(WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 1 EPISODE 3 OF THE ENEMY WITHIN!)
Agents are at risk, which leads to a dangerous mission and a new member being added to the team. This episode of The Enemy Within really pushes one particular aspect of the story forward. It also may be the best in the short few episodes. Let's see exactly what happens with "The Ambassador's Wife".
DEA agents are being killed at sea at an alarming rate. While the connection to Tal isn't quite obvious, or even there at all, the FBI team still takes the case. This frustrates Shepard, who thinks that their only focus should be stopping Tal. I mean, Keaton makes a bit of a shaky connection, but it seems like it's pretty much to justify bringing Shepard in on the case. This is another difficult one for the team. At least with Tal, there was a reason to bring Shepard in. This one seems like a stretch even for them, and really lends itself to the undercurrent of Keaton losing the confidence of his team. Still, they press forward after Shepard finds information on an ambassador that may be responsible for selling classified documents to the cartel. This is where things get even more interesting.
Shepard suggests that they use the ambassador's wife to plant a tracker on the documents that he may be selling to the cartel to track them. Obviously this isn't normal procedure for the FBI, but Keaton seems on board with it. This is where we see the most vocal rift in the team yet, when Zain speaks up and talks about how this is a bad idea. The rest of the team is less vocal, but seems to feel the same way. Keaton once again trusts Shepard, and the plan is put into place.
We get to see a bit of the family dynamic between the Ambassador's wife, her husband and their teenage son. The team knows that dad used the son's phone to do his shady business, so they plan on using that as leverage to get the wife to cooperate. Shepard also inserts herself into the mission, and even leads the interrogation, trying to appeal to this woman as a mother. There wasn't much tact, but it does end up working. I say "working", but I use that term very loosely. It's pretty clear that this woman, while very smart, is not someone who they can be absolutely sure is capable of pulling this off. They expect her to sneak in, find her husband's documents and place a tracker on the inside of it. Shepard has managed to gain her trust, and that seems to be where this woman's confidence is coming from. The biggest mistake that may have been made here is when Keaton decides not to have Shepard come on the mission. She is on coms, but she's not actually there and the wife knows it. She wasn't there to comfort her right before she went in either, so to me, this seemed doomed from the word go.
The plan was to do this at a crowded party at the ambassador's house, which should create plenty of distractions. Things start out just fine, she even gets a window of opportunity to get it done. When things get real, she starts to get cold feet and Shepard has to talk her down remotely. You have to know that there would be tension at some point, and there certainly was when her husband walks into the room. So then we get the whole "did she or didn't she complete the mission?" Yes...to both. Sure she got it done, but she didn't shut the desk drawer properly. Civilains aren't really trained to come up with good answers to these pressure situations on the fly so things start to unravel in a hurry. The team ends up having to make entry, but not in time. She has a gun on her husband and the situation is already out of control. She ends up shooting him in the struggle, and right in front of her son. Her husband ends up dying in the process.
The fallout from this is pretty bad. This woman now has an unthinkable family situation to repair, even if the shooting was deemed self defense. Then there is Keaton, who has to be at a new low trust wise with his team. Especially when Zain stood up and questioned the decision from the beginning. We also see him getting pushed by Shepard to see her daughter. Keaton finally says that he has tried and she doesn't want to see her. I'll get to that more in a few minutes. I don't really know where Keaton goes from here. He can't just ditch Shepard at this point, they're too deep into the Tal investigation. He definitely has some fences to mend within his own house, and maybe with himself as well. I think we see that even he is starting to question his decision making now. He has a lot coming at him really fast right now, but this is not a time where mistakes can be made. We'll have to see if we see him break down at some point.
One thing I really loved in this episode was the addition of Jacqueline Pettigrew (Cassandra Freeman). From the second that we see her come on screen, she brings that personality that I feel has been missing from this team from the very beginning. She is very smart, isn't afraid to speak her mind and even puts a little sass on it while she is at it. We see a member of the team bring her in to help with surveillance at first, but she ends up being a part of this particular mission. She is an expert negotiator who had been working as an instructor and Quantico. Those are skills that this team could definitely need. She could also bring a much needed fresh perspective on this entire situation. This is a woman that you instantly respect when she walks into the room, so I'll be curious to see how she's received from here on out.
Finally, we see that Shepard's daughter is definitely going to be an ongoing part of this story. We see that she isn't completely ignoring and letting go of her mother. She listened to the voicemail, she kept the cap her mom was wearing when she escaped to go see her. This girl is not ready to give up, and may have a gut feeling that her mom isn't the monster that everyone has made her out to be. My only worry is that they're only setting things up to use her as a pawn in Tal's game at some point. It almost seems inevitable, given how things started. I guess maybe you have to do that at some point, but my hope is they wait until well beyond this season to do that. I can't imagine that they catch Tal at the end of this season, so I would let that play out much more first.
All in all, this show is starting to put some pieces in place and have some varying storylines going on throughout the season. Adding a bit more personality and tension certainly helps as well. What did you think of this week's episode?
(Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)