked him as Rosewood for two seasons a couple of years ago. His character was a bit too sunshiny for my tastes at the time, but he aces this one as a cop.
Jennifer Carpenter plays the Blacklistee, the convicted traitor whose motives were never revealed (she tells the FBI in the pilot that the terrorist was going to kill her daughter). I liked her in both Dexter and Limitless, although more in Limitless. Here she is haunted and tortured, guilt-ridden for the part she was forced to play 3 years before. And I was surprised that she actually pulled it off. I like her, sure, but it wasn’t like the previous characters challenged her much for range (well, maybe Dexter at times).
John Finn shows up in the premiere, the old boss from Cold Case, who I love, but just checking on IMDB, and I guess they only had him around for one episode. Too bad.
But here’s the thing…as much as I like the actors, as much as I like the themes, and as much as I like their high-budget approach, I didn’t buy it. I wasn’t bonding with the task force (well, maybe one of them), and there are some clichés in the mix too. Spoiler alert for the ending — one of the “victims” turns out to be an inside mole. What a surprise — not! As soon as I saw her taken hostage, I thought, “Nope, she’s in on it.” But there’s another guy in the task force, and unless I’m off my rocker, he’s going to turn out to be dirty somewhere along the line too. A second bad guy. Or he’s just inept, I don’t know. But I don’t trust him, and I don’t think that is accidental.
The show just didn’t work for me. When I saw the original description, it sounded more like a Quantico-undercover thing, and I guessed “CANCELLATION”. I saw nothing in the opening that would lead me to change that prediction.