Most of my attempts to get into any new network hour-long shows that have a thriller or mystery type format do not end well.
Typically, when my husband and I try a show like this, we can’t even begin to get invested in it because we’re too busy making fun of the stilted dialogue and exaggerated acting.
The new NBC thriller “The Enemy Within” looks, on first glance, like it might fall into this category. Something about FBI and CIA and spies. But we decided to give it a shot anyway.
The Premise of “The Enemy Within”
The show’s premise is a little more unique than your average catch-the-bad-guy hour-long.
FBI agent Will Keaton wants nothing more than to catch the terrorist that was responsible for the death of his fiancée. But as part of the investigation, his boss tells him he must work with the former CIA operative who was convicted of treason for helping bring about the death of the fiancée (and several other people).
Erica Shepherd used to be a high-ranking CIA operative. But now she is spending her days in a supermax prison, serving a ton of consecutive life sentences for betraying her country. Yet the things she knows about the big, bad terrorist dude could be the key to catching him.
If Keaton doesn’t agree to work with Erica Shepherd in this operation, his boss will replace him with someone who will. So Keaton agrees, and an unlikely partnership begins to form between a man who wants to catch his fiancée’s killer and the woman whose treason allowed that killer access.
Why this show works
There’s some pretty good writing and acting in “The Enemy Within.” A lot higher quality than most of the other shows of this type that I’ve seen on the networks.
There are strong conflicts and high stakes, as we learn that the terrorist has planted moles even within the CIA and FBI. There are also some emotional stakes on the side of the convicted ex-CIA woman, as her entire motivation is wrapped up in a teenaged daughter she hasn’t gotten to see in three years.
Does it occasionally feel a little forced or cheesy? Sure, but definitely not as often as I expected. Mostly, it’s engrossing and pretty thrilling.
The other good thing about this show is that, so far, it’s quite clean. There’s some violence, and occasionally it’s a little jarring but it’s nothing beyond a typical TV-14 rating.
There’s maybe some occasional light profanity.
And so far, there hasn’t been any sexual content – what a concept! Hopefully they don’t find a way to start shoe-horning it in where it doesn’t belong in future episodes.
This show is a pretty good bet
It’s possible that “The Enemy Within” might start to get lamer or dirtier, but so far I’m liking it.
You can watch it Mondays at 10 pm on NBC, or you can stream it for free (a week after it airs) like I do on the NBC app.